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28 CHAPTER FOUR SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES FROM BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT In business (and in government) we've stopped talking about public companies that won ASTD BEST awards in 2003 and personnel administration or even human resources management. 2004 outperformed the S&P 2005 Index by 2 to 1 for the past Now we are dealing with the management of human capital. . . 5 years. People are the most important asset of an organization. Jac Fitz-enz The BEST award is now in its fourth year. There are more Author and HR Strategic Thinker than 60 public and private organizations whose training and development success stories are captured in these awards. INTRODUCTION They provide a rich source of data for state DOTs to learn how other organizations have provided exceptional training An important part of any practical application research effort experiences for their employees. These are organizations is to identify successful practices used by other organizations whose training programs have a high percentage of manda- and share those through the research report. This chapter dis- tory training time, where leaders support learning throughout cusses successful practices used by both the private and the organization, where learning objectives are components the public sectors. In sharing these success stories, we real- of performance management, and where a corporate level ize that what works in one organization may or may not have learning officer is in place. In addition, training is directly direct transferability to another organization. However, the linked to the organization's strategic goals and objectives. very concept of learning about another organization's suc- Examples of the 2004 BEST winners included: cess can often stimulate creative thinking and ideas that can Accenture--learning from experience, failures as well as suc- be applied to one's own organization. It is in this spirit that cesses, is a vital part of the enterprise commitment to learning at the successful practices are provided. Accenture, a global provider of professional and technical ser- vices with more than 100,000 employees. A win/loss review is conducted after every sales opportunity, and lessons learned are AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TRAINING documented in a globally accessible database that is part of the AND DEVELOPMENT--BEST AWARDS company's knowledge management system. Employees learn safely from mistakes made in cutting-edge simulations that cover ASTD is one of the premier professional societies for mem- a wide range of business-critical skills, as well as from the fail- ures and challenges shared by colleagues as part of the learning bers of the training and development, or as ASTD has experience. renamed the profession, the workplace learning and perfor- mance improvement profession. Beginning in 2003, ASTD American Express--American Express recently reviewed its has presented the annual BEST awards to organizations in customer service training program to develop a more robust the public and the private sector from around the world who curriculum for its representatives. A simulated call center envi- Build talent, Enterprise-wide, Supported by the organiza- ronment called SIMON (Simulated Online Network) was cre- ated. SIMON allows learners to practice typical tasks without tion's leaders, fostering a Thorough learning culture. the risks involved in helping a live customer. Feedback comes from the application, instructors, and coaches. The simulation ASTD has tracked the performance of both its 2003 and curriculum is combined with a unique technology called LARA 2004 winners of BEST awards. The public and private orga- (Language Reduction Application), which helps learners meet nizations are able to demonstrate that their training does, customer needs by telephone more quickly and efficiently. SIMON has new employees meeting minimum job standards in indeed, provide a value added contribution to the organiza- less than half the time; some are even outperforming existing tion. In the article, "Best Practices in Learning Tied to Finan- employees. cial Performance," which appeared in the June 2005 issue of Training and Development, ASTD's Research Department Defense Acquisition University--Integrating knowledge sharing analyzed the BEST award winners from 2003 and 2004 into the learning environment is one of the success stories of Defense Acquisition University (DAU), the corporate university of . . . as well as another study of high-performing learning organi- the U.S. Department of Defense. Keeping employees up to zations conducted by other companies, [to] identify similar char- speed with business changes is the mission of DAU's recent acteristics that define excellence in learning functions. ASTD has Rapid Deployment Training Initiative, which has teams create found that companies with best practices in learning functions are new learning materials for a digital repository--and be used by among those with high levels of financial performance. The 21 on-site mobile training teams--within 5 days of a change.