Speexx Exchange Podcast – Episode 23:
Efficiency vs. Effectiveness: Learning Generosity in the L&D Profession with Stefaan van Hooydonk

Designing the Learning Experience

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Episode 23

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Are you focused on efficiency, or are you focused on effectiveness? Founder of the Global Curiosity Institute (and former CLO for Cognizant) Stefaan van Hooydonk, a well-known educator, strategist, innovator, and consultant, sits down with Donald Taylor to discuss this and other pertinent inquiries for the Speexx Exchange podcast. As someone who oversaw the learning of over 300,000 people at Cognizant, Stefaan shares his thoughts on learning generosity, and insights on how to best magnify the voices of every single person within an organization. Indeed, like us at Speexx, Stefaan believes so much knowledge is – as we say – “already in the room” (to be found within the organization). He and Donald also talk about how curiosity is a beautiful gift that L&D folks can give to an organization. Listen in to find out why!

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Intro 0:01    

Welcome to the Speexx Exchange podcast with your host Donald Taylor. As a renowned learning and development industry expert, as well as chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute, Donald sits down with experts from around the globe to talk business communication, learning technology, language, digital transformation, and engaging, upskilling, and reskilling your organization. This podcast is brought to you by Speexx, the first intelligent language learning platform for the digital workplace. Listen in, and you might learn a thing or two.  

Donald Taylor 0:33    

Another Speexx Exchange podcast. I’m Donald Taylor, your host. I have with me Stefaan Van Hooydonk, chief learning officer of Cognizant. Stefaan, great to have you here. Very quickly, can you introduce yourself? What’s your role? What have you been doing? What are your passions?  

Stefaan Van Hooydonk 0:48    

Well, boy, that’s a big question. Thank you very much for having me, Donald. I’m enjoying doing things like this, and I am looking forward to it. This is going to be a very nice chat. I’m the chief learning officer of Cognizant. So, that means that I’m taking care of the knowledge well-being of about 300,000 colleagues. Which was quite daunting when I started the job, but it’s beautiful to see how much passion there is and how much curiosity there is in all kinds of different demographics. So, it’s just a question for all of us in L&D, how do you unleash that? What tips and tricks do you use on them to make that happen? I’m sure we’re going to talk more about this. My passions, I have many passions. I meditate two hours a day; I am a fervent reader. I try to spend as much time as possible with the family. But, it’s not always feasible because pre-COVID, I was traveling three weeks a month. So, when I was in Belgium, I was an art restorer. I still love that, but I don’t have a lot of time now. So, let’s talk about learning, I guess.  

Donald Taylor 1:57    

There are so many more questions I could ask about the travel, the meditation, everything else the art restoration, but we have to stick on the learning track here. We’ll have the other conversation over beers sometime. You’ve been in learning and development for a while, as the best people have been, including some senior roles. So, what have you learned during that time? What are the key takeaways?    

Stefaan Van Hooydonk 2:18