Spring 2020
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CTDO Magazine

Are You a Culture Catalyst?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

As we began planning content for the spring 2020 issue of CTDO magazine, we were in a very different situation than we find ourselves in now. And while much of this issue's content focuses on purpose and culture, we can't ignore the unprecedented global effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. They are likely weighing heavily on you, both personally and professionally. To help you as you brace and prepare for the disruption that is here as well as what may come, the Hot Topic article delves into scenario planning, talent forecasting, and how to practice your response options.

"It's not that forward-looking talent forecasting became important overnight because of the COVID-19 outbreak," write authors Matthew Daniel and Kristin Sharp. "The global turn of events … has created a new urgency for refining talent planning, both in the immediate term and for the turbulent economy ahead."


As you read further into the issue, you'll find articles full of trending ideas and best practices showing the power of culture. Even in these unique times, where many people are working from home, a focus on purpose and culture can play a big role.

The Spotlight article highlights Marissa Andrada, chief people officer at Chipotle, who knows all about the consumer impact of product integrity and social responsibility with the fast-casual restaurant's sustainable, whole-food philosophy. She applies this mission to developing the company's people too.

"I think about sustainability as sustainable people, a sustainable organization," she explains. "Our vision for people around authenticity is: How do we create a culture where our employees can thrive and pursue their passion?"

Cultural plays a critical role when it comes to delivering training too. Confessions From the C-Suite relays how one talent development team made cultural assumptions that derailed its project plans.

"As talent development leaders, we must have the discipline to balance staff needs, shifting priorities, and evolving organizational culture as well as the responsibility to advocate for solutions that solve workplace challenges for individuals, teams, and the organization," writes author Natasha Roberts, who met resistance when failing to test the cultural beat before implementing a new training program.


Certainly, you face dozens of difficult decisions every day as a leader responsible for developing people. How to drive, shape, and guard your organization's culture is certainly one of them.

Angst Index provides encouragement for leaders who must choose between several challenging dilemmas as they construct their company's vision and goals. Learn more about how to be a leadership catalyst by building your awareness of the context, developing a goal that everyone can share, and getting a handle on the worst outcome.

As always, I'd love to hear your feedback. Please contact me at any time with your thoughts.

About the Author

Ann Parker is Associate Director, Talent Leader Consortiums at ATD. In this role she drives strategy, product development, and content acquisition for ATD’s senior leader and executive audience. She also oversees business development and program management for ATD's senior leader consortiums, CTDO Next and ATD Forum.

Ann began her tenure at ATD in an editorial capacity, primarily writing for TD magazine as Senior Writer/Editor. In this role she had the privilege to talk to many training and development practitioners, hear from a variety of prominent industry thought leaders, and develop a rich understanding of the profession's content. She then became a Senior Content Manager for Senior Leaders & Executives, focusing on content and product development for the talent executive audience, before moving into her current role.

Ann is a native Pennsylvanian where she currently resides, marathoner, avid writer, baker and eater of sweets, wife to an Ironman, and mother of two.

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