Chief Learning Officer - August 2006 - (Page 32)

CO0806.qxd 7/19/06 10:04 AM Page 32 clo profile General Motors' Drives Innovation Kellye Whitney I n the 16th century a military engineer named Agostino diate need to turn around our business, I think my greatest R a m e l l i published what is considered to be one of the most challenge today is keeping everyone focused on the turn- i m p o r t a n t books on machinery. T h e book contained 194 around priorities and at the same time positioning learn- d e t a i l e d engravings of pumps, c r a n e s, s a w s and foundry ing to keep us on the leading edge, Ramelli said. We need e q u i p m e n t and was printed in both Italian and French. to make sure we do everything right today, and we need to be M a n y of Ramelli's sketches were successfully manufactured ready for the future. This means an intense focus on a n d sold two and three centuries later. D o n n e e Ramelli, mission-critical training that either designs or builds or sells p r e s i d e n t of General Motors University, i s n ' t sure if he's our vehicles, yet constantly innovating to make sure we're a c t u a l l y related to the elder Ramelli, b u t he does feel some saving costs and resources and using technology to deploy a f f i n i t y with the man. B o t h have rooted their work in that learning not only here in North America, but around m a c h i n e r y, a n d both, d i r e c t l y and indirectly, a r e devoted the world. to creating learning that can be enjoyed across borders. In order to orchestrate that turnaround, Ramelli uses three words when talking with his team: innovate, innovate, innovate. GMU Global learning impact means more now than ever to also looks carefully at every purchase and asks what can the popular automaker. General Motors Corp. GM had be eliminated or reduced. We use a new approach, a a rough 2005. As competition from foreign automakers new technology, a new vendor or even something that increased, so did the pressure to do more with less. But we call DIY, do-it-yourself technique like videotaping rather than doing what many corporations do when they the expert, digitizing and deploying the expert, because August 2006 feel an economic pinch, GM did not automatically cut we do have studios. We do use our studios for satellite money from its learning and development programs. broadcasts. With this mind set, I've watched my people Instead, the company gradually eliminated cost and do incredible things. They've taken out over 65 percent I I Chief Learning Officer maneuvered reductions by focusing on innovation, tech- of the cost of learning since 2000, and they are clearly nology and mission-critical training. going to make the kind of reductions going forward that will continue to drive that curve. Ramelli has responsibility for the company's 80,000 salaried, professional and technical employees world- A focus on mission-critical training versus what Ramelli wide. During his six years at GM, he has leveraged career calls the nice-to-have training that you sometimes find experiences in operations, consulting as well as learning in corporate universities, has driven some of the reduc- from companies such as AlliedSignal Honeywell, tion, but much of the savings have come from efficient Coopers & Lybrand and the United States Navy in order use of technology and vendor leveraging. GMU uses to build a global learning strategy that's fast, flexible and WebEx to record its experts, then reuses and repurposes focused on performance and results. Given GM's imme- 32

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Chief Learning Officer - August 2006

Editor's Letter
Table of Contents
Taking the Lead
Best Practices
Learning Solutions
In Practice - U.S. GAO
In Practice - Army National Guard
CLO Profile
In Practice - PerkinElmer
Case Study
Human Capital
In Practice - Countrywide Financial Corp
In Practice - Siebel
Business Intelligence
Advertiser's Index
Editorial Resources
In Conclusion

Chief Learning Officer - August 2006