Summer 2019
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How Are You Leading Change?

Navigating constant and continuous organizational change is a full-time endeavor. In a workplace that is ever transforming, how can talent development executives learn to stop chasing change and instead lead it?

This issue of CTDO magazine is ripe with stories of change from talent development leaders like you. In “Lessons in Leading Transformation,“ author Sean Kennedy, senior vice president of learning strategy at Cambridge Leadership Group, divulges lessons he learned when a change initiative didn’t go as planned.


“Recently, I’ve been studying and working with clients on change and transformation. And I’ve been living through it at my organization,” he writes. “What I have discovered is that leading transformation at the top is different—and requires a new way of thinking.” Kennedy explains how he fell into the trap of treating a transformational change like a tactical one and learned that before any major change can take root, the organization itself must be transformed.

In “Challenge Your Culture,“ Rebecca Jones, chief learning officer at European Wax Center, describes her journey through transformation when she was tasked with cultivating company culture during widespread change. “My challenge was to replicate this localized, authentic effort across the organization while making it engaging and attractive enough to gain franchisees’ and their teams’ voluntary commitment,” Jones recalls.

As a talent development leader, learning to steer your organization through change is an increasingly in-demand capability. It is critical to anticipate and stay ahead of changes that affect both the organizations’ and its employees’ performance.

In “It's Time to Own It,“ we make the case that the talent development function shares the responsibility for closing impending skills gaps. In collaboration with business owners and employees, the function must step up to address this growing skills shortage.

You can find inspiration from Spotlight feature Mary McNevin, director of talent management at U.S. Venture, who is focused on succession planning efforts at the energy, automotive, and lubricant products company, where each employee in the executive pipeline has an individual development plan. Learn how McNevin works to increase career growth and skills development opportunities for new hires through higher education partnerships and leadership training programs.

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback about this issue. What article was your favorite? Which column is most beneficial in helping to inform your role as a talent development executive? Please contact me at any time with your thoughts.

Ann Parker


Senior Content Manager

Senior Leaders & Executives

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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