Learning In Practice 2014: Global Learning Division 1 Winners

From left: Chuck Battipede, Timothy Tobin and Edward Trolley of MetLife Inc.


Chuck Battipede

Senior Vice President, Hewlett-Packard Co.

With plummeting employee engagement scores and climbing attrition rates, iconic technology firm Hewlett-Packard Co. had to do something.

Pressure to perform was at an all-time high in hypercompetitive Silicon Valley, and the global economy was in the grip of the worst recession in 70 years. Worse, while senior leadership had developed a laser focus on business results — the “what” in their mission — the HP workforce had lost sight of the “how” and “why.”

It was an unsustainable model for Palo Alto, California-based HP, which for decades prided itself on being a “people-first” organization. Sure, HP met quarterly numbers. But the leadership to drive innovation and create a positive team environment had eroded. Accountability and employee expectations were vague. Rather than operate like a company, divisions were fractured into solo organizations.

Recognizing a dramatic need for change, Chuck Battipede sought to align core people processes while encouraging diversity through a variety of leadership styles. To achieve that, senior leaders and the CEO sought to communicate new leadership expectations broadly and deeply throughout its management ranks. That meant managers would need new skills to enact the culture shift.

The result: the Management Excellence program. The name perfectly summarizes HP’s need to rediscover its past glories as one of the world’s leading workplaces, and to drive innovation and profits, managers need to be excellent.

Management Excellence consisted of two-day, face-to-face sessions delivered by internal facilitators and business leaders using the “leaders teaching leaders” approach. Evaluation was built into the program. Three components — strategizing, sampling and instrumentation — offered quantifiable goals. 



Timothy Tobin

Vice President of Global Learning and Development, Marriott International

Marriott International has some serious plans for new properties and guest rooms in the next several years, including a 30 percent growth in Asia and a whopping 50 percent in the Middle East. It will need 300 new general managers across the entire enterprise by 2015.

In 2013, Timothy Tobin and Marriott leaders began to enhance general manager talent and build a pipeline of future GMs as one of the company’s six top priorities. Because of the growth strategy and the importance of general managers, they established Elevate, a yearlong program for select assistant GMs, hotel managers, operations directors and other potential GM candidates.

Broadly, the program focuses on operations knowledge and leadership skills. Elevate develops a foundation of important GM knowledge using a combination of formal learning experiences and on-the-job skill application.

Senior leaders have built a globally relevant program that has identified nearly 400 potential general managers.



John Kusi-Mensah

Director of Sales Technology, MetLife Inc.

It’s one thing to talk about a program with global reach, but it’s more impressive when there are tangible results.

John Kusi-Mensah of global insurance company MetLife Inc. unveiled its online learning platform DCE Online — as in Distribution Centers of Expertise. The program is scalable and cost-effective with a performance-centric blended learning and on-the-job curriculum enabling the competent and compliant performance of its far-flung staff as well as members of its local offices.