Like everyone else over the past two years, Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola saw its corporate training budgets first cut, then slashed. After the smoke cleared, few of the communications giant’s course offerings, offered through world-renowned Motorola University, were left standing. “It was painful, but the process of getting to our final solution was enlightening,” says Marguerite Foxon, principal performance technologist at Motorola University. Foxon retains executive responsibility for determining Motorola University’s global leadership and management curriculum for directors and managers.
In headier times, Motorola University offered dozens of management and leadership development courses for four training tracks or
levels: vice president, director, middle manager, and new manager. An economic downturn and sluggish sales in the telecom industry changed all that.
Foxon was forced to eliminate many courses and trim the offerings to only one or two per level. In addition, division heads—the internal clients who have to pay for training services—began to demand confirmation that there would be a return on their investment.
“Downsizing showed us that we weren’t as in tune with our customers as we thought,” says Foxon.
Thinking business critical
Throughout Motorola, business heads demanded the same thing: assurance that each training intervention would impact critical business issues and have
measurable results. Foxon began looking for a business simulation program that would address MU’s specific needs.
Foxon went for Decision Base, a simulation developed by Celemi that exposes participants to the practical application of financial concepts, was chosen. In the simulation, participants take a strategic approach to running a business unit and discover the effect of individual decisions on the organizational system as a whole.
I’ve never seen that kind of excitement with any other training intervention in my 20-plus years in this field.
– Marguerite Foxon, principal performance technologist at MU.
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