The head of learning and development of a Canadian pharmaceutical company was reviewing the goals and objectives for the group for the upcoming year. She recognized the increasing demand from internal customers was going to impact the team. If they were going to continue to achieve excellence in what they did, they needed to change how they did things. An increase in headcount was not possible which meant that her team had to reevaluate, reprioritize and reconsider what they were going to accomplish this upcoming year. An area of concern was, it seemed that all too often, product managers would approach team members right before roll-out of a program and ask for a “quick and easy” training to ensure success; or sales leadership would come before a meeting and ask for “just a half-day workshop” at the national sales meeting. When she watched these programs being executed, she couldn’t but notice there were common elements shared between the groups and the deliverables.
A review of all the programs, how requests were made, why they were made and when started to highlight a pattern of behavior within the department and externally. The group was proud of their ability to align with the needs of individual stakeholders and deliver quality programs but if they were going to maintain the level of excellence, they needed to better anticipate the basic learning needs to see how programs could be linked and leveraged between groups. They needed to improve the strategic approach to workflow, to align objectives and outcomes to overall business imperatives. They needed to change the way the department was viewed, from a service department to a strategic business partner.