Improving sales, delivering value and managing talent at IBM

by | Dec 31, 2009 | Evidence for Change, Interviews

I first met Bert De Coutere at Online Educa Berlin in December 2009. Bert works with IBM Learning Development and heads up their work on learning innovation.

In this interview, we explore practical ideas on how to face some of the tough challenges facing learning and development by reflecting on some focal projects within IBM. As Bert suggests the economic crisis has meant that we need to do more with less but equally we have to implement with learning without falling short in delivering value and in this interview we discuss:

  • The importance of understanding the context of learning – where we need to add value and to which audiences.
  • The role of technology and the need to align to organisational and individual need to add value.
  • 2 examples of learning innovation for sales training and the impact on the business – see evidence for change below!
  • Examples for practical use of virtual worlds.
  • Getting started with social media – avoiding failure through scaffolding and alignment
  • Focus on focal jobs – the journey of technology use from learning management systems to integrated career and talent managment
  • Hints and tips

Evidence for change

We are pleased to include this interview in our Evidence for Change programme .IBM’s focus on delivering value by aligning learning to business shines through in Bert’s discussion regarding the restructuring of their Global Sales School last year which addresses skills for both new and experienced sales staff . The new programme  blended classroom, e-learning and on the job mentoring and job experience  with the following results:

  • The new programme was shorter, resulting in productivity gains by staff
  • Experiences staff delivered 26% more sales than other experienced colleagues who did not do the programme
  • Staff new to sales demonstrated  70% more sales than colleagues with similar backgrounds who did not participate.

Where to go for more information

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According to research published by Harvard Business School (HBS), organisations across the globe are experiencing ‘The Great Training Robbery’ because the correct conditions and culture for learning are not in place. People are not ready and willing to change, and ultimately learn.

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