Summary of Leading a Learning Revolution

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The Defense Acquisition University (DAU), the educational institution that trains procurement professionals for the US Department of Defense, had a rocky start. Its original inefficient structure did not adapt well to technology or policy demands. Its client service was inadequate and slow. That was then and this is now: DAU is a superb, award-winning corporate university – some say the world’s best. How did it make this dramatic transition? DAU President Frank J. Anderson and strategic planner Christopher R. Hardy work with writer Jeffrey Leeson to explain its remarkable transformation in their primer on the “reinvention of training.” Anderson and Hardy were hands-on at the institution’s rebirth. getAbstract recommends this inside view to chief learning officers, human resources executives and trainers. It explains the steps DAU’s team followed (and continue to follow) to build and maintain a world-class corporate university. Alas, the book also features a barrage of military acronyms and an excess of praise for DAU’s overall greatness. Still, the authors have a great deal of experience to offer training and education professionals who want to set up or improve their corporate universities – and they share their knowledge generously.

About the Authors

Frank J. Anderson is president of Defense Acquisition University, which won Best Overall Corporate University from the Corporate University Best-in-Class (CUBIC) organization. The US Department of Defense gave him its Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2004. Christopher R. Hardy, Ph.D., DAU’s strategic planner, worked with Anderson in re-creating DAU. Jeffrey Leeson is a professional editor and writer.



Not Your Average Alma Mater: The Defense Acquisition University

The US government’s Defense Acquisition University trains the 128,000 professionals in the Department of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (DoD AT&L) workforce. Its mission is to teach staff members the correct way to procure “supplies, services, support equipment and military systems” for the military of the United States. DoD AT&L makes more purchases than any other organization in the world – in excess of $270 billion annually. It doesn’t buy only bombs, bullets and other weaponry. It also purchases clothing, food and office supplies – everything needed to operate and sustain the vast US military establishment.

Given its many peer-group awards, DAU now is a clear leader among learning institutions, but that was not always the case. During the 1980s, negative news reports about inflated military spending blasted the need for “serious acquisition reform” into public view. In 1990, Congress passed the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act, establishing the DAU. It began as 12 different Defense Department training institutions nationwide, each reporting to separate military ...

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