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Deloitte’s chief learning officer on speaking to 100 leaders in 100 days

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When Anthony Stephan stepped into his new role as chief learning officer for professional services firm Deloitte earlier this year, he got right to work. 

Dubbed what he called the “100 in 100,” Stephan set out to speak to 100 leaders in the company within his first 100 days on the job. The goal, he said, was to develop deeper relationships with leaders and accelerate his understanding of the company’s needs.

“The relationships get stronger faster, and it really informs a set of strategic choices,” Stephan told HR Dive. “What I learned was that our stakeholders really valued the experiences and the impact that we have in learning and development.”

Leaders said they wanted L&D to help them move from outputs or “vanity metrics” — the number of people experiences or how satisfied workers are with those experiences — to measurable outcomes, Stephan said. For example, L&D can track how much revenue workers trained in using artificial intelligence generate for the firm, he said. 

“The invitation from our stakeholders to really elevate business value was one really powerful takeaway,” Stephan said. Leaders also shared the need for the company to be agile and advance both skills and the technology used at the pace of the market, he added. 

To start, Stephan asked each member of the firm’s leadership team to identify 15 to 20 people they thought could provide great insights based on their experience and expertise. The makeup of that group included some of the company’s most talented employees, key stakeholders and even workers who have provided some resistance in the past, he said. 

“Those three sources always act as really important, diverse insights,” Stephan said. 

Each 30-minute meeting followed a similar structure: For the first five to seven minutes, Stephan lets the individual introduce themselves, personally and professionally, at their discretion. He then asks them to share if there’s anything top of mind for them. And then he usually follows with three questions: What’s working really well? What’s an opportunity to improve? What’s an idea you have that no one has heard yet?

The “100 in 100” model is one Stephan has used before in previous roles, and it’s one he’s seen other leaders adopt as well over the past decade. 

“I’m super excited that more people are doing this,” Stephan said.

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