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Putting the :) back in learning lifecycles

Here’s the situation: You’re responsible for corporate training, and you’ve just told your management team they have to (get to?) take a new online management course series. The courses are provided by a third party, sold as a standard package. Your managers’ likely responses?

  1. This is so great, you guys! I’ll probably take them twice!
  2. Ok, but I’m pretty busy. How long are they again?
  3. Is there a test-out feature?

If your team is like most, you’ll hear responses like B most. There are least two factors at play here. On one hand, the latest research shows more than 95% of us believe ongoing training is indispensable to our career progression, and about 85% of us believe formal training programs connect us better to our businesses. On the other hand, many people have had poor past experiences. Off-the-shelf training is not always useful for our specific situations, and completion rates can be poor, so we sometimes feel the courses don’t actually help us improve how we work. In other words, in a situation like the one above, we value the learning opportunity, but we’re cautious about the personal applicability.

Allen and Cegos have recently partnered to address this specific problem, and we believe it’s a problem tied to lifecycle learning – the idea that learning is not an event, but a continual process. Our shared perspective is actually informed by two very different experiences: For years, Cegos has provided a world-class learning catalog—broad, standard, and rapidly deployable—while Allen has served the same caliber of client with focused, individually designed custom learning technologies, assets, and applications.

Ultimately, to create a learning lifecycle that will succeed, you need highly relevant content and sustained engagement strategies, so people can choose the path they take along the lifecycle, changing as their roles and objectives change. Given this context, we believe the alignment of the Cegos catalog and Allen’s custom technology and services is a game-changer for scenarios like the one above.

Our partners will now have one-click, immediate access to the full Cegos catalog (hundreds of courses, 18 languages). At the same time, they’ll be supported by Allen’s custom performance strategies, driven by our powerful learning portal. This means that for our clients, Cegos courses can be supported by unique, personalized toolsets that greatly improve engagement and performance, such as action planners, change management pieces, learning games, and custom tools. In essence, we’re creating a learning library that gives our clients the ability to rapidly and cost-effectively create meaningful pathways for all employees, while also taking care to preserve the strategies that connect learners to businesses and create measurable performance gains.

How will it work? Here are three points at which the Allen/Cegos partnership will make an immediate difference in learning lifecycle management:

  • Assess: To manage learning correctly, we have to start by measuring where employees are now and where they want and need to go. From the learner’s viewpoint, we can approach this step using a personalized portal registration process that helps us get to know the learner as an individual and then serves custom recommendations and support tools based on the alignment of their personal goals and the organizational needs. At the same time, from the business standpoint, Allen’s consultants assess which business objectives align best with existing Cegos content and which objectives may benefit from custom courses and tools, maximizing training budgets and timelines.
  • Evaluate: Effective learning management also entails tracking over time, but not simply to measure course completions or exam scores. Instead, we want to also assess performance against business objectives. For this step, we can provide two powerful tools to drive your learning catalog:
    1. We can create online action planners for critical courses and skillsets, giving learners direct and sustained coaching, insight, and progress measurements related to course principles. This helps us maximize the value and time of our partner’s learning and provide value-added, follow-up recommendations at the individual level.
    2. We can track actual feedback and system behavior (like sites such as This helps us create real-time reports on user perceptions and developing skills, including the types of assets learners favor, what they don’t, when, and why.
  • Optimize: When you know what your learners value and when they value it, and you have insights into the assets that correlate most strongly with long-term knowledge and performance gains, you’re prepared to truly manage learning lifecycles. You can make the right long-term educational investments to optimize your talent and create lasting connections to the business through learning.

We see this new partnership, Allen and Cegos, as a major step forward in meeting the complete spectrum of learning needs for our partners. We believe it will make our partners faster, better, smarter, and more strategic about how they provide comprehensive learning lifecycles—from onboarding at the entry level to talent development of senior managers.

What would help you improve your learning lifecycle? What are your tips for others?