Bersin & Associates Names 2012 Learning Leaders

Recognizing Learning, Development and Talent Management as Strategic to Success.

“The purpose of learning has changed from simply building a skill set to driving the right skills to developing a competitive advantage for the business,” says Kim Lamoureux, vice president of Research at Bersin & Associates, which helps its member organizations improve performance and efficiency by benchmarking their spending, staffing and resource allocations against peers and best practices. “The recession has forced learning and talent leaders to think creatively, be more innovative, and work more strategically to make learning align better with the business to drive revenue.”

To recognize such organizations, Bersin established its “Learning Leaders” program.

While the social aspect of winning programs has been growing for a few years, “this is the first year where we’ve seen almost every entry have an aspect of social,” Lamoureux adds. “Social networking is a very cost effective approach to recruiting
and learning.” You don’t need to create a formal program; you can leverage the expertise of people in the organization to find new talent and train current employees.

In addition, the Bersin research team noticed that learning organizations are focusing much more clearly on business metrics. Counting the number of seats occupied in a training session no longer serves as a valid measure of success. Today, learning teams use metrics that measure how training and development contribute to the top and bottom lines of their organization, and how they lead to a better business focus and better business decisions by participants.

Here are the 31 winners of this year’s Learning Leaders program:

Informal Learning Initiative Excellence

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company. The firm has approximately 211,000 professionals in 52 countries and works with clients in nearly every major industry worldwide, including 91 of the Fortune Global 100, two-thirds of the Fortune Global 500, and government agencies around the world.

As a result of significant growth and the wide range of employee roles, Accenture’s
social learning needs are highly varied and require the ability to scale. It has built different social learning resources for employees to support them in delivering excellent client service. The most notable of these were the Knowledge Exchange,
which houses internally created knowledge capital; the Accenture Portal, which contains profiles of Accenture’s employees, information on current engagements, and information about the company’s industry offerings; and communities of practice.

Because employees were having difficulty connecting to the information they needed, the team partnered with the business to understand its requirements and used surveys to learn about individual employees’ needs. Based on feedback, Accenture decided to integrate content and communities to enable more collaboration among employees and to streamline access to relevant content.

It began by leveraging its social learning framework, and the strategy evolved from one focused primarily on content to one focused on community. The intent was to enable peer-facilitated and emergent learning that promoted relationships and conversations, instead of focusing on structure, roles and content as in the previous, splintered social learning resources.

Accenture registered a 42 percent increase in the number of employees that engage in collaboration activities between 2010 and 2011. It has seen a 7 percentage point increase (to 84 percent) in the number of employees who agree with the statement “I am encouraged to share myknowledge and experiences with others at Accenture,” and a 5 percentage point increase (to 71 percent) in the number of employees that agree with the statement “I can easily find people with the expertise I need to do my job.”

Learning Organization and Governance Excellence

AT&T, the largest communications holding company in the world by revenue, delivers a full portfolio of end-to-end reliability and highly secure network, voice, data and I.P. (Internet Protocol) solutions to consumers and businesses. It has more than 245,000 employees worldwide.

Overall, learning efforts are organized in a centralized structure. There are two primary sub-groups: (1) the T University branch, funded jointly by H.R. and thebusiness units and concentrating on corporate strategies, alignment and a company-wide leadership model; and (2) a collection of learning services branches, each aligned to a specific business unit and funded primarily by the business client. AT&T has been transforming its learning organization for several years to align with the business on the front-end and evaluate impact afterward.

This large scale requires multiple learning councils for good governance. T University has an advisory board consisting of 14 officers from across the enterprise who provide guidance to ensure continued alignment with business strategies prior to each program’s roll-out. Within the learning services branch, each business unit has its own governance council, which manages training initiatives at the strategic level and training advisory boards (T.A.B.s), which manage training initiatives at the tactical level.

Typically, training requests are prioritized at the T.A.B. meetings, where clients may share any upcoming initiatives or current skill gaps that may require a training intervention. Periodically, reviews of current initiatives are conducted at this level. Prioritization or budgetary issues that cannot be resolved at the T.A.B. level are referred to the governance council.

Improvements in the ability to track and report results have led to a direct increase in credibility with the business.

AT&T’s “Leading with Distinction” program immerses executives down to frontline personnel in various topics including: leading change and innovation; collaboration and employee engagement; becoming employee and customer-centric leaders; thinking more like a customer; and embedding trust in the organization.

AT&T recently completed a cross-functional design process, the outcome of which is called the 20/20 Vision. And the company also established a learning architecture board.

Learning and Talent Technology Initiative Excellence

AT&T recently faced an all-too-familiar challenge for many large organizations: none of its seven learning management systems met all of its needs. So it decided to bring everyone onto one single platform. That meant consolidating all leader-led, virtual classroom, simulation, and Web-based training. Its new system is now one of the largest in the world, with 23,000 learning opportunities supporting more than 400,000 employees, contractors, and vendors.

Besides the obvious logistical and efficiency- related gains to be achieved by
moving to a single system, consolidation would pay tremendous dividends as part of its “One AT&T” program. This initiative provides an integrated foundation for AT&T’s strong learning culture and assists the learning teams to facilitate employee development. The system allows managers and learners to drive their own learning with all the opportunities available to them in one learning management system.

Operational Training and Development Initiative Excellence

Following a merger, AT&T combined two collections organizations into one.

The learning team assisted in the reorganization by developing learning solutions to align priorities, champion change, and build essential skills in the workforce. It began with a thorough needs analysis that defined the goals, skills gaps, and existing best practices that could be leveraged to achieve the new vision.

Based on this analysis, it designed a two-pronged approach: one workshop series for collections representatives to build skills and unite the team in a shared definition of success; a second workshop series targeted to managers to build coaching skills and promote effectiveness in their roles.

Manager training was customized to three different managerial roles and ranged from 1.5 to 3.5 days in length. The workshops included in-class learning and hands-on application. This approach enhanced the effectiveness of the training, building skills and ensuring real-world relevance. It also provided an opportunity for managers to share best practices and coaching techniques with their peers.

For collection representatives, the learning team designed a series of instructorled
workshops. Each was 2.5 to 3.5 hours in length and included customer contact audio examples, learning activities, and role-play practice exercises.

The training included collections representatives and managers in the USA, India,
Hong Kong, The Philippines, Mexico, Canada, El Salvador, and England. The main challenge was ensuring that the themes, analogies, and examples were applicable across various cultures.

In addition, the learning team designed “connection rallies” — 30- to 60-minute bi-weekly sessions between the manager and his or her team to discuss goals and priorities.

Over the last year, 9000 collections representatives and 900 managers in eight
countries have participated in the training. The initiative exceeded its objectives to produce a 3.5 percent improvement in customer satisfaction metrics, which helped overall customer satisfaction metrics move from below target before the training to exceeding targets post-training. It also showed a 5 percent increase in overall dollars collected per call, equating to an additional $66 million collected during training months and post-training month following the third module.

Leadership Development Strategy Excellence

In 2008, AT&T launched its AT&T University (T.U.), referred to as the “transformation epicenter” for all that AT&T is and aspires to be. Its primary mission is to develop all necessary core management and strategic leadership competencies to achieve AT&Ts “One” vision and strategic imperatives.

The company’s leadership development strategy is anchored by its Leading with Distinction (LwD) program, which focuses on enhancing leadership capabilities at every level of management — first officers, then senior leaders, general managers and front-line managers. Tailored for each manager level, the program to date has been delivered to more than 110,000 managers across the globe. In 2010, the company launched the LwD Virtual Management Summit solution to reach its more than 105,000 front-line managers who are dispersed in locations around the world.

The T.U. advisory board, consisting of 14 officers from across the organization, provides guidance to ensure continued alignment with business strategies. The company’s “Extraordinary Leader Model” also is a key driver of program content. This model is based on a set of five critical traits and 16 supporting competencies to drive effective leadership at AT&T.

AT&T’s core leadership portfolio consists of the following programs: Leading with Distinction Virtual Management Summit (front line leaders); Leading with Distinction General Manager Sessions (mid-level leaders); Leading with Distinction Senior Manager Sessions (senior-level leaders); and Accelerated Development Program (high-potential managers).

The “Leading with Distinction” series brings a consistent understanding of the One AT&T Vision and has dramatically expanded the company’s ability to reach and engage leaders across the organization. AT&T University has designed and delivered a flexible, rich program that achieved its goals and is well-positioned to evolve.

Informal Learning Initiative Excellence

As a management and technology consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton helps its defense, intelligence and civil sector clients deal with complex challenges. In 2011, that included accessing the long-term effects of the Gulf oil spill, health-care reform, and cyber security. To succeed, Booz Allen relies on the knowledge and deep technical and analytic capabilities of its 25,000 employees.

Dealing with double-digit growth, a shift to a more dispersed and rapidly growing workforce — nearly doubling every five years for the last 15 years — Booz Allen found significant challenges in keeping its employees connected and effectively growing its talent. One of the causes was a broken mentoring system. A series of surveys showed that 72 percent of employees never leveraged coaching or mentoring services. Among those who had a mentor, only 65 percent felt that their mentor contributed to their development.

So Booz Allen created a multi-faceted mentoring program that accelerates effective onboarding, staff development, and career management through tailored resources and ongoing support. The organization moved away from traditional 1:1 mentoring relationships to a model that would support its key objectives for role immersion and transition, diverse pipeline development, networking and collaboration, professional development and onboarding. The new mentoring program’s business goals also included reducing turnover, increasing productivity and performance and improving business development capability.

The organization used a phased approach to launch the initiative starting with specific audiences (senior-level employees with disabilities; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees; veterans of the military; and multinational employees). Both formal and informal learning circles were rolled out firm-wide followed by an online matching tool, “Mentor Match.”

Today, every employee has a personal online profile complete with biography, areas of expertise, and interests, making it easy for people to find colleagues and connect.

Leadership Development Programs Initiative Excellence

CA Technologies is a leading independent I.T. management software company with more than 10,000 employees globally. A critical success factor for CA is the ability of its 2,500 managers to guide staff members in executing the organization’s business plan. As the company’s solutions grow more complex and the structure of the company becomes more matrixed, these leader responsibilities are compounded.

To address these challenges, a comprehensive leadership development and management strategy was identified as an essential component of CA Technologies’ transformation and continued success. The education team met with stakeholders across the organization to design a new, synergistic Management Academy curriculum that would address the unique needs of the company’s management culture.

A modular set of more than 100 formal and informal learning offerings was created to build excitement with managers about the topic of leadership development, allow them to choose the leadership development tools that would help them most, help them draw inferences between their own performance as a leader and company success, and help them discover that true leadership development really is a life-long process.

Management Academy offerings are integrated with the others and aligned with the company’s business goals. The curriculum is built upon a blend of learning opportunities and advances managers’ skills aligned with CA’s leader behavior expectations (communication, collaboration, coaching, empowerment, motivation, results orientation, change management, building a culture of accountability, remote management, and matrix management).

Because of the Management Academy, employee opinion survey scores increased an average of 6.7 percent across the entire employee population globally; the performance management compliance rate improved an average of 7 percent; the internal manager promotion rate increased an average of 33 percent enterprise-wide; and the voluntary attrition rate decreased an average of 5 percent.

Operational Training and Development Initiative Excellence

Cisco Systems designs and sells networking, voice, and communications technology and services as well as consumer electronics products. Cisco has more than 70,000 employees worldwide.

Onboarding hundreds of new sales representatives is a challenging task. These associates need to come up to speed on a myriad of Cisco products, solutions and methodologies — all in a short time frame.

In 2010, Cisco leadership decided to redesign its Cisco sales associates program, which hires and trains sales and engineering associates.

After identifying the needs of stakeholders, executives, and learners, Cisco came up with a strategy on how best to alter the sales training program. It changed to a year-long curriculum; utilized virtual delivery, rather than instructor-led classroom sessions; and blended formal training with on the job experience.

To reduce general training-related expenses, the learning team decided to use Cisco’s collaboration technology to deliver the training virtually, replacing in-classroom training. The virtual training is conducted through Cisco’s Telepresence classroom environment and WebEx Web conferencing for video and desktop sharing. These technologies together enable a high quality, interactive learning experience that can scale globally, while still ensuring a local, customized approach.

After three full months of training, associates move into their business units to gain hands-on sales experience. At the end of 12 months, associates have a solid foundation of technical, sales and business experience.

The program operates in 13 cities around the world. To manage it, Cisco has an operations team in both North America and Beijing. To meet the needs of new hires in multiple countries with multiple languages, Cisco uses a “think global, act local” approach. The virtual sessions are taught in English, with ongoing development conducted by managers in their local languages.

Training expenses have been reduced by 25 percent versus the previous instructor led format; associates are 10 percent more efficient upon moving into the field, which translates to $111 million in increased bookings for the year; and by having associates work on-the-job during their 12- month training cycle, bookings increased by an additional $85 million for the year.

Leadership Development Strategy Excellence

Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, a global accounting, tax and business advisory organization. With more than 30,000 employees globally, including 5,400 in the United States, Grant Thornton serves public and private clients in more than 100 countries.

They have developed a leadership development strategy called LEADS, designed to develop leaders who Live Grant Thornton’s global vision and values; excel in client service and technical expertise; actively deliver the Grant Thornton experience for employees and clients; develop Grant Thornton’s people; and support continuous leadership development.

To help leaders execute each element of LEADS, the company developed criteria to guide the development of every leadership solution. Solutions must align with the firm’s five strategic business drivers: align with critical competencies; cover the breadth of all leader learners; engage senior executives; teach useful skills; provide experiential learning; showcase the firm’s values; provide fun; and achieve results.

Participants in a new Manager Development Program rated their overall satisfaction at 6.1 out of 7, while participants in the Senior Manager Development Program and the Partner Excellence Series rated their overall satisfaction as 6.4 out of 7.

Participants in the Advanced Manager Program reported increased coordination and collaboration in various global offices that have brought in millions of dollars in revenue. Participants in the Senior Manager Development Program said that more than $17 million in new revenue over the past 18 months can be attributed to the effective implementation of the firm’s leadership development strategy.

“We applaud Grant Thornton’s achievement for defining and implementing a leadership development strategy that is fully aligned with the defining attributes of a high-impact strategy,” says Stacia Garr, senior analyst, talent management, at Bersin & Associates.

Learning Organization and Governance Excellence:

HCL Technologies is a global I.T. services company, focusing on transformational outsourcing. HCL offers a portfolio of services including software-led I.T. solutions, remote infrastructure management, engineering and R&D services and business process outsourcing.

Its product essentially is the collective expertise of its workforce. Staying constantly ahead of the competition in terms of capability development is vital. To that end, TechCEED, which stands for Technical Competency Enhancement for Enabling Development, is the technical training team at HCL Technologies and the source of new expertise for the organization.

TechCEED’s core focus is on enhancement of technical and project management competencies. Its offerings are organized via a number of Business Aligned training Academies (BAA). These BAA then are integrated with several lines of business (LoB) and coordinate the training requirements for each LoB.

There are 13 BAAs. Each has an Academy Head who interfaces with other business enablers to identify the training needs. Each Academy has its own set of internal trainers. TechCEED certifies all internal trainers and subject matter experts. TechCEED also provides necessary support to these Academies for the execution of various programs.

The Business Aligned Academies ensure that learning aligns with the business needs of the delivery units. On a monthly, quarterly and half-yearly basis, strategic stakeholders define the course of action to ensure training aligns with business needs.

The training caters to relevant performance needs. This model allows the Academies to identify and assess the strengths and weaknesses within their delivery units and bridge gaps at various competency levels. For each academy, a quarterly review takes place to check whether the goals are met. HCL Technologies has created its own Academy Maturity Index Model to monitor the overall maturity of its academies.

To stay current with today’s workplace, HCL Technologies has expanded its blended learning approach to include a wide mix of support systems beyond just formal learning courses.

In addition, HCL holds panel discussions for project managers and technical engineers. These discussions enable the sharing of best practices across the globe through a live meeting system. The sessions are recorded and uploaded on the Learning Management System.

HCL is a strong believer in mentoring and on the job training. Learners are assigned to mentors to assist them in their learning. They gain valuable feedback from their mentors and are able to build on their skills and enhance learning.

Its hybrid, academy-based governance has provided a major step forward in learning governance at HCL Technologies. In particular, the Business Aligned Academies model has helped to reduce the cycle time for processing of training requests. The training costs are distributed between the center and the various business units. This helps in the effective distribution of costs and puts the ownership on the business units to meet training needs efficiently.

Learning and Talent Technology Initiative Excellence

Hewlett-Packard is a technology company that operates in more than 170 countries. It has a broad technology product portfolio that includes hardware, software and I.T. services. Its products include personal computers, servers, storage devices, printers and networking equiment. The Imaging and Printing Group (I.P.G.) accounts for about 20 percent of total sales. The entire company has more than 300,000 employees.

Like many companies, Hewlett-Packard found its sales force within I.P.G. to be generally allergic to traditional notions of training, especially in the classroom. Sales team feedback clearly expressed general distaste for e-learning, calling it tedious and isolating. Time was an issue as well, as there is a constant struggle to balance the time required to learn versus time spent selling.

Attempting to bring formal definition to informal learning, H-P started with a rigorous performance consulting process, including in-depth interviews with 12 key business executives across four global business units. It determined that the sales force was overwhelmed and distracted by the amount, type and delivery of content pushed to them from diverse organizations, inhibiting productivity and making it difficult for them to prioritize and derive value.

The I.P.G. team recognized that success mandated making all design decisions through the eyes of the sales people on the ground, who already were overwhelmed by content. Training had to bring context, and do so intuitively. The team created a content framework to guide its content and interface decisions, basing the framework on H-P’s sales methodologies and vocabulary.

The Social Learning Center supports a wide variety of learning assets, including video, documents, discussions, blogs, polls, events and games. While sales people can search directly for needed content on their own, specific learning initiatives
are also organized in the platform in the form of recurring programs or campaigns.

The initial reach for the Social Learning Center for Sales Skills was the entire I.P.G. sales force globally. H-P rolled the platform out to its entire sales force enterprise- wide in the fall of 2011.

The initial development cost was approximately $175,000. Ongoing yearly maintenance should be approximately $130,000 (neither number includes staff salaries).

Within one month of initial launch, the program had 1000 visitors and 120 active contributors. H-P’s overall goal was to increase the success of sales force by “connecting, contributing, and collaborating.” To assess success of this goal and the other specific business goals mentioned earlier, HP devised a multifaceted measurement approach including qualitative and quantitative metrics for platform activity, program participation, content popularity and business impact.

Leadership Development Strategy Excellence

The Internal Revenue Service, a high-profile federal agency with 96,000 employees managed by 9,200 managers, is facing a succession planning crisis. More than 16 percent of all I.R.S. leaders and 65 percent of senior executives are eligible to retire. As a result, the I.R.S.’s Human Capital Office is charged with training more than 1,000 new managers annually in a timely and consistent manner to ensure continuity of high quality leadership.

In 2009, under the direction of a senior executive team, four key competencies emerged with 13 supporting behaviors. I.R.S. leadership courses at all levels were aligned with a focus on the key competencies, which will be foundational in the selection, development and evaluation of managers.

Leadership readiness programs are a critical link to transforming today’s talent into tomorrow’s leaders. The Front Line Manager Programs ensures that new managers receive training within their first year with guidance provided by senior managers and peer coaches through active involvement in the development process. Senior Leader Programs are highly interactive with an intensive focus on the senior level competencies. The Executive Curriculum consists of 17 weeks of formal training and developmental assignments that prepare leaders for the career executive corps. All formal leadership programs also include the use of coaches and mentors.

The firm’s Leadership Succession Review identifies organizational bench strength as well encouraging and facilitating open and frank development and career discussions. One reason for this success is the impressive level of executive engagement for leadership development at the I.R.S.

Today, the approximate time for an employee to move from technical trainee to executive readiness is 18 years. The new leadership strategy significantly shortens
the leadership development process so that a potential leader could progress to executive readiness in half the time.

Learning Organization and Governance Excellence

Jiffy Lube is in the quick lubrication / preventative maintenance business. The services are provided by 185 franchisees, which operate nearly 2,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada with about 20,000 active employees. The employees work in three-, four-, or five-person teams to service vehicles during an oil change or other maintenance services.

Jiffy Lube meets the needs of the business and employee learners through the
utilization of three governance structures:

1 a centralized training department, the Jiffy Lube University;

2 a matrix reporting structure where learning district managers report in centrally; and

3 a cooperative structure where franchisee trainers come together for best practices and resources but do not report to the centralized function.

Learning solutions are run centrally through Jiffy Lube University, which provides
technical, customer service and management training to the employees. More than 100,000 certifications were earned in 2010.

The training department has two stakeholders, Jiffy Lube International (J.L.I.) and the Jiffy Lube Association of Franchisees (J.L.A.F.). The manager of learning and development works with both groups to identify how Jiffy Lube University can meet each of their business needs.

About 95 percent of the learning happens at the store, using a four-step process to assure that the learning is transferred to the employee’s on-the-job performance. The end result is consistency and accuracy in the services provided to the customers.

E-learning modules employees take at computers in the stores teach knowledge and skills. Each module ends with a mastery test to verify knowledge of the procedures. The elearning is readily available to help refresh knowledge if an employee needs additional help.

On-the job coaching is conducted by store managers following daily training and observation guides created for each service. A proficiency exam is given to assure that the employee has mastered both the knowledge and skills of the position.

The return on investment of the training over the last seven years is 275 percent. The return on investment for e-learning alone is 570 percent.

“This demonstrated extraordinary execution of the hybrid model of governance,” says Brenda Kowske, Senior Analyst at Bersin & Associates.

Informal Learning Initiative Excellence

Marriott International is a worldwide operator and franchisor of hotels and other lodging facilities. The company has 18 brands inclusive of more than 3,500 hotels and time-share resorts situated in more than 70 countries and territories. It employs nearly 150,000 people.

Marriott had to move 130,000 associates worldwide to Windows 7/Office 2010 to ensure continuous interactions with business partners and to minimize security vulnerabilities of the business and of guests. The initiative also was expected to increase productivity.

Marriott’s impact analysis indicated that a required formal training curriculum would be more disruptive than simply providing resources and encouraging each team to develop its own requirements. The learning team designed a widget that provides associates with a graphical, intuitive interface for navigating 72 resource collections. The content addressed all learners in a manner that best suited them — whether in print, in electronic form, from a live person or on-demand reference materials.

A three-pronged approach was used to ensure learning was aligned with the business needs of the company. First, the learning team submitted a formal proposal to a large project team based on the initial analysis of the business problem. The proposal became the basis of subsequent technology design and development of the application.

Next, the learning team settled on an overall learning strategy, defined deliverables and worked collaboratively with distributed learning functions to leverage their expertise on audience, content, and design. Finally, the learning team engaged in piloting to validate its approach, refine models and mitigate risk.

The initiative involved translating into 50 languages.

Learning components have been under budget throughout the initiative, and $50,000 was saved through repurposing existing e-learning resources. The learning
team was able to meet all timelines and the project team, sponsor, key stakeholders, and user community all have provided high favorable feedback as to the relevance, appearance, and cost-effectiveness of the resources.

Leadership Development Strategy Excellence

Two years ago, Marriott set an aggressive global growth strategy to double its hotel presence in select international locations by 2015. To meet the demands of this goal, Marriott’s business and H.R. leaders recognized that they needed a leadership development strategy that leveraged a global framework while simultaneously permitting local adaptation based on continent, region, brand and local leader needs.

Marriott invested in defining a business driven leadership development strategy
that includes executive-facilitated, blended (formal and informal experiences) and competency-based solutions for global leaders at all levels. The leadership development strategy is heavily oriented toward preparing a strong pipeline of leaders for more advanced roles via a prescriptive plan of stretch and rotational assignments.

These assignments are combined with informal and formal learning opportunities and are in accordance with the company’s newly defined Leadership Architecture Framework. Its informal learning approaches incorporate e-learning, coaching, mentoring, assessments, action learning, and online networking to encourage peer to peer best practice sharing. It also includes formal learning opportunities such as its signature leadership development solutions.

The Leadership Architecture Framework not only leverages a blended design of formal and informal learning, but also ensures that each leader is skilled in his or her functional and/or technical area of responsibility. To ensure that the development solutions drive global business goals, the Marriott Leadership Architecture Framework is aligned with the leadership competency model.

Marriott leaders track and report both qualitative and quantitative data regarding business results. Their greatest qualitative success stories have come from participants who have applied knowledge gained from program participation in the context of their daily work.

Participants and their managers report on the behavior changes that leaders demonstrate on the job as a result of their attendance in the leadership development program. To track business impact, Marriott monitors days to fill senior leadership roles and internal leader promotion rate. After its first year of implementation, the time to fill senior leadership roles was reduced by 25 percent from 73 days to 55 days. Promotion rates for participants of the senior leader program are at 15 percent within four months after completing the program. Marriott also found that of the top 250 leaders who have a tenure with Marriott of more than five years, more than 70 percent are graduates of the high potential leadership development program.

Leadership Development Programs Initiative Excellence

PwC, a network of firms in 158 countries with a workforce close to 169,000 people, delivers assurance, tax and advisory services. Building a pipeline of leaders whoare
able to thrive in an uncertain future and help fulfill the company’s potential for
growth is a key priority.

Genesis Park, PwC’s global leadership development program, was redesigned in 2010 to grow its next generation of leaders. The top two percent to five percent of senior managers are placed into this program to accelerate their development into resilient, responsible and authentic leaders.

The Genesis Park solution uses blended learning and social networking and culminates in an intensive 10-week residential program. Formerly conducted in a fixed location, today Genesis Park is a mobile solution taking place in different territories within the firm’s global network. It enables participants to expand their knowledge of key economic markets and client needs. The three locations in 2011 were in Singapore, the United States and Poland.

There are three major sections of the program: pre-work, the residential program,
and post-work. It involves the careful crafting of many different elements that are consistently delivered irrespective of location. It features a bespoke design and real time adjustments to ensure that the program is in tune with the local culture and taking advantage of what is happening in-the-moment in the local host office.

A new Genesis Park portal called Connect was developed to support the delivery of learning activities and materials, provide a shared platform for participants to work together on elements of the pre-work and encourage participants to form relationships and build a virtual network or community prior to attending the residential element.

Leadership Development Programs Initiative Excellence

SunTrust Banks, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest financial services holding companies, with total assets of $172.2 billion and 29,000 employees. Atlanta-based SunTrust has 1,661 retail branches and 2,919 A.T.M.s.

Senior leaders made the decision to fund a formal executive development program
for top leaders. Personally sponsored by SunTrust’s president, a vision defined as “Play to Win” (P2W) emerged. Based on three guiding principles — putting clients
first, behaving as one team and focusing on profitable growth — P2W became the framework for formulating an impactful approach to executive development.

The five goals of the initiative, directly linked to the company’s business goals, are
to foster a culture of accountability and risk management; improve business performance; enhance the bank’s cultural transformation; cultivate “One Team” and leadership behaviors; and develop leaders as a source of competitive advantage.

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School was selected as the partner for this program. Emory faculty spent significant time with SunTrust executive leadership to identify and customize program content. The program is structured in three one-week modules scheduled over a three-month timeframe.

Attendees are nominated and submitted to the CEO for final approval. Five leadership training groups called cohorts were scheduled over a period of 20 months. Each cohort consists of 30 individuals. Class composition includes participants from multiple geographies, lines of business and corporate functions.

“This is a best-in-class example of building a solution designed for the new requirements of 21st century leadership,” says Lamoureux of Bersin & Associates.

In June, 2011, the company’s analysis indicated that, when highly engaged, mortgage private wealth teammates generate 48 percent more investment sales; business banking teammates bring in 59 percent more revenue; commercial bankers open 49 percent more new primary relationships; and branch teammates convert 30 percent more people to SunTrust primary banking relationships.

Learning and Talent Technology Initiative Excellence

Vestas Wind Systems and its subsidiaries manufacture and sell land-based and offshore wind turbines used to produce electricity. The company has customers in 66 countries across six continents It operates about 30 manufacturing plants; offers installation, repair, and maintenance services; and has about 20,000 employees.

Vestas’ main problem was that building high impact e-learning programs is costly, complicated and often time consuming. And no matter how good the e-learning, traditional notions of e-learning were just not going to suffice in the long term.

In response, Vestas looked to the growing field of game design to both build motivation for learners and to drive transfer of learning after completion. The company calls its approach achievement-based learning.

Vestas couldn’t find such a solution in the market, so it chose to build something itself. It started by identifying the key features required, drawing on its experience with its successful e-learning programs to date and via direct dialogue with key stakeholders.

In 2011, Vestas initiated a pilot project to test the viability of its tool and concept. In a matter of a few weeks, the first beta version was created based on open, cloudbased technologies and in close cooperation with the problem owner.

“Vestas demonstrated a persistent focus on business objectives and a thoughtful
application of technology in support of those objectives,” says Katherine Jones, principal analyst and director of Human Capital Management for Bersin & Associates.

Among the employees enrolled in the program, 68 percent have completed at least one achievement, 42 percent have completed all the achievements, and the transfer rate for employees who completed all achievements was 85 percent. Had this topic been trained via a standard e-learning course, Vestas believes the best case scenario outcome would be to expect transfer rates around 30 percent.

Learning Organization and Governance Excellence:

With 130,000 employees, Xerox is the world’s leading global enterprise for business process and document management. It provides the industry’s broadest portfolio of document technology, services and software; and the most diverse array of business process and I.T. outsourcing support.

To serve its three business units, Xerox meets highly individualized needs through a federated model of governance. While the federated model often is plagued with a lack of consistency and resultant inefficiencies, Xerox has made it work by having business unit learning leaders collaborate through its global learning network.

This cooperative group focuses on standardizing the enterprise learning process, makes it easy for learning professionals to share best practices, integrating learning with work to support a high impact learning practice. It also houses the Centers of Excellence, which offer innovative learning practices to its business partners. Supported with “work councils,” or committees formed to oversee learning practices such as technology or content, learning practitioners are empowered to translate the direction set by the global learning network into practices and programs that best suit the employee learners under their purview.

To meet the learning needs of employees efficiently and effectively, Xerox standardized the process, but not the content or governance, of learning. The process steps ensure that learning solutions meet the needs of the business and its employees without relying on centralized decision making.

“This use of the federated model of governance was a model for others,” says Brenda Kowske, senior analyst for Bersin & Associates.

Operational Training and Development Initiative Excellence

Xerox’s talent development within its service delivery group was decentralized and, as a result, training within various regions and throughout the world was inconsistent. Moreover, that created a pipeline lacking for leadership succession.

The company realized it needed a more consistent, yet flexible, service training solution that would address all employee talent development needs. To accomplish this, Xerox took a consultative approach with an intensive process for gathering learning requirements. This included external benchmarking, interviews with managers and roundtable discussions with key employees in the U.S. and Europe.

To support its culture of continuous learning, Xerox’s Service Delivery eXcellence initiative included a variety of “always-on” delivery channels. These included e-learning pre-work, accessible on demand; on-demand recordings; live, web-based, instructor-led virtual classrooms delivered for multiple time zones; a
Wiki for reviewing documentation supporting the service business model; resource sites for registration, reviewing progress along with access to resources (like a course map, job aids and resources); and e-newsletters to stay informed of the latest updates.

Xerox’s main challenges were (1) delivering learning effectively across regions and time zones; (2) communicating in different languages; and (3) simulating live instructor-led training.

The company overcame the challenges by providing on-demand formal and informal learning; “toolkits” on a wiki site; multiple sessions of each live virtual event during the course of a business day to accommodate different time zones; providing employees with choices on topics and placement in courses; and offering a program where participants were required to have a good grasp of the English language.

Xerox also leveraged technology that allowed participants to use and view interactive tools in their native language, select e-learning courses (which were translated into seven different languages), use webcams to build a sense of community, and use interactive tools to simulate live experiences, including break-out rooms to facilitate small group work settings.

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