“At Accenture, the key to social learning is learning through collaboration with colleagues, and it is the act of connecting people in conversations that leads to learning. These discussions are typically driven by storytelling and problem solving — personal stories of workplace challenges and new ways people have found to solve them. These types of conversations have always had a place in business, whether they happen during meals, travel to client sites or in the office. Today’s technology, however, helps us extend the conversations around the world.” — Rahul Varma, chief learning officer, Accenture
I'm a Manager at Accenture's Training Competency Center in ASG (Austria/Switzerland/Germany), and just like Thomas I too had the pleasure to actively participate in this year's Executive Forum at the Grandhotel Petersberg near Bonn.
I’d like to provide a summary of the motivational speech Accenture's Chief Learning Officer Rahul Varma gave during the one day conference.
Rahul used our company as an example to describe why international employers, in particular, must place an ever greater emphasis on digital communication and learning media.
Rahul explained that learning has always been a key driver in Accenture’s growth story. Our mission remains the same: to build market relevant skills, and attract and retain the best talent globally.
But major pressures are making our current approaches difficult to sustain. Training costs cannot continue to scale as we continue to grow the size of our global workforce. Our people’s learning time is at a premium. Our local capabilities and bandwidth are inadequate. And our competitors are threatening to match our promise for learning.
To meet these challenges, we have been revolutionizing learning at Accenture. What will learning look like the Accenture way?
Well, as always we’re committed to giving our people time away to learn, so they can focus and grow. They’ll still have the major regional experiences: meetings of the mind on an international scale. Major training hubs in the US, India, Europe, and Asia will continue to play an important role to
build and preserve our global culture
develop global leaders
But there’ll also be more collaborative local learning experiences that bring the best of the regional experience closer to home: local, but globally interconnected, using a network of connected classrooms to
Connect experts with learners everywhere
Facilitate global networking
And there’ll be more virtual training, highly interactive and delivered anywhere, and with greater access to world class content and a culture that supports development. It will now be easier than ever to be learning all the time. There’ll be easier access to the best on demand content, a rich pool of internal and external online resources to
Allow learners to learn on the go whenever and wherever they like
Build specialized skills with less time away from work
Reinforce our global culture
And there’ll also be more opportunities to learn on the job. Accenture’s learners will gain knowledge and support through apprenticeship learning, coaching, and collaborative learning.Time away to learn and learning all the time – two ways Accenture’s staff learns through a rich variety of experiences.Social Learning is a powerful way to enable our people to be “learning all the time”
We connect people to information and people – mobilizing the power of ‘One Global Network’.
What does this achieve?
Improve time to competency and development of skills
Create opportunities for innovation thru networking
Sell more effectively
Educate and enable sales workforce
Lower delivery risk and increase delivery efficiencies
Rahul closed his speech by providing a peak at what we at Accenture see as being key trends for the future of Social Learning:
Social Learning Embedded Everywhere
Boundaries blur between Internal / External Content
Democratization of Learning / Content – learners can rate their learning experiences and provide helpful recommendations to peers on where to go for the most relevant and effective learning solution
Well, I guess you can tell that I was really enthused by the way our CLO explained Accenture’s (social) learning strategy to this external audience of high ranking corporate learning experts and decision makers. You can find a downloadable version of the full deck used by Rahul at the PLE Executive Forum site here. Just scroll to the bottom after clicking "More" under Rahul's picture.
Let me know what you make of Rahul’s motivational speech! - I look forward to your opinions.