My First Month in L&D

My First Month in L&D

I joined Abilitie two months ago as the new Marketing Manager. I came from the industry of health and wellness-focused CPG products. The language used in my previous marketing efforts was informal, shorthand, and buzzy. I needed my audience to feel as though I was there next to them, chatting over an almond-milk latte with every piece of content I published.

When I transitioned over to Abilitie, I was drawn to the position by the “development” aspect of the company - at the core of everything I’ve ever done professionally has been the goal of helping people reach their maximum potential - and was excited to implement lessons learned from previous positions in a new setting.

Amy Speranza and Jaclyn Courter: How to develop high-potential leaders online


Abilitie was thrilled to partner with Amy Speranza and Jaclyn Courter to present Abilitie's third Learning Leader Roundtable, our first in New York, NY.

The foundational topic of the event was "How to develop high-potential leaders online," though the conversation spanned all the big issues that learning programs face today! Attending learning leaders represented organizations in the Fortune 100, non-profits, startups, and the global public service sector. 

Before the event, Abilitie surveyed attendees on their online learning practices to set the stage for the conversation. Interesting trends emerged:

  • In the programs represented, the demographic most frequently engaged in hi-po programs was recent graduates and entry-level, followed by managers, and then the executive level
  • The three most popular elements to include in hi-po learning programs were action learning group projects, personal assessments, and traditional classroom training.
  • The least popular element to leverage for hi-po programs was job rotations.
  • Participants surveyed reported that 5 years ago, only about 20% of their training took place online while today closer to 47% of their training takes place online. They predict that in 5 years, about 60% of their hi-po training will take place online.

While there is truly never a "one-size-fits-all" for learning, some patterns emerged as the roundtable participants discussed. A few are outlined below:

  • Just because the platform is virtual doesn't mean the connections can't be real. Online programs are successful only when there is an element of socialization and community.
  • In virtual settings, variety truly is the spice of life. Don't expect the same platform or medium to work in every phase of the program. Variety keeps learners engaged. 
  • Be ready for the long haul in showing ROI. There are many ways to demonstrate the value of learning, but to demonstrate long-term value, consider intermittent follow-ups and check-ins with participants for years to come.

Once again, a huge thank you to Amy and Jaclyn from GE for partnering with us to present this Learning Leaders Roundtable. There's nothing like engaging with our community to get us excited about the future of learning and development! 

Celebrating a win at EFMD

We want to thank our wonderful partners Complex Adaptive Leadership and Nokia once again -- celebrating our shared win at the EFMD awards conference reinforced how much we value their partnership and how proud we are of our shared program. 

Proudly showing off our new EFMD Excellence in Practice Gold Award

Proudly showing off our new EFMD Excellence in Practice Gold Award

Through our partnership with Complex Adaptive Leadership, our program at Nokia has seen excellent results and we are proud of the EFMD Gold Award that it has earned.

Following implementation across 400 managers in 16 groups, results have shown:

  • Applied learning has increased by 93%
  • Reflective practice has increased by 96%
  • Peer co-coaching has increased by 147%
  • A 4-month payback of total program cost

If you are interested in learning more about our work with CAL and Nokia, you may read more about it in on our blog or you can download our case study here.


First Abilitie Learning & Development Roundtable

On October 20, Abilitie sponsored the first of a series of Learning & Development Roundtables that we will host around the country. The inaugural session was in Dallas, Texas, just up the road from our headquarters in Austin. 

A small but mighty group of learning leaders in Dallas, Texas!

A small but mighty group of learning leaders in Dallas, Texas!

We were so excited to get together with some of our Dallas-area L&D friends last week to discuss their virtual learning best practices. Topics covered learning management systems, simulation learning, the best size cohort for virtual training (reported best practices were 24-28!), and how to combat preconceived notions of on-the-job training. 

The discussion was guided by Alfredo Perez of Johnson & Johnson. Alfredo is the Global Academy Training Director for Johnson & Johnson's Corporate Strategy and Deployment Group. He led the discussion and provided meaningful guidance around the idea of "social learning". He said that learning professionals can get the most effective learning by leveraging the learning potential between professionals in his program. We completely agree.

Needless to say, we learned a lot from Alfredo and the rest of the learning leaders in the room. It's always nice to remind ourselves why we love being in this business -- the people, the people, the people.

If you have any interest in attending a learning roundtable in the future, let us know! We have several planned in all regions of the US in 2018.

To keep up to date on a roundtable near you, connect with us below.

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Abilitie and Western Digital Win Silver for “Best Use of Blended Learning”  


We at Abilitie are excited to announce that we have earned a coveted Brandon Hall Group silver medal for excellence in the Best Use of Blended Learning category in partnership with Western Digital.

The winning program, Leading@WDC, is a hallmark example of what a creative partnership between committed organizations can create. We are honored that the hard work shared between Western Digital and our team at Abilitie has continued to pay off.

Read more about the award-winning program here.

“Excellence Award winners symbolize the power and impact that Human Capital Management practices can have on a business or on any organization,” said Rachel Cooke, COO of Brandon Hall Group and head of the awards program.

Award entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts and executives based upon the following criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, innovation, and overall measurable benefits. 

We see this award as especially exciting, as it highlights one of the often forgotten benefits of a comprehensive training and development program—learning together leads to a strong company culture. As one leader of an acquired team noted, “I’ve never felt more welcome than when I came to this program.”

Participants of this blended learning program forged strong networks with one another and built trust. This trust is essential, and we at Abilitie believe that engaging, challenging, and rewarding learning programs are among the best ways to build it.


Abilitie is pleased to announce we've won a coveted EFMD Excellence in Practice Gold Award in Executive Development. The EFMD Excellence in Practice Awards (EIP) recognize outstanding case studies describing effective and impactful Leadership and Development interventions between partner organizations. Abilitie partnered with Nokia and Complex Adaptive Leadership to develop this award-winning program. Abilitie CEO, Bjorn Billhardt remarked:

"We at Abilitie are excited to see our work in Executive Development recognized beyond the borders of the United States. This prestigious award is a testament to the talents and hard work of Abilitie's European colleagues led by Nathan Kracklauer. As we expand our global footprint, we are excited to be recognized for our work in Europe."

The EIP Awards were launched in 2007 and are now in their 11th year. Since the launch of the Awards, over 250 cases have been submitted for review. An international judging panel of representatives from EFMD, companies, business schools, and alternative providers reviews the case studies submitted for the EIP Awards.

We are proud to have earned the Gold Award from EFMD and look forward to growing more "Gold Level" partnerships around the globe.

Another Exciting Win for Abilitie With Brandon Hall

Abilitie is pleased to announce we've won a coveted silver Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Award for Best Advance in Gaming or Simulation Technology for the
Managing at Liberty Mutual program. These wins were announced on December 15, 2016. Interested in finding out who else won? You can see all of the winners here.

“We congratulate our Technology Award winners, and also thank them for leading the way in designing and utilizing technologies that empower organizations to enhance – and in some cases transform – their organizations,” said Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer of Brandon Hall Group and head of the awards program. “Our research shows that Human Capital Management technology is a primary driver of innovation, and our award-winning organizations serve as models of success.”

Abilitie Takes Home the Silver!

Abilitie team members Bjorn Billhardt and Alex Whiteleather attended the Chief Learning Officer Learning In Practice Awards Ceremony last night and took home the Silver in Excellence in Technology Innovation Award. Thank you to our partners at Peak Seven Consulting for helping us build an amazing and transformational program at Cochlear

The Chief Learning Officer Learning In Practice awards recognizes learning leaders who demonstrate excellence in the design and delivery of employee development programs through a combination of qualities such as leadership, vision, business acumen and strategic alignment.

Want to find out how you can implement this award-winning program? Contact us today!

Abilitie Wins Gold and Silver 2016 Brandon Hall Awards

Abilitie is pleased to announce we've won a coveted Brandon Hall Group gold award for excellence in the Best Use of Games and Simulations category and a silver award for Best Use of Video for Learning. These wins were announced on September 7, 2016. Interested in finding out who else won? You can see all of the winners here.

The award entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts and executives based upon the following criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, innovation, and overall measureable benefits.

Excellence Award winners will be honored at Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Excellence Conference January 24-27, 2017, at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Selected winners also will serve as presenters in the more than 20 breakout sessions during the 3½-day event.

Welcome to Abilitie, Enspire's new brand for our industry-leading leadership development programs.