Jacqueline Brassey is a Director of Global Learning & Global LTT Member, McKinsey & Company. Jacqui has multiple professional identities. She is an international business professional, academic and (co-) author of more than 20 books/book chapters, articles, and papers. She is results-driven, has a strong track record of delivery and brings a no-nonsense business professional approach. Apart from her role at McKinsey & Company, she is also, a Research Fellow at the VU Amsterdam Adjunct Professor at IE University and a member of the Supervisory Board of Save the Children NL.
At the People Matters L&D SEA Conference 2021, Jacqueline will be sharing a case study on the best practices from McKinsey & Company on how they are prioritizing wellbeing and mental health with a focus on capability building.
In an exclusive interaction with us, Jacqueline throws light on the changing role of L&D leaders, and what are some of the non-negotiables as talent leaders reimagine workplace learning.
The pandemic has also brought back the importance of reskilling and upskilling of resources as part of the larger business transformation in the wake of the crisis. What do you think are some of the trends around reskilling and upskilling post-COVID-19?
These will be a continuation of what we already have seen steeply increase during COVID-19 including skills building in areas of purpose, adaptability, emotional flexibility, mental health, resilience on the one side and AI, digital, and analytical skills on the other side.
How is the role of L&D professionals changing?
The role of L&D overall is becoming increasingly important with the demands on upskilling and reskilling to be ready for the world of tomorrow; Learning will become much more tailored to individual needs and delivered at moments of need.
L&D professionals of course need to continue to reskill/upskill as well to meet these changing needs, and they will get a more strategic role in helping organizations and individuals change, transform and continue to deliver sustainable impact.
Companies that continue to invest in training and offer learning opportunities for their talent will emerge as winners on the other side of this crisis. What are some of the L&D initiatives initiated at your organization in this pandemic?
There are many areas wherein we have launched new L&D initiatives; I will mention three areas that we invested even further in during the pandemic and on which we pushed new learning to our employees globally. They were notably-
(1) Equity and Inclusion (to all our 32.000 employees)
(2) Mental Health and Resilience (to all our 32.000 employees)
(3) Digital and Analytics (to all relevant target employee groups worldwide)
The pandemic also highlights the need to reskill and upskill workers towards stronger data science skills, a better understanding of artificial intelligence, and to expand digital literacy overall. What is your organization doing in that direction?
We have made tech skills part of our onboarding and individual contributor journeys.
We also have dedicated technical journeys and certifications for each of our technology and design guilds (e.g., data science, data engineering, product, digital design, cloud, cyber, etc.).
In addition, we are training and credentialing our managers in ‘translator’ skills (how to bridge between business need and technology, e.g., in using AI or building digital products). Finally, we are further building the capabilities of our most senior colleagues on how to drive digital transformations from strategic roadmap, to digital capabilities, to adoption and change management.
As talent leaders, reimagine workplace learning, what are some of the non-negotiables for improving the learning culture in their organizations?
I would point out two important elements there, and in the words of Prof. Dr. Amy Edmondson they are ‘two sides of the same very valuable coin’:
(1) Creating a culture of psychological safety so that people dare to learn and develop
(2) Developing emotional flexibility, adaptability, and resilience skills so that people can effectively manage stress and out of comfort zone situations and move themselves into learning zones instead. When both culture and skills are in place magic can happen!