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  • April 29 2011

    Measuring Up

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    Ours is a world of standards. To measure the progress of anything, there needs to be a standard against which you can compare. For me, it is running. The standard I set for my first long distance run was to simply be in the field of participants who finished. I did finish, and proudly wear the tee shirt that proves it. However, that wasn't enough, so the next challenge was to finish within a certain time. And so it goes, year by year, we all progress against our personal goals, meeting the standards we set, and re-establishing more challenging standards for the year ahead. The real feeling of accomplishment comes when we look back over years of hard work and see just how far we have come. It is exhilarating, satisfying, and it motivates us to do more.

    KnowledgeWorks, our learning and development organization at Cerner, has had the good fortune to experience the same growth. The standards we set are straight forward. Are we aligning our efforts with what matters most to our company and its clients? Are we meeting their learning needs in a timely and effective way? Are we closing the time gap between the discovery of new learning and the broad adoption of that learning wherever it is needed across Cerner and our clients' organizations?

    In addition to these internal standards, we value standards set by the industry, and measure ourselves against these as well. Two of most widely recognized in the learning & development profession are Training Magazine's annual list of the Top 125 companies in learning and development, and Chief Learning Officer (CLO) Magazine's Learning Elite. Both include rigorous quantitative and qualitative assessments on business alignment, investment, effectiveness, creativity, and most importantly - business results. In 2011, Cerner was ranked 15th on the Training Top 125 list – the third straight year in the top 15, and the 8th straight year on the top 125 list overall. Even more exciting, we were flanked at the 14th and 16th spots by two of our clients, Miami Children's Hospital and University of New Mexico Hospitals, respectively. We were also named as one of CLO Magazine's 2011 Learning Elite - 20th in the small group of 43 companies selected out of a broad field, against a set of very tough criteria. Finally, at the individual level, we had Nate Kelly and Erin Matyak, two of our best and brightest, distinguished with Training Magazine's 2011 Young Trainer and Young Trainer to Watch awards.

    So why take valuable blog space to celebrate these accolades? Because we want everyone to know of our passion and commitment for learning at Cerner. We care about our associates. We care about our clients. We want nothing more than to empower them with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. By making a public statement regarding our accomplishments and commitment, we open ourselves to greater scrutiny. That's a good thing. We are by no means perfect and we want to get better. We do that by setting very high standards, communicating them openly and embracing the accountability that follows. It is indeed a world of standards. We welcome your input as we strive to meet ours.

    Robert Campbell, Vice President and Chief Learning Officer, is the founder and leader of Cerner KnowledgeWorks. KnowledgeWorks applies leading-edge learning theory, technology and best practices in content management and informal learning to help Cerner associates, clients and business partners gain competence quickly. In addition to KnowledgeWorks, Campbell oversees Cerner Marketing and uCern, the company's collaboration and networking platform. Campbell, who has 24 years of experience in learning and development and instructional technology, joined Cerner in February 1996. Prior to joining Cerner, he was with Andersen Consulting Education, where he focused on creating effective learning solutions for Andersen consultants.

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