Recently, we’ve written several articles about the importance of connecting learning outcomes to business results (performance transformation), including a very popular article by our VP of Learning, Arun Prakash, published on, titled “Flipped Kirkpatrick: Designing Learning Journeys for Business Impact”.

It should have been no surprise, that we also listed performance transformation as one of three key levers for Learning and Development leaders.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read our guide to Chief Learning Officers, I’ve included an excerpt from the section on performance transformation below, which outlines the importance of connecting the training department with the rest of the business.

To read more see the whole guide “The Three Levers of a Successful CLO”

Transitioning from Trainers to Performance Consultants

27% of CLOs are deeply concerned that their learning strategies are not aligned with business objectives, according to a Chief Learning Officer survey. Those CLOs are concerned because if their learning strategies are not aligned with business objectives, they cannot transform the performance of the business.

As CLOs know, L&D playing the role of performance transformation is not as easy as it sounds. Most L&D organizations consist of people who have been rewarded on their ability to get learners to consume training, and as an added bonus, they create training programs that learners enjoy.

In other words, they have been trained to improve the performance of their training programs and not the performance of the people who consume the training.

Changing the overall mindset is only half the battle. Once the L&D department has aligned their goals with the transformation of business performance, the team still needs a deeper understanding of very specific functions.

They need to be able to advise and guide the sales team on how to improve sales conversion, counsel the customer service team on how to acquire listening skills when dealing with irate customers, or empower the technology team to quickly deal with security breaches.

It’s Time For L&D to Own Business Transformation

CLOs may want to see an overnight transformation, but that may not be possible if the vision and mission of the Learning and Development department are not in sync with those of the company. The L&D function is usually restricted to conducting learning and training and does not have a role in aligning learning strategies with the core business strategy. In order for that to change, learning has to establish itself as an agent of organizational change.

Over the past 4-5 years, organizations have just started to scratch the surface of the role that L&D has in performance transformation.

It is up to the CLO to continue driving this issue center-stage by making it a pivotal part of their success criteria. Not only do they need to transform their own department into change agents, but they also need to evangelize the ability of L&D to make drastic impacts on performance across any department.

If you would like to download the full guide and learn about the two other levers of a successful CLO, download it here.

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