It has been quite a week in Denver at ATD16. We spent it on the expo floor amongst the other 400 exhibitors. And after speaking with over 500 attendees, here is what we learned from the biggest event of the year:
- If you don’t have a culture component in your onboarding program, you are in trouble. One in three onboarding conversations mentioned the need for culture to be taught on day one. No exceptions. Talent and HR leaders feel that the key to employee retention is successful assimilation into culture. We also heard some attendees tell us that implementing a culture piece has worked well for their organization—living proof that culture has to be included.
- Business Acumen training is needed—and is just getting started. For over 20 years, we have been delivering business acumen training. So we were shocked to hear how many large organizations are just now seeing the need for this powerful skill. These L&D leaders are being tasked with seeking out training that results in better decisions aligned with their organizations’ strategies. Many are also being tasked by the CEOs of their organizations as part of an enterprise-wide initiative. That is the power of business acumen training.
- Sales training needs to help sales professionals understand the customer better. In order to provide deeper business value and position themselves as experts and trusted advisors, sales leaders are seeking out business acumen for their sales professionals. In order for reps to communicate value and address real business results, sales professionals need to understand the customer at a new level—their business, their realities, their challenges. Business acumen training is the answer to that need.
We want to thank the Association of Talent Development (ATD) for another amazing event. We were privileged to be able to provide insights and solutions to so many talent development leaders. We look forward to next year’s event in Atlanta.