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The New Bertelsmann University (2): Function Campus

At the beginning of the year, Immanuel Hermreck, Chief Human Resources Officer of Bertelsmann, 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, in close coordination with the departments. To foster individual learning and development, strengthen core business functions such as HR, IT or Finance and their networks, develop executive leadership skills, and support the Group's strategic transformation process, Bertelsmann University is now structured into four “campuses”: Individual, Function, Leadership, and Strategy.

What services does each campus offer? What programs are suitable for whom? The Blog series about the new Bertelsmann University introduces each of the campuses in turn.

After a report about the Individual Campus, we now present Bertelsmann University's Function Campus, which is designed to strengthen core business functions at Bertelsmann’s companies.

The Function Campus

The Function Campus offers programs to build business-critical skills of employees in business support functions such as HR, IT or Finance. It also serves as the platform for function-specific learning. The Function Campus coordinates closely with the various departments to develop learning formats with the aim of supporting strategy implementation and building functional skills. It also creates the option of forming cross-divisional communities within a given function, so that different employees with similar functions can exchange practical knowledge and share Bertelsmann-specific expertise.

“Keeping pace with change”

“The dramatic changes in markets and businesses always have very specific repercussions for the various functions at a company,” says Dennis Formann, Vice President of Bertelsmann University and Head of Function Campus. “New concepts, processes, tools and changing legal legislation pose enormous challenges for the different departments. This results in a need to acquire new skills and competency profiles, or even to reinvent your own job. Bertelsmann University's Function Campus creates appropriate learning spaces, so that our employees can keep pace with the constant change in their roles.”

The Function Campus target group

The Function Campus target group includes Bertelsmann employees in HR, IT and Finance-related functions. The specific knowledge of these employees is to be further developed across all hierarchical levels, divisions and locations. Most of the training is offered in “nomination programs,” i.e. employees have to be nominated to participate in it.

Specialist, cross-divisional and network-based learning

The Bertelsmann University Function Campus enables specialist, cross-divisional and network-based learning. Learning spaces are created that are geared to each division’s strategy, and that foster peer-to-peer learning and the sharing of experience and best-practice solutions. The learning formats are designed to inspire the participants with external expertise, as well as to highlight professional trends and get talking about them, bearing in mind the differences between their businesses.

Program development in close coordination with the departments

The Function Campus supports the departments as a consultant and implementer and cooperates closely with them to develop suitable programs according to their needs and requirements. The result is a range of learning formats including summits and cohort programs.

A summit is an international conference on strategic issues with the top executives of a given function. For instance, about 150 IT managers from 15 countries accepted Bertelsmann Chief Information Officer (CIO) Tom Linckens’ invitation to the last IT Summit in November 2015. Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe also attended. The IT Summit will be held again in spring 2017

Cohort programs are event series with a fixed group of participants and consecutive modules that build on one another. One is the “HR in M&A” program, which had the objective of providing integrated, comprehensive training on mergers & acquisitions to selected HR colleagues, enabling them to professionally support “inorganic” growth.

In the next article of our Blog series on the new Bertelsmann University, you can learn more about the Leadership Campus. The Bertelsmann University newsletter also provides regular updates on offers and news.

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