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ATD Blog

One Thing TD Execs Should Do Right Now: Understand the Change and Adapt

Monday, August 24, 2020

The pandemic has amplified the presence of disruption in our lives. It is hard to think of an organization that has not been affected, be it through a loss of business or a significant growth in business. All of this amid a call to action to respond and adapt with limited face-to-face collaboration and an increasing dependence on a digital way of working and workplace. It is critical that talent development understand the implications and how they shape our actions to ensure our organizations respond with relevance and recognized impact.

Understand the Change for the Business

  • What are the implications for the business, the busines model, and the financial plan?
  • What is the magnitude of change—fundamental versus fleeting, permanent versus temporary?
  • What help does the business need (strategy, customers, people, processes, services, systems)?
  • What opportunities have emerged and what risks?
  • What are the resulting priorities that require capability and learning acceleration?


Understand the Change for Talent Development

  • Are you expected to do the same things differently or do vastly different things?
  • What needs to be prioritized, accelerated, delayed, or deferred?
  • What levers can you lead with—short game versus long game—and how can you measure progress?
  • What capabilities and new roles are needed to ensure your function succeeds?
  • How much time do you have and how can you scale it, embracing traction rather than perfection?

Understand the Change for You

  • What can you do to align your mindset to ensure you lead the change with positive impact?
  • What can you do to focus on the big picture, maintain your perspective, and perform at your best?
  • What actions can you take to connect and engage with your stakeholders, peers, and teams to help shape a successful outcome for all (decision makers, influencers, enablers)?
  • What can you do to engage leaders to help drive the cultural shift needed to create a change ready workforce that is agile in mindset and action?
  • What can you do to balance the weight of expectation with appreciation for your team and yourself during this complex time?

While change is inevitable, the opportunities that accompany it can be incredible. Now is the time to understand the change for the business, for talent development and for yourself. Then adapt and act.

About the Author

As vice president of Learning & Professional Development at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Adrian is responsible for the enterprise-wide learning and development strategy, including leadership development, assessment, coaching, onboarding, professional skills, technical career path, functions, and compliance portfolios for HPE’s people and people leaders.

Since the launch of HPE, Adrian has led the development of HPE’s leadership model, digital learning strategy, and culture activation plan. Prior to this, Adrian led the learning and development separation management office at HP, contributing to one of the largest and fastest corporate separations to date. The timely separation of learning programs, processes, systems, functions, and people resulted in the successful startup of learning ecosystems for both Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc.

Prior to pursuing a passion for bringing out the best in people with a move to learning and development at HP, Adrian led business and go-to market teams covering sales, marketing, and business operations within HP’s enterprise, SMB, and consumer organizations. Adrian has lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, contributing to his belief in the strength of cultural diversity across a global organization like HPE. He now resides in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Hi Adrian,
I'm a budding Talent Development specialist. Although I'm still in school, this article is a great resource to understand fundamentals of change management. Thanks for posting.
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Thanks Adrian. This is truly a great blueprint for guiding L&D leaders. Coming a practising L&D leader. i'll use it as a checklist :)
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