In Conversation: five questions with Troels Wendelbo
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Troels Wendelbo is a Senior Director at the LEGO Group, People Partner for the CFO. He’s responsible for the people agenda within the CFO Organization globally (Finance, Legal, Business Services and Strategy/Transformation teams), and a member of the leadership team for People, Operations & Development.
In his own words, his work involves “essentially working with colleagues way smarter than myself all the time in a company with a fantastic culture & amazing people.”
Thank you to Troels for answering our questions on what has kept him motivated throughout your 25 year career in HR. Read on to hear more from Troels about how we need to rethink the role of learning at organizations and the role of human interaction in driving change and transformation.
This interview is part of a new Nomadic blog series featuring different perspectives on L&D, leadership, and how companies are transforming the way they do business, learn, and grow. If you're interested in these topics, you might also enjoy our earlier interview with Kevin Alster, Learning Strategist at Synthesia, a web-based platform for creating videos with AI avatars and voices used by thousands of companies to create videos at scale.
In Conversation: five questions with Troels Wendelbo
1. You've been in HR for 25 years. What has kept you engaged in the field throughout this time?
I guess the best answer on what has kept me in the HR field for 25 years is the variety of important challenges and opportunities available within the sphere of “people agenda.” I am very lucky to have been trusted with a multitude of “HR roles,” spanning a variety of areas, including Organization Design & Development, People Insights, Strategy, Leadership Development, Coaching and Consulting. This has made it possible for me to connect with so many amazing people across the globe within our industry, mostly within the LEGO® Brand.
2. What's a trend emerging in L&D that you find interesting right now?
There are so many things that are worthy of emphasis, but if I have to pick one, I’d go with the importance of supporting employees and leaders to better realize and connect business objectives with their “individual purpose.” This can be quite transformative, particularly given the current conversations around future/post-pandemic ways of working, individual resilience, and authenticity and inclusion. I am optimistic about our ability to create human interactions that achieve better outcomes without driving our organizations harder.
We just have so many built-in notions of how things should be, which are increasingly antiquated in a post-industrial workplace, that we need to think differently to create effective, worthwhile and irresistible workplaces of the future.
3. What is something you wish people understood about the relationship between learning and strategic change?
In the LEGO Group, we try to live by the values of being brave, curious, and focused. This means we try things out, learn fast, and collaborate for success. Learning isn’t a separate, distinct activity outside “core work.” It is part of what we do and something we all work to make part of our everyday mindset both on and off work.
I’m always encouraging people (including myself) to dial up their curiosity and playfulness and to flex their brains to reflect and sense-make as part of their daily routines, not just when time allows. This could come in the form of meditation or mindfulness, but it can also be something as simple as turning off the radio in the car, reflecting during a run, or having lunch with someone you otherwise wouldn’t sit down with. Learning is so much about extracting all the stimuli being thrown at us all the time.
4. Any book, music, or movie recommendations you’ve been loving lately?
Although it is a few years old now, I have to mention “Nine Lies About Work” by Buckingham & Goodal. I just love how that book challenges all the conventional HR thinking we have been brought up with in the past many years.
Other than that, I am inspired by a playlist my daughter put together for a recent road trip from Las Vegas to Denver, which leads me to another piece of advice: spend quality time with the teenagers in your life. It is more fun and life-invigorating than any movie or piece of music.
5. What advice would you give to someone just starting their career in learning?
I will go with three pieces of advice:
Live by curiosity and bravery and practice focus.
Worry less about title and more about exposing yourself to a multitude of challenges and tasks.
Always work for a cause/purpose that excites you and makes you both humble and proud when you look in the mirror. Life is simply too short to do something not meaningful.
Thanks again to Troels for such an insightful interview. We love the advice to stay curious, calm, and humble!
If you enjoyed this post, you might like:
- Our inaugural In Conversation post, an interview with Christopher Lind, VP and chief learning officer at ChenMed. Check out his thoughts on emerging trends in L&D, what he wishes more people understood about learning, and advice for people just starting their careers in L&D.
- An interview with Natalia Gonzalez Chavez about consultative L&D and how learning can better support the capabilities and skills most impactful to key business outcomes.
- Adam Bai's exploration of what learner engagement is and how we might redefine it for learning today, keeping in mind the organizational outcomes we're looking to achieve.
- A recent post from our Digital L&D Trends to Watch series, about why to build a digital academy and how academies are changing the enterprise approach to digital learning.
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