Second in our series of 30 Under Thirty interviews is Heidi Gifford, Organization Development Consultant for the American Red Cross
Maestro: Tell me a little bit about your company and your role within it.
Heidi: I work for the American Red Cross as an Organization Development Consultant. What I love about my role is that it is so varied. While my focus is on improving organization effectiveness and helping facilitate behavior changes, HOW I do this varies widely depending on the group that I am working with. My work can range from conducting a True Colors session for a team of 25 to designing and implementing employee engagement across the organization.
Maestro: Tell me about some of the things you are doing to stay current in the world of learning.
Heidi: One of my favorite ways of staying current is connecting with those within and outside of the learning field. This allows me to hear what others are doing and how my work connects with other areas outside of the learning field. This is what made the 30 Under Thirty group so unique…we were all from a wide variety of industries and fields.
Maestro: What challenges do you see for the next generation of learning leaders - people like you?
Heidi: I’m not sure I see it as a challenge but the competencies that have made learning leaders effective today are not going to be the same competencies that will make the next generation successful. It will be important to grow and adapt to these new competencies. For example, in the closing session of Learning 2013 there were lots of conversations around the topic of curation. The concept of curation is great but learning leaders will need to figure out how to integrate this into their work.
Maestro: What excites you about the future of learning?
Heidi: What excites me most about the future of learning is that it is constantly evolving. Technology is playing a HUGE part in the transformation of learning. I can’t wait to see what the future holds in using apps, social media and gaming to improve collaboration and interaction between learners.
Maestro: What advice do you have for companies struggling to keeping up with the changing landscape of learning?
Heidi: You have to adapt and it’s not as scary as one might thing! The upcoming generations in the workforce really want a unique learning experience and it will be important to retaining top young talent.