In the context of corporate training, strategic alignment is the process of prioritizing the training function’s goals and mission around key business priorities to ensure business results are achieved.
Strategic alignment is an essential component of positioning learning and development (L&D) as a valuable business asset. When training is strategically aligned to business goals, it helps companies remain competitive in a rapidly shifting global business environment by improving human performance.
Over a decade of research by Training Industry indicates that an overwhelming number of corporate training professionals perceive strategic alignment as the single most-important process capability of great training organizations.
However, achieving strategic alignment is a core challenge for learning leaders today, as business priorities continue to shift alongside industry changes and events.
How Do Companies Achieve Strategic Alignment?
Achieving strategic alignment begins with establishing a solid, two-way relationship with senior management to ensure that new and existing programs are aligned with current and future business goals.
Fostering these relationships often begins with a commitment to learn and “speak the language” of the C-suite. It also requires a commitment to recognizing business problems and recommending the right solutions, which means becoming a trusted business partner.
Training Industry’s ongoing research into what makes a training organization great revealed that with respect to strategic alignment, there are five critical practices that separate great training organizations from others:
- Adapting training to an organization’s unique business culture.
- Customizing training to meet the organization’s needs.
- Establishing agreed upon business objectives.
- Defining performance success metrics.
- Developing consultative partnerships with clients.
- Strategic Planning Workshop
- Strategic Alignment: The Foundation of a Great Training Organization
- The Business of Learning, Episode 33: Great Training Starts With Strategic Alignment
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