Aligning Corporate, Talent and L&D Strategies

In today’s fast-paced business world, a Learning and Development (L&D) strategy isn’t just a nice-to-have—it’s a must-have. To stay ahead of the game, companies need to be quick on their feet, and that means making sure your corporate, talent, and L&D strategies are all singing from the same song sheet. This way, you’ve got the right people with the right skills ready to knock it out of the park.

Let’s break it down a bit. Your corporate strategy is like your game plan. It’s all about figuring out where you want to play and how you’re going to win (thanks Roger Martin for this absolutely key insight!). It’s like a roadmap that guides your company’s decisions and helps you navigate the competitive landscape. It answers critical questions like:

  • What markets should we enter (where to play)?
  • How can we outperform our competitors (how to win)?
  • Do we have the resources and capabilities to succeed (how to win, realistically)?


Once the above questions have been answered, your Talent and L&D strategies can come in to play. We can begin to ask ourselves some different, but no less pointed questions:

  • Do we have talented and skilled employees who will give us a good shot at winning where we have chosen to play (how to win)?
  • Will we have to build the talent & skills to win, or will we need to buy these? Or will it be some combination of build & buy (how to win, realistically)?


It’s all about identifying the skills and competencies your workforce needs both NOW and into the FUTURE and planning how to develop them.

Getting these strategies to line up is like solving a puzzle—you’ve got to ask the right questions and be very honest with the answers. It’s all about making sure you’re not just doing things right, but you’re doing the right things. And that means potentially shaking things up a bit with L&D. I have created what I think is a great diagramme (at least it looks good!) to help you with strategic and tactical alignment:

Now, you might be wondering, why all this fuss about L&D strategy? Well, the “Learning at Work 2023: Survey Report” by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) really highlights why this is so important. A good chunk of folks agreed that working in L&D is a meaningful career, which shows that people are starting to get how crucial L&D is to a company’s success. But the report also pointed out that there’s a bit of a disconnect between L&D leaders and practitioners when it comes to career prospects and the impact of the profession on the company.

Getting your corporate, talent, and L&D strategies to line up is like finding the secret recipe for success. It makes sure you’ve got the right team with the right skills to win. The CIPD report really drives home why this is so important and why folks in L&D need to start thinking more strategically. By doing this, companies can unlock growth and make sure L&D gets the recognition it deserves as a key player in driving success.

But it doesn’t stop there. This alignment also fosters a culture of continuous learning and innovation within the organisation. It encourages employees to take ownership of their learning and development, which not only enhances their skills and competencies but also increases their engagement and job satisfaction. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

So, if you’re looking to give your company a competitive edge, start by taking a good look at your L&D strategy. Is it aligned with your corporate and talent strategies? Is it helping your employees develop the skills they need to help your company win? If not, it might be time to shake things up a bit. After all, L&D isn’t just about training—it’s about driving your company’s success.

Remember, L&D is more than just a department or an HR function—it’s a mindset. It’s about fostering a culture of curiosity, continuous learning, and growth. It’s about recognizing that our employees are our most valuable asset and investing in their development is investing in the future of our company.

Instead of just taking orders, L&D needs to be designing learning solutions for and with the business line client. That means getting everyone involved, using data to make decisions, making sure learning initiatives line up with business goals, and keeping the lines of communication open. So, let’s start giving L&D the recognition it deserves. Let’s start seeing it not just as a cost centre, but as a strategic partner that can drive our company’s success. Let’s start leveraging the power of learning and development to unlock our company’s full potential.

Aligning your corporate, talent, and L&D strategies is not just a good idea—it’s a business imperative. It’s the secret sauce that can give your company the competitive edge it needs to succeed in today’s fast-paced business world. So, don’t wait—start aligning your strategies today and watch your company soar to new heights.