Time to put T&D back into the strategic loopOn 22 Feb 2000 in Personnel Today I am looking forward to the debate at the TD2000 event on 16 March at theCumberland Hotel in London, essentially because it is a chance to reverse thenotion that “training and development remains out of the loopstrategically”. We all know that if this really is the case then eitherindustry or T&D, or both, have lost the plot.I believe we have to use the framework of double-loop learning to ensureT&D are in the proper “strategic loop”. A lot of training is,rightly, to do with improving skills and doing things better operationally. Youdon’t have to be particularly strategic about this – this is the operationsloop that feeds the business brain at all levels of the organisation. Simpleanalysis tells us when skills, speed, quality and accuracy have to be improvedfor competitive performance – it is the same in sport, the military, politics,public and voluntary sectors or business.Analysis also tells us we need to practise in teams to complement individualexpertise with collective support – this is not strategic, this is operationalexcellence – hence teambuilding isn’t a one-off, mind-blowing experience, it isa continual process.Strategy in T&D comes with the complementary second loop, also feedingthe business brain, which is the re-framing loop. This informs our decisions ordirection, often with information and trends from outside the organisation.How are we to use T&D to advance the business? Do we need to changeculture? Then use learning to change culture. Do we need to champion change?Then use learning to link with change management all the way. Do we need togain coherence around vision and values? Then ensure our T&D is consistentand supportive of them.The strategic loop also informs about the nature as well as the strategicplace of training. For years we have neglected right-hand brain development,preferring to concentrate on left-hand brain operations loop skill development.Right-hand brain development has been left to the “personaldevelopment” industry, often with its soft, fluffy and Californian image.The strategic, re-framing loop can form a judgement on gaining a balance byintegrating right-hand brain development with left-hand brain skills trainingat all levels to achieve the objectives of changing the culture, integratinglearning with change and championing vision and values.This is not a prescription for the T&D function. The only way is forthis to provoke a debate on T&D strategy at the top of the organisation,with the implementation led by the top team. This puts training at the heart ofbusiness and training at the centre of the strategic loop.By Professor Clive MortonIndependent HRconsultant, author and former vice-president of the [email protected] Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.