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AT&T: The Marriage of Business and Learning

 -  5/20/13

AT&T stays on top of the latest tools, technologies and methodologies to deliver learning to its global workforce while remaining in sync with business strategy.

Belinda Grant-Anderson, Lew Walker,
Tammy Martin, Ken Fenoglio,
Scott Smith and Debbie Storey.

AT&T’s website claims the company has the largest 4G and Wi-Fi networks in the nation. It also provides the largest international coverage of any U.S. wireless carrier. The telecom company does what it can to spread the message that it is ahead of the curve when it comes to technology.

Contributing to its success is the company’s learning and development function, which works in close collaboration with the business to understand its needs and drive results. Meshing the learning strategy with the business helped propel AT&T to the No. 1 ranking in Chief Learning Officer magazine’s 2013 LearningElite.

From the start, AT&T’s learning strategy is in direct alignment with the company’s core business objectives. Before implementing its learning curriculum, key business groups get together, including AT&T’s corporate strategy and development group as well as its CEO. The learning and development organization is at the table from the get-go, working to ensure that its programs are in direct alignment with the corporate strategy.

“Once we find out what the five-year plans, three-year plans and next year’s plans are, then the CEO team [has] its offsite and they decide our company’s direction: [They say] OK, what are we going to do over the next three to five years? They make their long-term planning,” said Ken Fenoglio, vice president of AT&T University. “Then they go to the board to get approval, and we’re right there with them in that planning process. We’re building our learning courses along the way so that we’re right in sync with the business planning process.”

Each business unit gets an action plan from the strategy team; the learning function then builds plans within the business units based on the annual three- and five-year planning process.

“It’s critical that we have people at the table working closely with leaders and others to help define our business objectives,” said Lew Walker, vice president of learning services at AT&T, “and then wrap our learning initiatives around those objectives so we can help the business meet and exceed their expectations, and ultimately deliver value back to our shareowners.”

Article Keywords:   LearningElite  


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