February 2014
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TD Magazine

One to Watch Crystal Kadakia

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Title: Learning and Development Manager, Business Owner


Company: Procter & Gamble and Career Indulgence

Location: Dunedin, Florida

Education: Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering

Kadakia is an L&D manager for global engineering at Procter & Gamble, as well as the founder and owner of Career Indulgence. In her role at Procter & Gamble, she designs global onboarding programs, oversees the delivery of a global technical training program for new hires, and has developed a virtual portal for the entire global engineering organization. As a business owner, she consults on Generation Y–related topics for individuals, universities, and corporations.

What excites you about the L&D profession?

To me it is the continual pursuit of understanding how people learn and how best to train them, especially as we evolve due to the introduction of new technology. L&D professionals are on the cutting edge of what makes the biggest difference in an organization's success: the people. We live at the unique intersection of business, education, and neuroscience.

Especially with my growing expertise on Gen Y, I love being at this intersection and working to make training more and more effective, so that it ultimately affects business results.

Qualities for success

Leadership: I never let age become a conversation point. I take personal responsibility for being known as a leader in my field. This means being strategic, understanding the business perspective, communicating transparently with no fear, and always seeing the bigger picture.

Creativity: I am never afraid to try something new if the situation requires it. I always think in terms of what is easiest for the learner. This leads to methods of delivery that are sometimes different from what my instructors and subject matter experts are used to.

Objectives-focused: I am laser-focused on designing training and choosing delivery methods to meet a clearly defined objective for a clearly defined audience. As a result, learners, managers, and leaders always see the benefit of the training I have designed.

Biggest professional achievement

I spoke at TEDx Sarasota in October on the topic of Gen Y and technology. I'm also proud of creating a globally standard approach for Procter & Gamble's new engineering hires, and creating a completely virtual university-type training program for all of Procter & Gamble.


Staying current in the field

I read books written about Gen Y, both by Gen Y and non-Gen Y authors, as well as books about technology's impact on society. I externally benchmark when designing training, either for Procter & Gamble or for my own company. Lastly, I connect with professionals on LinkedIn and stay active in discussions on that platform.

On the evolution of L&D

I see my role shifting from just formal training to informal capability development—whether this is providing more structure for on-the-job training, becoming associated with IT in terms of knowledge systems, or developing location-independent training. I also see a need to redefine L&D and I see the L&D function's partnership with data accessibility growing.

Favorite quote

"A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions," spoken by Oliver Wendell Holmes; and "There is no passion to be found in playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living," spoken by Nelson Mandela.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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