The AR/VR market is valued at $27 billion dollars and  expected to reach $209 billion by 2022 according to Statista.   While many focus on consumer entertainment and gaming, enterprise, medical and education are significant market segments.

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The AR Landscape, found on page 10, lists 312 companies, representing $12.1 billion in funding and $69.6 billion valuation. It features all the companies you need to know to track AR market. Find startups and innovators to tech giants and industry leaders, listing names such as Magic Leap, Occipital, Blippar, Niantic, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Disney, and more.

Sources: https://www.statista.com/statistics/591181/global- augmented-virtual-reality-market-size/ http://thearlandscape. pagedemo.co/

Published in Trends

Seventy percent of learning leaders cite Employee Engagement as the top business driver for learning platform investment, according to the 2018 Learning & Talent Platforms Study conducted by Elearning! Magazine. Engagement has topped the list three years in a row.

Personalize Learning was cited by 49% of respondents; the largest shift seen given only 0.4% cited this four years ago. Improve Leadership Skills (46%), Drive Sales and  Profits (40%) and Increase Employee Collaboration round out the top five business drivers for investment.

Download the complete report complimentary at http://information.2elearning.com/2018lmstmsstudy/

Published in Latest News

The key attributes and skills that large companies look for when hiring new candidates according to a study of 200  C-suite leaders are:

>>  Work Ethic (60%) and Teamwork (45%) were selected as the most important skills;

>>  Over half of professional services (55%) and manufacturing companies (58%) state that Leadership is the most important skill;

>>  Only two of the 14 industries polled think that grades are looked upon most favorably by the hiring team and only 12% of CEOs consider grades important.

When interviewing for a leadership role, they would opt for someone who can exemplify Creativity, People Management and Cognitive Flexibility.  Most respondents also believe that schools should be teaching students the specific skills they will need in their future careers.

Source: https://kingsleyleadership.academy/

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Published in Latest News

Dan Pontefract, Chief Envisioneer of TELUS

I discovered that many people are suffering from their thinking.

Whether via the pressures and stresses at work, a state of freneticism, the distractedness of social media and notifications, or overburdening time constraints, many of us are no longer capable of doing the heightened thinking required to be sane, engaged, and happy.

That got me down a little, to be honest. However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. During my journey of research and interviews, I came across many people who had sorted out the secret sauce of thinking. Whether for themselves or including a team or organization that they were leading, these were indeed the “Open Thinkers.” These people had sorted out a way in which to balance the realities of today’s busy world with the absolute need to have space to creatively think while having the time and methodology to make better decisions.

One of my favorite discoveries was when I entered a hat millinery. I did not expect to get a hat made. I just wanted to see how milliners operated. What I stepped into was a hive of Open Thinking. There was simultaneous Creative Thinking (brainstorming, discussions, what if ’s and why not’s) with Critical Thinking (don’t do this, do this) alongside Applied Thinking (sewing, stitching, ironing, and steaming). I learned so much I decided to get a custom hat, to go through the process and experience their world first-hand. It was a glorious, hands-on experience.

The millinery was an incredible metaphor and example of Open Thinking. It was a sublime example of light, where all the dots of my research began to connect. “Open to Think” highlights not only what’s going wrong with our thinking; it provides an antidote for better thinking. It gives you the license to analyze how you currently approach your thinking and makes recommendations on what to alter. 

When I noticed leaders and team members in the organizations I work with were complaining about various pressures and stresses, I began to inquire about their cause. Some of those factors led to a lack of Open Thinking.

There are far too many people who are stressed out at work and life, in part because of an incredible imbalance that they place on themselves, and an imbalance that has been placed on them, too. Time has become the enemy. We no longer use it to our advantage.

What I learned is that people who appropriately balance their time through improved Creative Thinking and Critical Thinking with the need to get things done (Applied Thinking) end up being more engaged, innovative, productive and, happier.

It is possible to win back your time, your thinking, your life.

The model found in the book “Open to Think” is a simple one: Dream, Decide, Do Repeat.  It serves as a reminder that when we balance the three categories of thinking, we are far better off. I hope it provides ideas, solutions, and techniques to help you (or your team) to become better at daily thinking.

—Pontrefact is the author of “Open to Think” his third book.  “Flat Army” and “The Purpose Effect” were his previous titles tackling workplace collaboration and meaningful work. View Dan’s TEDTalk at https://youtu. be/sQSFW8HWVFg  Dan is also Chief Envisioner of TELUS, a four-time Learning! 100 award-winning organization.

Published in Insights

…TRIDIB ROY CHOWDHURY, SENIOR DIRECTOR & GENERAL MANAGER, ADOBE

HOW HAS ADOBE PARTNERED WITH ITS MANY LEARNING! 100 CLIENTS TO CREATE ENGAGING LEARNING EXPERIENCES AND DRIVE ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE?

The Learning! 100 finalists are an impressive list of organizations with a stellar learning culture, which directly correlates to their leadership position in their respective categories. This endorsement only cements our belief that learning continues to be a critical and indispensable piece of organizational growth. These organizations are invested in creating a vibrant and collaborative learning culture. Adobe is helping them to keep learners front-and-center of all their learning initiatives through unique and engaging learning experiences that can be delivered across devices. This is made possible through innovations in content creation, delivery, tracking, and collaboration. We couldn’t be happier to see this list of organizations - many of which we partner with - and we feel both humbled and proud of the global benchmarks they have set in driving effective learning cultures.

LEARNING LEADERS ARE CHANGING THEIR LEARNING ECOSYSTEMS TO SUPPORT DYNAMIC LEARNING (DIGITIZATION, MOBILE, IMMERSIVE). HOW DOES ADOBE FACILITATE THIS TRANSITION?

It’s all about the ZMOT (zero moments of truth) and the learner. Adobe’s strategy starts and ends with the learner experience. The status quo of expecting learners to come to an LMS has brought us to a stage where LMS is a “four-letter word” at best and irrelevant at worst. We need to take the learning systems to the learners at their point of need. A big part of this story is around mobile-first. We introduced the concept of auto-responsive content authoring in 2017 and continue with our innovations to achieve the author-once, publish-anywhere paradigm a reality in the multi-form factor and multi-platform world. Efficacy of learner immersion in real-world scenarios is well documented, though proven difficult to implement. Our new Adobe Captivate makes it super-easy to introduce VR in your learning - literally with just a few clicks.

We are committed to making the authoring and management experience easier for designers and administrators and the learning experience enjoyable for learners, and that’s the vision we set for my teams at Adobe. Our new LMS allows learners to navigate through content seamlessly across different media, different devices and across online and offline delivery. Learners are mobile, learners learn differently, and learners are adopting technology at a fast rate, so how long can learning organizations afford to stay relevant by tying them to their desks in a uniform straitjacket with a keyboard and a mouse?

ADOBE HAS JUST ANNOUNCED A SIGNIFICANT PRODUCT ADVANCEMENT.  HOW WILL THIS IMPACT THE FUTURE OF LEARNING?

The 2019 release of Adobe Captivate is just the beginning of our journey as we transform how modern learning experiences are created for a smarter world. The future of learning is here, and we are doing everything we can to equip our customers with the right set of tools and technologies to design, deliver and manage smart learning experiences. Some cool new features include the ability to create learning scenarios delivered using VR, creating interactive videos, and using the QR code technology to preview their courses live on mobile. My personal favorite is the ability to change your webcam video background on the fly. Now designers can create any kind of experiences without the need to physically be present or hire a studio with a green screen. You will also see some major advances around auto-responsive authoring with the revamped Fluid Boxes. Captivate Prime, being introduced this fall, has the ability to integrate informal learning among employees into a formal learning plan that is scalable and trackable.

IT’S AN EXCITING TIME IN LEARNING WITH AR, VR, AND MACHINE LEARNING CHANGING THE WAY WE WORK AND LEARN. WHAT IS ADOBE’S PRODUCT ROADMAP TO LEVERAGE THESE ADVANCEMENTS?

We are excited to see how customers use the super-easy VR functionality in the upcoming release of Adobe Captivate. Ease of content creation, dropping price points of the VR devices, and the extreme simplicity of their use makes us believe that it is only a matter of months before we see VR becoming mainstream in learning. We also are starting to see the first set of browsers offering native AR capabilities, driving the urgency of our efforts around a WYSIWYG AR content-creation framework. New developments revolve around how we integrate machine learning to help accelerate learning in a corporate setup.

Published in Insights

We are experiencing a major evolution in work, technology, and the skills that drive them. The fastest-growing fields are in machine learning, data science, vision engineering, operations engineering, and stack development, according to The Ladders. Companies struggle to find the high-tech skills that power manufacturing, technology, and our world.

In “Preparing the Workforce for Jobs of the Future” (page 14), we discover how education and business needs are not aligned, creating a skills gap among graduating students. Organizations like Toyota, Walmart and Amazon have filled the skills void by training, retraining and redeploying talent to high-need areas. But these efforts cannot keep pace with the pace of change. An astounding 60 percent of high schools don’t have a computer science program, so how can students be tech-ready at graduation? It starts with learning and training.

The 2018 Learning! 100 organizations, revealed in this issue, have some great ideas on how to close the skills gap. Navy Federal Credit Union “hires to retires” employees. Vi’s culture attracts and retains talent in the highly coveted field of health care. Shaw Industries partners with high schools and technical centers to train the next generation of talent. Amazon pays tuition up front for employees. Department of Veteran Affairs Acquisition Academy not only trains its own but serves as an outsourced resource for other federal agencies. I daresay every one of the Learning! 100 has embraced the changing workforce, invested in engagement, and support an enabling learning culture that drives performance, retention, and talent. Discover their path to excellence starting on page 25.

How does your organization compare to the Learning! 100? Find out by viewing the “Learning! 100 Benchmarks” on page 44. Learning! 100 organizations deploy mobile, support a remote workforce, invest in learning, and link learning to business impact and management goals. We invite you to join the continued dialogue in upcoming articles, Web seminars, and events. Watch for news at www.2elearning.com.

Coupa, a three-time Learning! 100 winner, shares its story on “Values-Based Leadership.” Though a small company, it has the heart and team of a Fortune 500 behemoth. Jonathan Fear, Director of Coupa University, shares the company’s road to excellence (page 20).

Congratulations to all of the Learning! 100. You inspire us every day. Learning is the answer. - Jerry Roche, Executive Editor

Published in Ideas

Leadership skills are not just for executives or even just people managers. Developing leadership skills is critical for any successful organization, from individual contributors to team leaders to senior executives. We, at Coupa, understand that the number one challenge for businesses is to improve leadership throughout the organization and provide employees with the training, resources, and community to become successful leaders and grow in their leadership skills throughout their career.

Several years ago, Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn wanted to invest in his growing team at Coupa. There were three core values he helped establish for the organization – Focus on Results; Ensure Customer Success, and Strive for Excellence – and these were well understood and practiced by the core team. These three principles are the lens by which we look at all of the challenges and opportunities that come our way.

With the growth of the team, Bernshteyn wanted to ensure the message retained its clarity. He and the executive team wanted to make sure that we keep focused on these core values and keep our entrepreneurial spirit while we scaled and evolved as a company. “We see leadership as supporting the people on your team and giving them space and opportunities to grow in their own personal and professional platform. We believe leadership is helping our employees leverage their strengths, as well as showing them where their blind spots might be. It’s about giving each person direction so he or she can achieve the most out of their personal and professional aspirations. It’s an extremely important role and we take it very seriously, "says Bernshteyn.

COUPA LEADERSHIP  EXCELLENCE PROGRAM

Bernshteyn tasked the training and development team to build a Leadership Excellence Program in 2016. Since its start, we have conducted worldwide workshops across a number of different disciplines from core Leadership and Communication Skills to Hiring Excellence. The most exciting thing about this program is that it enables those who show leadership qualities anywhere in the company with the opportunity to learn and sharpen these skills and visualize their journey.

At the core, the program has four stated outcomes:

>>  Clarify what Coupa expects from  leaders

>>  Gain insights regarding each person’s leadership skills

>>  Determine a leader’s role in ensuring culture is sustained

>>  Create a community of leaders across the organization

Each of these outcomes is designed to present the core values in a practical way, to make sure that each and every participant understands the expectations we have for leaders.

BUILDING AND TEACHING  COMPANY CULTURE

Before we can invest in our employees and enable their growth, we must first ensure that they have a complete understanding of the underlying culture of the company. Coupa’s culture is successful because we thrive on scaling to work with the strength of a big company and the soul of a smaller and more nimble organization. Our CEO’s point of view is that we should run our company and customer interactions as if 100 employees are 1,000 employees. In other words, provide 10x value and success across the organization. This value creates a hard-working, collaborative, and most importantly, the transparent team all working to fulfill the same goals.

The organization is also a “bottom-up” org, where all managerial members are at the bottom of the org chart, supporting their teams and the rest of the organization.

“We believe the top-down org chart is optimized for the Industrial Revolution,” according to Bernshteyn. “This works in a manual labor environment when there’s a supervisor telling people what to do. We’re living in a knowledge revolution where everyone has an opportunity to make an outsized impact to the organization and the world. And so, we believe in an upside- down org chart, which is best described as a tree with its roots, branches, and leaves. The CEO and executive team are at the bottom – at the roots of the entire organization, providing financial guidance, general direction, and broad support for the rest of the team. But the execution occurs at the individual contributor level – the leaves and the branches of the trees. When the wind blows, the leaves and branches feel it first. We want everyone at every level to understand their place in the market, the competitive landscape, and be able to provide quick action based on what they know and what they’ve learned.”

This mindset enables employees to make quick decisions that are results driven which allows them to accelerate at their job and lead a team that follows suit.

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USING AN OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT

Attendees complete a prework behavioral assessment to provide them with valuable insights into how their personality traits play into their work communication and relationships. These qualities and the assessment are then discussed in the group to give an understanding of communication and leadership styles and adapt to the behaviors of others on the team. Their challenge at that point is to incorporate those working styles into the needs of the organization. We recognize the importance of having a diverse group of people working together towards a common goal and giving clear message to all employees that no matter what disagreements are had throughout the process, everyone is working toward the same purpose.

ROLE OF EXECUTIVE SPONSORSHIP

Each Leadership Excellence Program course has an executive sponsor in attendance, providing guidance and real-world examples of the core values. We have received a profound response from attendees regarding the Leadership Journey exercise with the executive sponsor. The executive sponsors for each class kickoff this exercise by sharing their own career journeys. Through a timeline diagram, they have an authentic dialogue with attendees about their positive and negative experiences throughout their career and how those shaped who they are today and how they deal with situations and relationships.

“One of the framing statements I like to focus on is leading with conscious intention,” offers Jonathan Fear, VP of Coupa University, the training and development team at Coupa. “Conscious intention is inseparable from self- awareness. It requires a commitment to see the world around us clearly and be present in the moment. Leading with intention is the intersection of four cardinal points: What I say, what I measure, what I prioritize, and what I do?”

The executive sponsor shares a pivotal moment or moments in his or her career that teaches a valuable lesson. This gives an opportunity to reflect on the positive and negative experiences those leaders have created for their teammates, taking the opportunity to take a step back and see how each decision has made an effect on those around them. By sharing these experiences, it helps newer leaders to understand the struggles and joys that come along with their new skills. Our executives have taken this personal journey and posted it on the walls in their office, so they can share all the demanding work and positive experiences as a reminder for their teams. By the end of the course, the expectation is that we have given a framework for leaders to guide their employees towards a greater adoption of our core values and principles.

PROVIDING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL SOUNDBOARD

This time with our future leaders is also used as a soundboard for their ideas. At Coupa, we are open to authentic conversations about what is working, what’s not, what innovative ideas can we experiment with to make everyone’s workflow a little easier. Throughout the Leadership Excellence class, our executives and talent team speak to the kind of company that we are trying to be and how each person is a part of that amazing journey.

POST-COURSE FEEDBACK  AND ITERATIONS

The major goal of the Leadership Excellence workshop is for each attendee to develop a toolkit of knowledge to perform his or her job better than they could before. However, this is not a closed-door process; we understand it is of the utmost importance to continue fostering these relationships through our employee’s time here at Coupa. Therefore, we have instituted group feedback and check-ins as post work for this class. We invite our attendees to be transparent and let us know what they found valuable or what they did not find relevant to their growth so that we can continue to grow the class into something that resonates for all employees as a valuable tool. The check-ins give an opportunity to ensure leaders are instilling our core values and principles into their teams.

“Feedback from the attendees has been tremendous,” reported Ray Martinelli, EVP of People at Coupa. “Each class has brought together a new group of leaders from across the global organization and equip them with new tools and resources to continue to spread our Coupa leadership culture in their own teams. We couldn’t be happier with its successes and will continue to iterate as we grow to incorporate innovative technologies and opportunities. With the incredible response we had from our Leadership Excellence class, we have branched this out into several other workshops to dive into specific skill sets and continue improving the soft skills of our ever-growing team. We are our own competition and are #CoupaProud to be investing in our own core assets.

Published in Top Stories

IT WILL TAKE A COMBINED EFFORT FROM EDUCATIONAL AND BUSINESS INSTITUTIONS TO DRIVE THE AMERICAN ECONOMY IN THE HIGH-TECH YEARS TO COME.

BY JERRY ROCHE

Preparing future workers for success in the global marketplace is so important that President Donald Trump’s administration has aimed several new measures at the issue. “Workforce development is a critical part of our infrastructure proposal that the White House sent to Congress” First Daughter Ivanka Trump said recently, during a trip to Iowa to learn about one school district’s experiential learning program — where students work directly with local businesses.

Further proof of the importance of a knowledgeable workforce was evident when Jennifer Taylor, vice president of U.S. Jobs at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), recently moderated a round table sponsored by her organization. Focus of the discussion was the problem created by sweeping industry and workforce changes, some of which are already here, some of which are coming.

“The U.S. labor force is experiencing radical disruption,” Taylor said. “The shift from low-skilled to high-skilled workers is happening right before our eyes.

She noted that the domestic unemployment level (3.9 percent at this writing) is the lowest in years. But many jobs remain open in the tech sector that require medium-or high-skilled backgrounds, certifications or education.

“Six million people still are not working — so companies, our education community and our policies all need to be involved,” Taylor continued. “If we take a holistic approach, we can prepare future workers as well as existing workers to meet these demands.

“And once someone has started to work, it is absolutely critical that both the worker and the employer continue to encourage the worker to learn new skills. They may be more technical skills or management and soft skills.

THE SKILLS GAP

David Lewis is president and CEO of Operations, Inc., a national human resources consulting firm. “The biggest issue right now is that there’s a disconnect that a lot of our clients are seeing between education and business,” he said.

He believes that it takes a joint effort by the employee and employer to make sure that people are suited for the new job market. Employees need to find state-supported apprenticeship programs and grants while employers need to find colleges, universities — and even high schools and middle schools like the one Trump visited in Iowa — that are feeding prospective employees to their businesses.

“We’re not turning out enough students that fill the tech sector by far in this country,” Lewis said. “There’s also a big problem in what the schools are actually teaching. That is, students are coming out ill-prepared to take on a lot of these roles.

“For anybody who’s my age or older, [the perception] of manufacturing is mostly men standing on an assembly line, doing manual work, and that’s not what it is. Manufacturing, as an industry, as a sector, needs a reboot, needs a rebrand, because parents are not sending their kids to college thinking, ‘I want them to have a manufacturing career,’ unless they truly understand that manufacturing at Toyota is a high-tech job, that manufacturing at Amazon is a high-tech job.

Operations, Inc., tells smaller companies to consider partnerships at the very basic level as a long-term plan. “You’re not going to out-spend bigger companies,” Lewis observed, “and you’re not going to out-brand them. Competing in markets like Silicon Valley or New York City is just not a fight that smaller companies can win. They have to look, longer term, at ways to feed their systems.”

Hilary Cain is director of Technology and Innovation Policy at Toyota, which has produced more than 1 million cars since 1988.

“As products and the processes for manufacturing them become more sophisticated and complicated, workforce needs in the high-skilled space are expanding,” Cain began, citing domestic companies involved in artificial intelligence (A.I.) and data science. On top of those high-skilled professions, there is a new demand for cybersecurity professionals. “[Because] we are competing for a workforce with folks like Amazon, Google and sexy Silicon Valley companies, we have to try to convince people that there’s also a lot of sexiness in working in the auto industry.”

One of the steps Toyota has taken to attract and keep people is instituting an Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) degree.

“Along with our 8,000 employees who work on the line, we have robots,” said Cain. “The AMTs maintain the robots. These are high-skilled positions, and colleges and high schools were not graduating people with skillsets that we needed.

The two-year AMT graduates get an associate’s degree in Applied Science. It consists of two eight-hour classroom days per week and three days working on the production line as an apprentice. The “classroom” is a mock manufacturing floor. The program has expanded to 22 community colleges in nine states. About 800 students participate, and 95 percent of them find employment with Toyota or a company with similar positions available.

“Some folks even choose to go on to a four-year degree and become engineers,” Cain pointed out.

Meanwhile, Walmart is taking its own path toward pairing candidates with available jobs.

“We have partnered with the Walmart Foundation to invest about $100 million over five years into the retail workforce specifically,” said Sara Decker, who is in the Federal Government Affairs Department at Walmart.

“This past year, we opened 200 ‘academies’ that train associates in customer service, including how to use technology to interface with the customer in a positive way.”

Walmart is the largest employer in the country whose current CEO started at the company as a teenager — so workers are near and dear to his heart.

“A big challenge is figuring out how you train somebody for a job that doesn’t even exist yet,” observed Decker. “So lifelong learning will have to become our reality in the future. We’re excited about where the workforce is going, and where technology is taking it.

Likewise, Amazon has instituted a Career Choice Program.

“After a year of working for the company,” said Steve Hartell, director of Amazon’s U.S. Public Policy, “employees can go back to school, and we will pay 95 percent of the tuition, up front, and books. Now we’re building glass classrooms inside our fulfillment centers. We did it in glass so that everybody who walks by sees and is inspired by those employees taking classes.”

Amazon has open-sourced the program, too.

“The White House asked us to come talk to them about it ” Hartell continued. “We’re also talking about this program in state capitals around the country."

” What if Career Choice Program employees choose to leave Amazon after having their continuing education paid for?

“We’re okay with that. That’s the idea. It’s an enlightened kind of self-interest. We want to facilitate the [perception] that it’s a career pathway.”

FOCUS ON YOUNGSTERS

Getting youngsters involved in science,technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM) careers is not an easy task. According to Amazon’s Hartell, 60 percent of high schools don’t have a computer-science department, and only 14 percent of them offer an advance placement test in computer science.

“The challenge is how you provide problem-solving, hands-on information about computer science or STEM in a way that’s approachable,” said Hartell. “Children are concerned about how it’s perceived. Is it cool?”

His company has a boot camp that ushers youngsters (K through 3) into an inside tour to talk about invention. “That’s inspirational,” Hartell said. “We also give them craft projects where their experience is creative and fun and is giving those kids the building blocks of a career.”

Another Amazon program is Coder Dojo, a weekend 140-country program that opens up office space to seek mentors for students up to middle school. It’s free.

“It’s really important to get kids at an early age interested, in a way that’s not off-putting but engaging,” Hartell concluded. Wynn Coggins is deputy chief administrative officer at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). She, too, believes in promoting occupations in the high-skilled STEM fields. For example, her office partners with the National Inventors Hall of Fame on two projects.

“One is Camp Invention,” Coggins said. “These are summer camps that elementary- school kids can go to. They use household products where they get their hands dirty, and they get to put things together. It really focuses on STEM and intellectual property (I.P.). And it brings to them this awareness of how important it is to be able to protect those ideas,” which is what the USPTO is all about.

The office also partners with the Inventors Hall of Fame on an annual competition among college undergraduates and graduates, “just to bring awareness to I.P.”

Other USPTO projects are a Summer Teacher’s Institute; the establishment of an I.P. Patch for the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital organization; and famous inventor (Steve Wozniak, Thomas Edison, etc.) collectible cards.

“All those show how we’ve moved the needle in the [STEM] awareness space,” Coggins said.

But having a career in the STEM disciplines does not guarantee success for any employee.

“Sometimes soft skills need a little bit of attention if a person is coming in with a science or an engineering background,” so the USPTO sends all its managers to a four- or five-day leadership forum and offers a robust mentorship program that pairs hundreds of mentors and protégés together. The latter is a nine-month formal annual program.

“People are put together who would never have a chance to converse otherwise,” Coggins said. “Top executives are paired with entry-level patent examiners, for instance, and they learn from each other. Remember, learning is not just from the top down, it’s from the bottom up, too.

“A lot of these partnerships last past nine months to become career-long connections. It’s a great employee engagement tool, as well as a knowledge transfer tool.”

Toyota has also implemented programs whereby it brings elementary and middle school kids into plants to get exposure to what it’s like to work on a manufacturing floor these days.

“There are lots of manufacturing opportunities, but we also have an incredible need at our dealerships for trained technicians to work on vehicles,” Cain further noted. “This is not grease monkey work anymore, either … because today’s vehicles are highly computerized.

“Not everything requires a four-year degree, but none of this works if you don’t have investment from the top: senior leaders, most-senior CEOs, senior executives.”

TRANSITIONING THE WORKFORCE

“Focusing on the technical pieces are really, really important, but to be a well-rounded employee capable of pulling off a lot of these jobs, you’ve got to have soft skills — communication, public speaking, problem-solving — too,” said Toyota’s Cain.

“It is absolutely critical that both the worker and the employer continue to encourage the worker to learn new skills,” added Taylor. “They may be more technical skills or management and soft skills.”

Operations, Inc. CEO Lewis chipped in: “Forget what it says on resumes. You have to take people [whose careers ended in one discipline] and retrain them, using state retraining credits, and then you re-deploy those individuals into new careers.”

It doesn’t help that the Millennial generation views job-hopping as entrepreneurship. Rather than be retrained by their employers, Millennials seek to pair their specialty at whatever company they can find.

“They know where the grass is greener, and they go to that grass far more often than their predecessors did,” observed Lewis. “But the other key point is they’re also incapable of disconnecting. And employers need to really emphasize this now, both by setting the example, but also by establishing policies around the idea that when you come to a meeting or when you’re sitting in a discussion with somebody else, you either have to turn the phone off or you actually have to put it away. And that’s really hindering the  Millennial in the workforce because their inability to do that — unless they’re working with other Millennials who are doing the same thing — is fostering a communication gap.”

Rotational-type training can help transition the workforce, according to Cain.

“At Toyota, people move within the company from one department to another unlinked department,” she said. “One day they’re in marketing, and the next day they’re in product planning, and then all of a sudden they’re working at the A.I. company.

“I thought it was strange at first, but now I’ve come to see that what it does is create employees that do two things. One, they’re well rounded, so as they move up the ranks they’ve had exposure from everything to H.R. to engineering to product planning to sales and marketing. But also it creates people who are more willing to jump in on something that’s not familiar to them, to take risks.

“It fits into the lifelong learning idea in that it challenges people and pushes them in new directions. It’s probably intended, but when I came into the company it seemed bizarre."

Published in Top Stories

Striving for Innovation, Culture, Performance and Collaboration

BY JERRY ROCHE

The 2018 Learning! 100 award-winning organizations have one thing in common: their learning personnel and programs are undisputedly among the world’s elite.

“The Learning! 100 recognizes the top 100 global learning organizations for high performance, innovation and culture,” says Catherine Upton, awards chairperson and group publisher of the Elearning! Media Group. Learning! 100 Awards recognize the top 100 organizations for their best-in-class learning and development programs, with learning cultures that create outstanding organizational performance.

These honors have a solid, researchbased approach that offers organizations a level playing field despite size. The Learning! 100 provides organizations a benchmark for future development; is quantitative and qualitative; and is unbiased by size of the organization. Learning! 100 applicants are evaluated on three sets of criteria: Darden School’s Learning Culture Index, Collaborative Strategies’ Innovation & Collaboration Ratings, and overall organizational performance. Every submission is evaluated on the same criteria, scores totaled and ranked for the Learning! 100.

“When deciding what qualities constitute a truly exceptional learning organization, we define four categories of excellence,” says Jerry Roche, Elearning! magazine’s executive editor. “Those categories, upon which these awards are based, are innovation, culture, performance and collaboration.”

There is much to be learned from these winners, many of which had instituted thorough leadership development initiatives. These winners are delivering cutting-edge approaches to learning, reimagining their learning ecosystems and embracing the importance of engagement and performance.

Discover what makes these organizations best-in-class by reading this article and viewing upcoming Web seminars and stories hosted by Elearning! Magazine.

Learn more about the Learning! 100 Awards at: http://www.2elearning.com/awards/learning-100-awards.

 

 

Private Sector #1: Vi

Area of Excellence: Culture

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Photo courtesy Vi

Leadership Drives Learning Culture at Vi

Over the last several years, Vi — a group of retirement communities with headquarters in Chicago — has made a gradual but significant transition of moving the culture from learning being “owned” by the learning organization to being owned by the entire organization.

Besides having “Employee Development” as a core leadership competency and key learning initiatives tied to company goals and competencies tied to compensation, Vi realizes high levels of business partner engagement in the development, delivery and ownership of learning initiatives tied to the company’s business objectives. This has created higher levels of engagement at all levels of the organization.

In addition, Vi has a strong governance process in place that aligns with its business planning process. Functional leaders from across the organization actively participate in development and execution of learning initiatives.

“In talking with my colleagues — hotel, senior living, hospitality, highly regulated health care and service personnel — I believe that our organizational development is unique to us, based on the level of executive involvement, money, front-line management and leaders as teachers,” comments Judy Whitcomb, Vi’s Human Resources and Chief Learning Officer.

In 2017, Vi’s education/learning focus centered in three areas:

1. More hyper-focus on career ladders, assessments, competencies and learning resources, reaching to high schools and community colleges to attract talent. “It’s not sexy or exciting, but that’s where we’re putting in a ton of time, and it works,” Whitcomb states.

2. A new emerging leaders program. “We’ve had really good success with the all-virtual program,” says Whitcomb. “It involves 50 to 60 leaders, and it goes into different levels of the organization. Vi has matured to where leaders are really seeing the value of being teachers.”

3. A recently-launched student loan imbursement plan. “We’re trying to use every lever available” to attract good talent,” Whitcomb emphasizes. Most important are basic skills training, like concierge, culinary and nursing. “We recently sent some cooks to a culinary institute by partnering with its executive chef. Skills are important to attract and retain the talent, and we’re working with Arizona State University to create a flow of talent for our organization.”

As a result of strong alignment and engagement with its business partners, Vi has realized:

>> Large increases in resident satisfaction after implementation of a comprehensive service enculturation program;

>> Scores rising from 82.6 percent in 2010 to 96 percent in Vi’s last resident satisfaction survey;

>> Significant increase in the number of internal promotions and a reduction in attrition, resulting in $2.1 million in savings;

>> Significant ROI of nearly $138,000 per participant from Vi’s Breakthrough Leadership Program;

>> Significant contributions to Vi’s external quality audits, resulting in zero tags related to training;

>> 9 out of 11 Vi locations recognized as “Best Places to Work” in 2016;

>> In 2017, all 10 of Vi’s continuing care skilled nursing facilities achieved five-star status (as determined by the Center for Medicare Services) for the first time in 30 years;

>> High level of employee engagement particularly related to training (“training to do job well” was 21 percent higher than U.S. norms; “ability to achieve personal career objectives” ranked 10 percent higher than high-performing companies; “training new hires receive” ranked 24 percent higher than U.S. norms); >> Most importantly, focus on sales training contributed to Vi achieving 168 percent of the company’s financial target in 2017.

Vi is an eight-time Learning! Award-winner.

 

Public Sector #1: VA Acquisition Academy

Area of Excellence: Performance

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Photo courtesy VAAA
Deputy Chancellor Paul Gregory in one of the V.A. Acquisition Academy’s training rooms.

VA Acquisition Academy Drives Engagement and Impact

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is responsible for providing more than $20 billion of federal benefits to nearly 20 million veterans and their families. The VA Acquisition Academy (VAAA), which is soon celebrating its 10th anniversary, is tasked with training a wide range of those valuable VA employees.

The VAAA’s mission is to ensure the VA efficiently and effectively provides goods and services to veterans. It offers an integrated competency-based training curriculum to certify those employees and improve their work performance. VAAA is responsible for training VA’s program and project managers, existing and future contracting officers, logistics/supply chain employees, and facilities and construction managers.

“Our fundamental learning strategy reflects a commitment to stakeholder engagement and value measurement methodologies to ensure business results that support VA’s major initiatives,” remarks VAAA Deputy Chancellor Paul Gregory. His organization educates learners in realworld workplace scenarios, integrating personal and leadership skills and measuring strategic performance.

“The VAAA started out as a single acquisition intern school then added a contracting professional school, a program management school, a supplychain management school and a facilities management school,” notes Gregory. “The separate schools share services so that we can keep costs down and avoid duplication.”

The VAAA develops some training materials in house, but some are commercial lessons purchased off the shelf, and some are taught by government contractors. Not only does the VAAA conduct training that leads to federal acquisition certification, but it also offers employees career progression classes. “Our training is one part of getting certified,” Gregory further observes. (The other two parts are experience and continuous learning to maintain certification.)

“We have seen a tremendous need for leadership training in the contracting workforce.” says Terry Horst, Vice Chancellor of the Contracting Professional School. “Many people in that field have been promoted based on technical ability. Historically, most of the school’s courses have not focused on leadership for contracting professionals. In response to this critical need, we developed the Senior Acquisition Leadership Training program.”

The Senior Acquisition Leadership Training Program lasts nine months. The first class graduated in June. “It is centered on concepts like leadership agility and systems thinking,” Horst observes. “The program assists individuals in the development of themselves and then moves them to a more strategic way of thinking. They learn to turn their strategic thinking into action using contracting case studies. This kind of training empowers them to hit the ground running when they return to their contracting offices.”

Learners in that program undertook capstone projects, writing whitepapers and briefing senior leadership.

“It was very satisfying to both the students and the employees who worked so hard putting the program together,” Horst continues. “Students made comments like ‘it changed my life forever’ and ‘I’ll never be the same.’”

One of the VAAA’s other interesting projects is collaborating with 12 other agencies to reimagine senior level program management training. “We wanted to shorten courses where it made sense and do some blended learning,” says Gregory. “For instance, one course started out as four weeks; now it’s three weeks, because some elements are now done virtually, kind of like the flipped classroom approach. Frankly, this approach looks like it will be a great success.”

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy is a seven-time Learning! 100 award-winner.

 

Private Sector #2: Amazon Web Services

Area of Excellence: Performance

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Amazon Web Services Leads Its Customers to Success in the Cloud

Cloud computing sales will top the $185 billion mark this calendar year. And by 2021, that market is expected to exceed $300 billion.

More than 11 years ago, Amazon Web Services (AWS) started as a Cloud storage service. Today it dominates that sector, with a sales volume that nearly equals the sum of its competitors’. Its growth continues to accelerate at an incredible rate.

AWS has also accelerated in other areas, like innovation. That innovation includes areas that will begin to shape our lives even more in the future, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and serverless computing. In 2017 alone, AWS announced more than 1,400 significant services and features, including Amazon SageMaker, a tool that radically changes the accessibility and use of building sophisticated machine learning models. This has caused an explosion of growth — more than 250 percent — as tens of thousands of customers started also using a broad range of AWS machine learning services. In 2017, at Amazon’s sixth re:Invent Conference, more than 40,000 attended the event live, with more than 60,000 more attending as streaming participants.

With all that growth and innovation, how does AWS service such a broad range of customers and customer needs? The answer is its focus on customer success.

Amazon Web Services is being honored for its global OutcomeBased Account Management (OBAM) program that provides AWS sellers with the Amazonian way to sell. The selling process starts with the customer’s needs and works backward to define the correct solution, all while using a common language, process and methodology.

This year, a new program component was added called Momentum. The aim of this additional program was to provide spaced learning reinforcement for the disciplines previously taught. This reinforcement series runs for nine sessions every other week and is unique to every team, in every country. This allows the associates to fine-tune their Amazonian talent by focusing on specifically targeted skills. Momentum, in turn, provides a continuous trickle of desired behavior reinforcement over the span of six months.

OBAM program is the process, tools, competencies and dialogue architecture for initiating and solidifying Amazon Web Services’ customer-obsessed relationships, fixated on the journey of transforming the seller-customer engagement into a lifelong strategic relationship. The program includes a pre-call, pre-work, a live one-day collaborative training-day session, three post-workshop coaching calls, and an on-demand OBAM playbook.

The program, which has been delivered globally in all geographies, is being met with great success, achieving a global average score of 4.5 out of 5.0 from participants. The program has now been successfully rolled out to 2,500 sellers, and its overall impact can be seen in the continued growth of Amazon Web Services.

As was evident from its Annual Report, Amazon Web Services is a major contributor to Amazon’s overall growth. AWS continues to draw more small, medium and large enterprises to its Cloud platform and growing line of tools and services.

AWS is a three-time Learning! 100 award-winner.

 

Public Sector #2: Defense Acquisition University

Area of Excellence: Culture

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James P. Woolsey is president of Defense Acquisition University.

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Photo Courtesy DAU
It takes a wide array of learning professionals to assure accurate, efficient delivery of information to the DAU’s learners, students, stakeholders and business units.

Defense Acquisition University: A Strategic Shift to the Customer

Starting in 2017, the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) of the U.S. Department of Defense engaged in a year-long strategic planning effort to take a closer look at changes that would be necessary to ensure success for the Defense Acquisition workforce in the future.

The leadership team used the Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema Value Discipline Model. There are three primary value disciplines successful organizations have used to narrow their business focus to better serve their customers: customer intimacy, product leadership and operational excellence. So those became DAU’s organizational imperatives (value disciplines) for the future of its learning program.

“We didn’t invent this,” notes Dr. Christopher Hardy, DAU Director of Strategic Planning and Learning Analytics. “The very best companies lead with one of those — Apple and Google lead with product innovation; RitzCarlton leads with customer intimacy; Southwest Airlines and Dell lead with operational excellence — but they still do the other stuff. We liked this approach so much, we nested all our initiatives in those three areas in our strategic plan.”

Customer intimacy means cultivating relationships and being adept at giving the customer more than he or she expects; staying ahead of their customer’s rising expectations, targeting markets precisely, and then tailoring products to match the demands of those customers.

Product leadership/innovation means offering customers leading edge products and services that consistently enhance the customer’s use or application of the product, thereby making rivals’ goods obsolete.

And operational excellence means providing customers with reliable products or services at competitive prices and delivered with minimal difficulty or inconvenience.

DAU leadership decided that a customer intimacy strategy best aligns with its vision for the future — that is, to focus on the needs of individual customers by offering a unique range of customer services that allows for the personalization of service and the customization of products to meet differing customer needs.

“We break our customers into learners, students, stakeholders and business units,” notes Hardy. “We’ve always been customer oriented, but we’ve taken it to the next level.”

In embarking on this strategic direction, the organization will listen to its valued customers to better understand them and their needs, enable communication and collaboration, and provide a comprehensive solution at the point of need. The organization also listens to stakeholders and consumers (the learners who directly use products and services).

But what is captured and how it’s captured depends on the target: stakeholder, customer, consumer. How data and intelligence from a source are handled also depends on the source. For example, what is learned from consumers may inform the questions customers are asked, and vice versa. Or what is learned from customers can be shared with stakeholders to help inform their decisions on priorities, resources, and the direction they give DAU.

This new strategic direction — which is being developed and implemented by several “tiger” teams — ensures that we provide customers with the products and services they need to give the warfighter a decisive edge. Not surprisingly, the tiger teams have representation from faculty and staff across DAU.

“Our mission is to help our learners; their leaders and the stakeholders complete their missions. If we can do that, we become a strategic asset,” Hardy concludes.

This is the eighth time that the DAU has been named a Learning! 100 winner.

 

Private Sector #3: T-Mobile USA

Area of Excellence: Culture

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Photo Courtesy T-Mobile
The T-Mobile telesales staff is a hearty and happy bunch, thanks to the company’s Sales Training and Sales Management Transformation project.

Comprehensive Telesales Training Unifies T-Mobile Teammates

T-Mobile, the third-largest wireless carrier in the United States with 74 million customers, is one of the most recognizable brands in the land. T-Mobile provides wireless voice and data services in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands under the T-Mobile and MetroPCS brands. The company, which has annual revenues of more than $40 billion, also serves as the host network for many mobile virtual network operators.

In 2017, T-Mobile was ranked No.1 in customer service satisfaction by Nielsen. And this month, it is named the thirdbest corporate learning organization among the Learning! 100.

Its sales division is a large part of the company’s success. Last year marked a continued ramp-up and implementation of a massive sales training and sales management transformation for T-Mobile Telesales. Officials claim that enthusiasm is now at an all-time high, “and the team feels completely empowered to take on any and all competition.”

T-Mobile USA Telesales was nominated for this list because of its comprehensive effort to unify all telesales call centers and team members in how they interact both internally and externally with customers to communicate T-Mobile’s Un-Carrier vision.

In 2017, Bart Ons, general manager of the E-commerce and Telesales Department, launched an initial 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 1200 telesales agents. 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 program consisted on a series of e-learning preparation modules, on-site and virtual learning classes, coaching modules, reinforcement e-learning and multimedia solutions, promotions and more. The goal was cultural change, excitement and a focus on working cohesively as one unified T-Mobile to delivery an outstanding customer experience.

And it has worked.

“I’ve turned all my one-on-one sessions to self-realization moments,” claims Jake Cline a T-Mobile supervisor. “I love it when an agent says, ‘This is hard,’ and then figures out something that they can do better without me having to point it out to them, like I was doing before.”

Adds senior manager Charlotte Clevenger, “The UEE Initiative has brought a complete transformation.”

T-Mobile is a three-time Learning! 100 award-winner.

 

Public Sector #3: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Area of Excellence: Performance

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Anthony Gagliardo is head of HR &Technical Training at NASA's JPL.

Jet Propulsion Lab’s ‘Destination 2025’

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a unique national research facility that carries out robotic space and Earth science missions. JPL helped open the Space Age by developing America’s first Earth-orbiting science satellite, creating the first successful interplanetary spacecraft, and sending robotic missions to study all the planets in the solar system as well as asteroids, comets and Earth’s moon. In addition to its missions, JPL developed and manages NASA’s Deep Space Network, a worldwide system of antennas that communicates with interplanetary spacecraft.

The JPL human resources (HR) and learning and development (L&D) team serves as the primary JPL organization responsible for satisfying leadership, organization learning and development, as well as technical training needs of more than 6,000 JPL personnel and 7,000 contract affiliates.

Like many technical organizations, JPL faces challenges in managing the transference of deep technical and institutional knowledge while experiencing an unprecedented growth in JPL mainline mission and a drastic shift in its multi-generational workforce. JPL must address the changing learning styles of new and existing individuals and the constant employee expectation of a commerciallike learning experience.

In 2015, JPL’s Chief Human Resource Officer Cozette Hart formed the “Destination 2025” working group dedicated to exploring and advancing the future of working and learning at JPL. Since then, JPL’s business case for modernization of learning has been contextualized. The primary areas of learning modernization were identified as:

>> Modernization of the JPL learning environment; consistently improve on the availability and quality of training while enhancing the learning experience.

>> How to significantly modernize talent acquisition and management in the most technically advanced place on Earth.

Change awareness was raised among stakeholders through early communication related to JPL’s needs for change in learning technology and its rapidly evolving capabilities. At JPL, the scope of change was full employee development and a new training ecosystem. The change team provided support and resources and set the direction for various efforts to increase value in specified business areas.

To bring resources together, integrate processes and communicate effectively, goal-oriented change management was designed to guide individuals and organizations at JPL. The desire for change was reinforced through employee engagement and participation with the aim to overcome resistance through a cross- functional sponsorship program.

The proposed learning approach was designed to provide flexibility and support that complements the capabilities of JPL’s unique workforce. The learners of today expect a digitally rich learning environment, and implementation of new technology enabled a personalized learning experience to JPL employees anytime and anyplace in real-time. The HR team and its laboratory partners prepared to shift and integrate resources by focusing on the new learning ecosystems in terms of the operational support, technology and curriculum. Each pivot area evolution was based on application of advanced technologies and approaches.

JPL is a federally funded research and development center managed for NASA by Caltech. From the long history of leaders drawn from the university’s faculty to joint programs and appointments, JPL’s intellectual environment and identity are profoundly shaped by its role as part of Caltech.

JPL is a first-time winner of the Learning! 100.

 

Private Sector #4: Shaw Industries Group, Inc.

Area of Excellence: Collaboration

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Photo Courtesy Shaw
The Shaw Learning Academy (SLA) provides employees with 1 million hours of training each year.

Shaw Learning Academy Helps Employees Reach Full Potential

Shaw Industries Group, Inc. — a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. — is a leading floor covering provider and the world’s largest carpet manufacturer. It supplies carpet, resilient, hardwood, laminate, tile and stone flooring products and synthetic turf to residential and commercial markets worldwide.

Shaw Learning Academy (SLA) is a key to that success, providing more than 1 million hours of training annually through diverse learning solutions and platforms to meet the diverse learning needs of Shaw’s associates, customers, suppliers and community. SLA, by design, promotes innovation, fresh thinking and dedication to quality.

“Education and training are instrumental to how Shaw helps create a better future for associates, customers, communities and the company,” says Danny Crutchfield, Shaw’s director of corporate training and organizational development, who also leads the Shaw Flooring Network. “It’s a critical component in helping associates and customers reach their full potential and succeed amidst an ever-changing industry.”

The company’s 22,000 associates are engaged in a wide variety of roles (manufacturing, R&D, product design, engineering, sales, distribution, transportation, sustainability, I.T., HR, marketing and communications, management, etc.) to ensure superior customer service and high-quality products.

Additionally, Shaw recognizes its retailers’ success is inextricably linked to training and support. The company has designed comprehensive and customized educational programs offer to help retailers meet their business objectives. More than 15,000 customers engage with the Shaw Learning Academy each year through regional training, online sessions, markets, the Shaw Flooring Network Convention, and other offerings in addition to extensive continue education opportunities offered to commercial customers worldwide.

This dedication to education and training is not new.

“We’ve always been an industry leader in a variety of ways, like product innovation, community involvement and sustainability,” notes Brian Cooksey, Shaw’s director of Operations, Training and Development. “We have had speakers present at different conferences all over the country on different topics. We’re also heavily involved in leading workforce development efforts, technology and innovation efforts, so our speakers are often asked to come and share their stories.”

The Shaw Learning Academy plays a significant role in helping develop business initiatives. For instance, Shaw celebrated its 50th year in 2017; as a result, leadership began to consider the next 50 to 100 years, “what we need to do to continue to be successful,” Cooksey says. “Like business objectives, culture — things we might want to tweak.”

To that end, Shaw’s upper managers published a “Shaw Way” document last year that captures their vision, their mission and their values as they pertain to high-level business strategies.

“The document contains business and cultural imperatives designed to continue our success but also take us to a new level,” Cooksey reveals. “Because we have a diverse offering of products and diverse customer bases all over the globe, we have to make sure we keep up with the times.”

The process involved conversations across the entire Shaw organization and with customers and with research in marketplace. “It was really a good process for the organization, and from that we developed a new competency model,” Cooksey continues. “It’s really helped to align some of the training support we provide — online or instructor-led or virtual—to give clarity to the organization. And it was nice for our group to have a seat at the table during the process of brainstorming the business.”

Shaw is an eight-time Learning! 100 award-winner.

 

Public Sector #4: American Heart Association

Area of Excellence: Collaboration

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Photo Courtesy AHA
AHA employees take a chance to signal their delight with what they've learned.

‘Building Powerful Partnerships’ Meets American Heart Association’s Objectives

During 2017, the American Heart Association (AHA) wanted to establish a unified fund-raising process and culture across its organization for both volunteercentric and direct groups. Besides this unified fund-raising process, AHA also wanted to support its staff in articulating its mission, impact and programs, as well as reach critical thresholds in areas of revenue and health goals.

These business outcomes led to the creation and then extension of the Building Powerful Partnerships program.

“After we conducted the initial rollout, we found that we had to adjust to specifically serve new employees,” says Amanda Haggerty, the AHA’s Learning and Development Trainer. “The difference in 2017 was a shift to new employees and new supervisors. We also needed to continue reinforcing the content, so training now consists of a suite of ‘refreshers,’ 15 sessions that last 60 to 90 minutes that any supervisor can host during team meetings. These rich coaching sessions are a ‘deep dive’ into the relationship development concepts that allow employees the opportunity for continued application of best practices.

Some of the learning objectives that needed to be achieved were:

>> Demonstrate ability to lead conversations that will 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;

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

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

>> Describe and practice the fivestage SMART engagement model to plan and execute high-impact conversations with partners and volunteers;

>> Practice the five-step HEART Conversation process;

“The five-stage SMART engagement model is the entire relationship development process,” explains Haggerty. “It begins at the prospecting stage and lasts all the way to transformational growth.” It’s a year-after-year program, from inception, to growth, through continued maintenance.

“Within the SMART framework,” Haggerty continues, “the HEART conversation process gets into the meat of an external meeting with someone, including the art of the conversation, how to articulate the corporate mission, and how to make the ‘ask.’”

This “Building Powerful Relationships” program exceeded all expectations and helped the American Heart Association achieve its critical goals, which in turn helped the Dallas-based non-profit organization continue its work.

“We’ve seen numerous staffers tell us through surveys that they were more comfortable with the mission and with making ‘asks’ on our behalf,” says Haggerty.

“This program, has really stuck with the staff. We are excited to continue to bring them the curriculum year after year.”

This is the seventh trip to the Learning! 100 for the American Heart Association.

 

Private Sector #5: Navy Federal Credit Union

Area of Excellence: Culture

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Thomas Greek, VP Learning & Development Communications

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Photo Courtesy Navy Federal Credit Union
Leaders learn to work together through experimental activities at monthly ‘Follow the Leader’ events.

Navy Federal Credit Union: Growth Starts at Point of Hire

The Navy Federal Credit Union has staked its reputation and growth on the belief that professional development and education start at the point of hire and continue throughout each employee’s career. To that end, the organization continually invests in its employees to drive their engagement, commitment and quality of service to members.

“We have about 17,000 employees all across the world servicing the military and their families, and most participate in the learning environment in any given year,” observes Thomas Greek, vice president of Learning, Development and Communications. “Our learning strategies are tied into the strategic plan. The mission of our team of about seven trainers is to be scalable and sustainable.”

Many of the Navy FCU’s employees joined the credit union at entry-level positions and have since grown professionally within the organization. Some senior leaders, who started as entry-level employees, even grew into their current roles with the help of the learning opportunities available to them as their careers progressed.

“Our employees are instrumental to our continued success, and much of their loyalty, skill level and engagement can be attributed to the training and development they received,” Greek continues. “Navy Federal has a robust learning culture, which is cascaded throughout the organization.”

It’s not an easy task, either, to offer valuable learning and training to so many employees with such a wide range of skillsets, from communications to marketing to back-office support to finance.

“New hires come to us with a lot of technical skills,” Greek admits, “so most of what we’re doing is helping teach soft skills like communication, leadership and time management. We reinforce those technical skills and add to them through our soft skills library.”

That extensive learning library primarily based on in-house-generated content.

“Our team of instructional designers come with an incredible skillset and are well versed in learning theories,” Greek continues. “Their mission is to create good content that includes how to train effectively in a virtual environment with content that is relevant and entertaining.”

Since 1933, Navy Federal Credit Union has grown from seven to more than 7 million members. And during that time, its vision statement has remained focused on serving a unique field of membership.

“Simply put, our team members are remarkable, and they truly understand the important responsibility we have to serve our members,” says Cutler Dawson, Navy Federal’s president/CEO. “For 85 years, we’ve listened to what our members want and will continue to provide an exceptional experience.”

Employees at all levels of the organization have the opportunity to attend employer-sponsored workshops with curriculum that includes leadership, interpersonal communication skills, “emotional intelligence,” workplace creativity and supervisory skills. Graduate-level instruction and executive skill development is available to those employees at the supervisor/manager level and above.

Additionally, there is a Career Ambassador Program that “trains up” volunteers from the business unit on how to be career advisors so other employees can get that kind of career advice from colleagues or peers when they need it.

“We’re growing quite rapidly,” Greek says. “We have a lot of internal promotions, so our people need a lot of just-in-time resources. We give them on-demand career development resources that employees can take where and when they need them.”

And employee satisfaction is astounding: “Surveys and business outcomes let us know if training hits the mark. Employees take courses because they want to, so we see high scores in engagement, well higher than industry benchmarks.

Navy Federal Credit Union, which is owned by its members, is a seven-time Learning! 100 award-winner.

 

Public Sector #5: U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Area of Excellence: Collaboration

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U.S. OPM’s USALearning Offers Critical Cybersecurity Training

Cybersecurity is becoming more of a threat, especially to U.S. Office of Personnel Management, U.S. OPM) and other federal, state and local government agencies. Every day, new security issues gain the attention of the computer security community, including loss of data, new malware, and/or new ransomware, which is a type of malware that restricts access to the infected computer system in some way and demands that the user pay a ransom to the malware operators to remove the restriction. Just recently, the City of Atlanta, Ga., had its systems compromised by ransomware.

The challenges of cybersecurity are changing rapidly with new vulnerabilities being discovered and systems previously thought secure being compromised.

So U.S. OPM’s USALearning is now working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to develop and offer more than 60 online cybersecurity courses to federal, state and local government employees, including U.S. Department of Defense personnel and U.S. military veterans. These courses can build skills and support any career transitioning to the cybersecurity field.

The “Cybersecurity Awareness” course introduces the automated information systems (AIS) environment and the threats and vulnerabilities faced when working within the government or defense industrial systems. It provides a working knowledge of cyber intrusion methods and cybersecurity countermeasures to assist employees in preventing cyberattacks and protecting their systems and information. The user experience centers on a single, large-scale, disastrous event. Several contributing scenarios are presented to show different vantage points related to the large event. Through the large event and associated contributing scenarios, students learn about different cyber threats and methods of operation, targeted information, countermeasures, and reporting requirements. This approach demonstrates for users that even small events can contribute and lead to immeasurable consequences.

More than 600 hours of courses are hosted in a secure FedRAMP environment. Already, more than 200,000 government employees and veterans have self-registered and are taking courses with more than half-a-million course completions or courses in-progress. The self-registration is free, and there is no cost from USALearning to access any of the courses.

These courses provide instruction on how to lock down sites, perform vulnerability testing, address patches, lock out hackers, and hundreds of other key security topics—practices that are fast becoming requirements for anyone working on computers, especially those taking advantage of the Cloud.

The USALearning program is operated out of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and is a part of the HR Solutions Directorate, in the Center for Leadership Development. The program was formerly called the GoLearn Program and has been active since the creation of 24 E-Gov initiatives by President George W. Bush’s e-training initiative in 2002. The purpose of the program is to leverage simplified acquisition processes and allow agencies to expeditiously acquire a myriad of support services via Intra/ Interagency agreements under the authority of the Economy Act and Revolving Fund.

USALearning supports the development of the federal workforce and advances the accomplishment of agency missions through simplified and one-stop access to high quality e-learning products, information and services. Some of its offerings include the development and delivery of customized learning management systems (LMS); learning content management systems (LCMS) and associated services; e-learning/testing platforms; communities of practice; and other customized content and collaborative platforms to include object and document repositories, course development, and innovative software engineering services.

This is the fifth time that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has been awarded Learning! 100 status.

 

 

View the full list of 2018 Learning! 100 Award winners below:

 

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Published in Top Stories

BRIDGE

A newer entry into the LMS market, Bridge does not market themselves as an LMS. They are really an LMS Lite, resembling more of an LMS App. A very simple mobile centric learning platform, Bridge does not have the visual or image heavy environment most platforms host. With mobile first being Bridge’s mantra, they focus on organizations with mobile workforce, distributed teams or/and retail organizations where a laptop or PC is not readily available for learning.  Built on Ruby on Rails, the user does not see a dashboard upon sign-on, only a list of top priority tasks based upon due date or urgency. The learner can access content from internal and external sources within Bridge. The focus is on accessing, completing the component and moving on-all on the mobile phone.

Bridge also has a rich text editing and authoring tool. Not the robust features of Storyline or Captivate, but it does support video streaming with data tracking on viewer activity.  With the recent acquisition of Practice, Bridge users will have access to live video recording of ‘their pitch’ within the LMS, which is saved and viewable by managers and peers for instant feedback and collaboration. This is a plus for field sales teams and managers.

Reporting on Bridge is focused on the learner’s progress; which tasks are over-due, in progress, completed within a date range. Cadence is also measured; how the individual or team is progressing toward a specific goal. For example, at the individual level one can see progress toward a career development goal.

Performance measurements focus on career development goals, achievements and 1 to 1 assessments. These include skills assessments, evaluations, team mentors and learning courses to improve. Visit: www.mybridge.com

NOVOED

Developed by Stanford University Educators and ex-EdX staffers, NovoEd was built to improve on the learner experience. Touted as a Learning Experience Platform built on mobile-first practice, NovoEd has a mobile UI with embedded social collaborative component to improve learner engagements. According to a Stanford University study, a student is 16x more likely to complete a course when engaged within a team vs. 2% if taken alone. The collaboration component is critical advantage with NovoEd. It enables social live interactions within course context, project galleries, and on individual learning profiles that support peer to peer feedback.

NovoEd also hosts real-time reporting and management tools tracking learner engagement and content quality. Unlike other systems, the social engagements are tracked from posts, to active discussion participation to team specific interactions via their native google analytics integration.

NovoEd also integrates with enterprise systems supporting single sign-on, data integration, and system security.  NovoEd is SaaS based and priced using a per user per month model. Visit: www.NovoEd.com

CEREGO

New to the learning market, Cerego is a personalized learning platform designed based upon brain science principles. They say, “imagine a system that can visualize what employees retain from training and provide insight into their knowledge on any subject any time.”

Cerego’s learning engine incorporates distributed learning with retrieval practice. Distributed learning is "spacing out learning across time [to] improve long-term retention." Retrieval practice, known as "testing effect" is to "actively attempt to re-call previously studied materials [thru testing]." Cerego allows learners to focus on content they don’t know rather than review content they do.

In studies conducted at NYU College of Dentistry, use of Cerego replaced 96 hours of class teaching time while students scored 2.6 standard deviations above the national average on the State Board exam. Fifty-six percent of students said, “using Cerego to review mate- rial was worthwhile.” All, 100% of students using Cerego passed the board exam.

How was this accomplished? Cerego’s learning solution incorporates content authoring tools based upon their learning science practices. Content is imported into a PPT like portal to improve effectiveness

and increase engagement thru digital experiences. Customized courses are drop and drag. Instructional templates and quizzes are available to help create and edit courses.

Performance data and analytics are collected in a visual dashboard to track what learners know and retain. Content metrics provide red flags where adjustments may need to be made. The Knowledge Bank provides insights into individual learner progress as well as comparisons to peers. All analytics are in real-time accessible via mobile device. Visit:www.cerego.com

Published in New Products
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