Hello ATD Long Island! Every month from now on we will be highlighting one of our esteemed members, providing an overview of their professional lives as well as some valuable insight into current topics.
For January, we are excited to introduce ATD: LI's current President, Larry Kravitz. If you would like to find out more about Mr. Kravitz or maybe discuss some of his answers with him, make sure to join us at our Winter Social Event on Thursday, January 17th!
ATD: Where do you work currently and what does a work day look like for you?
LK: I work as the Organizational Development Manager at Henry Schein. I do everything from training design and delivery, manage the mentor and reverse mentor programs, help leader with Talent Planning and work on special projects.
ATD: How did you come to be a part of ATD LI?
LK: I got involved with ATD LI by presenting on Learning Management Systems for the group. Sy Islam happened to be the President and knew my wife. I had just gone through the selection and implementation of a new enterprise LMS. About six months later, I hosted ATD at my training site and was asked to become involved. I’ve been addicted ever since!
ATD: How did you begin your career in talent development?
LK: I began my career in talent development in college. I worked for IKEA where I started training. I was a cashier for a few weeks and then I was asked to train cashiers. I continued to train all team members on detecting fraudulent payments. I then designed my first “workbook”. My intent was to teach High School English but decided I liked training adults better.
ATD: What do you suggest to new members for them to gain the most benefit from ATD LI?
LK: When a new member gets involved, I suggest they get “all-in”. Join a committee and volunteer as much as you can. This will help you to learn about the organization, learn about talent development, and build a strong network. I think our members worry about how much they are going to be asked to do. We won’t push you to put more time then you wish to, however everything we do is because of our volunteers.
ATD: What was the best experience you have ever had in talent development, and why?
LK: In my past organization, I pushed for a Leadership Development program for many years. Although I did not fall under HR there, I saw many managers who became managers because they were successful individual contributors. Finally, after many years, the CEO saw a need for this program. Although we brought an outside vendor to do this, I was able to lead the project and it was an absolute win for the managers.
ATD: What are some of the biggest challenges facing the learning and development field?
LK: The fact that learning is so readily and easily available is a great benefit, however it is also a huge challenge for the L&D field. The benefit is that anyone with some basic technology can learn anything they want, often for free. The challenge is helping people to focus in on the learning they need. In addition, as learning becomes less formal, tracking is harder for organizations. As organizations focus on a culture of learning, leaders will need to sit down and figure out formal learning plans.