Case Studies - Educational Consulting

Lisa Bell
Manager, North American Learning Center
Holcim (US)/St. Lawrence Cement

Business Challenge
When Lisa Bell was presented with the opportunity to centralize the development, delivery, and administration of all North American training for Holcim (US)/St. Lawrence Cement, she immediately recognized the magnitude of the task ahead of her and wasn’t sure if she should take on the challenge. If she did decide to assume the awesome responsibility, she wanted to make sure she developed a model learning organization that contributed directly to business results.

Educational Consulting and Lisa’s Coaching Journey
In a series of one-on-one meetings, Denny McGurer helped Lisa realize that she could do the job and do it well. Lisa’s conversations with Denny helped her decide that this step in her career was meant to be. With that tough decision under her belt, Lisa leaned on Denny’s personal experience building corporate learning organizations to develop a learning strategy for the enterprise. They drew together a plan for key processes and selected critical first initiatives that would demonstrate significant impact on business objectives. Denny wanted to make sure Lisa was focused on the crucial early wins he knew were the keys to long term success.

Lisa’s team had begun preliminary work modeling the organization according to the research of Robert Brinkerhoff. The vision was to provide programs that emphasized managerial coaching and involvement to ensure workshop participants were applying learning to achieve specific measurable outcomes for their business unit and the corporation as a whole. Lisa found that Denny was intimately familiar with the approach. He had long-time friendships and experience working with the industry experts. Lisa explained that Denny was a great sounding board and a trusted advisor. She said, “Whatever we need, he comes up with solutions we can trust. We don’t have to spend a lot of time evaluating the options he presents. He always has the next step and it’s about the right connections with people that will save you time.” Lisa felt less stressed about the situation because she could count on Denny to quickly point her in the right direction.

Throughout his time working with Lisa and her team, Denny met with her sponsors within Holcim/St. Lawrence. He made sure he knew and understood the company and the industry so he could “speak their language”. Because Denny took this initiative, Lisa was able to remain focused on what she needed to do for the business. He established positive relationships with the people around Lisa in a way that she described as “time saving and minimally invasive.”

As the first programs were rolled out and Lisa’s team was gaining more high level exposure in the corporation, Denny helped Lisa accelerate her personal learning curve by introducing her to several of today’s leading corporate education professionals. She spent time with counterparts in companies such as Starbucks and Johnson Controls along with specialists from prestigious organizations such as the Blanchard Companies, Vautier Communications, Advantage Performance Group, Type A Learning, and the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
Business Outcomes
Working with McGurer & Associates, Lisa and her team have laid the foundation for a learning services organization they hope will some day be benchmarked within their industry and within the corporate education field. Their early wins included the implementation of several leadership High Impact Learning programs that are being credited as top contributing factors to the achievement of specific business objectives in both the US and Canada. Lisa says of the business impact from her collaboration with McGurer & Associates:
  • “We have a trusted advisor who helped accelerate development of the strategy and getting the business rallied.”
  • “Personally, I learned enough that when I’m talking with people around the business I can say with complete confidence this is why we are going this way.”