A few years ago you started genKP, a platform for employees at Kaiser Permanente, without any support or investment by your management. What was the goal of this platform and why did you start it?
FYI – The company put a very small investment and we had a two-person advisory board of senior leaders. Additionally, my manager supported my involvement as long as I did an amazing job in my day job.
Goal of GenKP / Platform:
To be a multi-generational talent community that drives Kaiser Permanente into the next generation of healthcare by attracting, engaging, and retaining our future professionals and leaders.
Why start it: We believed in creating a movement for people with a mindset of dreaming big and then doing it! We also saw how it was changing people’s lives for the better and impacting meaningful work.
Approximately one year ago, the C-level of Kaiser Permanente funded your platform and established a whole new department for it. How did you convince them? What does this investment mean for genKP?
We created a movement for employees across generations, functions, levels, and regions around a common cause for building powerful networks, professional development, and energizing cross-organizational collaboration. This captured leadership attention and they asked us to identify opportunities.
We worked nights and weekends to research and understand the landscape, frame opportunities, imagine possibilities and prototype a few ideas rooted in that research. Leadership was impressed with our findings and idea and offered seed funding to pilot.
We executed above expectations again on the pilot far surpassing the goal of 100 community members (146) and 25 projects (42). Leadership was overjoyed and asked us to scale and invested in a permanent team.
In short deliver above expectations, be bold, take risks, and through a ton of passion, creativity, and drive to will something into existence we did.
What are your lessons learned from building genKP so far? What is your advice to other companies that are interested in building a learning platform to accelerate innovation?
Take a human centered design approach to the work, a bit of choice of where one exerts effort taps their passion and therefore discretionary energy, this is contagious for empowered movement building and can ripple back into the day job.
How can platforms like genKP help companies in becoming more innovative and agile?
GenKP is the talent community approaching 4K employees now. Having a highly engaged community provides a resource to tap into on-demand for stretch projects, keeping a pulse of what is really going on in the front lines, accessing cognitive diversity, and creating an amazing culture. It can also if done right accelerate networks, experience, and development.
What are the goals for genKP in the long-term?
Scale membership, perfect programs, build a compelling cadence of events, enhance
the experience, and grow the stretch project & idea incubator capabilities.
About the interviewee:
Kevin Halteman is involved in marketing, consulting, and finance within the Healthcare and Financial Services industries. Currently he is a Program Leader for an Innovation group within Kaiser Permanente’s CEO Office. Additionally, in the past 6 months he joined the Board of a Not-For-Profit and became a dad to a baby boy in December.