Summary: Now that you have brainstormed your ideas for the vision and strategy for 2018, it’s time to tighten the vision and determine if it fits in with the overall organizational initiatives.

The results of your brainstorming session are in: either on your own or with your staff, you’ve decided on the most important components of a vision and strategy for training in the upcoming year. In some cases, you’ve even developed a variety of options or choices for the vision and its implementation. Now it’s time to create a true vision for the training department for 2018 and create a strategy to go with it. Let’s look at determining the fit and then we can look at how to develop a vision and strategy.

You essentially have two sets of information: the information you’ve obtained from your assessment of the industry, your organization, and your customers, as well as the information you’ve gathered from the training department internally. How do you know if the two are a fit?

First, look for components of your vision that fit directly with the initiatives that you will be impacting over the upcoming year. For example, if a new CRM system is being implemented, your choice for using a simulation software such as Captivate to develop tutorials is probably right on. In fact, you may be able to pilot the simulation software with a key project like a CRM system implementation. On the other side of this, if many of the organizational initiatives involve the need for classroom training that is heavy on personal interaction, this may not be the time to look at rolling a simulation program. But don’t forget to consider the alternatives.

The high level of interaction could be great cause to roll out a web conferencing system and program for training. The comparison of these two sets of information will begin to create your strategy. But what about the creation of a vision? Keep in mind that a vision statement simply describes why your department or organization exists. In fact, you may already have a general vision statement for your training department. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t create a vision statement for the upcoming year.

Plus, your vision for the upcoming year does not necessarily have to be a “vision statement” in the truest sense of the word. Your vision for the upcoming year should serve as a guide as well as a reality check as the year progresses and projects and initiatives change. For example, if your organization is making heavy changes to customer management for the next year, one of your vision statements for 2018 could be to support the goals of customer management for 2018. Your vision statements can focus on your department, as well. For example, if you know that 2018 is the year for innovation in training, make this a vision statement. The idea here is to create a set of statements that keep you and your staff on track, especially as things become nebulous.

Once you’ve created this vision, “connect” it to your department with a strategy. For example, which projects come first and which ones are going to be year-long components of your work? If you’re not sure how you will be able to assist in some of the major initiatives, it may be time to create an assessment strategy. Consider the CRM initiative we discussed earlier. This is literally an earth-shaking initiative, so in order to figure out where to start part of your strategy will be to assess the departments that are involved in literally to get involved with them as the project develops. As you are developing this strategy, you’ll begin to see pieces of it falling out, due to lack of human resources, financing, know-how, and technology. Be sure to note these items, because our last discussion in this series will be about the nuts-and-bolts execution of the vision and strategy.

Now that the vision and strategy is laid out, does it fit with the organization as a whole? Most likely it does, because your planning has centered around the organization and its initiatives. If there seems to be a disconnect, go back to your vision and strategy in order to make corrections.

Next, we will examine the creation of the execution strategy.

Copyright  Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.

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Bryant Nielson is heavily involved in the Corporate Training and Leadership and Talent space. He currently is the Managing Director for CapitalWave Inc and the training division, Financial Training Solutions. He brings a diverse corporate experience of organizational development, learning and talent development, and corporate training, that also includes personal coaching of top sales individuals and companies of all sizes. For the prior 4 years, Bryant was the Managing Director and Leadership and Talent Manager for Lengthen Your Stride! LLC. In this position, Nielson was the developer of all of the courses for MortgageMae University (MMU), the Realtor Development Center (RDC), and of Lengthen Your Stride! (LYS). In that position, he developed material, refined over many years of use and active training, and condensed the coursework and training to be high impact, natural learning, and comprehensive. Bryant has over 27 years of Senior Management experience encompasses running his own Training and mortgage firm, in New York City. He strongly believes that the corporate training is not to be static but should 'engage and inspire' students to greater productivity and performance.