ISA Directory July_2016 : Page 2

ISA directory Buckle Up! How can Learning and Development professionals hang on through the roller coaster of disruptive change while also helping people grow in their careers and thrive in today’s thrilling — but chaotic — environment? A nother day, another unexpected turn of events. A whiplash shift in priorities. A complex problem the likes of which no one’s ever seen before. A disruptive new competitor. A distracting new technology. This is a day in the life of today’s leaders, managers, and employees around the globe. Unpredictability, change, and disruption are simply par for the course. At the same time, the mantras of grow, transform, accelerate, innovate, and outper-form only get louder and louder. As leaders involved in training, learning, talent develop-ment, and performance consulting, the members of ISA-The Association of Learning Providers, along with Training and Talent Development professionals everywhere, know these feelings all too well. In fact, we get it from all sides. How do we hang on through the roller coaster of disruptive change while also helping people grow in their careers and thrive in this thrilling — but chaotic — environment? ISA members gathered in Scottsdale, AZ, this past March for their three-day Annual Business Retreat to tackle these very issues. A packed agenda of inspiring and provocative thought leaders in learning and business today — including keynoters Tim Sanders, John Kotter, Tony Bond, and Michael Raynor — sparked lively discussion and new ideas about how to grow our businesses, cultures, and people in the midst of unprec-edented disruption. NURTURING COLLABORATIVE GENIUS Tim Sanders kicked things off with a keynote entitled “Genius as a Team Sport”— fitting for an organization that is designed to bring together and build off the collective intelligence and ideas of its members. The best-selling author of such books as “Dealstorming,” “Love Is the Killer App,” and “Saving the World at Work,” Sanders exploded the myth of the “lone ge-nius” and showed that this mindset is not only hampering the ability of many organizations to solve their nagging issues, it’s threatening to put them even further behind as more disrup-tors enter the market. “Genius is required to solve today’s problems,” Sanders said. “But genius isn’t in the person; it’s a product of collaboration, and too many businesses don’t have a team-solution culture in place. Rapid problem solving, which takes a collaborative, building-upon of ideas, is the only sustainable competitive advantage.” Sanders also highlighted the important role leadership plays in tapping that group genius, noting that effective leaders are the ones who encourage people to reveal what they know and share what they think. As many of their clients continue to struggle with addressing the ever-widening leadership capa-bilities gap, ISA members believe this will be a critical area to pay attention to. “Talent management and learning initiatives have to be more clearly linked to building those capabilities that will support the needs of the business, both now and in the future,” says Joe Trueblood, CEO of Amplify and president of ISA’s board of directors. “In highlighting the escalating pace of industry disruption over the last five years, Tim Sanders showed just how urgent of a priority this is. Yesterday’s leadership compe-tencies won’t drive tomorrow’s business success.” Sanders also discussed another issue that is sure to resonate with Learning and Development (L&D) professionals whose “digital native” learners are seeking out their own learning content: “unteaching.” Bad information, he said, is one of the biggest disruptors we’re all facing, and that means more time will be focused on combating what people think they know with what the reality actually is. Assembling the Talent for the Task Who should you bring together when you have a tough problem to solve? Keynoter Tim Sanders suggests asking these two questions: 1. Who knows something about the problem? 2. Who has a stake in the outcome? THE CULTURE CLUB While Learning and Talent Development leaders long have rec-ognized the importance of the so-called “soft” factors — such as culture, engagement, retention, and development — these issues only recently have moved to the forefront of the ex-ecutive agenda. As Great Place to Work EVP and Chief Innovation Officer Tony Bond discussed during his keynote session, culture finally is getting its due, and there are plenty of good business reasons for it. 2 | JULY/AUGUST 2016 training www.trainingmag.com

Buckle Up!

How can Learning and Development professionals hang on through the roller coaster of disruptive change while also helping people grow in their careers and thrive in today’s thrilling — but chaotic — environment?

Another day, another unexpected turn of events. A whiplash shift in priorities. A complex problem the likes of which no one’s ever seen before. A disruptive new competitor. A distracting new technology.

This is a day in the life of today’s leaders, managers, and employees around the globe. Unpredictability, change, and disruption are simply par for the course. At the same time, the mantras of grow, transform, accelerate, innovate, and outperform only get louder and louder.

As leaders involved in training, learning, talent development, and performance consulting, the members of ISA-The Association of Learning Providers, along with Training and Talent Development professionals everywhere, know these feelings all too well. In fact, we get it from all sides. How do we hang on through the roller coaster of disruptive change while also helping people grow in their careers and thrive in this thrilling — but chaotic — environment?

ISA members gathered in Scottsdale, AZ, this past March for their three-day Annual Business Retreat to tackle these very issues. A packed agenda of inspiring and provocative thought leaders in learning and business today — including keynoters Tim Sanders, John Kotter, Tony Bond, and Michael Raynor — sparked lively discussion and new ideas about how to grow our businesses, cultures, and people in the midst of unprecedented disruption.

NURTURING COLLABORATIVE GENIUS

Tim Sanders kicked things off with a keynote entitled “Genius as a Team Sport”— fitting for an organization that is designed to bring together and build off the collective intelligence and ideas of its members. The best-selling author of such books as “Dealstorming,” “Love Is the Killer App,” and “Saving the World at Work,” Sanders exploded the myth of the “lone genius” and showed that this mindset is not only hampering the ability of many organizations to solve their nagging issues, it’s threatening to put them even further behind as more disruptors enter the market.

“Genius is required to solve today’s problems,” Sanders said. “But genius isn’t in the person; it’s a product of collaboration, and too many businesses don’t have a team-solution culture in place. Rapid problem solving, which takes a collaborative, building-upon of ideas, is the only sustainable competitive advantage.”

Sanders also highlighted the important role leadership plays in tapping that group genius, noting that effective leaders are the ones who encourage people to reveal what they know and share what they think. As many of their clients continue to struggle with addressing the ever-widening leadership capabilities gap, ISA members believe this will be a critical area to pay attention to.

“Talent management and learning initiatives have to be more clearly linked to building those capabilities that will support the needs of the business, both now and in the future,” says Joe Trueblood, CEO of Amplify and president of ISA’s board of directors. “In highlighting the escalating pace of industry disruption over the last five years, Tim Sanders showed just how urgent of a priority this is. Yesterday’s leadership competencies won’t drive tomorrow’s business success.”

Sanders also discussed another issue that is sure to resonate with Learning and Development (L&D) professionals whose “digital native” learners are seeking out their own learning content: “unteaching.” Bad information, he said, is one of the biggest disruptors we’re all facing, and that means more time will be focused on combating what people think they know with what the reality actually is.

Assembling the Talent for the Task

Who should you bring together when you have a tough problem to solve? Keynoter Tim Sanders suggests asking these two questions:



Who knows something about the problem?


Who has a stake in the outcome?

THE CULTURE CLUB

While Learning and Talent Development leaders long have recognized the importance of the so-called “soft” factors — such as culture, engagement, retention, and development — these issues only recently have moved to the forefront of the executive agenda. As Great Place to Work EVP and Chief Innovation Officer Tony Bond discussed during his keynote session, culture finally is getting its due, and there are plenty of good business reasons for it.

For one, organizations can’t successfully compete and grow if they can’t keep top talent. “Without talent, there is no business,” Bond said. “And in order to retain and engage talent as the world around us changes, companies need to focus on engaging employees on three different levels: as people, as professionals, and as members of society. Leaders need to realize that along with growth and reinvention of the business comes the need for employees to continuously adapt to change.”

Dovetailing on Sanders’ remarks, Bond also noted the companies that will be able to reinvent themselves and navigate the speed of change will be those that foster greater employee collaboration and innovation. All of these factors, he added, hinge on having a high-trust culture in place.

Bond’s keynote demonstrated that when it comes to hard business numbers, there’s nothing “soft” about culture. Companies with great cultures not only make great places to work, they also outperform the market. In studying the world’s best workplaces for the last 25 years and putting together Fortune’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, Great Place to Work has found that, since 1997, the “Best Companies” have performed nearly two times better than the general market.

“Tony’s presentation made it clear that being a ‘Best Place to Work’ isn’t just nice for PR,” says ISA Executive Director Pam Schmidt. “When you look at the statistics and the track records of these companies, and consider how much change has rocked the business world over the last 25 years, the business results speak for themselves.”

The session brought up several hot-button issues many ISA members say their clients are grappling with, including the implications for developing and engaging Millennial employees and the heightened expectations and responsibilities of leaders. While new generations entering the workforce create disruption on their own, Bond noted that there is a common thread of wants and needs across all employee groups, and it includes things such as opportunities to grow, flexibility and balance, sense of purpose, and transparency. The 100 Best Companies are paying attention. One of the most commonly cited areas of focus in these companies is employee development, and nearly all (91 percent) offer telecommuting. Other arrangements many offer to support the desire for flexibility and balance include flexible scheduling, job sharing, and sabbaticals.

While areas such as HR, L&D, and talent development facilitate these programs, Bond said it’s important to recognize that they must work hand-in-hand with executive management and leaders for the cultural change to take hold and be seen as a key business driver.

“This session validated what our members already recognize from their own experiences, both as business owners and in their client work,” Trueblood says. “The No. 1 driver of employees’ perceptions of a great workplace is a belief that ‘management cares for me as a person, not just an employee.’ This just underscores the critical role leaders play in creating and maintaining the culture.”

Bond wrapped up by turning his attention to the little guys. Many small to medium-sized businesses feel they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent because they may lack the resources, visibility, or budgets to offer perks on par with the huge companies. Sharing examples from the stories of companies on the Great Places to Work 50 Best Small & Medium Workplaces list, Bond showed you don’t have to be big to win the talent development game. Particularly when it comes to culture, smaller organizations can be at a distinct advantage. Hazel Jackson, co-founder of ISA member firm Biz Group — which has ranked No. 1 on the institute’s list of best small and medium-sized places to work in the United Arab Emirates every year since 2013 — says the company’s culture and values are the key driving force contributing to these awards.

BRINGING IT BACK HOME

Each year at the retreat, the speakers provide food for thought that members will bring back to their organizations for further exploration and discussion with their teams. The goal is to inspire new thinking and put the right strategies into action for their employees and customers.

In addition, Schmidt says members routinely tell her some of their most valued time comes in between the sessions, over coffee, at lunch, in side conversations, and in animated discussions throughout the conference facilities.

“You have to be a lifetime learner if you want to grow your business and continually adapt to support your customers’ changing business needs,” she says. “ISA members value this opportunity to connect and bounce ideas off one another, solve problems together, and learn from the best. They practice what they preach. From my vantage point, they are the living example of the power of genius as a team sport!”

6 Talent Strategies from the 50 Best Small & Medium Workplaces

Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Here are six strategies any company can employ to attract, retain, and engage top talent:



Provide robust opportunities for growth and development. Showcase development opportunities as part of the Employer Value Proposition.



Highlight the impact employees can make by working at your company. Sense of purpose is especially important to Millennials.



Ensure pay is fair and benefits are enticing. Get creative about perks, including bring your own device (BYOD) policies, flexible work arrangements, healthy snacks, etc.



Employ creative recruiting tactics. Ideas include employee referral bonuses, internship programs, and partnerships with colleges and universities.



Make a phenomenal first impression. It’s your first opportunity to impress a candidate, and it’s also good for the company’s reputation.


Make the company’s unique culture a selling point. Showcase culture as part of the Employer Value Proposition, and pay strict attention to culture in the hiring process.

Expert Presentation Tips

ISA’s Annual Business Retreat is all about learning and sharing insights. True to that spirit, Mary McGlynn, CEO of PowerSpeaking, Inc., offers a few presentation tips and lessons learned from her experience delivering the keynote after her company was presented with the 2016 ISA Business of the Year Award.



Be audience-centric: How do you connect with your audience? Stop talking about yourself, and start talking about what matters to them. I tapped into my audience’s concerns as learning providers and used the lessons from the last two years to talk about their issues.



Drive your storyline home: I hammered home the theme of building connections and getting guidance from the community—never underestimating the power of people working, caring, and helping each other. Just as my small village came together to help the McGlynn family in our time of crisis, my business village helped PowerSpeaking, Inc., during times of turmoil.


Disrupt the patterns: How long can an audience listen with complete focus? According to my friend, Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann International, it’s not long, because we all have acquired a kind of attention deficit disorder from the constant interruptions of our devices. Here are a few ways I disrupted the pattern to keep the audience interested and focused:

• Tell stories: A story taps into the emotional, logical, and ethical experience of the audience, which means they will be more engaged.

• Mix it up: I used an iPhone and iMovie as a way to help my community “show up” during the presentation.

• Include a guest presenter: I asked our Learning manager, Angela Gregory, to provide a lesson on how to manage massive amounts of content. She is the expert. I am not.


Ask for help: Rehearsal is key! I admit, I do have a secret advantage: I have a ton of support from a team of experts. I only had to ask for coaching. Talk about community!

Read the full article at https://pubs.royle.com/article/Buckle+Up%21/2529967/319822/article.html.

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