According to the May 2019 ATD research report, The Future of Work: Technology, Predictions, and Preparing the Workforce, future-ready organizations are significantly more likely than non-future-ready organizations to have formal discussions about the future of work. These discussions can help leaders start thinking about what organizational changes they may need to make for the next several years.
Nearly 50 senior learning leaders gathered at ATD 2019 to engage in future-forward discussions. These talent development executives were participants of the third annual—and largest yet—CTDO Next program.
The CTDO Next network is an exclusive individual membership for executive-level learning leaders. It was developed to help shape what’s next in the TD field, with a focus on future of work technologies and transformations. Leaders explore these topics and their implications and determine necessary changes through a think-tank approach.
At the daylong program, 15 of the 17 current CTDO Next members gathered, along with special guests. Chef José Andrés kicked off the event as the keynote speaker, sharing his story about starting World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that provides meals in the wake of natural disasters. Through a moderated Q&A session, Andrés discussed purpose in the workplace, agile and adaptable leadership, and the need to bring together diverse skills and abilities for true innovation.
“Companies have to have purpose that is genuine,” Andrés said. He explained that his nonprofit’s purpose is “to change the world through our food”—a message, he noted, that is simple to understand.
“Let’s feed the many when we can.” World Central Kitchen’s experiences with setting up kitchens in disaster areas just hours after landing has underscored the need for all companies to be adaptable. “If adaptability isn’t part of your vocabulary, chances are you’re already behind,” he stressed. “We have to bring adaptation … into our company values.”
Then two CTDO Next members explored current transformations in the workplace. Tim Tobin, vice president of franchisee onboarding and learning at Choice Hotels, presented on the democratization of leadership. Attendees discussed qualities of leaders who are thriving in the future workplace, including authenticity, purposefulness, coachability, experimentation, self-awareness, and acceptance of human-machine collaboration.
The program concluded with a presentation by Tamar Elkeles, chief human resources officer at XCOM, on talent development’s role in the digital transformation. Elkeles posed the position that all technology transitions are human transitions.
“When technology has broad reach, high visibility, and the potential for significant impact on customers, employees, and even the company culture, it is incumbent on talent development to play a new, broader, and more strategic role in the process,” Elkeles said. “After all, people select, plan, implement, and manage every technology transition. People direct its ongoing use and evaluate its efficiency and impact.”
Finally, participants discussed necessary changes in this new digital landscape and some next steps for talent development leaders to take in the days to come. Following the CTDO Next program, participants dined at Chef Andrés’ Oyamel, an iconic Washington, D.C., restaurant destination, where they enjoyed an evening of networking with like-minded peers.
To learn more about CTDO Next, please contact Ann Parker at [email protected].