Annual ECLF Conference 2015

11th Annual ECLF Conference

Organizing Learning
Operating L&D Models in Complex Organizations

July 8-10, 2015

UBS Executive Learning Center "Wolfsberg"
Ermatingen, Switzerland


Aligning the operating model of learning and development with the continuously changing strategic context of the firm is a challenging task. A number of hard to control variables - such as a company's current business context, the maturity of the organization, the mindset of the CEO, the dynamics of the C-Suite, the historical identity of HR, the company's technological infrastructure, and it's culture in general - make it virtually impossible to prescribe an organizational template.

L&D's traditional role is changing, which significantly impacts its operating model. Closing skill gaps through learning interventions and assuring the alignment of capability frameworks with the strategic thrust of a corporation remains an important mission; the means to achieve it, however, are rapidly changing as we witness a paradigm shift towards more learner-centric approaches that leverage social technologies and recognize the importance of "informal learning".

What's more, many organizations have realized that L&D needs to be much more than just an educational function. Fast shifting business contexts, driven by globalization, digitalization, and political and economical volatility require complex transformational efforts, both on the level of individual mindsets and organizational designs. Here, the learning challenge is to foster agility and strategic responsiveness and as such help shape the operating model of the entire corporation.

Conference Topic Overview

With our traditional mix of member-driven analytical deep-dive and peer-sharing of experiences the 2nd Global ECLF Summit will provide the opportunity to dig deeper into these issues, looking at questions such as:

  • How should we govern a global Learning organization - what should be done by corporate, what should be moved to regions/businesses? What systems and mechanisms can assure strategic alignment AND required differentiation? What are unavoidable structural conflicts - how can they best be dealt with?
  • How should we structure the value chain of learning: identification of needs - design - delivery - evaluation. How does the dynamic change in light of new technology and the shift towards learner driven learning?
  • How can we optimize the L&D operating model as an engine for transformation and innovation. What are the implications for capabilities, stakeholder management, positioning of the function?
  • Outsourcing models - what are the implications of aggressive use of outsourcing? What needs to remain inside at all means? Why? How to best manage the interface with service providers?


As always, the three days are designed as a highly interactive and collaborative mix of top level expert input , case studies from our members, and peer-to-peer exchange. Some highlights:

  • Hubertus Kuelps, SVP and UBS' Group Head Communications and Branding will talk with us about the Role of Corporate Communication and its interplay with L&D in addressing the transformational challenges the bank has been facing over the last few years.
  • Carol Pledger, UBS Global Head of Talent and Development will share with us the bank's journey towards today's T&D operating model in the context of the changes in the banking industry over the last several years.
  • James Longwell, Google's People Development Leader for EMEA, will share how Google - also facing major transformational challenges - organizes for L&D.
  • L&D Leaders from AXA, BASF, Coca Cola, and Siemens who all have recently engaged on a global restructuring of their Learning Function, will share their experience on a panel, relating it to insights from UBS and Google.
  • In our traditional workshop mode, we will also gather in smaller groups to dig deeper into various dimensions of L&D Operating Models, such as governance, value chain dynamics, outsourcing models, and the implications on stakeholder orchestration.
  • Also, as always, we will have our popular peer-to-peer Focus on Members Issues session...
  • ... and ample time for informal conversation and catching-up, for instance during a Barbecue Dinner in the Gardens of Wolfsberg.





Hosted by member companies, ECLF annual summits are the highlight of the year, bringing together ECLF members from more than a dozen of countries to engage in an intellectually and socially inspiring dialogue which is the hallmark of ECLF's culture.

Each conference is dedicated to exploring a strategic challenge of the practice.