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Meet an ATD 2015 Featured Speaker: David Yesford


Fri May 01 2015

Meet an ATD 2015 Featured Speaker: David Yesford

David Yesford of Wilson Learning, an ATD 2015 speaker, answers questions relating to the content of his ATD 2015 session, “Global Agility: Working With Diverse Cultures Around the World or Just Across the Hallway.” This is part of the Global HRD Featured Speakers blog series.

What is the title of your presentation?


Global Agility: Working With Diverse Cultures Around the World or Just Across the Hallway (W318)

Why is this topic important for learning and talent development professionals?

Most organizations today work globally and interact with multiple cultures. While organizations have focused on building the structure, systems, and processes to achieve their global strategy, all too often little attention is given to the people who make the systems work. As the champion of developing your organization’s people, your responsibility has expanded to ensure that they are a globally agile workforce.

What will be the top three takeaways from your presentation?

  • You will learn about the importance and distinguishing characteristics of a culturally agile workforce, and assess your own organization against these attributes.

  • You will explore key dimensions for creating a global mindset.

  • You will outline a plan to apply these dimensions to your own organization and discuss your approach with other participants.

What is your experience with the ATD International Conference & Exposition?


Along with Wilson Learning, I have participated in the ATD conference for several years at the EXPO. I have delivered several concurrent sessions over the years on leadership and global topics. Most recently I spoke at the 2013 International Conference & EXPO in Dallas about the requirements for making a learning project for a global audience. 

What do you expect to get out of this year’s ATD 2015 International Conference & Exposition?

Access to new thinking, ideas, and approaches, as well as the opportunity to network with leaders in the industry and practitioners who are driving training and development initiatives in their organization.

What are some suggestions you have for attendees to get the most out of their experience at ATD 2015?

The ATD conference is the largest in the industry, and engages participants with a vast array of proven approaches and new thinking. Plan in advance—identify the sessions that will address your current and future needs. Also, if you can’t make a session, sign up for any recordings available. Download the handouts in advance of the conference so it is easy to take notes during the session, or have the handouts in your tablet for easy note-taking.


Network, network, network—with speakers, other participants, and representatives from supplier organizations. These connections are invaluable when you want to bounce ideas around, need input, or are seeking wisdom.

Use the EXPO to research and find new ideas on trends and approaches that you can use back on the job. Plan to visit exhibitors that have products and services you may need. Talk with exhibitors, and you will be surprised by the additional information you gain that will help you find the solutions you need. Most will be happy to have a discussion with you and share their knowledge and expertise.

Plan to take back to the office materials and ideas that your team can use. Schedule a meeting to discuss what you learned, information critical to your team’s objectives, and action items for follow-up.

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