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Talent and Leadership Club – March 2024 themes

This month is a tale of skills strategies, understanding learning tech, the importance of leadership, and much much more!

As you probably know the Talent and Leadership Club is a global community of over 1,000 ‘in house’ learning professionals that come together to hear from experts and peers, as well as belonging to some very active discussion forums where they seek knowledge share ideas. Each month the data from these discussions is consolidated into a blog that enables the wider profession to hear what is being discussed at the coal face so everyone can benefit.


The themes from March are as follows.


Skill Development Strategies: Discussing various approaches for skill development, including sales skills training, business partnering skills, and consultancy skills training, and recommendations for vendors and platforms to support upskilling initiatives. It seems the skill based approach is really taking hold with regular requests for people who have adopted this approach and experts to assist.


Leadership Development: Exploring topics such as authentic leadership training, coaching for creatives and artists, and the cultural influence of office design on organisational culture, emphasizing the importance of leadership development in diverse contexts. In the uncertain world we are facing into the importance of leaders who can adapt to an unpredictable future is not up for debate.


Career Development and Support: Addressing the need for career coaching at scale, early careers protection during reorganisations, and empowering employees to take ownership of their career development, highlighting strategies and resources available for career advancement. It feels the concept of the career is changing to one with a shorter time horizon, but its importance is not diminishing.


Learning and Development Technologies: Discussing the integration of digital coaching platforms, micro-learning, and app-based content aggregators into learning and development programs, with a focus on leveraging technology for effective skill enhancement. Having spent a few hours walking around Learning Technologies last week the array of platforms on offer is quite bewildering. It feels like the market is ripe for some consolidation. Community members are seeking guidance to make sense of the volume of tools, the best way to use them, and what is going to provide a genuine benefit and what has simply slapped ‘AI’ to the end of their name to make them feel current.


Vendor and Platform Recommendations: Providing recommendations for training programs, mentoring platforms, and consultancy services, catering to the diverse needs of organisations seeking external support for talent development initiatives. Nothing more to add to this one, the usual request for a range of support, some niche, some mainstream.


Employee Well-being and Support: Addressing concerns related to performance and reward management, employee career development, and the importance of protecting early careers individuals during organizational changes, emphasising the need for holistic support systems. Similar to the leadership theme – we need to have leaders who can front off into the uncertain future, but we also need to support employees en-masse with their wellbeing and resilience.


Organisational Effectiveness and Change Management: Exploring topics such as change management leadership, learning spend benchmarking, and gap analysis exercises, focusing on strategies to enhance organizational effectiveness and adaptability. This contained some interesting discussions – the one that grabbed me was one around average training spend. There wasn’t an easy answer as people categorise spend in different ways, and some simply didn’t see the benefit in doing so.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Highlighting initiatives to support women in the workplace, promoting diversity and inclusion through sponsorship programmes, mentoring, and role modelling, and recommending impactful role models and speakers for career development. I’ve heard people saying that D&I is dropping off agendas, but from the number of requests for support on the field I’m not seeing this from the community – hugely encouraging. The difference seems to be the discussions are maturing as people learn the lessons from previous work they have undertaken.


Continuous Improvement in Learning and Development: Encouraging ongoing discussions on improving learning and development practices and evaluating the effectiveness of organisational learning initiatives to drive continuous improvement and innovation. It seems as budgets are squeezed, the demand to demonstrate value is growing. Good.


So, that’s it for the month of March. Let’s see what April holds.

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