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

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

Talk Global Learning with PDG at the ASTD International Conference & Exposition!

Posted by Rich Mesch on Apr 16, 2014 10:03:00 AM

Join PDG at the ASTD International Conference and Exposition in Washington, DC on May 6, 2014 for a presentation by Rich Mesch, Senior Director Customer Engagement and Stacie Comolli, Director of Solution Architecture. Stacie and Rich will be discussing Global Learning Archetypes, PDG's unique approach to

ASTD_2014simplifying Global Learning, and providing a case study of how the methodology was successfully applied at a multibillion dollar global organization. Here's a summary of the session:

TU206 - Training the World: Using Archetypes to Create a Practical Global Learning Strategy

Date: Tue, May 06

1:30 pm - 2:45 pm  

Location: 144BC


Virtually all large organizations are global, and facing the challenges of creating learning interactions that are beneficial and comprehensible to diverse audiences all over the world. Some organizations take the "pray" approach, by creating learning for one geography and praying other audiences will get something out of it. Other organizations burn through huge amounts of money creating custom learning for every different geography. Isn't there a better way? Can't effective global learning be created in a way that doesn't break the bank?

This session focuses on a pragmatic and reasonable approach to global learning design that utilizes archetypes, focusing as much on the commonalities between learning styles as on the differences. The Global Archetype approach adapts well-established cultural preference models and combines them with insightful learning models. The result is three primary Global Learning Archetypes and six secondary archetypes that allow training to be designed once and used around the world.

This session focuses on how:
  • the Global Learning Archetypes were created
  • the Archetypes can be translated into design specs that any learning team can use
  • organizations are using the Archetypes to deliver globally while controlling cost
  • to apply a vetted, model-based strategy for designing global learning rollout
  • to integrate a well-established cultural preferences model that can be applied to learning best practices to create Global Learning Archetypes. 

Speaker biographies:


Rich Mesch has been working in the field of experiential and contextualized learning for over 25 years. He has desi

gned and implemented solutions for dozens of Fortune 1000 companies in all industries. His projects


have won multiple Brandon Hall Excellence Awards, the New Media InVision Award for Simulation, the 

New York Festivals Silver Medal, and the HR Executive Top 10. He is a frequent conference presenter, having spoken at the ASTD International Conference, ASTD TechKnowledge, TechLearn, eLearning Guild, SPBT, Training Magazine Conference, and the Linkages Conference on Leadership. He is the co-author of the Pfeiffer/ASTD book, “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction Fieldbook,” and has published articles 

in Training Magazine, Focus Magazine, and Technology for Learning. His is currently the Senior Director, Customer Engagement at Performance Development Group in Malvern, PA.StacieC_002_sm


Stacie Comolli is the Director of Solution Architecture for Performance Development Group of Malvern, PA. She has more than fifteen years of experience in instructional design, simulation design, project management and performance consulting. She holds an M.Ed. in Instructional Systems from Penn State University. As the Director of Solution Architecture, Stacie sets the strategic direction of the team and aligns that strategy with the overarching organizational goals and values. She has designed interactive multimedia-based learning solutions, engaging instructor-led workshops (including interactive media when applicable) and tools and job aids to anchor new skills to the job. Stacie works with clients to learn as much as possible about the nuances of their business and needs, so every solution leads to performance improvement.

 To learn more about PDG's approach to Global Learning, try these links:

Global Learning Archetypes in Action

Global Learning Doesn't Need to Be So Hard

PDG White Paper: Training The World, Using Archetypes to Create a Practical Global Learning Strategy

PDG Case Study: Accelerating Time to Global, Effective Global Learning Design Using Archetypes


Topics: Global Learning, Conferences

Global Learning Archetypes in Action

Posted by Stacie Comolli on Nov 6, 2013 3:26:00 PM

Global LearningI’ve seen lot of “big ideas” come and go over the years.   While “Global Archetypes” may sound like a catchphrase, our experience tells us that, when it comes to learning, what works in the U.S. may not have the same impact across the globe.

As a learning Solution Architect, my role is similar to an architect creating a blueprint for a new building.  If the building’s foundation is wrong, the whole building could come down. Similarly, in learning we start with the foundation, a solid underlying structure on which skills and knowledge are built.  If the foundational concept is wrong, the whole curriculum could be wrong, impacting the careers of the learners and the business success of the organization.  The foundation is no place for a “flavor of the month” approach to training.  The most effective designers always consider the characteristics of the global audience as a part of the learning design process.

Can a Global Archetypes approach make learning more effective?

The first time I learned about Global Learning Archetypes I thought the idea was great. Almost all of my clients had challenges rolling out learning to a global audience, and the archetypes addressed the big issues: time, cost, and complexity. But anybody can say “better, cheaper, faster;” did these tools really work?

The short answer: Yes.  The slightly longer answer: the system is deep enough to apply to a lot of different situations, but flexible enough to be adaptable to a specific client’s needs.  

My client, a major global life sciences organization, was implementing a new curriculum. The content needed to be delivered to 85 different countries. The pressure was really on: new content, new approach, and worldwide rollout. The client was understandably concerned. How could the team get all of this done rapidly, economically, and at a high level of quality?

Historically, my client had differing levels of success in different countries. Learning was centrally developed in the U.S., and they found that what worked in the U.S. didn’t work across the globe.  Instructional preferences clearly differed by geography, including how the content was designed, developed, and implemented. We wanted to determine the “common core”— to reach the highest number of learners with the minimum amount of regional customization.

Based on my experience, Global Learning Archetypes help in five ways:

  • A solid strategic foundation promotes design consistency
    Multiple workstreams, dozens of team members, tight schedules, overlapping timelines, and of course, unexpected changes; how do you keep everybody focused?  The Global Learning Archetypes were our “one way;” our common language, so no matter where in the world you were, or what workstream you were working on, we were all aligned.
  • A pragmatic approach aligns to what we do already
    The Global Learning Archetype approach focuses on the steps we actually take when we build learning interactions. It isn’t some high-minded concept that you can’t actually implement. The 11 Dimensions of Learning really are the key decision points we need to focus on when creating learning designs. And the cultural preference models really do address the needs of different geographies. In fact, the various country managers we worked with were surprised at how closely the archetypes tracked to their own experiences customizing training for local audiences.
  • A flexible structure considers that one size rarely fits all
    Sometimes a formal process will leave you scratching your head, when part of the process just doesn’t fit what you’re trying to do. Like any process, not every part of the archetype process was a perfect fit for this initiative. Fortunately, the archetypes were built to be customized. After we did our initial assessment, we adapted the archetype process to fit the needs we uncovered, a fairly painless process.
  • Communication alignment hit all stakeholders
    In an initiative of this size, there are a lot of stakeholders, and they all want to understand what you are doing. To further complicate things, the Subject Matter Experts for this initiative were primarily third-party consultants who did not work for the client. You can imagine the differing perspectives, opinions, approaches, and work styles. So how do you keep all of those people on the same page? The Global Learning Archetypes allowed us to have one single way of getting things done, regardless of content, SME, target audience, or geography. Frankly, if the archetypes had accomplished nothing but that, I think my client would have been pretty happy! 
  • Scalability remained, even when faced with change management
    When we started this initiative, the target audience was primarily emerging markets, a fairly small subset of the client’s global presence. As the initiative progressed, however, leadership made a decision to roll it out to all locations. This could have been a show-stopper; however, using the standardized processes of the archetypes, we were able to scale delivery up without blowing up the project.

As learning strategists, our goal is to impact performance. When you’re doing global learning, you can’t sit eyeball to eyeball with every learner. The Global Learning Archetypes allow you to use strategies and techniques that are applicable across the globe—which allows you to actually make a difference in how people do their jobs.

Want more information on Global Learning Archetypes? Click here!

StacieC 002 sm



Stacie Comolli is Director, Solution Architecture at Performance Development Group

Topics: Learning Theory, Learning Agility, Global Learning

Global Learning Doesn't Need to Be So Hard

Posted by Rich Mesch on Oct 22, 2013 5:09:00 PM

Global ArchetypesThink about it: why does designing learning for a global audience need to be any harder than designing for a local audience?

Part of it, of course, is audience analysis; with such a diverse audience around the globe, we assume we must design for all different cultural preferences. Or, sometimes, we go in the exact opposite direction, designing a single version of learning for all global audience. Sometimes I call this the Pray Method; send courseware out into the world and pray somebody learns something.

Part of the problem is that we focus so much on differences that we forget to focus on commonalities. When we design global learning, we’re usually trying to get a common message out to a diverse audience. So how can we address cultural differences without muddling the message?

At PDG, we’ve developed a global design strategy called Global Learning Archetypes. The Archetypes utilize established and well-vetted cultural preference data to create a design approach that allows content to be designed for multiple audiences simultaneously. And by focusing on the similarities as well as the differences, the Archetypes simplify the process, saving time, money, and headaches.

The Archetypes integrate the cultural preferences data with a comprehensive learning model called the PDG Dimensions of Learning to synthesize a design methodology that focuses on how different cultures absorb new information.

The goal of archetypes is to simplify and streamline the process of creating learning for a global audience, allowing content to be created more quickly and for lower cost.  The characteristics of effective Global Archetypes are:

  • Simple:
    The goal of the archetypes is to create less work, not more. The archetypes need to be easy to understand and have clear applicability.
  • Practical:
    Global Archetypes will ultimately be utilized by learning teams who have limited budget, resources, and time. The archetypes need to be usable within the constraints learning teams typically face.
  • Actionable:
    No strategy or approach is useful if it sits on a shelf, unused, Global Archetypes need to have clear process steps and toolsets, so they can be used easily, consistently, and with a minimum of preparation.

For more information on Global Learning Archetypes, you can read our white paper, Training the World: Using Archetypes to Create a Practical Global Learning Strategy or a case study of the Archetypes in action, Accelerating Time to Global: Effective Global Learning Design Using Archetypes or visit our web page on Global Learning.


Rich Mesch



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


Topics: Learning Theory, Learning Agility, Global Learning