Fall 2020
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CTDO Magazine

Your Time to Shine

This summer I returned from parental leave to a workplace where everything had changed and nothing seemed the same. It felt as if my colleagues and I were waiting for life to return to “normal,” yet any semblance of normalcy had been decimated by global disruption on various fronts.

As I reacclimated to working (from home) life, I had the opportunity to hear from a handful of talent development executives like you about the most critical things for the profession to do right now. Some said to revisit the learning agenda and revise the function’s operating model to focus only on what the business needs.


Others pushed for strong metrics that will show the value of learning in a turbulent economy. Still others found the need for increased agility, better listening, and heightened empathy to be the crux of the talent development executive’s role during this season.

As I considered such shifting priorities, I realized that perhaps unprecedented disruption in the form of a global pandemic and social justice movement is a prime opportunity for our profession to shine. Themes in the fall 2020 issue of CTDO magazine concur.

Deborah Rinner, author of this issue’s Confessions From the C-Suite, describes how she has learned to think differently and do better while converting classroom training to virtual experiences. “This is a silver lining [of the pandemic] that will positively influence my work as a learning professional,” Rinner confesses. Many of us can relate.

ESPN is one example of an organization striving to do better. Its learning team, which Vice President of Development, Inclusion, and Wellness Tonya Harris Cornileus leads, is responsible for creating a culture of belonging. In this issue’s Spotlight, Cornileus says such belonging shows up in multiple ways, including cultivating the company’s nine employee resource groups and launching inclusive conversations.

Championing belonging, inclusion, and connection is a critical and timely responsibility of talent development leaders in all organizations. The Hot Topic article, “Pull Back the Curtain on Pay,” explores the trend of pay transparency, propelled forward in practice due to gender and racial pay equity gaps. The article will guide you on how to proactively report on your own company’s pay equity and, if there is a gap, close it.


And in Perspectives, our newest CTDO section, listen to sound bites from two executives about how to make unconscious bias training more effective and your organization more inclusive and equitable.

As detailed in Angst Index, we all are facing a new reality—one ripe with opportunities for talent development leaders to step up and guide talent development efforts.

“The world is changing, and you have more tools, investment, and access to leaders and employees than ever before,” the authors write. “If there were ever the need for the talent development superhero, that time is now. Will you heed the call?”

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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