This book is a thing of beauty! It talks about the importance of learning to strategy and development in the organization, which is crucial for long-term success for all businesses. Today, alongside the CFO, CMO, COO, CTO and CHRO, the CLO will be involved in the strategy planning discussions, resource allocation meetings and financial decision process which learning should be integrated throughout. As 3rd CLO at Goldman Sachs, Dr. Wingard explains how learning should be integrated throughout in this book. You shouldn't miss this book!
This book changed my overall perspective on what companies and organizations need to do to succeed. Integrating learning and strategy builds the road to greater success. After reading and implementing this approach, I have witnessed significant change in my organization. I highly recommend this book. It's a winning choice.
You can never stop learning It’s time we took learning seriously. For many years things in business were static enough or at least much more static that they are today so that you could go to college, get your MBA and then be set for life. When I was younger I remember being the only one in my sales staff who even read business books. Hell, I remember when business books were a rarity taking up about a foot of the book store’s shelf. Now of course we are all learning or should be. In this new and important book by Jason Wingard he rightfully describes what it is going to take to succeed from now on. Our market places are now so dynamic that we have to institute formal learning programs to stay head of the game. In fact the author himself is the Chief Learning Officer at Goldman Sachs one of the few companies that has adapted this new way of thinking. Now Mr. Wingard shares with us what it is going to take to create and implement a true Learning to Succeed program in our own companies. He takes us through a step by step chapter by chapter journey to make sure that we not only completely understand the need for an educational plan but also how it should be made up, who should run it, who should benefit by it and how to keep it going. This is a book that is ahead of its’ time (just barely) but is providing a great blueprint for the future of doing business in this fast growing, fast changing cross cultural global economy. I really like the way he incorporates actual cases from a number of companies from Proctor and Gamble to Sears Holdings to Comcast explaining how each of these companies handled their learning program, from implementation to sustenance and how they are faring today allowing us to learn from their challenges and successes. This is a great book to use as a primer for developing your company’s own learning program, not s subject to be taken lightly. Please read this book and pass it on the other leaders in your company and then get to work on your own Learning to Succeed program,
According to Jason Wingard, his purpose in this book is to help his reader rethink corporate education polices, practices, and programs in a world of unrelenting change. He explores "the specific intersection among, and interdependence of, corporate strategy, operational planning, and human capital development." More specifically, he explains HOW to achieve strategic objectives such as these:
o Develop a Contiguous Integration of Learning and Strategy (CILS) for identifying and analyzing learning needs in order to design, implement, evaluate, and (if necessary) modify learning initiatives
o Integrate thought leadership initiatives as well as employee training and development programs with corporate strategy to achieve both short-term and long-term goals
o Overcome common budgeting barriers to corporate learning and make a solid, bottom-line case for CILS, using an ROI formula
o Foster a culture of learning throughout the given enterprise, preferably led by a Chief Learning Officer who is assigned a widely respected strategic leadership role
o Leverage learning to attract, integrate, and retain top talent that will help to increase productivity, innovation, employee engagement for the organization as well as nourish a culture within which personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive
These are indeed worthy objectives. Achieving them will require everyone in an organization, whatever its size and nature may be, to communicate, cooperate, and (most important of all) collaborate effectively. And let's not forget about the importance of thought leadership. These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Wingard’s coverage:
o Continuous integration of learning and strategy roles (Pages 34-35, 41-45, 48-56, 68-75, and 80-83) o Best practices (54-55 and 80-81) o Culture of development (61-64 and 155-160) o Information gathering (65-67 and 80-83) o Individual responsibility for learning and development (73-74) o Insights: Distribution channels (76-86 and 97-98) o Targeted development programs (88-89 and 140-143) o Resistance to barriers to CILS (99-126) o Investments (113-117 and 120-124) o Return on Learning from CILS (127-146) o Performance evaluation (133-134 and 159-160) o Culture of Excellence (155-160) o Effectiveness of business unit leaders and managers (163-165) o Comcast: Mini-case study (171-178) o Centralization (175-186) o Sears Holding Corporation: Mini-case study (178-186) o Deloitte: Mini-case study (184-194) o Procter & Gamble Mini-case study (194-207)
These are among Jason Wingard's concluding observations: "Gone are the days when just having a superior product or lower prices or more market penetration formed the basis of a company's edge. An organization needs to get its house in order and become a proactive learning organization committed to the progressive tools afforded by the CILS method. Corporate learning initiatives serve to bolster four of the strongest paths to success: the talent war, a culture of excellence, manager effectiveness, and brand enhancement. [I presume to add another: effective leadership at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise.] Through an ongoing dedication to the CILS values of analysis, strategic planning, and continuous assessment, evaluation, and programmatic learning, all members of the learning organization from the C-suite to middle managers to the rank and file employees work together to give the company an edge on the competition."
Obviously, no brief commentary such as mine could possibly do full justice to the abundance of information, insights, and counsel to be found in this book. However, I hope I have at least indicate why I think so highly of it as well as of the thought leader who wrote it. For those in need of supplementary resources, I now strongly recommend three: Return on Learning: Training for High Performance at Accenture, co-authored by Donald Vanthournout, Tad Waddington, and other members of Accenture’s Capability Development Team; Dean Spitzer’s Transforming Performance Measurement: Rethinking the Way We Measure and Drive Organizational Success; and Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution co-authored by Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, and David Robertson.
The book clearly articulates a successful organization must integrate the learning initiatives into business strategy. Wingard was able to provide many real life examples and case studies. It was a fun read and the book has completely changed my understanding of what a real learning organization is.