Interview: Zoe Jervier @ Entrepreneur First

This week I spoke to Zoe Jervier, Director of Global Talent Acquisition at Entrepreneur First. Entrepreneur First takes individuals and over a 6 month period turns them into VC backed businesses. Although Learnitect is not backed by EF, I was on their programme 6 months ago, and a lot of the thinking that culminated in Learnitect happened in the creative environment they nurture. Ed: Where do you find people with the potential to build a world changing business? Zoe: EF looks for unconventional talent in unconventional ways, but has some conventional talent challenges. We invest heavily in scouting high potential people both online and offline, and 80% of team’s time is spent identifying. F

Interview: David James @ Looop

This week I spoke to David James, who was at Disney 8 years, leading first the UK L&D department before becoming Director for L&D across EMEA, and now is a Digital Learning Strategist for Looop (we’ve mentioned them a couple of times before, as they supply the platform for ASOS and Learnitect’s digital content). Ed: You spent 8 years at Disney in various L&D roles. How does Disney handle L&D? What can other companies learn from it? David: I loved my time at Disney. Although, there’s a misconception that Disney is a fun place to work. It’s challenging. Disney attracts smart, driven people and expectations are high. But it was incredible. Most noticeable is the complexity of the business. You’

How top startups in London approach Innovation and Culture

Last week we attended a dinner hosted by Forward Partners for their portfolio companies and mentors. We facilitated the conversation on scaling people and operations, and captured as much of the ensuing conversation as we could here. On maintaining innovation as your company grows... Be conscious as to whether your team is innovating, or just iterating Protect your MVP approach, even as the company becomes bigger Clearly define KPIs for innovations (e.g., conversion) Design incentives that encourage innovation - both reward and recognition Build space and flexibility for innovation, e.g. create Hackathon days/weeks for employees from different functions to pitch and build innovations to impr

Interview: Michael Walker

As the former Head of People & Operations at Mastered, and advisor to multiple start-ups, Michael Walker has a fascinating perspective on L&D. Mastered is itself a talent development business, focusing on the skills creative talent needs in the fashion industry, so they are always looking for ways to develop people in new and improved ways. Here are the main takeaways from our conversation: // RUN WORKSHOPS TO CAPTURE INTERNAL KNOWLEDGE Management training is an obvious place to start in an organisation, as the impact here will be felt throughout the organisation. You could start by creating an offering here with a series of themed workshops for managers of different experience levels. “Ever

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