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Learning Is The New Working

  • The Skills Obsession: A 'third age' of human capital management w/Workday's Greg Pryor

    27 OCT 2021 · Another RedThread Rewind episode: “I think we have to help organizations get out of the way and let people unleash and unlock their ca-pabilities in ways that does not require the organization to be at the center.” Sounds pretty optimistic? No surprise as whatever else he is, our guest this week, Greg Pryor, is an optimist—and we are too, given the power of the examples and the strength of the conviction he gave us in this hour of debate over the future of HR. Greg, People & Performance Evangelist at Workday, a tech firm that is shaking up the world of enterprise software and which we’re grateful to have as sponsor of this whole Work-place Stories first season, shares many fascinating insights into what he sees as a totally new age for human capital management that the pandemic has tipped us all into. These cover the gamut from bleeding-edge academic research on the future of work to the life lessons kids are teaching their par-ents out of playing Fortnite, and keep Stacia and fellow interviewer Chris engaged and often delighted. It’s a great conversation: use it to level up your thinking about skills. We certainly did.
    54m 1s
  • Integrating Inclusion: It’s light you want, not heat, w/Jesse Jackson, JPMorgan Chase

    19 OCT 2021 · Sometimes you feel you’re in the eye of the hurricane: so much is happening in terms of our wider society in terms of changing expectations, changing ways of working, changing life choices. Add the potentially explosive compound called ‘Diversity’ into all this, and it can start to feel a little hot in here. But, advises this week’s special guest and DEIB and L&D expert practitioner Jesse Jackson, CLO for JPMorgan Chase with a special focus on the Wall St’s giant’s consumer community banking business: when it comes to getting DEIB right, it’s not heat you want: it’s light. This is a really fascinating chance to find out from a person deep in the midst of all the changes we’re talking about, but also deep in a blue-chip financial services firm that always has to see things in terms of achievable ROI. We’ll let you decide if you agree that’s what Jesse’s achieving: us, we’re hunkering down in the place where it’s always the most interesting… that hurricane’s eye. Because that’s where change happens.
    45m 5s
  • The Skills Obsession: Learning The Many Languages of Skills w/Mars’s Nuno Gonçalves

    19 OCT 2021 · “I think that in the future, what will be really necessary in terms of skills are people that talk different languages of skills… talking different languages of different skill sets will be something really, really im-portant.” Why is it significant that become more expert seems so fused with speaking restricted lan-guages? And what does it mean to have ‘intentionality’ about skills? How do you start to really under-stand the skills needs of an organization you join in COVID? This week, these and many other thorny but critical issues get exposed via our debate with long-time friend and highly accomplished CLO and talent leader Nuno Gonçalves, who is now starting to do at global confectionary, food and pet care giant Mars what he did at European life sciences player UCB: implement a cross-company, future-focused skills strategy. It’s an excellent conversation with a truly passionate learning ninja who’s thought deeply about these problems; we think you’re going to love it.
    49m 32s
  • Integrating Inclusion: creating space for courageous conversations, w/Rachel Fichter, S&PGlobal

    13 OCT 2021 · Are there three sets of people in Inclusion: the folks doing the ground-level work on DEIB, maybe the researchers way off in the academic stratosphere, and then the people actually affected by these issues on a day-to-day level in the workplace? If so, could we simplify this and remove a layer? If you think that’s a good idea, then listen today to someone who is doing all she can to fuse the first two roles there—Rachel Fichter, a PhD who also works for a Wall St financial analytics firm, S&P Global… but who sees herself in a fascinating new kind of role in HR and analytics: DEIB scholar-practitioner, helping her firm Integrate Inclusion while also diving into the literature on Belonging in the Columbia University stacks. So: quite a woman. And quite a DEIB thinker. You’re going to like this Workplace Story.
    58m 38s
  • The Skills Obsession: Designing the Skills Future w/Lisa Kay Solomon of the Stanford

    13 OCT 2021 · “What I introduce [my students] to are the kinds of skills that allow them to navigate ambiguity.” If that seems like urgently-needed capability you or your team to have you’re in luck, as you’re about to find out a whole lot more about why you’d need such a thing… and why you won’t find it, alas, in to-day’s conventional curriculum (including corporate L&D). In the first full episode of our new Red-Thread podcast—our deep dive into what we’re calling capitalism’s focus on ‘The Skills Obsession’—we meet passionate educator, innovator and bestselling author Lisa Kay Solomon. Designer in Resi-dence at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (‘the’) at Stanford University, Lisa presents in her dialog with Stacia, Dani and Chris something of a masterclass in what thinking about the future actually needs to consist of—and how that feeds into her conviction that, “learning is the currency of possibility.”
    58m 32s
  • Why Microsoft’s Shelby Grieve thinks managers should be measured by a lot more than how many donuts they bring in for the team

    9 JUN 2021 · In December 2020, I was invited to host three live Learning podcasts at last year’s HR Innovation and Tech Fest (#HRTechFest), a week-long event hosted in Sydney, Australia by Hannover Fairs; I’d previously attended as an in-person delegate, and loved the energy and vibrancy of the Antipodean L&D community I interacted with, so I was more than happy to help out when asked (and can’t wait for it to go back to being real-world again later this year!). You may have caught my previous excellent Tech Fest conversation with Air New Zealand’s Dr Sydney Savion—and this is the perfect follow-up: Director of Manager/Leader Capabilities, Worldwide Learning at Microsoft, Shelby Grieve. A progressive, results-oriented leader with nearly 25 years of experience building and managing high performing, cross-functional teams, as well as building impactful, highly scaled global programs, Shelby has proven leadership skills and is a 2018 recipient of Microsoft's prestigious Circle of Excellence award, and at Platinum Level. And former Basketball champ and coach! Our conversation ranges across a range of really interesting L&D issues, shaped by her experience at a Microsoft actively moving to the famous shift from ‘know-it-all’ to a ‘learn-it-all’ culture demanded by LFG's favourite CEO, Satya Nadella, as well as: what 18 months of structured modelling, coaching and caring tuition for managers is achieving; how ‘model, coach and care’ capability is genuinely a performance metric now and what she and her team do when it isn’t happening enough; Microsoft’s new rule of three (personal impact, how much you helped others succeed, and how well you leveraged the work of others); a very different picture of virtual corporate training looks like; good tools to help you; what Microsoft is doing to get ready for the imminent hybrid workplace; and much more.
    31m 48s
  • A special cross-over episode from RedThread’s new deep dive into all things Skills

    26 MAY 2021 · In our thematic Season 5—‘The Learning Leaders’—we’ve been meeting both new and seasoned leaders from industry, academia, and technology. The sole criterion for us profiling them is they have made significant contributions to workplace learning, EdTech, and talent leadership disciplines—and that’s absolutely true of today’s guest, 15-year veteran of leading and consulting on talent development and learning transformations in Fortune 100s, Matthew Daniel. Now Principal Consultant at Guild Education—which is an amazing institution in its own right, of course—Matthew is genuinely passionate about skills and the trouble we may be storing up for ourselves as a society around them. And indeed skills is the focus of the whole separate podcast series I am borrowing this excellent conversation from, our partner RedThread Research’s amazing ‘Workplace Stories’ podcast: kicking off in February, this is a series of analyses with experts (and indeed, Learning Leaders in their own right) who are working wit Stacia, Dani and I to unpick, in Season 1, what RTR sees as our current ‘Skills Obsession.’ This run is being sponsored by the great guys over at Workday, who plan to run an exclusive live webinar towards the end of the season, where you can meet us and join in a conversation about the future of skills and skills management. Find out more information, and access exclusive Workplace Stories from RedThread Research Season 1 ‘The Skills Obsession,’ please go to the main RedThread home page at and click on ‘Podcast.' I hope you like this episode enough to want to get more, so please think about Following (what we do now instead of ‘subscribing,’ see) on your podcast platform of choice; see you over at Workplace Stories soon!
    52m 36s
  • How an open and experimental mindset, passion for the topic and a love of haikus helped Glisi's L&D team deliver extraordinary DEI impact

    12 MAY 2021 · If you're working for a body whose main mission is to develop a Georgia where schools and communities pursue breakthrough success for all students regardless of race, geography, or family income, you’re right in thinking that support for diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) is going to be a big priority. Then the pandemic hit—and here in Season 6 of ‘Learning Is The New Working’ we’re looking into the impact of the global health crisis on the future of work and Workplace Learning. So this week we get a chance to not just do that, but also to see some real pandemic-inspired L&D innovation, too, as we hear from the great people over at non-profit Glisi, the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement. Set up by former state Governor Roy Barnes with a mission to uplift school leaders, transform mindsets and action, create vibrant cultures of innovation and build excellent and equitable schools, Glisi is there to help: so get ready to hear how it did so, with something different—the use of bite-sized, 1200-character max text-based learning… and all this in the crazy first months of the ‘rona, as part of a drive to help teach thousands of educators and managers in one of the State’s biggest school districts get to grips with what can be a very challenging topic for L&D (and users). So listen as the organization’s Senior Program Director Letishia Seabrook Jones and her colleague the Associate Director of Organizational Effectiveness, Kasey Wood, share with us the practicalities of working with this unique L&D tech, which is from Arist, which develops text message-based learning that is strives to be as accessible, engaging, and super effective as possible. These practicalities include working with that very tight constraint of 1200 characters, as well as: a core design principle—let’s get through all of this course, even if it makes you uncomfortable; a great project motivator—How do we keep people uplifted during this year with so much this past year, with so much change, and so much unknown? what it’s like to build two new courses from scratch, remotely. over 10 days each; going from creating hours or days of content to something much smaller; how text-based content met the need for steady light touches in the flow of work to coach people when maybe they couldn't dedicate 30 minutes, but they could dedicate five or 10, maybe even 15; how useful the supplier’s guidance was on things feedback on basics of instruction, use of emojis, and where to put links so that they weren't missed; and much more.
    29m 16s
  • What we now know about the real meaning of purpose for Learning & Development

    28 APR 2021 · In 2019, the Business Roundtable surprised many when it declared that companies should have a purpose beyond serving shareholders—that the corporation’s goal should also be to deliver value to customers, employees, suppliers and communities. Clearly, learning and development is critical to delivering this vision: by investing in the workforce, we give our users the skills and knowledge they need to feel valued and deliver better service to customers and communities. But how do we know if our investment is working? What does successful purpose look like? Inspired by the Roundtable announcement, longtime friends of the podcast RedThread Research and I decided to try and find out in the shape of what became Season 7 of ‘Learning Is The New Working’—our attempt to answer the question, ‘Is Purpose Working?’ It should be noted Stacia and Dani had already had the purpose question under their research microscope, which gave us a great platform for our work of discovery—and leading L&D tech firm NovoEd, also fascinated by the implications for its customers of the shift to Purpose, also decided to help out by generously stepping into sponsor the work. As you’ll know, over the course of 10 episodes, comprised of a scene setter and nine interviews with purpose stakeholders across a range of industries, we really shook the trees on this one. And this week, we pull all the threads together (a word deliberately chosen, as you’ll about to hear) for a special summary discussion, ‘The Role of Purpose in Supercharging Workplace Learning,’ that forms this special final season episode, our season-capping webinar hosted by the good people over at NovoEd. Tune in now to listen to myself, Stacia and Dani, as well as NovoEd’s Director, Product & Content Marketing Declan Fox—all under the expert MC-ing of his colleague, the company’s Chief Learning Strategist, Todd Moran—walk you through what we learned over those 10 discussions, and perhaps more critically what the takeaways have to be for both global business and the L&D function as purpose becomes more and more a focus of us all, from individual team member to board. And for me personally, I now think ‘purpose’ is the fuel that L&D professionals have been looking for and will really work for our community. My reasons for thinking so include: Purpose provides meaning in a time of crisis; Purpose isn’t just branding; Purpose ≠ ‘good deeds’ alone; Purpose is fully compatible with turning a profit; It’s starting to be a real bottom-line performance metric; Purpose and the talent pipeline: a highly potent mix; The coming centrality of L&D in purpose; and much more.
    58m 12s
  • 'Do we understand the outsized impact we can have on people’s lives?’ Bersin Academy co-founder Bill Pelster on the power of Learning

    14 APR 2021 · With Season 6, we’ve been looking into the implications of the global pandemic on the future of work and Workplace Learning. This week we get the helpful perspective of what many people in the business say has been a quiet force for innovation over decades: HR and L&D heavy-hitter Bill Pelster. A resume that includes building major people practices at not just one but two global consultancies, as well as being the man who bought Josh Bersin into one of them, Deloitte, and who then founded that organisation’s much-envied Deloitte University outside Dallas would in itself more than justify Bill being included in any one of our on-going thematic seasons. But the rise two prominence through COVID of the new HR tech group he set up with Josh in 2019, The Bersin Academy, is what sealed the deal for us: Bill and his team have been right at the eye of the health crisis hurricane here, so we knew when he paused for breath we’d want to hear his thoughts on our central question of, From what-if to what now? So, in this very focused episode, look to hear from Bill about the steps that take you from “the nuclear side” of the Air Force to working with big companies dealing with SAP where he decided the HR side of the problem—“These darn people!” as he jokes—was more interesting than the coding, his retirement and immediate pivot to set up his shingle with Josh and why he lives in the beautiful Pacific North West, as well as: how Bersin is doing, and even growing, in the pandemic; the 10-20m professionals who either have HR or learning or talent in their job description, and why that’s huge lever for change in any organisation; what the Academy stands for (democratizing of professional development, a home for HR best practice, networking and support for conversations with peers); how the pandemic meant HR went from being part to the team to leading the team; the inter-relationship between the Academy and Josh Bersin’s ongoing research the rising importance, even in the these crazy times, of physical spaces for effective learning; the inside story of how the Deloitte University was designed, including its out-of-city locale; the benefits from mixing up people from different disciplines he learnt from his daughter’s experiences at USC; some hints on what the Academy has planned for 2021; and much more.
    40m 18s

‘Learning Is the New Working’ is a new podcast from Chris Pirie, ex-Microsoft Chief Learning Officer and now independent investigator of The Future of Workplace Learning. A set of stimulating...

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‘Learning Is the New Working’ is a new podcast from Chris Pirie, ex-Microsoft Chief Learning Officer and now independent investigator of The Future of Workplace Learning. A set of stimulating conversations with some of the leading thinkers and edge practitioners in the modern Workplace Learning space, from Chief Learning Officers  to Learning Experience Designers, from Neuroscientists  to Technologists, vendors of Learning Tech, and the HR leaders charged with developing human capital potential.  Our topics are everything from the American skills crisis to our scary, but fascinating, century: how the rise of the robots, AI, employment and demographic change are re-shaping all our lives - in work and out of it. We will also explore how the process of Learning is itself changing with current and emerging technology, share war stories about which new ways of delivering Learning work, what Sales Enablement is versus what it could be, what a ‘Learning Science’ might offer… all with the ultimate aim of empowering the CLO.
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