Thinking of setting up a Corporate University – Thanks all for input 11

So glad for the support and positive responses. Just finished presentation to CEO & Deputy and humbly say I WOWED them!!!

I would love to chat to some of you to take ideas further so don’t loose the thread.

Personally, I can see a CU as entrenching best practices in education within an organization, Managing Change and then if needs be to drive and shape the way business is done and the formulation of OD. The CU’s must go way beyond Training & Developing as they are not meant to be Training Departments. Soft and hard skills will be trained, but educating the knowledge workers to apply, think, problem solve, learn -to- learn (meta cognition) be creative, initaite, work independently, love life, is the goal for improved productivity and quality in service delivery.

Again many thanks to you all and remeber to LIVE with PASSION!!!!!!

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11 thoughts on “Thinking of setting up a Corporate University – Thanks all for input

  • Dianne Ramroop

    Brilliant idea…..not enough is invested in the most important “asset” in organisations….”It’s people”. There is a huge rara about company values, mission, etc….& then the meetings over and the dust settles! Service delivery is put on the back burner until the next RaRa. Totally agree….however the key will be “how do you maintain consistency?” Actually pursuing it on a smaller scale myself at the moment.

  • Rajan S. Narayan

    I think this is a great idea. However, lecturers employed must have industry experience as well as academic qualifications. And for heavens sake, don’t follow affirmative action policies. Employ people with skills that can do the job. Partnerships with the big companies would be great. We need to know what skills industries are looking for. Once we know what they want we can provide it then success is ours.
    Great Idea…. Pursue it…. It’s what the country needs. All the luck
    Rajan S. Narayan

  • Ashwell Glasson

    Dear Rod, that is a great concept and although many may criticise the inherent philosophies behind such initiatives. I for one would encourage you to do it. My main question is it focused around supplying graduates to the external market, or mobilising and offering internal corporate learning programmes tied to corporate performance needs (emerging leadership, demand-driven skills, project management, etc)? Rand Merchant Bank has a very successful corporate university, that partners with a variety of higher education institutions (HEI’s). One of the major factors in determining the realistic need for a corporate university is the return on expectations (RoE) and how the corporate university will benefit the corporate directly and indirectly. The key issue is the nature of certification and how delegates/students graduate. Unilever South Africa for example runs some excellent internal corporate university programmes that is managed by Accenture, through a global partnership. I would suggest the following:

    1. Consider using a partnership model with an existing university that has a faculty or centre of excellence in the specific competency or performance need. You may be able to leverage off their Higher Education Accreditation and systems framework, thus containing costs and using smart ‘spend’ elsewhere like in rich-curriculum and workplace coaching.

    2. Ensure that they conduct a robust curriculum, programme delivery and performance needs analysis, matching learning material, content and assessment criteria to the specific performance needs. This should take into account the potential different delivery modes for various programmes, such as elearning (synchronous and asynchronous), part-time contact sessions, study groups, etc. The business specific operating context and business-unique standards and requirements will also have to be addressed at this level.

    3. Develop internal capacity within the workplace environment to coach, facilitate and mentor delegates/students. This should include establishing action learning syndicates, or communities of practice.

    4. Align the corporate university to the BEE Scorecard Skills Development Indicator if necessary. Thus demonstrating great value to the business imperatives over-and-above the obvious people performance improvements and productivity.

    There are some other key features and factors that can certainly make such initiatives successful, but the most important is really the commitment to the Corporate University concept as a mid-to-long term project.

    5. Ensure that the Corporate University is captured as a key component of the organisational and people development strategy.

    If there are any other questions around it, then please do feel free to contact me.

    My best, Ashwell

  • Michael Ludeke

    This can have an interesting impact on the current perception/reallity arround skills shortages, as earlier comments have mentioned the key would be to establish an entity that address the gap between theoretical studies with limited practical experience and having an employable individual.

    There is currently a number of business schools and providers marketing products that will aid in preparing people for the workplace. Maybe the starting point should be a University that feeds into the public sector, and a transition developmental institution that will provide the oppertunity through structured interventions for individuals to gain corporate experience. This is basically based on a learnership methodology or approach, but if an institution can provide learning based on growing businesses and parastatals for example. I am of the opininion that if combined with a business incubator one will be able to really develop entrepreneurs that can add value to the countries economy.

  • Paula Whitaker

    I think our lessons learnt are; spend some time in the beginning finding the right people in the right institutions when you set up, no matter whether it is about money, legislation, accreditation and so on. It is expensive (money and time) to go along the wrong path and complete forms you do not need! All the best!
    ‘Some people see things as they are and ask ‘why’? I see things as they have never been and ask ‘why not’?’ – George Bernard Shaw

  • Chris van Zyl

    First find answers to:
    How much different would the courses be from those that are being offered by well established Business Shools?
    Are the needs for establishing this CU so much different from the needs that are being serviced by well established Business Schools?
    Will the most prominent corporate entities support another CU-“positioning” rather than supporting well established BRANDS in this regard?


  • Happy Mantshi


    This really sounds good as it will serve to empower working employees with all the essential skills set that are crucially needed in the corporate world.Kindly elaborate your vission then so that we may better interact with genuinely so.


    Mr Happy Mantshi