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903 Take Your Seat at the Table: How Learning Leaders Drive Business Forward

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM ET
Wednesday, November 9

Tracks: Leadership

In previous years we discussed how to get a seat at the table. Here, we consider how to use the seat once it’s been obtained. Learning leaders can quickly lose credibility unless they use their seat to drive revenue and growth outcomes. And it’s not just training solutions we can implement, yet many leaders are stuck in that limited mindset. In today’s war for talent, learning leaders are key to employee retention. Automating processes, fostering partnerships, and making bold, agile moves can transform the function and provide career-building opportunities for learning teams.

In this session, I will show how cross-functional partnerships can provide visibility for the team, drive additional funding, and make work more rewarding and impactful—for the team and the individual. As HR has become a strategic function in the Fortune 1000, L&D is called on to drive revenue, retain key talent, broaden the solution set, and support operational efficiency measures. We will explore how one small team in a medium-sized organization managed to directly serve customers, internal staff, and a large and globally dispersed contingent workforce. Through storytelling, concrete visual examples, and principles of design thinking, participants will begin formulating a plan to solve large business challenges in a career-building framework. Stories will focus on how strategic thinking and planning was utilized to build a learning framework, implement automated technology, and develop a team of dedicated individuals to support a growing, agile business amidst a global pandemic. PRO Unlimited, a managed services provider, offers the most innovative vendor management software on the market and the world’s largest talent data ocean. The combination of services, data, technology, and globally diverse talent poses a challenge for any learning organization. Consultants use client equipment and networks, teams are dispersed, large clients expect full customization of solutions, and contingent workers must be managed compliantly. Yet, despite these challenges, we managed to build a fully automated harassment prevention training solution for 10,000+ workers in under six months. Our L&D team of seven individuals is now generating revenue and able to hire an additional team of four to support new strategic initiatives. I will share the planning that began on Day One in this role, and how that shaped my ability to support widespread organizational changes and pivots including a new CEO, a pandemic, and a new strategic direction.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How one small team can have a significant impact on the bottom line
  • How to set yourself up for a career-building exercise
  • How to monetize training in an organization resistant to change
  • What it takes to make bold moves and execute on your goals

Janis Ericson

Sr. Director, Culture & Learning

PRO Unlimited

Janis Ericson, the senior director of culture and learning at PRO Unlimited, is on a mission to solve the hardest business problems with unique learning solutions. Raised in a small, growing family business, she understands how and when to take risks, manage the bottom line, and put people first. She has helped a startup technology company build their L&D function and train 1,000 employees in the first year. She also implemented technological solutions to provide compliance training to 10,000 globally dispersed learners. In her current role, she builds teams and systems to generate revenue, improve customer satisfaction and employer brand, and support career advancement.