The discipline of sharing our vision means learning how to unearth and develop those shared pictures of the future that foster genuine commitment and participation, rather than mere compliance.

Building Shared Vision

For training to be truly effective, learners must see clearly how their new knowledge and skills apply to their personal and business goals. Both our philosophy and standard practice at CCFL mean that our course content closely fits a client's culture, goals, and skill needs. Some firms teach standard, off-the-shelf courses to everyone. We customize our services to each client's needs.

Distance Learning
Additionally, CCFL routinely provides distance learning. Distance learning has long been the primary model for our college credit courses, and we also used it in training conducted for our corporate clients. In the training, we employed Web-X and NetMeeting, and we can readily use other kinds of technological collaboration as well. Our instruction may include self-paced online learning, live online instruction, simulations, scenarios, streaming video, and blended learning. Our blended learning, moreover, uses activities and exercises that seamlessly integrate various media into a rich learning opportunity.

Our extensive experience in distance learning means significant savings for our clients since we can resolve a client's high-stakes challenges quickly. Organisms with complex nervous systems can also learn new responses easily and adjust their behavior rapidly. By quickly assembling our firm's extensive resources, for example, we help companies ramp up new employees quickly so they can be effective contributors in the midst of corporate growth.

Team Learning
The discipline of team learning starts with dialogue, with the capacity of a team's members to suspend assumptions and
genuinely think together. (Dialogue thus differs from discussion, which-like "percussion" or "concussion"- amounts to heaving ideas back and forth in a winner-take-all competition.) Team learning is vital to corporate success because teams, not individuals, are the fundamental learning units in modern organizations.

Team Learning

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated Dialogue
CCFL not only helped Quest Diagnostics Incorporated develop nearly 700 project managers and improve their personal mastery, we also designed a training course for all 27,000 employees in the company's 30 American locations. This course helped employees approach conversations with customers more positively, handle difficult situations more comfortably, listen more carefully to customers' wishes, offer suggestions and options more clearly, therefore meet customers' needs more effectively, and, finally, respond more empathically to individual patient situations.

We tested all participants in this course using both pre- and post-performance standard evaluations. Employees answered questions about how they greeted customers, listened to their concerns, handled their problems, and closed the interaction. Participants completed the performance ratings with their supervisors. Participants' scores increased from 3.9 in 2001 to 4.6 in 2002, or 18% over two years.

We Know the Metal
At CCFL, we get to know our clients' businesses inside out and can therefore often identify opportunities that lie beneath the surface. Our staff looks beyond current challenges to provide both the training and counsel that help a client achieve tomorrow's goals.

Evaluating Organizational Outcomes
The activities CCFL offers help both organizations and individuals develop skills. To evaluate and improve outcomes for our client organizations, CCFL instructors summarize both the issues they raised in class and how employees addressed them. We record, for example, how classes respond to questions from our instructors such as:

"What skills are essential to success?"
To improve individual outcomes, we evaluate learner understanding. At critical points in our learning modules, we test understanding concretely, using exercises, written tests, and group interaction. We also measure understanding by seeing how advanced learners perform on the test required to achieve PMP certification.

As each course ends, students are asked to comment in writing. This feedback is transcribed and provided to the training sponsor. After the course, learners are contacted again, invited to respond to us with questions or comments, and urged to seek counsel about matters relating to the course. These steps help us assess course effectiveness and identify opportunities for improvement.

A Shift of Mind
We have seen that, to realize the full potential of systems thinking, we must practice the disciplines of personal mastery, mental models, building shared visions, and team learning. These disciplines, together, lead to a shift of mind.

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"Flexibility, a customized system of solutions, solid information and cost-effectiveness."

__ James Shillaber, Vice President of Human Resource

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