The New Bertelsmann University (4): Strategy Campus

At the beginning of the year, Immanuel Hermreck merged Bertelsmann University and Bertelsmann Academy into the new Bertelsmann University. A central learning organization was created, headed by Steven Moran, Chief Learning Officer at Bertelsmann. It offers innovative state-of-the-art learning solutions and formats that systematically promote and develop Bertelsmann competencies and skills worldwide, across divisions and hierarchies. Our Blog series about the new Bertelsmann University presents the learning opportunities of the four “campuses” and explains which offers are suitable for whom. After reports about the Individual Campus , the Function Campus, and the Leadership Campus, we now present Bertelsmann University's fourth campus: the Strategy Campus.

The Strategy Campus

Innovative learning solutions, combined with expert knowledge from practitioners and academics, enable Bertelsmann executives and talents to continually hone their strategic skills and expand their capacity for innovation. By introducing trends into the Group and bringing them to life as hands-on experiences, the Strategy Campus programs support the Group’s transformation process.

The Strategy Campus target group

The Strategy Campus learning offers are aimed at Bertelsmann executives and talents – and so, most of the offers are Nomination Programs.

Learning opportunities for promoting strategy and innovation skills

The content and methodological design of Strategy Campus programs are shaped by the Group’s strategic priorities as well as continuous change and the emergence of new trends in the market. The idea is to optimally prepare participants to support the transformation process at Bertelsmann. To this end, they receive impetus about how to develop their divisions, making them fit for the market and the future, and how to foster innovation and growth in their respective businesses. Another aim is to strengthen Bertelsmann’s corporate culture by using appropriate formats to support cooperation across Bertelsmann’s various divisions.

State-of-the-art programs to support Bertelsmann’s strategy

The Strategy Campus partners with prestigious business schools such as the Harvard Business School in Boston and INSEAD in Fontainebleau near Paris to develop programs that directly support the implementation of Bertelsmann’s strategy.

One example is the Mastering New Challenges (MNC) strategy program for Bertelsmann's top executives on the Harvard campus. On the one hand, it delivers concrete, action-oriented knowledge about strategy, management, consumer behavior and technology, and their influence on growth and business development at Bertelsmann. On the other hand, it provides a good setting for critical self-reflection. The importance of transformation and change, the development of digital businesses, and growth in new markets are always in focus, as well as networking and interaction between Bertelsmann’s divisions and businesses.

Programs to promote innovation and creativity

Promoting creativity and innovation is one of the ten strategic priorities Bertelsmann defined by Chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe for the years ahead.

The Creativity Bootcamp is an example of a suitable format for this. It teaches new methods and tools for developing innovative businesses and products, directly and hands-on. Bertelsmann talents from all divisions and countries come together in this creative ideas competition to work, quickly and intensively, on new approaches for products or services and underpin them with realistic business models.

Another example is the Digital Lounge, where the latest trends and developments in the digital domain are presented. The presenters are all practitioners, startup founders, and other experts from the digital industry who share specific examples and first-hand knowledge. Participants develop a deeper understanding of the digital world and are given relevant triggers for their operative business and for dealing with strategic challenges.

Programs to strengthen the corporate culture

Bertelsmann’s corporate culture with its values – partnership, entrepreneurship, creativity and responsibility – plays an important role for the Group. For this reason, introductory programs such as Orientation Day provide new executives and talents not only with an overview of Bertelsmann’s businesses, but also with insights into the corporate culture and its further development (Bertelsmann Sense of Purpose). Participants are given information about the company's history, the current Group structure and corporate strategy, as well as an opportunity to network with other Bertelsmann colleagues, across divisions and internationally.

The new Bertelsmann University – The next generation in Bertelsmann’s culture of learning

“Lifelong learning is more important for Bertelsmann than ever before,” says Steven Moran, Chief Learning Officer at Bertelsmann. “The media, services and education sectors, where Bertelsmann plays a leading role, are increasingly being transformed by technological progress and innovation. This not only sets new framework conditions for Bertelsmann’s businesses, but also for the qualification of employees and their continuing corporate training. The development of innovative forms of learning and digital learning enable a new Bertelsmann culture of learning characterized by quality and flexibility: highly relevant content, available to everyone, and the time and place of learning is determined by the learner’s individual needs and situation. At Bertelsmann University, we want to make sure that our 117,000 Bertelsmann employees and managers, across all levels, can acquire precisely the skills and capabilities they need for their work now and in the future.”