As organizations transform the way they capture, archive and distribute information in the new world of work, Ricoh is operating a deep shift in its current business to client-driven solutions, becoming the “leader of information mobility”. This new business direction isn’t just a strategic reposition for Ricoh within its own-industry, it is a necessity required for the organization to push forward in the new digital age.In the process, it needed to change its management culture, breaking down operational silos and enabling leaders to think differently about how they manage employees and drive results. To accompany them in the transformation of their learning culture and leadership development, Ricoh partnered with CrossKnowledge.
Ricoh Corporation is a $22bn a year global business, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The Ricoh Americas Corporation region has about 30,000 employees in the US, Canada and Latin America.
Towards a new leadership development approach
To start building a new mind set for its 600 leaders, Ricoh decided to reinforce current leadership training with a much more collaborative and seamless learning experience that could foster creative thinking and boost future leaders. They developed the Leadership Connection, a program bringing together one senior leader with five more junior leaders and managers, in a series of monthly workshops. Prior those workshops, CrossKnowledge content is pushed to participants’ inboxes every Monday through Ricoh’s ‘Thought of the Day’, to serve as a basis for discussion.
Once the workshop begins, the participants learn and collaborate using a dedicated learning path and knowledge community, leveraging social learning features with their leader and colleagues. The format of the Leadership Connection program created an imperative for people to go to the learning platform and view the videos, in preparation for their discussion with senior leaders. That helped drive utilization of the platform, and has been a real catalyst for usage of the CrossKnowledge Learning Suite.
“The CrossKnowledge team did a great job of setting up for us 125 different user groups and maintaining discussion in those groups. That allowed people to go in and start engaging in a very different way. Never before did we reach such a high level of collaboration in our learning environment before”, says Mark Pagenkopf. “It has really impacted the quality of the learning experience for the better”.
High level and interactive training linked to competency mode
Ricoh Americas Corporation also implemented leadership training programs for all its 3,000 managers and, working with CrossKnowledge consultants, mapped the courses to their competency model. That way, managers could view content in the context of the Ricoh competency model, and through a customized learning portal.
Courses were assigned to managers based on individual development plans. Ricoh also pushed out short videos of industry experts to their employees, aligned with some of its corporate transformation themes such as collaboration, communication and change management.
Ricoh wanted to give its managers a different perspective on how to access leadership development tools and resources than it had previously offered. In the past, learning modules had been lengthy and managers had commonly failed to complete two-hour long modules. The legacy learning platform was also failing to attract learners and utilization levels of the platform were unsatisfactory – it was time for a change. “We grasped the opportunity to model some of the transformation that we were expecting of our leaders by transforming our learning and development delivery,” says Mark Pagenkopf, Director, Organization Development.
After an extensive search for learning providers that could help them deliver forward looking and contemporary content, Ricoh selected CrossKnowledge. “As we became more familiar with CrossKnowledge, we were very impressed with their approach, innovation and creativity. The learning experience is much more appealing than what we had before. This really boosts engagement, and encourages content utilization.
On the path towards change
Only a month after launching the initiative, change was already underway. Leaders are embracing the possibility of contributing to the future of the company and its business outcome. “This is not all about the numbers of users or the numbers of courses accessed. That is important, but we are more interested seeing our people start to use a common language.” Says Mark Pagenkopf. The perception of the organization’s strategy has also evolved. Over 3,700 employees have been involved and actively contributing to the company’s future with an engagement surging from 10% to 70% in under three months.