Welcome to issue #41!

I've been looking up to how GitLab approaches L&D for quite some time. Their unique ways of engaging people and learning methods are all shared on their about page. I would definitely appreciate more companies doing that, so if you know others, please do send them over! Now back to GitLab.

The first things you can see when landing on the L&D page are their mission, how can employees reach out to them, and their FY22 strategy (I love it!). Going further they outline responsibilities, team, calendar, opportunities, how they prioritize requests, or performance indicators. Before deep-diving into specific programs, I have to admit how thoroughly they thought about marketing the L&D team. There's a lot to learn from it. Going on, here are some programs I found interesting:

Monthly Continuous Learning Call
The series is intended to showcase all of the L&D initiatives taking place at GitLab as well as provide a space for team members to ask questions. It's an opportunity to come together as an organization and highlight everything we are doing within the L&D space and to help instill a learning culture at GitLab.

Learning Speaker Series
The calls serve to provide a space where senior executives and mid-level people leaders can share relevant topics to engage and teach team members lessons learned from their own careers and answer relevant L&D-related questions. We also hope to use this forum for external speakers to teach topics on relevant skills for team members.

Learning & Development Quarterly Newsletter
The newsletter includes Learn from Leadership, Learner Spotlight, Department Spotlight, Recaps of past Qs, Upcoming in the following Q, Learning Tips & others. You can check an example here.

The Manager Challenge
The Three Week Manager Challenge Program is a blended learning approach that incorporates self-paced daily challenges and live learning sessions to build foundational management skills. The program incorporates leadership assessments, interactive live learning sessions, and digital learning.

Definitely inspiring!

Stay safe and keep learning,


This newsletter is built with the full psychological, design, development, and brainstorming support of Nifty Learning.
L&D Jobs of the week
L&D Newsroom
In a new series, "The future of workplace learning", MIT Sloan explores some interesting subjects. One that caught my attention is around roles that feel like dead ends, what basic skills they might need, and how could we help them grow such skills. In addition, they talk about some cool programs IBM and AT&T are working on.
"Developing human skills is a completely different ballgame, where seminars and instructor-led workshops won’t suffice". Hell, yeah! In addition to workshops or e-learning, the author suggests using peer coaching to develop the so-called soft-skills.
This week started with a piece of interesting news for me. Calm, the meditation app, is offering 1 year of free subscription for HR Pros. If you're into meditation, you might find this useful. 
We need to shift our attention over another type of competency, the cultural one. Cultural competency is defined as "the ability to listen, learn and understand cultural differences and worldviews". This article showcases ways in which two companies, Better and Talespin take care of this competency as well.
Some interesting ideas I got out of Buffer's Mentorship Program: (1) have mentorship champions who can recurrently meet with mentors and help them grow, (2) introduce mentorship chats between mentorship champions, (3) introduce async office hours one day a month when people could give updates in an async way.
Training with no follow-up is useless. I come to believe this over and over again. Fergal Connolly talks a lot about learning transfer and in this article, he deep dives into factors you need in place for learning transfer to happen as well as obstacles, empowering managers to facilitate learning transfer, and ways of measuring it.
Yet another conversation about Talent Marketplaces between David Green and one of his guests, Ruslan Tovbulatov. This one goes deeper into the benefits of building a talent marketplace through real case studies, and the technology behind it. 
A topic which is both way out of L&Ds comfort area, while in the meantime one of the most important skills you can have in our profession. This HBR article talks about some things you can do to improve financial literacy: (1) partner up with a finance colleague and experiment with numbers, (2) learn the metrics your company uses to measure success, and (3) join communities and enroll in online courses to get the basics.
If your shelf is not already full for this spring, Adam Grant recently made a list of books he found insightful. He divided it into conflicting, adulting, equalizing, changing, and thinking. You can also recommend some of them to you colleagues.
Long time no learning out loud from Napthali Bryant, Alyson DeMaso, and Brian Walsh. Just like the other times, they freely talk about a new, interesting, and sensitive subject - burnout, and how learning can help in overcoming it.
We've been doing virtual workshops for over a year now, and sometimes you think you know it all. Is that so? I hope not. If you are thinking it as well, this L&D Shakers event might come in handy. Mirna Smidt from Trainers Toolbox (, will explore diverse aspects of what contributes to more engagement, motivation, and energy in online workshops.
This article starts with various definitions of the term "workshop" and goes with providing some clear ways in which you can differentiate between when a workshop is needed and when another tool might fit best the need of your audience. Oldie, but goldie!
Yet another trip to the future together with McKinsey and Björn Annwall, leader of Volvo Cars in the EMEA region. Some things I got out of this interview: (1) "the only way to truly build strong capabilities is by doing the hard work", (2) "institutionalize learning-by-doing programs and emphasize individual career pathing", and one question (3) "How can employees at every level get exposure to different areas of the business".
The thesis of this experiment is really interesting: "We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience". Starting with this in mind, the paper goes through the experiment meant to prove or disprove the importance of reflection in the learning process. The conclusion? It matters. Although in an agile world taking the time to think about how you do things might seem a waste, it is definitely not. So how can we introduce reflection moments in our organizations?
I'm living it, you might live it, our colleagues live it. No, it's not the pandemic. It's the so-called impostor syndrome. Since it's so common, why don't we talk about it more often to help people get past it? If you're wondering this as well and you're looking for ways to help, this article has nice exercises, as well as some useful theory.
Overheard on LinkedIn
The best kind is Deliberate Practice, with all of the traits of Purposeful Practice but with a guide / coach / mentor giving you feedback along the journey, monitoring your behaviour and development .💎💎

- craighiskett
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This newsletter is created through the joint efforts of Lavinia Mehedintu and Nifty Learning. Offbeat is our way to support the L&D community around the globe. We only share resources we find insightful, and we add our interpretation of how readers could apply what they learn. Could we be wrong? Definitely. We strongly encourage you to share your feedback and thoughts at

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