Shawn Storer runs Shawn Storer Creative Leadership Solutions and will be chairing L&D Influencers Europe conference. Ahead of the event we found out why his biggest lesson has been to listen and care and how he learns something from someone every single day.
You have been named in the top 50 leaders in L&D – what does that mean to you?
It is a tremendous honour and a wonderful surprise. I am humbled and proud to be included on this list of people I respect and admire. It is sometimes difficult for me to accept that I rank among them. We do what we do because we love it, not looking for praise, but the praise is of course wonderful to receive and helps us renew our focus.
What does your role as influencer and consultant at Shawn Storer Creative Leadership Solutions actually comprise – what’s a typical day or week for you?
Being new to the consulting realm, I’m still trying to create the balance between business development and doing the part I love, L&D. Long term, I believe opportunities will grow organically through networking, word-of-mouth, and accomplishments. In the meantime, I will continue to work with a small group of companies to help them accomplish their specific goals.
You could qualify for a VIP pass to attend this event! Visit the website to claim your ticket.
You will be chairing the L&D Influencers Europe conference – how important is bringing people together at an event like this?
Crucial! I’ve had the opportunity to work with the CLO Forum in the US and have spoken at other similar events. I have learnt that industry leaders are not only interested in exchanging best practices but that once they get a taste for sharing it becomes infectious. This is an opportunity for top decision-makers and thought-leaders to come together and share in an open, honest, caring environment.
What do you think is the biggest issues in learning and development currently?
I think there are a number. They include:
- Reaching learners where they are.
- Generations in the workforce.
- Leadership support.
- Learning styles.
- Culture and core values.
These are just a few of the topics we will surely discuss at the conference!
How can such issues be addressed?
Be open, share, listen, and participate. I’ve taken away multiple tactical ideas from CLO forums in the US. Surprise and delight moments, experiential techniques, discovery learning, onboarding is not a ‘one day event’, cheap and cheerful tactics, and we are not alone are all major takeaways for me. Try new things and don’t be afraid to fail.
What have been the most valuable lessons you have learnt in your career – good or bad – about learning and development and how to do, or not do it, that you would pass on today?
Listen and care. Most of us are in this profession because we love it. So, we come to the table with a helpful heart and an open mind. My advice is…don’t lose that. Don’t lose your ‘why?’.
How can businesses best create a learning and development culture within their organisations so that all thrive?
It starts at the top. The head leads the body. If the c-suite is not supportive or engaged, it is extremely difficult to make learning a core value. As a leader of learning, you have to know how to influence positively, compromise where it makes sense, and stay firm when you must. Be creative, be clever, be engaging, be influential, and be persistent. It is really up to you.
What’s been your biggest life lesson?
Flexibility, adaptability, and transferrable skills. I’ve had a wide range of diverse experiences across multiple industries and learned an important life lesson in every facet of my career. Every situation helped influence the next. I try to be open and receptive, always looking for a better way, and always trying to learn from every opportunity.
How do we stay engaged with a continual learning and development process? Can we ever know it all?
This is hard to say. I hope we can’t ever know it all. I want to continue learning, always. Staying engaged starts here, at this conference. Find those you respect, find those you learned something from, find those you want to learn more from, connect and stay connected. Share, listen, and engage. We are the decision makers and influencers. If we aren’t walking the walk…nobody else will.
Who, personal or professional, has been your greatest teacher in life?
In each unique phase of my life, music, art, training, speaking, operating, developing talent, I’ve had someone who influenced my path. Positive and negative, you can learn from any situation. The best leadership lessons spanned industries and I have made them a part of who I am.
Every day I will learn something from someone, planned or unplanned, expected or unexpected, that makes me a better person.
About the interviewee
Shawn Storer, of Shawn Storer Creative Leadership Solutions, will be chairing L&D Influencers Europe, which will be held September 17-18 at Hilton London Olympia.