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Talent and Leadership Club - April 2024 themes

It takes a bit of work to do this, but it feels like it is worth the effort. There are nearly 600 people in the Talent and Leadership Club discussion forums and the discussion is almost hourly, but the ability to see what is on the mind of this many HR professionals who are responsible for areas such as learning, talent and performance is unique and hugely valuable. What cuts this community apart from others is the fact that members are ‘in house’ so there is a freedom of discussion that doesn’t take place in other communities.


This month the themes that have bubbled to the surface are as follows:


Talent Development and Performance Enhancement: Members discuss strategies for talent development, including leadership programmes and succession planning, alongside initiatives to refine performance management practices. Recommendations were sought for both training providers to deliver leadership development. Let’s face it, this is going to come up every month, but it does highlight a continuing need for support in this area.


Learning Technology Implementation and User Experience Optimisation: Participants sought advice on implementing learning management systems (LMS) while also exploring ways to enhance user experiences within these platforms. Discussions encompass best practices for module adoption and platform selection. It seems there is a lot out there in terms of technology, but still a lack of clarity of how to integrate different systems. Larger organisations also have the challenge of legacy systems that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon so have to make the best of what they have.


Cultural Transformation and Organisational Change: The group delves into discussions surrounding cultural transformation. Topics extend to broader themes such as organisational transformation, leadership behaviours, and change management methodologies, indicating a collective interest in driving positive change within their respective organisations.


Leadership Development and Talent Management Strategies: Members exchanged recommendations different talent management strategies, including succession planning and talent pool discussions. There wasn’t a concrete outcome, but a side group are meeting to discuss further. The number of people replying with a ‘me too’ to the invite highlighted the interest in this area.


Ethical Considerations in Training and Coaching Relationships: Discussions centred on ethical considerations in coaching and training relationships, highlighting concerns around confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and the boundaries of coaching engagements. Reference to industry standards and accreditation underscores a commitment to upholding ethical conduct and professionalism within coaching and training contexts. As a recently qualified coach I can see the need for this. My lesson from coaching is the need for regular and good quality supervision. I do worry about the damage coaches can do without proper guidance and boundaries.


Innovative Employee Engagement and Learning Initiatives: Participants brainstorm innovative methods to engage employees and roll out new behaviours, emphasising gamification, interactive workshops, and experiential learning approaches. Ideas extend to creative naming conventions for internal initiatives, reflecting a keen awareness of the role of branding and communication in driving engagement and fostering a positive organisational culture. I can still remember going on a tour of the Vodafone leadership programme over 15 years ago where they took over a mothballed data centre – one room for each concept. The ‘making a pizza to match the personality type of the person you have been working with’ stuck with me.


Global Learning Strategies and Business Alignment: The group engaged in discussions around global learning and development (L&D) strategies, focusing on aligning these strategies with business imperatives and regional needs. Experiences shared underscore the importance of strategic alignment and considerations of regional nuances in designing effective L&D frameworks that drive business impact.


Measuring Inclusion and Psychological Safety: Members explore methods for effectively measuring inclusion, touching on indicators such as sentiment measures, diversity data alignment, and psychological safety assessments. These discussions reflect a commitment to fostering inclusive work environments and leveraging data-driven approaches to promote psychological safety and diversity within organisations.


Budget-Conscious Training Solutions and Resource Sharing: Conversations revolved around budget-conscious training solutions, with considerations for cost-effective online learning platforms and resources like LinkedIn Learning, Pluralsight, and Coursera. Recommendations for specific courses and certificates highlight a collaborative approach to resource sharing, aiming to maximise learning outcomes within budget constraints.


Maternity Policy Benchmarking and Employee Experience Prioritisation: Participants exchanged maternity policy examples for benchmarking purposes, reflecting a broader focus on prioritising positive employee experiences. It isn’t a regular topic that comes up, but it was interesting to see the range of approaches. Nothing particularly innovative, but there are some differences between organisations.


Hope the above is useful. Like I said, great fun to read. Often find when I see the messages coming in it is hard to see the wood for the trees, but when presented like this I love seeing the themes coming out. See you soon for May’s themes!

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