Blog Post

HR Labs season 4: Make learning foundational to growth

Cornerstone Editors

Episode 2 of the fourth season of HR Labs is here!

Listen to episode 2 on Apple or Spotify (or anywhere fine podcasts are given away for free)

When we think about employee growth, we think about the skills people need to build to prepare themselves and their organization for the future. So how can talent leaders facilitate learning experiences that lead to opportunities for employees to develop?

Lisa Christensen, director of the learning design center for excellence at McKinsey & Company, joins host Summer Salomonsen to talk about learning and development as a shared responsibility between organizations and their people. They also discuss how a modern apprenticeship can meaningfully fuse learning and development and the role frontline leaders and managers have to play in making those learning experiences successful.

“You can harness the things people are interested in, and you can give people sort of an outlet for some of that curiosity. Right? Formal learning can kind of play this outlet role for a lot of people as they are trying to develop professionally,” said Christensen.

Are learning and development a shared responsibility?


What does shared responsibility look like in the workplace?

Lisa Christensen recently coauthored an article in 2020 called "The Most Fundamental Skill: Intentional Learning and the Career Advantage." Christensen posited learner curiosity and a growth mindset are critical attributes for creating a shared responsibility between organization and employee.

In this episode, Salomonsen and Christensen explored the question, "What do employees own in the learning relationship of the workplace?"

“You have an obligation to use your agency to grow. Right? You owe that to the organization that you belong to and to yourself as a professional. So I always think of development as this kind of two-way street. An organization can't give you everything. You need to have some obligation on your own to develop,” said Christensen.

Learning and growing in our careers (and life) is something we all have a responsibility in which to invest our time.

“…individuals, if they are really powered by this idea of, 'I can grow and develop, I can get better, I can improve my skills from where I am today. And here are the things I'm curious about. Here's what propels me to learn.' That's just a really good engine inside an organization to help growth be part of what an organization does. And learning and development can harness that,” said Christensen.

Listen on Apple or Spotify

Mentorship can come from anyone


Salomonsen and Christensen also threw out the historical idea of mentors being the older, sage professionals passing down knowledge to young, inexperienced workers.

“So when you start to think about your own development and how you're going to grow your skills, or you're going to try to kind of facilitate an apprenticeship program within an organization, it's too limiting to say, 'It's the senior people who have the knowledge. 'You have to look more broadly, more democratized in an organization and say, Wherever the skills exist, those are the people who we want to be teaching,'" said Christensen.

Listen to the full episode on Apple or Spotify

There’s so much more! Get ready for more great episodes of HR Labs season 4 coming every week.

  • Feb. 22, 2022 – "Let's rebuild work" with Carly Cooper
  • Mar. 1, 2022 – "Make learning foundational to growth" with Lisa Christensen
  • Mar. 8, 2022 – "Turn skills into your new growth language" with Meredith Wellard of DPDHL
  • Mar. 15, 2022 – "Changing from career paths into career possibilities" with Julie Winkle Giulioni, speaker/author
  • Mar. 22, 2022 – "Reexamining the role of managers in the age of AI" with Ben Eubanks of Lighthouse Research
  • Mar. 29, 2022 – "Putting equity into practice" with Jenn Hultman of Amazon
  • Apr. 5, 2022 – "Thinking big and bold about the future ready workforce" with John Helmer, writer/consultant

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