Leadership Toolbox: Growing a Learning Organization

26 November 2013 | Articles

In 2012, U.S. organizations spent more than $156 billion on formal employee learning, and corporate budgets for training and development have climbed in recent years.

By LZ Nunn, Director of Management Programming at Boston Global

If you are learning more rapidly than the competition, you can get ahead and stay ahead.” – Youtube video, Professor David Garvin, Harvard Business School

The benefits of a learning environment

So just what can becoming a learning organization do to build the bottom line? Learning organizations can empower employees, enhance collaboration with key business partners, enrich the customer experience and ultimately boost business performance.

Many learning organizations are household names: Starbucks, Toyota, Salesforce.com, Google and G.E. Under former C.E.O. Jack Welch, G.E.’s profits climbed 4000% from 1981 – 2001. Welch attributed this success with being quick to adapt to market changes. “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly,” said Welch, “is the ultimate competitive advantage.” Every person, every idea counts is one of G.E.’s core values.

Recently, e-Core set out to become a learning organization and build on core values. Working with Boston Global, e-Core has implemented a new program that builds stronger communication, improves strategic alignment between goals and tasks and supports innovation and creativity. Boston Global uses a blended-learning program that applies an online learning platform, one-on-one coaching, group video conference meetings and tools to use the next day on the job.

A leadership toolbox

The program supports managers to develop new processes that boost efficiency and respond to the fast-paced changing needs of e-Core’s client base. According to a recent Forbes article, research shows “companies which adopt “formalized informal learning” programs (like coaching, on-demand training, and performance support tools) outperform those that focus on formal training by 3 to 1.”

Boston Global’s customized program uses small, easy-to-use chunks of content to make it easy for participants to apply new learning. “We provide managers skills, tools and frameworks,” says Genet Jeanjean, Managing Director at Boston Global, “so they can work more efficiently and deliver on strategic company goals.”

As e-Core team leaders continue to learn new skills, they are transmitting the learning down through each of their teams. The results speak for themselves: stronger performance, new frameworks that help teams achieve goals, and more engaged employees and customers. Clearly, learning increases performance and makes e-Core more competitive globally. “By investing in our people we accelerate both the individual and the company’s development so we are able to multiply the value we add to our customers through our solutions” says Márcio Silveira, e-Core’s CEO.

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