Running Corporate Learning as a Business: Top Trends for 2016

Posted by Rich Mesch on Jan 14, 2016 1:48:44 PM

business_training-1.jpgYeah, yeah, I know. Yet another “here’s what to expect in the New Year” post. The only thing more certain than hangovers and “this year I get in shape!” commitments is people coming out the woodwork to prognosticate the future. And tempting as it was to remain in the woodwork this year, after reading a few dozen “learning trends” posts, I felt there was something missing. There were predictions a-plenty on what technology we would love, on the needs of the Millennials, and the learning modalities du jour. But it seems like nobody is addressing the real question:

How will learning align with and drive the business?

So pardon me for poking my head from the woodpile and sharing the five key trends for running learning as a business.

  1. Successful Learning Organizations will have a seat at the table. It seems absurd that Learning Organizations are often not mainstreamed into strategic planning. They are responsible for preparing the workforce to fulfill the company’s business goals; why would they be an afterthought in the planning process? In many organizations, Learning has that seat at the table, and is fully integrated with strategic planning. That means the entire Learning Organization is oriented around achieving the company’s business goals. I’m currently on a judging panel for a learning industry award. In reviewing the applications, it’s pretty easy to see where Learning has a seat at the table and where they don’t. When they don’t, answers to questions about strategic alignment are vague, metrics are unclear, and success tends to be measured in “learning” terms, like number of people trained and good test scores. But when Learning has a seat at the table, Learning goals and business goals are basically the same, metrics are specific, and success is measured on driving those metrics. 
  2. Learning Innovation requires thinking Like a CEO. Innovation means change, and change costs money, disrupts the status quo, and generally makes people edgy. Too many learning leaders try to drive change because it’s “a good idea,” or because “people will learn better.” Your CEO wants innovation to drive positive change in business metrics. So the rationale for innovation needs to demonstrate things that matter to the business: competitive advantage, speed to capability, growth in revenue or market share, or reduction in cost. Feel like you can’t make that case? That’s going to make the argument a lot tougher. 
  3. The Learning Supply Chain is just as important as any other supply chain in the business. Supply chain is about how we acquire the goods and services we need to provide the goods and services we produce. It’s easy to identify the supply chain in manufacturing (machinery, raw materials, etc.), but we often miss it in Learning. But in truth, our supply chain is critical. What gets done internally or by vendor partners? How do we do that cost effectively? How do we scale up to meet changing needs without taking on unreasonable risk? How do we respond to unplanned or unexpected needs of the business? Without a strong supply chain in place, we may fail—or at very least, damage our costs and deadlines unnecessarily.
  4. New Technology adoption hinges on tactical buy-in. We have better learning technology than ever, yet we are getting far less value from it than we should. Why? Because in many cases, it has been implemented improperly, poorly leveraged, or simply never implemented at all. Successful technology implementation has many gatekeepers. Your IT team may resist a broad implementation. Your Regulatory or Legal team may see risk. Your executive team may struggle with expense or cultural issues. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen learning leaders throw their hands up in the air and say, “I want to implement this, but I can’t get IT/Legal/Regulatory/etc. on board.” You’ll need great content to get that technology to work, but you’ll never get that far if you can’t address the tactical challenges of getting it implemented.  
  5. Constant Whitewater is here to stay. Once upon a time, organizations had “evergreen” courses that they could run for years without significant update. In most industries today, however, change is a constant, and Learning Organizations need to be more flexible than ever. Whether it’s new products, new competitors, disruptive technology, marketplace shifts, or a changing regulatory environment, many businesses are in a state of constant change and Learning Organizations need to be prepared to change with them. That means re-evaluating the resourcing, the processes, and the priorities of your Learning Organization. Why should the business wait for the Learning Organization to catch up?

Want more information of running the Learning Organization like a business? Read our recent article in Training Industry Magazine, “Be the CEO of Your Learning Organization.”



Rich Mesch is Vice President, Customer Engagement at Performance Development Group. A frequent contributor to industry events and publications, his most recent article was Be the CEO of Your Learning Organization for Training Industry's online magazine.



Improving Time to Impact: Onboarding New Leaders

Posted by Amanda Holm on Oct 7, 2015 4:09:10 PM

PDG has published a new case study focused on building the next generation of corporate leaders. Failure rate for new managers can be over 50% in the first year. Clearly, getting managers off to a good start is critical to their future effectiveness. Ineffective onboarding can do more harm than good, and do little more than drive up training costs. So what is  the best way to prepare new managers for their jobs?

Here's a preview of the case study:

Improving Time to Impact: Onboarding New Leaders

Hiring top talent is only half the battle. Getting those people prepared for the challenges ahead is perhaps the larger challenge. In the highly competitive world of finance, “good enough” is never good enough. How do you get new leaders ready to make an impact?

This was the challenge facing a major Financial Services Institution, struggling to prepare new Retail Banking managers for success. Despite having a comprehensive curriculum, the organization was not getting where it needed to be. New managers attended extensive training with a blended approach of self-paced web training and instructor-led classes. Yet, at completion, new managers were not prepared to do their jobs; they had difficulty completing basic procedures. The learning team admitted that individuals might “complete” training but not retain the information. Corporate training was treated as a “check-the-box” exercise, and “real” training happened at branch.

Clearly, something needed to be done. The branches were struggling with client satisfaction issues, talent retention, and lagging sales. The cost of training was escalating, the time to efficiency was increasing, and consistency across the branches was in jeopardy. As a result, the business was losing respect for training and was more reluctant to participate in the corporate program. What could be done to bring this new manager program back on track?

Read more about how this financial services institution was able to prepare their new managers for success in the case study, Improving Time to Impact: Onboarding New Leaders.

Improving Time to Impact: Onboarding New Leaders


Topics: Performance Improvement, Onboarding

Be the CEO of Your Learning Organization

Posted by Keith Forshew on Sep 28, 2015 2:33:01 PM

It’s fall, and for parents and students, thoughts have turned to school; in the business world, thoughts are turning to fiscal planning for the coming year.  As a key part of that business process, learning organizations need to be prepared to understand requirements and budget for the upcoming year. Manufacturing businesses use supply chain management practices to determine their future needs, and learning organizations can, too. By using a Learning Demand Planning model, learning organizations can build a better understanding of their overall fiscal needs.

Business plans spawn learning demand.  As your organization plans for the upcoming year, they will be creating initiatives such as:Woman CEO of a Learning Organization behind a desk

  • Business goals – company-wide and departmental
  • New product or service launches
  • Changes in the organizational structure
  • New sales models
  • Compliance and diversity programs
  • Changes in the corporate mission
  • Acquisitions or mergers
  • Cost cutting measures

Learning leaders need to budget for resources to meet the demands of the business for the coming year. Learning Demand Planning can close the gaps in a learning organization’s annual plan, allowing them to be more responsive, more efficient, and more cost-effective.

Good supply chain management processes drive efficiency by anticipating and understanding what the demand is going to look like for manufacturing and delivering goods, and then figuring out the best manufacturing and supply strategies to match that demand. You can use the same supply chain management approach to match supply to learning demand.

How do you plan for demand?

First, gather upcoming business demand for learning: determine current demand, review business goals, and estimate what learning effort is required to meet those goals. That information is processed through the Learning Supply Chain Model; the output shows periods of high and low demand, and can be tracked and revised as circumstances change.

Learning demand planning creates visibility and predictability. With a clear understanding of the annual learning demand and the resources needed to meet that demand, businesses can minimize duplication of effort and balance workflow by moving tasks from high-demand periods to lower-demand periods, smoothing out the demand curve. The end result is the ability to get more work done with fewer resources, reducing cost, time-to-completion, and stress and churn to the organization.

Understanding future demand can improve your resourcing strategy. Learning Demand Planning helps answer the questions:

  • How many resources do you need?
  • When do you need them?
  • How many will be employees versus contractors?
  • Do you need to outsource any of the work?

Fiscal planning for learning becomes easier with demand plans in place because businesses can accurately forecast the resources they need to fulfill demand and create efficient resourcing strategies to increase predictability and reduce cost.

Graph of an organization's learning demand

What are the challenges in demand planning?

Our clients have had several challenges with demand planning, including:

  1. Gaining realistic visibility: How do you go to your internal business units and ask them the right questions to determine their demand? Businesses don’t necessary know what their learning demand is going to be. You need to ask right questions and probe. For example, if the business is planning to enter new markets or deliver a new product or service, does that mean they will be hiring new staff or require new skills?

  2. Set priorities: You can’t always get everything they want. How do you help the business understand what is most important for their goals or where they will get the biggest “bang for their buck,” and prioritize that first?

  3. They don’t know what they don’t know: Your stakeholders may be missing learning needs that would be more obvious to a learning professional. Just because they aren’t asking for it doesn’t mean they don’t need it. This is where an outside view can be valuable, guiding stakeholders on the types of organization changes and initiatives that increase the need for learning and performance support.

As you go into your next fiscal planning period, take the time to analyze your learning demand and develop your plan for the future. You can increase quality, learner satisfaction, predictability, and decrease cost.

 Photo of Keith Forshew 


Keith Forshew is the President of PDG. Keith brings over 20 years of expertise building and leading global consulting and technology organizations, delivering top of class learning services to Fortune 5000 companies.



 Learn more about learning demand planning with the white paper Taming the Learning Demand Curve.

Topics: Flexible Resource Management, Learning Demand Planning

Why Millennials are not Space Aliens

Posted by Rich Mesch on Sep 3, 2015 11:44:00 AM

If you were born around 1980 or after, we all kind of owe you an apology. Because we dubbed you a “Millennial” and we talk about you like you are some kind of other species. You see it everywhere: What do Millennials want? How do Millennials think? And, yes, inevitably, how do Millennials learn?

Let me clear the air here: Millennials are just people. Can we stop talking about them like they’re not?alienblogmed

Do Millennials learn differently from everybody else? I don’t think so. But there is something that’s different about them: their expectation as to how they will receive learning is different than the generations that came before.

Millennials are Digital Natives. They were born into a world where computers were everywhere, the internet always existed, and phones were little hand-held computers that went everywhere with us. Virtually all of them used computers in their primary and secondary education, and many used iPads. Having information at their fingertips is not revolutionary for them; it’s the way the world has always worked. Being part of a crowd-sourced knowledge community is not new to them; having access to informal and social learning is common; getting advice or mentoring from someone far away is not unusual. For many from this generation, learning is not an event; it’s something they do all the time, and it’s become second nature.

So you can imagine what happens when they come into a corporate environment and content is taught in lectures or didactic e-learning. In a world where they are able to learn virtually anything at any time, when information is mere seconds away, where a robust learning community is there for the asking—why would you limit your methods? It’s the moral equivalent of going to work at a company that transports their goods in horse carts—why would you do that when there are much better methods commonly available?

But here’s the catch: Millennials don’t learn differently. They just expect to learn differently. Lecture and didactic learning have always been very limited ways to learn. But in the pre-internet age, most people didn’t expect to learn differently, because the methods didn’t exist yet. So all those great learning methods that we attribute to Millennials are great for Gen X, Baby Boomers, and, frankly, all other humans.

So thanks to the Millennials for helping us learn how to learn. And let’s use those great techniques to help everybody be more effective.

Rich Mesch


Rich Mesch is Vice President, Customer Engagement at Performance Development Group. A frequent contributor to industry events and publications, his most recent article was Taming the Learning Demand Curve: Using Supply Chain Methods to Manage Your Learning Function for Training Industry's online magazine.



Topics: Performance Improvement, Organizational Learning, Millennials

Creating the Learning Organization Structure

Posted by Amanda Holm on May 28, 2015 2:10:00 PM

How do you know if the design of your learning organization is accomplishing your business goals? In PDG's new white paper, “Creating the Learning Organization Structure,”  we explore:

  • How to structure a learning organizationlearning_organization_structure_cta
  • Benefits and risks of centralized and decentralized learning
  • What a hybrid learning organization looks like
  • The pros and cons of internal versus external capabilities

Here’s a preview of the white paper:


What is the right way to structure a learning organization? Should it be highly centralized, to allow for resource sharing and economies of scale? Highly decentralized, so the output is specific to the unique needs of different functions? Should it be a hybrid, incorporating the best of both worlds? Is there even a “right” way?

PDG has been fortunate to work with hundreds of learning organizations across multiple verticals, of varying size and complexity. This experience has allowed us to develop a series of considerations, trade-offs, and synergies that lead to best practices in learning organization design. In this white paper, we will provide a variety of situational examples, along with what we believe are factors that affect your decisions and what we believe to be best practice. Ultimately, the “best” design depends on your organization, your business, and your goals.

Perspectives on Learning Organization Design

Is there a “right” way to design a learning organization?

There is no absolute “right” way, no silver bullet. Each design has inherent strengths and drawbacks.

If there is not a “best” way, is there a “better” way?

Yes. Based on your organizations strategies and capabilities, there are design structures that are likely to work better than others. Structured analysis will help determine which alternatives are most likely to drive your goals. Issues you will need to evaluate include:

  • Making necessary compromises: You usually can’t have the “best” of everything. Given strengths and weaknesses, compromises are often needed and the final design is likely to be a hybrid of the best options.
  • Managing Tradeoffs: Decisions which way to go will need to be managed via the “levers” of leadership, decision-making, people, and processes.

To read more about creating the learning organization structure, download the free white paper!

Topics: Organizational Learning, Learning Resourcing,, High Performing Learning Organization, Flexible Resource Management

Driving Global Marketing Excellence at the ATD Conference

Posted by Amanda Holm on May 11, 2015 11:08:00 AM


 Join PDG and Pfizer at the ATD International Conference

When you work in the life sciences industry, change is a constant. And when you're one of the largest companies in that industry, change must be part of your strategy. That's exactly what was keeping the marketing excellence team at Pfizer up at night. In a world that shifts constantly, how do you keep the skills of your marketing team fresh and relevant? And how do you craft your message so it is practical and implementable for your marketing teams in nearly 100 countries worldwide?

 In this Association for Talent Development (ATD) Conference session, you will learn how Pfizer created a global performance initiative to address these challenges, using key strategies such as bringing together top subject matter experts and finding ways to get them to create a cohesive and focused curriculum, using global learning archetypes to design for multiple global audiences, aligning the effort to Pfizer's business goals, and tying the curriculum to Pfizer's performance management strategy.

Application on the Job:

  • Determine the types of global market changes that require constant re-evaluation of employee skills and knowledge.
  • Identify how those changes can be translated into a flexible curriculum that addresses not only today's needs but needs for years to come.

  • Discuss strategies for bringing together a diverse team of stakeholders, subject matter experts, and learning professionals to create a consistent curriculum that can be deployed globally.

Find out more at the ATD International Conference & Exposition at, Driving Marketing Excellence Through a Global Learning Curriculum on May 19 from 1 - 2 PM.

Our Presenters

Robert BakerRobert Baker
Senior Director, Enterprise Training Strategy | Pfizer      

Bob Baker is Senior Director, Enterprise Training Strategy at Pfizer. In that role he is responsible for improving the overall colleague learning experience. His 20+ years at Pfizer includes sales, marketing research, country and global brand management as well as new product development. In his last role, Bob developed Pfizer’s way of marketing that includes the standards of excellence, frameworks, tools and training that colleagues need to be successful. His team has also created a learning ecosystem with its 4,000 members of Pfizer’s Commercial Community to accelerate their professional development and collaboration abilities. Bob has a BA in Economics from the College of William and Mary, and an MBA in Marketing from Rutgers. Bob is currently the President of ATD NY.

Kim_Robbins_73Kim Robbins
Director, Change Management and Communications | Pfizer

Kim Robbins is Director, Change Management & Communications for the Pfizer Marketing Excellence Team. In this role she works with leaders to design change strategies and learning and development resources to develop and retain talent and support Pfizer marketing in meeting the needs of customers. Kim is a member of the Communication Leadership Exchange and the Association for Talent Development. She holds a Master’s degree in English from Rosemont College and is currently taking graduate courses in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jamie_Headshot_75aJamie Rondeau
Principal Consultant | Performance Development Group

Jamie Rondeau is Principal Consultant at Performance Development Group. She is a visionary learning strategist with demonstrated ability to impact business performance through the development of human capability. With more than 20 years of experience in learning, sales, marketing, leadership development, customer satisfaction, organizational development, selection and assessment, Jamie draws on her combined expertise to build results-based solutions that are practical and measurably impact performance. A graduate of Arizona State University, Jamie has a Bachelor of Science in organizational communication with an emphasis in marketing.


Find more information on marketing and sales training at PDG Resources.

Topics: Global Learning, Conferences, Sales Training, Life Sciences

Tomorrow’s Sales Training at the LTEN Conference in June

Posted by Amanda Holm on May 4, 2015 3:32:27 PM

Graphic_Novel_ExampleIs it difficult to get new behaviors from an experienced sales team? The tenured sales force responsible for Genzyme’s Multiple Sclerosis product (AUBAGIO®) had seen it all. The Genzyme learning team knew they needed to find an engaging, time-effective way of spreading best practices across the sales team to drive continued performance. Learn how Genzyme used both cutting-edge and well established methods to create a blended approach that feels fresh and new.

Using best practices from high performers with the greatest market share, Genzyme and their partner PDG created three methods for delivery of best practice: podcasts, graphic novels, and articles, all of which shared a similar look and feel.

Learning Objectives:

  • Determine how to motivate and grow a mature and high-performing sales force
  • Define the steps necessary to evaluate and benchmark best practices to drive up performance of all team members
  • Identify how to create a vibrant blended approach to gain and hold sales force attention.

Find out more at the LTEN Annual Conference at, Tomorrow’s Sales Training: Using a Multi-Modal Approach for a Tenured Sales Force, on June 2. Visit PDG staff in the LTEN exhibit hall at booth 139.

Our Presenters

David-BarkerDavid Barker       

Dave Barker works as a Training Manager with Genzyme in Cambridge, MA. His over 15 years of Sales and Training experience includes work on three continents, in over a half-a-dozen countries, and in a variety of industries, working at all levels of organizations. He has a strong background in developing training strategy, curriculum/e-learning design and delivery.



Marcus_HsweMarcus Hswe

Marcus Hswe is the Associate Vice President, Business Development, Sales as well as a Consultant with Performance Development Group (PDG) of Malvern, PA. He has over 10 years of experience in design, development, and management of enterprise training initiatives. With a concentration in the life sciences arena, Marcus works directly with senior executives to determine effective and efficient solutions to their business issues.


Find more information on sales training at PDG Resources.

Topics: Conferences, Sales Training, Life Sciences

Life Sciences Learning Trends in Focus

Posted by Amanda Holm on Mar 3, 2015 11:15:00 AM

There’s no denying that changes in the world economy are having an effect on every industry. And the Life Sciences industry is feeling the effect like everybody else. As budgets for learning and development get battered from all sides, the savviest Life Sciences learning organizations have realized a simple truth: it isn’t about doing more with less, it’s about fundamentally rethinking the way learning and development gets done.

Stott & Mesch, 2015

PDG’s Ann Stott and Rich Mesch recently published an article in Focus Magazine, the journal of the Life Sciences Training & Educators Network. Titled Learning in Changing Times: 5 Trends in Life Sciences Learning, the article focuses on how changes in the Life Sciences industry are changing the requirements of an effective learning function. The learning trends covered include:

  1. Rethinking Product LaunchesFocus_Magazine_Cover_small

  2. A Return to Shared Services

  3. Demand Planning and Flexible Learning Resources

  4. Building Long-Term Sales Team Success

  5. Increased Focus on Informal Learning

Click here to read the article for free online. For more insight into the changing world of Life Sciences learning, read Ann Stott’s series on The Changing Face of Life Science Product Launch:

The Changing Face of Life Science Product Launch

The Changing Face of Life Science Product Launch, Part 2: The Launch Toolkit

The Changing Face of Life Science Product Launch, Part 3: The Role of the Learning Team




Ann Stott is the Vice President, Global Accounts at Performance Development Group. She leads the life sciences practices, focusing on pharmaceuticals, health care, biotechnology, and medical devices. Her extensive consulting experience is used to grow the PDG advisory services capabilities. Ann is an accomplished, respected, and energetic leader with more than twenty years of experience in the corporate training environment.



Rich Mesch


Rich Mesch is Vice President, Customer Engagement at Performance Development Group. A frequent contributor to industry events and publications, his most recent article was Taming the Learning Demand Curve: Using Supply Chain Methods to Manage Your Learning Function for Training Industry's online magazine.




Taming the Learning Demand Curve, 4 Smart Steps to Lower Cost and Higher Quality in Corporate Learning

Topics: Business Issues in Learning, Organizational Change, Informal Learning, Sales Training, Workforce Development, Flexible Resource Management, Product Launch, Life Sciences

The Changing Face of Life Science Product Launch, Part 3: The Role of the Learning Team

Posted by Ann Stott on Feb 23, 2015 11:05:00 AM

In this series, PDG’s Ann Stott, a 20+ year veteran of the Life Science industry, shares her perspective on how to become more strategic in product launch planning. In the previous installment, Ann discussed how a Launch Toolkit can drive success in managing a product launch portfolio. In this final entry, Ann talks about the role of the Learning Team in product launch.

Q: How are learning teams responding to the changes in life science product launches?

ToolboxAS: What we have started to see from our clients are requests for Launch Toolkits. A launch toolkit puts a step by step process in place for product launches. This gives consistency to the product launch process. You can use the Launch Toolkit to capture a history of product launches so that the process is in place for new employees to the department. 

I think it’s a great first step. Learning teams are also starting to look at their entire launch portfolio over a longer time period, and doing strategic resource planning. They look at their product launch portfolio for 18 months to three years to determine how to distribute their resources over multiple launches. I see the requests coming in from our clients to look at that broader portfolio. This is smart, as with a greater number of product launches the dynamic has changed.

Q: How do successful learning teams support product launch?

AS: To support a successful launch I think it is important to take an overall look at how you deliver the training pieces as well as review how your representatives are best able to learn and access information. Then assess how you are currently providing launch support. Revisit how you deliver your training and ask questions. How accessible is training to staff in the field? Can they find information quickly? Would it be beneficial to create smaller pieces of information that can be used on your sales staff’s mobile devices? Is social learning appropriate for your organization?

Q: What else have you found helpful in developing product launch training?

At PDG we use a diagnostic tool to help our clients prepare for upcoming product launches.  This tool helps us to identify the key strategic drivers. We gather preliminary information and then bring the sales and marketing teams together for a one-day workshop to walk through the diagnostic tool and gain consensus. Then we can determine the type of launches for each individual product and develop a launch strategy, launch template, and a repeatable process for the client that can be used over multiple launches.

MeetingSmallQ: What is important to keep in mind when developing product launches?

One size does not fit all! You can’t do the same launch for all products, and doing so could be a costly mistake. It is wiser to look at each product individually and customize a launch plan appropriate to the product.  By being more strategic about product launch planning, organizations can have more effective learning for each product and set their sales team up for success.

For more information about PDG's Life Science offerings click here



Ann Stott is the Vice President, Advisory Services at Performance Development Group. She leads the life sciences practices, focusing on pharmaceuticals, health care, biotechnology, and medical devices. Her extensive consulting experience is used to grow the PDG advisory services capabilities. Ann is an accomplished, respected, and energetic leader with more than twenty years of experience in the corporate training environment.


Strategy: Leveraging Learning to Change Culture and Drive Growth

Topics: Product Launch, Life Sciences

The Changing Face of Life Science Product Launch, Part 2: The Launch Toolkit

Posted by Ann Stott on Feb 9, 2015 9:05:00 AM

In this series, PDG’s Ann Stott, a 20+ year veteran of the Life Science industry, shares her perspective on how to become more strategic in product launch planning. In the first installment, Ann discussed how Life Science Product Launch had changed; in this post, she shares strategies for succeeding in the new environment.

Q: What are some tips for thriving in this new product launch environment?

PerscriptionPillsInBottlesAnn Stott: It is beneficial to take a portfolio view, looking at all product launches over a three-year period. Not only do you create a launch plan for each product but you create an overall launch portfolio plan for all of your products. A launch portfolio plan helps to optimize your events and balances activities across all launches. It helps to maximize messages to your audiences and minimizes the time your sales representatives have out of the field. Launch portfolio optimization helps ensure adequate funding, supports a better commercial strategy, and can help get launch events to market more quickly.

Q: What is a Launch Toolkit, and how does it help manage the launch portfolio?

AS: The loss of intellectual and organizational knowledge is a common challenge in the life science field. As people move on or get promoted to different positions, companies lose knowledge of past product launches. To gain continuity, they need to retain information from employees about previous launches.

Creating a Launch Toolkit is a big help in retaining knowledge. A Launch Toolkit describes the process of a product launch and captures information when the launch is complete.

business_meetingcityAnother way to combat knowledge loss is to develop a Launch University. The Launch University can be a one-day meeting or a virtual meeting. It is a time where you bring people together who have done product launches within the past three to four years.  The Launch University is a venue to discuss what went well what didn’t go well and get the expertise of lessons learned from previous launches. You can pull that knowledge from employees who have moved on to other positions in the organization. Experience is the best teacher, but that information needs to be shared to make a difference!

Q: Are there any additional challenges you would like to highlight?

AS: Another challenge in product launch training is the tendency to view a product launch as a one-time event.  I think successful launches involve continuous training; there needs to be pull-through and post-launch guidance. It is also helpful to capture objections that reps hear in the field; this can give you new material on how to handle objections about the product.  Often times training falls off once the initial launch is complete, and pull-through and performance support are not provided. Continuous learning helps to keep people engaged and sharpen their skills.

In the next entry in this series, Ann will cover the role of the Learning Team in product launch. For more information about PDG's Life Science offerings click here



Ann Stott is the Vice President, Advisory Services at Performance Development Group. She leads the life sciences practices, focusing on pharmaceuticals, health care, biotechnology, and medical devices. Her extensive consulting experience is used to grow the PDG advisory services capabilities. Ann is an accomplished, respected, and energetic leader with more than twenty years of experience in the corporate training environment.

 Creating an Advanced Curriculum For a Sales Organization

Topics: Product Launch