Thursday, June 12, 2014

Leadership Training at Aetna using an Online, Connected Learning Technology Platform #ICELW Concurrent Session Notes

These are my live blogged notes from the International Conference on eLearning in the Workplace (ICELW), happing this week in NYC.  Forgive any typos or incoherencies.

Ted Fleming from Aetna and Sue Todd (from CorpU).  

Aetna is a diversified health care benefits company. 47,500 employees. Dealing with the big issues of quality of health care, costs, etc at a global level.  We need to train leaders to work in a more complex and global world.

Goal "Accelerate leaders' to serve in broader and more senior roles and to help them accelerate the growth of the business:
  • Expand peripheral vision and foresight
  • Be more self aware.
  • (there were a few more goals that I missed...)

In this session, we'll look at the program they took their top leaders through. Leaders across 13 different states and skill leaders. And we know that people learn best when learning from each other.

In Conjunction with CorpU, Aetna created a Connected Learning system:
Collaborative Online Learning

1-1 and Team Coaching

Quarterly Meetings

Small Group Meetings

Leading Minds Speaker Series

Execution Workshops

Used an online platform (CorpU) to execute and curate this program. 

Don't fall into the ROI trap as a way to measure success and effectiveness.  Instead, focus on things like:
  • Career Dev (are they getting promotions faster?)
  • Are they staying longer?
  • What's their performance like? Do their staff like them? Does their staff stay longer?
  • Program costs
  • How are they performing against their objectives?
  • And more measures...
About 70% of people who've been through the program are exceeding their revenue targets.

CorpU put Harvard, etc. other programs content into their platform. They didn't want to be in compliance tracking world, but instead to focus on collaborative learning environment.  Creating the concept of a collaborative learning  journey.  

5 week "sessions"

With a focus on key activities:
  • Watch
  • Read
  • Reflect
  • Collaborate
  • Discuss
  • Participate (weekly live events)
Make it work anywhere - on iPads; make it compelling. Bring Harvard Law professors into for lectures. Great case studies and reading materials.

Using "narrative non-fiction story telling" to increase engagement and completion through professionally produced video. Seeing 80% completion rate, which they things is great vs. traditional learning.

Have people collaborate in classes the way you want them to collaborate in the real world.

5 week courses, interspersed with 7 week informal practice sessions to keep the learning going and stay connected after the formal learning.

Can you teach entrepreneurial skills?
People who think like entrepreneurs think differently. They believe you can teach this. 

The portal is branded for Aetna. High quality videos, including conceptual videos, plus discussion with sr. leaders (10 videos from to senior leaders at Aetna in a panel talking about difficult/big issues that impact the business).

Weekly live virtual classes. 24-7 access to experts, moderators, peers.

Portal includes course maps, virtual learning communities and more.  Lots of blended modalities in the courses -- people can go through assets on their own, but then come back for group work.

Different flavors of video to mix things up and keep people engaged.  They don't all follow the same style.

Can easily tailor and add activities to the course. 

Cohort groups of about 30-35 people.

As you take notes, mark things favorites, participate in a discussion activity -- it all goes into a BACKPACK so you can always find it.

Tracking -- who's completing what modules, how long are they spending -- do we need to make adjustments? Some people go to the live session having completed all the online content. Others go to the live session and then get intrigued and go back and complete the online content.

Most of the activities were taking word docs, action plans, etc. and then uploading to your group for review and commentary by experts and your peers. 

What types of activities resonated more with senior leaders?
  • Short videos of seniors leaders where they explain a concept
  • Seeing concept applied outside org
  • Seeing concept applied inside the org
  • Ask them to do something -- how are you going to do it?
  • Have an outside expert comment on the quality of that activity and provide coaching
The higher up in the org, they're more used to poking holes in things. The feedback loop was really valuable.

Keystone (the overall goal of the program)
Provide an overview of the competitive challenges facing the health care inductry. Assess entrepreneurial skill level of program participants. 

How can I accelerate the growth of our business?

The course structure over 1 year:

Finance -- what's the end target number you need to hit? Buidl business acumen.  Apply analytical techniques to identify growth opps.

Business model canvas -- what business model do you need to generate that revenue?

Innovation -- what products do we need to deliver to that?

Tech & Ops -- can we delivery that product? Develop org capability to design and deliver new products and services.

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