What Ebenezer Scrooge Can Teach Us about e-Learning, Linda Kovreq, Judy Albers, & Don Humphreys of Bank One
Bank One needs to train office staff and bank tellers at bank branches all over the country while at the same time dealing with a down economy and big cutbacks in travel and training. As with Rockwell Collins and Grant Thornton, they had to battle entrenched ideas about the nature of "training," which was off site, classroom-based education. Their business driver for an e-Learning system, starting in 2000 was to enable faster development and deployment of learning to the field -- to the tellers -- with a learning content management system.
They presenters described two recent scenarios that have each grown and taught them new things. And they are excited for the next project. The first experience was a rollout of a new software package that was a "no training required" system. They quickly discovered that this is never true. They also learned the hard way that they needed to have management support. But they did learn that providing training at the branch, rather than pulling people off the job and sending them to hotels, gave much more immediate return (and was cheaper, Ebenezer).
The second, and current, experience is the rollout of a new teller system that the tellers use for 90% of their daily activities. There is lots of resistance. The tellers are comfortable with their old systems, and can operate them with their eyes closed. In learning from their last experience, they have roped the branch managers into the program as the learning coordinators for their tellers. They have also given much more autonomy to the tellers - they are responsible for their own training. And the presenters are clearly excited that their approach will work.
They wrapped up their quick session with a list of lessons that sound quite similar to those described earlier in the day:
- Choose your battles; be prepared for setbacks and skeptics. Be flexible
- Get senior management support early and often
- Be prepared to sacrifice long-held beliefs and institutions for a new strategy
- Be prepared to be held responsible for bottom-line results
- Integrate and balance accountability, support, and structure in your blended learning approaches