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Open Badges: How IBM Launched a Bold New Initiative to Attract, Engage, and Progress Talent


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The world of digital online credentials is changing, and IBM is a leading voice in the IT industry. In this session, using real program data and results and the IBM Open Badge Program as a case study, you will learn how to design a nano-credential program that quickly generates significant results. See how IBM merges credentials and recognition with social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The session explores Mozilla Open Badges, which are quickly emerging as an industry standard to recognize achievements and nurture and progress talent.

In this presentation, you will learn:

* A deeper understanding of Open Badges and the future of digital nano-credentials
* The benefits of Open Badges to key stakeholders—badge issuers, badge earners, and badge consumers
* How to demonstrate use cases and show the results an organization can achieve with Open Badges
* How to outline an action plan to get started with Open Badges

David Leaser is senior program manager of innovation and growth initiatives for the Global Skills Initiative program at IBM. David developed IBM’s first cloud-based learning solution and is the program developer for the IBM Open Badge Program, a leading-edge program to attract, engage, and progress talent. David is the author of a number of thought-leadership white papers on talent development, including Migrating Minds and The Social Imperative in Workforce Development. He has trained more than 4,000 clients and developed more than 30 training manuals and video tutorials.

Published in: Business
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Open Badges: How IBM Launched a Bold New Initiative to Attract, Engage, and Progress Talent

  1. 1. Session 318 Open Badges: How IBM launched a bold new initiative to attract, engage and progress talent David Leaser, IBM Las Vegas, NV | September 30 – October 2, 2015
  2. 2. Eight problems we all face in business 1 2 3 4 Increase verified talent for our clients Drive skills progression toward advocacy Increase crowd sourcing of innovation Increase product sales and trials 5 6 7 8 Decrease support calls Increase client confidence with demonstrated skills Motivate employees to drive their own development Map available skills and specific gaps
  3. 3. Open Badges: A new “nano credential” standard Digital emblem which symbolizes skills and achievements SHARE Contains metadata with skills tags and accomplishments Easy to share in social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, FB, blogs Tethered to IBM to validate and verify achievement Provides a progression path to advance commitment Analytics provide insight into how a program is performing Insights shows real- time labor market data – jobs, salaries, locations.
  4. 4. “Open Badges is a way to demonstrate tangible skills that have direct relevance to careers today.” ~ Dean Garfield, CEO IT Industry Council “Pearson’s open badge solution provides validated and easy to share proof of qualifications and skills.” President Bill Clinton Endorses Open Badges at Clinton Global Initiative “Badges — not digital diplomas — seem to be the best and likeliest bet on accreditation’s future.” ~ Harvard Business Review The world is moving quickly to adopt badges
  5. 5. How do Open Badges benefit earners? Broadcast Achievements Signals skills and achievements to peers, potential employers and others Motivate Participation Provides recognition for achievement; encourages engagement and retention Develop Personal Brand Displays verified achievements across the web. Improves social connections with peers, employers and clients 1 2 3 Evidence: LinkedIn profiles with credentials such as certifications and badges receive 6x the number of profile views.
  6. 6. How do Open Badges benefit you? Generate Qualified Leads Attracts new candidates to who seek recognition and opportunity Enhance Our Brand Thousands of brand marks flooding LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogs Differentiation You will lead the industry with a cutting- edge nano credential program Track and Nurture Talent Quickly identifies skills gaps and opportunities -- candidate or geo level 1 2 3 4
  7. 7. How do Open Badges benefit consumers? Verified Nanoskills Provides a trusted “seal of approval” for employers validating existing talent or potential hires Candidate Selection Provides an easy way to identify candidates to hire or promote Improved Company Performance Motivates employees to drive their own development and improve the performance of the organization 1 2 3
  8. 8. Social media: 2.8 million views per 10,000 badges 40,000 Views 2,700,000 Views 79,000 Views A printed certificate might reach the 8 individuals who walk past an office and notice it on the wall
  9. 9. An important benefit: A consolidated skills registry Name: Susan Ballesteros Location: Manila, Philippines Skills Tags: Bluemix, Security, Mobile, zSystems Badge metadata and our analytics will provide a “nano view” of a person’s skills and help us determine next steps to progress toward our objectives. Date Activity Location Outcome Progress To: 1/15/15 Workshop IIC Explorer Badge Hackathon 1/20/15 Hackathon Santa Cruz Advocate Badge Learnathon 2/20/15 GitHub Virtual Inventor Badge Certification 4/30/15 Certification Manila Certified Conference
  10. 10. The ROI of Open Badges affects every area of your business Reduced Employee turnover Recognition reduces flight risk by half, from 51% to 25%. Replacement cost per employee is ~$120K. 10 Reduced Customer Sat Problems Badges increase customer skills, saving $300+ per service call. Increased Customer Trials Badges are motiving increased QuickStart downloads – up 60% in Big Data University. Deepened Commitment to IBM The engagement level increases from 28% to 76% with recognition like badges.
  11. 11. The IBM Success Story
  12. 12. Four IBM badges for resume worthy achievements Explorer Knowledge Completes a quiz or assessment • Academic knowledge • Formal training • Informal education • Mentoring Advocate Skills Demonstrates a skill or has applied the skill • Compete in Challenges • Competes in Hackathons • Answer questions • Author articles • Hosting a meeting • Present at an event • Teach on the subject • Create YouTube video • Create references and testimonials Inventor Capabilities Designs and develops new solutions • Proves ability to build and implement novel solutions to exceptionally difficult and complex challenges - for IBM, clients or society • Publishes an app on GitHub • Publishes an app in the marketplace Certified Authority Has completed a certification at IBM • Provides an additional benefit which can automatically be shared to social media sites or included on their websites or e-mails.
  13. 13. Generating significant results for IBM WHAT BADGE EARNERS ARE SAYING "I find the badge program a great way of learning and hope more badge options will be offered soon.” "In a recent interview, this badge gave me a chance to elaborate about a learning activity that helped improve my skills.“ "More people are viewing my LinkedIn profile after adding the IBM badge to my list of accomplishments.“ "A truly worthwhile initiative that allows validation of my knowledge and skills. Way to go IBM! Thanks." IBM BADGE EARNER SURVEY – JULY 2015 IBM badge earners are also leveraging the power of Twitter and Facebook to promote their IBM emblem
  14. 14. 81 countries within our first eight weeks 75% 69% 63% 48% 33% 16% 15% 9% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 15 03 09 30 07 09 03 02 Regional Penetration Percentage of countries by region where IBM badges have been claimed Number of Countries by region where IBM badges have been claimed
  15. 15. Dynamic labor market data in every IBM badge
  16. 16. Evidence: real value to employers and earners Allow employer to verify your credentials Verify a job applicant's credentials Receive notifications about job opportunities Display your credentials online 81% 77% 73% 76% “A lot of people in my LinkedIn list did not know that I am CCE certified till I posted my badge.” “The ability to show customers the badge eases their minds when thinking about allowing me (the engineer) to get close to their environment.” “A potential employer was able to verify my credentials.” “As an IT Consultant I have noticed that during job interviews for new customer assignments the interviewer has already checked the consistency of my resume with LinkedIn.” “I was contacted for a job by someone who saw the badge activity.” “While my "alphabet soup" has always been listed, changing that for graphic badges has increased attention, comments and understanding of my credentials. “ Top four responses to Pearson VUE’s surveys on where badges show value:
  17. 17. Getting Started: Checklist to begin badging  Identify your badgeable activities (who, what, where, when, why and how many)  Determine how you will assess completion, track and maintain attendees  Establish a landing page for the activity – badge needs to point to an external page  Incorporate the badge promotion into the activity and market like crazy  Issue badges and notify badge earners  Survey results  Repeat! • Develop a solid communication plan. • Badge issuer must own the relationship with the badge earner • Build consent (privacy, info sharing) into the activity • Provide strong benefits statements (marketing) into the intro letter to badge earner • Add certification / skills paths into the metadata for all badges • Retro badges are less successful; limit time period to 90 days • Names of badges are important!
  18. 18. Use Cases: Badges will help drive the behavior you need Solidify the client base Build a loyal developer base Proliferate skills Track skills at the nano level Increase license sales Reduce customer service Objectives Build advocacy and strengthen client relationship and commitment to IBM Increase the number of developers using our offerings Build a vibrant and large pool of skilled labor to support our products Create a heat map of critical skills for achievements earned across the globe Drive potential customers to act by downloading trial versions of our offerings Motivate customers to develop skills to reduce support calls and critsits Benefits to earners Earners will be recognized as having increased eminence on IBM solutions. Earners receive a nano credential they can use to increase job and opportunity prospects, build a personal brand in social media. Earners receive a nano credential they can use to increase job and opportunity prospects, build a personal brand in social media. Provides a progression path and skills journey as we target offerings based on our analysis of their skill level and need. Easy connection between a completed badge for a "how to" course leads immediately to a free trial product download Earners receive a nano credential they can use to increase job and opportunity prospects, build a personal brand in social media. Benefits to our clients Badges count for points in a program that rewards customers with conference seats, services or marketing activities. Verified application development skills in employees and potential hires. Badges motivate internal employees to self-manage and progress their learning. Verified skills in employees and potential hires. Badges motivate internal employees to self-manage and progress their learning. Verified solution skills in employees and potential hires. Employees come to the table with a fundamental understanding of the product and the benefits, the beginning of a POC. Reduced cost, customer satisfaction and opportunity cost. Badges motivate internal employees to self-manage and progress their learning. Benefits to your organization Increased public advocacy, references, case studies, plus as a social media drip marketing campaign generated by badges Expanded developer base eager to advance with IBM. Skilled labor to support installations. Reduced risk of poor deployments. Ability to locate and progress deep technical skills for key IBM solutions Increased exposure to IBM solutions through downloads. Reduced cost, customer satisfaction issues and costs.
  19. 19. The engagement level of employees who receive recognition is almost three times higher than the engagement level of those who do not. ~IBM Smarter Workforce Institute
  20. 20. Thank you! David Leaser This presentation is also on Slideshare: