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Archive for April, 2011

Building a Corporate University: Maintenance

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 29, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: You’ve built the University, opened it, and now it’s up and running. It’s never too early to look at the maintenance of the University and its programs, so let’s decide which areas should have your focus.

The first area you should look at is the evaluation of the learning programs themselves. Your evaluation of the programs should start at the basic level, with immediate reaction surveys. These surveys, sometimes referred to as Level One on Fitzpatrick’s scale of evaluation, measure the participants’ responses immediately following training. Did they feel they learned new skills? Did the instructor have the appropriate professional outlook and enthusiastic presentation skills? Were the materials useful? All of these questions will give you an idea of how courses are immediately perceived.

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Building a Corporate University: Marketing and Promotion

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 21, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: When it looks like the Corporate University is ready to go, it’s time to think about marketing and promotion. The University must be promoted like any other part of a business, so let’s look at some of the aspects of making this happen.

One of the first considerations to make in advertising and promotion for the University is the “nuts and bolts” of marketing: logos, branding, and color palettes. This is another time when you’ll need the assistance of the internal marketing department or the external consultant. Think about branding in general. Your organization probably has a “look and feel” that is both internal and external. For example, when you walk into a popular chain restaurant you usually know where you are just because of that “look and feel”. Is this something you want the University to reflect? Many Corporate Universities, just like traditional universities, create a logo that goes on all materials, both online and in print. This furthers the look and feel and ensures that when someone in the organization uses an online reference, a quick reference card, or a course manual, they know they are accessing the University’s knowledge base. Logos can also be used on business casual clothing for instructors. Along with branding comes a color palette, a definition of the colors and color combinations that can be used in all University materials, both online and print. The marketing department can help you come up with all of these great tools.

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Building a Corporate University: Staffing

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 15, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: It’s time to consider the staffing needs for your Corporate University. You’ve assessed learning and determined resources, so you have a good idea of what parameters you’ll need to work within. Here are some ideas on hiring the right staff to move your project forward.

When considering the staffing needs of the University, there are two major considerations to make. First, go back to your original learning assessment and look carefully at the range of knowledge, skills, and abilities the University’s programs will be teaching. When you look at development and delivery staff, think about how you can match their knowledge, skills, and abilities to those uncovered in the assessment. Do you need a large group of strong sales trainers and designers, or is the need more operational? Is there a pool of strong coaches, achievers, or experts that you might be able to pull into the University?

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Building a Corporate University: Creating an Infrastructure

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 8, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: You’ve assessed, determined resources, and now you have the buy-in of your executive team. The next step in building your Corporate University is to create the infrastructure for operations. Let’s take a look at what items to consider.

Your first consideration for the University infrastructure is staff. You’ve estimated your staff needs and now have an idea of how that will unfold based on the funding. There must be an organizational staff structure in place that creates smooth, efficient, and quick operation. To create this structure, look at the University’s design, delivery, management, and administrative areas.

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Building a Corporate University: Obtaining Buy-in

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 1, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: Before you can put your Corporate University assessments and resources into action, you must obtain buy-in from your organization’s executive team – or the executive who controls funding. Since getting and maintaining funding is difficult for training, let’s look at how to present your case.

You’ve taken quite a bit of time and effort to assess your organization’s learning needs across the board as well as make estimates of your resource needs. For you, it’s a highly detailed picture of what to expect as you build your University. But you can’t present your view to the executives and expect to get their buy-in. Instead, you must put your business case together in “executive-ese”, that is, drill down to the specifics of how the University is going to positively impact the organization as a whole.

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