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Nurturing Talent with BMO's CLO - Talent & Learning Next Practices 7/14

The Talent & Learning Next Practices Monthly series provides a forum for the Talent and L&D leadership community to come together to discover and advance next practices. Each month, you’ll hear from executives in Talent and/or Learning from some of the largest and most respected organizations in the world, learn about the latest i4cp research, and share and receive ideas from your peers.

This month's featured guest was Gina Jeneroux, Chief Learning Officer at BMO (Bank of Montreal), the 8th largest bank in North America and a company that dates back to 1817. She joined i4cp's CEO and Co-Founder Kevin Oakes and Sr. Research Analyst Tom Stone in a discussion of the latest Learning and Development successes and initiatives at BMO. Here are some highlights:

  • In some ways, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated some L&D strategies and initiatives that were already started, or at least planned, such as the increasing emphasis on a skills-centric approach to development, a focus on shorter duration learning opportunities, and more use of digital technology for learning.
  • Like most organizations with employees who shifted to remote work for varying periods of time, the use of virtual instructor-led training increased significantly in 2020 and has remained elevated since then.
  • BMO extensively leverages leaders as teachers in many of their formal training programs, especially in leadership development. This is a practice that multiple i4cp studies have found correlates strongly to market performance, meaning far more high-performance organizations using leaders as teachers than low-performers.
  • Jeneroux noted that in addition to their LMS and LXP, BMO is also using Ten Thousand Coffees as a platform for mentoring, networking, and informal talent development.
  • BMO has taken a holistic approach to skills and skills development, integrating across workforce planning, talent acquisition, operating models and job design, leadership and culture, people analytics, and total rewards and performance.
  • Their journey has been marked by shifting from job- and event-based development driven at the business level and focused on immediate needs (today's 'hot digital skills'), to enterprise-driven, AI-supported skill development and credentialling that levels the playing field for diverse talent and anticipates future needs (tomorrow's 'hot digital skills')
  • BMO's skills-based development model provides a repeatable cycle where they continually prioritize and assess skills and tackle gaps through development planning, reskilling, talent movement and selective hiring.
  • It also includes a wide range of ways that an employee builds or deepens their skills, going beyond formal training and including experiences such as gigs, stretch assignments, rotations, and secondments, as well as connection-building via mentorships, buddy programs, peer communities, and coaching.
  • BMO is a founding partner of the WEF SkillsLink Alliance, a community of leaders across enterprise, education, and government that are committed to the WEF (World Economic Forum) Reskilling Revolution - an ambitious goal to provide 1 billion people with improved education, skills and job opportunities by 2030. There are four pillars to the initiative: 1. Adopt a common language for skills, 2. Recognize skills-based credentials, 3. Partner for skills delivery, and 4. Adopt and champion skills-based workforce strategies.
  • We asked a poll of call participants: "To what extent does your organization use a skills-centric approach to finding, developing, and retaining talent?"
    • 3% - Very large extent
    • 10% - Large extent
    • 35% - Moderate extent
    • 29% - Low extent
    • 20% - Very low extent
    • 4% - Don’t know

Links to resources shared on the call: