BEST Webcast Series: Transformational Learning - Building A Learning Organization From The Ground Up

Thursday, January 31, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST  
Host: Association for Talent Development
By: Jim Sokolowski, Director, Global Learning & Leadership Development, Savvis, A CenturyLink Company

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In July 2010, the Global Learning and Development function at Savvis did not exist. By early 2012, the L&D function was not only in existence, they are thriving. Business unit leaders are advocates for learning, there is a direct connection to organizational strategy, leadership capability is positively moving, learning impact is measured, and the team is positively influencing the parent company. A Cinderella story? The transformation was driven not by a fairy god mother rather a well-articulated vision and intentional steps that maximized the possibility of success for this team. Learn the steps this team took to transform learning at Savvis, and how they helped the organization substantially increase learning consumption, decrease time to productivity, and increase leadership effectiveness.


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Jim  Sokolowski
Jim Sokolowski

Director, Global Learning & Leadership Development, Savvis, A CenturyLink Company

With over 15 years of experience leading learning, leadership, organizational development, and talent management, Jim is an accomplished executive with a progressive track record of success. His background includes deep experience in a variety of industries including: retail, manufacturing, construction, logistics, and high tech; and Jim’s experiences span a wide range of organizational scope from 400 employees to 40,000 employees.

As the Director of Global Learning and Leadership Development at Savvis, Jim is responsible for the enterprise global leadership development strategy in tandem with the enterprise global learning and development strategy. The scope of his role encompasses global end-to-end enterprise leadership and learning including: leadership development, hard skills, soft skills, technical skills, sales training, alliance partner training, process training, systems deployment readiness, product training, compliance training, and new employee onboarding. With the mission: To partner with the business to enable performance through transformational learning focused on organization goals, Jim’s team is positively impacting global organizational leadership capability and readiness, and increasing productivity, effectiveness, and engagement of the workforce through learning and leadership development strategies that directly link to organizational strategies.

Upon arrival at Savvis, Jim built the learning and leadership development function from the ground up and has led Savvis to drive tangible business outcomes and earn numerous industry awards including:
• Developed strategy and implemented a robust role-based leadership development framework to facilitate the transformation of a culture and to build a common global leadership language. Results to date include: 29% increase in critical leadership behaviors, 28.5% increase in achievement of goals, and a 12% increase year over year on the leadership index of the employee engagement survey.
• Increased organizational learning 34% in 2010, and 33% in 2011.
• Deployed structured 90 day new employee onboarding process – to date, overall satisfaction with onboarding experience has increased 41%, and time to full productivity has decreased by 48%.
• Implemented strategic consulting process to better align and support business initiatives
• Selection to Training Magazine's 2012 and 2013 Top 125 global learning organizations
• Selection to 2012 American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) BEST Awards (#2)
• Jim was named a Training Magazine 2012 Top Young Trainer