5th Corporate L&D Virtual Summit

On May 14/ 15, I was asked to chair the 5th Corporate L&D Virtual Summit hosting an exciting group of L&D professionals on sharing their best practices and insights. In this post, you will read about my key take-aways.

CognizantStefaan van Hooydonk, Chief Learning Officer

  • As a child, we ask 73 questions per day; until we go to school, where our curiosity is killed, and we learn to sit and listen.
  • Skill has become a C-Suite topic, and L&D needs to rethink how to reposition itself as a function to address the skilling challenge
  • 76% of business leaders fear a daunting skill gap
  • 73% believe that the skill gap will widen in the next five years
  • 65% of employees (from 18-65) think they have the skills to last them a lifetime
  • Cognizant approaches the skill challenge by focusing on Meta Skills: Curiosity, Growth Mindset, Learn2Learn.
  • Curiosity opens our mind to learning
  • Enable people to be curious about oneself, others, and the world
  • Create an ecosystem for learning, democratise learning, partnering with managers to become an active part of the learning culture
  • Cognizant found a positive correlation between learning & job satisfaction and the managers as role manager

BayerFrank Poschen, VP Human Resources BP, Global R&D

  • Bayer sees significant changes in science and market dynamics and wants to become more broad product portfolio, have a deeper understanding of customers and have more flexible operating models
  • 7 out of 10 transformation projects fail because the culture is not addressed enough. Culture is seen as a key enabler of transformation.
  • 77% of people can do a change in behaviour (what is expected, what is in it for me, for the organisation/ reinforcing mechanisms/ challenge conventional practices and beliefs/ role modelling behaviour)
  • Bayer focuses on a shift from tasks/ IQ to people/ EQ
  • Make employees shift their thinking to what is best for Bayer, rather than for their silo inside Bayer
  • Key points to successfully transform “knowledge-worker” organisations:
  • The behaviour of leaders is critical (talk the walk)
    • Measure change and recognition by leaders
    • Leaders reaction to critical situations
    • Example & advice given by leaders
  • Other transformation success factors, according to Bayer:
    • strong top support and visible behaviour change
    • make it relevant for your employees
    • activate formal & informal leaders
    • Co-develop solutions with business, external stakeholders
    • Keep change realistic and create a smooth transition
    • Make a clear link between culture and strategy
    • Over-communicate/ adapt the change processes

Philip Morris InternationalNina Kreyer, Global Head of Learning

  • PMI is radically changing its business model to “UNsmoke your world”, moving from B2B to B2C
  • This results in new products & science, consumer expectations, careers and ways of working
  • The business model is completely being redefined -> organisation needs to unlearn
  • PMI moves from learning to performance support
  • Using the learner centricity approach: 850 employees give input on what needed to change in L&D
  • Survey at PMI showed that #1 place for learning is GOOGLE; 82% want more opportunities to share knowledge; 60% want to learn via laptop (under 25% this is 88%).
  • It is crucial to involve employees in all stages of learning design
  • Learning priorities during COVID-19: Remote leadership, health and well-being, tools to support remote working, new teamwork behaviours, new individual work behaviours.
  • To define the future of learning, PMI looks at external/ organisational and employee drivers.
  • Drivers inside PMI: 
    • Skills are changing, and careers are lengthening
    • PMI’s business model change require different/ new capabilities
    • Learning is not integrated into culture and strategy and requires alignment

SalesforceMaria Jimena Vargas, Talent Development Senior Manager

  • The feeling of belonging is now more critical than ever before
  • Creating connections with people and not employees is a vital mind shift we need to make as employers 
  • Transforming leadership and capabilities: connectivity between individual/ organisation can create an empowered culture and can shape their world
  • Compassion is a sign of strength
  • Company purpose, combined with caring leadership, motivates people to go the extra mile (influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, individual consideration).

Unlocking Team Potential for Establishing a Learning Culture, Anna Donato and Johan Murillo

  • Reframing challenges can help lift moods and start to approach difficulties in different ways; provide other perspectives that give people new ways to look at known problems
  • Fun to make free associations; freedom to explore ignite areas to innovate – an essential tool when a team is stuck in a specific frame of mind.
  • Unlocking group potential virtually is possible and requires experienced moderators to facilitate the session. Preparation is much higher than with face-to-face workshops, but all content is digital, making the post-processing work go faster.

AstraZenecaCaroline Ford, L&D Strategy Consultant

  • the cornerstone for any L&D strategy is to set the foundations/measure returns / get creative
  • Three critical strategic considerations for L&D:
    • get to know your company (strategy, values and behaviours)
    • research the opportunities where to add value
    • measure the ROI of Learning from the view of the C-Suite
  • Ways to create an impact through L&D with zero budget:
    • create a strong brand
    • create a clean, crisp LMS
    • create your content inhouse
    • use internal Subject Matter Experts to host Lightning Talks, Panel Interviews, TED Talk Cinema
    • create a volunteer team & communicate
    • get feedback

NovartisUrs Karkoschka, Head Performance Innovation

  • At Novartis, their new CEO Vas Narasimhan, started in 2018 and has been put a strong focus on cultural transformation.
  • Unleash the power of people to enable their strategy, and cultural transformation is the key to executing their future strategy
  • Culture: Inspired, Curious, Unbossed
  • CEO = Chief Energy Officer, who inspires people to multiply energy
  • We live in an overwhelming world and brain fog.
  • 96% of senior leaders feel burned out
  • 75% of professionals between 25-34 experience this same problem.
  • Novartis started with “sustainable high impact” – being your best when it matters most to you
  • Work-Life balance: working from home increases productivity, but we need to protect people from not burning out
  • Factors predicting performance under knowledge workers:
    • Group goals
    • Perceived support for innovation
    • Perceived supervisory support
    • Information sharing
    • Vision / goal clarity
    • Social Cohesion
    • External communication
    • Team empowerment
    • Psychological safety
  • NPS for managers: 20% difference in employee engagement between managers that focus on these factors compared to those who don’t.
  • Make soft factors real with numbers to create accountability
  • Roadmap to transform: know / apply / experience/ sustain
  • Rather than focussing on Big Bang improvements, Novartis looks at marginal impact to optimise brain and body by appreciating individuality: employees are corporate athletes

IkeaKim Blomqvist, Learning Developer

  • Kim and her team created 23 standalone programs within four weeks that were
    • Cross-functional
    • Inhouse
    • Using SME’s as facilitators
  • IKEA used an iterative approach to adjust to learner needs
  • The bloom taxonomy and learning spaces approach helped them with structuring the learning experiences
    • individual for pre-read / max 30 mins
    • voice over PPT, a workshop for group 80/20 approach
    • post-work for individual/ tasks
  • A flipped learning was introduced (Flexi Environment, Learning Culture, Intentional Content, Professional Educator)
  • The learning journey should be inspiring people to inspire other people
  • Mixing offline and online formats are essential to achieve scale and transfer of knowledge
  • Implementing social apps into the learning experience, such as a meet app and yammer, to support transfer and knowledge exchange
  • Branding to support internal awareness.
  • Reevaluate user feedback continually and implement changes asap.
  • Modular, get SME’s involved, don’t expect learning solutions to be valid for more than a year.

Boston Consulting GroupElsa Blume, Expert Consultant Leadership & Talent Development

  • Why is so challenging to drive learning engagement?
    • Concentration/attention span is typically between 5 – 10 seconds.
  • You need to put learners in the centre when looking at organisation and employees challenges, how are they going to deal with those challenges?
  • Gamification can drive engagement; we use gamification already daily. Learn how we could use the gamification approaches in our corporate learning environment.
  • Gamification is about learner centricity: it helps learners achieve their goal in a way that emotionally engages them
    • start with emotion
    • then motivation
    • then engagement will be a result
  • Four dimensions to gamification:
    • personalised
    • collaboration & competition
    • rewards
    • status
  • Link engagement with career development to create relevance and impact for the employee
  • Virtual environments offer psychological safety; more memorable and higher retention
  • Opportunity to use gamification to link different learning offerings in your organisation

Reimagining the Digital Future of Learning and Development, Anne Haig Smith

  • Challenges with digital training:
    • getting used to new tech
    • feedback not as direct as face to face training
    • a place for concentration needed
    • people prefer face to face
    • finding ways to customise training approaches to different target groups
    • the workforce might not always be able to access / capability to access the technology
  • Solutions:
    • Integrate digital learning solutions with different HR processes (e.g. development process)
    • incorporate different tools and media to create experiences
    • doing surveys to understand learning needs
    • keep sessions short to focus trainers on key topics
    • a good quality learning platform has been invaluable (canvas)
    • COVID-19 forces people to make attempts on how digital learning can work

ING BelgiumAnneleen Arnold, Head of Learning

  • Purpose can help navigate the change around you.
  • How can we predict the next significant change? -> when you can’t go OUTside, go INside.
  • ING Belgium saw a decline in 
    • sustainable engagement
    • personal accomplishment
    • belief in being able to reach annual goals/objectives
  • People are reaching change fatigue
  • To address change fatigue, ING Belgium focuses on people finding purposes “Do Your Thing” with respect for diversity, take the initiative, become a pioneer.
  • Being a pioneer is needed to survive in the world of tomorrow.
  • Purpose helps you to focus on what matters to you
  • ING Belgium calls this Craftmanship
    • Who am I and what is my purpose
    • How do I stay relevant
    • What does it mean for my career?
  • Finding where the purpose of ING and the individual come together is where the magic happens
  • Success factors for this change:
    • Helping people find their use;
    • Implementing the concept in agile ways
    • Look for believers in the organisation (informal ambassadors)

Thank you to Mira Laine from Luxetia International for hosting the event.


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