Impactiviti recently interviewed John Constantine, Director, Employee Productivity, GlaxoSmithKline. John is also the current President of the Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers (SPBT). The topic of this Impact Interview is Enterprise Training – John has invested a large part of his recent career in building up the technology training platform and approach at GSK.
John’s team is charged with the application of technology to make employees more productive, driving a key enabling process of core business processes. He has spent the last 20 years in sales, marketing, training, and technology in the pharma industry.
Q1: Starting out the process of deploying an enterprise approach to training, what were the main benefits you and your colleagues were looking for?
Reduction in duplication (content, courseware, and LMSs); enabling employees to learn more via online channels; reducing costs of classroom training with online delivery. Also, uniting 100+ distributed learning groups into a network that can share and act like a loosely affiliated corporate university.
Q2: What are two or three of the chief obstacles you’ve had to overcome along the way?
The biggest one is changing the attitudes and behaviors of training professionals…we focus too much on what they need to deliver and not enough on what people need to learn. Next is trying to get the lumbering pharma business’ IT infrastructure to keep up with our vision.
Q3: How has an enterprise-scale training technology platform changed the way training is done in your experience?
In the last 3.5 years, employees have ‘pulled’ 3 million learning activities in addition to those that have always been ‘pushed’ at them.
Q4: What have been the biggest sources of ROI that you’ve seen from enterprise initiatives?
Large-scale programs in sales, which are usually expensive with lots of lost opportunity cost, as well as IT learning, which affects every employee.
Q5: If you had one “mulligan” with everything you’ve done in the process of taking on global enterprise initiatives, where would you take your do-over?
Understanding the complex nature of the pharma manufacturing learning/training requirements about 3 years earlier than I finally did.