If there is a lesson to be learned from this year’s Learning! 100 honorees, it is that there is always room for improvement, that learning organizations cannot stand pat from year to year, no matter what kind of accolades they’ve won in the past.

For instance, take Learning@Cisco, which is making its seventh journey into the Learning! 100. The company instituted a “My Services Connect” project this past year. And the U.S. Defense Acquisition University (DAU) — another seven-time honoree — which rewrote its strategic plan to account for advances in the theory and practice of government learning processes. And even relative Learning! 100 newbie Ingersoll Rand, which instituted a “Pathways to Growth” plan for its global sales team.

All three of those institutions, along with the others highlighted on the following pages, did not rest and are still providing cutting-edge approaches to implementing new learning projects and initiatives in their respective organizations.

The only Learning! 100 company to earn first-time Top 10 honors this year is Last Mile Health, whose dedicated work in Liberia against an Ebola outbreak earned a visit from former President Bill Clinton last year. This profile is a must-read for everyone, for it exemplifies what can be accomplished to serve mankind through effective education, learning and training—no matter what the circumstances and obstacles.

Learning! 100 applicants are evaluated across three criteria: Collaborative Strategies’ Collaboration Index, Darden School’s Learning Culture Index, and overall organizational performance. Accolades are awarded in four categories of excellence: innovation, culture, performance and collaboration.

Discover how these leading organizations are so successful with their learning programs on the following pages, and watch for upcoming sessions, Web seminars, articles and events hosted by Elearning! magazine.

 

Here are the Top 10 Learning! 100 organizations for 2017:

CORPORATE

1) T-Mobile

2) Amazon Web Services

3) Salesforce

4) Cisco

5) Ingersoll Rand

PUBLIC SECTOR

1) Defense Acquisition University

2) American Heart Association

3) Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

4) Last Mile Health

5) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Aquisition Academy

 

 

PRIVATE SECTOR #1

The ‘Un-Carrier’ Culture at T-Mobile

Area of Excellence: Culture

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T-Mobile U.S.A. is the fastest growing company in the extremely competitive wireless communications industry. It’s position as the ‘Un-Carrier’ fuels subscriber growth. No long-term contracts, excellent customer service and high valued services are the norm at T-Mobile, the ‘Un-Carrier.’

T- Mobile U.S.A. has been chosen as #1 Learning! 100 for unifying the ‘Un-Carrier’ vision at the sales level.

When Bart Ons came on board, he found that while the telesales team was performing and meeting its revenue targets, the organization was highly fragmented, with call centers each using different processes, tools, management models and training approaches. Knowing this was not a sustainable approach, Ons deployed a pilot engagement of “Pathways to Growth.” The intended outcome was to change the sales management and coaching approach used by managers in six key T-Mobile call centers for more than 1,200 telesales agents.

As the Pathways to Growth (PTG) engagement launched, the project grew to include all call centers as well as a comprehensive and highly customized sales training curriculum, media campaign and rollout. Branding focused on promoting the Un-Carrier culture with a theme to “Unleash, Empower and Excel U.”

The teams worked together to build a series of e-learning preparation modules, on-site and virtual learning classes, coaching modules, reinforcement e-learning solutions, multimedia solutions, promotions and more. The goal was cultural change, excitement and a focus on working cohesively as one unified T-Mobile to deliver an outstanding customer experience.

T-Mobile had already experienced measurable success through its efforts to fine-tune its sales manager coaching process in its B2B sales unit. Through the PTG sales management program, T-Mobile’s B2B sales group successfully shifted its management culture to not only accelerate the effectiveness of sales team members but also improve the accuracy of forecasting by improving the health of the forward pipeline.

During the PTG discovery process and subsequent sales management training, consultants recognized that there was a deeper need to manage a wholesale cultural shift within this sales group. In January 2017, early results from the PTG training were presented to senior leaders, including recommendations and proposed plans for additional, bespoke change management training for the Digital Frontline built around T-Mobile’s “Un-Carrier” culture.

The kickoff of the UEE program occurred in March of 2017 and the training is ongoing. The components of the program include:

>> U-Unleash – Digital introduction to the Un-Carrier philosophy to onboard participants (March-April 2017)

>> U-Train – Train-the-trainer program for Digital Frontline trainers and quality assurance staff (March 2017)

>> U-Lead – Leadership training for Digital Frontline managers, supervisors, trainers and QA (May 2017)

>> U-Sell – Selling and soft skills training for Digital Frontline sales agents (June-August 2017)

>> U-Call – Introducing a new sales call flow offering agents both consistency and flexibility (Mar 2017)

>> U-Grow – Training on call review and coaching to ensure consistency and improved customer experience (starting September 2017)

>> U-Start – New UEE-based onboarding and new-hire training program (starting September 2017)

With a successful sales program, already begun, T-Mobile is being honored with Learning! 100 designation for the second time.

 

PUBLIC SECTOR #1

A Learning Evolution at Defense Acquisition U.

Area of Excellence: Performance

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Defense Acquisition University’s senior leadership team. First row, center, white shirt: DAU President Jim Woolsey. Photo courtesy DAU.

This year, Defense Acquisition University developed a completely revised strategic plan ensuring both alignment with business strategy and directly targeting its vision and mission.

“This is the future of learning, and is already well within our reach,” says DAU’s Dr. Christopher Hardy. “There will always be more changes, new technology and new possibilities. [But] we are well positioned to identify these, adapt, and remain a world-class learning leader.” The DAU’s new strategic plan includes its comprehensive learning strategy, the Acquisition Learning Model (ALM).

One of the strategy’s primary goals is to ensure cross-domain integration and repurpose learning assets among domains. By doing so, all activities have been focused primarily on job and organizational success.

Comprising three separate yet integrated domains (foundational, workflow and performance learning), the ALM “links” training (both in classroom and on line); acquisition resources and job support tools; mission assistance and customized workshops, allowing DAU to be current, connected and innovative in every area. Why current, connected and innovative?

Students need current information— the latest policies, guidelines, and lessons learned relevant to their increasingly diverse and fast-paced work. For them, current also means up-to-date case studies and course materials found in our foundational learning assets, as well as continuously refreshed and interesting news and tools available in our workflow learning assets. Likewise, DAU must have current and direct knowledge of what’s going on in the acquisition enterprise.

Students also need to be connected quickly and easily to the information required for their success on the job, not to mention connected to each other. Finally, the DAU must be innovative in the methods used to transfer knowledge to the workforce.

The entire strategic planning process is a deliberate, planned, measured, iterative and integrated cycle that continuously moves DAU toward its organizational goals and vision for the workforce. The ALM’s primary purpose, “improve acquisition outcomes,” is a now a pivotal part of DAU’s vision statement, ensuring all supporting objectives and tasks in its strategic plan.

As implemented in the new Strategic Plan, the ALM extends the concept of learning beyond the classroom. DAU is now delivering more “in-context consumption learning” on the job — anytime, anyplace — a growing number of learning products to an increasing number of Defense Acquisition workforce members. All learning assets (courses, how-to videos, self-service portals, job support tools) are integrated and shared among the three domains. By implementing the ALM as a cost-effective measure, the university aligns with senior leadership, continuously modernizes its business and learning infrastructure, has a worldclass learning architecture deployed, continuously updates curricula, recruits the right talent, and rewards performance, ultimately garnering global recognition as a leading corporate university.

The scale and scope of the ALM:

Foundational Learning:

DAU offers more than 400 technical training courses supporting the 14 Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) career fields, which require that Defense Acquisition workforce members be certified for their positions.

Workflow Learning:

Access to acquisition knowledge outside traditional learning environments improves efficiency, innovation, and effectiveness—enhancing job performance. It also augments the foundational learning that occurred in the classroom.

Performance Learning.

Extends help beyond the classroom into the workplace with mission assistance services. This program places seasoned faculty onsite at organizations ranging from smaller acquisition teams to larger acquisition programs.

DAU is a seven-time Learning! 100 honoree.

 

PRIVATE SECTOR #2

Amazon Web Services Focuses on Enabling Customer Success

Area of Excellence: Performance

 More than 10 years ago, Amazon Web Services (AWS) started as a storage services. Today, it offers more than 70 services for compute, storage, databases, analytics, mobile and enterprise applications. AWS announced 722 new features and services last year making it one the most innovative cloud-storage companies.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is being honored as #2 Learning! 100 company this year, thanks to its Outcome Based Account Management (OBAM) program. Consistent with the Amazon Leadership Principle of Customer Obsession, the OBAM methodology works backward from customers, defining success through their eyes based on their unique needs and target outcomes. As is common at Amazon, the development of OBAM involved extensive experimentation that spanned more than two years to identify and refine best practices for helping buyers buy. OBAM provides the AWS field organization with a common foundation and universal approach focused on enabling customer success.

OBAM is composed of the process, tools, competencies and dialogue architecture for initiating and solidifying AWS’s customer relationships. It’s a matchmaking process that’s fixated on transforming the buyer-seller engagement into a lifelong journey where everyone involved in the process is focused on the customer’s success. The program includes a pre-call, pre-work, a live twoday collaborative training day session based upon actual customer situations, three post-workshop coaching calls, and an on-demand playbook.

The parent company’s unbroken 20-year streak of double-digit revenue growth shows no sign of slowing this year, helped by an influx of online shoppers who are abandoning stores for “shop by Internet.” Amazon revenues grew by 27.1 percent in 2016 versus 2015, which surpassed last year’s growth of 20.2 percent, and profitability grew by 34.97 percent, versus the prior year’s growth of 34.74 percent. For a company that’s 23 years old, those are unheard-of numbers. And Amazon optimistically projects revenue to continue to increase by healthy margins.

AWS is a Cloud computing platform with a comprehensive suite of services that allows for on-demand computing. AWS has four core feature buckets — Compute, Storage & Content Delivery, Databases, and Networking. At a high level, users can control these with extensive administrative controls accessible via a secure Web client. Tools include identity management, auditing, encryption key creation/control/storage, monitoring and logging, and more.

To continue facilitating its rapid growth, AWS has built an extensive network for live and online training to help people learn AWS or to take on the more technical roles required for devising solutions or running operations. Completion of that training then qualifies learners for AWS certification.

The OBAM program, which has been delivered globally in all geographies, is being met with great success, achieving a global average score from participants of 4.47 out of 5. The program has now been successfully rolled out to more than 1,400 participants, and the overall impact of the program can be seen in both the continued growth of Amazon Web Services and the parent company.

As was evident from the annual report, Amazon Web Services is a major contributor to that growth. It is drawing more small businesses and large enterprises to its Cloud platform.

This is the second time the company has joined the Learning! 100.

 

PUBLIC SECTOR #2

American Heart Association Builds Powerful Relationships

Area of Excellence: Culture

“Life is Why” the American Heart Association (AHA) exists. The mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. This single purpose drives all that they do.

The AHA is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. AHA includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters; funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tools and information to save and improve lives. AHA has 156 local offices and more than 3,000 employees. Last year, the American Heart Association (AHA) wanted to establish a unified fund-raising process and culture across the entire organization for both volunteer-centric and direct groups. Besides this unified fund-raising process, AHA also wanted to support its staff in articulating the mission, impact and programs of the AHA, as well as to reach critical thresholds in areas of revenue and health goals. These business outcomes led to the creation of the “Building Powerful Partnerships” program.

Those three key words are actually part of a larger philosophy included in the AHA’s guiding values. From leveraging the strength of its volunteers/ staff partnerships to working with the many individuals and organizations that influence the health of individuals, our nation and our world, the organization collaborates to bring the best and brightest solutions to building healthier lives free from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Some of the learning objectives that needed to be achieved to fully implement the “Building Powerful Relationships” program were:

>> Demonstrate the ability to lead conversations that offer value to partners and volunteers by focusing on their needs.

>> Apply best practices for creating rapport, earning trust, and aligning the AHA message and mission with partner and volunteer needs.

>> Discover and practice proven ways to leverage LinkedIn for establishing credibility and making connections with prospective partners and volunteers.

>> Define four typical human behavior styles useful for enhancing conversations with partners, volunteers and team members.

>> Identify and practice proven strategies for each behavior style, resulting in better communication and increased trust.

>> Describe and practice the five-stage “SMART” engagement model to plan and execute high-impact conversations with partners and volunteers.

>> Apply the Powerful Partner Research process during the engagement process with prospective partners and volunteers.

>> Practice the 5-step “HEART” Conversation process.

>> Evaluate and develop plans for transitioning relationships to the next level of stewardship and involvement.

According to the AHA, the program exceeded all expectations and helped it achieve its critical goals, which in turn helped the organization continue its laudatory work.

This marks the sixth year the American Heart Association has been listed among Learning! 100 honorees.

 

PRIVATE SECTOR #3

 Salesforce U Fills Talent Skills Gaps

Area of Excellence: Performance

Salesforce is the most innovative company seven years running according to Forbes. Salesforce’s Customer Success Platform offers a comprehensive portfolio of services, such as sales force automation, customer service and support, marketing automation, digital commerce, community management, analytics, application development, IoT integration, collaborative productivity tools, AI-powered and professional cloud services. The company enables industries and companies of all sizes to connect their customers using cloud, social, mobile and data science technologies. It also encourages third parties to develop additional functionality and new apps that run on its platform and other developer tools.

With rapid transformation of the Salesforce’s platform comes the challenge to train clients on how to tap its power. Enter Salesforce University certification program to close these talent gaps.

Some 300,000 Salesforce administrative jobs go unfilled per year due to lack of certified administrators, according to Salesforce. To fill this gap, Salesforce University launched the Salesforce Proficiency Pack for Administrators.

Learners can grasp the fundamentals of being a Salesforce Administrator in just 30 days. It’s a blended, prescriptive, expert-led training program that gives learners a 30-day plan to learn what they need to be Salesforce Administrators. It can fast-track adept learners to the Salesforce Certified Administrator program. Accessed online and taking just a few hours a day, the latter is a mix of engaging bite-sized Trailhead content, interactive e-learning modules, hands-on exercises, and certification prep guides and materials. The program also features live coaching from Salesforce Certified instructors, and includes a voucher to sit for the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam.

The Salesforce Proficiency Pack for Administrators is a combination of expert-led virtual classroom sessions, self-paced online material and supplemental, hands-on exercises. Plus, Salesforce Proficiency Pack for Administrators is recommended as preparation for the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam.

Salesforce University offers a comprehensive catalog of courses and certifications to help prospective learners, administer, develop and use their organization’s Salesforce environment. It can come in the form of a customized private course for an entire team or an in-depth instructor-led classroom experience for one person.

Salesforce is a four-time Learning! 100 winner.

 

PUBLIC SECTOR #3

ADL Initiative Focuses on Next-Generation Learning

Area of Excellence: Collaboration

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL) is in the process of implementing a new, innovative program called the Total Learning Architecture (TLA), in close concert with many other industry and interagency partners, including the Office of Personnel Management and Army Research Laboratory.

The Defense Department environment served by the ADL Initiative requires its personnel to thrive under volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous situations. To meet this challenge, learning personnel must develop an ever-expanding set of sophisticated knowledge and skills — without increasing training and education time or costs. So the TLA is being designed to help meet this demand by giving various personnel access to the right learning content, at the right time, and delivered in the right ways.

Be advised: the final TLA will not be a particular training device or educational tool; it’s the glue that connects all other learning technologies into an integrated, coherent system. Once complete, it will consist of a set of specifications, such as application programming interfaces (APIs), that define how training, education and personnel management technologies “talk” to each other — both syntactically and semantically. The TLA will also define software services that perform automation and artificial intelligence-based whole-system processes.

“Historically, training and education have followed fairly linear, industrial model,” explains ADL Initiative Director Dr. Sae Schatz. “The TLA is meant to enable the next paradigm of learning — one that’s personalized, data-driven, continuous and flexible.” The ADL Initiative’s Director of Innovation, Dr. Jennifer Vogel-Walcutt, adds” “Classically, e-learning was available ‘anytime, anywhere.’ With the TLA, we’re envisioning e-learning to be ‘everytime, everywhere’ — that is, the right learning content, in the right form, at the right time, and all around us.”

The technology team is currently committed to using collaborative development methods, open-source licensing and open-architecture design principles. This project, which uses an iterative design process, including iterative development and testing spirals, began in late 2015. System designers anticipate that scaled implementation of the TLA — a set of Internet and software specifications being developed to enable nextgeneration learning — could begin as early as 2019.

In addition to authoring technical documents, the development team has created a prototype TLA-enabled learning ecosystem. It includes various software services, technical components and learning applications (also known as “learning activity providers”), all of which exchange data using the initial suite of TLA APIs.

A preliminary research project was held earlier this year. Although room for improvement remains, the prototype implementation and integration of the TLA for this year’s study represented a successful team effort that resulted in a usable prototype and supported a week of interaction with dozens of real users.

Founded in the 1990s, the ADL Initiative conducts research, development, testing and evaluation to enhance distributed learning. By mandate, it bridges across the Department of Defense and other federal agencies, as well as industry and academia, to encourage collaboration, facilitate interoperability, and promote best practices for using distributed learning. Its mission is to provide the highest-quality education, training, informal learning and just-in-time support, tailored to individual needs and delivered cost-effectively, anytime and anywhere. Its major activities include crafting the vision and roadmap for future learning, performing R&D to mature emerging concepts, and conducting outreach to diffuse innovation.

ADL is a seven-time Learning! 100 honoree.

 

PRIVATE SECTOR #4

Learning@Cisco Takes on Reskilling of Its Employees

Area of Excellence: Innovation

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Cisco’s professional learning team: left to right, Ryan Rose, Davina Collins, Vandana Malik, Kathy Bries, Holly Howe, Manny Bola.

Three of the most critical business issues facing Cisco and many organizations today are (1) reskilling the workforce for continual transformation, (2) improving employee engagement to drive productivity and agile responsiveness; and (3) sharing institutional knowledge and best practices across the organization.

That’s where the company’s My Services Connect project comes in.

The powers-that-be at Cisco decided to shift its services organization to a consultative, solutions-selling model. This required cross-training more than 14,000 employees on the company’s solutions portfolio as well new offerings in Cloud, security, analytics and data. It also required that employees be reskilled and up-skilled to succeed in the new positions supporting the evolved strategy.

My Services Connect leaders worked with Learning@Cisco leaders to help develop a new social learning platform that would accomplish this goal. To that end, the company launched an internally built Cloud-based software solution focused on knowledge sharing, collaboration, and formal and social learning — all aligned to talent development initiatives and personal/team/corporate goals.

“This was a significant change in strategy” notes Cisco’s Jessica Pasko, “as previous internal policy was focused on the use of traditional talent management and performance evaluation tools. But the enterprise was at a turning point: the need for agile, knowledgeable teams that can share knowledge and learn anytime, anywhere (and from any device) became omnipresent. We also had an immediate need to reskill and up-skill a significant portion of our workforce to align with new objectives and business opportunities the division was intent on pursuing.”

Results of the transformation were dramatic.

>> Employee Engagement: As this platform was replacing others, one goal was to ensure that employee engagement carried over at previously measured levels (25% of employees were accessing these platforms every day). Holding previous levels of engagement met the base-level goal; the “stretch” goal was to increase employee engagement through this new platform. What actually happened was that 33% of total employees engaged with the platform on a daily basis.

>> Employee Empowerment: Another goal was to provide new tools around learning personalization that would give all employees the same curriculabuilding tools previously reserved by HR and L&D teams; in addition, to expand the use of expert profiles by having more employees create peervalidated profiles listing their expertise. Success meant one personalized learning plan per five employees and 75% adoption of expert profiles.

The My Services Connect project proved to be an innovative approach to learning for Learning@Cisco, a multiple Learning! 100 honoree that has a history of addressing the need for technical talent worldwide for Cisco customers, partners and network professionals. Goals historically are accomplished by providing the educational product and training, certifications, social learning communities and learning services necessary to accelerate productivity, opportunity and growth, and to recruit, train and evolve talent. “Learning@Cisco drives the talent development and upskilling needed to evolve the workforce of today to meet the demands of tomorrow,” says Pasko, “and the global networking skills talent gap. In response to an ever-changing industry, Cisco has moved from being a technology-focused company to driving businesslevel outcomes for customers.”

In order to stay on the cutting edge of learning, the company uses collaborative learning, social learning and mobile performance support, along with an LMS integrated platform, Jive, Sharepoint and in-house or custom-built software.

As a worldwide leader in I.T., Cisco has spent the past three decades helping companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow through the transformation of how people connect, communicate and collaborate. This is the seventh time the company has joined the Learning! 100.

 

PUBLIC SECTOR #4

 Last Mile Health’s Training Is a Matter of Life and Death

Area of Excellence: Collaboration

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As she transitions into the role of chief operating officer in 2017, Lisha McCormick gets to celebrate Last Mile Health’s 100,000th patient visit.

“Having worked in the social impact and development sphere both domestically and internationally for nearly two decades, I’ve never seen an organization that has such extraordinary opportunity and potential in front of it,” McCormick says. “An enormous amount of that is a tribute to the work of our team across different counties and countries, and the focus and aptitude they bring to this work.”

Pres. Bill Clinton, who visited Liberia, said last year: “The heroic work [Chief Executive Officer] Raj [Panjabi] and Last Mile Health did to train 1,300 health workers was critical in helping the government contain the [Ebola] epidemic.”

Training community health workers in this setting is literally a matter of life and death. Trainees receive four separate sessions on a series of standardized training modules that Last Mile Health and the government of Liberia developed. The sessions provide community health workers with a comprehensive set of skills covering infectious disease surveillance and response, maternal and neonatal health, and support for adults with HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis and select neglected tropical diseases. After completing each course, trainees are given time to develop their new skills before advancing to the next stage of training.

In partnership with the government of Liberia, Last Mile Health is implementing this five-step model in two of Liberia’s 15 counties. Meanwhile, various other organizations including Partners in Health, International Rescue Committee, PLAN International, Medical Teams International, and Samaritan’s Purse are supporting Liberia to implement the program in other counties. Their shared goal is to ensure that, by 2021, all 1.2 million Liberians who live more than an hour’s walk from the nearest health facility have access to a professional community health worker.

It has not been easy to live in Liberia during the past 20 years. In 2003, the country emerged from more than a decade of civil war, and only 50 doctors remained to treat a population of more than four million. If a Liberian got sick in a remote community — many of which are hours or even days away from the nearest clinic — he or she could die anonymously of a treatable condition like malaria, a complicated childbirth, or untreated infection.

In 2007, Panjabi, Alphonso Mouwon, Weafus Quitoe, Marcus Kudee, Theo Neewrayson and Amisha Raja co-founded an organization called Tiyatien Health, or “justice in health.” Joined by Peter Luckow in 2009, Tiyatien Health began Liberia’s first rural, public HIV program, which treated patients in a gutted closet in a war-torn building in Zwedru, Liberia with only $6,000 in seed money.

Almost immediately, the growing team realized that the greatest needs were at Liberia’s “last mile,” where people lacked access to health care due to distance and poverty. Their solution was to recruit, train, equip, manage and pay community members to provide life-saving health services to their neighbors.

Tiyatien Health came to be known as Last Mile Health in 2013.

Since then, Last Mile Health and Liberia have trained more than 1,300 health workers and community members to prevent and contain the spread of Ebola. In 38 clinics across southeastern Liberia, they supported health workers to “keep safe, keep serving” in the midst of the outbreak through distribution of personal protective equipment (including goggles, gloves, and gowns) and through training on best practices in disease prevention and control. At the community level, the organizations trained their community health workers and other community “mobilizers” to educate their communities about the cause of Ebola, how to prevent its spread, and how to manage and report suspected cases.

The Ebola outbreak, which was finally brought to a halt in 2016, was a defining moment in Last Mile’s growth as an organization.

This is the first time Last Mile Health has earned Learning! 100 honors.

 

PRIVATE SECTOR #5

Sales Management Training Earns Ingersoll Rand’s Award

Area of Excellence: Culture

Ingersoll Rand is a 145-year-old company with nearly 5,000 sellers and managers distributed globally. Ingersoll Rand is being honored as a Learning! 100 organization for a global project undertaken by its Sales Excellence Division that implemented IRSMX/Sales Management Excellence across its business units.

The purpose of the project was to customize and enable one consistent sales management methodology. The implementation spanned multiple geographical and cultural environments, requiring customized content and coaching to address both internal and external cultural diversity associated with business units located around the world.

This project impacted more than 3,200 sales team members in a range of roles, including sales professionals and their leaders.

Due to the scale of the project and Ingersoll Rand’s desire to accelerate adoption of IRSMX across its various business units, global delivery was accomplished through a joint effort between Baker Communications and Ingersoll Rand business unit coaches, with both groups leading IRSMX workshops and IRSMX coaching cadences.

Ingersoll Rand’s goal to make the IRSMX program a part of all its business units’ operations has led to sustained adoption of the methodology and notable business results, with a consistent focus on pipeline health, forecast accuracy, and consistent and effective oneon-one coaching between sales managers and sales professionals.

Through the determination and desire shown by Ingersoll Rand’s Sales Excellence division to make the IRSMX method a part of its core sales management culture, it will succeed in reaching its end goal of rolling out the IRSMX program to every sales manager and team.

The goal was to create a unified sales management system, with consistent coaching and development of sales professionals to improve selling motions, processes and tools utilized from business unit to business unit. The desired outcome would be very clear visibility into pipeline and forecast data, both within their direct and indirect distribution channels.

In one division, the Direct Channel reported consistent, double-digit year-overyear growth in revenue from a combination of strategies inclusive of IRSMX, and an 1800 percent return on investment (ROI) for the program. In the Indirect Channel, the results were equally impressive, with an increase in market share for the first time in several years and a 1300 percent ROI on the IRSMX implementation specifically.

This is the second time Ingersoll Rand has appeared in the Learning! 100.

 

PUBLIC SECTOR #5

The Department of Veterans Affairs Aquisition Academy Changes Culture

Area of Excellence: Culture

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VA101 Training Team Leaders (left to right) Debra Karambellas and Edwin Callahan with VA Acquisition Academy Chancellor Ruby B. Harvey and Deputy Chancellor and VA101 Training Program Manager Paul Gregory.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) is responsible for providing federal benefits to more than 22 million military veterans and their families. Its V.A. Acquisition Academy (VAAA) is one of the keys.

“The VAAA fosters a training system that makes an immediate and meaningful difference by improving work performance, says Laura Edwards. “Our fundamental learning strategy reflects a commitment to stakeholder engagement and value measurement methodologies to ensure business results that support V.A.’s major initiatives. The VAAA emphasizes educating learners in real-world workplace scenarios in order to integrate personal and leadership skills. VAAA continues to mature its strategic performance measurement to help realize the impact of VAAA’s training offerings on business results within V.A. and the federal government.”

This historic undertaking was accomplished through a concentrated program: VA 101, a four‐hour, instructor‐led, classroom‐based, enterprise‐wide training that the MyVA Performance Improvement Team developed as a direct result of feedback from across the country. VA 101 helps employees understand and appreciate the diverse workforce and organizational structure, the services and benefits V.A. delivers, its customers, and how the services are delivered.

The goal of this training course was/ is to raise the common level of V.A. and veteran‐specific knowledge on critical topics. Upon completion of the course, learners are able to:

>> Explain how V.A. employees are part of a larger team that is guided by a clear purpose and common values;

>> Describe how V.A. is organized and who its customers are;

>> Explain the services and benefits V.A. delivers;

>> Discuss the various needs of V.A.’s customers and utilize supporting resources to meet these needs; and

>> Demonstrate the application of “I Care” values.

It goes without saying that training nearly 178,000 people in 12 months represented an enormous challenge. Those individuals were and are spread across three administrations, more than 2,600 duty stations, and numerous staff offices throughout the nation—all with separate lines of authority, systems access and communication channels.

The main challenge for the large, complex program arose from a lack of planning and communication to establish robust processes and clear procedures. What proved effective, however, was a “Center of Gravity” (train the trainer) approach that depended on collaboration. The VA 101 team trained and certified 1,462 “ambassadors” and provided the tools to deliver the training. Ambassadors then conducted local training events for employees. The team developed a national rollout strategy; developed comprehensive role-based implementation plan; conducted monthly training calls; and implemented a robust communication plan. 

According to surveys of employees before and after attendance at VA 101, the outcomes realized by staff members were: 

>> 12% increase in understanding how VA’s transformation relates to them;

>> 4% increase in feeling valued for their work; and

>> 8% increase in witnessing positive culture change in the V.A.

By January, 204,903 V.A. employees had been trained, fully 58 percent of the entire V.A. workforce. Total investment was $1.5 million.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is a six-time Learning! 100 winner.

 

 

View of the full list of 2017 Learning! 100 award winners below:

 

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Published in Products Featured

The 2016 “Best of Elearning!” awards honor best-in-class solutions across the learning and technology marketplace. Celebrating their 12th year, these honors are bestowed across 27 different categories for which Elearning! Media Group accepted nominations.

Best of Elearning! awards are the industry’s exclusive users’-choice awards. All nominations are made directly by users of solutions, and more than 4,000 nominations were received this year.

“We are honored to recognize these 99 solutions providers as Best of Elearning! 2016,” says Catherine Upton, Group Publisher, Elearning! Media Group. ‘The number of nominations and winning organizations is a testament to the innovation and engagement of the learning industry.”

The Best of Elearning! awards formalize the recommendation and purchase process for the learning community. Research indicated 85 percent of learning professionals recommended a learning solution to a peer over the most recent 12-month period, and 61 percent claimed that award recognition “impacts their decision” to consider a product or service.

Since 2005, four companies have been recognized every year. They are Adobe, Cisco, Skillsoft and Articulate. This year, BizLibrary, SAP, and Articulate lead with four honors each. Additionally, Adobe won three categories and INXPO two.

Repeat winners from last year are SumTotal, DominKnow, Bizlibrary, Vubiz, Articulate, Adobe, INXPO and TransPerfect. Last year, Bizlibrary won three awards and Adobe two.

NOMINATION PROCESS

Elearning! Media Group community members, subscribers and wider learning community were invited to nominate their best-in-class solution providers via an online ballot between June and October of this year. The ballot was open-ended with only categories designations stipulated. No short list of brands were provided. At close, the ballots were reviewed and validated. Editors verified product types and categories before counting. The top vote earners in each category were identified as finalists. Those with a 10 percent lead over all other products in a category earned category winner status. The balance of finalists earn an Award of Excellence.

To learn more, visit www.2elearning.com/awards/best-of-elearning-awards.

 

 

Honoree Spotlight

 

LMS CLOUD

Winner: Litmos LMS, a Callidus Cloud Co.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Litmos has more than 3 million users and is used by large enterprise companies, SMBs and not-for-profits. It is easy to build courses, assign them to learners, and accurately track the results. Litmos is a hosted training system, so administrators don’t need help from the I.T. department to set it up and get started. Content is added in the form of modules; custom branding is available; and users can take advantage of a training scheduler and learner training profiles to make certain users are being exposed to content that they need. Users can access the API to seamlessly share information between Litmos and other systems. Single sign-on can be enabled so that users don’t have to remember their Litmos password.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Simple, easy-to-use interface for both administrator and user.”

>> “Module form makes it easy to replace individual modules when we release a new or improved feature.”

>> “Best set of features for the price.”

>> “Easy, reliable and affordable.”

PHONE

(866) 812-5244

 

LMS ENTERPRISE

Winner: SumTotal Learn, a Skillsoft Co.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Established more than 30 years ago, SumTotal’s Learn connects the dots between the skills and competencies people need to be better at their jobs — delivered in the context of what they are trying to accomplish — and prepare the organization for tomorrow, to measurably improve performance. With adaptable learning plans, a visual timeline of priorities and tasks and individualized insight into learning progress contextual actions are a click away, and people have visibility into the measurable impact of their efforts. Learning recommendations, personalized to every individual’s needs and preferences, keep people engaged in continuous learning effortlessly. Engaging and responsive mobile design and notifications make it easy for every role to engage with the learning they need on-the-go or from remote locations, whether online or offline, to ensure learning is prioritized and accessible when and how people prefer to consume it.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Second in usage only to email among employees.”

>> “Month over month, over half our employees come back, so they really see the value of it.”

>> “With the reporting function, we’ve been albe to say how we’ve invested in our people and how it has helped our business grow.”

EMAIL

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LCMS

Winner: DominKnow Platform, DominKnow Learning Sys.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

The dominKnow Platform is a Web-based authoring and publishing solution that helps teams collaborate in real-time, share and re-use content, and easily engage subject-matter experts in the review process. Content is ready for delivery from virtually any location — all from a singlesource. It offers all the features needed to create engaging, media-rich learning experiences, including customizable testing, flexible interactions and animation creation, advanced variables, branching, audio/video recording, software simulations, and system and author-created templates. The platform outputs HTML5 content that is WCAG 2.0 Level AA and WAI-ARIA compliant and publishes to SCORM, AICC, xAPI (TinCan) and PENS standards. Content is ready for delivery from virtually any location — the Web, your own LMS or LRS, the desktop, mobile apps, or document formats.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Allows for collaborative (SAS) approach as well as an intuitive design.”

>> “The best e-content manage system enhanced using multimedia u-learning technology and complying with latest learning specifications/standards in all platform aspects.”

>> “Robust environment for content development.”

PHONE

(613) 800-8733

 

CONTENT AGGREGATION

Winner: Bizlibrary Collection

PRODUCT INFORMATION

The BizLibrary Collection contains thousands of employee training videos on key topics your employees need including business and soft skills, leadership, sales and customer service, human resources compliance, I.T., software, industryspecific content, workplace safety and more. Content formats offered meet the needs of all types of learners from short, micro-video lessons, to more in-depth video courses, interactive video programs and e-learning courses. Many of the lessons and courses include quizzes and additional support materials to extend the learning process, increasing both retention and the return on training investment. Administrators can deliver employee training videos across platforms: desktop, mobile and tablet.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Great library of micro-learning.”

>> “Depth and width of the collection are staggering.”

>> “Competency guides and live support help to develop curriculum paths and curate the robust content.”

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: OpenSesame

PRODUCT INFORMATION

OpenSesame makes buying and selling e-learning courses easy. Users can preview courses, read reviews and research sellers in the marketplace. Administrators can buy courses with no subscriptions or long-term commitments and use them instantly in any learning management system. Let us do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on choosing the best courses for your employees. Buyers can personalize their interaction either through browsing the extensive listing of courses online or interacting with one of our content specialists to custom build their training catalog. Sellers can stick with the learning management system they know best and can rest easy knowing their material is protected.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Not just the biggest but the easiest platform I could integrate into an enterprise LMS in 15 minutes, while many content vendors struggled immensely over months to get to the same spot.”

PHONE

(503) 808-1268

 

OTHER LEARNING PLATFORMS

Winner: Bizlibrary Company College

PRODUCT INFORMATION

BizLibrary’s learning management system is conveniently organized into three tiers to allow users the option to customize their solutions based upon the needs of their respective organizations. All three tiers offer approval agents, branded website design, a personalized user experience, online and dashboard reports, self-regulation or administrative course assignments, a Cloud-hosted online learning center, certification of completion, social ratings and reviews, a course recommendation engine and email messages and reminders. The second tier of the program, Content Management, offers management of custom documents, links and videos; a quiz and survey builder; the ability to add custom courses, embed video and learning assets; and community social learning and collaborative application. Learning Management, the highest tier, offers all of the previous benefits in addition to classroom management and on-the-job external training, certification management and virtual classroom integration via WebEx or GoToMeeting.

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: ej4 Thinkzoom

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Thinkzoom is ej4’s comprehensive video training platform. With several interactive tools and resources, Thinkzoom helps employees during and after training. Thinkzoom allows administrators the knowledge of which videos their employees are watching and how well they comprehend the material with its built-in interactive exams. Score requirements can be set and additional student materials can be provided so learners can put their knowledge to practice. Thinkzoom also has a comprehensive reporting feature that allows administrators to create custom reports based upon users, groups, courses and topics. Understanding which courses are popular and which are lacking participation can help measure training progress and communicate future training goals.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Easy to implement, easy to use, engaging and rewarding for our learners.”

>> “Able to train all departments (including remote employees) with relevant, and customizable content.”

>> “Easy to upload, with a lot of good native content.”

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: Skillsoft SkillPort

PRODUCT INFORMATION

SkillPort is a modern Cloud-based content delivery platform that delivers highly targeted learning —when and where people want to learn. SkillPort technology, in conjunction with Skillsoft’s unique combination of content, service and experience builds talent and delivers powerful business outcomes. SkillPort offers a full learning experience as a standalone learning platform, or it can be easily integrated with existing business and I.T. systems. The system offers a variety of learning modalities to match individual learning styles; a rich user-experience with a beautiful, clean user interface; analytics, reporting, measurement tools; extensive search and discovery capabilities; personalized learning recommendations, featured topics and curated learning plans; social and collaborative learning to connect users across each organization; and mobile access.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “We’re leveraging SkillPort to align content to strategic training needs.” >

> “Being able to choose new courses keeps our catalog from getting stale and allows us to meet emerging needs as they develop.”

PHONE

(866) 757-3177

 

TMS

Winner: SAP SuccessFactors TMS

PRODUCT INFORMATION

SAP SuccessFactors provides a complete, recruit-to-retire solution across all talent processes, and comprehensive content such as skills and competency libraries, job descriptions, goal catalogs, as well as legal and coaching content. In addition to content, SAP SuccessFactors talent management solutions are provided with a foundational set of capabilities, including Talent Insights, Talent Search, Basic Jam, Job Profile Builder, and SAP SuccessFactors Presentations. The solution includes modules that expressly target recruiting, onboarding, learning, performance & goals, compensation, and succession & development.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Ease of use.”

>> “Has made us more effective and helped us to keep our people engaged.”

>> “You’re not just getting software; you’re getting all of the experience of SAP in deploying the software in many companies and industries.”

EMAIL

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HR TECHNOLOGY

Award of Excellence: SAP HCM Cloud

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Empower, engage, and develop your talent – with human capital management (HCM) software from SAP SuccessFactors. The cloud-based human resource management solutions support the needs of multigenerational, global, and contingent workforces. Administrators have access to collaborative tools for onboarding, workforce scheduling, payroll, and more. The software allows organizations to foster a culture of continuous learning and professional development for better business results. Core human resources and payroll functions deliver flexible and efficient global human resources processes. The talent management feature helps attract, develop and retain talent to achieve business results and prepare for the future. Time and attendance management functions optimize the deployments and utilization of each employee’s working time. Human capital analytics increase the success of workforce strategies with reliable and real time, relevant insight.

WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY

>> “We will save close to $1.2 million per year.”

>> “Frees up our people to do what they do best.”

>> “Allows accessability from all our facilities around the world.”

PHONE

(800) 872-1727

 

I.T. TRAINING

Award of Excellence: Skillsoft I.T. Skills Library

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Skillsoft provides a wide array of integrated learning types to continuously develop and maintain IT skills — including short expert-led videos, video-based e-learning courses, live web-based instructor-led training, free live mentoring services, certification test preparation, and access to tens of thousands of full text online books. It offers support for more than 100 professional IT certification exams from leading software, hardware, networking, web service companies and professional organizations. Leading experts and mentors provide an affordable fast track to IT certification and offer test preparation designed to improve pass rates.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Combines courseware, Books 24x7, videos and live learning to provide a well-rounded array of modalities to impart I.T. information.”

PHONE

(866) 757-3177

 

Winner: ej4 Software Skills Training

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Ej4’s “plug and play” content fits any organization, providing information that is always ready to use. Short formats and on-demand availability facilitate training, making it available to everyone, anytime, anywhere.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Video format allows you to see the applications being used in ways that learners can relate to.”

>> “Easy to use; excellent information; adaptable; current.”

EMAIL

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SOFT SKILLS

Winner: Bizlibrary Business Skills

PRODUCT INFORMATION

BizLibrary’s Business Skills Training program include videos and coursework on topics ranging from planning strategic relationships and managing body language. Other series contain several parts, for example, Measuring Employee Engagement discusses what passes for employee engagement at many organizations, how to measure employee engagement, and how you can improve employee engagement. Other lessons include successful time management and mastering social media.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Able to customize a professional skills program as well as compliance courses and even office ergonomics.”

>> “Soft skills trainings are helpful, not just in the workplace, but in every facet of life.”

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: BCI Win-Win Negotiations

PRODUCT INFORMATION

BCI’s Win-Win Negotiations training helps individuals tap into their own strengths and experiences, hone their skills, and align around a proven framework — so they approach every negotiation with a plan, and with the confidence to achieve their goals. Lessons help users increase profits through well-planned collaboration and concession strategies, shift from using tactics to planning, while reinforcing key corporate values, focus upon interests and issues and avoid dangerous positions, enhance communications by developing a common negotiation language and build strong relationships with customers, partners and colleagues.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Absolutely vital training delivered in a systematic way.”

>> “We realized it’s not always about one person winning; it’s best when everyone can walk away feeling like a winner.”

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: ej4 Business Skills Library

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Ej4’s Business Skills library contains the courses needed to effectively run any business. The Business Skills library contains courses covering professional productivity, communication skills, sales, project management, leadership, supervision, safety, presentations skills among others. The library is made for employees with varying levels of experience ranging from from recent hires to experienced managers.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Quality micro-learning that easily understandable and digestible in a video format.”

>> “Easy to use, excellent information, adaptable, current.”

EMAIL

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SOFT SKILLS

Award of Excellence: Vado Management Dev. Learning Track

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Vado’s management courses are designed for supervisors, managers and leaders who are responsible for leading, coaching and inspiring employee performance. These courses help build the skills needed to manage individual and team performance, engage and retain employees, and contribute to the organization’s success. They offer bite-sized content, video and mobile access.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Their approach to chunked learning and real-world, direct applicability engages the learner to be an active participant in his/her learning journey.”

>> “Content from experts yielding expertise transfer, plus collaborative work that exploits each content partner’s transforable value proposition.”

EMAIL

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Award of Excellence: Vado Leadership Development Learning Track

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Research shows that 70 percent of development happens on the job, and Vado provides off-the-shelf e-learning courses that help learners apply learning on the job through step-by-step instructions and exercises. The combination of short videos followed by step-by-step instructions help learners put into practice the learning they just completed, which means organization leaders are confident that the transition from learning to application on the job actually happens, and organization capabilities are increased. Vado’s new Remote Leadership Toolkit is designed to equip managers with the tools and skills required to successfully manage others remotely.

WEBSITE

http://vadoinc.net/contact-form/index.php

 

Award of Excellence: Bizlibrary Leadership and Management

PRODUCT INFORMATION

BizLibrary’s leadership and management courses cover everything from discipline and accountability, high-performance coaching, handling disagreements at work and everything in between. They also cover helpful topics such as managing remote employees, succession planning, handling team expectations and making the transition from co-worker to boss. Users get unlimited access for their first 30 days free.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Terrific variety in the contemporary, quality videos.”

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: ej4 Leadership Development

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Ej4’s “plug and play” content fits any organization, providing information that is ready-to-use now. Short formats and on-demand availability facilitate training, making it available to everyone, anytime, anywhere. Leadership Development is part of the company’s Business Skills library and touches on everything from transformational leadership and building an effective leadership team. WHAT USERS SAY >> “Quality micro-learning that easily understandable and digestable in a video format.” >> “Just a tremendous resource to have.”

EMAIL

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TRANSLATION & LOCALIZATION SERVICES

Winner: TransPerfect Translation & Localization

PRODUCT INFORMATION

As the world’s largest privately held provider of translation services, TransPerfect uses a rigorously tested network of industry-expert linguists and full-time quality managers to ensure that the work it delivers is second to none. TransPerfect offers multiple levels of service based on client needs, ranging from draft/summary translation up to certified translation, featuring a multi-step translation and review process to ensure the highest level of accuracy and meet the evolving needs of global businesses. The company can translate from/to more than 170 languages, using more than 5,000 native-speaking linguists.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Benefits include customer service, range of languages provided, time to production, cost/quality and responsiveness.”

WEBSITE

www.transperfect.com

 

SALES TRAINING

Winner: ej4 Selling Skills

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Selling is part art, part science, and all about the approach. Your team will be able to move prospects down the funnel with ej4’s cutting-edge sales training content. A number of courses are available including Retailer Hot Buttons: Transaction Size, Selling to Different Customer Roles, Building Great Sales Relationships, and Determining Customer Needs.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Our salespeople have more confidence knocking on doors, and have vastly improved sales skills.”

>> “It’s taken us three calls less per customer to sell them on our products, and I tie a lot of that to the training.”

EMAIL

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COMPLIANCE TRAINING

Winner: VuBiz WHMIS

PRODUCT INFO

Vubiz provides full-service e-learning content, development and delivery software with solutions that are flexible in practice. By having thousands of hours of off-the-shelf content available for purchase as-is or tailored to a specific client situation, it offers a number of compliance courses including preventing and stopping sexual harassment, equal opportunity and affirmative action courses for managers, content about the Americans with Disabilities Act and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Easy to use, excellent content and price.”

>> “Sound content; adult learning principles paid attention to; and clarity.”

>> “Excellent customer service from the VuBiz team, quick response time, great at customizing info when needed, and overall great team to work with.”

WEBSITE

http://store.vubiz.com/store/ContactUs

 

Award of Excellence: ej4 Workplace Compliance Library

PRODUCT INFORMATION

ej4’s Workplace Compliance library keeps users in legal compliance with federal and state regulations while sharing best practices for the workplace. The Workplace Compliance library contains titles covering diversity, workplace conduct, workplace harassment, fair labor standards, and a number of human resource issues revolving around hiring practices, medical leave, termination, and more.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “[The ej4 team is] real good at figuring out what it is that I’m envisioning.”

>> “We’re changing behaviors, we’re setting standards...”

EMAIL

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GAMIFICATION

Winner: Gamelearn Pacific Serious Game

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Pacific offers learning in video game format and is designed for the development of leadership skills. It was launched with the aim of becoming a practical manual on how to run and manage high-performing teams. Pacific turns leadership into a survival adventure to develop management skills such as defining roles, responsibilities and objectives; analyzing the needs of the team, improving processes and increasing motivation; resolving conflicts within the team; improving communication for the delegation of tasks; encouraging teamwork and performance orientation. Developed in 3-D animation and HTML5 language to be adaptable to a variety of devices, Pacific is available in eight languages and requires only an Internet connection.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Funny, didactic and dynamic.”

>> “The first training program in video game format for the development of leadership skills.”

>> “Challenging, user-friendly, unexpected!”

WEBSITE

https://game-learn.com/contact/

 

SOCIAL LEARNING

Winner: Bizlibrary Community

PRODUCT INFORMATION

With up to five different generations present in a workplace, people see the world and the way it works differently. This can create conflict about how to complete tasks, reach goals, or run the organization. The challenge is harnessing conflicting viewpoints and ideas and turning them into cooperative creativity for how to be both productive and innovative. An important first step to bringing together a variety of talents and ideas is recognizing the similarities that connect people. Finding common interests, beliefs, or skills (whether work-related or not) can create a bridge over a generational division that energizes collaboration, innovation and problem-solving. To find those commonalities, it’s important for coworkers to be willing to think from a perspective different from their own, taking others’ life experiences into account and how that affects their viewpoint. With an RSS feed, community members receive HR and employee training news, tips and best practices delivered straight to their inboxes.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Works two ways: internal for our employees and even smaller teams, but also for L&D professionals who are a part of the community to ask questions and share recommendations.”

>> “Easy way to get updates from the vendor and share best practices with other customers of BizLibrary.”

EMAIL

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OUTSOURCED LEARNING SERVICES

Award of Excellence: Skillsoft Learning Services

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Skillsoft begins by developing a personalized e-learning program in conjunction with each client’s strategies, culture and events to leverage best practices — then working to maximize e-learning success. Skillsoft e-learning consultants, customer support and application engineers provide core program support services — a fundamental value-add. These teams deliver the expert e-learning services and advice to help clients establish general strategies for deployment and adoption of powerful learning programs.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Tremendous catalog.” “Whenever I ask for something, they say ‘we will handle that’...I come back and it’s done.”

>> “The instructors are fantastically knowledgeable.”

PHONE

(866) 757-3177

 

MOBILE AUTHORING

Award of Excellence: DominKnow Flow

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Flow is content-authoring software that outputs fully responsive and adaptive HTML5-conformant content that automatically adjusts depending on the screen a user views it on. Flow is built it on the same engine that powers DominKnow’s award-winning Claro. It not only offers responsive content that changes and rearranges according to the device one views it on. It also gives authors the ability to choose what content gets delivered, thus adapting to the user’s device for a more meaningful and contextual end-user experience. And it does all of this in a Web-based authoring environment that allows for collaborative development, sharing and re-use of resources, and anywhere, anytime, any platform access.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “A new authoring tool integrated in the Claro LCMS.”

>> “Fully responsive with excellent, new thinking functionalities that allow you to produce truly responsive content that does not only make the content bigger/ smaller, but that actually totally adapts the content to the screen size.”

PHONE

(613) 800-8733

 

 

Litmos by CallidusCloud

AWARD WINNING LMS-CLOUD

ENTERPRISE LEARNING THAT WORKS

For too long, employee training systems have been cumbersome and complex to work with. But the need to onboard employees, introduce programs, educate staff on updated policies, and offer training to external audiences has been accelerating. Organizations today do not have the time or the patience to spend months implementing clunky learning management systems. Litmos by CallidusCloud is changing that.

Litmos is the world’s fastest growing enterprise learning platform, supporting more than 4 million users in over 130 countries and 22 languages. The Litmos cloud-based solution unifies a learning management system (LMS), the extended enterprise, and prepackaged content in an engaging platform to meet any organization’s training needs. Built to scale from 100 users to 1 million users and beyond, Litmos is highly secure, focuses on the end user, and provides time to value three times faster than conventional learning solutions. With Litmos, organizations can engage learners anytime through native apps for Android and iOS, and they can extend their ecosystem by using prepackaged connectors and REST APIs. Litmos also provides local US support during business hours to help organizations be successful. Headquartered in Silicon Valley and backed by public company CallidusCloud (NASDAQ: CALD), Litmos is still run with the nimbleness of a start-up. It continues to experience double-digit growth and has a customer satisfaction rate of over 95 percent.

A POWERFUL PLATFORM: LITMOS LMS, LITMOS CONTENT, AND LITMOS TRAINING OPS

Litmos LMS is a simple yet powerful platform. Most legacy systems are over-engineered solutions with a huge percentage of features utilized by less than 5 percent of users. Litmos LMS is built with learner’s experience in mind that makes it easy to implement, administer, and manage. The platform’s open API architecture and prepackaged connectors make it simple for organizations to connect Litmos LMS to their ecosystem. And the user interface is consistent across devices, which helps organizations to engage their mobile workforce.

Litmos offers more than 700 packages of content. In addition, Litmos Content uses an in-house course production studio— composed of specialists in instructional design, production, research, technical operations, and program support—to develop more high-quality, mobile-friendly courses that focus on healthcare, HR, OSHA, sales and marketing, leadership, and more. The design aesthetics for these courses ensure better retention through engaged learning, and all content is available through the course marketplace.

Litmos Training Ops is an end-to-end training-as-a-business solution, enabling organizations to grow revenue, build loyalty, and reduce costs by automating the business side of training. A self-service, cloud-based platform, Litmos Training Ops delivers a sophisticated, integrated set of tools that help organizations automate and manage revenue, expense, global taxation, training credits, and other business processes so they can improve the ROI of their external training programs.

ADVANCING CORPORATE LEARNING

Litmos’ mission and core value proposition is to advance corporate learning by providing a learning experience that doesn’t necessarily reside in one segmented location, but in the departments where administrators work and in the applications where users spend their time. With Litmos:

>> Customers will get the perfect combination of powerful search and ease of use that learners love.

>> Customers can go live in 6 weeks— many in days or even minutes—rather than in 6 to 12 months.

>> Customers will achieve time to value in less than 6 months as opposed to 24 months.

CUSTOMERS

litmoscustomersimage

WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY:

>> “The Litmos platform has enabled USIC to deliver targeted, timely and efficient learning and compliance tasks to our 8,000+ employees across the US and Canada.” Tim Gale, USIC

>> “We chose Litmos because it’s extremely user friendly, you don’t need a lot of training and we love the user interface.” Miriam Calvo-Gil, Kapco Global

>> “We liked that Litmos has the ability to easily upload content, build your own content, and create courses.” Rick Galliher, 1-800-Got-Junk?

>> “What I like most about Litmos is the easy and fast implementation without needing a team of people or specialized resources.” Cheryl Powers, Coca Cola

CONTACT INFO:

4140 Dublin Boulevard #400

Dublin, CA 94568

+1 (925) 251-2220

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www.litmos.com

 

 

If you'd like to view the full list of Best of Elearning! 2016 Honorees, REGISTER HERE.

Published in Products Featured

If there is a lesson to be learned from this year’s Learning! 100 honorees, it is that there is always room for improvement, that learning organizations cannot stand pat from year to year, no matter what kind of accolades they’ve won in the past.

For instance, take Learning@Cisco, which is making its seventh journey into the Learning! 100. The company instituted a “My Services Connect” project this past year. And the U.S. Defense Acquisition University (DAU) — another seven-time honoree — which rewrote its strategic plan to account for advances in the theory and practice of government learning processes. And even relative Learning! 100 newbie Ingersoll Rand, which instituted a “Pathways to Growth” plan for its global sales team.

All three of those institutions, along with the others highlighted on the following pages, did not rest and are still providing cutting-edge approaches to implementing new learning projects and initiatives in their respective organizations.

The only Learning! 100 company to earn first-time Top 10 honors this year is Last Mile Health, whose dedicated work in Liberia against an Ebola outbreak earned a visit from former President Bill Clinton last year. This profile is a must-read for everyone, for it exemplifies what can be accomplished to serve mankind through effective education, learning and training—no matter what the circumstances and obstacles.

Learning! 100 applicants are evaluated across three criteria: Collaborative Strategies’ Collaboration Index, Darden School’s Learning Culture Index, and overall organizational performance. Accolades are awarded in four categories of excellence: innovation, culture, performance and collaboration.

Discover how these leading organizations are so successful with their learning programs on the following pages, and watch for upcoming sessions, Web seminars, articles and events hosted by Elearning! magazine.

 

Here are the Top 10 Learning! 100 organizations for 2017:

CORPORATE

1) T-Mobile

2) Amazon Web Services

3) Salesforce

4) Cisco

5) Ingersoll Rand

PUBLIC SECTOR

1) Defense Acquisition University

2) American Heart Association

3) Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

4) Last Mile Health

5) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Aquisition Academy

 

 

PRIVATE SECTOR #1

The ‘Un-Carrier’ Culture at T-Mobile

Area of Excellence: Culture

L1002017TMobileImage

T-Mobile U.S.A. is the fastest growing company in the extremely competitive wireless communications industry. It’s position as the ‘Un-Carrier’ fuels subscriber growth. No long-term contracts, excellent customer service and high valued services are the norm at T-Mobile, the ‘Un-Carrier.’

T- Mobile U.S.A. has been chosen as #1 Learning! 100 for unifying the ‘Un-Carrier’ vision at the sales level.

When Bart Ons came on board, he found that while the telesales team was performing and meeting its revenue targets, the organization was highly fragmented, with call centers each using different processes, tools, management models and training approaches. Knowing this was not a sustainable approach, Ons deployed a pilot engagement of “Pathways to Growth.” The intended outcome was to change the sales management and coaching approach used by managers in six key T-Mobile call centers for more than 1,200 telesales agents.

As the Pathways to Growth (PTG) engagement launched, the project grew to include all call centers as well as a comprehensive and highly customized sales training curriculum, media campaign and rollout. Branding focused on promoting the Un-Carrier culture with a theme to “Unleash, Empower and Excel U.”

The teams worked together to build a series of e-learning preparation modules, on-site and virtual learning classes, coaching modules, reinforcement e-learning solutions, multimedia solutions, promotions and more. The goal was cultural change, excitement and a focus on working cohesively as one unified T-Mobile to deliver an outstanding customer experience.

T-Mobile had already experienced measurable success through its efforts to fine-tune its sales manager coaching process in its B2B sales unit. Through the PTG sales management program, T-Mobile’s B2B sales group successfully shifted its management culture to not only accelerate the effectiveness of sales team members but also improve the accuracy of forecasting by improving the health of the forward pipeline.

During the PTG discovery process and subsequent sales management training, consultants recognized that there was a deeper need to manage a wholesale cultural shift within this sales group. In January 2017, early results from the PTG training were presented to senior leaders, including recommendations and proposed plans for additional, bespoke change management training for the Digital Frontline built around T-Mobile’s “Un-Carrier” culture.

The kickoff of the UEE program occurred in March of 2017 and the training is ongoing. The components of the program include:

>> U-Unleash – Digital introduction to the Un-Carrier philosophy to onboard participants (March-April 2017)

>> U-Train – Train-the-trainer program for Digital Frontline trainers and quality assurance staff (March 2017)

>> U-Lead – Leadership training for Digital Frontline managers, supervisors, trainers and QA (May 2017)

>> U-Sell – Selling and soft skills training for Digital Frontline sales agents (June-August 2017)

>> U-Call – Introducing a new sales call flow offering agents both consistency and flexibility (Mar 2017)

>> U-Grow – Training on call review and coaching to ensure consistency and improved customer experience (starting September 2017)

>> U-Start – New UEE-based onboarding and new-hire training program (starting September 2017)

With a successful sales program, already begun, T-Mobile is being honored with Learning! 100 designation for the second time.

 

PUBLIC SECTOR #1

A Learning Evolution at Defense Acquisition U.

Area of Excellence: Performance

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Defense Acquisition University’s senior leadership team. First row, center, white shirt: DAU President Jim Woolsey. Photo courtesy DAU.

This year, Defense Acquisition University developed a completely revised strategic plan ensuring both alignment with business strategy and directly targeting its vision and mission.

“This is the future of learning, and is already well within our reach,” says DAU’s Dr. Christopher Hardy. “There will always be more changes, new technology and new possibilities. [But] we are well positioned to identify these, adapt, and remain a world-class learning leader.” The DAU’s new strategic plan includes its comprehensive learning strategy, the Acquisition Learning Model (ALM).

One of the strategy’s primary goals is to ensure cross-domain integration and repurpose learning assets among domains. By doing so, all activities have been focused primarily on job and organizational success.

Comprising three separate yet integrated domains (foundational, workflow and performance learning), the ALM “links” training (both in classroom and on line); acquisition resources and job support tools; mission assistance and customized workshops, allowing DAU to be current, connected and innovative in every area. Why current, connected and innovative?

Students need current information— the latest policies, guidelines, and lessons learned relevant to their increasingly diverse and fast-paced work. For them, current also means up-to-date case studies and course materials found in our foundational learning assets, as well as continuously refreshed and interesting news and tools available in our workflow learning assets. Likewise, DAU must have current and direct knowledge of what’s going on in the acquisition enterprise.

Students also need to be connected quickly and easily to the information required for their success on the job, not to mention connected to each other. Finally, the DAU must be innovative in the methods used to transfer knowledge to the workforce.

The entire strategic planning process is a deliberate, planned, measured, iterative and integrated cycle that continuously moves DAU toward its organizational goals and vision for the workforce. The ALM’s primary purpose, “improve acquisition outcomes,” is a now a pivotal part of DAU’s vision statement, ensuring all supporting objectives and tasks in its strategic plan.

As implemented in the new Strategic Plan, the ALM extends the concept of learning beyond the classroom. DAU is now delivering more “in-context consumption learning” on the job — anytime, anyplace — a growing number of learning products to an increasing number of Defense Acquisition workforce members. All learning assets (courses, how-to videos, self-service portals, job support tools) are integrated and shared among the three domains. By implementing the ALM as a cost-effective measure, the university aligns with senior leadership, continuously modernizes its business and learning infrastructure, has a worldclass learning architecture deployed, continuously updates curricula, recruits the right talent, and rewards performance, ultimately garnering global recognition as a leading corporate university.

The scale and scope of the ALM:

Foundational Learning:

DAU offers more than 400 technical training courses supporting the 14 Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) career fields, which require that Defense Acquisition workforce members be certified for their positions.

Workflow Learning:

Access to acquisition knowledge outside traditional learning environments improves efficiency, innovation, and effectiveness—enhancing job performance. It also augments the foundational learning that occurred in the classroom.

Performance Learning.

Extends help beyond the classroom into the workplace with mission assistance services. This program places seasoned faculty onsite at organizations ranging from smaller acquisition teams to larger acquisition programs.

DAU is a seven-time Learning! 100 honoree.

 

PRIVATE SECTOR #2

Amazon Web Services Focuses on Enabling Customer Success

Area of Excellence: Performance

 More than 10 years ago, Amazon Web Services (AWS) started as a storage services. Today, it offers more than 70 services for compute, storage, databases, analytics, mobile and enterprise applications. AWS announced 722 new features and services last year making it one the most innovative cloud-storage companies.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is being honored as #2 Learning! 100 company this year, thanks to its Outcome Based Account Management (OBAM) program. Consistent with the Amazon Leadership Principle of Customer Obsession, the OBAM methodology works backward from customers, defining success through their eyes based on their unique needs and target outcomes. As is common at Amazon, the development of OBAM involved extensive experimentation that spanned more than two years to identify and refine best practices for helping buyers buy. OBAM provides the AWS field organization with a common foundation and universal approach focused on enabling customer success.

OBAM is composed of the process, tools, competencies and dialogue architecture for initiating and solidifying AWS’s customer relationships. It’s a matchmaking process that’s fixated on transforming the buyer-seller engagement into a lifelong journey where everyone involved in the process is focused on the customer’s success. The program includes a pre-call, pre-work, a live twoday collaborative training day session based upon actual customer situations, three post-workshop coaching calls, and an on-demand playbook.

The parent company’s unbroken 20-year streak of double-digit revenue growth shows no sign of slowing this year, helped by an influx of online shoppers who are abandoning stores for “shop by Internet.” Amazon revenues grew by 27.1 percent in 2016 versus 2015, which surpassed last year’s growth of 20.2 percent, and profitability grew by 34.97 percent, versus the prior year’s growth of 34.74 percent. For a company that’s 23 years old, those are unheard-of numbers. And Amazon optimistically projects revenue to continue to increase by healthy margins.

AWS is a Cloud computing platform with a comprehensive suite of services that allows for on-demand computing. AWS has four core feature buckets — Compute, Storage & Content Delivery, Databases, and Networking. At a high level, users can control these with extensive administrative controls accessible via a secure Web client. Tools include identity management, auditing, encryption key creation/control/storage, monitoring and logging, and more.

To continue facilitating its rapid growth, AWS has built an extensive network for live and online training to help people learn AWS or to take on the more technical roles required for devising solutions or running operations. Completion of that training then qualifies learners for AWS certification.

The OBAM program, which has been delivered globally in all geographies, is being met with great success, achieving a global average score from participants of 4.47 out of 5. The program has now been successfully rolled out to more than 1,400 participants, and the overall impact of the program can be seen in both the continued growth of Amazon Web Services and the parent company.

As was evident from the annual report, Amazon Web Services is a major contributor to that growth. It is drawing more small businesses and large enterprises to its Cloud platform.

This is the second time the company has joined the Learning! 100.

 

PUBLIC SECTOR #2

American Heart Association Builds Powerful Relationships

Area of Excellence: Culture

“Life is Why” the American Heart Association (AHA) exists. The mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. This single purpose drives all that they do.

The AHA is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. AHA includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters; funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tools and information to save and improve lives. AHA has 156 local offices and more than 3,000 employees. Last year, the American Heart Association (AHA) wanted to establish a unified fund-raising process and culture across the entire organization for both volunteer-centric and direct groups. Besides this unified fund-raising process, AHA also wanted to support its staff in articulating the mission, impact and programs of the AHA, as well as to reach critical thresholds in areas of revenue and health goals. These business outcomes led to the creation of the “Building Powerful Partnerships” program.

Those three key words are actually part of a larger philosophy included in the AHA’s guiding values. From leveraging the strength of its volunteers/ staff partnerships to working with the many individuals and organizations that influence the health of individuals, our nation and our world, the organization collaborates to bring the best and brightest solutions to building healthier lives free from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Some of the learning objectives that needed to be achieved to fully implement the “Building Powerful Relationships” program were:

>> Demonstrate the ability to lead conversations that offer value to partners and volunteers by focusing on their needs.

>> Apply best practices for creating rapport, earning trust, and aligning the AHA message and mission with partner and volunteer needs.

>> Discover and practice proven ways to leverage LinkedIn for establishing credibility and making connections with prospective partners and volunteers.

>> Define four typical human behavior styles useful for enhancing conversations with partners, volunteers and team members.

>> Identify and practice proven strategies for each behavior style, resulting in better communication and increased trust.

>> Describe and practice the five-stage “SMART” engagement model to plan and execute high-impact conversations with partners and volunteers.

>> Apply the Powerful Partner Research process during the engagement process with prospective partners and volunteers.

>> Practice the 5-step “HEART” Conversation process.

>> Evaluate and develop plans for transitioning relationships to the next level of stewardship and involvement.

According to the AHA, the program exceeded all expectations and helped it achieve its critical goals, which in turn helped the organization continue its laudatory work.

This marks the sixth year the American Heart Association has been listed among Learning! 100 honorees.

 

PRIVATE SECTOR #3

 Salesforce U Fills Talent Skills Gaps

Area of Excellence: Performance

Salesforce is the most innovative company seven years running according to Forbes. Salesforce’s Customer Success Platform offers a comprehensive portfolio of services, such as sales force automation, customer service and support, marketing automation, digital commerce, community management, analytics, application development, IoT integration, collaborative productivity tools, AI-powered and professional cloud services. The company enables industries and companies of all sizes to connect their customers using cloud, social, mobile and data science technologies. It also encourages third parties to develop additional functionality and new apps that run on its platform and other developer tools.

With rapid transformation of the Salesforce’s platform comes the challenge to train clients on how to tap its power. Enter Salesforce University certification program to close these talent gaps.

Some 300,000 Salesforce administrative jobs go unfilled per year due to lack of certified administrators, according to Salesforce. To fill this gap, Salesforce University launched the Salesforce Proficiency Pack for Administrators.

Learners can grasp the fundamentals of being a Salesforce Administrator in just 30 days. It’s a blended, prescriptive, expert-led training program that gives learners a 30-day plan to learn what they need to be Salesforce Administrators. It can fast-track adept learners to the Salesforce Certified Administrator program. Accessed online and taking just a few hours a day, the latter is a mix of engaging bite-sized Trailhead content, interactive e-learning modules, hands-on exercises, and certification prep guides and materials. The program also features live coaching from Salesforce Certified instructors, and includes a voucher to sit for the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam.

The Salesforce Proficiency Pack for Administrators is a combination of expert-led virtual classroom sessions, self-paced online material and supplemental, hands-on exercises. Plus, Salesforce Proficiency Pack for Administrators is recommended as preparation for the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam.

Salesforce University offers a comprehensive catalog of courses and certifications to help prospective learners, administer, develop and use their organization’s Salesforce environment. It can come in the form of a customized private course for an entire team or an in-depth instructor-led classroom experience for one person.

Salesforce is a four-time Learning! 100 winner.

 

PUBLIC SECTOR #3

ADL Initiative Focuses on Next-Generation Learning

Area of Excellence: Collaboration

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL) is in the process of implementing a new, innovative program called the Total Learning Architecture (TLA), in close concert with many other industry and interagency partners, including the Office of Personnel Management and Army Research Laboratory.

The Defense Department environment served by the ADL Initiative requires its personnel to thrive under volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous situations. To meet this challenge, learning personnel must develop an ever-expanding set of sophisticated knowledge and skills — without increasing training and education time or costs. So the TLA is being designed to help meet this demand by giving various personnel access to the right learning content, at the right time, and delivered in the right ways.

Be advised: the final TLA will not be a particular training device or educational tool; it’s the glue that connects all other learning technologies into an integrated, coherent system. Once complete, it will consist of a set of specifications, such as application programming interfaces (APIs), that define how training, education and personnel management technologies “talk” to each other — both syntactically and semantically. The TLA will also define software services that perform automation and artificial intelligence-based whole-system processes.

“Historically, training and education have followed fairly linear, industrial model,” explains ADL Initiative Director Dr. Sae Schatz. “The TLA is meant to enable the next paradigm of learning — one that’s personalized, data-driven, continuous and flexible.” The ADL Initiative’s Director of Innovation, Dr. Jennifer Vogel-Walcutt, adds” “Classically, e-learning was available ‘anytime, anywhere.’ With the TLA, we’re envisioning e-learning to be ‘everytime, everywhere’ — that is, the right learning content, in the right form, at the right time, and all around us.”

The technology team is currently committed to using collaborative development methods, open-source licensing and open-architecture design principles. This project, which uses an iterative design process, including iterative development and testing spirals, began in late 2015. System designers anticipate that scaled implementation of the TLA — a set of Internet and software specifications being developed to enable nextgeneration learning — could begin as early as 2019.

In addition to authoring technical documents, the development team has created a prototype TLA-enabled learning ecosystem. It includes various software services, technical components and learning applications (also known as “learning activity providers”), all of which exchange data using the initial suite of TLA APIs.

A preliminary research project was held earlier this year. Although room for improvement remains, the prototype implementation and integration of the TLA for this year’s study represented a successful team effort that resulted in a usable prototype and supported a week of interaction with dozens of real users.

Founded in the 1990s, the ADL Initiative conducts research, development, testing and evaluation to enhance distributed learning. By mandate, it bridges across the Department of Defense and other federal agencies, as well as industry and academia, to encourage collaboration, facilitate interoperability, and promote best practices for using distributed learning. Its mission is to provide the highest-quality education, training, informal learning and just-in-time support, tailored to individual needs and delivered cost-effectively, anytime and anywhere. Its major activities include crafting the vision and roadmap for future learning, performing R&D to mature emerging concepts, and conducting outreach to diffuse innovation.

ADL is a seven-time Learning! 100 honoree.

 

PRIVATE SECTOR #4

Learning@Cisco Takes on Reskilling of Its Employees

Area of Excellence: Innovation

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Cisco’s professional learning team: left to right, Ryan Rose, Davina Collins, Vandana Malik, Kathy Bries, Holly Howe, Manny Bola.

Three of the most critical business issues facing Cisco and many organizations today are (1) reskilling the workforce for continual transformation, (2) improving employee engagement to drive productivity and agile responsiveness; and (3) sharing institutional knowledge and best practices across the organization.

That’s where the company’s My Services Connect project comes in.

The powers-that-be at Cisco decided to shift its services organization to a consultative, solutions-selling model. This required cross-training more than 14,000 employees on the company’s solutions portfolio as well new offerings in Cloud, security, analytics and data. It also required that employees be reskilled and up-skilled to succeed in the new positions supporting the evolved strategy.

My Services Connect leaders worked with Learning@Cisco leaders to help develop a new social learning platform that would accomplish this goal. To that end, the company launched an internally built Cloud-based software solution focused on knowledge sharing, collaboration, and formal and social learning — all aligned to talent development initiatives and personal/team/corporate goals.

“This was a significant change in strategy” notes Cisco’s Jessica Pasko, “as previous internal policy was focused on the use of traditional talent management and performance evaluation tools. But the enterprise was at a turning point: the need for agile, knowledgeable teams that can share knowledge and learn anytime, anywhere (and from any device) became omnipresent. We also had an immediate need to reskill and up-skill a significant portion of our workforce to align with new objectives and business opportunities the division was intent on pursuing.”

Results of the transformation were dramatic.

>> Employee Engagement: As this platform was replacing others, one goal was to ensure that employee engagement carried over at previously measured levels (25% of employees were accessing these platforms every day). Holding previous levels of engagement met the base-level goal; the “stretch” goal was to increase employee engagement through this new platform. What actually happened was that 33% of total employees engaged with the platform on a daily basis.

>> Employee Empowerment: Another goal was to provide new tools around learning personalization that would give all employees the same curriculabuilding tools previously reserved by HR and L&D teams; in addition, to expand the use of expert profiles by having more employees create peervalidated profiles listing their expertise. Success meant one personalized learning plan per five employees and 75% adoption of expert profiles.

The My Services Connect project proved to be an innovative approach to learning for Learning@Cisco, a multiple Learning! 100 honoree that has a history of addressing the need for technical talent worldwide for Cisco customers, partners and network professionals. Goals historically are accomplished by providing the educational product and training, certifications, social learning communities and learning services necessary to accelerate productivity, opportunity and growth, and to recruit, train and evolve talent. “Learning@Cisco drives the talent development and upskilling needed to evolve the workforce of today to meet the demands of tomorrow,” says Pasko, “and the global networking skills talent gap. In response to an ever-changing industry, Cisco has moved from being a technology-focused company to driving businesslevel outcomes for customers.”

In order to stay on the cutting edge of learning, the company uses collaborative learning, social learning and mobile performance support, along with an LMS integrated platform, Jive, Sharepoint and in-house or custom-built software.

As a worldwide leader in I.T., Cisco has spent the past three decades helping companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow through the transformation of how people connect, communicate and collaborate. This is the seventh time the company has joined the Learning! 100.

 

PUBLIC SECTOR #4

 Last Mile Health’s Training Is a Matter of Life and Death

Area of Excellence: Collaboration

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As she transitions into the role of chief operating officer in 2017, Lisha McCormick gets to celebrate Last Mile Health’s 100,000th patient visit.

“Having worked in the social impact and development sphere both domestically and internationally for nearly two decades, I’ve never seen an organization that has such extraordinary opportunity and potential in front of it,” McCormick says. “An enormous amount of that is a tribute to the work of our team across different counties and countries, and the focus and aptitude they bring to this work.”

Pres. Bill Clinton, who visited Liberia, said last year: “The heroic work [Chief Executive Officer] Raj [Panjabi] and Last Mile Health did to train 1,300 health workers was critical in helping the government contain the [Ebola] epidemic.”

Training community health workers in this setting is literally a matter of life and death. Trainees receive four separate sessions on a series of standardized training modules that Last Mile Health and the government of Liberia developed. The sessions provide community health workers with a comprehensive set of skills covering infectious disease surveillance and response, maternal and neonatal health, and support for adults with HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis and select neglected tropical diseases. After completing each course, trainees are given time to develop their new skills before advancing to the next stage of training.

In partnership with the government of Liberia, Last Mile Health is implementing this five-step model in two of Liberia’s 15 counties. Meanwhile, various other organizations including Partners in Health, International Rescue Committee, PLAN International, Medical Teams International, and Samaritan’s Purse are supporting Liberia to implement the program in other counties. Their shared goal is to ensure that, by 2021, all 1.2 million Liberians who live more than an hour’s walk from the nearest health facility have access to a professional community health worker.

It has not been easy to live in Liberia during the past 20 years. In 2003, the country emerged from more than a decade of civil war, and only 50 doctors remained to treat a population of more than four million. If a Liberian got sick in a remote community — many of which are hours or even days away from the nearest clinic — he or she could die anonymously of a treatable condition like malaria, a complicated childbirth, or untreated infection.

In 2007, Panjabi, Alphonso Mouwon, Weafus Quitoe, Marcus Kudee, Theo Neewrayson and Amisha Raja co-founded an organization called Tiyatien Health, or “justice in health.” Joined by Peter Luckow in 2009, Tiyatien Health began Liberia’s first rural, public HIV program, which treated patients in a gutted closet in a war-torn building in Zwedru, Liberia with only $6,000 in seed money.

Almost immediately, the growing team realized that the greatest needs were at Liberia’s “last mile,” where people lacked access to health care due to distance and poverty. Their solution was to recruit, train, equip, manage and pay community members to provide life-saving health services to their neighbors.

Tiyatien Health came to be known as Last Mile Health in 2013.

Since then, Last Mile Health and Liberia have trained more than 1,300 health workers and community members to prevent and contain the spread of Ebola. In 38 clinics across southeastern Liberia, they supported health workers to “keep safe, keep serving” in the midst of the outbreak through distribution of personal protective equipment (including goggles, gloves, and gowns) and through training on best practices in disease prevention and control. At the community level, the organizations trained their community health workers and other community “mobilizers” to educate their communities about the cause of Ebola, how to prevent its spread, and how to manage and report suspected cases.

The Ebola outbreak, which was finally brought to a halt in 2016, was a defining moment in Last Mile’s growth as an organization.

This is the first time Last Mile Health has earned Learning! 100 honors.

 

PRIVATE SECTOR #5

Sales Management Training Earns Ingersoll Rand’s Award

Area of Excellence: Culture

Ingersoll Rand is a 145-year-old company with nearly 5,000 sellers and managers distributed globally. Ingersoll Rand is being honored as a Learning! 100 organization for a global project undertaken by its Sales Excellence Division that implemented IRSMX/Sales Management Excellence across its business units.

The purpose of the project was to customize and enable one consistent sales management methodology. The implementation spanned multiple geographical and cultural environments, requiring customized content and coaching to address both internal and external cultural diversity associated with business units located around the world.

This project impacted more than 3,200 sales team members in a range of roles, including sales professionals and their leaders.

Due to the scale of the project and Ingersoll Rand’s desire to accelerate adoption of IRSMX across its various business units, global delivery was accomplished through a joint effort between Baker Communications and Ingersoll Rand business unit coaches, with both groups leading IRSMX workshops and IRSMX coaching cadences.

Ingersoll Rand’s goal to make the IRSMX program a part of all its business units’ operations has led to sustained adoption of the methodology and notable business results, with a consistent focus on pipeline health, forecast accuracy, and consistent and effective oneon-one coaching between sales managers and sales professionals.

Through the determination and desire shown by Ingersoll Rand’s Sales Excellence division to make the IRSMX method a part of its core sales management culture, it will succeed in reaching its end goal of rolling out the IRSMX program to every sales manager and team.

The goal was to create a unified sales management system, with consistent coaching and development of sales professionals to improve selling motions, processes and tools utilized from business unit to business unit. The desired outcome would be very clear visibility into pipeline and forecast data, both within their direct and indirect distribution channels.

In one division, the Direct Channel reported consistent, double-digit year-overyear growth in revenue from a combination of strategies inclusive of IRSMX, and an 1800 percent return on investment (ROI) for the program. In the Indirect Channel, the results were equally impressive, with an increase in market share for the first time in several years and a 1300 percent ROI on the IRSMX implementation specifically.

This is the second time Ingersoll Rand has appeared in the Learning! 100.

 

PUBLIC SECTOR #5

The Department of Veterans Affairs Aquisition Academy Changes Culture

Area of Excellence: Culture

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VA101 Training Team Leaders (left to right) Debra Karambellas and Edwin Callahan with VA Acquisition Academy Chancellor Ruby B. Harvey and Deputy Chancellor and VA101 Training Program Manager Paul Gregory.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) is responsible for providing federal benefits to more than 22 million military veterans and their families. Its V.A. Acquisition Academy (VAAA) is one of the keys.

“The VAAA fosters a training system that makes an immediate and meaningful difference by improving work performance, says Laura Edwards. “Our fundamental learning strategy reflects a commitment to stakeholder engagement and value measurement methodologies to ensure business results that support V.A.’s major initiatives. The VAAA emphasizes educating learners in real-world workplace scenarios in order to integrate personal and leadership skills. VAAA continues to mature its strategic performance measurement to help realize the impact of VAAA’s training offerings on business results within V.A. and the federal government.”

This historic undertaking was accomplished through a concentrated program: VA 101, a four‐hour, instructor‐led, classroom‐based, enterprise‐wide training that the MyVA Performance Improvement Team developed as a direct result of feedback from across the country. VA 101 helps employees understand and appreciate the diverse workforce and organizational structure, the services and benefits V.A. delivers, its customers, and how the services are delivered.

The goal of this training course was/ is to raise the common level of V.A. and veteran‐specific knowledge on critical topics. Upon completion of the course, learners are able to:

>> Explain how V.A. employees are part of a larger team that is guided by a clear purpose and common values;

>> Describe how V.A. is organized and who its customers are;

>> Explain the services and benefits V.A. delivers;

>> Discuss the various needs of V.A.’s customers and utilize supporting resources to meet these needs; and

>> Demonstrate the application of “I Care” values.

It goes without saying that training nearly 178,000 people in 12 months represented an enormous challenge. Those individuals were and are spread across three administrations, more than 2,600 duty stations, and numerous staff offices throughout the nation—all with separate lines of authority, systems access and communication channels.

The main challenge for the large, complex program arose from a lack of planning and communication to establish robust processes and clear procedures. What proved effective, however, was a “Center of Gravity” (train the trainer) approach that depended on collaboration. The VA 101 team trained and certified 1,462 “ambassadors” and provided the tools to deliver the training. Ambassadors then conducted local training events for employees. The team developed a national rollout strategy; developed comprehensive role-based implementation plan; conducted monthly training calls; and implemented a robust communication plan. 

According to surveys of employees before and after attendance at VA 101, the outcomes realized by staff members were: 

>> 12% increase in understanding how VA’s transformation relates to them;

>> 4% increase in feeling valued for their work; and

>> 8% increase in witnessing positive culture change in the V.A.

By January, 204,903 V.A. employees had been trained, fully 58 percent of the entire V.A. workforce. Total investment was $1.5 million.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is a six-time Learning! 100 winner.

 

 

View of the full list of 2017 Learning! 100 award winners below:

 

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Published in Top Stories

CHANGING YOUR PARADIGM ON HOW YOU WORK AND MANAGE MILLENNIALS CAN COMPLETELY CHANGE YOUR CANDIDATE POOLS.

BY BILL KLEYMAN

There’s clearly an evolution happening in our profession. The research firm Gartner recently reported that by 2020, 100 percent of technology roles will require at least an intermediate level of proficiency in business acumen.

“Developing strong business acumen is a prerequisite to effectively shift focus from optimizing operational efficiency to driving business effectiveness, value creation and growth,” Lily Mok, Gartner’s research vice president said. “At the heart of an effective communication strategy is the ability to clearly link the vision, strategy and action plans of the business to drive desired behaviors in the workforce that contribute to improved performance and business outcomes.”

Communication aside, new management styles are required to gain as much value as possible out of employees. Furthermore, these new management styles also introduce more value to the employees through new, exciting challenges, growth opportunities, and new ways to interact with the business.

MANAGING THE MILLENNIAL

We are firmly within the digital economy with a digitally-enabled workforce. This means we are a part of a fluid, dynamic business environment that is constantly evolving.

Millennials are the drivers of today’s emerging digital economy. Now that we have an idea as to how these legacies work, let’s examine a new approach to managing millennials that involves re-prioritizing the hiring traits we discussed earlier.

1.  Attitude: What is the candidate’s attitude toward the industry and the job at hand? Is he or she excited or just there to make a dollar? What’s driving him or her to succeed? A digital-ready organization will want a positive-attitude candidate who’s ready to emerge into the digital framework and be excited by change.

2. Aptitude: Once attitude is established, what is the candidate’s aptitude toward learning and growing? Does he or she want to take on more roles? Is he or she curious about cross-training? Going beyond what the candidate already knows, aptitude toward learning will allow you to hire a moldable and excited new member to the team.

3. Experience: Let me start by saying that experience is certainly important. But fluid organizations ready for the digital economy won’t hire for experience alone. They’ll want a positive attitude, the aptitude and capability to learn, and then the ability to evolve the experience. Having some experience is great, but it’s even better to mold the experience to what the organization really needs. In a way, we’ve flipped candidate capabilities and priorities to match the strengths of the millennial.

We’re allowing experience to grow organically around what the business requires. Ultimately, this gives the millennial candidate a voice within the company and an opportunity to grow and evolve with the company. Most of all, it builds loyalty and encourages thought.

Think of Facebook as an example. Yes, it loves your experiences and what you’ve done in the past; but it will very actively look at your attitude, your aptitude to learn new technologies, and your personality. These organizations know that if they hire the right people, the experience will come. However, it’ll also give these organizations an employee who’s much happier in his or her job.

Changing your paradigm on how you work and manage millennials can completely change your candidate pools. Furthermore, millennials don’t often work well in overly rigid environments. This is where they get restless, become less productive, and are more prone to leaving. However, if you employ and nurture around attitude and aptitude, you’ll see that not only will they get more experience, but also they’ll bring more value to your organization.

—The author is vice president of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, a Stamford, Connecticut-based consulting firm.

Published in Insights

Y ANNICK RENAUD-COULON

WHY DID YOU LAUNCH THE GLOBAL COUNCIL OF CORPORATE UNIVERSITIES?

I launched GlobalCCU in 2005 together with a handful of corporate university directors from Brazil, the U.S.A., Spain and France. I had the vision of creating a global network of corporate universities, in line with the growing globalization of the economy.

This profession, still very young, was born in the greatest empiricism, and the corporate university executives were in search of exchanges with their peers to avoid wasting time in their process. They needed benchmarking, to compare themselves and understand how leaders in their sector were successful. I also wanted to demonstrate that corporate universities were not training centers but key strategic levers to challenge and implement business strategies and federate around the company’s culture and brand.

The biggest mistake is cultural. They must avoid management by values that are too inopportune. If each culture is based on values, and if philosophy leads us to think that there are universal values, such as beauty and truth, they are only superficially universal. Their definition and translation into practice varies profoundly from one culture to another, from one company to another.

They must also avoid economic nationalism through education. I can attest to the fact that we learn a lot from emerging countries in terms of corporate learning and development. The corporate universities of these countries are often far ahead in many areas, in the impact of learning on business, in their holistic approach between human and digital, or in the implementation of social responsibility via education. From this viewpoint, the GlobalCCU Awards are a very interesting global observatory.

I strongly suggest that with a lot of humility and a lot of listening to better understand nations that are geographically far away, we can get rid of our prejudices. The corporate universities, which are unique and irreplaceable spaces of openness to the world, have to tackle the different ways to access knowledge, depending on the culture and countries and particularly depending on the use of learning technologies that are not suitable to everyone or to all situations. In other words, beyond the clichés and the easy playing fields of technology, they have more than ever to identify the real skills needs for today and tomorrow — for people, business and society.

GLOBALCCU OFFERS A CERTIFICATION PROGRAM. WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?

The GlobalCCU CU Certification is the highest global recognition of the existence, the reliability and the level of maturity, of performance and excellence of a corporate university. It is delivered at the end of an in-depth and gradual assessment process with certified auditors, developed and placed under my responsibility.

In just 18 months, the corporate university can achieve the entire three-step process and communicate its excellence to its stakeholders. At the end of the complete certification journey, our CU Certification allows the company and its stakeholders to be sure that their educational structure performs at the best-in-class corporate universities worldwide level.

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Published in Insights

DO WE FULLY UNDERSTAND THE BROAD MIX OF WORKFORCE SKILLS NECESSARY FOR FUTURE SUCCESS?

BY SIMON HANN &  SOPHIE LANYON

Three global forces are revolutionizing the way we work: automation, globalization and technology. The accelerating pace of technological, demographic and socio-economic disruption is transforming industries and business models and changing the skills that employers need. Job profiles are changing rapidly, and — according to the World Economic Forum (2016) — the most in-demand occupations today did not exist ten or even five years ago.

It prompts the question: what skills are important in the face of change and disruption?

Formal qualifications and technical skills are only part of the requirements for today’s workforce. The importance of soft skills is growing. Deloitte Access Economics (2017) forecasts that soft-skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030, compared to half of all jobs in 2000. That’s a significant workforce change. Soft skills are important to drive business outcomes. Contributing to overall staff productivity,employees with more soft skills could increase business revenue by over $90,000, reports the Deloitte Access Economics, 2017. (This figure is based on an increase to the average Australian business revenue of $3 million as reported by the Australian Taxation Office for 2013-14 financial year.)

Does the workforce have the soft skills to foster business success now and in the future?

Based on a new analysis of résumés and job listings, by Deloitte Access Economics (2017), there appears to be a significant gap between job market demand and supply of soft skills. Demand exceeds supply by exceeding supply by 45 percent. In addition, less than 1 percent of Australian professionals list soft skills on their LinkedIn profile. Soft skills clearly are important for all occupations and industries, yet there appears to be a shortage of these skills.

Businesses in Australia spend a staggering $11 billion on employee training and staff recruitment annually, according to the Department of Employment (2016). On-the-job training — whether it be through workshops and courses, e-learning or traineeships — is seen by businesses as important in teaching both technical and soft skills. Furthermore, the abundance of information, resources and development programs at peoples’ fingertips means they can acquire knowledge or skills without formal training. The ability to develop skills will increasingly be on the individual; it has become an economic imperative for individuals to become lifelong learners.

If training, both formal and informal, is important to organizations, why is the gap significant? It can be difficult for business and individuals to objectively assess skill levels. The lack of formal confirmation of soft skills is playing a role in this gap as people don’t have the confidence to claim skills that they are not able to verify.

CLOSING THE GAP

This is where recognizing soft skills with micro-credentials will enable businesses to identify gaps in their organization and, ultimately, make informed strategic decisions on how to effectively invest in building their workforce capability in the years to come.

Micro-credentials underpin a culture of empowered and motivated learning while at the same time increasing employee engagement through recognition. It is not part of a learning strategy — it is part of a business performance strategy. In the future of work, the most essential factor for an individual and his or her future potential is the ability to adapt and expand personal knowledge and skills. Micro-credentials can be the recognition and transportable symbol of capabilities in action which individuals and businesses will use to navigate the future world of work in the digital age. Micro-credentials are available from various organizations, including DeakinCo., Udacity and Coursera.

—Simon Hann is the CEO of both DeakinCo. and DeakinPrime, backed by Deakin University in Australia. In his roles, he is passionate about exploring the impact of digital disruption on the workforce and providing businesses with solutions to prepare for the future. Sophie Lanyon is the Product Engagement Specialist at DeakinCo. To find out more about DeakinCo. please visit deakinco.

Published in Ideas

AUGMENTATION OF THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE IS ENABLING ACQUISITION OF 21ST- CENTURY SKILLS AND METACOMPETENCIES WHILE ENHANCING THE JOY OF LEARNING.

BY DR. SHRADHA KANWAR

The Web 3.0 era heralds the beginning of exhilarating times in the learning space. Imagine a world of learning where the flow of information is a beautiful choreography, rapturously engaging the learners as well as inspiring them to become part of the performing spectacle. Here, the words, sounds and motion relate to every sense of the being, create a synergistic impression, and build a composite understanding. This is the new learning engagement, and this is becoming real because of augmented reality (AR).

Augmented reality is not an aberration or an astounding world of disbelief, but a very pragmatic, yet powerful, integration of digital information that triggers the brain to perceive information differently. It is a judicious combination of the real-world environment with an extended overlay of new knowledge using technology as the powerful means to drive information in a multi-modal form.

AR overcomes a striking impediment of ordinary learning by introducing deeper, richer and more personalized learning experience. An infusion of play and humor (a characteristic of game-based learning), along with an intense reflection as part of the decision making process, ensures a popular, self-directed form of learning.

EXPERIENCING  NEW LEARNING

Imagined scenarios that extend the learning experience significantly boost the impact of a learning. For educators, researchers and practitioners, this realistic superimposition of a real-world setting as an augmented context with realistic visualization, provides a unique platform to customize teaching. By appropriate selection of ed-tech tools to make learning more adaptive and attuned to students’ learning styles, a lot can be done to expand its scope many fold.

A very tangible form of introducing AR in the learning scenario is by embedding visual data with static content, such as textbooks and presentations, thus enhancing oral instruction and written material. Regular teaching tools augmented to introduce fantastic 3-D elements, exaggerated visual scenarios, strategically implanting distorted data inputs even sometimes drifting towards visual infidelity, can advance memory recall and long-term learning.

Apart from the tremendous design appeal, another prime benefit is its ability to craft a differentiated learning environment, thus aiding learners with different multiple intelligences and learning styles. Kinaesthetic learners, who dominate the centennial generation, benefit the most as this multimodality of content is in alignment with their information processing patterns.

AUGMENTING NEW SKILLS

Maximum presence of AR has been evidenced in gaming. The learning space has always been the last to be benefited by advancements in technology. But things seem to be disrupting considerably, especially in these rapidly evolving times. The process of navigating through more engaging content results in learners becoming more intuitive and critical thinkers with a heightened prowess to creatively solve problems. Another contribution of AR is its ability to introduce a temperament of inquiry and curiosity, a necessary attribute of the 21st century learner.

AR amplifies the spatial and visual perceptions, substantially engaging learners. Once upon a time the word “digital” was looked up to with much awe and bewilderment. This is no longer the case, as everything spans digital today with no exception. Hence, words such as “augmented” and “virtual” that seem to be breaching the boundaries of reality, are in a very short span of time likely to become regular manifestations in the learning eco system.

Augmented reality, a beautiful coalescing of virtual with real, is all set to redefine learning scenarios. While augmented reality and its explorations into the learning space still seem to be at a nascent stage, the prospects seem to be never better than now. These are indeed the beginning of exhilarating times, where augmented is the new real!

–Dr. Shradha Kanwar is the National Head for Learning and Development at iNurture Education, an India-based education firm offering under graduate and post graduate programs in new-age domains across 30+ universities and colleges in India. She is an edu-scientist and an innovative learning technologies evangelist. Dr Kanwar has over 18 years of diverse experience in driving excellence and deep insight into creative intelligences and implementation of innovative learning solutions.

Published in Ideas

BY DEAN PICHEE, CEO, BIZLIBRARY, INC.

Unengaged employees cost the U.S. economy $550 billion every year! According to a report by Gallup, 70 percent of workers aren’t engaged at work. The modern worker is changing, and the workplace is not modernizing quickly enough to meet employees where they’re at and engage them. So, in this new environment we’re all navigating, what do employees really want? Security?Stability? More money? In nearly every instance, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “NO.”

In 2016, research conducted by ClearCompany discovered that 68 percent of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy. In fact, many employees value employee training and development more than salary or even benefits. So, if engagement could be increased and turnover mitigated, why is this employee training and development often an afterthought?

There are multiple answers:

>>  It’s Too Long - Along with a changing workforce comes a changing attention span. YouTube has ushered in the era of the short video, and that’s what today’s employees expect. The average attention span of a learner is now said to be in the 5-to 15-minute range. This is due to our inherent limited ability to concentrate, as well as the steady stream of interruptions throughout a normal work day. It’s a fantasy to think that learners can maintain full attention throughout an 8-hour class or a 90-minute e-learning course. They physically can’t do it, and the workplace environment wouldn’t let them even if they could.

>>  It’s Too Boring - In addition to the fact that most training is too long to be effective, it’s often too boring. Let’s face it: we’re all professional TV watchers. We’ve been conditioned to expect visually stimulating content. We’ll gladly play along at home with long-time classics such as Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune. But we have no tolerance for “death by PowerPoint” presentations or click-and- read e-learning where stilted text is read to us word-for-word while we look at static graphics.

>>  It’s Too Expensive - Traditional training — a costly proposition — is much more expensive than many organizations realize. It requires a lot of money to bring people together, whether it is in a room or online. In addition to the direct costs of the training itself, there are often hidden and indirect expenses, such as travel costs or opportunity costs. It’ s no wonder managers are always looking for ways to cut the training budget.

It’s time to give your employees effective, modern, microlearning development opportunities and really support those initiatives. Microlearning is the ideal solution to the employee engagement problem because it addresses the vast majority of issues organizations are facing when it comes to employee engagement. Videos average in length from five to seven minutes so learners can actually focus long enough to absorb the information they need.

Microlearning is done in a way that’s familiar to learners. When you need to learn how to do something quickly, you usually turn to short online videos to demonstrate those things to you. By providing employee training using this method, we can ensure that the learning experience is consistent with what they already do.

IS MICROLEARNING REALLY A SOLUTION?

If done correctly, absolutely! You’ll need to use your program to develop your employees in their current positions, but also develop them in a way that will benefit their overall career. In fact, employee development is the second-most impactful way to improve employee engagement (after recognition).

Gallup studies have shown that 87 percent of Millennials think development is important in a job – making training and development a top priority among the generation that is soon to make up nearly half of the nation’s workforce. Employees who are provided with these modern development opportunities are more engaged at work and more satisfied with the workplace overall, so it’s no wonder that readily available training opportunities often lead to reduced employee turnover. Instead of searching YouTube on breaks, learners can watch an online training video that’s relevant to their job and improves their overall skillset.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Employee engagement, employee turnover, productivity, agility and many more business challenges are all different parts of the same problem — a problem that can be solved with strategic employee development and made more effective with microlearning at its core.

Published in Insights

BY IAIN MARTIN

There is a vibrant future for globally linked higher education, even though the future of dedicated standalone overseas bricks and mortar campuses is very limited. The high levels of capital investment required and the inability to rapidly respond to market changes make these investments very high stakes indeed. There may be situations where a very specific need for high levels of infrastructure (e.g. medicine and engineering) where this may work as a model, but I suspect that this will be the exception in coming years.

We at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) are seeing considerable innovation in the delivery of education to students who spend most of their study time in their home country. ARU serves 24,000 students studying in the U.K. alongside 12,000 international students studying for one of our degrees with an overseas partner. But I struggle to see how proposal for an overseas campus that would be worth developing in the face of more flexible alternatives.

It is time for innovation: ideas that are desirable, deliverable with current technology, and economically viable; and ARU is always looking for transnational education (TNE) ideas that measure well against these three parameters.

MODELS OF  GLOBAL DELIVERY

There is no shortage of models for the delivery of TNE. The challenge is implementing an approach that is sustainable both academically and financially. The next few years will continue to see new approaches tried with perhaps a few surviving the initial burst of enthusiasm. The three current models:

1. Partner-based models sit at heart of our current TNE initiatives. It is likely that this is the space in which new or finessed models will evolve in the short to medium term. There is real opportunity to grow the depth and size of these relationships and certainly, we are looking to this with several partners.

There are many possible variations on the partner model. For example, the University of Arizona has talked about a network of micro-campuses developed in partnership with a range of universities and colleges is one manifestation of this concept. We have many Chinese partners where the students are studying for one of our degrees, spending three years in China and one year in the U.K. The students work with our staff both face-to-face and online and use learning resources developed in partnership. Although they are based at a Chinese University for their first three years, they see themselves as students of two institutions from day one. Our view is that these models offer great opportunities for the future, providing benefit for both students and the in stitutions.

There are many benefits for university and partner in evolving models of TNE and, perhaps more importantly, great potential gains for students. Done well, we can see quality outcomes with a reduced cost of delivery; an opportunity to greatly widen the reach of the university; flexible matching of delivery to users’ must-have requirements; and a real ability to support the wider mission of the university.

2. There are real opportunities for partnership based global delivery of synchronous and asynchronous blended and face-to-face education. With evolving multipoint video conferencing technology and better global broadband provision, the options for real-time online interactions with other students and teachers improves to provide synchronous blending. The concept of asynchronous blending is the idea of periods of online only delivery structurally linked to a period(s) of campus delivery. This is a very flexible approach that, when designed appropriately, could deliver many of the benefits of spending a full three to four years overseas at a dramatically reduced cost for students.

3 I will not spend much time talking about the pure online model. It is self-explanatory and with continued evolution in both the educational technology and perhaps more importantly cultural acceptance of online delivery the opportunities will continue to grow.

THE NEW MODEL  FOR EDUCATION

The emerging commercial global identities of the past five years have been dominated by two characteristics. The first are models that act as a bridge between consumer and provider, Uber and Airbnb being two high-profile examples. The second would be personalization of cost vs.level of service; the budget airline model being a prime example where the basic fare simply gets you from A to B, and everything else is an extra.

Whatever you may think about the ethics of business model that underpins Uber and Airbnb, what they have done very successfully is link a service provider and a consumer in a way that just a few years ago was neither realized or desired. If Uber is a taxi company and Airbnb a new hotel company, what in this model is a university? It depends on what we think the role of higher education provider is, and this again will be nuanced depending on the segment of activity we are talking about: a first undergraduate degree versus a specialist vocationally related PG qualification,for example.

Taking the budget airline analogy, the base price might simply be delivery of the core educational outcomes at the minimum process point possible, and any more is additional. For example, face-to-face tutorials, time on campus, work experience, and/or careers advice would be additional. I recognize that this profoundly challenges many of the notions surrounding a traditional degree.

If we look at a standard degree as an educational journey where we know the starting point, the ending point and the mandatory way-points, could we envisage the role of a global aggregator and integrator of higher education provision? The answer is conceptually yes, but with profound structural and practical barriers.

A global university aggregator would have a range of linked education providers who make available online and blended modules with registration, authentication, education mapping, and records of achievement and revenue collection. But what about issues of quality control, national standards, funding, financial aid and equivalencies? Further, what would this structure do to the incumbent brick and mortar campuses?

Despite these challenges, it does seem possible that a well-run aggregator model will emerge. Whether this focuses on both under and post-graduate delivery or just on the latter is unclear. This is not simply about online provision, if the truly personalized global degree is a desirable outcome then blending, either synchronous or asynchronous could and probably should feature in the educational map we provide our students.

The future of global TNE is exciting and challenging. Existing providers are going to have to work increasingly hard to find new sustainable models. We are optimistic but in no way underestimate the challenges.

—Prof. Iain Martin is the Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, U.K. He has also been Vice President and Deputy Vice Chancellor University of New South Wales in Australia and Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Published in Ideas

GLOBALIZATION, VIRTUALIZATION AND DIGITIZATION TAKE EFFECT

BY PRADEEP KHANNA

Three forces have reshaped the way we live, learn and work: globalization, virtualization and digitization. Until recently, there was a fine balance among these forces with each positively reinforcing the others. Now, the fine balance between these forces appears to be changing, resulting in a new world order.

LOOKING BACK

To better understand this, we need to trace how these forces have evolved over the last 25 to 30 years.In the first phase (the 1990s), globalization was the dominant theme. Learning was all face to face. E-learning was emerging. Countries were moving from a local and nationalistic outlook to global thinking. Trade was being globalized.

In the second phase (2000-2010), virtualization became the dominant theme. Globalization continued growing, and these two forces were reinforcing each other. Technology had its ups and downs with the tech crash and subsequent slow growth. These were the times of rapid growth in virtual learning, e-learning, virtual work, virtual teams, offshoring, and global delivery. This phase ended with a severe economic downturn as a result of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008-09.

In the third phase (2010-2016), digitization was the dominant theme, and it continued to drive virtualization and globalization. This was the perfect storm with all three forces reinforcing each other. Digital disruption and digital transformation became buzzwords.

THE DIGITIZATION ERA

The digitization phase has unexpected results.

>>  The cost of education (especially higher education) in the third phase continued to rise as demand increased and costs increased without any efficiency dividends.

>>  Entrepreneurship boomed with strong focus on emerging technologies. Mindshare and media share started getting dominated by artificial intelligence (A.I.), drones, robotics, driverless cars, virtual reality (V.R.), augmented reality (A.R.), mixed reality (M.R.), wearable technologies (W.T.) and Internet of Things (IoT).

>>  The mismatch between jobs and skills started to increase. The value proposition of a university degree came into question. Different pathways to employment/self-employment emerged from start- ups to technology-oriented skills training.

>>  MOOCs (massive open online courses) were supposed to disrupt higher education and skills training. They started with fanfare, and the year 2013 was called the year of the MOOCs. E-learning became online learning. But dropout rates in the online environment were very high, giving rise to blended learning.

>>  The labor market became more tactical with employers saying we have X amount of dollars to pay for Y set of skills for project Z. And once the project Z was over, it was “Thank you very much; nice meeting you; bye-bye.”

>>  Technology-enhanced medical care resulted in increased human longevity. It was no longer about lifelong learning that required dipping in and out of a learning continuum. It also became life-long working.

THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

The three forces of globalization, virtualization and digitization resulted in jobs moving up the skill curve. These forces, working in tandem, drove global economic expansion, albeit from a lowered post-GFC base.

While there was broad economic expansion, the economic benefits were being distributed unevenly both globally as well within country boundaries. Routine jobs were initially moved to emerging economies and, later-on, automated.

Technology became more and more pervasive, and a clear digital divide started emerging. On one hand, we were seeing a demographic digital divide with Gens X, Y, Z and the youngest generation being digitally savvy. On the other hand, we had the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation not so digitally aligned.

The digital divide was also manifesting itself in other ways. On one hand were the educated class working in technology and service sectors with rising incomes from higher skillsets, although needing to continually re-train and/or re-invent themselves. On the other hand were people working in traditional industries (aka the Rust Belt) who were at the forefront of constant restructuring and ongoing job losses, and the consequent hollowing of the middle class.

Something had to give way. The traditional working middle class asserted itself through the likes of Brexit and U.S. elections. Nationalist forces started asserting themselves. And physical and virtual walls started coming up.

NEW WORLD ORDER DEFINED

This is where we are in 2017. The fine balance among the three forces of globalization, virtualization and digitization is being altered. Digitization is now the dominant theme and is driving virtualization. Globalization is being negatively impacted at least temporarily. The new world order is being defined.

One thing is for sure: Being a futurist is a difficult role in the new world order. We can hardly see a year ahead, let alone 10, 20 or 30 years. The future is emerging, and we have to be nimble and innovative all the time. It’s one thing to say change is the new norm, but it is difficult to be constantly adapting all the time. It is akin to asking the question “Can we have an economy where everyone is innovating?”

Our attention span is now down to eight seconds, whereas the information overload is rising exponentially. Neuroscience tells us our brain strongly prefers single tasking, whereas our job overloads constantly require multi-tasking.

Most future-of-work forecasts are indicating at least 40 percent of us will be working for ourselves, giving a big boost to what is being called the “gig economy.” The sharing economy is also set to grow. But when do Uber-type models emerge in education and training?

Considering the lifelong learning scenarios and digital literacy issues, it is difficult to say whether the time has come for digital universities. However, given the mismatch between jobs and skills, corporate universities are definitely getting a leg up. While we are making good strides in personalized market- places, the holy grail appears to be personalized learning at scale.

While there are a number of emerging technology trends like A.I., drones, robotics, driverless cars, V.R./A.R./M.R., W.T., and IoT, it is not an individual technology trend that will reshape the way we live, learn and work. Instead, the fusion of different emerging technologies will have the biggest impact.

—Pradeep Khanna is the founder & CEO of Global Mindset (globalmindset.com.au) with a strong focus on how globalization and digitalization are reshaping the way we live, learn and work. He is an Adjunct Pro- fessor at a number of institutions in Australia, Singapore and India, and Sydney Chapter President of VRAR Association. Khanna is a regular speaker at International Conferences. Formerly, he served as Global Delivery Leader for IBM GBS Australia and New Zealand. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Published in Ideas
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