Video production: Andrew Kennedy Lewis
Kathy Smith, vice president of talent management and development at Nationwide Insurance, and Diane August, chief learning architect at Nationwide, advise learning leaders to build a learning culture that is embedded with the overall culture of the organization.
Read the full transcript of their interview below:
Smith: One piece of advice that I would give to any learning leader trying to build a learning culture, is to really focus on what it is that is really critical to your enterprises’ success and what’s critical to your senior leadership. Understand what your senior leadership is passionate about, and really connect into that. And when you do that, you’ll have the sponsorship to really rally and focus everyone around learning and preparing for that future. Sometimes, we get out of sync as learning professionals and focus in on just enabling learning in general. But when you’re really aligned to the business strategy, you can achieve, I think, a whole other level of engagement and sponsorship in driving learning throughout the organization.
August: So something important I think about learning culture in our organization is that, it’s not really just about the learning culture. It’s in some ways a misnomer I think, to talk about learning culture because really it’s all part of the business culture. It’s embedded. When it’s really valuable is when you don’t have to isolate it and say, “This is our learning culture, and this is our business culture, and this is, some other culture.” We’re trying to make it all integrated and seamless, so that learning just seems natural. It’s an enabler to the business strategy. A lever, if you will, that we want to pull to make the business culture happen.