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Learning & Development Stories Podcast
32 minutes | Nov 20, 2020
#17: Andy Storch on Being Intentional About Career Development
Careers pursuits evolve over time. Take for example when you were entering college. There is a good chance that your aspirations as a young adult changed by the time you were a few years into a career. Probably, as we progress through mid to the end of our careers, interests and goals shift as well. Consultant and podcaster Andy Storch can vouch for this, both through his own career as well as the research he did in his new book Own Your Career, Own Your Life. On episode 17 of the Learning and Development Stories podcast, Andy shared some key advice from the book on goal setting, networking and communications strategies that can support career development and a continuous learning mindset. (Note the book was not published at the time of the recording, but is now available). After college, Andy was involved with some start-ups that didn’t work out the way he envisioned and then entered the corporate world before working at two different consultancies, the latter focused on L&D. He decided to go out on his own and run his own consultancy, launching membership communities, events and now a book. “Everything has been about the network I built; they lead to so many different opportunities,” he said. “I am always thinking about building a brand that allows me to pivot and try different things. If it doesn’t work, then I will try something else.” How Content Creation Support Pivots For Andy, conversations help him learn about others' challenges and how he can help. “Podcasting has led to so many interesting conversations that has led to different opportunities,” he said. “It also brings a bit of authority that helps open doors to connect with people.” An example of this is when Andy tried connecting with a talent development executive to explore business opportunities. Initial requests for a meeting went unanswered. Andy reached out to the executive to have him on the podcast. The executive agreed. The interview led to a great conversation and eventually this individual became one of Andy’s clients. Another example is when Andy had Multipliers author Liz Wiseman on his podcast. She became one of the speakers at Andy’s conference and has provided inspiration. “Getting to know Liz and her content has spurred so many ideas in me,” Andy said. “I have another book that is now burning inside of me on the topic of leadership.” Andy points to how the many conversations with L&D experts on his podcast have made him more educated and provided inspiration. He advises listeners looking to build their network to provide added value to the individuals they are reaching out to. Own Your Career, Own Your Life Andy wrote the book to help young professionals grow in their careers. “Many people get into jobs for different reasons. Usually we pick a random major in college. There is no judgement with that. I want people to be more intentional about what they are doing and where they are going. The first part of the book is about owning your career. It is about setting a vision and connecting to a purpose so you know why you are going to work every day.” Andy warns that we can’t wait for the “career fairy” to come along and direct our careers. We need to own this, define where we are going and make a plan. The second part of the book is about setting people up for the future, particularly around building a brand, networking and continuous learning. The third section is dedicated to being more intentional around life choices. Learn more about the Own Your Career, Own Your Life book and read Kevin Anselmo’s related blog post Faith-Based Goal Setting. The Learning and Development Stories Podcast is brought to you by the Global Innovators Academy’s Workforce Development Partnership. Recent college graduate employees, new hires and/or young high-potential talent conduct interviews with senior leaders. Based on that conversation, a short article is written and disseminated via different internal and external communications channels. This fosters meaningful mentoring conversations, knowledge sharing and employee engagement. Learn more.
32 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
#16: Learning through Content Creation - An Interview with Mitch Joel
A brilliant report from McKinsey notes we need to foster intentional learning by feeding our curiosity. The report states that “inspiration is strongly correlated with an intrinsic desire to learn. Curiosity sparks inspiration. You learn more and more frequently because you are curious. Second, curiosity marks the beginning of a virtuous cycle that feeds your ability as a self-directed learner.” There are various ways to feed this curiosity. One such way is by connecting with individuals and interviewing them, just like popular blogger, podcaster and author Mitch Joel has done throughout his career. Joel started his Six Pixels of Separation podcast back in 2005 to complement his daily blog. Since then, he has published a new interview with various thought leaders every Sunday. On episode 16 of the Learning and Development Stories podcast, Joel shared how the interviews serve as a source of education and inspiration for him. "I was asking questions that I would selfishly ask if I could have coffee with these authors,” Joel said. “It was education for me. I wanted to learn. I wanted to understand. If I felt I had a particular perspective, I wanted to have it challenged. In that journey of a content creator I learned a lot. I found it stimulating and it spoke to my core.” Joel also shared examples of how conversations from his podcast interviews have sparked his own career innovation and offered advice for students and young professionals on communications and career development. The Learning and Development Stories Podcast is brought to you by the Global Innovators Academy's Workforce Development Partnership. Recent college graduate employees, new hires and/or young hi-potential talent conduct interviews with senior leaders. Based on that conversation, a short article is written and disseminated via different internal and external communications channels. This fosters meaningful mentoring conversations, knowledge sharing and employee engagement. Learn more at www.globalinnovatorsacademy.com/wdp.
29 minutes | Oct 28, 2020
#15: An interview with Naguib Attia on How IBM Helps Universities Prepare Students for the Workforce
IBM executive Naguib Attia was facing a difficult task. It was January 2014 and in his role as Chief Technology Officer, Naguib was involved in a project in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). There was a lack of talent in the region to deliver on a particular project’s objectives. To address this challenge, he considered the following question: how can I take an individual and after just six months, prepare that person for an IBM career? Naguib convinced his senior level colleagues that he could leverage his background in academia and experience as a practitioner to create an educational experience that would deliver on this ambitious goal. As Naguib explained on this podcast, the plan worked. He created a practical experience that not only developed the talent for this particular project in the MENA region, but also laid the groundwork for what is now a global educational initiative that has enabled IBM to address the skills gap in the marketplace. After 11 years as CTO of IBM’s Industrial Sector, Naguib was appointed VP of Global University Programs. As part of this initiative, IBM partners with institutions to provide technology, support research and create assets to advance relevant skills for today’s workforce. To date, 68,000 people have been trained worldwide. “We want to take an individual from point A to point B – be a practitioner – in areas like data and cloud computing,” he said. “We provide background to understand the topic. We give them the opportunity to understand the tools of the field and we provide hands-on experiences.” According to Naguib, IBM doesn’t replace faculty content, but rather complements it through a partnership. This could involve coaching faculty, embedding IBM’s content in existing curriculum and providing some 2,900 IBM subject matter experts who are available to be guest lecturers in classrooms around the world. “It is a matter of survival – companies need expertise,” he said. “What does the future of each country hold if you don’t have talent?” As an example of impact, Naguib points to a university in Kenya in which the students earned their digital badges – credentials showcasing earned skills – even before their professors. The students shared with Naguib at a ceremony that the course experiences inspired them to take action and start a company around data security. Regardless of what industry a student wishes to pursue, it is imperative that they have an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset. To develop this, Naguib advises that students “get outside of the box or curriculum. Explore the world behind the course title and collaborate with students across different disciplines. When you have this interaction, it creates the spark for you to innovate. The world doesn’t revolve around you; it revolves around the collaboration with others.” Learn more about IBM’s Global University Programs at the following link. The Learning and Development Stories Podcast is brought to you by the Global Innovators Academy's Workforce Development Partnership. Recent college graduate employees, new hires and/or young hi-potential talent conduct interviews with senior leaders. Based on that conversation, a short article is written and disseminated via different internal and external communications channels. This fosters meaningful mentoring conversations, knowledge sharing and employee engagement. Learn more at www.globalinnovatorsacademy.com/wdp.
36 minutes | Feb 26, 2019
#14: Toby Newman on Mobilizing Subject Matter Experts to Share Their Knowledge
Instead of just encouraging employees to consume learning content, have you ever considered mobilizing them to actually create videos and share their knowledge with others in the organization? On episode 14 of the Learning and Development Stories podcast, Toby Newman made a compelling case on why you might want to consider doing this.
31 minutes | Jan 30, 2019
#13: Dan Pontefract on Launching a Corporate MBA Program
What is the return on investment for a company to invest significant amounts of money send their up and coming talents to different business schools to earn an MBA degree? Dan Pontefract, currently the founder and CEO of the Pontefract Group, was investigating this question back in 2011 in his role as Chief Learning Officer at TELUS, Canada's fastest-growing national telecommunications company. In summary, the ROI was not optimal and required a different solution. Dan detailed the journey on episode 13 of the Learning and Development Stories podcast. Tying learning to business objectives “I started to chat with our chief corporate officer,” Dan recalled during the podcast. “And I said, you know, it depends on the year but we're spending between $400k and $800k a year on MBAs. And those MBA players come back to us. And sure, they're more learned, and hopefully, they're smarter and more productive. But what really does TELUS on the whole get in return?” Dan then shared with the Chief Corporate Officer his idea of creating a unique TELUS MBA program. He laid out the vision: “Imagine if we created our own MBA, and we stopped funding individuals going to individual universities or colleges for their MBA and we created our own cohort, and that cohort of people ranging from 20 to 30 people would work together. Just imagine the return that we might get in terms of the work that they could do for tell us, let alone learn.” That initial conversation was a seed planted, that took root two years later when Dan was asked to look into the feasibility of actually creating an MBA program. “I proceeded for the next year to put together an RFI, request for information, across Canada, where TELUS is headquartered and asked 10 business schools across Canada if they might be interested to entertain the idea of a customized, tailored MBA just for one organization.” After a lot of research, TELUS ended up choosing the University of Victoria Gustafson School of Business. “They inculcated an entirely different kind of pedagogy that that took our values, our culture, our attributes, our TELUS leadership philosophy, our pervasive learning model, which I introduced in the Flat Army book, which is learning should be equal parts formal, informal and social,” Dan noted. They created a model called the 40 Model of Leadership. This included multiple short-term residencies over a two-year period that culminated in a six-month final project. This program has ended up being a great success story at TELUS. Thus far, half of the graduating class from this past June has already been promoted to higher roles with increased responsibility. Roughly speaking, TELUS is spending about $1 million per cohort. As part of the different company-specific projects, the students were able to identify some $37 million of savings inside the company. In addition, student projects during the MBA led to several new business ventures that are currently in operation within TELUS and have generated $275 million for the company. Knowledge transfer Dan shared how the knowledge the program participants gained is used to benefit the company as a whole. "We not only teach them to be coaches, and not only provide them an executive coach during the program, but we asked them to continue that model post-graduation so that they are taking on a couple of clients and giving that kind of knowledge back,” Dan said. Lessons from mistakes Dan shared that one of the mistakes he made was not always providing clear instruction of what the TELUS learning experience expectations were with the professors in the program. “I probably should have taken action earlier to provide the feedback that a particular style may not be working for the TELUS culture.” The link between training and employee engagement Dan has seen that the people who participate in the MBA program have a greater sense of engagement in the company as a whole. “We're betting on these people to be the most enlightened, purpose-driven, engaged leaders that we might ever have at the organization.” Communications tactics The story of the TELUS MBA partnership with the University of Victoria has won different awards from the likes of the AACSB and EFMD that has garnered media attention. Dan has been able to highlight the story via his column on Forbes and other platforms. He stressed the importance of humble communication. Resources for L&D professionals Tool every L&D professional should leverage: Dan explained that he utilizes the tool Evernote as a way to help him with the practice of writing things down. “We are losing the ability not just to think but to remember and recall. So, I urge people to find a way in which “the Great's” of this world like General Patton, Branson, and Oprah. They walk around with a Moleskine notebook and they break everything down that comes into their head, in essence, because they know that they'll need those nuggets of goodness.” Resources: Dan recommends The New Philosopher Magazine because it is an incredible resource of philosophy and thinkers. You can find Dan at www.danpontefract.com and on LinkedIn. He is the author of Open to Think, Flat Army and The Purpose Effect.
28 minutes | Dec 21, 2018
#12: The Power of Mobilizing Employees to Create Training Content – an Interview with Patrick Veenhoff of Swisscom
How do we get more colleagues to engage with L&D resources? This is a common concern facing L&D leaders. Swisscom, the major telecommunications provider in Switzerland, has been able to address such a question by encouraging employees to create training content. Patrick Veenhoff, Head of Learning & Development at Swisscom, shared his experiences with this innovative initiative on episode 12 of the Learning and Development Stories podcast. “We introduced a very disruptive approach to corporate learning,” said Patrick. “I don't have any trainers, and we don't produce any training content. Instead, we enable 5,000 employees to teach and learn from each other.” Patrick explained that a training is created when a need is identified. The employee then works alongside a coach to develop the training from conception to delivery. “Traditional learning and development departments do things top down, and this approach doesn't work anymore,” explained Patrick. “Instead, for me, the only way to really address this is to create a platform and then an ecosystem that self regulates.” Tying learning to business objectives Prior to launching this initiative, it was evident that Swisscom’s L&D was not addressing all of the training needs in the business. “The initial concept was to merge all of the training initiatives together and put them under one name,” recounted Patrick. “After one year and several discussions, there wasn't anything concrete yet that people could really use.” It was at this point that Patrick looked at the requirements that the Swisscom board of directors had established, the time spent and his understanding of how external customers and the market in general were working. Connecting these dots, he and his colleagues came up with this concept of involving employees in the training process. Knowledge transfer It would be difficult to find a way to foster knowledge transfer more effectively than creating this type of ecosystem in which employees are deliberately training others. It might seem like a tall order to make this a reality. After all, it can be challenging to just mobilize employees to see the value of using different learning resources. Patrick believes that flipping this equation and involving employees in creating content can be a reality by incorporating three aspects of a healthy environment. Good processes Appropriate tools Aligned incentives Lessons from mistakes Patrick shared about how one of the initial forms of trainings that they used was podcasting. They thought a podcast format would work well. However, after about six months, they realized no one was listening. “When you try out a disruptive concept like this, you simply need to be open for the feedback that your users or customers are giving,” he said. The link between training and employee engagement After analyzing how training methods were being used at Swisscom, Patrick realized that L&D was being seen as a cost, rather than an investment. “The other thing that I saw is that there are so many changes happening on the markets that it's nearly impossible to say what type of skills so you're going to need as a business in the next two or three years.” Keeping employees engaged required a different training format that would help deal with the speed of change in the industry. Communications tactics Patrick and his colleagues have used multiple styles of communication. “The first thing that we did was a very top down approach where I pitched the idea to our board of directors, and once it was approved, we did the launch of the initiative. Three months later, I then personally visited all of the management teams. And so this was the first step. Then inside my team, everybody had the assignment to spread the message about this new approach in different team meetings.” They have also been able to leverage a peer-to-peer approach. “Everybody who creates their content has a personal interest to start sharing this content with other people. In the first three months, we had two or three very big projects where about 500-700 people had to be trained. We enabled that group to create content by themselves. And then they were the ones pushing that content to those big groups of people. Those were immediately two or three very big showcases that this approach was working.” Patrick also used a blog to keep everyone up to date and to increase transparency about what has been working and opportunities for improvement. Resources Patrick highlighted the importance of looking outside traditional L&D resources. He has found inspiration from user experience design, user experience research, psychology, business and entrepreneurship. “I also have exchanges with startups in education technology, and I'm finding that this gives me fresh ideas. I then think about how can I apply those ideas or those concepts to an L&D.” Patrick recommends Refind, an online tool that curates and sends you articles based on your interests. “This is a great way to keep up to date with what is happening on the web, but not have to search 20 or 30 websites for something that I care about reading.” You can connect with Patrick on LinkedIn and read the latest content on his blog, On Corporate Learning.
35 minutes | Nov 27, 2018
#11: David Leaser of IBM on how Digital Badges Can Bring Multiple Benefits to an Organization
There's a massive change in the way people are developing skills. David Leaser, Senior Executive of Strategic Growth Initiatives for IBM’s Training and Skills program, shared the story of IBM’s response to these shifts on episode 11 of the Learning and Development Stories Podcast. Stories David highlighted the development process of IBM’s Digital Badge Program. He explained that over the last few years it was evident that with the dramatic changes in the tech industry there was a need to rethink the way credentials were developed. A Digital Badge is a cross-industry digital recognition of technical skills that can be shared on your social and professional networking sites, as well as your digital signature. IBM is supporting this new program, based on open standards, through the creation of a wide variety of badges covering a multitude of technical and professional areas. IBM credentials are valued and recognized by the global IT industry. David explained that the Digital Badge Program was a way to keep everyone on the same page. “Jobs are much more hybrid than they were,” he said. “More marketing people need to know how to use social media analytics. Sales people need to know how to use CRM and other types of data tools. We also have this rise of the gig economy where at a company like IBM, we hire lots of contract workers. So how do you keep everybody on the same page? How do you provide a way to signal achievements and a way to take inventory of those skills and match people to the jobs that they need to do? So we started looking at digital badges.” They launched a successful pilot program that then led to the expansion of the digital badge program across the IBM company. Tying learning to business objectives David talked about how the Digital Badge Program serves as both an internal and an external source of learning. “We have a big ecosystem that has hundreds of thousands of employees. We have one hundred thousand or more business partners, we obviously have clients, and we have vendors and contract workers. We have to keep everybody on the same page. So, we made a decision to create joint governance for a lot of our programs. And one of them is the digital credential program.” A couple years ago IBM Chair, President, and CEO, Ginni Rometty put a stake in the ground and shifted the thought process around qualifications to work at a company like IBM. “It used to be in the old days, you had to go to the right school, you had to live in the right location, and you had to have the right skills,” David said. “But our Chairman changed that. You don't have to go to a certain type of school, and you don't have to live in a certain type of location. What we are concerned about is skills. Currently more than 1 million badges in all 195 countries have been issued. More than 500,000 people have earned digital badges already and it is roughly a 50/50 split between internal and external. “We've created a registry of skills that is incredibly valuable to IBM and our clients,” said David. “Because now our clients, if they're looking for somebody with IBM skills, they can find them.” Lessons from mistakes David explained that one of the initial mistakes he made was underestimating the amount of resistance there would be to doing something like creating the Digital Badge Program. “Our company is very innovative. We're always on the leading edge. But when you get down to the human level people are interested in how this going to impact them personally. And so, I think that early on, I probably didn't do a good enough job describing how this would personally benefit them. And I think that if you don't have a ‘what's in it for me message’ for everybody you talk to, it's going to shortchange you.” The link between training and employee engagement David shared how the program led to increased employee engagement. “We found that after we introduced the Badge Program, we not only got the increase in participation, but we also found that within one year, the average person had come back for their multiple badges.” David explained that survey results showed that 87% of combined employees and external clients wanted a deeper relationship with IBM because of the badge program. This is was an incredible engagement success story. Communications tactics David explained that in order for the Digital Badge Program to work, it had to be essential to the company or else could get cut. David put together both an internal and external marketing plan to start getting in front of different groups and communicate the message of the program. He has seen that one of the most powerful strategies for communication is blogging. He believes in using the simple “infomercial blogging strategy” which starts with identifying the problem, showing an example of how it works, and then how you can get started. “When I began this project, I was very focused on the marketing possibilities,” said Leaser. “The impact has been tremendous. The social media impressions from people sharing their badges have been enormous. We've increased your product trial downloads by 64% and have been able to demonstrate in different ways how the Digital Badge Program is increasing IBM’s brand visibility.” Leaser points out that he works in direct contact with IBM’s corporate marketing communications team in a number of different ways, including the dissemination of the Digital Badge Program story. “IBM has some very big stories to tell,” he explained. “Sometimes our stories don't rise to that level. But we tell them our stories, and they often find a place to insert it into a bigger story.” Resources Tool every L&D professional should leverage: David recommends signing up for Google Alerts as a way to stay up to date with the industry. “I'd say the number one thing I do to stay up on the industry is reading the Google alerts that come in every day,” he said. He also shared that he also believes strongly in going to industry conferences including like ATD and DevLearn. Learn more about the IBM Digital Badge Program and connect with David on LinkedIn.
52 minutes | Oct 30, 2018
#10: Melissa Taylor of Porter Novelli on How Marketing Communications and L&D Can Partner Together
“The recruitment of talent is more competitive than ever. Employer branding and being able to understand and connect with prospective employees requires a marketing and communications mindset as well as all of the knowledge and expertise that the talent and development side of the house brings.” This is among the perspectives shared by Melissa Taylor, Global Learning and Development Director for the public relations firm Porter Novelli, on episode 10 of the Learning and Development Stories Podcast.
29 minutes | Sep 30, 2018
#9: Britt Andreatta on using a Brain-Based Approach in Management Training
A brain-based approach in management training can lead to real behavioral change. Dr. Britt Andreatta, an internationally recognized thought leader in leadership and learning, has seen this happen first-hand and shared these experiences on episode 9 of the Learning and Development Stories Podcast. As CEO and President of 7th Mind Inc, Britt highlighted the story of an executive who went through one her management training programs four years ago. He has since become a VP of the company. He caught up with Britt and told her that “to this day, what I learned about emotional intelligence and brain biology has changed how I engage with people. I am just better at my job than most people at my level.” “When we understand the biology of how humans are and how they show up at work, it gives you more clarity around how to engage and how to bring out the best in others,” explained Britt. “Neuroscience has answers for us now that we can look inside our brains and bodies and see what happens at work.” Tying learning to business objectives Britt shared an experience on how she worked with a global tech firm’s engineering department that was having issues with turnover and engagement. This organization had grown and some within the company felt it was becoming bigger and more bureaucratic. People wanted to jump to smaller firms that had more of a start-up feel to it. Britt’s science-based training provided the engineers with the data to understand issues and real concrete steps that they could implement immediately. “They practiced in the room so they could use this before they got to their employees,” she explained. “To this day, the managers who went through the program had the highest engagement and retention.” More broadly, Britt made the following points about tying learning to business objectives: You need to know what the organization’s strategy is as a starting point. If you’re not in those meetings, try to access the documents and arrange side meetings so you can find out what needles the leaders are trying to move. Ask great questions, listen, establish rapport and build trust with leaders. Wrap your head around leaders’ pain points and what they are trying to achieve. Approach your actions around solving their problems to drive the behavior change that they want. Lessons from mistakes Words can be cheap. Britt recounted the story of a conversation with a CEO who was known for inspirational speeches and interviews about the importance of work culture and values. Britt developed a pitch on how this executive could achieve these goals through a new initiative. To her dismay, this executive cut her off as she was pitching a project and said: “I don’t really care about those things for my own employees. They should do learning on their own time so I don’t have to pay for it.” Stunned, Britt faltered through the pitch and the initiative wasn’t supported at the time. “The lesson for me was don’t make assumptions even when you think you have evidence,” she said. Britt went back to the drawing board and re-pitched the initiative using a science-based evidence approach using ROI data. It was approved. “To this day, I use the two-pronged approach of science and values,” she said. “It is actually better in the long run. This was an eye-opening experience, especially for someone who was on the record for valuing learning and employee development. We need to listen between the lines, anticipate needs and prove our value.” The link between training and employee engagement One of the keys to how learning leads to engagement is the quality of the program, noted Britt. “Studies consistently show that when people can use their strengths and make a meaningful contribution in their jobs, then they are more engaged,” she said. “So learning should be in the service of those things.” In addition, according to Britt, it must be available and accessible. Illustrating this point, she shared the example of an individual who raved about the company’s development program, but noted that employees had to serve seven years before they could access it. “Think about all the damage that is done over that time,” Britt said. In another example, she noted a company that wanted to roll out an organization-wide program on how to have crucial conversations. When the management learned about the price per participant, they decided to scale it back just for senior leaders. “When you do this, you are not going to change the culture in your organization. It has to be good and it has be available and accessible.” Communicating the impact to stakeholders Think about this statistic: only 33% of learning professionals would recommend their programs to their peers, according to a study from LinkedIn Learning. It is difficult to positively promote an organization’s learning and development activities when there isn’t confidence that the product is up to quality standards. Britt also advised L&D professionals to ensure trust is built among stakeholders. “Trust is lost or gained early in relationships,” she said. “Some L&D folks say they have a seat at the table and their budget isn’t questioned. Usually when that happens, it is because whatever they rolled out first was successful and hit the mark. People saw the value and then they were trusted.” If that is not the case, then Britt’s advice is to understand where you are on the trust trajectory. “If there is not trust built, you need to double down on consulting conversations on the front side, let people see prototypes and pilots and then look at the data so you can show them how you have moved the needle.” Britt also believes that L&D professionals need become more effective in presenting to demonstrate their value to stakeholders. Knowledge transfer Britt explained that knowledge transfer is 1/3 of the equation. “Learning is not only taking in that knowledge, but then you have to get inside people’s memories to create the ah-ha moments about how to change behavior,” she said. “You have to actually help people change their behavior or shift habits so it is a sustainable experience. It is about knowing how people learn and change their behavior. For learning professionals it shifts how we design and deliver so that people get it and can act on it right away. We really help them practice and hone those habits so they are doing this out in the workplace.” Resources Tool every L&D professional should leverage: Britt recommends the screen sharing tool called Camtasia. “I learned about it from Sal Khan of the Khan Academy. It allows everyone to create amazing pieces of microlearning. It demystifies how quickly how you can create a piece and get it out there.” Resources: Britt highlighted the work of the Association for Talent Development(ATD) for the good job it has done in staying at the forefront of the industry. She also encourages people to learn about brain science (Britt has authored bookson this subject). Listeners of the Learning and Development Stories Podcast can get discounts on Britt’s online training resources by going to the following websiteand using the coupon code “LearningPro” when checking out.
44 minutes | Aug 23, 2018
#8: How a CLO helped change a learning culture through smart communications
How do you get employees excited about learning? This was a question that Abhijit Bhaduri was grappling with back in 2009 when he was the Chief Learning Officer at Wipro, the information technology services company headquartered in Bengaluru, India. This was quite a challenge, particularly given the size of Wipro (160,000 employees at the time across 54 countries). It was important for Abhijit to accomplish this goal by cutting across different geographies and levels. Abhijit had the idea to try addressing this issue in part by sending out a regular weekly communication to the entire organization. This consisted of a 200-250 word written email on a topic that would resonate with the entire organization (such as how to instill curiosity or new year’s resolutions). Accompanying this message was a graphical representation of the key points highlighted in the email. An overwhelming majority of employees opted in to continue receiving the weekly communication. “Within six months of doing this, I started to receive back a tremendous response,” explained Abhijit on episode eight of the Learning and Development Stories podcast. “Initially I tried to respond to everyone who wrote until I realized that this would require another full-time position.” Tying to organizational objectivesThis initiative correlated to a key goal that Abhijit and his L&D colleagues were looking to address: creating a culture where employees are continually learning, both formally and informally. Related to this was the importance of instilling a mindset of curiosity. The L&D team undertook a number of other different initiatives related to this goal. “The overall idea was to help people become more curious about how to use technology, apply new concepts and look for ideas from the outside,” Abhijit said. “We needed people to be more externally focused, to take control of their own learning and to stay curious.” Lessons from mistakes Abhijit explained how he and his colleagues have evolved in their approach to putting together learning designs. “We stopped designing materials for the person in the classroom as an end-consumer to actually viewing this person as the teacher,” he said. “We started to believe that learning happens when the person in the classroom begins teaching someone else.” In other words: see one, do one and teach one. This manifests itself in different ways, ranging from individuals sharing knowledge during in-person events to communicating insights on an internal communications platform like Yammer. The link between training and employee engagement On the topic of engagement, Abhijit referenced Daniel Pink’s work around motivation: freedom to interpret your role, your own skills and seeing how it makes a difference. “You don’t learn to enjoy something unless you have a certain level of skill in in,” Abhijit noted. “Skill is a big part of engagement. It is underleveraged. If a job is interesting, it triggers the ability to learn more, become more skilled and then you perform your job at a higher level.” Resources Abhijit believes that L&D professionals need to be able to leverage the 3 V’s: video voice and visuals. In terms of recommended content, he notes that “it is really about whatever works best for you and how you best learn, whether it is podcasts, Instagram and so forth. Social media offers so many options. There are always experts available on tap.”
38 minutes | Jul 13, 2018
#7: Dana Hariton McQuade on the Lessons of Launching a New Leadership Development Initiative
“People loved it.” These were the words Dana Hariton McQuade used to summarize her organization’s reaction to launching a new global leadership development framework for different leader levels (new, emerging and accelerated). She delved into the details of launching this new initiative on episode seven of the Learning and Development Stories Podcast. It necessitated bringing together three teams – L&D, organizational development and HR analytics – to create experiential learning programs that ultimately touch thousands of employees. “When we announced the whole pathway around this, we could not offer enough classes soon enough,” she said. “People were so hungry for it. Everyone came out feeling stretched and grateful for the opportunity.” Dana currently is the Director of Development at Prism Brain Mapping for North America and previously held learning roles for Lenovo and Morgan Stanley. Here are other insights she shared during the interview. Engagement Dana noted that in general, data is lagging when conducting employee engagement surveys. It is also a one-way conversation as employees fill out the survey and then often times the dialogue ends there. With the rollout of the new leadership development initiative, Dana felt the organization took big strides to improve engagement. “Employees felt their voices were heard,” she said. “There was satisfaction in that they knew the organization took the time to develop them. Employees want to know better approaches to do their work and many want to know about how they can advance. Showing we took time to develop people was an important engagement point.” Linking learning to business objectives There were two key ways in which this new initiative linked to key business objectives: 1. It addressed succession planning. 2. It connected the dots to what the company says about itself and what that actually means. Lessons from mistakes Anyone who ever takes on a new initiative will surely look back and think about doing things differently the next time around. If not, that could be quite problematic! For Dana, she would approach relationship building with key HR stakeholders in a different way the next time she launches a big new initiative. “This culture was fast moving, sometimes firing first then aiming,” she explained. “I had my head down a little too much working and I didn’t feel like I had a seat at the table. I didn’t understand the why until much later on. This hurt me. Going forward, I will articulate what I need to be successful.” Communicating the impact Dana had particularly interesting insights to share around mobilizing learning communities in which attendees of a program share insights, both during and after a program. Key to this process is moderation. She also stressed the importance of communicating key L&D initiatives during new employees’ on-boarding process. Knowledge transfer While travelling for work in Asia, Dana noticed that many people were doing professional development using WeChat, the Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app. “People are learning in different ways that we are not capturing. If the interface isn’t easy, people will get learning where it is easy and relevant. We need to make learning accessible.” Recommended tools and resources Dana sees great opportunities for organizations to leverage immersive learning in part because going through experiences leads to higher retention. This could play out in various ways. One such example would be enabling new hires to go through an immersive experience in which they might actually be able to see and experience the organization’s corporate headquarters located in another part of the world. “This is completely different than watching a video,” she said. “When you can see touch and smell, you will be a better ambassador.” Dana recommends that others in the L&D space refer to content from Josh Bersin and David Rock. A piece we particularly discussed was Rock’s article on why learning needs to be effortful in order to be effective. You can connect with Dana on LinkedIn.
28 minutes | Jun 15, 2018
#6: Dave Atack on Leveraging Influencers to Effectively Communicate L&D Activities
Are you leveraging the influencers in your organization to communicate the impact of your L&D activities? If you answered no and are intrigued about how to do this, then you will want to hear Dave Atack’s insights on episode 6 of the Learning and Development Stories podcast. Dave, formerly the Head of Learning at D.E. Shaw and the VP of Learning Strategy and Performance at Xerox, shared how he identified a working group of influencers in a previous role to hear their feedback about what onboarding should look like and to mobilize them around a new initiative. These were respected and sought after individuals. According to Dave, these influencers ultimately served as a source of sharing information about the initiative to the new hires and managers. The following are other key points from the interview. Successful Initiative One of Dave’s most profound work experiences was working on a health initiative training for developing nations as part of a consulting project. He and his colleagues worked with some 50 people from these different countries’ health ministries to help them digitize their respective nation’s health systems. A three-day training workshop in Pretoria, South Africa provided the participants with the skills to strengthen their health information systems. Knowledge Transfer One of the key goals of the training in South Africa was to mobilize the workshop participants with the tools to teach their colleagues when they returned to their home countries. According to Dave, the key to success is realistic practice. “It is important that people have the opportunity to practice the new knowledge and skills in a realistic way so they can then teach others,” he said. “We don’t know what it looks like when they go back to their countries, so during the workshop we try to simulate what they will encounter.” Lessons from Mistakes Sometimes we need to be more skeptical. Dave shared the story of choosing a vendor for a particular system. After selecting a company among hundreds, Dave and his colleagues needed to test the system prior to full implementation. It was during this stage, after a significant amount of time had been invested, that the team learned that this company was facing a dire financial situation and not paying its own employees. “We ultimately wasted lots of effort in evaluating platform. We should have been more skeptical about their finances. Don’t take things at face value,” Dave said. Tying Learning to Objectives Dave explains: “The purpose of learning is to drive organizational performance. If not, why are we bothering?” For Dave, it starts with sponsors (internal or external). What do they expect? What is success? What do you expect performers to be saying about how learning is making a difference? As an example, he shared how he approached this during the onboarding of new employees. “We needed to reduce the number of hours managers spend answering the questions of new hires. We also needed to ask managers and new hires if the onboarding was helpful. So it was quantitative and qualitative.” Employee Engagement In Dave’s opinion, it is hard to measure the link between L&D activities and engagement. “My point of view is that there is a link and it is important we try to keep finding it,” he said. At Xerox, Dave and his colleagues had tools and data to create linkages. They weren’t able to find the link. In part, it wasn’t initially built into the data set. Better planning was required. Marketing Communications In addition to the influencer example highlighted at the outset of this article, Dave also touched on the importance of post-program communications. For example, this has involved collecting data immediately after a program, three months out and then six months out to understand how learning has been implemented and improved an individual’s job. This would be reported to the managers so they could see both the good news and areas for improvement. Resources For a tool, Dave believes that every L&D professional needs to understand machine learning. The tools are not fully developed yet to make this possible yet. But in his words, this is an “untapped gold mine for organizations to get into.” In terms of content, he recommends Wired Magazine (because it provides a broader context around technology) and Harvard Business Review (because one can see L&D issues from a different perspectives).
42 minutes | May 23, 2018
#5: Launching a New Strategic Centralized Learning Function- an Interview with L&D Leader Malika Viltz-Emerson
What is the best way to launch a strategic centralized learning function within an organization? Malika Viltz-Emerson, an L&D leader who has worked for the likes of Xerox and Grubhub, answered this question on episode 5 of the Learning and Development Stories Podcast. Linking Learning to Business Strategy In a recent role, Malika needed to develop a learning function that aligned to the organization’s strategy and technology capabilities. “People were craving knowledge so we needed to develop learning paths to help employees have the tools to be successful,” she said. To align learning to the business, Malika first did an evaluation. This entailed going through a listening phase. It was imperative for her to have a “seat at the table” with business leaders (for example, being present when leadership was meeting with their managers). She created a strategy by partnering with stakeholders of different lines of business, identifying key performance indicators and then aligned this to learning. She came up with a scorecard that highlighted how learning initiatives could generate results on a quarter-to-quarter basis. “By being in the room during business conversations, we can identify tactics that might otherwise be missed,” she said. “We can come up with strategic approaches on how we can partner.” Following this exploration, Malika and her team created learning paths that were user friendly and provided a positive overall experience. “Managers were seeing positive changes in how employees were doing their jobs,” she said. “There were changes in how employees communicated with each other and shared information.” In summary, Malika highlighted five critical success factors for transformational learning: Strategic linkage Learner centered Technology enabled Integrating solutions Collaboration Lessons from Mistakes Throughout her career, Malika used a standardized approach when doing analysis. In one particular role, she believes that she relied too heavily on this approach and it didn’t work as effectively. Part of the reason was that millennials made up a significant portion of this organization’s employees. “I had to learn what works better with that group,” Malika explained. “That humbled me. I work in L&D and performance which means I am always a student and need to be continually learning myself.” The Link between Learning and Employee EngagementMalika is not a proponent of surveying employees too frequently. However, it is important to do from time to time. She and her colleagues were able to leverage the analytics and data from the learning platform to gauge how employees engaged with learning. “Engagement changed with the learning platform. There were more interactions. We found that people were coming to us and asking for information. People are often eager to learn but don’t have the tools and resources in place.” Communications TacticsFor Malika, there are two key components to communications: interactions with leadership and promoting the learning experience to employees. For leadership, the scorecard was an important component. It visually communicated the impact of learning from the previous quarter and identifying opportunities for improvement in the future. For marketing the overall L&D function, Malika initially communicated with key stakeholders to get their buy-in. Eventually, she needed to go into marketing mode and raise awareness more broadly about key initiatives, such as a new learning platform coming to the organization. In this case, a serious of videos was one means to generating buzz. Once launched, the learning platform itself became a means for raising awareness. Fostering Knowledge Transfer Malika thinks L&D professionals need to be “navigators”. By that, there is an abundance of knowledge that is available online. L&D professionals need to make sure that whatever learners are consuming is the most impactful. For Malika, it is important to provide personalized learning, to capture conversations and then to create an atmosphere that encourages collaboration. Resources In terms of tools, Malika believes L&D leaders need to be actively involved in due diligence and that a learning platform is key to capturing the impact of informal learning. In terms of resources, she recommends the CLO Magazine, eLearning Guild, ATD, Slack and the Learning and Development Stories Podcast. Books she recommends for L&D professionals are Clark Quinn’s Revolutionize Learning and Developmentand Dan Lyon’s book Disrupted.
28 minutes | Mar 27, 2018
#4: Incorporating Design Thinking in L&D – an Interview with Jane Hoskisson of the International Air Transport Association
If you are looking for inspiration on how L&D activities can foster innovation in an organization, then you will thoroughly enjoy episode 4 of the Learning and Development Stories podcast. Jane Hoskisson, Director of Learning & Development at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), shares how her organization is driving innovation through a program that is being rolled out to some 1,500 employees in some degree. After programmatic activity that takes employees through the design thinking sequence, the teams come back and present to stakeholders who make assessments about the viability of the project. LINKING LEARNING TO BUSINESS STRATEGY In formulating a strategy, Hoskisson convened people from across the business into L&D steering groups to identify the skills needed for the organization. "We were able to design what we needed for the organization in order to upskill so that we actually built learning that employees needed and that is relevant to real business problems." EMPLOYEE ENGAGMENT Hoskisson notes that employees want to engage in work that is purposeful and brings fulfillment. “Learning can play an important role because if you invest in people you are telling them you are important to us and we want to develop you. You give them purpose – you are giving them learning that will help them be more successful at their job. We are lucky because we are a trade association representing an amazing industry so it is easy to say 'I can see how I add value to my organization but the wider world as well.’” COMMUNICATIONS TACTICS On the topic of communications, Hoskisson explains: “The more I am in L&D, the more I see it is about communications and marketing. Yes it is about learning design and yes it is about equipping people. But there is no point in putting together great programs if people don’t understand why you are doing them. We invested lots of money last year working closely with people who are skilled in marketing in branding. We thought it was important. People need to see a story about how learning links together and is relevant in the day-to-day. It can’t be abstract.” Hoskisson makes it a point to link learning to organizational values. One value at IATA is the simple human touch. Hoskisson tries to incorporate this into programs by keeping it simple and making it meaningful at the individual level. She also points out the link between communications in impactful learning experiences. “The better you can make training for people, the more participants will tell stories for you.” KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER As a knowledge organization, Hoskisson believes that it is important for her team to instill knowledge awakening. “It is less about knowledge transfer but awakening people’s mind on how to apply learning in every day jobs. It is our job to create conditions for people to understand and apply this in a context that works for them.” MISTAKES It can be difficult to pull the plug on a program that isn’t driving the intended change. This is one mistake that Hoskisson noted from her personal experience. She inherited a program that had been in existence for 20 years and she didn’t have a good feeling about it. Many in the business were involved in sharing their knowledge, so it was even more difficult to terminate the program. But she noted that she had waited too long. She tries to avoid this from happening in the future by constantly reviewing the performance of programs. It is important to bring a “critical eye without being jaded.” RESOURCES Hoskisson notes curiosity as an invaluable resource. “If you are not curious, you are a disservice to your business. You need to know what is down the line in the business.” A powerful example of the power of curiosity happened recently when a colleague’s 15 year old son came to work for a week of experience. He asked lots of thought provoking questions that the team hadn’t been considering. For ongoing learning, Hoskisson recommends resources from Brené Brown and content on Tech Crunch. She also draws upon mentors in the learning space who provides inspirational thoughts.
35 minutes | Dec 5, 2017
#3: A Unique Mentoring Program Focused on Digital Transformation - An Interview with Carrefour L&D Leader Adilson Borges
Many organizations are grappling with how to keep employees up to speed with the digital transformation that is impacting society. Adilson Borges, Chief Learning Officer of the France-based retailer Carrefour, joined the Learning and Development Stories podcast and shared how his company is addressing this issue in its L&D activities. It is not through a one-off, expert-led learning event, but rather a peer-to-peer mentoring program. “Digital transformation is impacting business for all organizations,” he said. “Our program brings together individuals who are skilled with using digital communications and matches them with those interested in learning more about digital transformation." As part of the program, the L&D team set up the infrastructure for a successful mentoring program in which the groups met in pairs on average of four to five times over a six-month time period. The L&D team provided a framework as well as different tools and elements that enabled participants to share their knowledge. The program also was a means for the different tandems to discuss important topics that impact Carrefour’s business, like big data, artificial intelligence and apps that facilitate customers’ shopping experience. In summary, the program included a kick-off to set the stage for the mentoring program, group interactions and then a concluding wrap-up event. Carrefour saw a 40% improvement around participants’ knowledge of digital transformation. “We identified five or six different dimensions - general themes around digital transformation, artificial intelligence and using big data. We asked participants questions about these topics before and after the program,” explained Borges on how the impact of the learning was measured. LINKING LEARNING TO BUSINESS STRATEGY The way we shop is evolving, due in part to how devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo are impacting the way we buy new products. According to Borges, it was key for the organization from a business perspective to equip leaders to understand these dynamics and gain perspective on what is coming up next. “It really is about going beyond the training itself to enable people to incorporate the content on a regular basis so they can change the business,” said Borges. LEARNING FROM MISTAKES “There is one way to not make mistakes - don’t try anything new,” said Borges. “Mistakes are part of the process. We have to celebrate them.” Borges highlighted a learning lesson from his career: moving too fast and failing to spend enough time listening to sponsors to really understand what they needed. This ends up leading to re-working different elements down the road. Another issue he highlighted is truly collaborating, especially with difficult personalities, to co-develop learning solutions. KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER There is lots of content out there. One role for L&D leaders is selection. But for Borges, the most important goal around this theme is understanding the learners and looking at learning as co-creation. What are the tactics and techniques that are needed to develop participants’ full potential? One way is ensure that there is a mechanism for learning to be shared from the bottom up. On that note, Carrefour has developed a digital workplace in which employees can learn from each other. It is about peer-to-peer transfer and matching to help learning happen in the organization. “This can help people develop their full potential,” said Borges. “I can see those individuals developing their skills and put their learning into action and I can learn from them at the same time. It can also capture best practices.” EMPLOYEE ENGAGMENT Go to an HR website and odds are you will quickly come across content around improving employee engagement. Organizational learning can play a role in this. Borges recounted a story of how a learning program has improved morale. Carrefour has 120,000 employees coming from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. As an employer, Carrefour has a training program in place that validates basic skills - language skills, math, etc - designed to help future employment opportunities, both within and outside the organization. Those who have taken part in this program have 20% higher likelihood to recommend Carrefour as a place to work and a 25% higher likelihood to want to continue working at the company. COMMUNICATIONS TACTICS Within Carrefour, there are some 250 employees involved in L&D across the different business units. As a larger group, the L&D employees meet once a month and discuss projects. They try find common points of interest with the goal of identifying joint initiatives that can have a large impact on everyone, notes Borges. In terms of project management, Borges believes that communications must integrate all stakeholders. Other communications tactics of a typical program might include the following: - A newsletter announcement - Special events (kick-off sessions and learning days) - Multimedia (particularly short videos that capture a program’s outcomes) RECOMMENDED RESOURCESBorges' recommendations for L&D professionals include the following: Tool: Empathy. Put yourself in the place of the learner. Resource(s) for ongoing learning: Mindset by Carol Dweck. The book focuses on having a growth mindset. You can connect with Adilson Borges on LinkedIn at the following link.
42 minutes | Nov 1, 2017
#2: L&D Leader Wes Parker on the Importance of Learning Transfer
Think about this statistic: 80% of one-time learning events fail. Wes Parker, an L&D leader with the software company Omnitracs, is passionate about reversing this number. One of the key ways he has been able to succeed in this goal is by implementing the full learning transfer model, as he explained on episode two of the Learning & Development Stories podcast. Wes recounted how he and his colleagues used the full learning transfer model during a new leadership initiative at the Omnitracs. This involved the following: 1: Communications to the Csuite, HR business partners and leaders. 2: Video and e-learning components in which best practice on the topic of leadership is shared. 3: Interactive live webinar to review knowledge and practice skills around coaching, corrective action and developing people. Participants needed to come up with their own action items to close performance gaps. 4: Accountability partners were assigned and they would meet 30, 60 and 90 days after the webinar to share progress. 5: The leaders were provided tools that they needed to explain to their respective teams in different meetings. 6: Participants were given access to a website that included tools highlighting performance management best practices. 7: Weekly reinforcements. “We saw dramatic results in the performance of our leaders,” said Wes. “In three months, there was new knowledge and skills and then by six months we could see real business impact and ROI. A one-time learning event is critical, but by adding a meeting before and after, a website and reinforcements, you can really move the needle. It is more than learning. It is about learning application.” Learning from Mistakes On each episode of the Learning and Development Stories podcast, we ask guests to share lessons from mistakes. Wes noted how in his team, they make it a point to review mistakes in their weekly meetings. "We ask what mistake we made in the previous week, how we fixed it and how to prevent it going forward," he explained. He shared the personal story of how he failed to thoroughly vet a facilitator who came highly recommended. Consequently, a number of issues propped up. "Never trust alone," advised Wes. "Verify, especially on critical opportunities." Linking Learning to Business Objectives The aforementioned leadership program is one example of how Wes linked a learning initiative to a business strategy. He advised others to think proactively about linking learning to business objectives through a line of sight tool (also referred to as an impact map tool). This involves writing out the following across four different columns: - The strategic objectives of the organization. - How different objectives will be measured. - The performance or behaviors needed to achieve the measurement / objective. - The competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) to perform behaviors. “You have this line of sight to see how this competency links to performance so this objective will be met,” he explained. There are also times to be reactive as unforeseen circumstances arise. Wes advises to consider what strategy objectives the training request relates to, as this ensures each learning initiative is aligned to the business strategy of the company, department or team. Employee Engagement “Training is one of the main things wanted by employees,” Wes said. “That is not going to change. Research shows we are all motivated by external motivators - reward and recognition - and internal motivators - purpose, choice, control of what we do, connected to other and we want to be seen as capable. That is where training comes in.” Communicating Learning Initiatives “Field of Dreams” doesn’t work in terms of launching learning programs. You have to communicate effectively. Wes advises L&D teams to conduct communications audits to understand how the organization communicates. He also recommends close collaboration with marketing communications colleagues. In terms of messaging, he stresses the importance of focusing on the benefits, not the features. Resources Wes suggested that L&D professionals leverage the full learning transfer model and the line of sight maps. (Additional information about the full learning transfer model is at the following link). To stay abreast about the latest in learning and development, Wes recommends signing up to receive daily emails from the likes of: Society for Human Resource Management Internal Society for Performance Improvement ATD eLearning Guild In terms of teaching content that can be used in your organizations training programs, Parker recommends The Society for Human Resource Management.
40 minutes | Sep 2, 2017
#1: Home Depot Director of Learning Brandon Carson on the Link between Employee Engagement and Training
Employee engagement is an issue facing most all organizations, according to a Gallup survey. What is learning and development’s role in addressing this issue? Brandon Carson, Director of Learning at Home Depot and author of Learning in the Age of Immediacy, shared his opinion about this on episode 1 of the Learning and Development Stories podcast. “We know that employees are more likely to be engaged when they understand their expectations and when they are aware of the opportunities available to them,” Brandon said during the interview. “Learning organizations are in a great place to be advocates and stewards of that because we have direct relationships with employees and the business. We know that training provides opportunities for employees to realize their full potential at work.” You can hear his additional insights on this subject by jumping to the 15:30 mark of the interview. The below summary highlights other key topics covered during the interview. Stories On the positive side, Brandon points to a current project in which Home Depot is creating a mobile app for associates on the floor (2:47). It is a fairly transformative program as it is pushing Home Depot to re-think how learning occurs. It focuses on how people should be supported in their job by taking learning out of the back room in a transactional environment and bringing it into the context of employees’ work stream. “This has been the most interesting programs I have worked on with in recent years,” Brandon said. “We are trying to re-think how training takes place in this environment based on helping the customer and associate we support.” Brandon shared several personal anecdotes of lessons learned from his career (10:12). He notes that mistakes occur when: We think that the learning person has all the answers. Failure to actively listen to all involved. Ego is involved. Failure to figure out what drives the business value of whatever we are doing and understanding when training will have an impact. Strategies In terms of how to tie learning to business strategy (7:10), Brandon makes the following points: Learning organizations shouldn’t have their own Key Performance Indicators, but rather should align with the business KPIs. Say no to the things that will not bring value and say yes to the right things. The learning leader needs to have a really good understanding of how learning works. It requires a rethinking of how learning should function in the enterprise. Knowledge Transfer Successful transfer of information that leads to new capabilities is a difficult task. According to Brandon, “It is a mash up of context, data, information, engagement, motivation and emotional output.” (23:30) Who is responsible for the act of knowledge transfer? Brandon believes it is a partnership between the learning organization, the learner, the line manager and leadership. Communicating the Value of Learning to Stakeholders Brandon highlights the example of a new learning initiative at Home Depot in which it wasn’t enough to just communicate to associates the value (30:00). “Just showing folks here is a cool app is not enough. It required buy-in from all different levels. We had to show from the learning organization’s perspective what the value was and talk about it quite a bit.” This is about instilling the culture of learning. Reliable Resources (35:00) Tool: curiosity, which fosters critical thinking and drives creativity and innovation. Reading: Edward Tufte’s website and a book by Donald Norman on the Design of Everyday Things. Recommended sources for external content that can be used for trainings: Home Depot produces most of its own content but does use Ted Talks videos and lots of product knowledge videos. Connect with Brandon Carson Brandon Carson is the Director of Learning at Home Depot and the author of "Learning in the Age of Immediacy – 5 Factors for How We Connect, Communicate, and Get Work Done”. Learn more about the book and connect with Brandon on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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