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Elliott Masie's 30 Under 30: Interview with Mandi Christensen

Sixth in our series of 30 Under 30 interviews is Mandi Christensen, Training Specialist at Caribou Coffee.

Unfamiliar with learning’s 30 Under 30? That’s ok! It’s an annual program put on by Elliott Masie at Learning 2015 conference. “The goal of the 30 Under 30 @ Learning 2015 Program is to provide support, visibility, voice and development for the next generation of Learning Leaders.” Read on to learn more about industry insights from an up and coming learning leader!

Maestro: Tell me a little bit about your company and your role within it.

Mandi: Caribou Coffee Company is a coffee company based in Minneapolis, MN. We have physical corporate locations, franchise locations in the United States and Abroad and focus on Commercially Packaged goods and K-cups as well. We recently have started to open cobrand locations which are both Caribou Coffee and Einstein Brothers Bagels.

Maestro: Tell me about some of the things you are doing to stay current in the world of learning.

Mandi:

  • Using Social Media platforms to reach our younger learners (Instagram, Facebook, Vine)
  • Creating training that our learners want to learn, not forced to learn. So looking at what they are currently going to in their free time and trying to emulate that.
  • Making a strong case for measurement and proving the case for learning.
  • Testing - not being afraid to fail and try new things, gather feedback, edit and move forward.

Maestro: What challenges do you see for the next generation of learning leaders – people like you?

Mandi: Keeping up with Technology. Upgrades and social are constantly changing. Which makes it tough to get strong engaging platform when learners are consistently moving to the next thing. It is only going to get tougher in the future, it seems to me that we need to get better in Learning and Development about being willing to try new things when we hear about them and make a case for that so we don’t find ourselves too far behind.

Maestro: What excites you about the future of learning?

Mandi: We are at such a cool time right now with all of the inventions, technology and transparency through social and quick news. I see this as only being something that continues and this is awesome for our field! It means that we can jump on this bandwagon to craft our training to what is working and use the amazing programs and strategies that have already been created to engage our learners.

Maestro: What advice do you have for companies struggling to keep up with the changing landscape of learning?

Mandi: Don’t wait. Everything is changing so quickly so if you take too much time to figure it out you will be too late. The best thing to do right now is take risks, do tests and start trying things to see what is working. You don’t have to have the perfect plan. Try things with your learners and see what they like and perhaps more importantly what they do not like to learn from them and then start making things happen! There are a few reasons and excuses to not jump on the technology and social bandwagon, but there are so many more reason why you should!

Want to learn more from Mandi? Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn!

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Sydney Hill

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