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Grant Thornton: Technology Builds Continuous Learning
Grant Thornton LLP accountants and business advisers provide an array of services, including audit and assurance, Sarbanes-Oxley and corporate governance, compensation and benefits, economic advisory and family wealth planning. Grant Thornton works to create a continuous learning culture aligned with business strategy to ensure that the organization’s 4,000 employees are challenged and enjoy a sense of pride in their work.
“Historically in our profession, training was done more seasonally because the classroom was the only way to do things. Now, our people need to learn more continuously because breaking issues that are strategic and strategic initiatives that need to be implemented in the organization can happen anytime during the year,” said Bob Dean, chief learning officer, Grant Thornton. “In order to be a continuous learning environment, you need to have multiple ways of delivering learning, so we try to leverage multiple delivery channels—not only the classroom and conference environments, but virtual classrooms. We have Grant Thornton University, from which people can access self-paced, Web-based learning, and we also believe in the importance of collaboration as part of the learning process. We want to create compelling learning content because when you have multiple ways of delivering learning, the learning is only going to be as good as the content.”
Grant Thornton University was formed in June 2002 and has installed a robust technology infrastructure to aid learning efforts. “All of our client-serving professionals have high-end laptop computers, and all of our offices are wireless-enabled. They are able to use these computers with the software that we’ve provided to use our tools and access our network from our client environments, as well as from their homes,” Dean said. “We also have a very robust network here at Grant Thornton with three core elements: data, voice and video. All of our telecommunications is delivered over an IP-based network so we don’t have any charges for long-distance calls within our company network. We also have video capability on our network that enables us to send video fairly routinely. That enables us to use a product like Centra for Web conferencing where we integrate the voice and the video in a very efficient and cost-effective manner.”
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