Strategic HR: Visa Empowers a Learning Culture in the Face of Disruption

Posted by Jeff Mike on August 30, 2018.

For years, HR has been struggling to gain a proverbial seat at the table in business strategy and organizational leadership. A convergence of factors, including technological disruption, demographic transitions, and a sustained effort by the HR community to demonstrate business impact through people, has now made that seat available. With innovation and talent at the center of many business strategies, HR finds itself not just at the table, but increasingly assuming roles of leadership.

Visa, Inc. is one organization that has placed HR in a leading role in strategy. In a new case study, we describe how the HR team at Visa partnered with its technology organization and C-Suite to champion learning as a strategic function and establish a culture of learning to help move Visa, its workers, and its customers into a new age of digital payments. Visa Enables a Culture of Learning in the Face of Industry Disruption is now available for a limited time for download. We encourage you to take a few minutes to read this case study and learn more about the drivers and the foundations of learning culture at Visa.

Empowering Workers to Address Disruption

Like many sectors of the global economy, the digital payments ecosystem is going through a major disruption. The pace of innovation and adoption of new technologies that allow consumers to pay by phone, watch, fitness tracker, or even car is unprecedented. According to the president of Visa, Inc., the three billion pieces of plastic that currently represent Visa’s business will soon be tens of billions of connected payment devices.

Visa’s leadership wanted to empower the workforce to think, act, and perform in a transforming digital environment and equip workers with the knowledge and capabilities to lead the payments industry in digital commerce. To do this, Visa took specific steps to design its learning culture and create Visa University, including incorporating human-centered design principles, engaging leaders as teachers, and building customized curricula and learning experiences. The case study details these steps and the application of learning analytics to establish Visa University, empower workers, and support the learning culture.

The establishment of Visa University as part of the company’s learning culture has already demonstrated strong returns in employee engagement and learning outcomes. Perhaps more significantly, Visa has decided to move Visa University and other learning initiatives from HR to its strategy group, reinforcing the effectiveness of these efforts and the value of learning as a key corporate strategy. In addition, the learning initiatives have been so successful that Visa plans on leveraging the employee learning to help develop stronger relationships with merchants and financial institutions.

The table has been set—now is the time for HR to step up and embrace a broader strategic role in the organization. What will your HR team do with a seat at the table? The full case study is available on the Bersin website for a limited time. Take a few minutes to read it and perhaps find some inspiration.

Jeff Mike, Vice President, Human Resources Research Leader / Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Jeff leads HR research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. An expert in building the capabilities of corporate HR teams, Jeff transforms HR professionals from process-oriented practitioners into strategic partners who are able to compete in complex global talent markets. His ability to combine research with innovative development activities was honed through experience as a faculty member in human resources development at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco. Also former head of human capital at IMPAQ International, Jeff has a bachelor of arts in English literature from the University of Washington, a master of science in organizational development and strategic human resources from Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate in human and organizational learning from The George Washington University.

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