New Approaches in Learning and Development Transformation

2015 provided some tremendous opportunities to partner with four great clients undergoing major transformations. It was the year of Learning and Development reininvention and innovation.

Transformation 1 - We had been working for the past couple of years with the head of Leadership, Learning and OD for a global media leader. This year she took on a new role as the head of Senior Executive Succession and Development for their top 30 senior executives.

Insight - Before jumping into the latest development craze, do some reconnaissance on the big strategic challenges which are impeding your organization from reaching its potential. Rally your senior supporters around those critical few items and build a plan to surface and overcome resistance from others who don't see the value.

Transformation 2 - With the CHRO and Head of Talent for another global media leader, we helped contribute to and align their HR strategy and Learning and Development approaches.

Insight - Since 2008, many companies have allowed dust to collect on their L and D efforts, resulting in unaligned, outdated programs and sporadic employee participation. These clients did a brilliant job of re-engaging their leaders by conducting extensive interviews about what would really help in 2015 and beyond. They built support by presenting the synthesized feedback to the senior execs in their own words in an entertaining and effective collective learning presentation.

Transformation 3 - With the CHRO and Talent Management and Organizational Effectiveness head of a Fortune 250 sized Global Consumer Products giant, we partnered on a comprehensive effort to build a more centralized, cohesive Learning and Development transformation. This included extensive work with the CEO and Executive Committee to understand their business challenges, development mindsets, current siloed learning efforts and their best ideas on the future L and D vision. We partnered with HR to build a five year step by step Learning and Development strategy with five sequenced, specific program recommendations, a corporate university based Development Council and COE organization plan.

Insight - As they were involved in a massive global reorganization and cultural transformation for the previous two years, they wisely chose to start by focusing on executing one foundational learning program and building the Development Council to support and help integrate their other efforts in 2015-16.

Transformation 4 - Perhaps the most innovative and accelerated transformation effort occurred with a yearlong partnership of the North America region of one of the world's largest employers and services companies. Due to significant growth in the company, the head of Talent Acquisition and Development wanted to significantly accelerate her Learning and Development Team's capabilities to support their businesses.

We worked with her and her team in a truly unique way – flexibly filling gaps and working side by side to bring clarity, build capability and navigate change where needed. Beginning with a strategic vision of what Modern Learners would require in their rapidly growing company (Meet The Modern Learner Infographic - Todd Tauber) we consulted on the challenges of implementing a COE org structure and how to measure success.

We also provided monthly leader and team coaching, and facilitated Rapid Prototyping and Talent Management Game Planning sessions. Finally we gave a keynote speech at their mid year conference featuring Modern Learner case studies to help them envision a possible future.

Insight - We discovered a much faster, synthesized path to transformation that is applicable to any Human Capital practice. Kudos to this leader and her team for having the courage to forge ahead at lightning speed and effectiveness.


There are many reasons for failed transformations:

  1. Unclear, overcomplicated or unimaginable strategy.
  2. Poorly planned or ineffective execution.
  3. “Black holes of dissent” and resistance – politics, competing priorities, cultural barriers and hidden agendas remain unsurfaced or unchallenged.
  4. Unclear success metrics or vague commitments to action.
  5. Manager and/or employee readiness for change isn’t assessed effectively.
  6. Internal resources don’t have the time, capability, capacity, focus or motivation.
  7. External resources take their expertise with them when they leave.
  8. Positive and negative feedback and lessons learned aren’t incorporated into the transformation.

Here’s what we believe works to develop the BEST Integrated Human Capital solutions:

  1. Customized Strategic Consulting – listen deeply to understand your unique cultural, competitive and people strengths / challenges. Help your organization, teams and leaders focus on developing customized Human Capital strategies which deliver measurable results.
  2. Integrated execution – build clear, comprehensive, sequenced plans which help your organization execute critical priorities.
  3. Targeted Team Coaching – help accelerate the development of leaders and teams to work together seamlessly to achieve challenging business goals.
  4. Transformation Metrics – define, track and communicate meaningful success measures.
  5. Capability Building – facilitate and imbed critical transformation / human capital skills and mindsets for sustainable change and employee engagement.
  6. Collective Learning – incorporate actionable feedback, best practices and adapt on the fly

As we head into 2016, we leave you with a great transformation thought by Neil Gaiman, a creative and highly diverse British author:

British Author: Neil Gaiman

For a confidential discussion about your transformation needs, please contact us at the address below or click the Contact Us button below.

G Burns & Associates | 40 Ingram Street | Forest Hills, NY 11375

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.