Friday, 27 February 2009

The Seven Pillars

My latest article, The Seven Pillars of the Corporate University, has just been published on the EPD website. Link.

I chose the “seven pillars” imagery, a blatant steal from Lawrence of Arabia, because of the happy coincidence of there being seven factors to consider, and because I liked the idea of the factors, or pillars, supporting the edifice. The association of Lawrence’s original usage with wisdom helps the metaphor.

I’m finding an upsurge of interest in corporate universities. The American market may have become saturated a long time ago, but the concept has been much slower to catch on in Europe and the rest of the world. Perhaps that’s because the academic universities of the old world have a different gravitas, derived from their longer histories, or perhaps in Britain the legal meaning of the word university has been an impediment. There may be other explanations.

I prefer to believe it is because the latest incarnations of corporate universities offer much more than was conceived in the pioneering US institutions like Walt Disney, or later Motorola. The most popular current model is more like Hilton University, with its new emphasis on digital learning.

As always, happy to discuss.

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