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Business Not As Usual With Sarah Allen

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Organisations have moved quicker than they could have ever predicted in light of the current crisis, and L&D teams within these organisations have had to do the same. 

Sarah Allen and her team at AXA UK are an example of how quickly things changed, and how swiftly an L&D team needed to respond in order to meet changing needs. So what did that mean - and what will it mean from here on out?


  • The insurance industry has a responsibility to protect customers during normality, and to support customers when life hits hard. L&D’s role in insurance is to enable teams to be at their best during this time of support.
  • Connection to teams, especially those working remotely now, is crucial to determining the needs of managers facing the problem of how to motivate, and get the best out of their teams.
  • Working digitally has accelerated the deployment of the four guiding principles: agile mind-set, digital-first, design once-deploy often, and outside thinking.
  • The question now is which parts of this new normal should we embrace, develop, and incorporate into our new way of working, and which parts of the pre-COVID world we can, and should, leave behind.


  • ’I’m excited to be in a profession where I can see that we only have an opportunity to add more value’
  • ‘We’re doing a lot more listening than talking’
  • ‘It makes you wonder what we were so scared of before’
  • ’There’s going to be a lot of “new”, moving forward'


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Sarah is Head of Learning, Talent & Leadership for AXA UK, having risen through the ranks of the L&D team at AXA Investment Managers.

You can follow and connect with Sarah via:



David James

David has been a People Development professional for more than 20 years, most notably as Director of Talent, Learning & OD for The Walt Disney Company across Europe, the Middle East & Africa.

As well as being the Chief Learning Strategist at Looop, David is a prominent writer and speaker on topics around modern and digital L&D as well as an active member of the CIPD L&D Advisory Board.


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