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

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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