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Nationwide Learning Academy: Learning, Sharing, Succeeding Together

Written by Mike Whitaker

December 20, 2019

None of us is as smart as all of us. Ken Blanchard wrote those words in his book The One Minute Manager, and the principal behind them has been in play for centuries. Never has one individual conquered challenge with greater ease than could a group of like-minded people working together.

The past few years have seen this concept take on a life of its own as the Nationwide Learning Academy has experienced phenomenal growth. The core of this growth is easily traced to one word:  togetherness.

Through 2015, educational sessions at PrimeTime traditionally drew around 1,000 attendees per show, with most sessions presented by outside professional speakers. There was value in those events and content to be sure, but the tide began turning when the Academy launched in 2016.

Over the past three years, attendance has exploded to an average of around 5,000 session attendees per show, and the faces of the presenters have changed just as radically. Today, the authorities on many of the most important topics are the independent dealers who are succeeding in those areas at their own businesses. The introduction of Member-2-Member sessions, along with the ever-growing Nationwide Dealer Roundtables, have also spurned an engagement with education never before seen in the industry.

The key element in this transformation has been the ownership taken by so many great Nationwide members in the future of our channel. These insightful leaders have swept aside the old habit of hoarding their best practices, most successful marketing concepts and overall business intelligence and have chosen instead to share their learnings, their successes, their failures and their ideas. I’m amazed at each event as I hear these retail leaders share their experiences and insights, and bravely confront the most difficult challenges that face today’s entrepreneurs. Their open sharing has elevated the success of countless dealers as they’ve learned best practices and avoided needless efforts. As a result, the Nationwide member community has become a more tightly knit network.

PrimeTime in August promises to have the most impactful iteration of the Nationwide Learning Academy ever. In New Orleans, the roster of course presenters includes more dealers as presenters than ever before. These will be paired with a comprehensive slate of sessions led by premier vendors, top-notch service providers, specialized marketing experts and an array of Nationwide’s business leaders. The opportunities promise to be powerful for those who engage.

Engagement is also at an all-time high with the Nationwide Learning Academy online. The mobile-optimized learning center today features more than 800 educational opportunities for front-line team members and has seen more than 300,000 certifications issued to learners.

Understanding this level of engagement is easy. For years, those serving on the front lines of independent retail have depended on the Nationwide Learning Academy as their single source for both skills training for leading, selling and delivering, and product education from all of Nationwide’s key vendor partners. Add to that the attractive MemberNet Rewards program, which today provides the potential of hundreds of dollars in gifts and prizes for each user, and you have a true “no excuse zone” for learning!

As we leverage as many competitive differentiators as possible, having both the most-knowledgeable leaders and the savviest teams makes a real difference. Today’s retail environment is more competitive than ever, and Nationwide has always believed that the best teams will win. As independents, we face challenges and retail problems that weren’t even on the radar just a few years ago. However, membership in Nationwide provides access to something more powerful than just the group’s attractive programming, business service and innovative marketing. It provides access to the largest network of other dealers in the channel with a combined level of business intelligence never before seen in the industry.

With so many great retail minds working together, sharing and learning from each other, there really is no retail problem we can’t solve together.

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