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CLO Symposium+PLUS: Are You Ready for the Talent Economy?

Spotify executive Troy Carter and “The Geography of Genius” author Eric Weiner were just a few highlights from day one of the fall 2016 CLO Symposium+PLUS event in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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Eric Weiner. Photo by Will Byington Photography

At the fall 2016 CLO Symposium Plus, presented by Chief Learning Officer magazine and held at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, learning as an influential partner in talent management wasn’t just an idea, we saw it on the ground.

As Chief Learning Officer Editor in Chief Mike Prokopeak explained during the two-day conference’s opening remarks, in the new reality, a talent economy — also the theme for the event — where innovative, highly-skilled and agile workers are key differentiators for business, learning and development will play a greater and more integrated role in company talent management activities.

“Learning’s role is getting bigger not smaller in this economy,” Prokopeak explained.

Symposium Plus, a new version of CLO’s fall event, is a direct response to that. In addition to networking opportunities, topical workshops and keynote presentations, conference attendees had the chance to work together in practicums to discuss solutions for their talent challenges.

The need to use what is known in new and different ways to address pressing business issues was a subtheme that threaded throughout the day in remarks from Spotify executive Troy Carter and author Eric Weiner. During his keynote address, Carter, who is global head of creator services for the music streaming service, took conference goers through his life’s journey in the music industry. In the narrative, Carter saw ups and downs — mistakes, near failures, failures but also successes. He was able to keep moving for two reasons: His grandmother’s adage “You can’t fall off the floor” and his belief in continuous learning, which he highlighted as essential in a marketplace where nearly every industry has been disrupted — or will be disrupted in the future.

Later Weiner, the author of “The Geography of Genius,” examined what exactly genius is and what it isn’t, and why throughout history some places in the world seem to breed more geniuses than others. But Weiner assured the learning leaders in the audience that they needn’t feel discouraged if their business isn’t based in Silicon Valley, for example. There are things they can do wherever they are to cultivate greater creativity. For instance, environment matters more than creativity activities. Environments that honor creativity value diversity of thought, some disorder, discomfort and definitely discernment, Weiner said.

Workshops covered a variety of topics including workplace culture, how to communicate ROI, crowdsourcing leadership development and the gamification of learning.

The CLO Symposium Plus ran from Sept. 26-27. If you missed the live event, check out the CLO Symposium Video Library, releasing Oct. 24.

Bravetta Hassell is a Chief Learning Officer associate editor. To comment, email editor@CLOmedia.com.

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