by Frank Kalman
November 16, 2015
From Left: Ann Marie Sidman, Elise James-Decruise, Stephen Dwight
Ann Marie Sidman
Vice President of Learning and Organizational Development, General Re Corp., A Berkshire Hathaway Co.
General Re Corp. had already invested $40 million in SAP software when it recognized a gap in its strategy to prepare end-user employees on the new system.
With Ann Marie Sidman, the insurance firm’s vice president of learning and organizational development, as a guide, and limited in budget, time and resources, the three-person Organizational Change Management team used free blogging platform WordPress.org and a secure cloud-based server in Rackspace to provide employees with a low-cost option to learn how to use the new SAP system.
In doing so, it avoided challenges posed by using the firm’s internal LMS and Web application platform, SharePoint, both of which relied on antiquated processes and were not user-friendly.
Built in just two months, the WordPress learning platform offered users: a BuddyPress plug-in to send and accept “friendship” request so users could interact with one another; an image widget to post photos and highlight success; a forum’s widget to allow different business areas to interact with executive sponsors; and a timer widget displaying the official countdown to the SAP system’s live date.
Four weeks after the launch of the learning website, the company said 99 percent of all end users logged on at least once. One week before the SAP launch, the RAS Learning Site experienced a reported daily return rate of 105 percent, meaning some users visited the website more than once a day.
Senior Director and Head of Global Training at New Marketing Institute, MediaMath Inc.
As the digital advertising space blossomed in 2007, spawning what is now referred to as “ad tech,” many marketers needed to learn how to use the new tools available to negotiate and purchase digital media.
To meet the growing demand for talent in the ad tech space, Elise James-DeCruise, senior director and head of global training for digital technology firm MediaMath Inc., created the New Marketing Institute. Now the educational arm of MediaMath, the NMI provides customers with customized learning to help clients navigate the new world of digital advertising.
NMI programs include in-person and remote courses with live facilitator-led sessions, self-directed e-learning, one-on-one coaching and thought leadership through industry blogs and events.
As a result of NMI, MediaMath said it has shortened the length of time it takes a new client to spend its media budget on its product platform.
Vice President of talent management, Novo Nordisk Inc.
Under the guidance of Stephen Dwight, Novo Nordisk Inc.’s vice president of talent management, the company created a custom online learning library that consolidates thousands of informal, self-guided and formal learning resources, each mapped to the company’s leadership and functional competencies. The effort helped the organization save nearly $1 million.