Earlier this year, DM Alumn (’14) Guy Laufer was awarded two gold medals at the Brandon Hall Awards for an innovative digital learning platform he launched at McCann Worldgroup, an American advertising agency with offices in 120 countries. Laufer won in two categories, Best Unique or Innovative Learning and Development Program and Best Learning Program Supporting a Change Transformation Business Strategy.
Laufer currently acts as Global Digital Learning Director, and his career was informed by his Capstone thesis at Pratt, “Design Management Online (DMO): When Technology Meets Education.” Together with his teammates, Dana Goren and Qortni Williams, Laufer focused on adapting and extending the Pratt DM curriculum to an external audience which he found at McCann. Thus, his goal is to serve the 24,000 employees with the digital knowledge and tools that enable them to incorporate a wide range of digital solutions for their clients.
At the outset, McCann placed strategic priority on digital education, which gave Laufer the creative freedom, managerial support, and the necessary resources to conduct his research. After speaking with employees and incorporating digital solutions in client engagement, Laufer quickly determined two main challenges:
1) Designing for varied structures and subjects whose inclusion in the curriculum was mandatory, and
2) Planning the necessary steps toward program implementation on a global scale, accounting for diverse cultures, languages, and clientele.
The tools, language, methodology, and content that he learned during his Capstone allowed him to tackle these challenges using the 4D model:
Discover, Define, Design, and Deliver.
During the discovery phase, Laufer conducted both quantitative and qualitative research, including interviews and surveys in four offices, each representative of a different geographic region: New York (NA), London (EUR), Kuala Lumpur (APAC) and Bogota (LATAM). In each regional office, Laufer identified digital gaps in knowledge and gained insights into the different learning cultures. This was followed by the define phase, which consisted of drafting content for the digital curriculum, as well as finding a relevant and enjoyable delivery method for the employee.
In the design phase, Laufer established pxl, “Play, Experience, and Learn,” a two layer curriculum. The first layer provides the basic digital language relevant to the entire agency, while the second layer focuses on hands-on workshops, each tailored for the account, creative, and strategy departments. The curriculum prototype was tested in New York and London, and modified according to participants’ feedback. Today, the program has been deployed across 40 agency offices around the globe and delivered in 15 different languages to more than 5,000 employees.