Corporate colleges still on a learning curve
Most corporate universities in China, which provide job-specific, even companyspecific, training for managerial positions, have yet to fully transform from traditional training centers to strategic centers with multiple functions, a sector specialist said.
“Chinese corporate universities have developed for about 20 years since Motorola, a US telecom company, introduced the concept to China in 1993,’’ said Huang Zirui, general manager of KeyLogic’s Beijing branch, a talent cultivating and consulting company.
“There are more than 1,000 corporate universities in China, based on our research,” Huang said.
The corporate university is often described as a cradle to foster expertise and a frontier for new business ideas. There is no doubt that they fulfill a professional training and organizational role for a career in companies and corporations.
Huang said many companies set up their own “university” as this cultivates a generation of leaders and introduces new ideas and concepts.
According to the Corporate University White Paper 7.0 released by KeyLogic in 2013, 62.6 percent of corporate universities have established their own unique teaching systems and 55.2 percent had set up complete training curriculum systems. Furthermore, 89.4 percent developed curriculum resources and related learning content on their own.
A survey, conducted by KeyLogic, looked at 189 domestic enterprises covering 17 industries, such as finance, medicine, and energy to see how they made use of the universities.
“Although Chinese corporate universities have progressed and achieved much, they still face problems. For instance, most have not finished the transformation from traditional training centers to a university with multiple roles and functions,” Huang indicated.
Until now, KeyLogic has released seven versions of the Corporate University White Paper, which are among the most influential academic publications in the corporate training and learning industry.
KeyLogic is the first local consulting firm which offers consulting services in the corporate university field. It focuses on corporate learning and development, offers consulting services, face-toface training and e-learning courses. The e- learning courses are provided through their cooperation with Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning.
“A successful corporate university should play an important role in a company’s overall strategy. There are two challenges for a corporate university; one is how to discuss strategy with the CEO and the other is how to communicate with personnel in the operating department,” Huang said.
So far, KeyLogic has cooperated with enterprises, such as Air China, China Merchants Bank, China Mobile, Baosteel, Sinochem Group, Canon, Sony and Lenovo.
In 2010, it helped China Resources Land, a property company, improve its leadership quality through a series of training courses.
At the initial stage, KeyLogic investigated the company and used the findings to design and develop internal case studies based on Harvard Business Publishing. Finally, it held training sessions, including case studies, face-to-face teaching and e-learning.
“The future development direction for the Chinese corporate university is to boost implementation of an enterprise strategy. It should also have a spirit of innovation to find new methods and support employee development”, Huang said.
When asked about the brain drain, Huang said this refers to another function of the corporate university, that is, to nurture an appreciation and awareness of the culture and value of a corporation or company.
Huang Zirui, general manager of talent consulting firm KeyLogic’s Beijing branch