The EFMD business magazine

The EFMD business magazine

Learning business partners: How good are we at linking learning to business?

Learning business partners

Corporate Learning and Development (L&D) organisations are being increasingly urged to demonstrate and improve the business case for L&D initiatives. This should be considered both a challenge (with respect to the scrutiny of resource use) as well as an opportunity (since L&D initiatives can be positioned as investments in people and organisations, not just an expense).

This becomes an even bigger challenge in large multinational firms where corporate learning functions are increasingly tasked with the functional integration of L&D and maximising the return on learning for the business.

This in an environment where business lines interact with geographies, in which a corporate L&D organisation frequently acts alongside local L&D providers, where silo thinking and duplications are often the result, and internal clients have no single integrated partner for learning.

Which business model do we need to respond successfully to this challenge? How can we align the different departments and initiatives to channel investments into the key capabilities needed to drive top and bottom-line impact? How do we form a functionally integrated team of learning professionals collaboratively acting as a single, strategic partner to the business?

An L&D organisation can only act as a true partner to the business if its professionals are capable of living this role on a daily basis. Learning Business Partner, Performance Consultant, Learning Advisor are only a few of the functions created in these emerging models to ensure optimal learning solutions are contracted, designed and deployed based on a sound understanding of the client’s business challenges and priorities and at the same time optimising learning spend across the firm.

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