Driving Real Business Impact: Leah Minthorn of Iron Mountain

Posted by Amanda Holm on Jan 14, 2015 10:35:00 AM

LeahMinthornThis is the first of a series of stories about PDG partners who have demonstrated strong and unique leadership in driving business results through learning. Leah Minthorn is the Director of North American (NA) Operations Learning at Iron Mountain, where she has been instrumental in driving organizational change. She and her small team of 11 learning and development staff are consistently reaching strategic business goals through innovative programs. Leah shares how she and her team continue to support the business goals and drive change at Iron Mountain.

After working at Iron Mountain for over 10 years, Leah Minthorn has developed a knack for listening. “I feel it is important to get out in the field and listen to what employees are saying," says Leah. "Companies want a solution to a problem, and rather than listening to employees, they often come up with solutions before really understanding the problem,”  Her tip is to go to the source directly to find out the why behind the problem. Often the problem is not the employees but a process that needs to change. “Staying connected to the employees who are on the front line can make a big difference in driving organizational change.”

Being connected to her learning and development staff has been vital to driving organizational change at Iron Mountain. “My staff is like a family. I have never worked with people before who are so much like brothers and sisters.” The people in her department understand the business at Iron Mountain because they immerse themselves in the field to hear their internal clients’ needs. Her department plans to increase the use of technology used for learning to give employees more control over their learning and to increase self-directed learning. They will continue to use e-learning and on the job training, while increasing the use of videos, online webinars, “six second learning,” crowd sourcing, and social media.

Leah’s team uses on-the-job reinforcements and peer coaching to help meet strategic business goals. Their program currently uses a mapped curriculum of e-learning, coach-led hands-on training, regular feedback sessions, job aids, and knowledge and performance assessments. This model works well for Iron Mountain; the coaches reinforce organizational changes and what is required for employees to transform and grow.

Iron Mountain has received a great deal of industry recognition for Sentinel, their innovative peer coaching program for front-line employees. They have made the Training Top 125 list for the past two years, won a Gold CLO Learning in Practice Award, and a Corporate University Best-in-Class (CUBIC) Award. Recently it was announced that the NA Operations Learning team won a Best Practice award for the Sentinel program from Training Magazine. Leah’s team is currently working on designing a new Sentinel management training program to continue the professional development of front-line operations managers and supervisors.

Iron Mountain has integrated the learning organization into all strategic planning activities, providing them with a ‘seat at the table’ to take part in the organization’s decisions. With an in-depth understanding of the organization’s direction, the learning group has the perspective needed to provide the tools and support that Iron Mountain needs to reach their goals. For example, when CEO William Meaney decided to address cultural and leadership change, the learning group developed a strategy to support his three-year plan. “We recognize that at least 50% of our employees have Spanish as their first language. This creates a greater learning curve and employees are not able onboard as quickly if the training is not in their native tongue,” observes Leah. To support their North American employees from diverse backgrounds, the learning organization is engaged in a project to translate their learning programs into Spanish and French Canadian.  Her team is also supporting their growing business by developing methods to onboard new employees more quickly, leveraging their overall strategy to use technology to deliver more self-directed learning.

Because they have a small staff of 11, NA Operations Learning tries to leverage internal and external business partners to reach their goals. They rely on subject matter experts in the field to help with messaging. Recently they adopted Iron Mountain UK’s tools for transportation, using telematics in company vehicles to measure their employees driving.  Leah’s team also relies on key relationships with preferred vendors. “PDG is a long-term preferred vendor of ours who I enjoy working with because they understand our business. PDG understands our design aesthetic and can translate what is in our heads into a properly articulated design.” These are just a few of the ways Leah and her team is able to support Iron Mountain’s business goals and to continue to drive real business impact through organizational change.

Iron Mountain is a storage and information management company, assisting more than 156,000 organizations in 36 countries on five continents with storing, protecting, and managing their information. Iron Mountain employs almost 17,000 professionals and an infrastructure that includes more than 1,000 facilities and 3,600 vehicles.

For more information about Iron Mountain or for additional interviews with Leah Minthorn click on the links below:

Chief Learning Officer: Special Report: Metrics and Measurement

Chief Learning Officer: Special Report: Learning Technology

Training Magazine: Paths to Success: Responsibility Vs. Promotion 

HRO Today: Out of Recession, Companies Turn to Training


 Driving Workplace Safety

Topics: Client Focus, Business Issues in Learning, Organizational Change

Join PDG and Bristol-Myers Squibb for an LTEN Webinar!

Posted by Rich Mesch on Jan 5, 2015 11:56:00 AM

PDG's Marcus Hswe will co-present with Keith Willis, the Associate Director, Cardiovascular Training for Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) for an exciting new webinar presented by the Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network (LTEN) on January 9, 2015. 

Benchmarking Your Best: Using Your Top Talent to Grow Your Salesforce

Friday, January 9, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM EST

Many of us are challenged by salesforce turnover, and the need to constantly onboard new talent. But the Cardiovascular team at Bristol-Myers Squibb had a more intriguing challenge. BMS built and nurtured an extremely high-performing team, one that experienced very little turnover. How do you grow a great sales team and make them even better? How do you change the behavior of a team that’s had great success with the “old” behaviors?

Attend this lively and practical LTEN webinar to learn how BMS uncovered the differentiating behaviors of their top performers and created a series of best practices and benchmarks to help raise the performance of the entire team.

In this session, participants will learn:

• How to motivate and grow a mature and high-performing salesforce.
• How to evaluate and benchmark best practices to drive up performance of all team members.
• How learning needs to be approached differently for an experienced audience.

Our Presenters:


Keith Willis
Associate Director Cardiovascular Training
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Keith Willis has 22 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry where he has honed his sales management and sales training skills with companies like Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka. Keith is currently Associate Director for Sales and Access Learning at Bristol-Myers Squibb responsible for Cardiovascular Training. Throughout his career he has won several sales awards, launched numerous products as a district manager, operations manager and training manager and developed several training curriculums. 


Marcus Hswe
Performance Development Group

Marcus Hswe is an Associate Vice President, Business Development 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.


For more information, or to register for the webinar, click here.

Topics: Sales Training, Life Sciences, Benchmarking

The Changing Face of Life Science Product Launch

Posted by Ann Stott on Dec 15, 2014 2:47:28 PM

In this series, PDG’s Ann Stott, a 20+ year veteran of training and the Life Science industry, shares her perspective on how product launch strategy is changing.

pillsmedQ: What has changed in producing Life Science product launches?

Ann Stott: I think that product launch planning is a critical topic right now for the Life Sciences. Years ago, companies would launch blockbuster drugs every few years as a large national event with many activities. Organizations would spend a lot of time, money, and energy at those launches. Now pharmaceutical companies are in a much different environment. Many Life Science companies are expecting 5-10 product launches per year with major organizations having as many as 10-15 launches. 

Another characteristic of product launches today is that the expected revenue for a new product is decreasing due to narrower indications and more competition in each indication. Many new drugs focus on therapeutic areas with a strong specialization, and on targeted therapy with drug combinations. In addition, there are greater regulatory restrictions by the FDA and more reimbursement restrictions. It’s new terrain for Life Sciences companies. 

With companies launching new drugs with smaller target audiences and re-launching current drugs with new indications or formulations, the dynamics of what needs to be done in a product launch have changed. It is no longer “one size fits all.” Now Life Science companies need to look at each product and customize a launch that is appropriate for that individual product.

Q: What other trends are you seeing in product launches?

AS: Another trend is that value pricing has come into play. The customer and the payer (regional health insurance players, hospital formularies, and health technology assessments) are looking for a perceived additional value or a lower cost. Value pricing has a big impact on how you are managing the launch of your product and how successful it is out in the market.

Generic drugs have had a significant impact on the pharmaceutical business. Prescription plan coverages have changed, and because of the tough economy people are asking more questions about generic versus name brand drugs. Of the four billion prescriptions written in a recent year, about 80% of all US prescriptions were generic. Because people are really looking for a value, they must have a very good reason for buying a more expensive product. It’s much more difficult to sell brand name drugs today than it was a few years ago.

Q: So what do Life Science companies need to do differently?

AS: Life science companies need to educate consumers so that they understand the differences between generic and name brand products and the advantages of using their brand name product. For example a brand name drug may have the advantage of a once a day dose as opposed to twice a day, or a brand name drug may not have the same side effects as a generic drug because the brand name drug is of a new dosage. Also the generic drug may have a different absorption rate into the blood stream because the time-release mechanism is different than the brand name drug.

All of these changes in the Life Science product launch arena have created the need for better product positioning, stronger strategic launch planning, and launch portfolio optimization.

In the next entry in this series, Ann will share how Life Science learning and development teams are adjusting their launch strategies and she will explain how to become more strategic in product launch planning. For more information about PDG's Life Science offerings click here

Ann Stott Photo



Ann Stott is the Senior Director, Life Sciences and 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

Leadership Programs that Work

Posted by Rich Mesch on Nov 20, 2014 9:16:00 AM

Many of us have been in “Leadership Training” since we were very young. We learned leadership GirlsSoccerTeam.Medjpginformally, through participation in sports teams, youth organizations, or community groups. And sometimes we learned it formally, through events, retreats, and challenges. But one thing that’s probably true of all of it is that we never called it “leadership training.” It was about having great experiences.

Leadership is a difficult topic to get your arms around. Part of that is because leadership content is easy to understand, but hard to actually do. It’s rare that I hear someone say, “I just read Peter Drucker (or Covey, or Kouzes & Posner, or Conner), and I have no idea what he’s talking about.” Actually, I find people are very inspired by these books, and are excited to put these ideas into practice. And that’s where things get dicey, because sometimes these behaviors are very hard to do properly. Why? Lots of reasons: I’m intimidated by my team members. I don’t want to give people bad news. I don’t think my boss will support me. I don’t think my organization “gets it.” The list goes on and on.

It certainly doesn’t help that a lot of leadership programs are a parade of models, disjointed, without context. Situational Leadership! Myers Briggs! DISC! These are wonderful, thoughtful, well-researched models, but when they come at you in rapid succession, as if fired out of a cannon, they can become an endless series of matrices, process graphs, and pie charts that have little relevance to actually being a leader.

So what are the missing pieces? The first is context. These models are not stand-alone solutions; they are tools in a toolkit. Can you imagine learning carpentry by spending one day on the hammer and then the next day on the screwdriver? Of course not; there’s no context. Your goal is to build something; tools help you build. As a leader, you manage people, processes, tools, and money (yes, money). The tools need to help you do that. If you don’t understand how the tools get you closer to your goals, then you really don’t understand the tools.

business_trainingMedThe second missing piece is experience.  Effective leadership programs have a strong experiential component, the more, the better. Sometimes, experiential learning can be low risk, as in simulations. A good simulation can provide a safe environment to practice new behaviors, try out models, and get a feel for how people will react to you. An angry team member can be a rude surprise for a new leader, but if the leader has had the experience of dealing with this behavior in a simulation, she may be able to handle it better in real life. But good programs will also have experiential assignments, the chance to use new behaviors in real life. This may include job shadowing (observing an experienced leader as they go through their day), leadership of project teams or communities of practice, or feedback from coaches and mentors.

In her wonderful book Becoming a Manager: How New Managers Master the Challenges of Leadership, Linda Hill of Harvard Business School observed that a very high percentage of first-time managers failed at their jobs, due to a gap in expectations between what they thought the job would be like, versus what it actually was like. In simplest terms, they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. By creating leadership programs that focus on context and experience, we help guarantee that our next generation of leaders is prepared for the realities of the job.

Partnering for Global Leadership
d more about leadership:



Rich Mesch



Rich Mesch is Senior Director, Customer Engagement at
Performance Development Group.


Topics: Leadership

Top Trends with David Manning — Globalization of Learning

Posted by David Manning on Nov 6, 2014 8:35:53 AM

This is the third in a series of conversations with PDG Managing Partner David Manning where he shares his perspectives on emerging top trends in the business of learning. In this installment, David shares his observations on the trend of globalization.


Q: What is a recent trend you have experienced in the learning field?

DM: Most of the clients we work with are large, global organizations. Many of these organizations are focused on optimizing their programs for delivery on a global scale. But very few organizations are globalizing their learning capability effectively. Global organizations need to have a way of rapidly creating and deploying content on a global scale.


Q: What are some of the challenges of implementing global learning?

DM: It can take a huge number of resources to create content for global learning, especially if you are a large organization with hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide. You need to understand the nuances of each local market and know how best to deliver learning to that specific audience.

Organizations need to deliver learning on a global scale in a way that is cost effective, timely, and relevant to each local market. Many organizations are struggling with where to start and how to execute their plans. I think there will be a greater need for more organizations to deliver global learning, as even small organizations now are operating on a global scale.


Q: What do you think has changed in the marketplace to make these trends necessary?

DM: Globalization isn’t a new issue, just one that continues to be a challenge. Years ago, US-based organizations would create learning programs in the US and send them to multiple countries where they would be translated and delivered to the local staff. There was never a global view of what needed to be done, how things needed to be structured, and how the learning program needed to be delivered. Each region would localize the learning; it wasn’t very organized, and many times the content wasn’t relevant to local markets. They lacked a plan.

Eventually, organizations started bringing a more global perspective into how learning had to be created, and set up. But they struggled in the execution of global learning. Many of their learning and development staff did not have the correct skills to run a global function, or they didn’t have the resources to do it. They also didn’t have an overarching strategy to accomplish fully the globalization of learning, other than doing a better job of distributing content and making it relevant.

Currently, learning and development is viewed as a global capability. Companies are starting to develop global learning strategies that allow them to align content rapidly with global business needs. Their plans include the global creation and distribution of content as well as maintenance and assessment of the impact. A number of our customers in regulated industries are growing at a rapid pace, but as missteps happen, huge fines are being levied, because people are not executing properly within that environment. Learning and Development can play a large role in reducing compliance risks with strategic global learning.

Learn more about global learning by reading the following resources:

  1. Global Learning – Accelerate Your Time To Global 

  2. Training the World, Using Archetypes to Create a Practical Global Learning Strategy: A PDG White Paper

  3. Accelerating Time to Global, Effective Global Learning Design Using Archetypes, A PDG Case Study

  4. Driving Global Marketing Success: A PDG Case Study

David Manning Photo



David Manning is the Founder and Managing Partner of Performance Development Group (PDG). David has over 20 years in the management consulting and learning outsourcing space, and has successfully led the growth of global organizations and start-up ventures. David formed PDG after serving as the Chief Operating Officer for a global training consultancy. 



Topics: Global Learning

Top Trends with David Manning

Posted by David Manning on Oct 20, 2014 11:37:00 AM

Learning Demand Planning and Flexible Resource Management

This is the second in a series of conversations with PDG Managing Partner David Manning where he shares his perspectives on emerging top trends in the business of learning. In this installment, David shares his observations on the use of demand planning and flexible resourcing in learning organizations.

Q: One of the trends you identified was Learning Demand Planning. What can you tell us about that?BusinessGraphicManagement250

David Manning: Like most business processes, learning organizations can benefit from demand planning. Organizations are struggling with the unpredictability of the demands on their learning teams. They find it difficult to staff to meet those changing needs. But annual learning demand can be mapped, and many organizations are doing just that.

Q: What drives the need for Learning Demand Planning?

DM: As organizations get larger they become less flexible and less prepared and equipped to deal rapidly with changes in market demand. They also become less able to deal with changes with external or internal disruptive forces. As they grow, companies need to have greater flexibility not less to be able to scale rapidly up or down pieces of their businesses to compete in the marketplace. More companies will be using Flexible Resource Management as a way to meet their market demand.

Q: So how is Learning Demand Planning put in place?

DM: Sometimes it feels like Learning Demand is completely unpredictable, but if you analyze it, you’ll see predictable trends start to emerge. You start by identifying predictable patterns to help understand demand trends—for example, seasonal demand, planned initiatives, new product launches. Then you look at Demand Smoothing, the process of moving tasks from the high demand period to times of lower demand. That allows you to identify Sustainable Demand Levels—the lowest level of demand that you will experience consistently. You want to staff your organization to meet that Sustainable Demand—it allows you to meet your day-to-day demand without spending money on resources that are underutilized or unutilized.

Q: But what happens when demand spikes and goes above the sustainable level?

DM: That’s where the concept of Flexible Resourcing comes in. By building strategic partnerships outside the organization, learning teams can add resources during high demand periods, then draw them down when the demand is met. This strategy actually allows organizations to get more done at a lower cost, since they never carry resources they don’t need, and they always have the right resources on the right assignments.

Q: Why are the concepts of Learning Demand Planning and Flexible Resourcing so important in today’s world?

DM: The past several years have been a time of change for many businesses. In today’s business climate of tight budgets, layoffs, and mergers, learning groups have a limited head count but unlimited demand for their services. By prioritizing their demand and optimizing the resources they have, learning groups can develop a strategy for managing that demand over time.

When businesses use flexible resources, they can move and shift resources as needed. The company can easily transfer staff from low to high priority projects to make sure the right work is getting done. Demand Planning means they have the most accurate forecast in place, the right work prioritization, and that the work is aligned back to the business strategy. With a flexible resourcing strategy in place, the organization can rapidly shift resources to make the greatest impact when priorities change. The flexible resource model allows organizations to add resources only when they need them and with tight budgets that is a big benefit.

For more about performance improvement read the following resources:

David Manning Photo



David Manning is the Founder and Managing Partner of Performance Development Group (PDG). David has over 20 years in the management consulting and learning outsourcing space, and has successfully led the growth of global organizations and start-up ventures. David formed PDG after serving as the Chief Operating Officer for a global training consultancy. 




Topics: Flexible Resource Management

Leveraging Informal Learning: Four Lessons I Learned from Social Media

Posted by Jamie Rondeau on Sep 18, 2014 8:58:00 AM

I am a big fan of blogs, but not just the ones we typically read for business purposes. The ones I find most appealing are the “mommy blogs”— especially the ones who do interior decorating or crafts or offer recipes on a regular basis. One of the things I find most appealing about these authors is that they make regular time to share their daily work with others in order to document, inspire, and collaborate with others. That’s pretty much what we’re doing in Talent Development isn’t it? We call it Informal Learning, but the attributes are pretty much the same:

  1. Start with the best recipes, then add your own ingredients

Whether it’s dinner plans or an onboarding approach for your new hire sales associates, “recipes” help. Of course, modifications are often necessary, but why start from scratch when there are proven approaches that can jumpstart your success? 

  1. We’ve been “doing more with less” for as long as I can rememberWoman2Laptop103577515

When I see bloggers that recycle components I would normally throw away into useful and beautiful items, I’m inspired. I’ve been in this business for 20+ years and I’ve never seen a time when budgets weren’t tight.  There never seems to be enough money, people, or time to get it all done. That’s where strategy and planning come into play. An investment up front, with a clear cut plan and deliberate goals and objectives, help bring clarity into view and resources easier to allocate and manage. Too many learning executives simply let content drive the build. That’s a big (and expensive) mistake made regularly by learning people everywhere. 

  1. Someone always needs tending and attention

If Social Media has taught us anything, it’s the value of sharing ideas. It’s often difficult for learning professionals to carve out “me” time to do the deep thinking required of the job. The result is lack of a clear learning strategy that demonstrates connectedness to the goals of the business. If you can’t see it, trust me, no one else can either. Negotiate with colleagues if you need to trade responsibilities to buy some solitude later. This planning is crucial to your learning plan’s success.

  1. You can easily get into a rut; inspiration from others in similar situations is useful, encouraging and enlightening.

It’s amazing what a little benchmarking can do. Whether it’s seeing how someone else set up their family’s coffee cart, or learning about how another company addressed their global learning challenge, inspiration comes from connecting with others.  Do you make time to belong to a community of practice within your own organization and in the learning community? Why not start one yourself?

There is a real balance between the science and art of talent development.  For me, connecting with others allows a view into the application of the science as well as the fine details of the art, and a great opportunity for Informal Learning. Whether it’s Daniel Pink’s blog, or Meg Duerksen’s, I find it this sharing to be rewarding, reaffirming and a great way to refresh and renew on a regular basis. 



Jamie Rondeau is an Account Director and Principal Consultant
at Performance Development Group


Topics: Informal Learning

Grab Attention with Graphic Novels

Posted by Amanda Holm on Aug 13, 2014 2:35:23 PM

I have a sister in-law and brother in-law who create the Baby Mouse and Squish graphic novels. They not only hooked me on graphic novels, but their graphic novels were the start of my daughter’s love of reading. So, when I started to see a number of graphic novels being developed for our corporate clients, I took a look, and I was amazed!

I first viewed a graphic novel about ‘Code of Conduct’ (yes, Code of Conduct!) that grabbed my attention with the bright colors and interesting graphics as well as the story they told. I wanted to learn more so I asked the PDG team of Instructional Designers why graphic novels work well in the corporate setting. 

Jeff Dunn, an Instructional Designer at PDG observes, “Graphic novels offer a very non-threatening way to learn. They are short, easy-to-read, but more importantly do a great job showing character interaction naturally without having to slog through what can sometimes be a cumbersome experience. It also adds a built-in hook, in that each book tends to end with a teaser/cliffhanger for the following books, which help capture interest. Just like with good TV programs, characters drive interest and with graphic novels, they are so character-centered, they are just fun to follow. There’s a reason the comic book business boomed in the Silver Age (starting in the 60’s and 70’s) when you could see images and situations that you could easily relate to.”

Stacie Comolli, Director of Solution Architecture, agrees that graphic novels are a fun way to learn. "Graphic novels have been around for a very long time.  Their eye-catching visuals and short, succinct, focused writing draws readers in quickly and keeps them engaged from end-to-end.  While traditionally considered entertainment, we’ve paired this media with solid instructional design and storytelling techniques.   Using authentic characters we show learners what to do… and more importantly what NOT to do.  This media offers an innovative way  to connect with our audience on a different level, getting their attention and therefore impacting performance."

Studies have found that graphic novel readers retain more information than traditional textbook users. Jeremy Short a professor from the University of Oklahoma notes, “Maybe just a simple graphic explanation ... is the way to go, and maybe where people should be putting their resources, if they want their employees to recall things better, their students to recall things better.” 

David Alexander Robertson, who writes educational graphic novels said that, “Graphic novels, because of their visual nature, help readers engage with the subject more effectively. They provide breadth and depth to the words, and context to the important historical items. In using the graphic novel, readers become more immersed in the world. It becomes more real to them. They can smell, touch, taste, hear, and, of course, see it. Readers take those still images and animate them, bring them to life, get them excited.”

So, What Are Graphic Novels?

Graphic novels are books that are written and illustrated in the style of a comic book. Your audience learns a story told through the combination of sequential visual art and text. Graphic novels work well as on ongoing series, building a repeat audience. With graphic novels, studies indicate that the use of storytelling aids in increased retention. Graphic novels are widely regarded as mainstream literature and can be a valuable resource for supporting learning.

A Unique Learning Method

Graphic novels present typical situations that employees experience in their daily professional life. Using creative storytelling and compelling art, graphic novels create an engaging learning method that people actually look forward to. Graphic novels are a great way to convey dry content, or gain attention to frequently updated material. And the bold graphics translate exceptionally well to iPads and other mobile devices. This alternative learning method gives your audience an exciting new way to absorb important information.

I encourage you to go out to your library, bookstore, or favorite online store to find some graphic novels. Read them for fun or even refresh your calculus or life science skills. I certainly enjoy reading graphic novels and I know the designers at PDG have fun creating them too.

Here’s some additional information about graphic novels:



Amanda Cushman Holm is the 
Sales and Marketing Specialist at 
Performance Development Group


Topics: Graphic Novels

The High Performing Learning Organization

Posted by Rich Mesch on Jun 24, 2014 2:18:07 PM


HPLO_thumbnail_medPDG recently published a new white paper called “The High Performing Learning Organization: 8 Attributes for Business Success.” The white paper focuses on what makes up a High Performing Learning Organization and the benefits to the business.

Here’s a section from the white paper:

What is a High Performing Learning Organization?

A High Performing Learning Organization (HPLO) is a Learning Organization that operates like a business, using the tools and processes of business to create workflows that are timely, efficient, cost-effective, and demonstrate a clear impact on the enterprise.


High Performing Learning Organizations:

• Are fully aligned with the business goals of the enterprise
• Speak the language of business, not just the language of learning
• Are able to define the return on investment (ROI) of their efforts—when the business can see the impact of their learning investment, they are more likely to continue investing in learning
• Are scalable, creating improved cost scenarios and more rapid delivery cycles
• Utilize Flexible Resourcing, so that costs are controlled while appropriate resources are available for critical and high-demand initiatives

So what are the tools necessary to build and sustain a High Performing Learning Organization? How do you identify the gaps in your organization that need to be closed to create a HPLO? While there are many categories that make up a HPLO, too many organizations focus on the solutions the learning organization creates. Great solutions are the result of an effective Learning Organization, but improving solutions doesn’t necessarily improve the organization. It’s not just where you end up; it’s the path you take to get there. High Performing Learning Organizations needs to be structured to perform optimally, by having strategy, process, people, and tools that support their path to success.

Successful HPLOs focus on the following eight key success areas:

  1. Business Alignment & Performance Impact
  2. People Capabilities & Development
  3. Scalable Processes, Tools, & Assets
  4. Organization Structured for Leverage
  5. Global & Local Optimization
  6. Governance, Demand, & Resource Balancing
  7. Flexible Resource Management
  8. Content Strategy & Asset Leverage

 To read more about High Performing Learning Organizations, download the free white paper!

Rich Mesch



 Rich Mesch is Senior Director, Customer Engagement
at Performance Development Group



Topics: Organizational Change, Organizational Learning, High Performing Learning Organization

Implementing CIA Learning

Posted by Amanda Holm on Jun 17, 2014 2:10:58 PM

A Real-World Roadmap to Successful CIA Learning Rollout


The PDG white paper, Implementing CIA Learning, provides an overview of planning and implementing the learning programs that are required as part of a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA). Here’s a selection from the white paper:

The learning components of a Corporate Integrity Agreement are unique and different from any other type of corporate learning your organization will do. Traditional learning models aren’t enough for CIA learning; a CIA has very specific legal and regulatory requirements, and failure to meet them comes at a significant cost. An organization managing a CIA needs a very specific learning strategy for success, a pragmatic plan which is outlined in this white paper.

What is a CIA?

The United States Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services defines a CIA as follows:

A Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) is a document that outlines the obligations an entity agrees to as part of a civil settlement. An entity agrees to the CIA obligations in exchange for the OIG’s agreement that it won’t seek to exclude entity from participation in Medicare, Medicaid or other Federal health care programs. The CIAs have common elements, but each one is tailored to address the specific facts of the case and CIAs are often drafted to recognize the elements of a pre-existing compliance program.

The manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical devices are the most frequent recipients of CIAs, and CIAs are typically issued as part of the settlement relating to actions an entity has taken in violation of government regulations. Therefore, virtually all CIAs include provisions that the entity takes steps to change practices and behaviors that led to previous violations.

What is your CIA Learning Readiness?

How will you…

  •          Identify and locate Covered Persons?
  •          Determine your LMS and certification ability?
  •          Reach your vendors and contractors?
  •          Identify what content you have and what you need to develop?
  •          Communicate with OIG and your internal stakeholders?
  •          Deal with constant changes and updates?
  •          Resource your CIA team?
  •          Rollout and track effectively?

…all within 120 days?


Want to learn more? You can download the white paper here for free! You can also find out more about implementing CIA learning with these resources:


Topics: Corporate Integrity Agreement