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Books: An Organizational Learning Model

By Nick Lebredo, CMA, CPA, CFE
March 1, 2016
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Composition with hardcover books in the library

Many companies strive to continuously develop human capital and maximize employee performance potential. The ever-changing business environment requires an ongoing commitment to learning and constant adaptation to new demands. In Learning to Succeed, Jason Wingard provides useful direction for developing and implementing an integrated training model for C-suite executives, human resource professionals, and all levels of management.

 

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Drawing on his doctorate in education as well as his experience as chief learning officer at Goldman Sachs, Wingard offers keen insights and practical advice about how to better align organizational learning with corporate strategy via his Continuous Integration of Learning and Strategy (CILS) model.

 

Successful implementation of CILS depends on a programming framework that consists of three foundational pillars: thought leadership that introduces new knowledge to the organization based on research or best practices; development programs that tailor learning opportunities to specifically targeted groups; and advisory services that conduct training needs assessments as well as individual coaching and consulting.

 

A chapter of the book is dedicated to addressing four common barriers to change: leadership, culture, employees, and resources. Leadership might resist CILS because of limited resources and because tangible benefits might be difficult to recognize. Similarly, employees who feel buried in day-to-day deadlines may view CILS implementation as a distraction. A complacency culture that doesn’t recognize the need for investing in ongoing learning is one of the most significant barriers to CILS implementation.

 

Another chapter is dedicated to explaining how to regularly evaluate and communicate the organizational return on learning (ROL) by using both quantitative and qualitative measures. Continuously measuring ROL can assist an organization with maintaining its commitment to funding a CILS model and engaging in a valuable exercise of self-examination and continuous improvement.

 

The final chapter discusses how two companies, Comcast Corporation and Sears Holdings, approached embracing a CILS model. An appendix provides excerpts from an organization learning discussion with executives from Deloitte, LLP and Procter & Gamble, which offers particularly enlightening tips for superior outcomes: Organizations should focus more attention on experiential learning and should adopt standard measures and reports to evaluate learning and development.

 

Nick Lebredo, CMA, CPA, CFE, Ph.D., is a professor of accounting at the Keller Graduate School of Management and is a member of IMA’s Mid-Florida Chapter. You can reach Nick at drnickcpa@gmail.com.
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