Fall 2021
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CTDO Magazine

Getting Through It

Friday, October 15, 2021

A friend recently shared with me a mantra that has been sustaining her through a difficult time: “The only way out is through.” That sentiment emerges from the Robert Frost poem A Servant to Servants in which he writes “the best way out is always through. / And I agree to that, or in so far / As that I can see no way out but through.”

It’s been a challenging 18 months, to say the least. Although hope for an end to the pandemic surged earlier this year, new uncertainty has been wreaking fresh havoc on our plans to get back to “normal.” This roller-coaster ride has had a profound effect on us personally, on our employees, and on our organizations.


As reported in this CTDO issue’s Closer Look column, everyone’s situation is unique, and many workers have reassessed and reprioritized aspects of their lives. To meet employees where they are, talent development leaders are taking a hard look at the employee experience. Learn how to invest in that experience and the benefits that can support and retain workers.

In Angst Index, Troy Hall points out that employees are willing to change jobs for the employee experience they desire. He describes how to turn the resignation tide around by creating safe workspaces that offer staff a place where they can belong, are valued, and can share in mutual commitments.

Although we cannot control change itself, we can focus on building new capabilities that help workers grow through it and our companies to continually innovate. In View From the Top, Pat McLagan charges learning leaders to assist and shape people’s responses to advances in technology so that organizations co-evolve with technology.

And this issue’s Spotlight offers a poignant example of innovation at its finest. Kathryn J. Coleman, senior vice president of talent, learning, and insights for 3M, supports the consumer goods company’s culture of innovation and ensures employees have the capabilities they need to succeed.

“Innovation is our culture,” she says, adding that “If employees are curious or want to explore something, they just do it. You really get some of the most innovative ideas when you allow people to explore, to pull threads of new and different knowledge.”


Learning is a powerful tool to help us all get through whatever challenges we face. And that is why your job—especially now—is so important.

Your role in leading a learning function opens new possibilities for people to grow, teams to thrive, and organizations to innovate. My goal is to continue to evolve CTDO magazine to remain a critical resource for your own professional transformation. 

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

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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