Telenor develops leadership culture at a global level thanks to digital learning

"We still have weekly meetings with CrossKnowledge and a level of relationship that we just haven’t experienced with other vendors. They are very willing to collaborate."

Cristina RYNNING

Head of Academy, TELENOR



Telenor develops leadership culture at a global level thanks to digital learning

It was CrossKnowledge’s collaborative attitude, and its technical capability that appealed to Telenor when they were looking for a partner to provide a global learning portal and distance learning content for the Telenor Academy. The ability to customize learning paths to meet the needs of different business units and a Learning Management System (LMS) that was easy for learners to use sealed the deal.

Telenor Group ASA is one of the world’s largest mobile telecommunications companies, with a leading position in mobile, broadband and TV service provision in Nordic markets, 189 million subscribers worldwide, and revenues of €11.58bn. Headquartered in Norway, the company has 33,000 employees and operates in 13 markets, including Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia.

Streamlining training delivery with a single global portal

Telenor’s Senior Executive had identified leadership as a key training focus for the organization. Each year, the Telenor Academy was only able to reach 400 of its 4,500 leaders with classroom training, and this was already proving to be a significant drain on resources. Telenor set out to implement a more cost-effective blended approach that would support leaders as they went through the Performance Appraisal process. However, it faced a technical challenge when it came to delivery – each of its 13 business units was using a different LMS to host compliance e-learning content. “We were searching for a single platform that would streamline delivery of our leadership program, and support our future training requirements, says Cristina Rynning, Head of Academy at Telenor. We needed to replace multiple platforms with one global portal that we could run centrally, but which business units could administer locally. The system also had to be easy to use, not something with over-complex features that most learners wouldn’t need or understand. For Telenor, CrossKnowledge Learning Suite represented the right balance of functionality and usability.”

High-quality content for a high-profile leadership project

Telenor devised the ‘Impact’ leadership program, organized around the 4Es of Telenor Leadership – Explore, Empower, Engage and Execute – and chose the CrossKnowledge Library. “CrossKnowledge worked closely with us to map their content onto our leadership competencies and the ‘Telenor Way’ of working, which really helped us to add value to the Impact program, says Cristina Rynning. The CrossKnowledge Library meets our needs because they stay on top of industry trends. Their content is fresh, has a modern look, and works on mobile devices.” The Telenor Academy portal currently hosts 500 learning ‘titles’. Each title draws on the resources in the CrossKnowledge Library to deliver an effective learning experience for Telenor’s leaders.

Finding a vendor who works as part of the Telenor team

Finding the right vendor was essential for Telenor who was looking for a company that would listen and then work alongside them to achieve their goals. “We still have weekly meetings with CrossKnowledge and a level of relationship that we just haven’t experienced with other vendors, says Cristina Rynning. They are very willing to collaborate, which was something we really looked for. They genuinely welcome it when we challenge them too – they see it as an opportunity rather than criticism. For example, we had some requests from our business units for a higher proportion of Asian video presenters, and CrossKnowledge have taken that on board for their next video production cycle. We asked for new LMS features to support our classroom training. They listened and are working to deliver a solution next quarter. CrossKnowledge didn’t just sell us a package and leave the building. They have a different attitude: they’re not just a vendor, they’re part of the team.”

While Telenor was working to raise the quality of leadership across the business, and towards a shared understanding of leadership competencies, it still wanted its business units to be able to create their own learning paths through the content, and to be able to customize the portal at a local level. “Some of our BUs provide training through the functions, such as Finance or HR, others focus more on personal development, says Cristina Rynning. The CrossKnowledge Learning Suite and the content library deliver both. Business units can create custom learning path depending on their way of working. They can also tailor their portal’s home page to suit their needs, while we retain overall control of the look and feel. Both the content and customization have been very well received. I’ve had emails double-checking whether what we’re offering is really ‘free’ to the business units, because it sounds too good to be true!”

Stakeholder engagement has played an important part in the project. “It was important to involve all of our business units and not expect them to have identical requirements, says Cristina Rynning. The Academy supported each unit with an engagement survey, training needs analysis and content selection, and that whole process has really opened up the conversation about leadership attitudes within Telenor. The portal isn’t just delivering content; it’s helping us create a global Learning & Development community, allowing our business units to share their experiences, and helping to bring them all together as a global team.”

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