2023 in Their Words - Insights from L&D Leaders on Teams

Discover insights from top L&D leaders on how adaptability, technology, and team dynamics are reshaping the future of innovation and growth in the workplace.

Table of Contents

1. Note from CEO

Throughout 2023 I interviewed over a dozen L&D leaders to hear directly from them about the themes & challenges on their mind, and the solutions they were exploring. This is one of the favourite parts of my job — having a chance to explore important topics with leaders thinking thoughtfully about the issues at hand, getting to know them more intimately, and being able to share with you.

It’s exciting to see our community grow over the course of the year.

I’ve collected a few highlights — In Their Words — to share as we roll into a new year.

Teams - Their Current State and Looking Forward Into 2024

Many of our conversations revolved around teams, and how important they are. All guests talked about a similar arc:

  1. The pivotal role of adaptability and technology for teams in 2023
  2. The rising importance of teams in the modern world
  3. How empowerment, trust, and communication fuels innovation and individual growth

Let’s hear what they had to say!

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2. The Pivotal Role of Adaptability and Technology For Teams in 2023

Throughout 2023, leaders we talked to from various organizations emphasized the pivotal role of adaptability and technology, particularly AI, in augmenting team capabilities in response to evolving environments. Here is what they shared.

David continues by sharing the outlook on scalable coaching solutions and the tangible business impacts they can have on an organization.

"The idea of using technology and AI to scale coaching to masses... can lead to a transformative shift in people's experiences and ultimately business performance."
- David Landman

Alessandra Del Pino, Head of Engagement and Talent Growth at On Running shared a similar sentiment.

Quote from Alessandra Del Pino about empowering leaders.

2024 will be a defining year as we better understand the possibilities of AI within the workplace, and this year's winners will find a way to empower leaders through technology.

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3. The Rising Importance of Teams in the Modern World

The growing realization of the importance of teams in enterprise companies is a theme that has been increasingly highlighted throughout 2023. Leaders from various organizations have shared their insights and experiences that while empowering the individual is paramount, the significant role teams play in achieving business goals and driving innovation cannot be understated.

Marly Upperco from Coca Cola shared the importance of a cohesive team.

When talking about Coca Cola's transformation to become a more networked organization, Marly shared that their curriculum approach has to,

"Be simple and scalable across our global audience. It can't feel like an aside. It has to really feel like it's part of the Coca-Cola system and how we work and the existing resources. And then finally, it's not just at the front end when teams are forming, but how does this really meet teams where they're at along their journey and their life cycle together?" - Marly Upperco

On the topic of a global audience, Stefani Okatomo's agenda while acting as the Director of Global L&D at Microsoft shared similar themes, highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion in this approach.

The significance of well-integrated, diverse, and inclusive teams is more than a transient trend. As we advance into 2024, the success of globally networked teams will become increasingly crucial for organizational growth and adaptability.

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4. How Team Empowerment, Trust, and Communication Fuels Individual Innovation and Growth

When reflecting on his growth as IDEO's Global Head of Talent, Duane Bray shared that he experienced the most growth when working on a project with his team. This theme of team empowerment and trust as a key driver of individual innovation was shared by multiple leaders we spoke with throughout 2023.

Alessandra Del Pino from On Running emphasizes the need for a shift in mentality as companies scale, moving from individual efforts to recognizing the importance of high-performing teams.

As you scale, you practically cannot do anything alone anymore. So switching that mentality to our team members in terms of we're now a high-performing team and when thinking about innovation from a culture standpoint it's more so, "how can we give trust to our team members?". - Alessandra Del Pino

As we move into 2024, it's evident that the most successful L&D leaders will be those who not only invest in individuals but also prioritize empowering their teams through trust, open communication, and a supportive culture. This combination is what will fuel individual growth and innovation.

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Looking Ahead Into 2024

As we venture into 2024, the insights from 2023's leading voices across Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Coca Cola, and more, illuminate a clear path: the future hinges on adaptability, technology, and the strength of teams. For Learning and Development professionals, the challenge is to drive this change, shaping a future where teamwork and technology converge to spark innovation and growth. Let's embrace this shift, steering our teams toward a dynamic and promising horizon.

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AI augmentation liberates individuals from routine or compliance tasks, not to replace jobs but to empower talent and HR professionals. This enables them to focus on their core objective: equipping leaders to cultivate positive team cultures. Ultimately, it's about empowering each leader to be the architect of their team's culture, with the necessary support and tools to achieve this.

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Alessandra Del Pino, On Running

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