Aligning Learning & Development Strategy with Business: Strategy to OperationsAbinash PandaSwati KarveDilip MohapatraAbstractThis research note presents the current challenges for the learning leaders in India, and what they should do to ensure that learning function is treated as a strategic function by the business leaders. The need is to align learning function with the business, assessing the current level of organizational capabilities vis-à-vis what is needed now and in the future to remain competitive. Such assessment helps to identify the capability gaps, which should be bridged through developmental interventions, conceptualized and executed by the Learning & Development func-tion. Execution is vital for this as most often well-crafted strategy goes awry, if not properly executed. A template to operationalize Learning & Development strategy is also discussed in this article.KeywordsLearning & Development (L&D), strategy, business, capability gap, leadershipStrategic Nature of Learning FunctionA well aligned Learning & Development (L&D) is a strategic lever for competi-tive advantage, which provides a framework to assess, enhance, and develop the knowledge, skills and abilities of its employees. Higher the extent of alignment of HR with business strategy, the better the firm would perform (Loshali & Krishnan, Practitioner Perspective SectionSouth Asian Journal of Human Resources Management1(2) 267–281 2014 SAGE Publications India Private Limited SAGE Publications Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC DOI: 10.1177/2322093714549110Abinash Panda, Associate Professor, Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Management Area, Indian Institute of Management, Kashipur. E-mail: [email protected]iimkashipur.ac.inSwati Karve, Founder, Arcturus Global Consulting, Troy, Michigan, USA. E-mail: [email protected]arcturusglobalconsulting.comDilip Mohapatra, Chief Mentor and Strategic Advisor, KIIT Group of Educational Institutes. E-mail: [email protected]
South Asian Journal of Human Resources Management, 1, 2 (2014): 267–281268 Abinash Panda, Swati Karve and Dilip Mohapatra2013). There is documented evidence that training activities have a positive impact on performance of individuals and teams (Aguinis & Kraiger, 2009, p. 453). Organizations with strong and agile learning cultures are nearly 60 per cent more likely to be first to market and nearly 20 per cent more likely to be the market share leader (Miller, 2012). Barber (2004) has found that on-the-job training leads to greater innovation and acquisition of tacit skills that influence organi-zational performance in Indian work context. Strategic management can be viewed as a learning process (Ramnarayan & Reddy, 1989, p. 21) as it helps organizations adapt to the environmental challenges. The practicing learning lead-ers in India acknowledge the need to align the learning process with the overall strategic objectives of the organization though they admit that the process would be challenging (SHRM, 2012).