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Opportunities For L&D From The Current Crisis With Ben Chambers

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The consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic have been immediate and far-reaching. L&D teams have had to move quickly to respond to very real, and very urgent needs. But what could this mean for our profession in the mid- to long-term? And to what extent are there opportunities for L&D?


  • COVID’s effects have not just been on a business and economic scale, but also on a personal level. We have had to deal with issues pertaining to business, staff, and ourselves. The strain has been unprecedented.
  • There have been challenges, but also obvious benefits to the new way of working. It’s a case of capturing these benefits and ensuring that putting them into practice ensures we do not slip into less efficient ways of working.
  • Needs are emerging constantly, and prominently, for many workers, and they need to be swiftly addressed. These challenges need focussed, creative thinking, and rapid delivery.
  • There is a real opportunity for L&D professionals now to spend more time in discovery, to become more fluent in thinking in the same ways as data scientists, in order to deliver more targeted solutions.
  • It is incumbent upon us to provide inspiration, empowerment, and the agency to think more creatively in terms of identifying developmental needs.


  • ’There’s no competitive advantage to be gained from COVID’
  • ‘We’ve been able to move at pace and provide people with what’s needed’
  • ‘Leading with digital solutions can meet people where they are’
  • ‘Classroom solutions have been thrown at poorly-defined problems for far too long’


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Ben Chambers leads the Business School at Grant Thornton and is responsible for learning, talent and performance, having held senior positions at GSK and Tesco, amongst others. He is also founder of the Talent and Leadership Club, a collaboration group for talent and leadership professionals that has been going for over ten years now and has around 500 members.


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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This is a fortnightly topical podcast show for L&D professionals. Each episode David James will be d 
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