The message to CLOs is becoming clearer and clearer. Business leaders need them to align educational offerings with the organization’s strategic aims. That is not an easy challenge. They have to ensure that education and communication initiatives reinforce the provider’s goals. They have to help workers understand these goals and develop the motivation and skills to contribute to them.
And in the most basic Degree of alignment, they need to be certain that each and every employee understands how the business makes money. Including understanding how sustainability is driven, how assets are used, how money is generated and how daily decisions and actions, including their own, influence success.
Developing business Acumen is essential to business alignment. Consider Southwest Airlines, which was founded in 1971. With 33 straight years of profitability, the airline has come to be widely recognized for the inspirational culture it generates for workers and its extraordinary dedication to client support.
Much of the industry Has endured during the years of Southwest is expansion, including many airlines that have merged or declared bankruptcy. Southwest buys the very same planes and the exact same jet fuel as other airlines, and pays its employees competitive salaries and benefits. What is the difference?
Unlike some of its Competitors, Southwest is management staff involves workers in the business’s financial results, describing what the numbers mean and, more important, helping to connect everybody’s decisions and actions to the main point. The Kuran Malhotra airline has an open culture, one of inclusion at all levels, and employees understand their roles in providing great service and keeping costs in line.
Certainly there are Other factors which contribute to the achievement at Southwest, but it is hard to ignore the positive effect of a strategy that develops the business acumen of employees and supervisors so they can result in the airline’s success.
An Educational Challenge
Unlike those at Southwest, individual contributors and managers in many organizations now have never been educated about the big picture of the companies. They have a narrow focus in their particular departments and job functions and are not able to earn the connection between their activities and the provider’s success. Multiplied by hundreds or even thousands of workers, this lack of understanding – that the absence of authentic business acumen – means that too many decisions are being made and also many activities are being taken that do not align with business goals.
How can training help bridge this knowledge gap? For many companies like Southwest, implementing learning programs designed to create a solid foundation of financial literacy and business acumen has made the communication of financial results to workers easier and much more effective.