The Global Association of
Corporate University Thinking
in Work-based Learning and
Commentary and Observations
From Richard Dealtry, G-ACUA Chairman
Productivity, Productivity and Productivity?
is clear that potential growth in worldwide
productivity is a major issue. There has been a
marked slowing of growth in
productivity over the last few years and
the creation of more specialised organisations
have not helped, as it
is a discipline that in its best form knows no
There have been many reasons identified as
causes for this problem, including advances in
technology and changes in organisations. But the
problem is one of semantics.
How many organisations have a productivity
manager? We believe that it is in the whole organisation that
advances could and should be made. Productivity is everywhere in an
organisation. In production, marketing, accounting, etc.,
anywhere you care to look it should be of high priority.
It is becoming imperative that companies implement programmes of
management and staff development. Companies who invest in the
Corporate University as a primary instrument for companywide quality
development see a high return in their investment in terms of
increased productivity, cost saving and improved staff retention.
Smaller companies often lack the drive to
implement extensive productivity-linked
management training processes and are significantly less likely to
provide effective training. However the Corporate University is a
proven mechanism for raising productivity skill levels across all
organisations. And in smaller companies,
joint enterprise ventures are often the
key to their success in raising productivity levels.
It is important that any productivity impact from these developments
is felt across the entire organisation. The highest qualified
managers cannot improve productivity alone, they need to be the
‘agents of productivity’ to ensure that the productivity advantage
is spread right through all disciplines and at all levels. This will
improve motivation and, in turn, stimulate that all-important growth
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Managing the Corporate University
Managing the Corporate University Learning
Article 2 in the Series
One of the
earliest articles that I wrote in this
the “Trends in Corporate Universities”
conference in Copenhagen. Since that time
many companies worldwide have launched their
own corporate university or academy using
and have benefitted massively from the
opportunities that it has produced.
Over the years we have observed with great
interest how the corporate university has
evolved, particularly in technological
learning terms. Online options and social
media sharing have influenced the style and
delivery of training and CPD programmes.
article I present
that early thinking and
invite your comments on possible
since this article was first published.
G-ACUA LinkedIn Page
to share your comments.
Click on the
link below to download a free copy of
this article in pdf format:
Brexit – Inspiring A New Real Time
Political events in the UK are having an effect across the world.
The surprise Brexit referendum result has sent shock-waves across
all businesses. Whether or not you support Brexit, there is no
denying that it is going to change the face of Europe in the future.
EU leaders have already spoken about their realisation of the need
for change within Europe, with or without the UK as a member state.
Everyone is affected in one way or another, from huge multi-national
corporations to micro-businesses and cottage industries. The
creation of a good, solid, future development plan is paramount,
even for the smallest enterprise. Business now can’t just sit back
and ‘hope for the best’.
Today, such is the speed of change, the demand for imaginative reach
and technical innovation grows daily. Understanding the future needs
of the business will require a new learning approach. One-size-fits
all training programmes have their place in business, but they can
be unfocused and limiting. Each company has the capability to design
and develop their own custom-made business development portfolio,
addressing the critical strategic new learning needs of the company.
It is so important that managers develop realistic, focused new
learning solutions for immediate action that steer them towards a
successful and sustainable future. At G-ACUA we developed an
effective corporate university process with strategic knowledge and
steer to an effective conclusion.
I would welcome your interest in this vital development for the
future and look forward to hearing from you.
ask me the question, ‘Who should be responsible for getting our
corporate university activities started?’
In my experience that is the wrong starting point.
Initially, what they need is a clear understanding of what the
company, and its subsidiaries, is trying to do. What is the ‘size’
of the opportunity or problem? And what is the time scale of
importance; now or tomorrow or in the future?
The ‘size’ can vary greatly, from numerous small items to a major
intervention. There may be a demand for innovative ideas, new
knowledge, or a whole package of change dynamics. And a whole load
From years of ‘front of class’ experience, it is clear that each
corporate university is a new variable entity, that has a different
shape according to the company and SBU needs.
Change dynamics are in demand. And you cannot do everything at once.
You need to prioritise and work with those parts of the organisation
that can make things happen. You need to wake up your staff and get
them interested in the future of the company and its many different
If you have some ideas about what you think are the best start
points, I would be pleased to hear them.
For further reading
on this subject please see:
Management of an Organisation's Lifelong Learning Curriculum
Chronology of Corporate University
Learning Development Update in
Corporate Learning and Development
Here is a good question for us all. How long is a piece of string?
You may then ask:
What weight does it have to carry?
Is it easy to use? Will the weather rot it?
How long does it have to last?
Will it be used again in other areas?
What is its unit
What will happen if it fails to cope with the demands we
place on it? Who is to blame?
These are typical of the issues and demands that we face in
designing a corporate university. We do
not know how long a corporate university will run. We
do know that what we have designed in the
past is quite different to what we envisage for the future. We are
in a moving scenario. We are looking for
tomorrow's right answers today.
So who has the responsibility for answering these questions?
Is it HR,
logistics. R+D specialist
sales? Or will
the CEO keep or delegate the task?
You need a good corporate university
champion with all the right skills, attributes and scope to get what
is needed in a network of people who can work together. We all know
that to be successful the corporate university needs the right
people to undertake this work.
So what do you think about solving this
scenario? I would be interested to hear
For further reading
on this subject please see:
The Savvy Learner
Chronology of Corporate University Thinking
Corporate University Action Learning
Recent conversations with our network members are suggesting that,
while there is continuing interest in the corporate university, some
companies are wondering what the right future direction is for their
people to get the highest RoI.
This hesitation will seriously reduce the potential for effective
staff development at a time when it is most needed. Have you been
involved in changes in corporate learning? We cannot underestimate
the importance of action inspired new learning for the working
At G-ACUA we continue to promote the real time corporate university
as the most effective method of company-wide continuing development.
We have recently updated our training workshop portfolio and we are
now offering an Introduction to Corporate University Thinking,
providing the opportunity to consider a real time corporate
university management strategy and skills, and bringing you
up-to-speed with the latest thinking.
Winning the Learning Wars – Achieving Competitive
We all know that companies
constantly have to battle with competitive learning and knowledge
harvesting processes that espouse high quality added value to both the
learning experience and its application.
Not an easy task when we
consider some of the highly dynamic factors that they have to grapple
with, for example:
they may not have the
right tools for the work or projects in hand
competitive scene may be intense and yesterday’s solutions can no
longer be relied upon
current strategic and
practice knowledge may be out of date and rapidly degenerating
the market place demands
persistent innovations in services and products
units may require different approaches
social networks are in
many cases only just finding a culture locus in the organisation
the quality of source
knowledge for decision making may be suspect
systems may not be flexible enough to adapt to constantly changing
There are many others.
Our empirical research
indicates the need to ‘fight fire with fire’, to find realistic solution
outcomes to this conflict which require dynamic real time and integrally
mobile processes. There is a greater need for the quantising of learning
and development process sequences, where all learning processes match
specific needs at world class standards and have the potential to
optimise their effects at the point of delivery.
This isn’t happening
“somewhere in a galaxy, far, far away….”. It’s here, and it’s now. A new
adventurous outlook is called for, in the spirit of the founding
fathers. We can’t just sit back on our laurels, we have to rethink
greatness and discover new directions to stay ahead of the game.
Though it is sometimes
painful to make such changes in management practice, it will be
ultimately hugely rewarding and exciting with a veritable explosion of
new developments to ‘win the learning wars’.
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