Excellence in
Academic Partnerships
Christobal Valdez
Partners in Leadership ►
Partners in Leadership ▲
Richland Community College was facing a number of challenges that were hindering its ability to operate at full potential. The institution lost more than 22 percent of student enrollment over six years. The student retention rate was even lower at 46.24 percent for next term and 8.46 percent for fall to fall. Departments were functioning in silos with minimal collaboration. Employees were unclear on the institution’s goals. A division between the faculty and staff was apparent. Ownership was lacking on all projects.

To create a learning strategy that would develop a workforce based on accountability and employee engagement, RCC brought on Partners in Leadership. In 2017, RCC launched its initiative on personal accountability utilizing the Accountability Builder program. The workshops and assessments were designed to help break down silos, encourage collaboration, and get employees personally invested in the specific goals of the organization. A group of four internal volunteers became the mentors and champions of Partners in Leadership’s models and methodologies. This group acts as the liaisons between the institution’s daily practices and implementation of Partners in Leadership’s curriculum. Supervisor training was also implemented.

Today, RCC is surpassing its three key results: improving enrollment, employee engagement and economic sustainability.

— Ashley St. John
Christobal Valdez
Center for Leadership at Florida International University
Daikin Industries, based in Osaka, Japan, has experienced rapid global growth over the past several decades, especially in the U.S. This growth led to several key challenges: How could Daikin continue to grow while still retaining a strong, values-based culture with people at the center? And how could they ensure that leaders were equipped for current and future challenges?

Daikin’s CHRO worked closely with the Center for Leadership to develop the Daikin North America Leadership Program, an initiative designed to build strategic capacity, drive development and effectiveness using multimodal learning, and energize the organization, starting with core leaders. This collaboration resulted in the creation of a rigorous developmental program with sessions led by seven subject matter experts and Daikin leadership. The program design emphasized practical application and practice sessions as learning mechanisms. The use of experiential as well as classroom learning was critical to ensure the sustainability of learning and equipped participants with strategies to share out to their teams upon return to work.

The program design included a robust evaluation protocol including various surveys and evaluation forms. In their overall evaluation of the program, ninety-four percent of participants rated it as “very good” or “excellent.” One hundred percent agreed or strongly agreed that participating in the program will help them become better leaders for Daikin.

— Ashley St. John
Penn Foster
EmployBridge, the U.S.’s largest industrial staffing company, wanted to drive retention and address growing skill gaps. They decided to do this in two ways: through upskilling by equipping those who are unemployed or underemployed with the most in-demand skills, and by working with current associates to provide education and training, helping them achieve promotions, pay increases and full-time employment by IRS employer partners. But they needed to implement a scalable, effective way to achieve those goals.

EmployBridge partnered with Penn Foster to launch Better WorkLife Academy, a library of 21 different courses available to all EmployBridge associates and colleagues. The academy includes career-oriented courses in fundamentals (safety, warehouse basics, production basics, Microsoft Office) and more advanced topics (electronics, welding and mechanical maintenance). Each course, which includes short videos, quizzes and support materials, is available 24/7 and can be accessed via mobile device.

Currently, the academy is optional. EmployBridge wants learners to choose their own educational pathway. However, some employer partners create their own programs and incentivize associates to complete the courses. As of mid-2019, almost 40 percent of the total eligible EmployBridge population was active in the Better WorkLife Academy.

— Ashley St. John
Excellence in
Blended learning
Michael Kester
The Regis Co. ▲
BNSF Railway operates about 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and three Canadian provinces. In 1995, the company developed its Leadership Model with a consistent set of principles to distinguish it from competitors. The desire to explain and reinforce the five tenets of the Leadership Model drove the creation of People Leader Training in 2000. Each year, the PLT focuses on one of those tenets. The tenet “Lead More; Manage Less” was established as an area in need of focus in 2016.

The specific behavior selected to be developed to support Lead More; Manage Less was titled Leadership Is Situational. Data analysis indicated a need for leaders to be more flexible in their approach. Because leading more and managing less involves complex social behaviors, such as coaching, teaching and enabling others, they needed the learning to be more than a typical instructor-led class.

BNSF had partnered with The Regis Co. in 2015 to create a simulation learning experience situated in the fictional railway town of Mainville. The 2015 PLT program modeled the mechanics of how the railroad is run. Incorporating this with its 2016 goals, The Regis Co. and BNSF designed a simulation that modeled what it takes to run the railroad business, from customer order to customer delivery. The result was a unique learning experience for leaders designed to reflect the real life day-to-day of the railroad industry.

— Ashley St. John
Entelechy
With 70,000 employees globally — including 7,400 leaders at a variety of levels — the leadership team at Thermo Fisher Scientific has huge responsibilities. Given the size and scale of the organization, a targeted program was developed to fully prepare a select number of high-potential employees for more senior roles by providing them with the skills and experience needed to operate at a more advanced level.

The original iteration of Developing Emerging Leaders had been in operation for a number of years. Then, in early 2016, the Global Talent Development team conducted an assessment of the program and identified several areas of opportunity. Meanwhile, Thermo Fisher Scientific was growing rapidly outside the United States, and more than half of employees are now millennials, so it was even more critical that the program be refreshed to be more relevant to the target audience.

Thermo Fisher Scientific and Entelechy worked together to design the current iteration of Developing Emerging Leaders. The foundational concepts of Developing Emerging Leaders are: know yourself, master your business and lead others. The two- to three-month journey includes self-paced prework, self-paced e-learning, two virtual instructor-led training sessions, a three-day instructor-led classroom training and management reinforcement.

Ninety-nine percent of participants agreed that they would be able to immediately apply the skills and knowledge learned during the program to their jobs.

— Ashley St. John
Easygenerator
Before adopting a blended learning strategy, home appliance company Electrolux relied almost entirely on face-to-face training methods and some amount of e-learning that was costly and time-consuming. The very idea of going digital was daunting because the organization’s culture was deep-rooted in traditional training methods. But with several thousand store assistants and service technicians spread over dozens of countries, the old model was not sustainable.

The sales and services training team at Electrolux turned to Easygenerator to help launch a blended learning program. As the primary tool for launching the blended learning model, Easygenerator was able to meet all the company’s needs, including supporting mobile learning, providing cloud-based instant access and distribution, enabling collaborative creation, creating engaging content and more.

According to the sales and services training team, switching to a blended learning model has resulted in greater scalability, improved ROI and a more personalized learner experience.

— Ashley St. John
Excellence in
Community Service
John Cleave
SweetRush ►
SweetRush ▲
For more than a century, the American Association of University Women has been working to close the gender pay gap in the U.S. Five years ago, they began hosting Work Smart workshops, in which women are taught to understand their own value and learn salary negotiation skills.

AAUW felt they were reaching thousands of women with these workshops, but they wanted to be reaching millions. They decided to adapt the workshop into an e-learning format, but they needed a partner to help see the idea through. That’s when AAUW discovered SweetRush Inc.

Since 2001, SweetRush has been helping businesses create custom online training and e-learning solutions that help drive talent engagement and success.

SweetRush allowed AAUW to turn their workshops into a free, learner-centric experience using storytelling, live and interactive video scenarios featuring a “diverse and relatable cast of women,” interactive learning components, and self-reflection and assessment. So far, more than 10,000 women have registered for the course, reviews for which have been consistently positive. AAUW plans to have 10 million women trained on salary negotiation through Work Smart Online by 2022.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
Will Campos
Will Campos
John Cleave
D2L ▼
D2L ▲
After many years working to support different humanitarian aid initiatives, ICF needed to refresh its training courses to meet the needs of volunteers being deployed to humanitarian aid organizations across Europe. The organization realized the training was often a stumbling block for aid organizations, in particular when it’s actually time to respond to a disaster.

ICF began contemplating solutions and decided that a learning management system platform would be the best tool for what they wanted to accomplish, which was a fully designed and improved course with streamlined course administration.

They discovered a flexible, customizable platform in D2L’s Brightspace. ICF worked closely with various European aid organizations to learn about project management, intercultural awareness, safety and security, advocacy and communications, as well as psychological first aid, in order to develop 12 course modules.

With D2L, ICF is able to provide knowledge and support to humanitarian aid volunteers across Europe, including those who volunteer through the EU Aid Volunteers initiative. In the less than three years since the launch of their new training program, ICF and its partners completed 14 training cycles. In a survey done, 90 percent of individuals surveyed gave the course the highest possible approval score.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
Excellence in
Content
SweetRush
Tasked with making a funny, innovative and, above all, captivating program to increase the Bridgestone sales team’s understanding of Bridgestone tires, SweetRush created Consumer Tire Education. By gamifying Bridgestone’s original learning portal, SweetRush was able to make teaching selling skills an engaging, intrinsically motivating experience.

The main challenge lies in creating an engaging program to learn the fine details and minutiae of 40 types of tires. To do so, SweetRush developed Tire Match Madness to create competency through repetition.

Using storytelling, humor and animation, Consumer Tire Education built project knowledge for learners while making a new creative challenge for SweetRush’s writers, designers and creative directors. The learning portal implemented allowed associates to view messages, earn awards and badges, and view community events at Bridgestone.

Consumer Tire Education is able to build on itself for any new learning content or challenges. To promote new courses and modules, SweetRush designed a branded newsletter for new learning materials arrival.

Thus far, Consumer Tire Education has had more than 18,000 learners completing more than 880,000 courses. Ninety percent of sales associates say the training program made them a better salesperson, and 79 percent say Bridgestone’s education was superior to their competitors.

— Kerry Snider
Carol Fahy
Susan Gray, Laura Balliet, Nancy Pagel and Diana Fritz
Impact International ▲
Oshkosh Corp. started with its directors in order to transition to a people-first mindset, first reaching out to Impact International in order to transform company culture.

With an emphasis on the pedagogy of leadership, Impact’s solution architects created a five-month long road map for directors looking to evolve their understanding of how to guide their teams by engaging, developing and connecting.

All of Oshkosh’s population of directors, comprising more than 350 learners, completed the Lens in Leadership program, resulting in a strong start for the company’s new frame of mind.

— Kerry Snider
Carol Fahy
Zelus Consulting Group ◄
Zelus Consulting Group ▲
When EmblemHealth decided they wanted a comprehensive training program to turn their call center into a concierge service, Zelus Consulting Group created PACE.

Focused specifically on demonstrating the intricacies of excellent customer service for professionals in the healthcare industry, PACE serves as both a 10-day, online curriculum and a mnemonic device, standing for proficiency, accuracy, confidence and empathy.

Nearly 99 percent of participants reported that, after taking PACE, they felt empowered to take patients’ calls, while 76 percent of learners said the program improved their confidence a lot when speaking to irate callers.

— Kerry Snider
Excellence in
E-Learning
Degreed
Before launching their new learning platform via Degreed, accessing appropriate learning at the right time was nearly impossible for Booking.com employees. They were often frustrated because they could not find content relevant to their learning needs. Poor user experience and lack of a scaled methodology caused internal and external customer satisfaction numbers to decline.

Due to increase in competition within the travel industry, new critical skills continued to be added to the roles of Booking.com team members, and the learning and development team recognized the need for a learning platform that could deliver new learning at the speed of business. A core group from the L&D team worked closely with key members from the Degreed team to design the best approach for Booking.com.

To increase accessibility of training, eight content courses were integrated into one platform. These included Lynda.com, Coursera, Udemy, Kaltura, Good Practice, Harvard ManageMentor, Safari Online Books and Booking.com’s new LMS LearnUpon. The platform provides a feed based on the skills, groups, topics and people their employees follow and allows them to simultaneously search for relevant content. Additionally, it features pathways of learning to guide employees through skill development. 

The L&D team has shifted from an instructor-led focus to a blended approach that is comprised of curated online learning, coaching experiences and demonstrations of proficiency designed to improve performance into curated pathways. This new platform allows Booking.com to have an overview of their learning landscape in order to measure success. 

— Yasmeen Qahwash
AllenComm
With a desperate need to rethink its training strategy, Beautycounter partnered with AllenComm to create Counter University, a web-based, mobile-first microlearning platform with performance supports and assets. Before Counter University, Beautycounter distributed dozens of Word documents, PDFs, videos and emails on top of old versions on its training website. Consultants struggled with deciphering whether they were reading the most current documents and lacked the time to search through countless forms on their computers.

AllenComm designed coaching micromodules and a searchable and shareable learning catalogue aligned with Beautycounter’s performance objectives so learners could use it as a resource to return to again and again and easily share with their teams as a coaching asset.

The design strategy for the web-based training included instructional and motivational videos, interactive activities, resource tools and a searchable and shareable easy-access asset repository that included the coaching micromodules. These assets could be favorited and stored in the learner’s personal learning dashboard, which would also track progress.

Due to the accessibility and relevance of the mobile training, Beautycounter has seen a rise in leadership and recruitment and increased retention rates.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
Heide Abelli, Cliff Howe and Marienne Bernardes
Skillsoft and SumTotal Systems ◄
Skillsoft and SumTotal Systems ▲
Cox businesses were asking for ways to make required content more easily accessible to employees and learners were asking for snippets of learning video, audio and book formats. Due to this demand, Learn@Cox was launched in 2019, delivering an easy, streamlined experience across all four Cox divisions via SumTotal Learning Management.

The initial design of Learn@Cox focused on bringing together seven disparate learning management systems, converting learning completions, cleaning up custom content and aligning on core functionality. With access to content on a variety of topics, including leadership, business skills, compliance and IT, Cox employees can use this platform to enhance their skills. In collaboration with Skillsoft, Cox developed custom learning paths aligned to Cox leadership competencies and tailored by job level. This solution gives Cox learners an expanded library of books, audiobooks, book summaries and other learning resources in a redesigned landing page.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
Excellence in
Executive Education
INSEAD
In 2016, Schneider Electric launched a bold new strategy that called its workforce of 150,000 people to lead the industry shift toward digital solutions and services. It was a radical departure from 150 years of traditional engineering practice. Schneider’s top executives realized this shift required a change in business, culture and leadership at all levels.

Working together, Schneider and INSEAD devised a combination of face-to-face and digital modules, which applied the principles of digital disruption to Transforming Schneider Leadership, as the initiative came to be called. Built over months of joint design work and delivered across the globe, the product of their collaboration was a multilevel system of leadership development, tailored to the challenges of each managerial level and customized to Schneider’s new strategy and “people vision.”

Transforming Schneider Leadership’s combination of experiential and online learning has inspired, equipped and supported 1,500 change agents — from the CEO to line managers — to accelerate Schneider’s strategic digital transformation.

— Ashley St. John
Daniel Rundhaug
Davenport University IPEx ▲
Vast China is the Chinese entity of the joint venture Vehicle Access Systems Technology, or Vast LLC. Vast LLC and Vast China acknowledged that the development of Vast China was critical to the organization’s ability to accomplish its financial target goal for the future. The health of the organization at the executive leadership and senior leadership levels needed to be strengthened. The organization needed enhanced decision-making criteria that empowered leadership to make decisions and hold individuals and teams accountable for those decisions.

Enter Davenport University IPEx, which developed Vast China’s Leadership Excellence Program to grow leadership competencies and enhance company culture. The program’s impact has been a phenomenal improvement to organizational behavior and performance that eliminated deep dysfunction among executives and senior management and promoted cross-functional teamwork.

— Ashley St. John
Dan Rilis
The Regis Co. ◄
The Regis Co. ▲
In planning for sustained success in new business environments, Abbott identified gaps in the advanced skills possessed by general managers that were not addressed by their existing global leadership development programming. Many of those whom the Global Leader Program serves are newly hired or newly promoted, across all products and markets. Following this assessment, the Abbott team concluded that the GLP needed to be reinvented to create comprehensive mindset shifts in how leaders think about and execute their roles to better prepare them for success in this new environment.

The Regis Co. and Abbott partnered to update and improve Abbott’s GLP. This program was custom-created to address business needs by leveraging simulation, 7-S and scenario planning. These strategies have provided dynamic, engaging and cutting-edge experiences with quickly applicable learnings for participants.

— Ashley St. John
Excellence in
Partnership
Fulcrum Labs
The Aviation Institute of Maintenance chose Fulcrum Labs to design and deliver a certification preparation program to support the performance of AIM students by fully preparing them for the Federal Aviation Administration mechanic certification exam and helping them build the confidence necessary to sit for the exam and pass and begin a successful career as FAA-certified aviation mechanics. This initial project launched in late 2017 and was wildly successful, yielding a 95 percent pass rate on the FAA General written certification.
— Ashley St. John
Katue Burke, Sharon Steeley and Nate Kahl
Scrimmage ▲
Scrimmage ►
The Oncology Training & Development department at AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical firm, partnered with Scrimmage to create a modern learning technology experience for 1,600 learners that translated into 98 percent engagement, 50 percent shorter time to sales readiness and more than $1.35 million in cost savings, particularly due to new mobile and administrative and back-end efficiencies.
— Ashley St. John
GP Strategies
Based on internal benchmarking and industry research, Boeing merged two organizations to improve performance and establish a “One Boeing” approach across learning and leadership. GP Strategies partnered with Boeing to help bring their vision to life, creating a learning transformation strategy and execution plan and aligning stakeholder goals and expectations.
— Ashley St. John
Katue Burke, Sharon Steeley and Nate Kahl
Jeanne Baron
CorpU ▲
CorpU ▼
As compensation, organizational structures and performance management systems were changing, new global leaders at Merck needed to shift mindsets, capabilities and ways of working together across the organization. Specifically, they wanted to ensure that global organizational standards around coaching and performance management, innovation, strategy execution and diversity and inclusion were embedded as critical skills for new managers. Merck enlisted CorpU’s cloud-based platform, which stimulates collaborative dialogue around company strategies and serves relevant microlearning content alongside it. The platform also exposes managers to different business leads and contacts across the company through virtual discussion boards and idea tournaments.
— Ashley St. John
Learnlight
Novartis has offices in more than 90 geographic locations, 105,000 associates from more than 140 different nationalities, and products distributed in 155 countries. It partnered with Learnlight to deliver language training for six languages as part of a digital transformation initiative launched in 2018, reaching more than 10,000 people in four months. This resulted in increased engagement, ROI and training consistency.
— Ashley St. John
Jeanne Baron
Excellence in
Technology Innovation
GP Strategies
Faced with low engagement and completion rates of their seven-week Story Impact workshop, Microsoft reached out to GP Strategies to revamp the optional program for meeting preparation, executive presence and storytelling. Low retention rates pointed to content unaccompanied by support; to fix this, GP Strategies created Coach Alex.

With two separate pilot groups, surveys and feedback every step of the way, Microsoft and GP Strategies set out to create a program that would not only encourage learners to finish the course, but also retain information in a meaningful way.

The mobile chat bot offers links to additional courses and prompts to complete modules, something learners at Microsoft benefitted from when squeezing in the optional learning course. Coach Alex not only texts learners reminders to finish their course, but it sends TED Talks or Harvard Business Review articles related to the completed courses in the following weeks.

Learners who signed up for Coach Alex were half as likely to drop the course as the learners who chose not to use the mobile chat bot, with engagement nearly doubling.

— Kerry Snider
Learning Tribes
In preparation for an upcoming product launch in China, L’Oreal wanted a social and mobile learning platform for employees. Enlisting Learning Tribes’ help, L’Oreal introduced Spark to 3,000 employees, doubling the participants’ social engagement. Using an already familiar social platform, WeChat, enabled learners to get a head start on their training modules. Gamifying much of the curriculum, Learning Tribes was able to engage learners with leaderboards to track one another’s progress. L’Oreal isn’t concerned with any difficulties for scaling up and plans on releasing Spark to another 10,000 learners.
— Kerry Snider
Allego
After a merger and doubling of its workforce, Finastra needed a faster way to welcome new employees while maintaining company values. To streamline learning and communication for their sales reps, Finastra partnered with Allego for a one-stop hub of video-based tools. From perfecting elevator pitches to shortening onboarding experiences, Allego created more than 600 videos.

Developed with mobile devices in mind, Allego’s program allows sales reps to record pitches, upload immediately and receive feedback from their managers. Combining convenience and collaboration has saved Finastra $170,000 this year alone.

— Kerry Snider
Kevin Holland
Mursion ◄
Mursion ▲
To help their front-desk managers avoid accepting blame for elements beyond their control, Best Western created a three-step training program that helps managers practice de-escalating difficult conversations with customers. The second step of the training program was created by Mursion, a startup specializing in building interpersonal skills through virtual reality.

Collecting common problems occurring at the front desk through TripAdvisor and Medallia, Mursion was able to pinpoint exactly what customers were looking for in conflict resolution. Mursion’s technology included a human actor working behind the scenes to deliver both the “emotional and cognitive facilities for transformative learning,” something Best Western noticed after its short-term gains in customer satisfaction skyrocketed.

— Kerry Snider