Every day, I have the opportunity to work with companies who want to leverage corporate training for business results.  This means I am always interested in gaining insight from people who bring dramatic change to companies by investing in learning and employee development.  One such individual is David Vance, who writes The Business of Learning blog for Chief Learning Officer.  Vance writes from his experience as the founder and former president of Caterpillar University, which aligns corporate goals with training while meeting the learning needs of Caterpillar and dealer employees.  He now consults with organizations on learning and performance issues, and has even published a book titled The Business of Learning: How to Manage Corporate Training to Improve Your Bottom Line.

What I appreciate about Vance is that his writing emphasizes how training is not an expense for businesses, but it is an investment in the people who can make a company great.  In his recent post “Framing the Learning Discussion at Budget Time,” Vance discusses how learning and development professionals shouldn’t take their training budget for granted, but should instead be always prepared to show the real impact training can have on business.

Here’s some of his advice for corporate learning professionals who want to show the importance of training for next year’s budget:

“To make your case, carefully align learning initiatives to the key organization goals and secure agreement with senior leaders on the expected contribution or impact of learning on those goals. In short, build a business case for your learning investment and incorporate in a business plan for learning…Your business case may be qualitative or quantitative, but at least you will have addressed your leaders’ reasons for investing in learning. At a minimum you will have a great discussion about learning with your leaders and your organization will be much better for it.”

I recommend Vance’s writing to corporate professionals who want to not only improve training at their organizations, but also want to help colleagues become more invested in the importance of learning and development. If you’re interested in reading more from David Vance, visit Chief Learning officer to find the The Business of Learning blog – and tell us what you think about it!

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