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CTDO Magazine Article

Future Focused

Developing talent today with an eye on tomorrow.


Tue Mar 15 2016


Developing talent today with an eye on tomorrow—as a talent development executive, you understand the dual focus required of your role. While you engage employees now, you must simultaneously anticipate organizational change and build a sustainable learning culture for the future.

Rahul Varma, chief learning officer at Accenture, understands such anticipation. "We want to help our clients be high-performing and successful, which means we need to be looking forward to where the world is headed," he says in this issue's spotlight feature article. For Accenture, achieving a future focus required innovation in the areas of strategic learning, training capacity, learning technology, and cost.


Accenture also reinvented its performance management practices as many leading talent development organizations have begun to do. The company is moving from the business of managing performance to achieving performance. Varma explains the philosophy behind this shift: "Our role as talent development officers is to engage the leaders of our organizations in embedding learning and development and its key innovations into the fabric of our business."

The engagement motif continues throughout this issue of CTDO. The Angst Index column takes a deeper look at how to measure and evaluate employee engagement in a meaningful way. And the Hot Topic article explores another driver of engagement: organizational culture. Author Julie Clow suggests the role of talent development executives in defining and shaping organizational culture: "The CTDO can serve as the driver for initiatives and can help assess progress over time, linking together the many disparate efforts across the organization in a holistic way."

Perhaps the most compelling column of all, Confessions From the C-Suite, discloses lessons learned in the design and launch of a real-world leadership development program. With the utmost authenticity and candor, Karie Willyerd describes how she realized that hope is stronger than truth when it comes to motivating change.

I am confident these themes of anticipation, engagement, culture, and change will resonate with you as you read the following pages of CTDO. I'd love to hear your feedback about this issue. What article was your favorite? Which column is most beneficial in helping to inform your role as a talent development executive? Please contact me at any time with your thoughts.

Ann Parker, ATD Community of Practice Manager


Senior Leaders & Executives

[email protected]

Read more from CTDO magazine: Essential talent development content for C-suite leaders.

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