From Left: Peter Matthews, Hubert Beekhuizen, Jean Akers, Wendy Smith
Partner, Global Markets Learning, EY
As China’s economy grows, its economy will have greater influence on the rest of the world. But many Western-based firms doing business in China aren’t accustomed to the country’s traditions.
Global professional services organization EY has an increasing proportion of clients in China, and its partners in the West needed to accustom themselves to the country’s way of doing business to connect better with their China-based clients.
To address the issue, Peter Matthews, EY’s head of senior partner development and senior global client service partner, led creation of the China Regional Insights and Strategy Program, or CRISP. The program would serve as a China-based learning experience for the firm’s senior professionals, providing them with a comprehensive view of the challenges of doing business in China.
Matthews’ main goal was to find a Chinese university willing to help with the program’s learning, so the professors would not only be Asian academics but also based in the country and have direct knowledge of its business practices. In addition to having Chinese professors lead the program’s training, local government officials would further center CRISP’s content in the local perspective.
CRISP was a success. According to EY, feedback from China-based clients showed that they felt better understood by West-based EY professionals who took part in the program. Also, through the first 11 months of the firm’s fiscal year 2015, its revenues in China grew by 15.7 percent.
International Training and Design Lead, Pfizer Inc.
Just a few years ago, international pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc.’s customer-facing employees in several regions would never be required to participate in price negotiations. But negotiation is now an expected step in the sales process. To create a learning component to train employees in negotiation, the company turned to Hubert Beekhuizen, its international training and design lead, who conceived a multimodule approach to train employees on the mutual gains approach to negotiation through a coordinated blend of virtual, face-to-face, group and solo learning.
Since the rollout, users have rated the learning a 4.9 on a five-point scale. Also, one sales representative reported a successful negotiation using these new skills that saved the business $150,000, the company said.
Deputy Director of the Foreign Service Institute, U.S. State Department
The Foreign Service Institute’s mission is to prepare the U.S. diplomats and foreign affairs community for whatever challenges they will face in their work. All new Foreign Service Officers joining the State Department must serve a tour of duty abroad in a Consular Section, where they’re required to adjudicate passport and visa applications.
The flagship learning offering is the Basic Consular Course, but the course content grew too lecture heavy with minimal experiential learning. So Jean Akers, the Foreign Service Institute’s deputy director, led a complete course redesign. Akers and her team more than tripled the number of role-plays students undertook through mock interviews and other situational learning experiences. The initial feedback has been positive. Managers report that course graduates arrive at posts better prepared for their duty.
Head of New Employee Experiences, NCR Corp.
Historically, NCR Corp. struggled to meet its new employees’ onboarding needs. So Wendy Smith, the company’s head of new employee experiences, led the creation of NCR First Steps, a comprehensive onboarding program that assimilates 6,000 new hires each year into NCR. The effort has reduced attrition and increased new-hire satisfaction.