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Impact Lab – Welcome to portrait #1

Impact Lab – Welcome to portrait #1

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Last updated:
Feb 10, 2023
5 min read
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Article Summary

Laura Overton

Founder of Learning Changemakers ⋅ London, UK

1. What attracted you to L&D & why did you stay?

“I was one of those rare people who made a choice straight from leaving university to come into training at the time because I was interested in exploring how you can pull out the full potential in other people.

Our role today is more important than it ever has been, especially with the tools, models and ideas that we have in our hands. And I’m still hungry to release this potential. L&D is my home.”

2. Describe in three words what learning impact is to you?

Courage ⋅ commitment ⋅ co-creation

“Number one – courage. When we’re able to make a difference to other people, it gives them courage and it gives us courage to keep on trying.

Commitment is important as well. The impact that matters is the impact that we make on the business, rather than the impact we make on people coming through our courses and that takes commitment. It takes us working through complex environments with new ideas in order to achieve a goal.

And the third word for me is co-create. Impact can’t be generated from just us alone. We’re working together with others to improve individual teams, and organizations, so impact is all about co-creating value.”

3. Describe an L&D success you’re most proud of

“Success comes when we’re able to work smarter with other people. My proudest moments have been the moments where we’ve been able to understand the collective wisdom of other people and worked together to apply it and drive us forward.

I think certainly one of the things that I’ve been proudest of is my research work. Setting up and running a 15 year research program with people all around the globe who are normally all in competition with each other.”

4. What’s your toughest L&D challenge right now?

“I think it’s a challenge ironically that surfaced in some of my last pieces of research. Those that are successful often have to let go of what’s made them successful to retain their relevance moving forward. And that always hurts.

I think high performing learning teams let go of some of the things that worked for them in the past to embrace the things that will work today. And that’s the toughest and most painful thing, and it happens on a corporate level, but it also happens on an individual level.

Every time you have to let go of something that you love and something that has defined you, you have to really work out what your core value is and what you want to bring to your work. That’s tough but it’s also the most liberating thing because when you let go it releases creativity, new opportunities and new energy in you.”

5. Which of the three learning sabotages are you secretly guilty of?

“I think when you have so much available to you and you want to share so much with other people, you can be really prone to confusion and miscommunication. Sometimes you do better when you leave things out and when you only share what’s going to be the most useful rather than what could be useful. So I think that’s probably one of the secret sabotages that I have and is clearly not much of a secret now.”

6. Share one L&D resource. Why does this inspire you?

“The personal resource that I love is a little tiny resource from colleagues over in Australia called Model Thinkers. They just brought together all of these different business models that have been tried and tested over time that allow us to look at our situation through different perspectives and try new things.

Just having those all to hand and so beautifully laid out to build up a latticework of models that we can use to work through the complexity. ”

Join the Conversation

Mindset is crucial when co-creating impact. It’s important to not let the confusion, obstruction, miscommunication, and most importantly – imposter syndrome bring out the worst in us. As People Leaders, we should be conscious of and fight our own bias which may lead us to self-sabotage and in the end less strategic conversations and lower overall impact.

Great businesses deserve even greater People Leaders to support business goals through innovation & co-creation with stakeholders and the courage to untangle the impact mess. Let’s continue on this journey together!

Would you like to become part of the Impact Discussion? Join our next Impact Lab and take the lead on the business impact you create through L&D.

Sign Up Here

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