Our Impact

Creating a learning center of excellence

CARA helped a large insurance company architect a Learning Center of Excellence to ensure that agency training and development was aligned to critical business needs.

Challenge

The client, a large decentralized insurance firm, wanted to ensure more effective upskilling of its field-based agents. They also wanted to reduce redundant spending and duplication of efforts, modernize Learning and Development approaches, and leverage a consistent operating model. They needed to shift to a focus on results and relevance by developing new skills and capabilities, increasing knowledge retention, building communities, and improving agent performance.

Result

CARA provided a customized blueprint to achieve the goals of the organization. It provided a clear and detailed path forward for the client to create a modern, efficient and effective Learning Center of Excellence.

Solution

CARA’s solution included:

  • A recommended strategic direction and approach to launching a Learning Center of Excellence
  • Leading and benchmarked best practices and critical success factors to consider when launching these types of services within a large, distributed organization
  • Recommendations around strategy, structure, and processes
  • A learning measurement strategy that focuses on outcomes and application of learning on the job
  • An assessment of risks/issues and suggestions on how to manage them
  • A learning governance strategy to ensure alignment of efforts and return on investment
  • Operational process flows for executing the Learning Center of Excellence
  • Organizational Change Management Plan to ensure an effective implementation of the new department

CARA helped a large insurance company architect a Learning Center of Excellence to ensure that agency training and development was aligned to critical business needs.

Challenge

The client, a large decentralized insurance firm, wanted to ensure more effective upskilling of its field-based agents. They also wanted to reduce redundant spending and duplication of efforts, modernize Learning and Development approaches, and leverage a consistent operating model. They needed to shift to a focus on results and relevance by developing new skills and capabilities, increasing knowledge retention, building communities, and improving agent performance.

Result

CARA provided a customized blueprint to achieve the goals of the organization. It provided a clear and detailed path forward for the client to create a modern, efficient and effective Learning Center of Excellence.

Solution

CARA’s solution included:

  • A recommended strategic direction and approach to launching a Learning Center of Excellence
  • Leading and benchmarked best practices and critical success factors to consider when launching these types of services within a large, distributed organization
  • Recommendations around strategy, structure, and processes
  • A learning measurement strategy that focuses on outcomes and application of learning on the job
  • An assessment of risks/issues and suggestions on how to manage them
  • A learning governance strategy to ensure alignment of efforts and return on investment
  • Operational process flows for executing the Learning Center of Excellence
  • Organizational Change Management Plan to ensure an effective implementation of the new department

The Story

A large insurance company was undergoing major shifts in its agency organization, including new roles and behaviors for agents, new processes and new technologies. Agencies didn’t have a single source to turn to for standardized training which resulted in redundant spending and wasted time. In addition, the corporate office was competing for the agents’ attention. With no clear structure for how or what they should learn, it was unclear how much the agents were learning and if the company was investing their training time and money wisely.

The head of agency training called CARA to get help figuring out how to approach these issues. One of CARA’s Learning Strategy consultants was assigned to the engagement. He began by working with the client to clearly define the goals and what they wanted the future state of a Learning Center of Excellence to look like.

Once the future state was defined, they met with key stakeholders, interviewed agents and took a deep dive into the processes that were in place to develop a good understanding of the current state. After the current and future state were defined, he was able to determine the gap that needed to be closed to get to the future state.

CARA’s consultant took a systematic approach to defining the steps to close the gap. He defined the critical elements for the Learning Center of Excellence and how they fit together. Creating this blueprint was like putting together a large jigsaw puzzle, making sure the elements fit together in a logical way. He had to constantly check the parts and make sure there were no overlaps or gaps in the approach and that the picture was clear to the client.

Not only did he create strategic guidance, he transitioned into the operational, creating process flows for how the Learning Center of Excellence would interact with the lines of business, including intake processes, design and development approaches, as well as review and results measurement.

Because this was an entirely new department for the client, the strategy also included key elements of an organizational change management strategy to identify the key stakeholders, understand what they needed to know and do to support the implementation of the department, and to ensure they were supported in being successful.

The CARA consultant finalized the project with a presentation to stakeholders that described a way to transform their Agency training operations into a modern, efficient and effective Learning Center of Excellence.