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Talent and Leadership Club - June 2024 themes

The Talent and Leadership Club is a global community of over 1,000 ‘in house’ learning professional from 40+ countries and nearly 350 different organisations. Community members have access to expert sessions, case studies, a thriving discussion forum and much more.

 

The themes from these forums are anonymously summarised into a blog each month to provide insight into what is on the mind of learning professional working at the ‘coal face’. It paints a picture of a profession that is grappling with AI, economic uncertainty and the traditional challenges that the industry has been working on for years. The themes from the community are detailed below.


Despite June being a full-on month in the UK for election campaigns, football and some awful weather, discussions between group members carried on at pace with some interesting themes being covered.


Some consistency with May with leadership development programme support needed and the ongoing theme of identifying and retaining key talent. Some new themes around global mobility and mandatory training. Nothing on AI this month. I’m assuming the lack of AI discussions is a blip. I’m currently doing the Specialist Certificate in AI for Learning and am having my eyes opened to the power and range of tools that are out there already for learning professionals. I can see how this isn’t going to fundamentally change the demands placed upon learning professionals and the skills needed.

 

1, Leadership Development and Transitioning


A theme throughout the month was the need for effective leadership development for career progression, particularly in transitioning from senior management to director-level roles. Discussion included tailored coaching and training to improve presentation skills and address imposter syndrome. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) frameworks, such as those by Goleman were also discussed, highlighting the need to put rigour behind decisions.


This comes up every month. Either highlighting that it is an ongoing need we will always have as an industry, or highlighting a dissatisfaction with the current state of the market, or both. It would be fun to pull a group of community members together to explore what they want from leadership development programmes vs what they are actually getting.

 

2. Employee Engagement and Feedback


Engaging employees through well-structured feedback sessions is crucial, focusing on psychological aspects like emotional regulation and response mechanisms. Humorous videos and relatable content, such as clips from "Malcolm in the Middle," were recommended to illustrate key concepts.


Effective listening strategies and engagement templates were sought after, highlighting the need for systematic approaches to understanding and acting on employee feedback. Regular pulse surveys and engagement metrics were discussed, underscoring the importance of frequent feedback in maintaining a responsive and engaged workforce.


We’re looking at feedback at Grant Thornton and I was pointed to the work by Sheila Heen on the subject. Really interesting content on feedback triggers and also the need to focus as much on the person giving the feedback as the person receiving the feedback.

 

3, Global delivery partners


Community members were looking for recommendations for high-quality training providers that have the ability to deliver training programmes that are consistent across a number of countries. I had this challenge at GSK. Many providers claim to be global, but when you did under the surface you find it is an associate network with little control. To ensure consistent quality of delivery and control over content you need a true global partner.

 

4. Marketing Skills in L&D Teams


L&D teams discussed how to develop marketing skills to better promote their training programmes internally, a number of consultancies were recommended to support with this.


Building these skills is seen as crucial for increasing visibility and engagement with L&D offerings, ensuring that training initiatives are effectively communicated and embraced by the organisation.


The Learning Leader Programme that the Talent and Leadership Club have developed with the LPI has a specific module on ‘marketing learning’ as we felt that it was a core skill all learning professionals should have.

 

5. Managing Constant Change


Addressing change fatigue and managing continuous transitions are major concerns for community members. The uncertain economic climate we are experiencing in the UK is still having an impact on the things being asked of the L&D profession. Discussions focussed on engaging teams and effectively communicating ongoing changes.

Tools and frameworks, including systems thinking and diversity and inclusion integration, were discussed to help leaders navigate and manage change.

 

6. Networking and Professional Development Events


Regular community events, such as the T&L Club summer drinks and CIPD Festival of Work meet-ups were discussed with community members proactively taking steps to meet up in-person. It was lovely to see so many community members at the recent summer drinks hosted by Ada, the National College for Digital Skills. One of the things on the to-do list is to create a regular cadence of in-person meet ups in London.

 

7. Compliance and Mandatory Training


Discussions on compliance and mandatory training responsibilities reveal a split between compliance teams managing policy adherence and HR or L&D departments handling training design and implementation. This discussion was an interesting one to observe.


Mandatory learning is not the most exciting form of learning, but it is often one of the few touch points people have with the learning function so the experience needs to be a good one. Even if this learning isn’t owned by learning there is a perception that we have been involved so there is a benefit to us working with functions such as IT and ethics to ensure mandatory content is the best it can be.


The terminology used to label this type of training and its impact on compliance rates are also examined, with 'mandatory' versus 'expected' training affecting participation and adherence.

 

8. Innovation and Team Engagement


Creative and playful approaches to team engagement, such as unique team-building activities and innovative workplace initiatives, were shared to enhance morale and workplace culture.


Examples include activities like a GoPro football video project, reflecting a trend towards fostering joy and engagement through fun and interactive experiences. It reminded me of the www.businessballs.com resource I used to lean quite heavily on some (cough) 20 years ago and I am pleasantly surprised to see it is still there, although the website is significantly better than I remember it when I last checked.

 

9. Career Mobility and Job Opportunities


The number of job postings and career advancement opportunities within the community was interesting. Yes, there are a number of people looking for jobs at the moment, but is was also reassuring to see people posting opportunities. The difference at the moment compared to 12 months ago seems to be that the roles are more contract based and designed for people to come in and ‘fix things’. A sign that organisations aren’t committing to FT Perm headcount.

 

10. Global Mobility and Development Strategies


Strategies for global mobility, especially at earlier career stages, were discussed, emphasising the importance of diverse talent pipelines and global assignments for leadership development.


Examples from were shared from a number of organisations. It seems that the theme flagged in May or organisations wanting to identify and wrap their arms around key talent is key at the moment.


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One of the things that has been flagged to me this month (and is highlighted above) is the need to create a supplier database of recommended people and consultancies to work with. I also attended a fascinating session led by Don Taylor on the ’40 most exciting L&D start-ups’ so will ensure that these are in this guide. If you want to join the T&L Club to benefit from the community interaction, expert speakers, supplier guide, and much more then please visit our website at www.talentandleadership.co.uk

 

See you next month, Ben

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