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Corporate University Readiness index. Frans van Heerden Consultant Kuwait Oil Company. Corporate Universities. “If I have to solve a problem, I will spend 80% of my time understanding it and twenty percent of my available time to solve it” Albert Einstein. Corporate Universities.

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Corporate University Readiness index

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Corporate university readiness index

Corporate University Readiness index

Frans van Heerden

Consultant Kuwait Oil Company

Corporate universities

Corporate Universities

“If I have to solve a problem, I will spend 80% of my time understanding it and twenty percent of my available time to solve it” Albert Einstein

Corporate universities1

Corporate Universities

Word is derived from the Latin:

‘universitas et scholarium ”

Which means:

“community of teachers and scholars”

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Corporate Universities


“ A corporate university is an educational entity that is a strategic tool designed to assist its parent organization in achieving its mission by conducting activities that cultivate individual and organizational learning, knowledge and wisdom” Allen, M

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Corporate Universities

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Corporate Universities

Functions of Corporate universities:

Needs assessments

Designing of learning processes

Delivering learning content

Embracing and delivering e-learning and blended learning

Strategic change interventions

Culture change interventions

Combat corporate amnesia

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Corporate Universities

Limitations of e-Learning

Is not a panacea to corporate learning

Brick and mortar structures are part of the learning process

“One-size-fit-all” is not the answer

Blended learning inevitable

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Corporate Universities

The strategic contribution of Corporate universities:

Reinforcing and perpetuating behavior

Managing change

Driving and shaping the organization

The ethos of a “university”

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Corporate Universities

Readiness for a corporate university:

The status of the HR function

Clear understanding of the roles, functions and responsibilities of the different elements of an existing HR function

An existing, effective and efficient learning management system (Limited “red-tape”)

Well developed information technology support system

A well developed learning quality system

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Corporate Universities

Readiness for a corporate university:

An unequivocal and total company support for a Corporate University

Aligned business units and the minimum of ulterior political motives

Credible gap analysis processes

A strong and healthy learning culture

A robust and evolving organization strategy

Corporate universities9

Corporate Universities

Myths about Corporate Universities:

Renaming of the Training Department

E-learning institution

Limited utilization and to the exclusive use of the elite leadership of the organization

A static unit, processes and organism

Corporate universities are all the same. No!

Case study

Case Study

Corporate universities lessons from royal dutch shell

Corporate UniversitiesLessons from Royal Dutch Shell


  • Established the corporate university 2000

  • Had a need to work hard at Knowledge Management and improve how they deal with it

  • They respond to their need for:

    • Skilled

    • Flexible

    • Global workforce

Corporate universities lessons from royal dutch shell1

Corporate UniversitiesLessons from Royal Dutch Shell

Drivers for change:

Change in exploration and production

Uncertain oil market

Continued and accelerated development of new technologies

A global workforce

Changes in the need for individual development

The need for meaningful partnerships in the world of learning

The need for skilled, flexible and global workforce

Corporate universities lessons from royal dutch shell2

Corporate UniversitiesLessons from Royal Dutch Shell

The response of Shell:

Established “Exploration and Production Open University”

Provided the facilities to learn( buildings, processes, systems an methodologies

Inclusion of other major players in the industry

Corporate universities lessons from royal dutch shell3

Corporate UniversitiesLessons from Royal Dutch Shell

What did Shell do then?

Revisited their existing skill portfolios

Continuous efforts to update it and test it for its relevancy

Had a global view of it – discipline specific leaders all over the world all evaluated and refined.

Senior members of staff refined the skill portfolios

A global network Shell Skill Pool Managers contributed to a global approach to the skill issues

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Corporate Universities

What did Shell do then?

Skill Pool Managers worked closely with operating and line units

Accept that learning is a process and not an event

Have established a strong link between working and learning

Preparation for the learning event ensured that learners were all on the same standard when the actual learning commence

Distinguished clearly between Instructor led and Technology based learning

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Corporate Universities

The contribution of Shell

Provides a reference point

Allows for benchmarking

A clear example of how the Corporate University integrates with day to day business activities.

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Corporate Universities

Quo Vadis?

It is not a passing fad nor a fashion

Global competitiveness will be have its roots in these institutions

One size will not and can not fit all

Traditional education processes is failing industries

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