I had never attended the International ATD (Association for Talent and Development) conferences before and was there a few weeks ago in Washington, DC with 10,000 or so other like-minded people, soaking up the energy and knowledge from every corner of this expansive event.
It was energizing and engaging, with some impressive keynote speakers! Oprah Winfrey opened the conference on Monday morning, reminding us to follow your gut, be intentional, be present.
And the added messages from Seth Godin who shed some wisdom about education vs learning, managing vs leading, made it clear that mindfulness was a resonating theme to the work we do in both marketing and learning.
This was a crowd eager to learn and they reached out to the speakers with enthusiasm, as much as they did to one another. I had some great conversations with people as we shared a lunch or participated in a session.
So I took advantage of the opportunity to ask people what their main focus in learning was at their workplace and how did they go about implementing new ideas and trying to adapt to the changing ways that people learn.
It was interesting to realize how much we they have in common with marketing teams. Just like marketers, these were people wanting to:
· develop creative, compelling content in new ways to engage learners and increase participation or engagement
· seek ways to tie their learning to business objectives
· create positive impacts and get buy-in from managers and teams to support their programs
It was fabulous to hear how much cross-functional work could be happening between the learning teams and the marketing teams, and how integral it can be for them to share ideas and talent.
We use the same or similar tools, target our audiences, profile the learners/customers, and use (or should use) the same creative tools to develop stories, create visually compelling content and essentially try to win over the hearts and minds of our learners or buyers.
So the ability for these two teams to share their skills should come naturally and be part of how they feed one another. If we have common business objectives, and are seeking similar outcomes of behavior change, it’s time to break down the silo’s and become more collaborative. Consider what a powerhouse that could be!
Next up: Learning and Marketing: A Path to New Opportunities