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Developing a Learning Academy


I'm working on introducing an internal Learning Academy & would be really interested in interacting with others who have implemented or are currently working within a Learning Academy. Would like to understand the process of developing the concept & how you have engaged the business & more importantly what I sould beware of.

2 Responses

  1. Engagement is key

    Hi Paula,

    May I direct you to my 2009 article, The Seven Pillars of the Corporate University: If there is an omission from this article, it’s that I don’t discuss at any length the critical issue of winning hearts and minds – you correctly appear to have identified engagement as the most important question ahead of you.  Having set up two corporate universities/academies, studied two others in depth, and failed to convince another organisation of its merits, I wish you well.

    (The ‘Seven Pillars’ article, and its follow-up, ‘How to Get Value from a Corporate University’, both appear in my 2011 book, 101 Learning & Development Tools:

    Good luck,


  2. Learning Academy

    Paula – We run a Revenue Cycle Academy in our hospital which is a focused performance improvement initiative dedicated to about 8% of the organization’s employee base and a very finite set of topics.  The thing we do better than anything else (to Ken’s point) is what we call "Deliver the Academy".  I have spent inordinate amounts of time meeting with senior leadership creating awareness of the initiative, articulating the benefits to them and their respective staffs, and post delivery acknowledgement of accomplishments related to delivery and competence.  It took me almost three years to hone the "elevator speech". 

    Depending on the type of organization you are, I would suggest outsourcing the development of content (particularly e-learning) – it’s the most commoditized element of the process and leverage topic specific trainers and designers rather than generic instructional designers (Full disclosure: I am not a learning theorist, ID, or trainer, by trade).

    Don’t necessarily get bogged down in the "is it a training need or isn’t it a training need" conversation.  There is always an information need.  Get huge amounts of inventory developed quickly (If you’re dealing with a finite topic) and then you can structure, organize, deliver, sustain, integrate, and evaluate any which way you want.  This last piece won’t be a popular position with ID purists but there’s not much pure left in this world – this is a realistic approach to addressing needs (real or perceived) of senior leadership that are not interested in needs analysis, adult learning theories, Kirkpatrick, pedagogies, etc.  If they ask for training, you’re going to give them training. 

    Imagine if Google went through a deep dive assessment of whether or not to include something in it search inventory.

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