10L: Cathy Hoy

About Cathy

Cathy is the CLO at the Learning and Performance Institute.  Her background is in learning and development, with over 20 years working in, and heading up, corporate learning teams.

Cathy has led the global learning strategy for numerous organisations across different industries and now oversees all the Learning products and services for the LPI for both internal L&D teams and Learning providers as well as managing the LPI’s consultancy services.

So, what do you do dear?  Describe your work to an elderly relative. 

As a business, we gather information from the learning industry, things like industry challenges and priorities all of which helps inform my team where we need to focus our time and effort so we can best support our customers with relevant products and services.

To really sum it up, I help people do their job’s better, so that they are happier and more engaged and businesses perform better as a result.

What was your favourite learning experience (Could be work, personal, school…anything is valid)?  What were you trying to do? Why did it work so well for you?

I’ve had, and continue to have, so many, but certainly my most memorable was working in South Korea. Working in a new country always comes with challenges but I have to say supporting the opening of a huge physical learning academy on a tiny island in South Korea was a daily learning experience and the most fun I’ve ever had at work!

Enough already…What one thing do you wish people in your industry or profession would stop doing? (What gets your goat?)

Just one?  I think the most frustrating thing for me is seeing some L&D functions still operating as ‘order takers’ within the business. L&D need to be leading the people development strategy, they need to be closely aligned to the direction of the business, understand it’s challenges and demonstrate that they understand and can help.  We absolutely must become more commercial and strategically minded as an industry.

Same again please…What has changed for the better in your professional world as a result of COVID working practices? Should it be retained for the future (whenever that might be and whatever it might look like)?

100% The commitment and focus on employee wellbeing. This has been great to see and some companies have really outdone themselves with their care and support for colleagues. I just wish it hadn’t taken a pandemic to do it. I hope to see this level of wellbeing embedded into learning strategies as we move forward, putting people first.

From the good old days…What do you miss most about working life from the pre-COVID world? Do you think it will return?

I miss seeing people in the ‘un-official’ spaces, not so much in the office, sitting at desks or in meeting rooms, but I miss the chat in the hallway, or the drinks after work, or even the conversations when you’re getting a coffee.

We’re starting to see tech companies move on leaps and bounds in this area, trying to simulate the ‘real’ world in different virtual forms and I’m hoping this will take off, because the human interaction is the piece I think a lot of people miss.

Theft is the sincerest form of flattery…Which part of which other industry or profession do you think we should learn from and adopt (or just steal)?

I’d say we can learn so much from the hospitality industry.  Any customer facing environment really needs to put the customer first to be successful, but the hospitality industry in particular do this better than most. The attention to detail in everything, the customer experiences, especially the high-end brands, is fantastic.  Just think, someone has considered where you might like to sit when you have drinks, what the layout of the room should be, what sounds you should hear, how you should feel.  Someone has given thought to how your bedroom looks, if it’s designed for optimum comfort and a great night’s sleep. If L&D could think like the hospitality sector and really put its customers at the heart of everything it does, we won’t go far wrong.

You know who would be great for this…Which famous person (live or historical) do you want to join your team and why?

Perhaps someone like J. K. Rowling. I think our profession needs good storytellers, creatives, people who can bring to life what we do and engage learners and help create the right state for learning.  

If only I had…What did you learn from your most recent mistake?

I make mistakes all the time.. I guess that means I’m learning a lot! I suppose my most recent mistake has reminded me to stop overthinking things and to go with my gut feeling, as it’s usually right.

There can be only one…Which one tool or piece of kit would you keep if you could only use one from now on?

I could happily give up most tools and technology to be honest, if I didn’t need them for work. However, my blender, that I’m not giving up.  It’s a Vitamix (other brands are available) and it’s just magic. It’s come with me through 4 house moves and 2 ex-husbands so I’m not getting rid of it any time soon!

The picture of success…Which image or picture is a good representation of how you would like to develop your practice over the next five years?

What’s not to like?

Where can we find you?

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