Strategic Planning in L&D

Two weeks ago was the birthday of my former business partner’s (from 1982-1997) – the late Ray Svenson.

I first met Ray Svenson when I was an employee at Motorola (1981-1982) when he was doing Strategic Planning for Bill Wiggenhorn, and our new-to-Motorola organization – MTEC – Motorola Training & Education Center – the forerunner of Motorola University.

As Ray’s business partner, I was involved in many of his Strategic Planning efforts for our clients. My role was mostly peripheral – as I was expected to address any Curriculum Architecture Design engagements that were often a component of Ray’s approach to SP for T&D. I followed his lead, and his Project Plan.

His and Nikki’s book from 1992…

The Training & Development Strategic Plan Workbook. Raynold A. Svenson and Monica J. Rinderer,
Prentice Hall, 1992 (Winner of ISPI International Award)

Out of print – but available used from time to time.

On LinkedIn one of our former clients at Eli Lilly at the time, posted this in response to my post back on July 24th.

Many of my clients back-in-the-day were very involved in TQM – Total Quality Management – and I was exposed to Policy Deployment at several firms, and at HP it was called Hoshin Planning.

IMO it was MBO all-over-again – so kinda WOINA.

Ray’s approach to Strategic Planning was to cascade (my words) Strategic & Tactical Planning down from the top, and being receptive to push back and resource demands bottom-up. An annual planning cycle conducted quickly several times to lock everything down for a documented plan to then be implemented.

And updated as needed mid-year – because Stuff Happens.

IMO the SP for L&D is totally driven by the SP and Tactical Planning of the organizations/functions that L&D is in place to support/enable.

I don’t often get that feeling from what I see online about SP for L&D.

It often feels as if L&D is off looking for cool things to do and new/cool technology to embrace to do it – independent of the specifics of the Strategies and Tactics of their internal customers (and sometimes customers and suppliers).

Of course, this is a bit of over-generalization. My view of the specifics across the landscape is limited to what some publish online.

Here is more from the late Ray Svenson – something he asked me to share after he passed away.

Ray had asked me back in May 2015 to one day make several of his IP pieces freely available to fellow professionals . Here they are:

Strategic Planning for T&D

Here am I with Ray Svenson just months before a brain tumor took him from us (2015).

RIP Ray.

*** *** ***

Here is a video of my ISPI session on Strategic Planning from 1996 – following the Process that Ray created:

This video is 64:12 minutes in length.


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