Using Learning to Drive Innovation: #People Innovators

4 Minutes

Last Thursday I went to a #PeopleInnovators event hosted by Udemy, in which Laurie Rebholz (...

Last Thursday I went to a #PeopleInnovators event hosted by Udemy, in which Laurie Rebholz (Director of Professional Development at CitiBank) discussed "How Citibank is Using Learning to Drive Innovation."

I was interested to learn more about innovation within the Learning & Development world, particularly following the #disruptHR event I went to last month, in which a few presentations highlighted the drive for “gamification” to both upskill and to keep talent engaged in the workplace.

My three key takeaways:

Laurie highlighted the importance of not just L&D professionals, but also the need for the broader HR function, to truly understand their business and client group’s goals and challenges. The aim is to build trust and credibility, with the result giving you “a seat at the table”. This is a fantastic point that I stress to most candidates and clients – in my opinion, the “best” HR talent has strong business acumen.

First and foremost they understand their businesses goals, which then enables them to provide relevant advice that aligns to achieving those goals. Once the goals have been achieved, it shows they are aware of how one is playing a part in the overall business’s success. When I screen HR profiles/CVs, I tend to look for these types of achievements – it is the best way to demonstrate your technical ability and to differentiate yourself! Laurie made a great final point by emphasising that once that “seat at the table” has been earned, you need to make sure you keep it! Again reinforcing that as businesses grow and evolve – so do the leaders and employees.

In order to “keep that seat at the table” and another interesting point that resonated with me, was Laurie’s passion to create a “culture of learning” – and to use that culture as a strategic business decision to retain and manage talent. This is pertinent, as I often speak to candidates that are specifically looking for the “next step”, their rationale is that their career progression/personal development has become stagnated in their current organisations – thus becoming disengaged and open to exploring the external market. Laurie highlighted the key to driving/creating a “culture of learning” was to get the buy in of the key leaders/decisions makers and have them share that message. 

 The last point that was of interest, was the “light bulb” moment (as Laurie put it). By this she means that organisations need to consider how people learn outside of the workplace. In our day to day lives we are constantly exposed to new, better and faster technologies that can do almost anything…including learning! How many of us use our mobile phones to do basically everything? Given this, the way in which learning material is designed and delivered in the workplace needs to embrace such changes and be updated accordingly. This will ensure employees are kept engaged, talent is being upskilled and ultimately create a culture conducive to learning. 

 Overall it was a well presented (Thanks Yvonne Chen) and insightful event, it’s great to see L&D leaders like Laurie and her team using tools such as Udmey to drive a learning culture.

 I’m always interested in hearing more about HR innovation and discussing upcoming trends with my HR network.

 One way to share your thoughts on the current market is through the Elliott Scott 2017 Global HR Survey. 

 Looking forward to the next event! If you would like to learn more about the HR market in the US, please get in touch via Twitter: @Rosh_HR, my LinkedIn or by email: