EVENT REVIEW: Corporate Universities are the future shape of executive development for some and outmoded and passé for others. Part of the problem is that the phrase 'corporate university' itself can describe anything from an HR department's training function to a fully-funded campus charged with developing a company's strategic ideas and direction and moulding its corporate culture to meet its specific challenges.
With this amibguity surrounding it there is continuing and considerable interest in the developments taking place in corporate universities - and the paths and directions they are adopting going into the future. In mid-February London saw over 70 senior learning and development professionals and practitioners gather for Forward Networkings inaugural Evolving Corporate Universities Forum event. With a range of major global corporations presenting their internal learning institutions' structures and purposes it was a great opportunity to piece together the various approaches being adopted and work out if there is a consensus of best practice being developed.
Angelika Inglsperger, Head of Global Career Management and Development at the Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty division of Allianz focused on the link between talent management and retention and learning. She noted that two-thirds of their costs, and this will no doubt be true for all service businesses, were people costs. And that to replace an executive costs the equivalent of 2.4 years of that individuals salary - it is therefore critical to develop these expensive assets (people) and to retain them.
In a wonderfully efficient German approach Allianz have a single talent management strategy embedded through the organisation, that is based around an interlinked model of performance and potential. The potential criteria is based on strategic, results and driving change and innovation orientations.
But this complex model has to be tailored to the abilities of the individaul executives, and these are identified on a matrix developed by Allianz and EZI which locates people from those 'red box people' who are of relatively low potential and ability that need to have their performance carefully managed through those 'in the yellow box that are the backbone of the business' who are solid performers who require continual knowledge up-dating, to the 'blue box talent that are high performers with high potential'.
The different levels of ability need to attract different levels of investment in their development which is explained in the chart below.
Clearly though it is not just organisations with corporate universities that can apply such a matrix - any sophisticated talent department will be looking at these factors. The Allianz case is that with this level of resource in the Allianz Academy thy can conduct this level of assessment centrally and, critically, back it up with the development resources available from a dedicated learning institution.
Forward Networking will be running further Evolving Corporate University Forums in around the world in 2011 and 2012:
Panama 28th and 29th June
Bali 19th and 20th October
Doha 21st and 22nd November
Zurich February 2012