On the final day of the Spring 2016 Chief Learning Officer Symposium — held at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida — learning leaders got nuggets of wisdom for work as well as a challenge for the road.
During the final keynote address of the three-day program, author and positive psychology researcher Michelle Gielan dared Symposium attendees to take strategic steps to shift their organizations’ cultures toward realistic positivity.
— Kellye Whitney (@kellyewhit) April 6, 2016
Her presentation on creating success through positive engagement centered on the assertion that people determine the messages they personally broadcast. Consequently, they have a huge amount of influence over their environment. When it comes to the workplace, the “Broadcasting Happiness” author said a leader’s positive changes in communication can fuel team productivity by 30 percent and raise an employee’s chances for promotion by 40 percent. Essentially, if people focus too much on negatives and stresses, and forget what she called the other — more positive — reality, they can diminish their own performance.
The last few Symposium workshops covered the evolving e-learning environment, open-source learning and training types for sales representatives. During the “Personalization and Content in 2020” workshop, Learnovate Centre Director Martyn Farrows led a group discussion featuring global learning executives discussing how to deliver meaningful and effective learning through cutting-edge technology. But before that, a panel discussion on “What I Wish I Knew Then, What I Want to Know Now” added a fun twist to the day via a new gaming format.
Panelists broke into two teams — one of veteran learning leaders and the other of newer leaders in the field — to share career tips with attendees, as well as personal experiences, in a “Family Feud”-style competition. The veteran team featured Tamar Elkeles, chief people officer at Quixey and former chief learning officer; Andrea Elkin, former chief learning officer for BNY Mellon; and leadership expert Jayne Johnson. On the newer leaders side was Warren Jahn, director of revenue training for the Americas at InterContinental Hotels Group; Jamie Kirkland, growth training specialist at Bright Horizons and Jacob Pantoja, senior learning and development consultant at The Vanguard Group.
One of the panel’s most memorable moments came when Elkeles suggested learning leaders visit classrooms to see how the future workforce is learning, and Pantoja countered saying, learning leaders should look elsewhere. But the point was to widen the learning scope; seek out new inspiration that aligns with the changes happening to and among learners outside of organizations.
The Symposium offered a variety of learning opportunities, takeaways and insights to energize and enrich learning leaders work back on the job. Attendee Emma Weber blogged about her experience and some top-level highlights. In keeping with the collaborative spirit characteristic of the learning community, the CEO and founder of Lever – Transfer of Learning said she was excited to share her lessons learned.
The Fall 2016 Symposium will be held Sept. 26-27, 2016 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale (Arizona) Camelback Inn.
Bravetta Hassell is a Chief Learning Officer associate editor. To comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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