A Framework for L&D Transformation

Running Training like a Business is a model for training that generates clear business value through everything it does. It means a transformation from a sluggish cost center to an agile, valuable, and flexible cost service that customers (internal buyers) gladly pay for. It means understanding that line executives are training’s customers and their needs and goals must be priority one. It means applying the same high standards to training—both in how it operates and what it produces for customers—that apply to manufacturing, sales, and other disciplines.

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Running training like a business deliberately and immediately reconnects training to core business objectives, creating a training organization that:

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Focuses on meeting business needs, not just on conveying content.

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Measures success by its customer's success.

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Operates on a variable-cost basis where the customer pays for use.

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Achieves a high level of operational efficiency.   

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Never stops improving.

Effectiveness and Efficiency: The Twin Tales of Running Training like a Business

Effectiveness is all about creating value, seeing L&D as a business or an enterprise versus a function, talking the talk of the business, measuring L&D by customer success – and not by traditional L&D parameters such as volumes, classes, courses, events, competencies. Efficiency, which is the other half of the twin tales, is about bringing cost down to acceptable levels in the context of the value being delivered, uncovering and exposing hidden costs and getting them under control, and managing the total cost of training as opposed to just direct, out of pocket costs.

Effectiveness

  • Link L&D to business strategy
  • Focus on business issues rather than training content
  • Let customer demand shape L&D's offerings
  • Clarify L&D's business mission
  • See L&D as an "enterprise," not as a "function"

Efficiency

  • Expose hidden costs
  • Aggressively reduce costs
  • Manage total costs of training
  • Build and maintain reliable systems & processes
  • Operate as variable, not fixed cost
  • Be flexible and opportunistic in sourcing

Making the Leap

Is such a radical transformation possible? Our experience with some of the world’s top firms proves that it is. However, you cannot transact your way to transformation… it requires a leap! 



Forward-thinking companies have reinvented their training organizations around the concept of running training like a business, and have tangible successes to show for it. These corporations now know what they are spending on training and what the investment yields.

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