Are you ready for 2019? The Bare Essentials of a Successful Learning & Development Strategy

The Bare Essentials of a Successful Learning and Development Strategy - L and D Generous

Are you ready for your 2019 Learning and Development programs?


So we’re already staring down the barrel of 2019 (where the hell did 2018 go already!?!), meaning that this year’s Learning and Development initiatives will be coming to an end and, if you haven’t already, you’ll need to start thinking about next year’s.

However, this is where many Learning & Development strategies fall down…i.e. before work begins on developing the strategy, the time hasn’t been taken to identify goals that are not just focussed on the desired outcomes but that also take a realistic look at elements such as the [likely] allocated budget, availability of staff, available resources, etc, etc.

Furthermore, a common issue is trying to prove the value of a training plan AFTER it has been developed, rather than analysing its value (and therefore its likelihood of success) before-hand…especially if the above-mentioned resources are limited.

Lastly, a surprising (but strangely common) issue is capability development goals and strategies that have been developed without proper consultation with key stakeholders. If you don’t take the time to consult with the appropriate management and the likely training program participants to fully understand their capability development needs (e.g. better communication skills, improved ability to self-manage, etc) and, just as importantly, if they agree that training is the solution to this issue, then you’re likely to be investing lots of time and energy in developing a strategy that won’t get approved.

It therefore comes as no surprise that the strategies that are most likely to win approval AND prove successful are the ones that have had time invested in appropriate, realistic goals that have been developed in partnership with key stakeholders and with all considerations taken into account.

To do so typically means reaching agreement on three key elements:

  1. How the desired goal will be impacted by the training program – e.g. The training program will likely achieve 35% of what’s required to achieve our goal of 15% increase in productivity.
  2. The specifics of the program — i.e. learning goals, participant numbers, training days required, and completion date.
  3. The roles and responsibilities of all concerned to successfully achieve the desired goals.

Taking the time to work with key stakeholders to identify appropriate goals and building a strategy around them provides the focus and accountability required to achieve the desired results. Additionally, working with the key stakeholders on the three essential points listed above will establish you as a valid business partner in the pursuit of a common goal and should provide you with the credibility, authority, and engagement from the management and their team to make your program an outstanding success…because we all know that without such ‘buy in’, a training strategy is almost guaranteed to fail!

Thanks, as always, for reading – see you again tomorrow!




About the Author:

I’m a self-confessed Learning & Development tragic. In my work-life, I’m a an Industry Engagement Manager for the University of Queensland’s Business School, meaning I work with clients to design, develop and implement ‘end-to-end’ blended capability development solutions.

If you’re interested in having a chat about how UQ Executive Education can help transform your organisation via our tailored executive development solutions, our public short courses, our Graduate Certificate in Executive Leadership, or the full MBA, please feel free to email me on

I’m also a keynote speaker on topics including (but not limited to) ‘Creating the workplace culture you want to work in’, ‘The future of organisation learning’‘Simple strategies for maximising transfer of learning to behaviour’, and ‘Speaking C-Suitese, not L&Dese, to win L&D budget approval’. If you’d like to engage me to speak at one of your events, feel free to contact me on the email address above.

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