Economic Uncertainty: Why You Have to Double Down on Talent Development

CHRO Council

August 30, 2022 - East


Ibrahim Jackson


Ubiquitous Preferred Services

Council Speaker

Ibrahim works with technology, human resource, and other business leaders to develop, upskill, and retool teams of people for next practice leadership in a changing world of work. By providing workshops, coaching, and consulting, with a team of industry experienced professionals, to large-scale enterprises and government agencies, employees are prepared for future opportunities today. Our underpinning Digital Professional Framework governs our people transformation programs with a focus on four key areas: 1. Digital Depth 📱 2. Business Acumen 📊 3. Interpersonal Skills 🤝 4. Social Impact 🌎 Whether transformation, modernization, evolution, or restructuring, all of these changes have a basis for moving the organization forward. Leaders are trusted and relied upon to bring sustainable change to successful completion using competence, appropriate practices, skills, behaviors, and mental models to galvanize people and achieve sustainable change, continuous improvement, and make the most significant impact, so their organization realizes optimal value. TRAINING Our focus on digital and leadership attracts technology leaders and human resource executives working on developing people that need to be ready to lead in an era of emerging technology and where business models are expanding and evolving. We provide standard training, bespoke modules customized to the needs of the organization, modules tailored to the specific business objectives of the organization, and on-demand modules. Our learning journeys are immersive, experiential, and applicable to the particular business challenges our clients have. COACHING While many challenges and opportunities across organizations may be similar, their specific context, focus area, and goals are often unique. Having a coach or executive coach that can be an extension of your brain trust often leads to better decision making, improved results, and career elevation. We use a variety of coaching and group coaching models that help our clients excel at the aforementioned. CONSULTING By pairing our client's institutional knowledge with our broad range of expertise from across many industries, we help leaders tackle today's problems so that they achieve a competitive advantage on their journey towards making a material difference in their business. We perform simple to complex assessments, primary and secondary research, and strategy development where and when needed. When working with us, we own your problem, allowing you to capitalize on the solution's rewards.

Lin Burton


US Department of Justice

Council Speaker

Lin Burton, Ed.S, has been a learning professional since 1980. During her years of service with the federal government, George Washington University, in local government and private industry, she has served as the Chief Learning Officer for Federal Prison Industries, Associate Professor in the George Washington University Graduate School of Education & Human Development, School Administrator in Alexandria City Public Schools, NSTEP National Training Program Coordinator for the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, and teacher/professor in both public and private settings. Lin possesses strength in working with individuals' diverse learning needs/strengths and excels in defining blended resources and developing specialized techniques. She effectively uses technology and alternative resources to reach participants thus developing timely and cost effective best practices. Her research has focused on policy impacts of comprehensive school models designed with multi-agency service delivery on site. In practice, Lin uses 30-minute conversations with managers and leaders when designing training programs. And has written, instructed and facilitated on topics including: Speed of Trust, Effective presenting, Building an Enterprise-Wide Vision for Training, Creative Strategies for a Positive Learning Environment, Learning Styles, Technology use in Conference Evaluation, Curriculum Development, Education Law, Interagency Transition Models, Group Facilitation Skills for Effective Group Processes, LSS Process Mapping/ Root Cause Analysis, and Coaching. Specialties Learning Technology, Staff Development, Individuals with Disabilities, Executive Management Development, Lean Six Sigma Basics, Speed of Trust Facilitator

Alex Smith

Chief HR Officer

City of Memphis

Council Speaker

HRO Today’s 2020 Nonprofit CHRO of the Year. Memphis Business Journal Top 40 under 40. Leadership Memphis Change Maker Honoree 2021. 2019 TN SHRM HR Management Excellence Award Recipient. Business leader with public and private sector HR experience, who has demonstrated the ability to transform the diversity composition of top senior leadership teams, develop strategies to hire 1000s of employees, drive HR transformation and culture change. Also, she serves as an Adjunct Lecturer for the University of Minnesota-Carlson School of Management and Executive in Residence at the University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business.

Raghu Krishnaiah


University of Phoenix

Council Speaker

Education Master of Science, Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Master of Business Administration, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Raghu Krishnaiah is an innovative leader experienced at turning transformative products and business concepts into successful global companies. His career as a seasoned change agent and strategist spans more than 20 years of progressive P&L management, strategy, sales and marketing, product development, operations, technology, and Board responsibilities. Krishnaiah currently serves as the chief operating officer at University of Phoenix, where he is instrumental in the transformation of the University and responsible for all operating strategy and results. Before joining University of Phoenix, Krishnaiah held the role of chief operating officer at Western Governors University, where he led significant growth in student learning outcomes. Prior to Western Governors University, Krishnaiah worked as senior vice president at Kaplan Higher Education Group, and has served in a number of leadership roles throughout his career, overseeing large operational infrastructures at complex global organizations in financial services, management consulting, and technology industries. Krishnaiah earned both a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Adam Fishman

COO US Investment Banking

RBC Capital Markets

Council Speaker

Adam Fishman is the COO of U.S. Global Investment Banking at RBC Capital Markets. Adam joined RBC in 2004 and has charted the growth of their platform from under 100 professionals in a select group of coverage areas to a full-service Investment Bank with 600+ bankers. His areas of focus include strategy, senior talent acquisition, finance, and operations/administration within the Investment Bank. Adam previously served as the CFO of Davis, Polk and Wardwell, Director of Financial Business Development at Home Box Office, Director of Financial Services at Pepsi-Cola International, and an Auditor at Ernst and Young. Adam holds a BBA and MBA in Finance from Pace University and is a CPA.

Jessica Salyers

Chief Learning Officer

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Council Speaker

Dr. Jessica Salyers is the Chief Learning Officer for the Veterans Health Administration, encompassing the Employee Education System and VHA Healthcare Leadership Talent Institute (HLTI). In her role overseeing 400 employees and a $100M budget, she is responsible for providing the right learning, anytime, anywhere, to all VHA employees in the areas of clinical care, health care operations and administration, as well as leadership development, talent management and succession planning. Dr. Salyers serves as the principal advisor to the Under Secretary for Health for the analysis, development, delivery, implementation, and evaluation of education, learning, development, and training programs, products, and services that support workforce development and continuing education for the Administration’s more than 377,000 health care professionals and staff, as well as 120,000 residents and trainees at over 1,255 sites, caring for 8.92 million Veterans. As an advocate and champion for transforming VHA into a learning organization, Dr. Salyers works with VA and VHA leaders to identify requirements and leverage collaborative and innovative education, training and development opportunities in support of Department and Administration goals and objectives. Dr. Salyers is also responsible for developing and implementing a VHA-wide comprehensive leadership development, talent management and succession planning strategy to ensure a steady leadership pipeline, guiding a collection of multi-dimensional talent assessment information on executives across VHA to identify those in the pipeline for key leadership positions and ensure they receive the work experiences, assignments, coaching/mentoring and training necessary for building executive leadership skills. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Executive Director for HLTI in VHA. Her previous positions in the Air Force include Chief Talent Management Officer for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB); Deputy Executive Director, Chief of Staff and Chief Learning Officer at the Air Force Research Laboratory; and others. She has 18 years of experience in industrial/organizational psychology, organizational consulting, change management, leadership development, organizational development and strategic planning. Dr. Salyers’ major awards include the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, Exemplary Civilian Service Award (2013), Special Act or Service Award (multiple), Dayton Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award, and Leadership Dayton graduate. She holds a doctorate in business/consulting psychology; a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology; and a bachelor’s degree in general psychology, criminal justice studies and sociology. Her specific areas of research interest and experience include survey assessment and design, information overload and future of work.

August 30, 2022


All times Eastern Time

11:00 AM-12:15 PM

Economic Uncertainty: Why You Have to Double Down on Talent Development

Throughout the times, Macroeconomic uncertainty can, and has often had a devastating effect on the workforce. The impact of uncertainty on the economy was most recently illustrated in the context of the pandemic and the subsequent boom when the economy opened up. Whether we call it a downturn or a correction, people and businesses are strife with uncertainty now.

During change and uncertainty, one of the key (potential) areas of impact for companies is their talent base. Regardless of whether there will be a downturn or not, smart companies are investing in learning & development as they are faced with the simple fact that workers with higher job insecurity have poorer psychological and physical health, display more negative work attitudes and are less satisfied with their life, ultimately leading to a lack of productivity all around. However, companies that actively demonstrate care and investment in their employees professional growth and careers paths - are seeing demonstrable improvements in business outcomes.

Now more than ever, companies should double down on employee professional development, and consider strategies and initiatives that support and drive employee retention, professional growth, team development, leadership training, change management and much more. How can L&D and HR executives overcome these challenges, when many of their leaders have never experienced an economic downturn before?

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