It’s Academic: The New Model in Talent Development


Two of the definitions of the word academy, is a school for special instruction or a society of scholars.

In the world of restructuring the workforce and rebuilding organizational infrastructures, I am seeing the academy model cropping up more and more these days. The past few years have left an education vacuum in many industries. Companies now need to accelerate learning and integrate it into their business strategies in order to grow.

Training and education is no longer a nice-to-have amenity. It is a critical tool in business re-engineering. Those who execute successfully will leap ahead of their competition. Those that fail to re-educate their workforce will fall far behind in the talent development race.

An economic rebound is fostering businesses to accelerate continuing education of current and new employees. Instead of running these people through out-dated, curricula and courses, smart companies are creating targeted learning programs. These learning academies serve the dual purpose of providing just-in-time learning to a specific audience, while aligning these educational initiatives with business goals and objectives.

Harry Lebovitz, president and CEO of Prism Learning noted that:

“Building an academy is not just hooking a bunch of individual courses together. There has to be a method for assessing performance and for creating alignment with organizational goals and objectives. Businesses need to create linkages to their Performance and Talent Management Systems, while allowing people to apply what is being learned back on the job… In the end; we are also helping global organizations understand how to use these new skills when working with colleagues in other cultures.”

The new talent development game is all about speed and strategic alignment.

The academy model provides a structure to rapidly re-train their workforce in specific areas and disciplines. These academies also allow for alignment between learning objectives and the goals and strategies that will drive companies forward.

Sounds like its back to school for a lot of us, are your pencils sharpened?