Learning and development (L&D) is in the midst of a transition, and that's good news for learners. The demand to create learning ecosystems where corporate learning frameworks host a diverse mix of on-demand learner-centric opportunities is challenging learning professionals and industry tools to flex and change. Some key industry leaders are sounding the rally cry to dismantle static learning management systems (LMSs). However, LMSs aren't going away anytime soon, and some LMS providers are responding to clients' demands for technology solutions that offer lower complexity and cost, mobility, and custom learning experiences.
This shift is evident in eLearning Industry’s newly published list of the 20 best LMSs based on user experience. Take a look below at their list and the methodology they used to rank each vendor.
Solutions Arts works with a variety of clients across industries including the legal adult-use and medicinal cannabis industry. People outside the cannabis industry consistently ask the same question: what about workplace drug testing?
It seems inevitable that current state--and eventually, federal--laws will shift and change. Meanwhile, much of the law and policy conflicts are being waged in various states with different case law applying in different jurisdictions. Some states are reaching similar conclusions while others differ.
Ask Different Questions
It's time to shift from "what about drug testing," to the more relevant questions:
Schedule a Working Session
Off-site or full-day meetings are often unpopular and take key contributors and decision-makers out of the field and limit their availability to their teams. Not every company change needs to result in an off-site or full-day meeting. However, some issues do require key leaders, decision-makers, and functional area support to protect uninterrupted time to dive deep into an issue and emerge with an action plan. This is one of those situations.
What might a working session look like?
If appropriate, seize the opportunity to make this particular working session fun. Policy updates, although important, are historically boring snooze-fests. If the company culture is progressive, fun, and open, talk with your external partner about ways to infuse humor and education into the working session. For example, kick off the working session with a game that uncovers myths and stereotypes about cannabis use. Images or short clips from, Reefer Madness, not only remind attendees how far we've come, but they're also good for a laugh. Follow up the game with images of and stories about cannabis use in the mainstream (e.g., treatment protocols and successes with veterans, childhood epilepsy, adults with MS, and cannabis use in geriatric medicine) to provide a broad snapshot of changing times and when and how attendees might need tools and policies to discuss cannabis use with employees.
As some form of legal cannabis policy sweeps the nation, it makes sense for companies to proactively review and update policies now rather than waiting to pay court and attorney fees later.
Our clients rely on us as their secret weapon. When they engage us to analyze and resolve their performance improvement challenges, we tap our collective of highly specialized industry professionals. We leverage our set of advanced tools—both human and technological—and assemble the right set of skills to hit our clients’ mark. Every need is unique, and so should be each solution.
This ongoing series highlights the unique roles and skills that set Solutions Arts’ teams apart from our competition. No matter the project size, one thing remains constant: mission-critical business initiatives are safe in our professionals’ capable hands.
Interview with Solutions Arts’ team member, Kymberly Garrett
Question: What do you call what you do?
Kymberly Garrett (KG): My work has taken on a really interesting path over the last 30 years. I began my career in the hospitality industry in Learning & Development. This was a wonderful way to really understand the key components needed to support high-performing teams through creation and facilitating “just-in-time” learning applications.
My career then segued into the practice of Human Resources (HR) within the public, private, and start-up environments. This was a watershed next step in my career trajectory and really allowed me to build a sustainable toolkit in all facets of people matters.
The world of Talent Management and Talent Acquisition was a perfect finish to my career. The challenge, privilege, and pure joy of matching talent with opportunity proved to be a “true calling” for me!
Now, I am at my happiest in a consultancy role that encompasses all that I have been fortunate to attain PLUS new areas such as executive coaching and relationship building to business development for this amazing organization, Solutions Arts.
Question: What drew you to this kind of work? How long have you been in the industry?
KG: Great question! I tell my students and others all the time that HR chooses you or you choose HR! I think in my case, it’s a little of both! I was in college and met my mentor, who was the HR leader (then referred to as, Personnel) at the largest beer distribution company in the world. It started off as a summer job that my aunt arranged for me, but it really was the impetus for this fantastic vocation to “woo me and marry me”!
I realized two critical attributes that I organically possessed. One, was my innate ability to make darned precise diagnosis of organizational challenges and then transform them into people solutions. The second was that I have a naturally strong intellectual curiosity. This has allowed me to get completely immersed within the cultures that I have been fortunate enough to be invited into. I am always on the lookout for opportunities to align the business with its people, and that is why I thrive in all of the spaces that exist when speaking about the practice of HR. I am at my core a business person with an HR thought leader sensibility.
Question: What are your strengths? What sets you apart from the competition?
KG: I have an inordinate amount of energy that gets fueled only by more work! Someone once told me I was a blend of a work horse and a show horse; I rather like this visual. I have that balance of a strong work ethic and hold onto the fantasy that perfect exists, and most importantly, the hunt for excellence and perfection that takes hold of me as I chase it!
Question: What’s your sweet spot? What’s your passion?
KG: Connecting and aligning people is the BEST part of everything that I do! I love lessening the “six degrees to one or two degrees,” and creation of community really is where I thrive. I think of myself in terms of a “modern day Pied Piper,” and I am leading everyone to more great people and experiences!
Question: What challenges do clients typically seek your help to resolve? What are some common obstacles you see clients struggle with?
KG: After having spent time, resources, and energy managing the organizations within the confines of their blueprinted playbook, I get called in when it’s time to explore – “NEW.” A refresh on the status quo is where I live and bring value to my clients. Whether it’s narrowing operational or execution gaps to reassessing its human capital, organizations are all looking for what’s next...that’s my sweet spot!
Question: Would you share an example of the above?
KG: Sure…I was called into a very large security firm to better understand how they managed their “talent staffing problem.” In their view, they couldn’t staff enough people for the work that they had. After completing a pretty comprehensive organizational assessment, I realized that they didn’t have a staffing problem; they had a “jobs challenge.” The current state of the way their jobs were designed would always create a deficit. We moved more toward a “disruption model” that would allow for a flexible workforce similar to what the shared ride companies have done. We literally changed their staffing to more of a “gig” environment. This gave the staff more control to meet the demands the business dictated. It has been not only fluid in its approach, but also a money maker for the company! We created job levels for the independent teams to strive for that were incentive rich, and now they have talent literally begging to be a part of it!
Question: What best practices do you implement consistently?
Question: What would you like clients to know?
KG: The prescription for any challenge is a shared partnership. When they work with Solutions Arts, they should know they are accessing the most professional, talented crew assembled! We have worked in cubicles, offices, companies, just like our clients do every day, and we intimately understand the internal pressures that our clients face daily. Solutions Arts is there to align, partner, and support our clients’ needs with a rare sensitivity rooted in insight having been working corporate professionals vs. academic theory-based consultants who lack that awareness. Talent, passion, excellence, and professionalism are what set us apart.
About Solutions Arts
Solutions Arts is a performance improvement, custom learning and development organization rooted in proven organizational development and learning standards and practices. Our collective of freelance industry professionals possesses over 50 years of combined experience and a wealth of learning and development theory, practice, and technology at our clients’ disposal. SA delivers results on time, on budget, and with flair, offering clients creative and proven solutions to address business challenges.
Our clients and the training community ask us questions and often consistent themes emerge. From making learning stick to developing skills we once assumed every employee possessed, the challenges today’s businesses face can be transformed through a strong learning culture.
Every year, the learning and development industry presents exciting developments, time-saving innovations, and new research. Solutions Arts follows and tests theories, practices, and technologies, and our clients benefit from what we learn. We value sharing what we learn and the opportunity to discuss it here on our blog.