Capabilities

5 Steps to Beat Your Proven Method

At first blush, it make sense that major corporations would pay handsome fees to consulting firms whose unique value proposition stems from implementing “proven” systems and processes that have previously been tested in dozens of other clients. However, post implementation, it often becomes apparent that the organization’s response to the “proven” systems and processes is less than favorable.

For years, Blueline has been practicing a different approach, one that we refer to as “listening to the voice of the business.” Our belief, validated through dozens of client projects, is that the answers to solving your organization’s greatest challenges lay dormant in the minds of your people – and all you have to do is ask.

Mining insights from within your organization has some added benefits. For starters, the resulting systems and processes are uniquely yours. That means that you are extending competitive advantage, rather than moving to parity with your competitors who are all implementing “proven” solutions. And, by engaging your people in the process, you have empowered them and begun the all important process of securing their buy-in.

Although Blueline’s “Voice of the Business” process always follows these same five steps, it never fails to delight our clients.

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If you would like to know more, by all means send us an email or give us a call. If you still aren’t convinced, take a few minutes to explore these blogs that my team and I have written over the last year or so. Each of these implementations was profoundly impacted by Blueline’s “Voice of the Business.”

Brandon Hall Award Application Time!

In our industry there are few awards that matter as much as the Brandon Halls. Last month the 21st Annual Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards Program opened for applications. The Brandon Hall Awards are “the most prestigious awards program in the industry. Often times called the “Academy Awards” by Learning, Talent and Business Executives, the program was one of the first of its kind in the learning industry.” (http://go.brandonhall.com/Excellence_Awards_Home)

Many prestigious organizations have received awards from Brandon Hall –  Sears, IBM, AT&T, Bank of America, 7-Eleven, Walgreens, Wyndham Hotel Group, American Express, LinkedIN, Bank of America, McDonalds, and Blueline.

Yes, Blueline!

Click here to read how The Talent Management Specialists at Blueline Swept the Brandon Hall Awards.

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Simulation Develops Results Focused Leaders at Fortune 300 Company (Part 1)

In my previous life as the head of Alltel University, and owner of its leadership development programs, I went in search of a capstone training event for the program we designed for 300 Directors and Vice Presidents across the organization. Having provided 360 assessments, external coaching, and internal workshops to this group on its Core Leadership Values, I wanted an immersive experience that would build strategic thinking skills and adaptable decision-making in a competitive and dynamic environment that would test participants behaviors against the Values, as much as their Executive acumen.

Extensive research went in to understanding the current market offerings in the simulation field, as I felt this would give us our best chance to provide a memorable, yet practical experience for our attendees. Participants in the program represented various organizational functions including customer service, sales, legal, marketing, engineering, products and finance.

My challenge was that there were dozens of providers to sort through! All touted their simulation solution as the “most advanced, “ “easiest to deploy,”  “best immersion,” and so on. I simply did not have the time or experience to be able to sort out the best from among these providers.

Then, through a combination of circumstance, timing and a little luck in the evaluation process, I came across Blueline Simulations. What was intriguing about them is they had already done all of this research to identify the simulations and providers with the highest customer satisfaction. On top of this work, Blueline offered program and project management resources, so by working with Blueline, we could do everything from negotiating terms to planning our implementation to conducting the simulation itself.

While there were several companies that made the final cut of proposals, it was clear that for our needs, Blueline Simulations was the best choice for this initial opportunity, and had the capability and capacity to grow with us. Together with Dan Gregory at Blueline Simulations, we selected Executive Challenge™, a competitive, multiplayer simulation that puts participants on the leadership team of a virtual company.

In my next posting I will share the nature of the program, how we customized it for Alltel’s needs, and what the outcomes were in delivering the simulation. Stay tuned!

Taken from The Words of That Great Orator Paul Harvey: And Now, The Rest of The Story.

We’ve shared with you in recent posts about our overall work with onboarding and specifically our onboarding work with our client partners at Booz Allen Hamilton. In this post we want to disclose the results of our combined efforts there and the tools that we are utilizing in our current and future work in the onboarding space.

Since the onboarding program at Booz Allen Hamilton launched in November 2009, more than 8,000 employees have participated. Survey results both objective and subjective reveal that the more engaging and interactive program has netted positive results in many areas:

1. Reduction of risk and better adherence to compliance starting in week one. New hires have an improved awareness and understanding of critical firm compliance policies which enhances decision making that could vitally impact the firm’s credibility and legal culpability.

2. Productivity gains attributed to the job readiness of new hires going through the program. Data collected from internal surveys reveal higher (6% average increase) levels of perceived job readiness and impact among new hires participating in the enhanced onboarding program relative to the legacy program. When asked if new employees receive the onboarding they need to perform their roles effectively, employees rated the program a 4 out of 5 or higher 75% of the time. This is a full 23 points above the benchmark norm.

Booz Allen Hamilton estimates that for each day the organization’s new hires are not productive, the firm could lose up to $1 million dollars in potential revenue. Clearly the new program has contributed significant monetary gains.

3. Attrition rates for employees with tenure of 6 months or less have been reduced by four percentage points since the launch of the enhanced onboarding program. This is six percentage points below the norm of similarly-tenured staff at other benchmark companies.                                                                                                                                                            When new hires have a good understanding of the organization and the culture they are joining, in addition to insights about their journey ahead based on immersion into simulated real life situations with real life decisions, they are more grounded and well-suited for what lies ahead – not surprising.

4. The firm has experienced increased levels of new hire affiliation and engagement. A few of the most revealing facts include:

* Greater than 95% of participants acknowledge the program had a positive impact on their impression of the company. This has contributed to the decline in attrition as mentioned above.

* Interactivity and networking components are two of the most commonly mentioned positive attributes of the enhanced onboarding.

* Program surveys indicate that the firm’s enhanced onboarding program is outperforming the legacy program in 6 out of 7 survey question categories, including environment, logistics, guest speakers, instructors, objectives, and ROI.

* 96% of participants have rated the enhanced onboarding curriculum, ROI, instructors, and program logistics higher than comparable components of the firm’s legacy onboarding program.

The complete and immersive approach to onboarding at Booz Allen Hamilton promotes accountability while creating value for new hires, their managers, and the firm in a variety of ways.

But we haven’t stopped with this success. At Blueline Simulations we customize solutions to meet the unique needs of our clients. And those needs are varied when it comes to onboarding programs. We want participants to be engaged. We want attrition rates to be low.

We want the solutions that we create to be the best that have been experienced and we have lots of creative solutions for accomplishing that.

Gone are the days when live classroom training that involves travel, meeting space and logistics are required.

By making the most of remote meeting technologies such as GotoMeeting and Adobe Acrobat Connect, the possibilities are limitless! We are taking advantage of these tools and others like them to facilitate training remotely.  The use of storylines and journals, live and archived interviews, individual and team assignments completed remotely or live, chat, polling, remote whiteboard and breakouts all ensure that the level of engagement and retention remain high.

We look forward to sharing more with you about our successes and ideas in future blogs.

An Evolution in Learning: Welcome to the Age of Integration (part 2)

Do you want to deliver on your learning objective at the exact moment of need?

In my previous post, I examined the evolution of learning methodologies — from transactional to constructivist to integrated.

In this post, I’m going to share some new ideas we have for delivering your mission-critical content to the point of greatest learning impact: the moment that your employee is doing the work.

Introducing Go Team.
At Blueline Simulations, we are excited to make available a new, best-in-class team training product to our clients. It’s called “Go Team: Powering Team Performance,” and it’s a case study in integrated learning.

There are no mouse clicks here! We use immersive traditional media, delivered to teams in short modules at the moment of need.

For example, let’s say your intact workgroup faces an important decision. That’s the perfect moment to deliver the Go Team module: “Making Team Decisions.” As the need is identified, the team leader goes online and prints handouts for team members then, over a brief two-hour period, (perhaps an extended lunch?) the team is encouraged to analyze their decision and come to a consensus for action. And, of course, in the process they will practice skills for decision making that they can exercise over and over again in the future.

Go Team consists of 18 learning modules that cover a variety of learning needs that teams experience universally. Topics include Clarifying Team Roles, Building on Style Differences, Running Effective Meetings, Resolving Conflict, Giving & Receiving Feedback, Sparking Team Creativity, Managing Change and many more.

The age of integrated learning is here. And Blueline Simulations is at the front line, delivering and developing performance support tools (utilizing a wide range of technology and dialogue based solutions) that deliver on your learning objective at the exact moment of need with an almost surgical precision.

Want to know more or get a taste of Go Team as well as our other immersive, integrated learning tools and approaches? Contact us today. And we’ll show you what’s next in the world of organizational learning.