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insights of a number of professionals who currently lead We re here to tell you that none of these needs to be a. corporate universities This article is a compilation of that showstopper What a corporate university moniker can do is. intellectual capital enhance the profile of learning to the extent that it becomes a. When we first began working with corporate universities vehicle to achieve corporate goals Jeanne Meister explains it. we noticed immediately how few of them there are particular succinctly Learning is important by using the metaphor of. ly in Canada This is in distinct contrast to the volume of infor a university the intent is grand A corporate university puts. mation on the subject Examples include Jeanne C Meister s learning on the agenda with senior management It increases. instructive book Corporate Universities Lessons in Building visibility creates a mental model for learning and provides. A World Class Work Force McGraw Hill 1998 which practically limitless oppor tunities to have fun The mere. is in its second edition There are annual conferences dedicat process of launching a corporate university can kindle employ. ed to helping organizations launch and maintain corporate uni ees excitement about learning In addition says Meister. versities And Web sites abound covering ever ything from corporations are using the university model to brand their ed. selecting corporate university staff to evaluating learning in ucational programs courseware and processes. this environment Given that kind of potential we hope our observations will. It s clear though that many organizations are reluctant to be helpful We ve summarized our ideas into seven key to. give corporate universities their internal stamp of approval do s These are not guidelines on how to go about establish. Perhaps company executives are not interested in the cost ing a corporate university You can get that information from. inherent in a bricks and mor tar approach to learning Meister and others Rather they are a summary of our suc. as evidenced by Bank of Montreal s Institute for Learning in cesses and challenges catalogued in a manner that will help. Toronto Maybe they believe their organization is too small you strategically plan for success within your corporate univer. They may also not want to go the route of formal accreditation sity As you ll see it s not an exhaustive list but rather a list of. that would enable them to grant degrees Some skeptics be questions you absolutely must ask yourself before executing a. lieve that a corporate university is simply the training and de corporate university. velopment department revisited Some disguise the name with. 1 Who is supporting your initiative, a euphemism Learning Centre or Centre for Continuous. You need the people at the top of your corporation on side. not only in spirit but also in fact This is particularly important. if the corporate university s head is not a senior management. position It s helpful also to have broad lateral support Some. corporate universities have formalized a system of gover. nance with each governor responsible for steering a particu. lar area of the U s activities Others loop in trainers across. several business units into a kind of knowledge network. CIBC Retail University is relatively speaking the new kid. on the block It was launched last year with a mandate to en. sure a consistent and mutually rewarding relationship be. tween the bank s clients staff and the organization As senior. consultant in retail banking Judith Laus is responsible for the. Retail U She believes that the U has had great success to date. in achieving its goals In its first year Retail U sponsored 4 000. employees in six new stand alone programs Senior Manage. ment attends debriefs program kick offs and acts as a valu. able sounding board To encourage and maintain this support. however Laus and her team are developing a formal system of. governance that will ensure that training continues to be tied. to CIBC Retail s strategic goals,2 Why link to business strategy. If your learning strategy does not link directly to your orga. nization s business strategy you will find it more difficult to. gain the attention respect or funding you need from the Se. nior Team A corporate university must to be seen as a strate. gic intervention for the organization A good example of this is. 46 HRProfessional October November 2001, Lynn Sharer AT T Canada U s director is a strong propo ty s sponsors see point 1 will come and go When new spon. nent of the corporate university as a driver for culture change sors take the floor it s a new dance and the dean has to learn it. Over the past three years AT T Canada has had three CEOs fast Lynn Sharer takes a more proactive approach to change. each with his own vision In 1998 the CEO at the time In her view to be a successful dean You have to look at the. launched AT TC U with a mandate to improve retention by winds of change and get out there ahead of them A tall order. focusing employees on career potential in the organization but one she appears to have mastered This means connecting. The next leader changed the focus to the acquisition of job with the new sponsors to determine their priorities and posi. skills With the latest CEO the focus is now on leadership de tion yourself and your corporate university as partners in help. velopment No matter how effective the transition from one ing deliver on those priorities Whether or not your sponsors. leader to the next that amount of change can make for a chal are new find opportunities to demonstrate how you can help. lenging work environment However during that period with the issues that are keeping them up at night Infrastruc. AT TC U has according to Lynn provided a cultural com ture and operations are critical to your success but you can. mon denominator No matter how much change we experi delegate that to others Ultimately your personal success. enced the institution of a corporate university brought hinges on your ability to relate to senior management on a. constancy consistency and context strategic level and to keep them inspired for the cause once. 3 Are you focused on a goal the initial enthusiasm wanes. In our experience if you try to do too much at once you ll 5 Do you have a new hot product for your launch. know this place if and when you re there your impact will be Expectations will be high so you ll need something new. diminished We call this the trying to cure world hunger ap to offer besides the hype We noticed one corporate university. proach It s a trap often encountered in large organizations falter because it wasn t ready to go with something concrete. where everyone wants a piece of the action yet where human at launch date As a result it looked like same old same old. resources for the corporate university are limited Successful It took them only two weeks to get it up and running but. corporate universities that have staying power beyond launch by then the initial enthusiasm had waned Your new product. typically start with a narrow field of vision The focus may doesn t have to be a training program It can be software that. vary from developing leaders to creating one common em. enables employees to apply for courses off the Web or a fully. ployment experience to building technical skills Once you. equipped learning lab If you do launch a new training pro. have some initial success and the necessary resources you. gram make sure your vendors are on side and ready to go as. can start to diversify, well This may seem obvious but one of the corporate univer. 4 Can you dance to different tunes sities we interviewed for this article said that its launch was. In this day and age leaders must demonstrate adaptability chaotic because the organization was still in the process of. flexibility and strategic thinking The dean or head of your selecting training vendors for the new program at the time of. corporate university is no exception The corporate universi the launch. Human Resource,Information Management,System Acquisitions.
A rapid and proven acquisition process, Strategic and Operational Alignment Employee conflicts are inevitable in any business. but properly managed they will lead to a positive, Project Charters outcome Toronto ADR Services brings proven and. Requirements Definition impartial mediation techniques that can help resolve. RFP Development employee conflicts with long term solutions. Systems Evaluation Selection,Toronto ADR Services is a leader in mediation. Business Case Development services and can provide solutions that will help you. ROI Analysis increase company morale,Call now to find out how at 416 724 4449. PAKEMAN ASSOCIATES or e mail at mediate torontoadr com. E mail ppakeman sympatico ca Consultation is strictly confidential. Phone 613 294 9456,Fax 613 726 3000,Assisting organization for over a decade.
Catharine Allen Certified Mediator www torontoadr com. HRProfessional October November 2001 47, 6 Do you have a clear point of contact for employees es to attract the attention of Gen X and Echo Boom learners. Most large institutions have several training departments and in some cases for cost effectiveness Availability of qual. soft skills training systems training information technolo ity online learning has improved dramatically even over the. gy and others In this model employees must search for past three years Some of the traditional classroom based. their learning like looking at a map without really knowing training vendors have dramatically diversified their product. which direction you re headed If possible it s useful to cre lines to include technology assisted learning options. ate one technology assisted source of information that con. 7 Who can make you look good, solidates training information and enables these providers to. In other words what programs can you get up and run. speak with one voice to your employees We re not saying. ning that will be pretty much self sufficient and give you on. Disband those training departments They re not the prob. lem But there s no reason that employees should have to going positive feedback We think that partnering with the. juggle various e mail addresses or phone numbers in order external educational community makes a lot of sense The. to get answers to their questions Another advantage of cen training and consulting firms community colleges and uni. tralized administration is the potential for cost efficiencies If versities for example have people and departments specifi. you work in a large organization when was the last time you cally set up to initiate and manage strategic partnerships. got together with your counterparts in the other training They will jump through hoops to do business with you. areas to share information about vendors contracts and Educational institutions also have a good reputation for. costs One organization reduced its training costs by 30 per partnering In Canada the University of Calgary the Univer. cent in the first year simply by negotiating better volume dis sity of Toronto at Scarborough Ryerson University and our. counts with vendors Needless to say this also resulted in network of community colleges are some leading examples. better service from the vendors who realized that they had Judith Laus says that CIBC Retail will be looking down the. more on the line Your senior management team will love the road at establishing links with schools with agricultural pro. cost savings grams especially those with a distance learning application. If you haven t looked at technology assisted learning in Some organizations also established formal partnerships. some time we urge you to do so This distribution method is with a limited number of training vendors CIBC and Sun Life. in our view key to providing access to learning to the mass Financial have both developed partnering relationships with. ya gotta love your, even when they re not perfect And for something as important. as assistance with employee benefits you have to love the experience. and competence provided by The Hull Group We ve been designing. customized solutions for your industry for more than 20 years. Give us a call Let s talk about benefits management. And about your peace of mind,THE HULL GROUP,P E A C E O F M I N D. Helping you show your love for more than 20 years,Toronto 416 865 0131.
48 HRProfessional October November 2001, various training vendors If you go this route war ns. Maryann Baird Director of the University of Sun Life Finan. cial You need to keep in mind three caveats,Know what strengths you are partnering for. Be sure you and the vendor are clear on what the partner. ship is about, Align language used by vendors so that it matches the lan. guage of your organization, Needless to say these vendors and educational organiza. tions can also provide you content and suggestions that will. keep your corporate university top of everyone s mind in a. positive way, In closing we think a corporate university is a great way.
to keep learning alive in organizations Your human capital is. one of your organization s major differentiators so it s worth. the investment in time and energy And we ve already seen. that it can save your organization money,7 CRITICAL FACTORS IN MANAGING. A CORPORATE UNIVERSITY,What Labour,1 Get support from senior management. 2 Link to business strategy,3 Have a clear and preferably narrow focus. Employment,4 Be adaptable to changing business needs. 5 Launch with something hot and ready not,just a promise.
Law May Look, 6 Centralize contact point but de centralize delivery. 7 Extend your capabilities with partnering,Like To You. We ll help straighten things out, WEB SITES TO MOVE YOU FORWARD We solve even prevent such tangles We. www glresources com corp ed corped htm,provide proactive advice and creative workplace. Articles and tips including list of corporate universities. solutions to enable employers to obtain their,www corpu com.
Corporate University Xchange Meister s site business objectives. www traininguniversity com Workable solutions to workplace issues. Provides access to the CU Review Web site,Toronto Ontario London Ontario. 416 408 3221 519 433 7270, Reference Meister Jeanne C 1998 Corporate Universities. Lessons in Building a World Class Force McGraw Hill. Julie Ruben Rodney CHRP is a consultant with MICA Manage. ment Resources MICA ensures its clients achieve measurable re. sults through world class assessment training and consulting. solutions Julie can be reached at jrubenrodney micaworld com. or 416 366 6422,www filion on ca, Barbara Syer employs her experience in front line sales senior. management and consulting positions toward the execution. of people development initiatives She can be reached at THE EMPLOYERS LAWYERS. bsyer idirect com or 416 515 7778,HRProfessional October November 2001 49.

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