Defining Vision & Purpose for an International L&D Team

After conducting several Learning Expeditions in Europe and Asia with WDHB, A French Luxury Goods Company looked to address the challenges of the talent marketplace through a strategic renewal of their L&D team’s vision and purpose. If left untended, the company could have easily fallen behind in today’s fast-changing world.

French Luxury Goods Company

Very few companies in the world can boast of the reputation that this luxury company has for creating timeless, high-end luxury goods. This sparkling, iconic brand was founded in Paris and today operates more than 200 boutiques in 125 countries. Over those many years, it has become world-renowned for its contributions to making their customers feel special when buying and wearing their products.

Context & Challenge

Our initial work with this client centered around the design and organization of several Learning Expeditions in Europe and Asia for various business units (retail, manufacturing, etc.). At that point in their history, the organization was enjoying the positive results of their years of hard work to expand the reach of their brand while also maintaining the highest levels of quality and customer satisfaction.

Wanting to address the challenges of the talent marketplace, the international L&D team invited us to support their journey in conducting a strategic renewal of their standards, values and practices. Ultimately, they wanted to clarify their L&D vision and purpose. The L&D Team initiated this “good to great” effort since they knew that, left untended to, an over-reliance on past successes could easily lead to falling behind in today’s fast-changing marketplace.

Collaboration with WDHB

We began our work by supporting a “state of the nation” review of key stakeholders’ perceptions, done via a series of interviews with all L&D team members. This data gathering lead to an aligning on both the team’s context as well as their needs.

Our next step was to supplement this data with external benchmarks, the output of which was then pressure-tested through exchanges with various peers and industry disruptors and ultimately used for ideating and brainstorming. Those subsequent “emergence” sessions became an environment where the team aligned around shared wishes and ambitions, as well as constructed a common language for their priority focus areas.

Finally, we partnered with the team leader through a series of choreographed questions and conversations to formalize the international L&D team’s vision, purpose, ambition and main strategic pillars for L&D at our company, including a revised set of specific roles for the international L&D team.

Highlight

Despite the physical restrictions of COVID-19, we remain committed to experiential learning, done with a 21st century flair.

Our virtual Learning Expedition enabled an even wider variety of exchange partners from across the L&D landscape of 11 leading companies. The result was a 5-part journey over 7 weeks that tapped into the provocative themes of the diversity of the L&D landscape, to the rethinking of L&D’s organizational role, to the emerging trends in learning needs and expectations.

Impact

The data and insights our assessments and diagnostic work uncovered for the head of L&D become a rallying point for her to

  • Focus on designing learner-centric journeys and stop “wasting time” (their words, not ours!) on only content creation
  • Broaden perspective from L&D tools to use to outcomes to drive focus on outcomes to drive vs L&D tools to use
  • Commit as a function to regularly ask the priority focusing question: Is this the right thing to do now?

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