Learning and Training

In Focus

Case Study: Learning to Fail, Innovation and a Culture of Learning

Failing Up

For many companies, reaching a high level of innovation and success does not come immediately. Many of them need a “come from behind” strategy in order to be market leaders. Others need to hit the depths of failure before they can rise up Phoenix-like and reach new heights of success.

  • Learning and Training Services Overview

    The Competitive Advantage of Corporate Learning
    Unlocking the full potential of your organization

    In recent years, there has been a dramatic shift in corporate learning, with companies investing more than $75 billion a year to expand employee development. Companies have come to realize that one of the most important sources of competitive advantage is their entire corporate learning strategy.

    Companies are now having to address globalization, leadership gaps, finding talent, and many other challenges, but the biggest strategy is to enable innovation. What enables innovation? Research shows that the single greatest contributor to innovation is internal learning and collaboration. As a result, many world-class companies are now renovating their corporate learning strategy to heavily invest in establishing a learning capability, expertise development, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the continuous reinforcement of expertise.

    Building a Learning Capability

    WGA’s research and broad experience reveals that achieving a high-impact capability requires:

    • Mastery of the basics of training and development
    • Career and competency models
    • Integration of models and talent practices (leadership, career and competency)
    • Establish and commit to a “Learning Culture”
  • A Culture of Learning

    Corporate history is riddled with companies that simply failed to learn versus innovate. Consider Toyota’s entrance and rise as the top global automaker, all the internet search companies that lost to Google, or Nokia who lost their market share to Apple. In this example, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Nokia and others did innovate but still lost to their competitors. The organizational culture of these companies did not embrace or tolerate mistakes and value the need of iterative learning.

    Organizations that innovate or invent must not only be technically skilled, they must have the flexibility to learn from successes and failures. These organizations must adopt a learning culture which is open and encourages making mistakes fast, building trust, giving people time to reflect, and creates a value system around learning.

    Learning Culture Maturity

    Traditionally, organizations tend to transition down a common path of establishing a culture of learning:

        • Ad-hoc training

    Organizational learning relies heavily on coaching between executives, managers and individual contributors. Organizational subject matter experts become the information source and formal training requirements are dictated by external pressures (e.g. regulatory). Training development and delivery is chaotic and inconsistent.

        • Repeatable Professional Training

    An organization has invested in professional training, established a training organization, a corporate university and training curriculum. However, these one time investments lose momentum, new training challenges abound, budgets are cut and the on-going value of the professional training becomes obsolete.

        • Integration

    The integration of various training programs occur, with a focus on simplification. The training organization expands collaboration with Human Resources to align training curriculum and positions, resulting in career path learning requirements in various disciplines. Annual professional development goals are integrated with corporate strategy. The organization focuses on specialized professional development targeting the mastery of disciplines and positions.

        • Learning Competitive Advantage

    Competency, proficiency and professional development curriculum are defined for positions within the organization. On-going analysis of corporate strategy, workforce proficiency and professional development planning enable the organization to improve learning, organizational design and talent management initiatives. Knowledge sharing is now internalized by the organization, post-action lessons learned workshops are shared, socialized and centrally retained. Formal sharing workshops occur cross-functionally at all levels of the organization.

  • WGA’s Learning and Training Service Offerings

    Our research, methodology and consulting services help our clients make and execute decisions that transform your organization’s learning capability.

    Creating a Learning Capability

    Sustaining a Learning Capability

    • Organizational Learning Culture Assessment
    • Learning Capability Benchmarking
    • Learning Strategy and Road-map Development
    • Workforce Competency and Proficiency Framework
    • Culture Change Execution
    • Best practices in global learning programs
    • Curriculum and content development
    • Knowledge sharing and management
    • Learning Technology design and optimization
    • Business Planning and Governance of Corporate Learning
  • $400B Global Oil & Gas Company
    Jim
    Global Vice President

    Human Resources – Shared Services Organization

    “We engaged WGA to facilitate and define an anonymous Global Learning benchmark in the Oil & Gas industry. WGA worked with ten of our competitors to define a maturity framework that allowed the participants to competitively measure all aspects of their global learning capabilities. Leverage this benchmark, WGA successfully assisted us with developing and deploying a new Global Learning strategy. WGA expertise and experience in culture change, corporate learning helped us avoid making costly and unnecessary mistakes. “

    $137B Pharmaceutical Company
    Scott
    Vice President

    Learning & Professional Development

    “As a highly regulated organization, our company has long had a strong training program. However, as a result of some regulatory audit findings we had determined that we needed to focus on remediating our global learning models to ensure consistent and unified training. Additionally, our organization was struggling with the lack of developing key specialists in several areas. We engaged WGA to assess and identify gaps in our global learning model. As part of WGA’s efforts, we reached out to several of our competitors to mutually share information regarding our learning capabilities. WGA’s assessment and benchmarking comparison helped us deliver a compelling case to our executive leadership team. WGA then worked with us to develop and rapidly implement a new Global Learning Roadmap. We see WGA as a valuable partner and find their commitment to high value results a key difference from other management consulting companies.”

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