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Pat Crull: Toys 'R' Us Takes Learning Seriously
Name: Pat Crull, Ph.D.
Title: Vice President and Chief Learning Officer
Company: Toys 'R' Us Inc.
- Positioning learning to be utilized strategically and transformationally.
- Developing a training process that is planned, focused and aligned to help drive the business goals.
- Creating a learning culture with shared, measured accountability throughout the organization.
Learning Philosophy: Everything we do in training must yield benefits for:
- Our guests, by creating the best-trained, most guest-oriented service providers.
- Our associates, by providing the right skills at the right time in their careers.
- Our leadership, by supporting our strategy with skills, values and knowledge to change our business.
- Our stockholders, by providing the best return on our training investment.
When the time came for Pat Crull, Ph.D., to look for a new challenge, the veteran corporate learning executive knew what she had in mind. The ideal organization would match her own ideals - it would be serious about the business and benefits of education and would know education is a serious benefit for business.
After all, Crull had some history in that area. Coming from her position as chief learning officer at McDonald's and building on her roles as a learning leader at Baxter Healthcare and Arthur Andersen, Crull targeted a company that was really serious about the value of training to drive corporate strategy. She found that seriousness in what can be seen as a whimsical paradise - the Toys 'R' Us stores.
Crull is now vice president and chief learning officer for Toys 'R' Us Inc., which includes the popular chain of toy stores and their other retail properties, including Kids 'R' Us, Babies 'R' Us, the Imaginarium and toysrus.com. Crull is responsible for providing ongoing workforce development for about 50,000 year-round employees, plus seasonal employees, in about 1,600 stores in 21 countries.
With a big mission like that, it helps to have at your back a large corporation that's devoted to the strategic furtherance of education. That commitment is a big reason why Crull came to work at the Paramus, N.J., headquarters earlier in 2003.
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