801 Using Design Thinking and Storytelling Mindsets to Create Viral Learning

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Thursday, July 9

Employees everywhere face an overabundance of learning solutions, while grappling with an even higher quantity of demands on their time. How can you entice them to prioritize your important—yet not mandatory—corporate learning when they're juggling other learning options; from on-the-job training to outside-of-work YouTube playlists, podcast subscriptions, and social-media newsfeed articles? Vying for learners' attention heightens at PwC, where our staff charges clients for every minute spent working—and not any of the minutes spent learning. And as the old adage goes, "What gets measured gets done." So what would happen if we experimented with creating a learning solution using design-thinking and storytelling mindsets?

In this case-study session, you will find out how PwC applied design-thinking and storytelling mindsets both to reframe a pervasive business challenge and to create a personal, emotional learning solution that gained grassroots momentum among staff and leadership—and that resulted in immediate, on-the-job impact. One of PwC's organizations, which has 330 people across the United States, rolled out the optional learning last winter and achieved a 74% opt-in completion rate within three months. Success stories flowed about staff applying in the course of their daily work what they had learned from the training, and three months later this organization enjoyed a statistically significant, 4% increase in the related key performance indicator. You'll leave this session with strategies, techniques, and tipsheets based on the lessons learned from PwC's step-by-step journey of how our L&D team approached with curiosity, ideated an outside-of-the-box learning solution, told future-vision stories to gain buy-in from a training vendor, and rapidly iterated a scalable, cost-effective, on-demand digital learning solution.

Nicole Wong

Senior Manager of Leadership-Development Content Innovation


Nicole C. Wong, senior manager of leadership-development content innovation at PwC, brings her skills and perspective as an award- winning business journalist to her careers as a leadership- development trainer, corporate storyteller, and brand strategist. At PwC and Yahoo!, she has applied a design-thinking mindset and a storytelling approach to the entire lifecycle of global learning solutions, from assessing needs to ideating and prototyping training and tools to measuring impact. Her training programs have gone viral, improved employee-engagement scores 10 percentage points year-over-year, and enhanced KPIs 29 percentage points in six months; however, her favorite impact measure is the end-of-course survey's write-in comments where learners say her "passion is infectious."

Debbie Au Yeung

Talent and Deployment Consultant


Debbie Au Yeung, talent and deployment consultant at PwC, champions empowering people to take charge of their careers and their lives. Her background is in human capital, with over 10 years of experience in people leadership, operations, recruiting, coaching, and consulting. Debbie is passionate about giving people the tools they need to create the workplace ‚ and the lives ‚ that they will thrive in; she is a Life Coach, trained at the Coaches Training Institute. She has worked with Target, Wells Fargo, New Seasons Markets, and now PwC, where she focuses on how to empower our people to lead themselves, their teams, and their companies.

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