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21st November - Nick Shackleton-Jones @ PRS Music

Brilliant session from Nick sharing his insights on learning. Rather than provide a summary let me just recommend you buy his book.

Virtual Learning Programme

The focus is on attracting internal leaders to sign up to sessions led by internal subject matter experts (SMEs). Learning events delivered by external SMEs are oversubscribed. There is an ideology that leaders believe they already know the essential insights to the different areas of the business and therefore are more inclined to sign up to external learning interventions. How do you effectively encourage leaders to sign up to internal sessions?

The following points were mooted:

  • Talk to the internal marketing team to help develop an attraction strategy campaign

  • The perception of credibility is psychological (mindset shift required) external SMEs are perceived as superior

  • Seek endorsement of internal sessions from the Director to highlight to leaders that it is essential to attend internal sessions to gain further insight into the business

  • Ensure there is 80% participation in the virtual sessions to engage learners

  • Make it more visual

  • Include internal SMEs credentials to promote credibility (hesitant to implement this element as it may cause superiority complex)

  • Train SMEs to deliver engaging webinars and virtual workshops

  • Make certain courses accredited to increase engagement/signup

  • Ask leaders to create a 30 second story-telling video on their tips on leadership

  • Reduce the number of external facilitators sessions

Additional information on activities that could be incorporated into the programme:

  • Group work/project that is presented to the CEO or Senior Leadership Team e.g. business challenges, role modelling etc

This will breakup the monotony of virtual learning and will create collaboration on a more personal and tangible level.

Blended Learning Approaches to support Company Onboarding

(Pre-joining through to probation)

  • Preboarding: Create a pre-starting portal/website that promotes communication and engagement of new starters.

  • Preboarding: Make contact at key milestones (e.g. 90days, 60days, 30days, etc. before start date)

  • Preboarding: Make gestures that show you care about employees starting and reinforce their decision to join your business

  • Post a teabag & biscuits after accepting offer and give a personalised name mug on Day 1

  • Collaborate with internal recruitment team to align approaches

  • Culture workshop – make clear ‘What’, ‘Who’, ‘Why’ etc. to support expectations and clarity as well as alleviate ambiguity

  • Introduce Welcome Pack – include goody bags, branded collateral and tools, jargon buster, etc...

  • Onboarding: Think about how a new joiner can explain their new job/company to friends and family

  • Interactive multimedia tools (e.g. videos, podcasts, etc) covering company, businesses, values, mission, etc.. from senior leaders and colleagues across business

  • CEO letter when job offer accepted to welcome to the company, including details such as ‘about us’, ‘our aims’, ‘our culture’, etc..

  • Induction – ‘What does success look like?’, ‘making the best of the first 30 day’ .. checklists and key events calendar

  • Videos of leaders and stories of their career journey

  • Send a ‘Welcome aboard’ card signed by the team before new starter joins

  • Encourage senior leaders to attend Induction

  • Promote what’s important to the company outside intent statement (e.g. CSR, etc)

  • Timeline of events before new starters joins

Recommended Learning Management Systems and effective utilisation

  • LMS Start Point – Use Fosway 9 Grid to identify specific performance & potential for business needs

  • Important to understand the key differences between a Learning Experience Platform (LXP), Next Gen Learning Environment (NGLE) and Learning Management System (LMS)

  • Explore independent tools that can achieve requirements for SMEs, e.g:

  • Microsoft Teams

  • Google Forms

  • SharePoint

  • Consider Learning Record Store (LRS) e.g. HT2 Labs Learning Locker - Link

  • Current LMS tools used within Talent & Leadership Club:

  • Cornerstone

  • Litmos

  • Moodle

  • Docebo

  • Degreed

Talent Management

  • Many organisations are still using the 9-box grid

  • No real consensus on transparency of talent processes, as dependent on organisational context

  • One organisation has moved to a segmentation approach – 4 segments, the top one being “leaders of the future” – targeting about 8% in this segment

  • Support process with regular career check-in conversations – provide the tools and guidance to equip line managers to do this effectively

  • Success had by workshopping the 9-box grid, removing number associated and focusing on the language – getting leaders to articulate what each of the boxes looked like when it came to describing talent

  • Success had in moving away from 9-box grid to conversation around whether someone is talent and if so are they specialist or generalist talent

  • Challenging business on their succession planning, and if roles not being filled by identified talent, challenging them on why that is

  • Talent Boards – a process whereby HR leaders of different geographic areas provide talent suggestions for vacancies in the business. Good way to improve internal mobility and visibility of talent between locations – all HR led

  • Killer Questions – rather than a 9-box grid, just ask a couple of “killer questions” i.e. is the individual ready for a promotion, a performance challenge, a flight risk

  • Labelling of potential more positively e.g. mastery, broaden, stretch

Developing Senior Leaders and Executives

Skills for the Future: (do the roles of the future exist yet/what do we understand of the changes??)

  • Growth Mind-set ( Learning mind-set)

  • Digital acumen ( knows and understands technology advancements, AI, Machine learning and can see the opportunity they bring)

  • Ability to create and execute strategy

  • Ability to tell the story and take people on the journey.

  • Curiosity

  • Humility

  • Emotional Intelligence

  • Critical thinking

  • Connector collaborator

  • D&I lens – understand the value of a diverse team ( brings innovation)

  • Resilient

  • Clear Purpose


  • Leader Quest – Study tours ( visit organisations, emersion, skill build and collaboration)

  • Wavelength – Study tours US, China and India – tour of innovative organisations, meet senior exec and get an inside view of each organisation)

  • The Collaboration Company – ‘Ideathons’, great for talent

  • Corporate Research Forum – Richard Hargreaves – skills of Executives.

  • YSC – Leadership framework

  • Warwick Business School – China study tours

  • Korn Ferry

Assessment tools:

  • Psycap Potential - Abstract reasoning, 360, Linked to future potential

  • PSI – Mapping skills against successful CEO/Unsuccessful CEOs

  • YSC

  • Internal Balanced score card


  • Review skills internally of high performers and use these to map against ( strength based)

  • Reverse mentoring for exec – with graduates or D&I