Creating Personalized Short-Term Assignments Around the Globe

Identify the right people, prepare them properly and then allow them to become what just may be the new global executives of the 21st century.

Over the past three decades, a large health care company had made 60 worldwide acquisitions. Until recently, the company’s strategy was to allow each unit to run independently. However, the company’s newly appointed CEO contended that for the organization to be a formidable competitor in the global marketplace, it needed to strategically change its operating model. The CEO’s solution was to move from more of a “holding company” business to an efficient, aggressive “worldwide operating company” model, which would require the unification of many individual business units — each with its own people, company cultures and diverse policies.

There were two fundamental issues to be addressed. First, there was an immediate need to train up to 4,000 managers as quickly as possible — within four months, in fact — and bring all of them up to speed on standardized managerial personnel policies around performance management, change management and interpersonal skills. Because the company didn’t have the in-house staff necessary to meet these demands in the required time frame, the CEO knew he would need to contract with a company that could provide a quantity of seasoned, professional management trainers.

The second challenge would be to implement an ongoing assessment process so that as executives and managers were rotated through short-term assignments, they completed gap analyses and developed personalized course trajectories. To that end, a team was created to design the gap test and put in place the subjects that would be taught in the personalized plan.

Solution: Management Trainers and Instructional Designers

The health care organization evaluated its existing training curriculum in collaboration with the trainer outsourcing company. It soon became apparent that the courses that had been developed previously were not in keeping with the new standards that the CEO wanted to put forth. As a result, the trainer company supplied instructional designers, who would redesign the curriculum to meet the new standards. The trainer company then provided 17 learning professionals to work with managers throughout the world within the specified time frame. At the same time, the results of the gap analyses highlighted several areas of weakness, and classes were scheduled to correct these limitations.

Business Results

After implementation of this short-term employee learning program, the health care company was able to embark upon its new strategic direction with frontline management team members who were more prepared to carry out their roles and responsibilities in the new environment. The company created an instructional design for a phase two, which will address leadership development, delegation, emotional intelligence and accountability.

Anecdotally, executives and managers have said that the preparation for the cultural and linguistic adjustments was most beneficial. They added that because of the education they were provided, they got more from the assignment than if they had not received the training.