What's New in Learning? - 2014 CLO Symposium Recap

By Lynne White

Winners!

Congratulations to Oracle HCM customers Vi, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service and Cricket Communications, for being named in Chief Learning Officer magazine’s 2014 Learning Elite.  Learning Elite is widely recognized as the industry’s most meaningful and comprehensive standard for effective Learning & Development practices. 

This peer-reviewed ranking and benchmarking program chooses organizations that use exemplary workforce development strategies that deliver significant business results. The winners were honored at a Gala on the first night of the Chief Learning Officer Symposium, a premier conference for Learning Leaders, at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Beach, Calif. 

Make note that our esteemed award winner Vi will be featured in Training Magazine’s “Provactive Ideas” webinar series. Join Judy Whitcomb, SVP Human Resources, Learning & Organizational Development, Vi and Jim Obsitnik, General Manager and GVP, Oracle Corporation to learn more about Creating an Engaging, Empowering and Electrifying Learning Culture that Drives Results

There was an abundance of creative ideas and best practices shared at the CLO Symposium.  Here are a few highlights from the event:

Contagious Learning

One theme that resonated through the conference was the importance of thinking beyond compliance and toward marketing learning opportunities to employees. If learning content is creative and inspiring it will spread from person to person and stimulate a learning culture.  

So how can CLO’s design messages that will go viral within their organizations? 

Jonah Berger, associate professor of marketing at the Wharton School of Business and author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” answered this question.  He explained that content must be “tastier”, and used an uncooked head of broccoli and a cheeseburger to make his point. Obviously a head of broccoli has a great deal of nutritional value, but most people would prefer to eat a cheeseburger.  

“Some things are just tastier than others; certain things are more appealing. Unless our messages are designed to be tasty, they’re unlikely to catch on.” In another example Berger showed Panda Cheese commercials. This campaign will forever change how you think about Pandas.

Gender Diversity = Good Business

Companies with women in senior-management positions have better financial returns and score higher on criteria related to organizational health, according to McKinsey’s “women matter” research. Debra Clary, Corporate Director at Humana’s Leadership Institute presented ‘I stand for You’: A case Study about Women in Leadership at the event. 

The health insurance company’s core values — thriving together and cultivating uniqueness — provide a framework for female associates to aspire to lead and receive the vital “I stand for you” support of senior female executives that allows them to thrive in their current roles and set a course for their careers.

Humana is a role model for organizations that aim to tackle the cultural mindset that prevents women from moving into leadership positions -- through thoughtful learning and development initiatives. 

Inspired by Possibility

What is the next step in your career path?  If you work for Macy’s you have the advantage of comprehensive career planning.   Terry Foy, GVP, Development and Employment at Macy’s gave CLO attendees a peek into its innovative model.  

Employees have the tools to learn about executive roles, evaluate related competencies and create multiple career tracks.  The model also gives Macy's a single view of talent and helps it make decisions about talent development and movement.

Terry also spoke about how a large organization leverages and maximizes an integrated talent solution to propel talent and drive the business.  Macy’s has 160,000 plus employees, is a Fortune 100 company and an Oracle HCM customer. 

Bottom Line

“Effective learning communities are the leading indicator of future organization success”

- Mike Prokopeak, Vice President, Editorial Director, Chief Learning Officer magazine

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Lynne White, Director HCM Product Marketing at Oracle, is responsible for identifying the biggest challenges HR business leaders face, then mapping those challenges to technology solutions that help improve business outcomes.  Prior to Oracle, Lynne was an HR practitioner and then a customer marketing consultant in the HCM space. Follow her on Twitter @elizlynne

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