How to Design a Successful Corporate Academy

“Creating an academy is a great opportunity. It is a declaration made to employees on investment by the company in talent. It is a manifestation of the ideals of a company for excellence in leadership. “ R. Krishnamoorthy, VP Human Resources at GE Healthcare Changing scenarios that generate complexity and indeterminacy require companies to continuously align their strategies and continuously adapt training. How to train people to manage change? How do you identify the direction towards which you need to channel your company’s resources and energies? In this sense, there are an increasing number of companies that have identified Corporate Academies as the tool and the place to promote the dissemination of strategic knowledge based on a logic of everywhere and anytime. The main Italian companies involved in the launch and management of their own Academy met during the second edition of exploring eLearning in order to outline the key boundaries, tasks and conditions required to guide organisations involved in redefining the role of training from an increasingly digital and strategic point of view. Corporate Academies are therefore an evolution and step beyond traditional company training activities. What does designing a successful Corporate Academy mean? It means cataloguing distinctive skills in terms of integrated and transversal development by reorganising training environments from a digital perspective. The aim is to make Corporate Academies a kind of control centre that watches over and coordinates the various business areas (management, HR, training, IT, communication, etc.) and enables ways to link and synergistic cooperation. It means knowingly watching over the 4 strategic aspects that make up the foundations of any Corporate Academy. Let’s take a look at them: 1. Vision An Academy has to perfectly complement the corporate vision. Indeed, it should be its tool, guiding its decisions and the strategies outlining the Business Model and Knowledge Management. 2. Positioning What role does an Academy play in the company’s strategic framework? That of “training disseminator“, which responds to the “demands” of the various corporate areas or, rather, that of “business partner“, which contributes to the definition of training strategies? Or is it a “strategic partner“, which guides corporate strategies and the production and delivery of knowledge, even towards the outside? 3. Faculty By Faculty, we mean all the assessments in terms of the training offering, i.e. targets, content, formats and services, but above all which people need to be involve and in which roles (teachers, coaches, tutors, subject experts, best performers, trainers, etc.). 4. Infrastructure This term refers to the set of characteristics and conditions that determine its functioning, i.e. governance (people, roles, tasks, responsibilities and resources for the management and coordination of the entire facility), technology to support training, communication strategies (languages, targets, content, goals, resources and means) and, lastly, the network of partnerships and alliances that determine the ecosystem within which the facility is located. Four pillars that define the identity and determine the vigour with which an Academy will then be able to promote change and generate innovation. What is the role and contribution of technology in this scenario? Learning is no longer just an individual process, but combines with, and draws value from, social interaction. Therefore, Academies become Digital Academies: learning places multiply, strengthen and redefine the space for sharing and the ways in which everyone involved can access and participate. Where to begin? The first step is to train internal training personnel and those who manage personnel on the new standards of digital skills needed to manage training. Creation of a shared language, development of awareness, design and digital skills that can innovate training and the sharing of knowledge. It is undoubtedly a challenging path, which has to be forged with in the knowledge that it is a true change management process that redefines priorities and alliances. What are the key factors that determine its success? We asked our guests at explore eLearning and here are some of their suggestions: 1. strong commitment and sponsorship by management 2. close and direct links to the business and corporate strategies 3. high-quality training offerings 4. linking the training paths to HR policies 5. a KPI system capable of measuring generated value, above all, as well as efficiency 6. effective internal and external communication. Only the existence and synergy between these factors allow an Academy to support and guide the growth of an organisation and the people it consists of! Lorena Patacchini

written by: Lorena Patacchini , 14 September 2017

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