The Corporate Academy goes digital

“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.” This is what R. Krishnamoorthy, VP Human Resources of GE Healthcare, wrote in the Harvard Business Review. The development of a Corporate Academy certainly requires a large investment in terms of organisational and human resources, but it necessarily implies the definition of an Academy vision that acknowledges the importance of training and the dissemination of knowledge in the growth and competitive development of a company. We live in a complex and evolving system: to grow and develop every company must be able to adapt to changes, renewing and evolving to learn to find new answers to new problems. All this can only happen through the growth of the people who work for it. From this point of view, an Academy becomes the heart of the ecosystem, being the ‘place’ for development, where people learn to change and grow, learning new behaviour and skills. Based on new competitive and relational models, the company’s Academy is therefore the most suitable instrument for the creation and dissemination of a corporate culture that puts knowledge at the heart of a virtuous, participative and shared process for defining strategies and people’s career paths. In order to identify the areas and modes of action of a Corporate Academy, it is necessary to activate a collaboration network between the company areas and functions, starting from the Management, which should provide impetus and support to the project, obviously passing through those in the organisation who manage training, to involve both IT that internal communication. An Academy is based on a real constellation of skills and the success of the project is not only in the skills of the various areas, but especially in the ability to activate and supply connections, relationships, synergies between different business entities, with the objective of shared growth and knowledge-sharing strategy. It is therefore clear that the establishment of an academy is a reorganisation of the management of knowledge understood as the engine of corporate development and that, starting from training, involves all the areas that intervene in favour of the development and sharing of business skills. Training thus widens from the narrow scope in which it was confined, to become smooth, continuous and deeply integrated with work. Learners, as mere users, now become prosumers, i.e. players who contribute personally to the incessant process of capitalisation and dissemination of corporate knowledge. Such an ambitious project must be provided with an adequate technological environment and the skills necessary to manage it and put it at the centre of the dense network of exchanges and relationships between the various parties. A Corporate Academy project is the start of a phase of profound change in an organisational structure, which must necessarily relate to and involve the organisation’s technological component. It is a true paradigm shift that renews not only the management of training activities, but the very concept of education: the transfer of knowledge to the design of conditions that encourage learning. The technological environment redefines the space for sharing, the logic of exchanges and relationships and the methods for gaining access and participating. The Corporate Academy development phase therefore requires a focus on the organisation’s digital skills, which from the awareness of the starting level identifies what to strive for and the relative development path. The goal will be to make all business entities active protagonists of the company’s development path towards a system that, thanks to technology, redesigns its strategic location and its competitive role. Lorena Patacchini

written by: Lorena Patacchini , 8 November 2016

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