Magazine article Talent Development

To Centralize or Decentralize? That Is the Question: A Financial Institution Realizes That No One Cookie-Cutter Model Exists for the Perfect Learning Function

Magazine article Talent Development

To Centralize or Decentralize? That Is the Question: A Financial Institution Realizes That No One Cookie-Cutter Model Exists for the Perfect Learning Function

Article excerpt

The following story was told by Sherry Engel, a performance consultant with Performance Development Group.

CLIENT>> A large financial institution in the Northeastern United States

PROBLEM>> Several years ago (when Engel was the vice president of learning strategies at this institution), the organization grew rapidly through various mergers and acquisitions. When learning leaders attempted to adopt an e-learning platform, they struggled to do so effectively within the expanded company. They realized the need for a concentrated effort from the entire organization to make the initiative work.

CAUSE>> When the organization was smaller, the learning function had been centralized, but after its growth, learning and development was decentralized to each branch. Learning leaders did not know how to roll out major initiatives within the new format.

METHOD/TOOLS>> The institution hired Karl Kapp, assistant director for the Institute for Interactive Technologies, who completed a pulse check of the organization's learning and development function. He also worked with the CEO to identify who were the most influential learning leaders.

Kapp interviewed the senior business executives--to whom the learning staff was accountable--to learn their strategic business goals and objectives and how the learning function could develop talent to meet those goals. Kapp interviewed key learning leaders to gauge what challenges they faced. Kapp also surveyed additional learning and development staff to gain comprehensive data about the state of the learning function. …

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