On January 11, in a room packed with over 90 attendees, ASTD NY hosted the kickoff event of 2012: The CLO's Perspective on the State of L&D in the Talent Management Arena.
The Learning & Development executives shared their perspectives on trends in L&D and what's important as they position their firms for success in the future. The three presenters were:
- Connie Chartrand, Head of Professional and Organizational Development, Morgan Stanley
- Raoul Buron, CLO, Prudential Financial
- Robert Arbucci, Director, Global Learning & Development Strategy, Colgate Palmolive Company
Patrick Dail, ASTD NY President, skillfully moderated the panel.
Connie Chartrand emphasized that L&D professionals should think and act like business owners. She coached us to ask ourselves, "What does the client experience look like? Is the product line diversified enough? How are our products marketed? Do we have a segmented approach for delivering L&D to clients?" She stressed the importance of "chunking" information so learners can "get to the right amount of information as quickly as possible."
Connie then focused on products: "What do we say 'No' to?" There are times when we should not agree to fulfill a "training" request." Importantly, she suggested we ask, "Do our products work? Do they really affect change in the organization? How do we prepare managers, coaches, and peers of the employee(s) going through the change?" Finally, she said, "Think like business owners first, and then L&D professionals."
Raoul Buron introduced himself next. He agreed with Connie's overall approach and said it was imperative that L&D professionals "partner with senior leadership" so they can see a "direct line to the execution of their objectives." Raoul talked about the skill of influencing people so they see the value in what you are bringing to the organization.
As the pace of business has sped up, people have less and less time for development, so "the way you distribute training is critical." He suggested we "look at what someone needs, and push the training to (them)." He reiterated the need to demonstrate the value of training by using business metrics to get business leaders' attention.
A trend Raoul is seeing is the integration of L&D with other HR domains, like Staffing, Diversity, Compensation, Performance Management, and Succession Management. He also suggested we be thinking about where the industry is going in terms of technology and HR information systems, while keeping workforce planning and diversity and inclusion in mind.
Raoul believes "diversity will have a massive impact." Prudential now has a significant presence in Japan. Raoul said, "We don't look like our clients and think like our clients." He hinted that it's important that the C suite understand this and manage it.
Bob Arbucci, the final panelist, gave a thorough explanation of change models. He also observed that the need for cost reduction is driving a decrease in travel and an increase in virtual classroom learning experiences. Related to this is a trend toward "coaching and mentoring virtually."
He also mentioned the need to "carve out time for innovation." Bob went on to cite an example of the Cheesecake Factory organizing a competition among the restaurant greeters where they would film each other, post the videos on YouTube, and then evaluate each other. This has resulted in improved performance among the greeters.
Lastly, Bob talked about a new era of self-service learning and some new roles emerging for L&D professionals. One of these is that of “performance consultant,” working with clients and differentiating whether they truly have a learning need or require some other intervention. Another is being a coach for self-directed learners. Bob referred us to an article on trends in ASTD's T&D Magazine by Patricia McLagan -- "The Amazing Era of Self-Service Learning" (published in December 2011).
The audience raised a number of interesting questions, and the panelists gave great advice to all of us. As with all ASTD NY monthly chapter events, the program allowed for networking at the beginning and the end, and members made new connections. Overall, the evening was a hit, and a great way to start off the year! Hope to see you at future events!
VP of Programs