Tuesday, 29 August 2017 07:39

The 2017 Learning! 100 Featured

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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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