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Elliott Masie’s 30 Under Thirty: Interview with Leonie Tijink

Sixth in our series of 30 Under Thirty interviews is Leonie Tijink, Group Learning & Development Manager for MCI Group

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

Leonie: MCI Group is a global, fast-growing company that helps multinational companies and international associations enhance their organisational performance, grow globally, energise communities and drive business results.

In my role I focus on linking our business strategy with global and regional learning solutions under the umbrella of MCI Institute, creating and implementing development opportunities for our 1500+ staff and scaling this at the same time to meet our current and future requirements. As an internal consultant I also guide our 55 offices towards the development and implementation of local learning solutions, aligning the more specific local needs with tailored development opportunities.

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

Leonie: I’m always curious to learn more about the profession and business in general. Personally I like to collaborate with others in the field, getting new insights, hearing about other concepts and strategies, finding out about the latest tools and technologies and learning how they approach learning; what other organisations do and how we can together get better at what we do as learning professionals. In online communities - such as the one we have with the 30 Under Thirty group - professional networks, virtual and face-to-face learning events, and conferences like Learning 2013. I’m also a big reader and keep an eye out for interesting blogs, articles, magazines and books.

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

Leonie: With information being available anytime, anywhere to anyone, the role of the learning leader is getting broader and broader, being a strategic business partner, a learning curator and other new roles still to come. The speed with which new trends, technologies and concepts appear might be hard to keep up with. This can be a challenge but if you are open-minded, curious and flexible I think it is also a very exciting field to be a part of.

Maestro: What excites you about the future of learning?

Leonie: There is always more to learn! We don’t know yet what the future will bring us, or what we will all bring to the future, but that’s exactly what makes it exciting. It is a field that keeps changing, improving and expanding with very few limits. The fact that learning is seen as more and more strategic and is so closely connected to the business makes it - for me - one of the most interesting ways to really be involved in a company. It is motivating, engaging and bringing people together to work towards one goal: continuously getting better at what we do as individuals, teams, organisations and communities!

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

Leonie: Be ready to change, be curious and be open to new ideas, but select carefully what is relevant for your organisation, don’t jump onto every new idea! Stay up-to-date about the changing landscape and take on the curation role; defining what is relevant, what can add value and what is not the right way forward for your organisation. Every organisation has its own strategy and culture and the development and learning opportunities need to be aligned to both. While for some organisations that means you should be the first to implement the latest trends & technologies for others that means implementing change step-by-step. The main goal to keep in mind is that the learning needs to be relevant, engaging and have a clear positive impact on your staff and business long-term growth and success!

Interested in learning more about Leonie?

Connect with her on LinkedIn

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