Video - Northwestern University at CLO Symposium 2017

Building a Culture of Learning and Performance Excellence at Northwestern University


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What comes first, a learning culture or the infrastructure that enables it? After a two-year journey to transform staff development at Northwestern University, their learning and organizational development team knows that it’s both. Join this session to learn about the steps taken — including strategic planning and technology support — to connect learning, performance and employee engagement at this renowned institution. With the goal of building on its reputation as a learning-focused employer of choice, the team, led by Samir Desai, implemented a phased approach to creating a talent development roadmap to engage the university’s 7,000 support staff in their career growth. The ambitious program required making a case for learning as an investment, implementing world-class leadership development, reinventing performance management and building a cloud-based technology platform to enable all of this for staff success at scale. The combination of strategy and technology have already yielded impressive results, and important lessons learned.

Key takeaways for session attendees:

  • Learn creative approaches to building a talent development program with limited resources.
  • Get a practical framework for architecting the connection between learning, performance and engagement.
  • Gain new insight into how the learning function can turn the 70-20-10 axiom its head.
  • Understand how technology platforms can provide a foundation for personalizing the experience at scale.

Speaker: Samir A. Desai, Executive Director of Learning and Organization Development, Northwestern University