CorpU Weekly Digest: Learning Excellence (2012-Jan-16)

Topics: Learning Excellence

Here are this week's headlines in learning excellence: 

 Learning Excellence and Innovation

Developing the Chinese market is a top priority for many multinational companies. Here's an update on what's changing
Global companies are driven to hire staff from within each target market primarily to gain access to knowledge of new regions. In China, for example, this has driven many multinationals to reduce the number of non-Chinese staff. Pankaj Ghemawat, professor at IESE business school, has researched the impact of "cultural distance" on business and has found greater challenges where companies operate across regions that lack historical and cultural overlap, as is true with North American and European companies in China. The competition for top talent is not simply a battle fought among multinationals. Both state-owned and private Chinese enterprises are snapping up a greater share of the top talent pool by means of compelling offerings, often at the expense of multinationals. The latter's traditional advantages in attracting talent — prestigious brands, higher compensation and career-development opportunities — are eroding. Leading multinationals have developed internal initiatives to address these hurdles and become even more attractive career-development places for top local talent. Multinationals such as GM, Microsoft, P&G, PepsiCo and others use a variety of programs to lure and retain China's best and brightest. These initiatives include, among other things, global rotations, internal training, monetary incentives and collaborative curriculum-building with local universities. Read the Wharton article, "Talent Management at Multinational Firms in China"

Explore the impact of corporate network structures on how knowledge is acquired inside organizations
Breaking down the barriers to knowledge transfer between an organization's disparate units is essential in the creation of new knowledge, arguably the most important source of competitive advantage in today's hyper-competitive world. In the article "Bridging the Knowledge Gap," IESE's Marco Tortoriello, MIT's Ray Reagans and Bill McEvily, of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, offer three network features that have a positive effect on the successful transfer of knowledge: tie strength, network cohesion and network range. They considered how tie strength, network cohesion and network range affect the level of knowledge acquired in cross-unit knowledge transfer relationships. To gain a better understanding of how these elements influence knowledge transfer, the authors studied the research and development division of a large hi-tech multinational. You may want to consider these metrics in your programs, after reading the article. Read the IESE Insight article "Boosting Inter-Organizational Knowledge Transfer"

Finding new approaches for optimizing talent is a critical aspect of organizational performance
According to authors Margaret Schweer, Dimitris Assimakopoulos, Rob Cross and Robert J. Thomas, writing in "Building a Well-Networked Organization," IDEO is equally adept at bringing innovation to its internal operations. Specifically, IDEO excels at using talent networks and social networks to be smarter about internal staffing. The authors write that: 1) the company develops rich profiles describing the capabilities and performance of employees, which are then shared across the organization; 2) the profiles, which can be searched and tagged electronically, provide an effective mechanism for uncovering talent that might otherwise go unnoticed and underused; 3) managers can learn about an employee's collaboration on a specific project and how it contributed to the shared knowledge. They can use that information when selecting people for projects or roles; and 4) because employee capabilities are linked to detailed information about projects and jobs, the platform becomes a two-way street: Development opportunities can target employees, and employees can seek out opportunities. Read the Sloan/MIT Review article "Employee Profiling That Works: How IDEO Uncovers Hidden Talent"


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 The Business of Learning: New Major Products, Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships

No major news in mergers, acquisitions, or product releases.


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 Books To Read

At the top of every organization chart lies a myth — that a Senior Management Team makes a company's critical decisions. The reality is that critical decisions are typically made by the boss and a small group of confidants — a "team with no name" — outside of formal processes. Meanwhile, other members of the management team wonder why they weren't in the room or even consulted ahead of time. The dysfunction that results from this gap between myth and reality has led to years of unproductive team-building exercises. The problems, Frisch shows, are ones of process and structure, not psychology. In the book Who's in the Room: How Great Leaders Structure and Manage the Teams Around Them, Bob Frisch (Managing partner of The Strategic Offsites Group) suggests how organizations will get better decisions and superior results by unleashing the full potential of their Senior Management Teams. This book is based on interviews with CEOs at organizations ranging from MasterCard to Ticketmaster to The Red Cross. Buy Now 

What do legendary leaders from Disney, GE, GM, Johnson & Johnson, Boeing, eBay, Microsoft, Intel, Time Warner, Chiquita, WalMart, Pepsi, and Saatchi & Saatchi have in common? They all learned the critical importance of values as managers at Procter & Gamble. And, since departing for leadership roles elsewhere, they've all remained members of the P&G Alumni Network. Now you can share the powerful lessons they learned at P&G. The P&G Alumni Network's When Core Values Are Strategic offers no-nonsense insights into why values really are so important, and practical ways to propagate, strengthen, and act on them. Bringing together contributions from influential P&G alumni worldwide, it offers a legacy to future leaders across organizations of every type and size. Discover why core values are timely, universal, and the secret to long term success on both financial and other metrics; how top CEOs were shaped at P&G to make historic change in energy, aviation, technology, government, transportation, entertainment, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, and other industries; how to build a learning culture that increases shareholder value…why values and marketing initiatives are inseparable; and much more. This book will be an inspiration and practical resource to emerging leaders in organizations of every size and type, in every field or industry. Buy Now


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Learning Technologies: Transforming Your Workforce
Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 1:00pm ET
Presenters: Connie Malamed, publisher of "The E-Learning Coach" blog Register now

A Strategic Approach for selecting an LMS for a SMB (Small and Medium Sized Business) to get ROI
Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST Register now


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Europe's Leading Organizational Learning and Development Conference
Date: 25 to 26 January 2012
Location: London, UK Register now

The Eighth International Conference on eLearning for Knowledge-Based Society eLearning, mLearning, uLearning, and Social Networking
Date: 23 to 24 February 2012
Location: Bangkok, Thailand Register now


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