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Shifting from Push to Pull

Remaking the learning organization to move the business ahead


Taking advantage of business opportunities and executing strategy requires organizations to pull the biggest lever they have: activating their talent. But it’s time to think beyond traditional courses and programs to overcome gaps in what that talent can deliver. To that end, a new thread is emerging that can help companies set themselves apart. This thread is the commitment to first understand the readiness of leaders, staff and even outside partners to support and drive business strategy, and then to focus the learning and development (L&D) function to build the capabilities and skills that might be lacking. Learn more about the offering.

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Meet our people

  • Bill Pelster, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • Amy Titus, Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • Josh Haims, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • Terry Patterson, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • Jennifer Stempel, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP

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Learn more about the offering

The learning organization can and should deliver on the main drivers of most business strategies: growth and cost reduction. This can be accomplished by transforming the learning function to build talent capabilities (growth) or to address operational inefficiencies (cost reduction). A primary reason to transform your learning organization—and to have a learning organization in the first place—is to deliver business results. And there are two fundamental ways to do this: top-line growth (through innovation, new revenue, new markets, etc.) and bottom-line impact (via operational efficiency for cost savings).

The concept of “transforming” an organizational function to make it more relevant and capable of meeting business needs isn’t new; Finance, Risk, Marketing and other functions have led the way in this area. L&D, however, has often lagged behind. Learning transformation involves renovating learning strategy and operations to support and advance business strategy. Rather than “learning for learning’s sake,” the focus shifts to “learning for the business’s sake.”

The sooner you start…

Learning strategy should shift from a model in which the learning organization “pushes” what it wants to audiences to one in which the business actively pulls only what it needs from learning to deliver business results. In a world where talent is scarce, business strategy has a critical path that relies on talent and business-related learning. The learning function should be aligned early with the broader organization’s direction, and it should focus on developing capabilities to create a competitive advantage and support the achievement of business goals. The return on investment is not measured in number of courses offered or hours of learning delivered, but rather in seeing the strategy or goal effectively executed.

Transforming the learning function to focus on business-driven learning proactively builds individuals’ capabilities to support strategic needs. Equally impressive, business-driven learning can deliver cost-reduction opportunities across the enterprise. The call to action for business-driven learning has created dramatic results for those organizations that have answered it—results that can be replicated elsewhere, whether an organization is large or small, local or global.

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