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CTDO Magazine

Are You Ready?

Friday, April 15, 2022

We are in the middle of a season of change. The earth is undergoing rebirth as spring (thankfully!) makes its grand entrance.

People around the world are, yet again, readjusting expectations and lifestyles as major COVID-19 recommendations shift. And after weathering much disruption the past two years, talent development leaders are realizing that a new era of L&D is upon them—and perhaps wondering if they're ready for it.

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This issue's View From the Top article sums up this transition well: "When everything changes, there is no new normal for leaders." Author Frederick Miller explains why talent development leaders are well positioned to help their companies change fast enough.

Modeling new behaviors, putting people first, connecting with employees, and moving the middle are critical principles for organizations to thrive today. Further, Miller predicts that freedom, inclusion, and flexibility will be the markers of greater employee engagement in the months to come.

Engaging workers is no small feat and is a significant challenge concerning many TD executives. As disengaged employees leave organizations in droves, knowledge goes with them.

If companies do not already have the necessary systems in place to capture and transfer tacit and implicit knowledge, now is the time to start. Angst Index takes a deep dive into the actions necessary to counteract knowledge loss and engage employees.

Such measures to mitigate the effects of change can be exhausting. This new season of work is grooming a cadre of futurists within the field who are proactively integrating foresight planning within their TD strategies.

We can all learn a great deal from this issue's Spotlight executive, Stacy Eng, chief learning and talent officer at Chevron. She has created a future of work strategy group within Chevron's Learning and Talent Center of Excellence; the team operates like a research and development function, with its eye on external and internal trends.

"We need to continue to change the game in talent management," Eng says. "We need to gather and explore insights from external trends. We need to ask: What are other companies doing? How is the labor market changing? We also need to examine our internal data and insights like employee voice from our employee survey and drivers of employee engagement."

Chevron's Digital Academy is a recent effort to address the acceleration of digital transformation. It offers modules to boost employees' digital knowledge and awareness to ensure staff understand how automation is affecting different aspects of the business.   

With all this change, including grieving the loss of what once was while scrambling to stay ahead of what's to come, it is easy to burn out. Confessions From the C-Suite (my favorite article in this issue) presents a powerful story of one TD executive who learned how to stop saying yes.

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As a self-proclaimed serial volunteer, Kymberly Garrett reflects: "The most powerful lesson was that the overly taxed busy person often misses out because others assume they are too busy to take on the real, meaningful work. That lesson is one that to this day I lean into."

We have entered unchartered times. In the midst of the busyness, remember that sometimes it is most effective to step back so others can step up. Likewise, focus only on the work that moves the needle. I hope CTDO magazine is one resource that supports your work in this new season.

I'd love to know what column is your favorite or what topics you want to hear more about. Please contact me at any time to share how ATD can serve you better.

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

About the Author

Community of Practice Manager, ATD  Ann Parker is senior manager of the Human Capital Community of Practice and the Senior Leaders & Executives Community of Practice at ATD. Prior to this position, she worked at ATD for five years in an editorial capacity, primarily for TD magazine, and most recently as a senior writer and editor. In this role, Ann 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.

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