Embracing New Technology Trends: Perspectives from the Live Panel Discussion at the L&D Executive Summit
Featuring: Kari McClure – Director of Learning Experience and Global Engagement at American Airlines, Ken Hubbell – Senior Vice President Instructional Design Strategy & Innovation at Wells Fargo, and Tobias Washington – Director Learning Experience Design & Technology at CHRISTUS Health
All right. Well, as we kick it off to the afternoon, I would love to introduce our moderator for today, Larry Durham. Larry is a visionary in the fields of enterprise learning and talent development. Over the last 25 years, he has worked with many fortune 500 companies to co-create innovative development solutions that you’ll measurable business outcomes. So now Larry will kick us off with looking at change, embracing new technology trends in learning and development. Larry,
Thank you very much. What we wanted to do today, we actually at st Charles, we have a group where we run the innovation lab called the hive and we do a podcast called the hive. So after the session, we’re in the process of recording this. This’ll be on our podcast where we bring thought leaders to talk about innovations and talent development and learning, which is exactly what we have here today. The cool thing about this panel that I’m really excited about, I’m not sure if it was planned, but we have airlines, we have banking and financial and we have healthcare. So we have three regulated environments, which I think brings a unique dimension and expectation for use of technology. And while we could come up here and talk a lot about a variety of technologies that people are using. I find when we come on these panels, sometimes we talk about bleeding edge type of activities that people are like, that’s cool, but we’re not there yet. What we wanted to do today is use practical examples of what’s actually happening in an organization. So with that being said, I’ll get into it. I’m going to have each of our panelists quickly introduce themselves. You know your name, where you’re at, and then we’ll get into our conversation.
Hello everyone. I’m Tobias Washington. I’m based here in Dallas, Texas. I work for Christus health, which is about 55,000 associates and about 15,000 providers, physicians that are part of our healthcare network. We have hospitals across the Southeastern part of the United States and my role is to lead our learning experience design teams. I have a new team that’s new to the organization called digital adoption and then I also have our HR technology and learning technologies.
I’m Ken Hubble for those of you know, yesterday I head up the strategy and innovation team for the learning and development for Wells Fargo or we have 278,000 people worldwide and my team is 26 and that’s 26 out of a larger instructional design organization that has roughly 280 people and we do soup to nuts at Wells as far as the the instructional design content.
and i’m Kari McClure and I lead and serve the learning experience team for American airlines
What Learning Technology Initiatives has your Organization Recently Undertaken?
So every time I’ve been with Kari today someone comes up and says, I’m really excited about the event tonight. So the expectations are high for that. So looking forward to that, what I thought we would do is just to do a quick round robin and we will leave time, I’ve left about 10 to 15 minutes at the end of the section. I think on technology it’s likely that we’re going to have a number of questions about what we talk about. I think technology always breeds questions and I think from a learning perspective that will be fantastic. So the question I have for each of you on the panel, what learning technology initiatives has your organization recently undertaken? And the other question I would have is what was it that prompted you to make the change? And I think that’s always a key part of the question. So I’ll start with Tobias and then we’ll just go down the road.
Yeah. So I’ll highlight three. There’s a lot of stuff going on. Anytime you’re in health care there’s no shortage of things happening. The first side of the highlight is that we have implemented what’s called a learning experience platform. We went with a company called EdCast. We looked at both EdCast and Degreed and I can share with you why we chose that later. But uh, so that’s been our main focus for the last couple of years. Really looking at the learner experience. I was meeting with a group of my clinical educators and they said it to me, um, that Youtube looking thing that you keep talking about. I don’t know what they’re supposed to do for our learners. And then I was just sitting over there earlier today. Someone brought up 40 plus 40% of their workforce is just like ours that are millennials. And what do you think you millennials learn from all day YouTube?
So what we’ve been focused on is matching their consumer experience outside of work to bring that insight of where it can add traditional LMS does not match that experience. It doesn’t look and feel like what we counter outside of work. The other major initiative we’ve been working on, we hired a new VP of security and so we’ve launched our first VR project. Everyone knows hospitals, churches, places like that are very susceptible to violence. And so we didn’t want to launch another boring e-learning project. And so we wanted to be very realistic and be experiential if you will. So we’re working on a VR project. And then finally when I got to Christus, I was told that there was no way to really train our clinical workforce. I have nursing. The only way to really train them was to put something in the bathroom stalls. And because they don’t read emails, if you get a nurse to open her email box, there are 30,000 plus emails in that box and they do not read emails. They do not. They only go to those compliance trainees. And so they click, they push it and they get it to the end as quickly as possible. And so that quickly became, um, I was trying to get away from my potty training strategy. So we implemented this tool called WalkMe and that’s what forms the digital adoption service line because there was no way to train. We upgrade these systems all the time and there are new systems coming in, they’re changing and there’s no way to get these nurses in class and off the floor quick enough. They can get them up to speed quick enough. So we are trying this new technology called WalkMe that provides contextual guidance and a lot of other functions and features so we can get away from the potty train.
So three years ago I was recruited into Wells Fargo, as you all may have seen in the news, we had some issues and things need to be addressed. So at the point where I was brought on board, they were centralizing a very siloed style of learning. And so as a part of the process we had an experience implementing an education system, not an experiential system. So we spent the last three years putting into place a new LMS and LCMS and an LRS, that’s 10 can RX API for folks aren’t familiar with it. And as of this year, earlier in this year we completed the effort of putting that into place and have been educating our instructional designers and our learning development professionals in how to actually use the system and be productive with it.
In addition to that, I have a consulting practice where I work with some veterinary practices and some other industry organizations on natural language processing, hands-free performance support devices. And the idea is that you don’t have to be holding anything other than what you’re supposed to be doing. So there’s some interesting dynamics that happened with technology to pimp on what organizations and things that you’re doing. The other thing that’s been neat at Wells is we did get a chance to go outside of the box a little bit and do some VR pieces this year. So we did some VR empathy training for our contact center folks and going over very well and we’re hoping to expand it next year. But you know, one of the challenges of being a regulated environment like ours is that scale is a huge factor. And being able to scale across an organization as large as artists because we’ve got so many people and in so many different areas and in businesses that sometimes can’t even talk to each other illegally becomes a challenge. So we’re hoping to get ourselves to the point where we’re doing the experience, but we’re getting there.
So one of our primary focuses was to try to make things more learner-centric and they use new modalities and new innovations to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of our multigenerational team members. I think Donna spoke to that this morning. So we are doing virtual reality, we are doing game suffocation, we are doing experiential, but I am so excited that you’re going to get see a lot of that on your tour today. So I’m not going to steal any of that vendor. And I want to talk to you more about what we’re doing in that talent development space and what we’re doing to allow our team members to grow and to change the culture to one of not just that functional training which will always be there in which we manage through our LMS being highly regulated but to one where learning is a mindset and how do we make learning in the moment.
And I know a lot of you have spoken about that. So we have done a pilot with Degreed, another LXP and we have done that so that we ensure that our team members have the ability to have information they need and learning they need in the moment that it’s continuous, that it is guided and that allows them to have also, the piece that is most exciting to me is that social aspect of learning and with the younger generation being able to share the follow to recommend training for each other because we realized that the functional training is not going to go away for us. That that to create a culture where team members feel like they want to and have the ability to upskill and reskill is the area that we’re stepping into right now.
What Are The Benefits You’ve Seen?
Yeah. Great. You know, one thing when I talked to colleagues and clients about implementing new technology, sometimes the goal is just getting it in place and maybe we’ll kind of go back in the same order, but we’ll talk about challenges. But first, what have the benefits been that you’ve seen? You know, what is the expectation? How do you measure success? But more importantly, what are the benefits that you’ve seen, I guess specifically with degree, for example?
Yeah. Well, it’s really for us has shifted a little bit of the mindset of learning and development and developing content into that of curating content and creating pathways for team members. The pilot that we did, we started with our customer experience leadership team at our headquarters and we had just saw off the chart and beyond our expectation of engagement, we actually saw about an 81% engagement was so exciting for us and when we were looking at the results, when we gave them the opportunity to spend time with that platform and we were able to then go back and look where they were going to learn was not to our LMS to say, you know, I want to learn something so I’m going to go to the LMS and not even to some of the content that we had invested very heavily with pathways with H&M with Skillsoft, with Udemy.
To me, that was only 30% of where we saw that they were going for learning. So there were 70% of the learning that our team members were doing or when we gave them the opportunity that they wanted to do that we didn’t have any insight into and had no measurability around that. So that was really exciting for us because what it does then gives us that data to go and see what it is that they are wanting to learn and then we can address those gaps whether we need to Drake content or whether we need to create content to develop those gaps. So for us it really also put back the onus of developing back on the learner that some of the responsibility then shifted back to the learner because now we had given them the tool and said, you know, here it is. Go and learn what it is you want to do. And you saw team members that said, I want to develop. And then they took that initiative and you could see it in the results. You had others who said, I want to develop, but they thought it was up to the company to ensure that they were developing. And you could see where that really fell out.
Yeah. I think one of the key things that you said there that a lot of folks are talking about is as you hire new employees or as you look to cultivate your existing employees, that inquisitiveness, the curiosity, the desire to go out and seek these things out. One thing we’ve heard is just because you curate, you know, if you build it, they will come may not always be the case on curated content. So that inquisitiveness and that curiosity is really important. It sounds like you guys have done a good job with that, Ken. Talk a little bit about the benefits you guys have seen on a few of those initiatives.
Yeah, so what’s interesting is that when you implement an LCMS, there’s an initial back gasp of, Oh no, I’m in a template. I’m never going to be able to be creative again. And that mentality around what does that mean? And so one of the things we did from a change management standpoint is we really indoctrinated the instructional designers and the learning practitioners we have in the benefits of what a learning content management system can do. It frees you up from the formatting the structure and lets you focus more on the [inaudible] the story you’re telling the instructional content and that’s a powerful thing and it was something that that a lot of them, you know it’s taken a little bit of time there in the swing of it now and it, it really is paying off. It also allowed us from a structural standpoint within our organization to redefine how we work as a, as an organization, so we were originally lined up as lines of businesses.
Even when we centralized, everything was still line of business. We threw that out. We went to a model I was familiar with coming from the outside world, which was a matrix type organization where you spun up pods to address specific learning initiatives. They were made up of lots of, of different skillsets versus having to have one person do end to end, which is what had been the traditional model at Wells. And so writers were able to focus on writing and programs were able to focus on the authoring and the programming. And you know, we had QA people focuses in focusing on QA and that was, especially the QA process was something that was always kind of done but it wasn’t formalized. And now we’ve been able to formalize it with the systems in place where it will actually track the metrics around the development of the content as well as the consumption of the content now.
And the other thing that happened is that because we had this system in place to formalize that and to get into a pattern of development of business as usual model, when we had extraordinary programs that I was fortunate enough to be a part of, we were able to do some things like business simulation games and storyline that had scoring and you could fail and, and, and then you could try it over and over again in practice. And things like that. The VR empathy piece that we’ve just finished the pilot of allows you to actually walk in the shoes of our customers. So if you’re a contact center person and you’ve never experienced, cause you’re a millennial, you’ve never experienced, you know a lot of the life issues that our customers have. You know, you get someone that’s 80 years old is calling in because she bounced a check because she didn’t remember that she bought something on the home shopping network and she got surprised with these boxes and she was out with friends and she was devastated and she’s, you know, she’s having an emotional breakdown and you got this 22-year-old person that’s on the phone going, I don’t know what to do here. Okay, this is more than I was ever trained to do.
So we can put you in the shoes of that person so that when you start on the floor you have a confidence level that you can, that you’ve been through this before. You understand who the customers are. You don’t get the opportunity to do those kinds of engagements unless you have streamlined the process of cranking out the regulatory business as usual courses that have to be done by a law. Whereas these are ones we’re looking at billing our customer experience and our employee experience. So that’s, that’s been the real benefit. I think the win for us is that.
You know, one thing that we hear a lot about on virtual reality and some of the capabilities that are, there are the two main things, either doing jobs that are too dangerous to train in person, whether that be, we were talking about firefighting or line working, those types of things. Or creating empathy. You know, some people say, well we work in a corporate knowledge environment, so virtual reality doesn’t really work for us. But creating empathy, you know, creating a situation where you haven’t experienced that before, but you can do it in a virtual environment is a very effective way of doing that. Tobias, talk a little bit about Christus and the benefit you guys saw from the LXP.
Yeah. So I resonate very much with everything we’ve heard. So I was pondering what I could add to the conversation cause everything we did in LCMS, we don’t vape virtual reality and all those, I can give you guys some kudos points to all of those things are things you guys should take from the conversation. But anytime. So I’ve been in L&D for about 17 years and anytime I come to this conference and for probably the first 10 years you always heard L and D wanting a seat at the table in the proverbial seat at the table. And I was sitting with my CEO and again, he is hard to get attention from a, he runs a $10 billion organization and has uh, CEOs of all of our reasons. And so I had some time with him and I was sharing with him what we were doing from a learning strategy perspective with our technology.
And I thought that he was just kind of uh, entertaining the conversation. And I got a call from the SVP of strategy and he said, Hey, Ernie was really intrigued by what you presented to him. And he would like to roll out his compass 2025 strategy on your platform using your technologies, using your systems. And I thought, I sat back, you know, and I thought, man, that is amazing. I have been asked to come to the table versus forcing myself at the table three years ago. No one came and said, Hey, can we please put our stuff all in your LMS or we gotta have it there. Right. And that’s exactly what was happening. The CEO, the director, the SVPs, they were like, Hey, we can’t get a meeting with you cause I was traveling. And they’re like, we got to talk to you because he wants to make sure he can put his strategy on your platforms. And so I think that what it has done is shifted the conversation a little bit where L&D is not seen as this group of people that we just have to work with, but more than this group of people that we get to work with and now we’re able to add value in a waste we haven’t been able to.
I think that’s a really, really good point. We talked to a lot of folks who say that same thing. I think there’s this perception and reality that learning and development or whatever your function might be called is moving from a creator and purveyor of training, which might have been the case 20 years ago to one that creates an environment of learning. It’s a little decentralized so it feels unnatural, you know when people start contributing content and what does that begin to look like, especially in a regulated environment that draws gasp and you know all kinds of things from folks when you talk about that. But I do think of being at the table when you think about the statistics, we hear of skills changing quickly, you know, the lifespan of a job, automating your own job. We were talking about this over lunch, you know, forcing yourself to automate your own job and come up with something different to do.
What Were Some of the Challenges You Faced?
Learning is at the heart of that. And so most organizations like Tobias experience are probably going to come to that realization that learning is the lifeblood of, of what they do. I guess the last question I have, and I’ll start with you Ken, and just go in a slightly different order, whereas someone who’s been in the trenches on whether it be on the virtual reality or maybe on the natural language performance support, what are the challenges around that? Is it adoption? Is it implementation? Is it corporate support? I mean, what, what were some of the challenges that you’ve experienced that other practitioners here in the audience might benefit from?
So one of the things that we’ve gotten some feedback on is that it’s actually a case of what’s old is new again. So there was a time when I’m in my early part of my career, this is, you know, 2025 years ago where video was everything. Everything we did was video and then web-based training and, and CBT came in and then video died because you couldn’t put on diskette or on a CD ROM and you can stream it. And now it’s everything again. And you know I was, I’ve been doing simulation work since the late nineties and it’s now back in Vogue and we did scenario-based training and role-playing back in the 90s it’s now back in Vogue again. So what’s interesting all comes round circle. The difference now is that the technology has finally caught up with us, right?
And it’s commoditized and it’s cheap. The trick is, is convince upper-level management that cheap does not necessarily mean it’s going to happen quickly. A cheap does not mean that it’s scalably cheap. It just means that it’s more, it’s, it’s, it’s on par with the other things we’ve developed before. And so some of the biggest challenges we have as a regulated institution is that our it security, they are gospel. They, they are the law. And just because Walmart was able to put 17,000 headsets in the hands of their employees and do it, guess what? Those headsets have not passed the IT security check at Wells Fargo. So it better not hook up to the infrastructure and the network on the wifi, which then immediately holds us back from distribution because we now have to load everything at one spot and ship the headsets out every time we want to add more content.
Now we’re working through this, but it will take another year. And so some of the cycle time, and I’m sure that you know, some of your organization will be faced with that same thing, is that the cycle time to be able to implement things does not nearly happen at the pace you would like it to. Even though the rest of the world is streaming past. You know, you’re still in the, you know, mired in the, in the, you know, the regulations that have been around since the 19 hundreds right. And, and things like that. The other thing, and I think one of the biggest challenges we have is getting skilled talent. I went through a hiring stint this past year and we hired five new people and lost two because they, one went off to a different part within our organization. One of the cybersecurity stuff. And I was all in favor of it and another one to another organization because I didn’t have a role to move him into.
Those are key talent people for us. So the pipeline for talent in the L and D is just as harsh right now as any other industry. And to get people that are really good at the cutting edge tech is even harder, right? Because it’s new. The colleges and the universities aren’t teaching it yet and getting the experience and it means you actually have to do it in order to do is this, you know, the catch 22 we all and into the fun part is this. It’s hard to get talent, which means that this is really good business. This is a great time to be doing this. You just have to be smart about it. So we’re doing upskilling within our team. The Academy thing that Scott was talking about, I’ve got my folks all going through academies. They can pick and choose, but Python has to be one of them. And we did the same thing. We had an immediate uptake, we automated some stuff and people freaked out. They’re like, Oh my gosh, you reduced four weeks’ worth of processing time to one day. And we were like, yeah, let us do some more. And so that gets people’s attention. So when you start having measurable results and it’s really effective and it’s timely than it really, the impact is great.
Well, and I think both of you have touched on it and Tobias, it sounds like you really had a best practice is having your CEO’s ear and being able to get buy-in. And I think that with anything you have new technology, it seems like that initial breakthrough everybody buying in at the top. But I think that that is why we probably ended up doing a pilot because it was like, okay, we might not be able to roll this out from a budget perspective, enterprise-wide right at first, but let’s do a pilot. Let’s don’t give up, let’s just start with little pieces. And we saw such success there. And for those of you that are thinking about an LXP I think that and Tobias you mentioned this is having senior leadership and so when we rolled it out with the customer experience team, we had the SVP total buy-in.
She said, I want this for my team members. And that was absolutely a best practice that we found because since then we’ve had other groups want to join and we’re having to roll it out kind of group by group initially with this initial pilot. But the hope is to have an enterprise. And I’m so glad that we’ve done it this way in hindsight because we’ve learned the best practices. So the SVP, not only did she use the platform and model the behavior that we wanted team members to do, they were able to follow her. They were able to see what she was learning, she was able to recommend it, but she also really encouraged the team to invest in themselves. So she set up what she called learning happy hour. And for her team members, she blocked two hours on their calendar every month. And she said, I want you to hold this time sacred if at all possible.
And I want you to invest in yourself. Whether that is going to the LMS and taking our required training that you haven’t had time to do. Or what I want you to do also is use the degree platform and go and just invest in yourself in something that will help you in your role that you’re currently in. And that is where you can see the spikes on the usage with the, that she allowed them to do that. But I think more than anything, they felt empowered, empowered to grow, empowered to develop, empowered to maybe look at upscaling or rescaling to another area in the company. So that, and then as we rolled out and other groups have, finding that one person that’s going to be the power user, that advocate and getting them to build the groups, getting them to curate content themselves. So I think it’s just tapping into those individuals that you know, we’re going to partner with you in the business units as you roll out technology.
So all great points. Again, what I will piggyback on a little bit is it takes time. Even though technology changes very, very quickly, it still takes time to stand up an ecosystem. So we took an entire year arrested, do the same thing, right? To put an LXP in or put a mediary and mirrored load all of our content sources and then of course map that data back to an LRS. Those things take time. And so we, we had some very ambitious goals of how we would accomplish this in three months. And you know, those things are some things we learned that we should have given ourselves more time and space to really accomplish one set of activities and then grow to the next and grow to the next. So that’s, that’s where we are kind of pressing the reset button.
Looking at our strategies and saying, okay, we can start now with groups and then we can start with SMB influencers and now we can move on to having our managers start to add content. And so we’re just putting those levels into our strategies versus trying to turn our platform on and have all those things happen at once. The other challenges, my staff had to look different. I had a traditional team of instructional designers. I have, I had 10 I have one now. Right? And so now once you do all the curation, you didn’t have to put together a marketing strategy. Like how do I make sure I get the attention of the learners? How do I make sure that they know that we’ve added you to me or we’ve added LinkedIn learning or we’ve added the content sources that they asked for and how do we keep them engaged and keep them coming back for more and more. So my entire team had to look different and I’ve also changed my team from technologies to product managers so that they all know a piece of our tech stack and they’re managing the strategies for each of those things and how they work together. Right? So I think that those are the two largest challenges ill add to what has been shared. Just making sure that you give yourself time and we’re all running a hundred miles an hour, but you got to give yourselves some time.
Live Panel Q&A:
I work with a lot of companies that implement LXP systems. And when I look at those systems, I see it as systems where you can learn while you’re in the workflow, but they are not supporting learning while you work and learning while your work requires a different design methodology where you get the smallest information to get out of your problem and to continue with your work. So what an LXP usually does, it gives you a lot of resources, but it’s not performance sport. It’s a resource where you can sit and learn for 20 minutes or 12 minutes or eight minutes, but at the moment of needs then you need to have a different design methodology where you get your information that helps you out of your problem within two clicks and 20 seconds. If you look at a work of Bob Moser, I’m not sure if you know him, but that’s the work he is doing and that’s where most of the LXP piece fail. Not sure if you agree with that.
I actually do agree just a little bit. So I would say I recognize that as well. So that’s one of the reasons we coupled our LXP with WalkMe. So walk me as a bit more than just a step through bubbles. What we could do is allow, walk me to embed learning in those spaces where we have seen the learner need additional help, right? Or so let’s say we’ve also embedded the LXP into a PowerPoint into word. And then we’ve also, this gets a little bit big brotherish but WalkMe is in the background watching how you perform the transactions and then we can also see, okay, here’s where 90% of our workforce is getting stuck. So how do we embed a link to the course where you are in your day, work in your day to day activities back to the LXP so that you can consume that learning versus expecting to learn or to stop. I agree with you, stop working and then come over to the LXP is urgent or what they are looking for. So how do we embed it as close to where they are as possible?
I think there’s a fundamental shift. I like your comment. I agree. They’re all different. There’s a fundamental shift that historically traditional training that be e-learning or classroom overly emphasize the how, you know, we would spend an inordinate amount of time on a how that six months later you would then be doing and so now the why and the when and the context is set. The how is taking place much closer to the actual activity. And I think the other thing that we’ve seen, the phenomenon that we’ve seen, I know Bob Moshe had been working on this, but we used to talk about learning. We were really talking about training and now we’ve got performance support and knowledge management and collaboration and innovation. So you’ve got the whole continuum of what falls under learning and it’s a pretty big task for a group that used to focus on what are the training requirements now, how do you support them from end to end? I think that’s a great question.
I think those over here. Yeah. Just a quick question on WalkMe governments, we’ve deployed WalkMe out in a couple of customer facing applications as well as a CRM deployment and we’re looking at other CPQ deployments. How do you guys manage the governance of creating WalkMe content? Walk me sits as this layer in between the application itself and the user and it can, for lack of a better term, that can stop the user experience. So how do you manage, is it, are you just using WalkMe to support as an example, your LXP or are you using it to manage other applications and broadly for the group? If anybody else’s using WalkMe. What’s your governance on that?
So we’re doing a pilot right now. It says it’s a customer-facing pilot, but we’re actually turning around. If you teach your customers, you can teach your contact center folks the same thing. And that’s a totally different topic. But the interesting thing is we provide this, the system walkthroughs of specific processes and things like that that are more complicated than others. The other thing is we’re looking at using it for onboarding. And one of the, one of the interests things about walk me is that it knows who you are. So it knows when the last time you actually were using a specific application on a specific page, it knows which pages have been updated. So you might be prompting them on that and also allows you to do things like track what things you’ve clicked on to get more help from.
And if enough people click on a certain thing that either tells the software developers you need to fix this because it shouldn’t be this hard. Or it says there’s a Y issue of we need to do an intervention and that’s where you actually do your formalized training or your microlearning or whatever to get it out. That’s the power of something like this. I’m not saying WalkMe as the only answer. There’s a, you know, there’s other products out there. What fix, and I know Bob Moshers and some other groups are working on solutions in this. These have been a long time coming. I mean Bob’s group was doing it back in the day, you know, back in the 90s when, you know it was, that was early, but we were all trying to do it back then. We just didn’t have the infrastructure to do it. The cloud didn’t really exist. Now it does and it was really powerful and you can do lot of things with it. Now the choice is, okay, so how much can we replace a formal training with that and really focus our attention on the burning issues that companies face every day.
I just have a question regarding, and this can be a leading question about more around the governance and ownership of all of these tools or learning technologies. For example, what role does IT play? What role do you play in governance and administration of these tools? So I’m curious about the infrastructure.
We spent the last year setting up a governance type of model at American because we have a federated Chinese model. Our team in learning experience and enterprise learning, we are responsible for training that goes across the 130,000 American team members. And for all of those training groups that don’t have a training team, but we have like our pilots, our flight attendants, our airports and our mechanics that have their own very, very functional and regulated training. And so we’ve set up a model with the managing directors of those groups to set up kind of a learning calendar so that we’re not throwing training from legal that runs through the enterprise training at the same time.
And then past that we’ve set up a learning forum for sharing best practices to make sure that we don’t have a lot of redundancies in the resources. To your point to the applications that may be a flight attendant is outsourcing virtual reality and our mechanics are out trying to find a vendor. Then we have set up a learning forum across the managers of all of those groups that meets monthly and have a lot of share best practices as well as then we’ve even taken it down to our instructional designer. So the enterprise learning has the bulk and really actually the ownership LMS of the tools, the applications sit within the learning experience team, but we brought in colleagues that were responsible for training over about 40 different business units as well as the federated training and we actually put on a learning lab and actually had a two day conference for these team members and as we built those relationships and collaboration and had kind of this pyramid of governance, even at the very top a steering committee of our SVPs, we found that it’s kept us connected and it’s allowed as to communicate kind of everyone’s responsibilities and areas of ownership with the applications and the different learning modalities that we’re using at American.
I just want to add that a relationship with it, if, if this team does not sit in it is critical. You heard it. It took me eight months to get, walk me through security and all. The reason that happened was because of my relationship with that team. It goes like you, you must have had a rocket past. We’re still waiting to get foil. I actually used to sit in it. So I kind of knew some of them well but, and then every time we get ready to bring on new content already so we get ready to do a new VR piece or something like that. The relationship with IT is as well.
This is Jeremy with training.com and. All three of you are doing great things in the learning tech space. Tell me what you’re doing with all the data you’re collecting and are you tying that in with your talent data or performance data?
Yeah, I have an image that I shared, so I’m sure you built an ecosystem and we’re doing the same thing. So the longterm vision was to collect all of that data and then use the data that were collected even from our performance and from our employee engagement and allow that to feed the learning experience and vice versa. So if I log into the learning experience platform and my associate engagement, data sets that have some communication gaps on my team, then the recommendations of learning that I might receive will be more geared toward communication or something like that. If I put in my performance plan on my goal plan for this quarter that I want to learn Python, I want it to be that give back to that consumer experience. When I log into Amazon last night, this is going to be funny, I was logged in Amazon and they said, Hey, we saw you were looking at these lamps. And I was like, no, it wasn’t, that was my way. My wife was looking at that, as I said, because you were looking at lamps, you might be interested in bed spreads. Right? And so we want to, we want to match that experience you have outside of work inside of work. So because I was looking at Python, I might be maybe interested in a J query course or something like that. So that’s, that’s what we’re hoping to do with the data.
With us. I mean we’re thankful we finally got to blow hooked up to, to the system to be able to do reporting. You know, the challenges when you’re dealing with a regulated institution like the bank is that there are groups of people that literally cannot talk to each other, by legal reasons. So even our star rating system we had to kill because we can’t have regulated people giving five stars to a Degreed course. Cause that means that while Degreed courses must be better, somebody might invest in Degreed and then a Degreed doesn’t do well, then somebody can actually Sue. It’s a long story, but that’s the kind of reality that we face every day. So the data that we collect has to be one of those things where it’s aggregated and anonymous for the most part for the large scale reporting. And so our challenge right now is figuring out how to just get that done. The next stage would be great. That tied to our performance programs and things like that. So we’ll see what happens.
I think that’s really important as we’ve had these conversations. You know, technology’s an enabler, not the solution. You know, technology without strategy usually ends poorly. We see that quite often and I think as Tobias and the others as mentioned, the strategy, the structure of who supports it, what the process looks like, that’s going to be different. How you measure success in the investment. All those things are quickly changing. I think we have to be careful what we ask for because we wanted a seat at the table and now I think we have it, but what does that seat look like and what’s expected. The expectations seem to be really, really high. Any other comments before we go to questions?
I would just add to that point, that seat at the table, I was just checking my email earlier and I have three new requests for folks who want premier applications onto WalkMe and my manager of one of my teams, he sent me a text, he’s like, Hey, we have 20 emails in the inbox today and I’m thinking when he emails and this guy is really, really freaked out. Right? But that is something that we typically didn’t see. When you get that seat at the table, we didn’t have governance built to support that influx of requests and staff and the saying, no, I can’t do it. No is something I’ve never had to say before. Right? Because no one was knocking down my door asking for my services. So now that you put those things out there, again, giving yourself time to build the governance and the strategies to support.
Well I think it’s really important, you know, that process not only of what you create and how you’re going to put it out there. Many of our clients will create a micro or a nano learning, Oh, it’s on our LMS, but that’s not where they’re looking for it. They want it at the point of need. And so you know your process and your governance has to support micro and nano learning through a walk me or something. Real-time performance support like you were talking about.
Yeah. One of the other challenges that we faced in the last two years is past sins. So we had business leaders in the organization that basically said, we’re going to go out of house to get this done because we don’t think you guys can do it. You’ve been slow to respond. The, you know, the quality of the product. It’s not been innovative and all these other things. Of course, I’m sitting there going, well that’s why they hired me. So I’m hoping in a year I can fix that. But the reality is we took that challenge cause we could’ve just beard our heads and we took the challenge. We said, no, we know you want to go out of house but we want to do this. We want to prove ourselves. And so we had a program called reimagine learning that addressed our banking folks.
We have the context or the future which has been dealing with their contact center folks. And that program in particular, the business leader had come over from another company and another financial institution and she was used to seeing things done a specific way. And unfortunately our leadership said, Hey no, these folks can do this. And we redesigned the entire program and transformed it to where she is now. Our biggest champion. And it’s been a phenomenal change all the way down to the instructional designers that are going, they appreciate us. You know, this is really working and you can do that if you put the right processes and systems in place and then reinforce it with business leaders saying yes, come to us. This is what we want you to do and work with us to make it happen. Just go out of house.
I think that’s huge. I think that’s the general shift from a training mindset to a learning mindset and what does that mean for growing the business, but there’s a lot to it. I guess my last comment on that was sometimes I know I go to a number of speaking events or conferences or things like that. You’re not careful. You get an eclectic mix of things that could work, but and as you just pointed out, re-imagining what’s your learning ecosystem in your strategy looks like, how do they all work together? How’s the business fit into that? I think that’s, that’s critical.
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