Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

The 2008 Learning In Practice Awards

Further, leaders who have gone through the CGBL process report enhanced knowledge sharing, higher productivity and increased global networking, and the company claims an ROI of more than $5 million on the program.

The future is bright for Satyam with Cohen at the helm, especially now that his work has been recognized publicly, he said.

“Moving forward, I am even more motivated by the recognition and the opportunity to demonstrate to the world the amazing things that we are emanating in learning from South Asia,” he said. “Each time we transform from here to there, having the external recognition validates our efforts and impact.”

– Agatha Gilmore


Kathy Hennessy
Senior Director of Organizational Effectiveness, NetApp

Steve Wilson
Director of Executive Development, NetApp

This year’s Silver Division 1 winners in the Vanguard category are Kathy Hennessy and Steve Wilson. Hennessy is senior director of organizational effectiveness, and Wilson is director of executive development at NetApp, a technology company that provides network storage, delivery and management solutions.

Rapid growth and the need for a unified focus prompted NetApp’s learning executives to revamp the company’s learning organization. NetApp more than tripled its revenue in the past three years, from less than $1 billion in 2005 to $3.3 billion today, and has experienced a 37 percent increase in head count each year.

It was clear that the factors that enabled past success at NetApp would not be sufficient going forward. So Hennessy and Wilson devised a strategy to help managers understand the need for a new approach, highlighting the cross-functional coordination that would be required for success and demonstrating the interplay between short-term execution and long-term decision making.

This involved the development of a highly customized simulation for the top 125 executives in the company. Participants were divided into teams and were required to manage the growth and profitability of a fictional business over the course of three days, with each day signifying a year in the business. The teams were required to assess market conditions and revise their financial forecasts to adapt to unexpected events. Ultimately, the teams began to understand how to address immediate challenges without derailing the long-term business strategy.


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