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From Courses to Campaign

Citi’s journey to a Culture of Continuous Learning

This blog posting is dedicated to a whitepaper (with courtesy of Brian Murphy*) sharing the inside story of how to approach the awing task of changing the learning culture in the leading global financial services corporation Citi employing 200,000 people.

Through our dialogue with Brian Murphy and from studying his whitepaper we have gained a deeper understanding of the changes in mindsets and skill sets in L&D and the learning culture of the organization that preceded the digital learning revolution at Citi that we covered in our whitepaper Learning at the Speed of Change.

We highly recommend taking a close look at the whitepaper to gain insight into the inner workings of the large-scale learning culture transformation at Citi.

Here we want to briefly mention just a few take-aways that we found especially intriguing:

Firstly, a transformation of learning culture starts in the L&D community. In Citi it started one year before launching the initiative in the rest of the organization. As stated by Brian Murphy:

The Learning community really had to do some soul-searching as to what workplace Learning was, why it was important to Citi, and what our new role was in the work. It provided necessary room for people to air their concerns and really understand the topic and implications further before talking to the business. It would have been a mistake to have taken a  short-cut at that stage.

Secondly, we are very attuned to the way the new learning culture was communicated to the organization. Citi launched the new approach to learning through a CEO-sponsored, non-HR branded internal marketing campaign titled #BeMore aimed at spurring people’s inner aspirations and urge to grow beyond traditional career planning and development plans.

And finally, Learning & Development managed to adapt to the different maturity levels across Citi:

We realized we had varying levels of organizational readiness for workplace learning across Citi’s varied business lines, and this maturity map really helped our Learning Advisors ‘meet the business where they are’ in terms of learning culture.

But there is much more to learn from Citi’s groundbreaking work. We suggest that you read the Citi case to learn for yourself1. This will most likely inspire you engage in a discussion with your colleagues in L&D on how to approach the transformation of the learning culture in your company.

If you are further interested in discussing ways to transform L&D in your organization, you are always welcome to contact Triggerz’ Senior Learning Advisor Frank Lilleøre at

Download the Citi White Paper here: From Courses to Campaigns

* Brian Murphy is former Head of Learning and Leadership Development in EMEA in Citibank. As of May 2019 he took up the position as Global Head of Learning Transformation at AstraZeneca.