Video production: Andrew Kennedy Lewis
Judy Whitcomb, chief human resources and learning officer for Vi, a national developer, owner and operator of resort-like senior living communities, says learning does not belong just to the learning department. If there are resource constraints, she encourages thinking outside of the box and being creative in attaining learning and organizational goals.
Read the full transcript of Whitcomb’s interview below:
I think throughout my career there’s been a number of great mentors I’ve had, that have given me a lot of great advice. First of all, I don’t think anyone can ever underestimate the importance of really understanding your business. What that means is, is understanding operational constraints, understanding learner constraints, not focusing on how many classes you can deliver. Really, what are the business outcomes you’re trying to drive? Then, making sure that that’s communicated across the organization.
I think one of the important lessons I learned early on that is absolutely critical, and you’re going to have better business success, better learner outcomes, if you can engage your executives all throughout the organization. What I mean by engagement – it’s not just showing up at a training class and kicking it off. How can you engage leaders in every touchpoint of the program so that everyone knows that it’s something that’s important to the organization?
I grew up, and I learned throughout my career, learning belongs in the learning department. Over the last 10 years, because of resource constraints in our organization, I have really had to try to think outside of the box. How can I focus on enlarging individual’s jobs who are interested in developing others? How can we provide them instructional design courses? How can we provide them facilitation classes? Really letting go of some of that stuff. Again, that creates greater ownership in the organization for learning, that learning does not belong just to the learning department. It belongs to the entire organization and there are benefits with that.