January/February 2018

January/February 2018

Editor’s Letter


Stressed, Pressed and Blessed

I

n learning, as with just about anything in life, it’s easy to focus on the negative and get preoccupied with the challenges that inevitably pop up to block our way.

There’s never enough money, time or attention to do all that we want. Add to that the unavoidable fact that learning and development is a long-term strategy for a short-term obsessed business world dominated by quarterly results-driven thinking and it’s no wonder that learning leaders feel the pressure.

Lofty expectations come from all directions: executives want real results, business partners come with pet projects and learners have an insatiable demand for help in advancing their careers.

Piling on top of that is the ever-expanding set of tools, technologies and methodologies at hand for the job. Learning leaders have a dizzying array of choices in their work: in classroom or online, in person or on the go, via programs that take months to complete or bits of learning consumed in a matter of minutes.

With all the challenges, it’s easy to lose sight of just how special learning work is.

But all that pressure and stress is nothing new for chief learning officers. You signed up for it. Being an executive, whether the role is learning, marketing, finance or operations, means you have to deliver. Learning is the right thing to do for the health and wealth of the organization and employees alike. But that doesn’t mean you get a free pass to the board room.

With all those challenges, it’s easy to lose sight of just how special learning work is. It’s a blessing to be able to be a chief learning officer. That message is crystal clear as I look to the year ahead.

January/February 2018 | Volume 17, Issue 1

PRESIDENT
John R. Taggart
jrtag@CLOmedia.com

Vice president, CFO, Coo
Kevin A. Simpson
ksimpson@CLOmedia.com

Vice President, GROUP PUBLISHER
Clifford Capone
ccapone@CLOmedia.com

VICE PRESIDENT, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Mike Prokopeak
mikep@CLOmedia.com

Editorial Director
Rick Bell
rbell@CLOmedia.com

Managing Editor
Ashley St. John
astjohn@CLOmedia.com

Contributing EDITOR
Frank Kalman
fkalman@CLOmedia.com

ASSOCIATE EDITORS
Andie Burjek
aburjek@CLOmedia.com

Ave Rio
ario@CLOmedia.com

Lauren Dixon
ldixon@CLOmedia.com

COPY EDITOR
Christopher Magnus
cmagnus@CLOmedia.com

Video and Multimedia Producer
Andrew Kennedy Lewis
alewis@CLOmedia.com

Editorial InternS
Alexis Carpello
acarpello@CLOmedia.com

Marygrace Schumann
mschumann@CLOmedia.com

Vice President, RESEARCH & Advisory Services
Sarah Kimmel
skimmel@CLOmedia.com

RESEARCH MANAGER
Tim Harnett
tharnett@CLOmedia.com

Data Scientist
Grey Litaker
clitaker@CLOmedia.com

Research Content Specialist
Kristen Britt
kbritt@CLOmedia.com

editorial art director
Theresa Stoodley
tstoodley@CLOmedia.com

Media & Production Manager
Ashley Flora
aflora@CLOmedia.com

Production Coordinator
Nina Howard
nhoward@CLOmedia.com

VICE PRESIDENT, EVENTS
Trey Smith
tsmith@CLOmedia.com

Events Marketing Manager
Anthony Zepeda
azepeda@CLOmedia.com

Webcast Manager
Alec O’Dell
aodell@CLOmedia.com

Events Graphic Designer
Tonya Harris
lharris@CLOmedia.com

BUSINESS MANAGER
Vince Czarnowski
vince@CLOmedia.com

Regional Sales ManagerS
Derek Graham
dgraham@CLOmedia.com

Robert Stevens
rstevens@CLOmedia.com

Daniella Weinberg
dweinberg@CLOmedia.com

Director, Business Development 
Kevin Fields
kfields@CLOmedia.com

Audience Development Director
Cindy Cardinal
ccardinal@CLOmedia.com

Digital Manager
Lauren Lynch
llynch@CLOmedia.com

Digital Coordinator
Mannat Mahtani
mmahtani@CLOmedia.com

Digital Media Intern
Emma Wilbur
ewilbur@CLOmedia.com

LIST MANAGER
Mike Rovello
hcmlistrentals@infogroup.com

Business Administration Manager
Melanie Lee
mlee@CLOmedia.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Jos Arets
Ken Blanchard
Bob Danna
Karen Eber
Charles Jennings
Laci Loew
Elliott Masie
Lee Maxey
Bob Mosher
Casey Mulqueen
Tim Rahschulte
Jonyce Ruiz
Aarti Sharma
Amy Bladen Shatto
Bob Szostak

CHIEF LEARNING OFFICER EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

Cedric Coco, EVP, Chief People Officer, Brookdale Senior Living Inc.
Lisa Doyle, Head of Retail Training, Ace Hardware
Tamar Elkeles, Chief Talent Executive, Atlantic Bridge Capital
Thomas Evans, (Ret.) Chief Learning Officer, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Ted Henson, Senior Strategist, Oracle
Gerry Hudson-Martin, Director, Corporate Learning Strategies, Business Architects
Kimo Kippen, Vice President, Global Workforce Initiatives, Hilton Worldwide
Rob Lauber, Vice President, Chief Learning Officer, McDonald’s Corp.
Maj. Gen. Erwin F. Lessel, (Ret.) U.S. Air Force, Director, Deloitte Consulting
Justin Lombardo, (Ret.) Chief Learning Officer, Baptist Health
Adri Maisonet-Morales, Vice President, Enterprise Learning and Development, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
Alan Malinchak, CEO, Éclat Transitions LLC and STRATactical LLC
Lee Maxey, CEO, MindMax
Bob Mosher, Senior Partner and Chief Learning Evangelist, APPLY Synergies
Rebecca Ray, Executive Vice President, The Conference Board
Allison Rossett, (Ret.) Professor of Educational Technology, San Diego State University
Diana Thomas, CEO and Founder, Winning Results
David Vance, Executive Director, Center for Talent Reporting
Kevin D. Wilde, Executive Leadership Fellow, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

Chief Learning Officer (ISSN 1935-8148) is published monthly, except bi-monthly in January/February and November/December by MediaTec Publishing Inc., 111 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 1200, Chicago IL 60601.  Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Chief Learning Officer, P.O. Box 8712 Lowell, MA 01853. Subscriptions are free to qualified professionals within the US and Canada. Digital free subscriptions are available worldwide. Nonqualified paid subscriptions are available at the subscription price of $199 for 12 issues.  All countries outside the US and Canada must be prepaid in US funds with an additional $33 postage surcharge.  Single price copy is $29.99

Chief Learning Officer and CLOmedia.com are the trademarks of MediaTec Publishing Inc. Copyright © 2018, MediaTec Publishing Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of material published in Chief Learning Officer is forbidden without permission.

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on the cover: Photo by Brian Flaherty

20


Profile

Mike Prokopeak
At Gilead Sciences, Brian Miller takes the same thoughtful and dedicated approach to learning that he was taught a young age.

52


Case Study

Ave Rio
Cox Automotive is using video to drive peer coaching and align sales teams on values and approaches.

54


Business Intelligence

Mike Prokopeak
Technology investment plans show learning executives caught between legacy systems and the promise of future technology.

Features

16
Tim Rahschulte
What differentiates high performers from the rest is the soft skills that create alignment, connection and joint purpose. But when should you invest in building those skills versus hiring for them?
32
Aarti Sharma and Bob Szostak
Even small and midsized organizations can harness the power of adaptive learning to achieve powerful personalized results.
40
Casey Mulqueen
Resilience training techniques can improve engagement and help people overcome their fears about change.
44
Amy Bladen Shatto and Jonyce Ruiz
Emerging technology is only as good the purpose to which it is applied. Two L&D practitioners from Avanade explain how they take a purposeful approach to microlearning.
48
Jos Arets, Bob Danna, Charles Jennings and Laci Loew
A group of industry analysts argue the future of business requires a network of experts who share wisdom as a team fueled by a new type of learning technology.

Experts

16
Elliott Masie
Becoming Tech Wise in 2018
11
Bob Mosher
Your Refrigerator Is Running
12
Ken Blanchard
Make Deadlines for Your Dreams
14
Lee Maxey
Too Little Progress
58
Karen Eber
Make Waffles, Not Spaghetti

Resources

4
Stressed, Pressed and Blessed

Are you a part of the CLO Network?

Imperatives


Becoming Tech Wise in 2018

Commit to learning more about technology in the year ahead By Elliott Masie

Elliott Masie is chair of the Masie Center’s Learning Consortium, CEO of the Masie Center and host of Learning 2018. He can be reached at editor@CLOmedia.com.

C

hief learning officers and learning leaders must rapidly increase their technology wisdom to handle the significant shifts in technology innovation and deployment in our workplaces.

Most CLOs can navigate the current conversations about talent/learning databases and mobile devices and can decode many conversations as they delve into the inner workings of application programming interfaces, technology stacks and clouds. And, as good leaders should, they rely on their team members to support their tech-readiness along the way.

But it’s time for many learning leaders to build a deliberate learning program to become more tech wise and ready for technology conversations.

In recent months, I have seen the eyes of learning leaders glaze over when conversations dive into topics such as block chain technology, audio search and knowledge technology, machine learning, augmented reality context, automation process cycles and big data for talent analytics.

selling up, selling down


Your Refrigerator Is Running

You better catch it if you want to be at the forefront of learning By Bob Mosher

Bob Mosher is a senior partner and chief learning evangelist for APPLY Synergies, a strategic consulting firm. He can be reached at editor@CLOmedia.com.

T

he other day my new refrigerator’s water filter needed to be changed. How did I know that? Not from the taste of the water and not from the color of the water but rather because my refrigerator told me so.

It knew when I purchased it and began using the filter. It knew how much water I had consumed over the past several months. It knows how long a good filter should last. So when the time came it flashed a warning light on the front of the water dispenser and gave me a six-day countdown to have it replaced. That warning grew more daunting as the final day approached.

So I’m ready to replace the filter for the first time. I open the door to see the make and model of my refrigerator prominently displayed on the inside frame, nicely embedded for the moment of need. My original intent was to take that information, Google the manufacturer’s website and research how to change the filters on this particular model.

leadership


Make Deadlines for Your Dreams

Take time each day to focus on goal achievement By ken blanchard

Ken Blanchard is chief spiritual officer of The Ken Blanchard Cos. and co-author of “Collaboration Begins with You: Be a Silo Buster.”
He can be reached at editor@CLOmedia.com.

T

he busiest people tend to be the ones who have the most trouble accomplishing goals and sticking with New Year’s resolutions. The problem is that these people often go through the motions of day-to-day busy work instead of focusing on the important things first.

You may have heard the theory that we all have two selves: the external, task-oriented self that focuses on getting the job done and the internal, thoughtful and reflective self that considers things before acting.

Our task-oriented self is the first to wake up in the morning, of course, and is focused only on task achievement. We read email while we eat breakfast, then head to the office and start attacking our to-do list in order to get everything checked off before we go home. It’s easy to get so caught up in doing urgent but unimportant tasks that we don’t have time to think about new goals we have set.

Making the grade


Too Little Progress

More is needed to fulfill the promise of microcredentials By Lee maxey

Lee Maxey is CEO of MindMax, a marketing and enrollment management services company.
He can be reached at editor@CLOmedia.com.

M

ia Radic credits a microcredential program with helping her find her dream job ahead of schedule.

Radic, a former supply chain specialist, took a series of graduate-level courses as part of the MicroMasters program developed and taught by universities and delivered by edX, a private company created by Harvard and MIT in 2012 as a portal for online learning. Other portals include Coursera, Udacity and Udemy.

In the case of MicroMasters, programs feature courses from MIT and Harvard as well as more than a dozen other universities and cover subjects ranging from information technology and business management to data analytics and, in Radic’s case, supply chain management.

Radic told me via email that it takes determination to finish the program. She balanced full-time work with school and some assignments would consume an entire weekend. But the pros, like building a professional network and picking up new skills, outweighed the cons of trying to squeeze it all into a packed schedule.

Investing for Soft Skills:

Build, Buy or Both

What differentiates high performers from the rest is the soft skills that create alignment, connection and joint purpose. But when should you invest in building those skills versus hiring for them?

By Tim Rahschulte

When many people are asked to describe an “engineer,” it elicits an immediate reaction. But whether they think broadly about the work or more narrowly about a specific person, emotional intelligence, caring and soft skills are not often at the top of the list.

Engineers are generally known for their technical skills and proficiency. I’ve worked with several great engineers. Some have been involved in physical product development while others work in software, construction, data analytics and cybersecurity. No matter their specific role or industry, what sets them apart isn’t their expertise. It’s not that simple.

Recently, I was speaking with Roland Cloutier, the chief information security officer at ADP, one of the largest payroll service providers in the world. When asked how to maximize individual, team and organizational performance, he said: “It’s all about alignment, connection and joint purpose. Alignment drives connection and the way the you get things done is through human connection.”

To maximize a return on investment and fully realize someone’s potential, you need to identify the reason for and define the outcome from human connection. To do that, leverage soft skills.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Investing for Soft Skills:

Build, Buy or Both

What differentiates high performers from the rest is the soft skills that create alignment, connection and joint purpose. But when should you invest in building those skills versus hiring for them?

By Tim Rahschulte

When many people are asked to describe an “engineer,” it elicits an immediate reaction. But whether they think broadly about the work or more narrowly about a specific person, emotional intelligence, caring and soft skills are not often at the top of the list.

Engineers are generally known for their technical skills and proficiency. I’ve worked with several great engineers. Some have been involved in physical product development while others work in software, construction, data analytics and cybersecurity. No matter their specific role or industry, what sets them apart isn’t their expertise. It’s not that simple.

Recently, I was speaking with Roland Cloutier, the chief information security officer at ADP, one of the largest payroll service providers in the world. When asked how to maximize individual, team and organizational performance, he said: “It’s all about alignment, connection and joint purpose. Alignment drives connection and the way the you get things done is through human connection.”

To maximize a return on investment and fully realize someone’s potential, you need to identify the reason for and define the outcome from human connection. To do that, leverage soft skills.

Profile


A Dedication to the Craft

At Gilead Sciences, Brian Miller takes the same thoughtful and dedicated approach to learning that he was taught at a young age.

By Mike Prokopeak

photos by Brian Flaherty

When Brian Miller was just 6, his mother, an accountant by training, would take out her ledgers and spreadsheets, lay them on the floor and invite her young son to play a game.

“Literally she would spread them on the floor and say, ‘I’m off by two cents. Help me find it,’ ” Miller said.

The hunt for the missing money was one of the ways Miller’s mother, who earned a master’s degree, became a CPA and eventually a chief financial officer while raising her two sons alone, taught him to develop perseverance and stamina.

“Mom is an amazing woman. She taught me I need to get better every day and be the best at your craft,” he said.

It’s a lesson Miller has carried with him throughout his career, whether as a middle school teacher or now as vice president of talent, development and inclusion at Gilead Sciences, one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies.

Sponsored Content

Don’t Lose Sight of Competence and Connection in a Digital World

By Leah Clark, Director, Strategy & Development

BlessingWhite, A Division of GP Strategies

It’s no surprise to anyone that digital transformation is likely to continue with increasingly profound impact on how organizations conduct business. This disruption is massive, requiring new rules for operating in a digital world as well as changing how employees and customers want to interact with organizations. As a result, businesses need to shift to a new way of working.

A recent Harvard Business Review study indicated that “70% of CEOs believe they do not have the right skills, leader, or operating structure to adapt.” As organizations evolve and try to figure out how to shift to a digital business leadership model—from recruiting and sales to customer service and internal communications—what are the implications for the leaders of these organizations? How does leadership change in a digital age? And what skills will become most critical to lead successfully?

Sponsored Content

The Strategic Mindset

Applying strategic thinking skills for organizational success

By Tim Harnett

Do leaders at your organization know what strategy is and how they can create it? Rich Horwath, CEO of the Strategic Thinking Institute, thinks the answer might surprise you. “Pass out notecards at your next meeting and ask everybody to write down their definition of strategy. You’ll typically find that most people don’t have the same definition. Before you can have sound strategic thinking in place, there needs to be an understanding of what strategy is, and how it differs from other business planning terms like mission, vision, goals, objectives and tactics.”

How can leaders at your organization think and act more strategically? Horwath shares some tips.

Beyond the Transactional

How the financial services industry should embrace next-gen learning to get ahead of digital disruption

By Tim Harnett

When ATMs were first introduced, many predicted bank tellers would disappear, as transactional tasks could now be completed by machines. Yet between 1970 and 2010, the number of tellers increased — even as the number of ATMs grew.¹ Tellers’ marketing and interpersonal skills became vital to the job, as they completed tasks that ATMs couldn’t.²

The need for critical skills continues to challenge the financial services sector. As blockchain technology threatens to further automate transactions and processes, employee responsibilities will shift. With the ubiquity of smartphone apps that handle financial transactions automatically, organizations will need to develop their employees differently to effectively serve a more knowledgeable customer base.

“The effects of artificial intelligence augmenting what people do with technology, coupled with the speed of change are all challenges,” says Jeremy Auger, chief strategy officer for D2L Corp. “In five years there will be new skills sets people will need, so addressing that skills shortage and supporting your organization are top priorities.”

For increased performance, make sure that leadership is everybody’s business in your organization.

By Leslie Tedgui

Describing leadership is not an easy task, and definitions can vary depending on who we ask. Is leadership a quality, an attribute, an attitude, a job title? A lot of the trouble we face in finding the best definition for leadership comes from an important confusion we tend to make. It’s essential to distinguish between holding a leadership position and demonstrating leadership skills.

Organizations assign leadership positions to selected individuals: this means that they receive a mandate from the company to lead others, and are recognized as such. Only a small percentage of employees can hold a leadership position, and they are usually the top executives of their organization.

However, any employee can demonstrate leadership skills, regardless of seniority, job title, place in the hierarchy or even management experience.

Learning Priorities Benchmark: Leveling Up the Workforce

New research from American Public University (APU) shows where organizations plan to focus their attention in the coming year

By Tim Harnett

According to the World Economic Forum “The Future of Jobs” Report, by 2020, more than a third of the most sought-after core skills sets will consist of those that are not yet considered critical to the job today, such as persuasion and emotional intelligence.¹ These essential business skills — commonly referred to as soft skills, which include strong social and collaboration skills — will be necessary components of any future successful L&D initiative. Many organizations are unsatisfied with their current programs. As they look to implement new initiatives, they’ll want to ensure that any new program is measurable and can demonstrate a provable return on investment.

What is the industry benchmark for learning leaders? What are CLOs’ successes and challenges? Earlier this year, American Public University School for Continuing Education and Professional Studies partnered with Chief Learning Officer for the “2017 Learning Priorities” survey to establish an industry benchmark of the challenges and needs for today’s CLOs and learning leaders. More than 400 survey participants shared their thoughts with us.

ADAPTING to Adaptive Learning

Even small and midsized organizations can harness the power of adaptive learning to achieve big results.

By Aarti Sharma and Bob Szostak

Corporations, especially large ones, increasingly recognize the potential of artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data analysis, apps and robots, as well as augmented and virtual reality-based solutions to solve complex organizational challenges.

Amid such technological revolution, higher bars for talent and leadership development are being set within corporations and across the learning and development industry. Pressure is mounting on learning and development professionals to continually innovate, design and develop personalized learning that caters to each individual’s learning aptitudes, preferences and performance; maximizes learning impact; and brings learners to peak performance in the shortest possible time.

Corporate learning leaders are looking to the technology to keep pace with these demands. They hope to enhance each individual’s learning experience and boost achievement of business objectives through high-tech, machine-driven approaches that enable learning and development departments to develop and implement smarter, customized learning and development.

With these hopes in mind, the L&D industry is attempting to shift toward learning that is online, web-based and mobile as opposed to traditional face-to-face learning sessions. While it remains the largest delivery methodology, the amount of instructor-led and classroom training has indeed dropped from 47 percent to 41 percent in the past three years, according to Training magazine’s “State of the Industry” reports.

But as learning organizations pursue technology-driven transformation they risk falling prey to the assumption that organizations can only change through technology. The solution is not just technological or financial.

Resilience training techniques can improve engagement and help people overcome their fears about change.

By Casey Mulqueen

Change is everywhere and learning executives are right in the middle of it.

The C-suite is calling for faster and more dramatic change to keep the organization competitive. But employees are experiencing change fatigue or worse, change revolt.

A 2017 report from the American Psychological Association says that “Americans who reported recent or current change were almost three times more likely to say they don’t trust their employer and more than three times as likely to say they intend to seek employment outside the organization within the next year.”

CEOs recognize a simple fact: Organizations need to change to grow and even just survive. Global consulting firm KPMG regularly surveys the CEOs of major companies around the world. Their 2017 report highlights disruption as a major focus and concern. According to the report, 74 percent of the nearly 1,300 respondents said “their company is striving to be the disruptor in its sector.” Half expect a major disruption in their segment within three years.

That leaves us with a problem. Change is needed for survival. But people hate change. They question and resist it. Learning executives are stuck in the middle. They’re charged with supporting a corporate strategy that employees loathe.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Resilience training techniques can improve engagement and help people overcome their fears about change.

By Casey Mulqueen

Change is everywhere and learning executives are right in the middle of it.

The C-suite is calling for faster and more dramatic change to keep the organization competitive. But employees are experiencing change fatigue or worse, change revolt.

A 2017 report from the American Psychological Association says that “Americans who reported recent or current change were almost three times more likely to say they don’t trust their employer and more than three times as likely to say they intend to seek employment outside the organization within the next year.”

CEOs recognize a simple fact: Organizations need to change to grow and even just survive. Global consulting firm KPMG regularly surveys the CEOs of major companies around the world. Their 2017 report highlights disruption as a major focus and concern. According to the report, 74 percent of the nearly 1,300 respondents said “their company is striving to be the disruptor in its sector.” Half expect a major disruption in their segment within three years.

That leaves us with a problem. Change is needed for survival. But people hate change. They question and resist it. Learning executives are stuck in the middle. They’re charged with supporting a corporate strategy that employees loathe.

Emerging technology is only as good the purpose to which it is applied. Two L&D practitioners from Avanade explain how they take a purposeful approach to microlearning.

By Amy Bladen Shatto and Jonyce Ruiz

It’s not surprising to see L&D professionals hanging their hats on microlearning to address the needs of the “overwhelmed, distracted, and impatient employee” that was introduced in the now infamous 2014 “Meet the Modern Learner” report by Bersin by Deloitte.

In that report, analysts pointed out that today’s learner now has less time for development in an already overcrowded work week. That challenge is compounded by a diminished attention span. The result has been the rise of the mobile-friendly, just-in-time, searchable “training” index of lessons meant to be inhaled in less than 10 minutes. Microlearning is how these smaller chunks of learning have become known.

Using the principles of brain science, well-crafted microlearning breaks down content into bite-sized, digestible pieces of information designed to engage, motivate and facilitate learner retention. These chunks of learning, generally five to eight minutes in length, are commonly presented as videos, GIFs or even gamified elements that transfer discrete, individual concepts.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Emerging technology is only as good the purpose to which it is applied. Two L&D practitioners from Avanade explain how they take a purposeful approach to microlearning.

By Amy Bladen Shatto and Jonyce Ruiz

It’s not surprising to see L&D professionals hanging their hats on microlearning to address the needs of the “overwhelmed, distracted, and impatient employee” that was introduced in the now infamous 2014 “Meet the Modern Learner” report by Bersin by Deloitte.

In that report, analysts pointed out that today’s learner now has less time for development in an already overcrowded work week. That challenge is compounded by a diminished attention span. The result has been the rise of the mobile-friendly, just-in-time, searchable “training” index of lessons meant to be inhaled in less than 10 minutes. Microlearning is how these smaller chunks of learning have become known.

Using the principles of brain science, well-crafted microlearning breaks down content into bite-sized, digestible pieces of information designed to engage, motivate and facilitate learner retention. These chunks of learning, generally five to eight minutes in length, are commonly presented as videos, GIFs or even gamified elements that transfer discrete, individual concepts.

A group of industry analysts argue that the future of business requires a network of experts who share wisdom as a team fueled by a new type of learning technology.

By Jos Arets, Bob Danna, Charles JenningS AND Laci Loew

In most organizations, performance measurement still focuses on celebrating the “lone wolf” individuals who they count on to find just the right data to inform great innovation and accomplishment.

Yet, evidence suggests that teams containing or connected to experts always outperform even the best and brightest of individual experts, particularly when enabled with software or technology.

This is especially true today as we continually search for the actionable 2 percent in the 24x7 flow of incoming information. Finding that valuable 2 percent relies on access to domain experts and their ability to filter information. In the past, the notion that knowledge is power meant people were expected to learn and remember what they learned in order to act. In today’s world where knowledge generation is increasing and half-life is shortening at an alarming rate, access to knowledge is where the power truly lies.

A group of industry analysts argue that the future of business requires a network of experts who share wisdom as a team fueled by a new type of learning technology.

By Jos Arets, Bob Danna, Charles JenningS AND Laci Loew

In most organizations, performance measurement still focuses on celebrating the “lone wolf” individuals who they count on to find just the right data to inform great innovation and accomplishment.

Yet, evidence suggests that teams containing or connected to experts always outperform even the best and brightest of individual experts, particularly when enabled with software or technology.

This is especially true today as we continually search for the actionable 2 percent in the 24x7 flow of incoming information. Finding that valuable 2 percent relies on access to domain experts and their ability to filter information. In the past, the notion that knowledge is power meant people were expected to learn and remember what they learned in order to act. In today’s world where knowledge generation is increasing and half-life is shortening at an alarming rate, access to knowledge is where the power truly lies.

Case Study


Cox Drives Sales Training

By Ave Rio

F

or most organizations, sales is a high-stakes, make-or-break business initiative.

At Cox Automotive, a business unit formed from the consolidation of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises’ automotive businesses in 2014, it was complicated by the merger of what had previously been distinct sales teams spread across the country into one unified brand.

Between 2010 and 2015, Cox Automotive acquired Autotrader Inc., Kelley Blue Book and Dealer.com. Integrating each brand’s sales force into one team posed a challenge. After the merger, some salespeople had extensive knowledge in some areas and products and little knowledge in others.

“We wanted a solution that would help bridge the gaps so they could learn from one another after going through some regular product and sales-type training,” said Michael Whatley, Cox Automotive senior manager of learning design and operations in the media solutions group and sales operations. “We wanted to give them a platform that they could communicate and learn best practices from one another.”

The company settled on an approach that used the interactive video platform from Practice, a Philadelphia-based learning technology company, to enable peer-to-peer coaching and assessment and give the separate teams the ability to learn from one another.

Business Intelligence


Stuck in the Middle

Technology investment plans show learning executives caught between legacy systems and the promise of future technology.

By Mike Prokopeak

T

here’s little argument that we live in a time of rapid technology disruption.

A host of new consumer-like platforms and tools fueled by machine learning are putting learning into the hands of learners in the way they like it, wherever they are at whatever time they choose. An unprecedented variety of rich content is available at the moment of need with the swipe of a finger or the click of a mouse.

At the same time, legacy systems continue to deliver important and useful — if sometimes unglamorous — services to the organization. This reality puts chief learning officers in a tough spot.

Technology investments are increasingly central to learning strategy yet increasingly fragmented among an array of legacy platforms and emerging applications.

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in conclusion


Make Waffles, Not Spaghetti

Leaders focus employees on what is known and ignore the unknown By Karen Eber

Karen Eber is an Atlanta-based leadership development expert at General Electric, where her work is focused on helping individuals, teams and organizations perform their best. She can be reached at editor@CLOmedia.com.

A

few weeks ago, I was coaching the members of an executive leadership team. We were discussing how to navigate through the complicated changes in the VUCA world.

VUCA, an acronym that stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, describes the experience of their world daily. Many change management approaches present change as a one-time event that has a completion. That may have been true five years ago but it isn’t realistic in today’s environment, regardless of the industry.

Change doesn’t end. It twists, turns, morphs and gets layered with other change. This creates a lot of confusion and uncertainty for employees. It makes leading through this time very difficult.

Humans have a difficult time with change due to the way our brains work. Fear of change is real. Just like our ancestors scanned the environment to make sure they weren’t about to be attacked by lions, we continually scan the environment for threats. When our brain perceives threats, it releases cortisol and triggers our fight-or-flight response.

Thanks for reading our January/February 2018 issue!