Creating a Safe Space for Learning

Ideas, The Future of People Initiatives
November 1, 2022
34 min

Introducing Scott Hammerl

Scott is the Head of HR/Learning Strategy (Analytics) at Fannie Mae. Beginning as a scout sniper for the marines, he then went on to become a teacher for inner-city schools, and then it was from teaching that he discovered corporate L&D. Scott’s path has been far from standard. Through his unique experiences, he offered a fresh perspective on learning within organizations. 

In his role at Fannie Mae, Scott focuses on expanding, rather than reaching, potential. This means he pushes people to go beyond the artificial limits they set for themselves. In doing so he, “creates velocity to expand potential.”

Here are some highlights from our discussion: 

The content isn’t enough

“The biggest frustration for many learners is they don’t know why they’re learning.”

You can have all the best content and the right intentions, but if your learners aren’t ready and don’t trust the direction, don’t expect engagement. 


Scott finds that there are a number of similarities between teaching in inner-city schools and promoting learning in a corporate environment. In both cases, the would-be learners need to be sold on what they’re learning and its applicability in their day-to-day lives. For these learners, attention is earned not given. 

Where does purpose come from?

“The real challenge in life is finding the love in what you do. What is that purpose?”

Talking about ‘purpose’ doesn’t grab the attention it once did. At this point, purpose is everywhere, and leaders have discovered the value of identifying and promoting their own. 

Scott, however, offered a unique approach to cultivating purpose. He notes that finding purpose at work isn’t about getting the job of your wildest dreams. Nor is it about something lofty and abstract. Instead, purpose at work is a matter of finding what moves you in what you already do. 


Scott drew from his military experience to illustrate his point. To paraphrase, “From a geopolitical standpoint, I wasn’t invested in any of the missions I was sent on in the Marines. What I was committed to were the people around me.”

Organizations can help their teams find the purpose of their work by clearly stating goals and showing them the “what’s in it for me?”.

Beware of what you measure

“Be careful what you measure, because you’ll get more of it.” 

In today’s data-driven environment it can be tempting to measure every little thing or to really hone in on one or two metrics. To this tendency, Scott urges caution. 


Scott noted how metrics themselves can end up emphasized over and above the business cases they are supposed to serve. For instance, he offered an example of how an organization came to value new clients over everything which led to people cutting corners instead. In this way, measurements can come to have the opposite of their intended effect. 

A safe space to learn

“The most valuable contribution a person can give his or her employer is their emotional commitment. That is how unsolvable problems get solved. That is how impossible projects become possible. You cannot get that unless a person feels safe in being who they are, and growing in a direction that they feel supported in and have the space to do so.”

Scott makes frequent mention of the software and hardware that people work with. We’re not just logical creates, we’re biological ones too.  This means that when people are stressed — and their bodies are pumped with cortisol — they’re not going to make the best learners. 


People need to have the space and safety to learn. To create such a space, organizations need to prioritize learning and demonstrate these priorities through the actions of leadership. 

Skills are not competencies

The business world and work life, very seldom throws at us, contained predictable situations and problems. So the systems and structures of a learning and development ecosystem should mirror our business reality if we want people to be able to apply what they are learning.

Scott notes a common mistake that learning programs make. Focusing on skills and concepts rather than competency. You can learn to execute a task in the vacuum of a learning environment but that doesn’t mean you can perform the same task under pressure. Learning must be experiential if it is to be effective. 


Advice for champions

“Sometimes the fastest thing you can do is stop.”

Scott ended the discussion by offering advice for learning champions within organizations. He suggests that leaders should optimize before speeding up current initiatives. Just like a flat tire, you need to fix any problems before you can continue at top speed. 

Episode Transcript

Adam  00:09

So in this episode, we’re gonna talk about how leaders can create a safe space for learning. And there are so many data points about the importance of learning and development. There’s one data point specifically that I was reflecting on this morning. Just kind of re blew my mind, again, 86% of millennials would be kept from leaving their current position, if training and development were offered by their employer 86% of millennials. So Scott, I can’t wait for us to dive in. But before we do, just what a unique perspective you bring to this conversation, your your experiences as a scout, Sniper, inner school teacher, and then you bring that forward into your practitioner experiences. That’s what I’d like to begin, Scott, what what did you bring from your marine days as well as from your teacher days into your practitioner world? That was beneficial?

Scott Hammerl  01:09

Great question. Start with what I do. In five words, I would say what I do is create velocity to expand potential, right velocity requiring both direction and speed and expanding potential rather than reaching potential. Because what I’m most interested in is helping people go beyond what they currently believe to be possible. I think one of the greatest tragedies is that most people will die having no idea what they’re actually capable of. And a lot of people mistake the limits of their imagination, with the limits of what’s actually possible. What I learned in the Marine Corps was how to move beyond what I used to think was possible. The power of high performing teams, the role that trust has in performance, and also the role of discipline, in empowering creativity, and freedom of action. In terms of teaching, what I bring is really understanding those aspects of filters that get in the way of learning and growing. We often talk about employee engagement, if you ever really want to practice getting engagement, go teach in inner city high school, that is a challenge. And so learning how to on a daily basis, understand what those needs are of those learners, and being able to get them in a position to be ready to learn, in order to engage. In some of the backstory, when I started teaching, I started teaching at a high school that was very high performing. And students did exceptionally well. So when I brought that to some of the inner city schools, I was thinking, well, this can be great. I have all this great curriculum, and all these great methodologies. I can’t wait for this to really help turn things around. And that was a great lesson in humility. In discovering, you can have all of the great content and resources and the best of intentions. But if your learners aren’t ready, and they don’t trust and see the direction that they’re going in, don’t expect speed, and don’t expect engagement. And so when I transitioned into the corporate space, I found myself really going back and continue going back to leveraging all of those lessons learned during that time,

Adam  04:25

because sent to that inner school experience. Just briefly, is there a story that you can share of a moment or a day or lesson learned? That really helps us to summarize kind of from your eyes, this is what it was like.

Scott Hammerl  04:40

I could tell stories all day. One example would be I had a student who I knew to be very intelligent. He had shown potential on a lot of his reading. He had great writing skills. This was a sophomore And I started to notice that he was lagging at about midway through the school year. And I started to kind of lay into him saying, Hey, what’s going on, and really getting after his performance and how he was behaving in the classroom. How I came to learn is that after school, he would go and work as a shifter. So he and his uncle had gotten him a job as a logistics shifter, which means he was the dispatch person that would help move all these semi trucks around the shipyard, which is a difficult task. This requires math planning organization, he’s doing this as a 16 year old, then he would go home and do his homework, maybe sleep for about two hours, and then come back to school. And here I am, planing about him being tired. And, you know, and his backstory is even more incredible, and that He also lives with another relative because his parents were gang members. And in fact, it’s a miracle he was even alive, his mother was shot in the abdomen when she was pregnant with him. So he was born significantly premature. And he didn’t feel safe going back to his own home. So it’s understandable why Shakespeare might not be at the top of this young man’s priority list. And so it was really understanding stories like that, that helps me connect with them.

Adam  06:47

It’s a paradigm shift for you to understand the circumstances. So Scarlett, let’s take that from our world of teaching in our schools and bring it into the workplace. And let’s go all the way to the top as as you think about learning and development as an enabler of goals of the organization. Right. And I in the beginning, I mentioned the impact on retention. What other goals do you do you see the learning executives, discuss with the CEOs of their organization and maybe a couple of those goals, or maybe there’s one that we can park for the rest of our conversation.

Scott Hammerl  07:21

I’m surprised more organizations don’t have as a global high level goal, some explicit effort to move them along the spectrum towards being a high impact learning organization. So borrowing that term from Burson it’s kind of low hanging fruit, it’s the if you think about it, regardless of industry, regardless of company size, having a goal around development, or using my term velocity, that also helps each individual in the organization and answers though, what’s in it for me. And it also helps really draw those connections between what are those strategic objectives that the business is trying to achieve? And how do we think about our talent, develop our talent in a way that’s mutually beneficial, and gives us greater speed towards goal. Without that, you know, we, we often mistake motion for progress, we confuse time on task with speed towards goal, it puts those conversations at the beginning of the business cycle, and the planning. So as we really move towards the execution of the strategy, that learning and development piece in the time, and resources that are going to be required for that are all ready factored in. And it prevents a lot of chasing fires and being reactive to things that happen throughout the year. And gives you that opportunity to really get the maximum benefit out of that learning. And again, going back to the last it gives that direction. If you ask most people, what their biggest frustration is, with the available learning. They don’t know why they’re learning. They don’t if you don’t see where you’re going, you’re less careful if you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there. And that really I think helps provide clarity. You know, people at the end of the day want autonomy, mastery and purpose that fulfills two of those three. It gives you that purpose, that direction, I know why I’m doing this and that Purpose toward what it is we’re trying to accomplish, right, which would be another thing I would bring in from the Marine Corps. You know, we talk a lot about purpose and mission. And vision. We sometimes overlook purpose can mean a lot of different things to different people. It’s, it’s real easy in life, to do what you love. Right? If I were to say this to my high school students, they’d say, they’d all become rock stars, basketball players, and video game testers, that doesn’t take creativity, or discipline, the real challenge in adult life is to find the love and what you do. What is that purpose. Now that might be a perfect alignment with where I’m working, where a person is working. But most often, it’s in the people that you work with. I don’t remember ever being really excited or involved from a geopolitical perspective, any mission I ever went on, in the Marine Corps. But what I was significantly committed and dedicated to where the people around me, because we had that culture of excellence and discipline, and they do it for me. And so purpose can come from different places. And when you give people access to those systems and structures to do better to be something better, you’re much more likely to get progress along those lines. So kind of circling back to the goals. I think that would be the biggest focus,

Adam  11:47

and how closely could that could that ideally, or how should it how closely should it align to the goal? Should it be as simple and as straightforward as saying, Look, our organization has the following KPIs. Right. We know our leadership team is focused on them. We’re going to work with our learning and development initiatives in order for folks to be upskilled in order for them to have the growth of the opportunities for them to be able to make the biggest impact, or is there another way how to think about it, Scott? How would you have this conversation with a CEO that’s staring at their, you know, most important KPIs? Because they want to make sure they deliver for the stakeholders of the business? And they’re saying, all right, Scott, walk us through this, where does l&d fit,

Scott Hammerl  12:31

I would steer the conversation towards capabilities. And or I actually would say competencies, right, making a distinction between knowledge, skills, capabilities and competencies. And as we look at what are those big rocks, or the big bucket items that we’re trying to accomplish? You know, this essentially goes back to strategic workforce planning, what are the competencies that are required, in order for us to accomplish these what has to be true from a talent perspective, which then gives us an ability to take a look at what we do have. And you know, a real organization that’s forward thinking they’re not just thinking, tactically. But strategically, what kind of problems do we want to be solving six months from now, that gives us the learning team, a better idea of how to create a roadmap for how we start building those pathways. So that we have that pipeline, we have that talent pool, and the mindsets to start solving those problems and thinking about those problems ahead of time, again, being proactive in preparing, as opposed to reacting, which is a lot of companies are struggling with right now. If you’re waiting to figure out you don’t have exactly the right headcount or talent to solve a particular business problem, and you’re going to try to go out and buy that talent. It’s too late. In a lot of cases, you there are too many costs and time involved in solving problems that way. So I would steer that conversation towards competency and let’s

Adam  14:32

let’s let’s double click on that. Let’s talk about just unpacking the people initiatives, biggest missed opportunities from a learning perspective and you introduced me to this term tyranny of homogeneous excellence. Scott, walk me through what it means and what are some of the biggest opportunity missed opportunities out there that you’re saying

Scott Hammerl  14:52

biggest missed opportunity is not focusing on the learner rock quirements we oftentimes look at the learning program, these are, this is the content that we need, these are the programs we want to have, but we’re not looking at are the learners ready to interact, engage and get the maximum value out of this opportunity, kind of going back to my experience in inner city high school, no matter what I was bringing, wasn’t gonna matter until I had gotten them to a point. You know, we always talk about meeting the learners where they are. Now I agree, if we’re talking about making sure that that content is at a level of complexity or difficulty where they can cognitively get value out of it, then I agree. There’s a danger. However, I think the missed opportunity is a lot of organizations do too much. In that. Yeah, I would rephrase it. It’s not so much meet the learners where they are, but know where they are, know why they’re there, and what state they’re in, right, so what is their state of engagement and readiness to learn? Once you know that, then the goal is get them to go on their own to the start line of a journey that you will then facilitate and take them on, there has to be that initial buy in and preparation, because you want to make sure everybody’s adequately stretched, that they have the right resources, in order to undergo the journey. Because the reality is, if people don’t know why they’re learning, if they don’t know how they’re gonna apply it, if they’re not willing to put effort into the learning, if they don’t have the humility, to even think they need it in the first place, you could put any program in front of that person, not going to make a difference. And unfortunately, what we do is we take the feedback from that person, and we say, Oh, this is a terrible program. And then they becomes a doom loop. And we continue catering to the lowest common denominator.

Adam  17:32

So interesting to really double click on the current mindset, what do you see as some of the challenges in terms of the mindset? In almost every conversation, it comes up? People are stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, avalanche of notifications? What do you see the same? And if you do, how do you work with that in order to get them to and I love this concept? How do you get into the start line?

Scott Hammerl  17:56

Great question. So I’ll think of this in terms of an analogy. If you think of, you know, we oftentimes talk about our technology stack, and make sure that it’s integrated and compatible, and that all the API’s work in people, you have to understand the hard drive or the hardware, and the software. At the end of the day, people we’re not human doings, we’re human beings. And we’re not just logical creatures, we’re biological creatures. So you have to understand the hardware. And if you’re going to try to take a team of people that are flooded with cortisol, because their inboxes overflowing, they’re constantly being given negative feedback. They’re struggling to meet deadlines. It’s biologically a fact. They’re going to make poor decisions, they’re going to be less collaborative, and will not be creative. They are going to key into their lizard brain, and they’re going to become more selfish and more self centered, not as a character flaw, but just as a reality. That’s how people react to stress. So that’s the hardware issue. And oftentimes, what we’re trying to do, to use, again, extend the analogy here is we’re trying to run Adobe Creative Cloud on a laptop with four gigabytes of RAM. It doesn’t work. You don’t even have to be a professional video editor. No, you put in a 32nd clip and it just shuts down. It cannot render. And so what we have to do is free up some of that space in order to get it the hardware to function at all. And, you know, oftentimes it comes down to just prioritization right and then I seen a number of organizations, it I think everybody struggles with this one company I was at, at an off site, they put up the ruthless prioritization list. And even if you’re on the front row, you couldn’t read the font like that. That is not prioritization, that’s just creating a huge list. Again, back to velocity. If you want people to move fast, you have to give them clear direction. This is what we are mono maniacally focused on during this time, so that we can better coordinate our efforts in getting to that destination. And kind of getting back because I didn’t fully answer your previous question about what I meant by the tyranny of homogeneous excellence, because we’re talking about measurement, and KPIs. And the I heard you mentioned on a previous episode, the measurements are great, I want to be very clear on that and say that they’re useful and necessary. The asterisk next to that is, beware, because once you measure, you will get more. And I remember hearing the example of the bank teller, who got the most accounts by manipulating the system and cheating clients. So you ended up getting an opposite outcome of what you were trying to get. But you got more of what you measured. And, you know, another analogy would be some of the most valuable things in an organization cannot be measured. And when you try to measure them, or you insist on trying, you get less of it. It’s like if adding a speedometer to a car, slowed it down. And there’s a lot of people in business that would gladly do that. So Oh, yeah, I’ll take 40 miles an hour off the top speed, at least I know how fast I’m going. There are some elements that we should be aware of. It’s not that we don’t use measurement, but we should have that keen sense of when measurement is actually adversely impacting business outcomes, right? Because a lot of times, accountability is really only there to tell us who we’re going to blame when something goes wrong. And we see a lot of this in performance management.

Scott Hammerl  22:47

If you’re not improving performance, you’re not managing it, you’re slowing it down. And that would be another great example, well, we have our measure, I bet you see in a lot of organizations, the entire HR function is essentially offline for 25% of the year to participate and facilitate a process that adds no value to the business, and leaves the majority of people feeling dejected, and disengaged. So it actually has an opposite effect. And, and I’ve talked with a lot of people and I work with a lot of organizations and asking about this. i It’s few and far between I have conversation with some basic man, performance management, that is awesome. And I loved every one of my performance management conversations. It often leaves people feeling more confused. And so

Adam  23:52

to your point, human beings, not human doings, right, performance management alone is is not you know, it’s not the best way to inspire and to lead folks. But going back to our question here is How do leaders enable the safe space for learning? And maybe walk our audience got through whether executive level or do we drop this down to a manager level and talk about the role of the manager and creating the safe space?

Scott Hammerl  24:20

It has to exist all throughout the organization? People? I think I said this in our last conversation. Leaders are thermostats. So it and experience isn’t, or example is not the best teacher. It’s the only teacher in a lot of cases. What I see and working with a lot of organizations in learning and development or leadership development, is that people’s performance oftentimes only rises up to the level that Leaders are visibly demonstrating. Only in rare exceptions, people that are just naturally insatiably curious, well, they go beyond that. But they are setting the bar and the limit. So it should be visible at all levels. From a more tactical perspective, when we’re talking about time, however, that is, I think the the choke point that a lot of organizations get stuck on how much time? When should we create that time? Or how do we create that time, and it really comes down to prioritization. Put it on a calendar, show me your calendar, I will show you your priorities. And we often also don’t really think about when we talk about prioritization, we also don’t talk about optimization. If you’re checking your emails between 9am and 11am, for most people, that’s your sweet spot. That’s when you should be doing your most difficult, creative problem solving work. I’ve seen some forward thinking companies that are smart about this, again, we’re getting back to the hardware software issue, your hardware works a lot better. And your software programs run better. At certain points in the day, we have natural peaks and valleys. And people are misusing those spots in time that they could be 10x productive. And they’re sitting on Zoom calls, or meetings where they don’t need to be in or there. And people wonder, then why they don’t have time for learning. You didn’t make it, you’ve got to set time aside. As you know, people often say they want to be a learning organization, or they want to make that a priority. But again, it’s like what you do speak so loudly, I can’t hear a word that you say, Where are the actions. And I often find myself in a position. You know, again, if I use another analogy, if I’m your personal trainer, and your goal is to lose 50 pounds this year, and I give you, great I build you a great gym and give you access and I create the best workouts. And you come back and say, Ah, yeah, but you know, I got five kids and I got to work these three jobs, it’s really hard to find time for that. I understand. I’m not here to tell you to get rid of your kids. And I’m not going to tell you to quit your jobs. But I’m obligated to tell you, you’re not going to run that marathon. And you’re not going to lose 50 pounds this year. There is a science behind how people learn how much time it takes to develop, it often comes down to acts of consistency, not acts of intensity. And that I think pushes people a lot more towards what we call scalable solutions, or microwaved learning opportunities. And that’s fine, I get the compulsion to gravitate towards things at scale. But I often remind leaders, you know, what else scales really well, mediocrity and bad habits. And so if we really want to have

Scott Hammerl  28:55

learning be more a part of our strategy and contribute to the success of the organization, it has to be a behavioral priority that is visible at all levels of the organization. And it I wouldn’t even take it further. Since we’re talking about leaders and managers, your managers first responsibility should be the development of their people in helping them advance and grow. So it shouldn’t simply be Yeah, I guess it’s okay to put 30 minutes on your calendar this week to do an elearning it should be having active and engaged conversations. Tell me more about you learning Python. That’s really awesome. That what do you think you might want to do with that skill six months from now. That conversation alone will do wonders for that person being Mormon. motivated, more engaged, when people know that they are seen and cared for. And I think we talked about this before to the most valuable contribution a person can give his or her employer is their emotional commitment. That is how unsolvable problems get solved. That is how the impossible projects become possible. You cannot get that unless a person feels safe in being who they are, and growing in a direction that they feel supported in and have the space to do so,

Adam  30:47

emotional commitment as the linchpin to do the impossible. The fascinating Scott, when you think about the prioritization of learning and development activities, is there a percentage in your mind, what percentage comes to mind? And also how would you compare that to your experiences in the military, but what percentage of time was allocated to the training versus other activities.

Scott Hammerl  31:10

So when it’s a matter of life, or death, and military 80% of the time is spent training, and 20%, optimally would be spent operating. However, in the corporate world, you only find the inverse of that, in your snow cones and unicorns, companies that give you that magical coveted 20%, which if you double click on that, you look into your Google’s and some other companies, you could talk about the 8020 rule 80% of their revenue driving products, and innovations tend to come from that 20% time given to employees to collaborate, and innovate outside of structured work activities, but again, kind of going back to the tyranny of homogeneous excellence, because there is such a strong gravity to because you can’t manage what you don’t know. That’s the difficult part of it, you can’t put on a balanced scorecard or on a forecasting model, what’s gonna happen in that 20%. Unfortunately, a lot of leaders would rather not create that opportunity. Because this is, it’s almost a moral hazard, in that there’s an incentive for some leaders within some organizations to do things that are not in the best interest of the company, but make them look more in control as the leader. So it definitely takes courage to put that time into people’s day for them to work on these things. And, look, if we want to argue anecdotally, we could push this in any direction, right, I could tell you about the magical things that Google did making it look great. And on the opposite end, to play devil’s advocate, are there going to be people that are sitting at their desk playing Candy Crush, probably, the idea is to, at least through actual behaviors, and the systems and structures that the organization is setting up to make that possible. If you’re doing this really well, right? This is where you leverage the power of peer accountability, having people on teams that collaborate, which is where innovation comes from any way. I nature teaches us that no fruit is born without cross pollination, giving people those opportunities to intersect in collaborative and creative ways.

Scott Hammerl  34:08

Again, it’s not predictable. I can’t give you a really good regression that will say, Oh, in 2024, we will have 18 new product ideas. And I think that’s the part that people struggle with. So getting to the issue of time, it it will depend on is your organization, looking to make a significant pivot where you’re adding, say, an AI, machine learning, National Natural language processing capability, and you don’t even have that yet. But you want to build that organically. Well, that’s going to be a little more than 20%. To tell you that right now, you look at what Adobe did. In that regard. They built an 18 month boot camp, they really threw in all the aspects. They did the DNI by recruiting at campuses. So that’s an example of companies sending a very clear message, hey, we are investing in this competency, not just throwing little licenses and certifications that people because it and the real power of that is context. People are learning that in the company’s platform, using the company’s data, solving business problems that people are currently working on, which, you know, the term we use for that, and military is combat effective. Right, it’s the that’s the difference between a skill and a competency. You know, military is great if you can shoot a target at 100 yards on a rifle range, fantastic. But can you jump out of an airplane at 30,000 feet into enemy fire patrol five clicks, and then find the right objective to the moving target at 400 yards. That’s a competency. So a very different way of thinking about development, and how we define proficiency. I have worked at some organizations where their skills, taxonomy, their architecture, treats all of those different levels, as if they’re the same thing. And it’s really difficult, you talk about velocity, it’s very difficult for people to gain speed, or direction, if they don’t understand the intricacies level of effort that is necessary in order to grow. In that direction, we create kind of a false sense of hope. And often encourage people into what I call artificial maturity. I google that. So there’s that familiarity with a concept, but not an ability to actually apply it in a strategic or a creative way. Because skills only predict what people will do unknown situations. Whereas attributes will help predict what people are able to do, and how they solve problems and unknown situations. And as we know, the business world and work life, very seldom throws at us, contained predictable situations and problems. And so it’s that learning agility, you know, again, so the systems and structures of a learning and development ecosystem should mirror that if we want people to be able to apply what it is that they are learning.

Adam  37:54

And that should be the goal, right? The goal should be application of their knowledge for their own to create more value as the individual that creates value for the organization. So Scott, let’s let’s give advice to some of the audience. Folks. As you know, these are typically champions inside organizations, they believe and now they’re looking to gain internal alignment. What are the next are the first steps would you suggest for a champion who says you know what? Thank you, this was awesome. How do I create in my organization, the safe space for learning? How do I get our executives buy in water? Obviously, this is not going to be a simple journey. But But what are my first steps? Where do I begin?

Scott Hammerl  38:41

Great question. And each organization is unique in some ways, and this challenge is the same in many ways as well. The first question that you have to make clear in your audience’s mind is why you need to connect with what is it that we are hoping to accomplish and be able to develop a clear line of sight how this development is going to help speed are you achieving that result or even lead to better outcomes than we’re currently projecting? And the way I have typically done that with different organizations is starting with that end in mind, kind of taking a seventh habit from Covey and reverse architecting from current state to a future state using tools like taxonomies like if we think about Bloom’s in And that’s another tool that’s often overlooked. And I’m shocked when I interact with different organizations and you ask them, What are your learning objectives? And what you often hear and even from learning professionals, they’re all level one and two, lower order thinking, identify, define. And we don’t give people the tools to get up to evaluate, create, discern. And so I think helping them see into our world a little bit, and help them understand. So once he was answered the why will we really want to get to this objective, great, here’s how this is the how part, I can help grow your people. And help them be more effective and efficient in making this a reality, you know, and sometimes the fastest thing you can do is to stop. If you’re in a bike race, and your tires flat, and your chains fallen off, you the the compulsion is like, Well, I gotta pedal faster on the race and say, no, stop, get off, fill up the tire, fix your chain, because there’s zero way you’re gonna win. Under the current conditions, same thing, going back to the hardware software issue. If your laptop fan is on, and it’s spinning, and it’s about to overheat, you’ve got 1000, windows open, stop, you need to reboot, close things down, save what needs to be saved, go back and optimize the hardware and the software to get where you’re hoping to go. And we are to often just patterned into bad ways of thinking because you know, what, you know, and being able to think more strategically and helping other leaders understand how learning is a strategic partner and asset to achieving business outcomes is, I think going to be, that’s kind of the new conversation. And it’s a new necessity for a lot of companies. So, you know, the onus on learning leaders is to be able to have those conversations. But to be clear, the programs and types of learning and development that you’re offering actually have to deliver. And that means they need to be based on acts of consistency, not acts of intensity, they can’t be decontextualized, what I call stunts, right? We’re going to, and we also have to really be responsible practitioners and understanding the business. Can you read a p&l Do you get how the business strategy is operationalized so that you can help support it. Because if the learning doesn’t match, in, integrate and help connect people, to where they are in their journey, in giving them the tools that they need to drive impact.

Scott Hammerl  43:34

It’s not going to matter how much time they give us. So the first step is really making sure that the development meets the needs of the business and that individual, then you can start building a case for more time for that to happen. But the reality is a lot of learning. And that effort is essential. In order for effective learning to take place.

Adam  44:05

Start with the end in mind, Scott, I know you’re a self described, ruthless, pragmatic, I think you absolutely lived up to that in this conversation. This has been really, really amazing. I appreciate what you brought to the table from you know, the military, to inner school to your to the way you see yourself as a practitioner that’s working with organizations to create impact. Scott, thank you. I look forward to future discussions. Appreciate you jumping on

Adam Fridman
Serial entrepreneur, author, and speaker, Adam is a co-founder and one of the visionaries behind ProHabits. Currently, he hosts ProHabits' podcast: The Future of People Initiatives.

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