The Learning and Development Center

The Center for Excellence

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Access New Professional Skills at the Learning and Development Center

A division of HR

In this Issue

ICYMI - In Case You Missed It

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The City of Houston Announces 10th Annual Graduation Ceremony for the Learning and Development Center’s Leadership Institute Program


Houston, TX—The 10th Annual LIP Graduation Ceremony took place at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 17, 2017, at the Learning and Development Center located at 4501 Leeland Street in Houston, Texas. This year’s graduating class was comprised of 67 City of Houston employees.


Jane E. Cheeks delivered the opening remarks and introduction of the keynote speaker, Chief Art Acevedo of the Houston Police Department, who shared with the audience inspiring stories of his career and the difficult decisions he’s had to make as a leader. The student address was delivered by Brandon T. Denton, Parks & Recreation Department.


"LIP truly helps employees raise the lid on their effectiveness as leaders. Upon graduating, we go back to our departments and staff to begin applying what we’ve learned and gained; the communities and citizens of Houston are better served because we are better equipped and developed to serve them,” said Mr. Denton.


Council Member Jerry Davis delivered special remarks advising the class to employ humility as leaders, reminding them that personal satisfaction is the result of employees doing their best. The closing remarks, delivered by Kelly Shreck, Chief Learning Officer of the Learning and Development Center, encouraged participants to keep learning and growing to become the most effective leaders they can be and to do their best for our citizens.


The program officially launched in 2008, and the number of LIP graduates continues to grow exponentially. To date, the Learning and Development Center has graduated 1,000 city employees.


As the program grows in the future, the Learning and Development Center will continue to foster this ever-expanding workforce of mid-level managers, senior-level managers, and front-line supervisors by spotlighting their tremendous successes and work to cultivate more leaders in the public sector.


Event photos and additional information about the graduation can be found on the Learning and Development Center’s website at http://www.houstontx.gov/ldc/


About the Learning and Development Center

The Learning and Development Center (LDC) is a strategic development and employee performance improvement organization that offers comprehensive training solutions that significantly affect performance and institutional outcomes. The LDC’s consultancy is comprised of an experienced team of professionals with the knowledge and capabilities to design and implement strategies that help our clients’ achieve their goals. The LDC’s primary focus is to provide transformational learning programs that enhance the skills, job competencies, and improve performance and overall satisfaction for the City of Houston's workforce.


For more information, please visit the LDC website at http://www.houstontx.gov/ldc/


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LIP Graduation Ceremony

LIP Project Week

Leadership Institute Program (LIP) Experience

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Delegation of South Africa

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Pictured clockwise: Mazda Denon, Kholofelo Madisha, Kelly Shreck, Samantha Barnes, Mosis Willett, Sheree D. McCarty, Tony Bolar, Mahogany Johnson, Marie Stephens, Rego Mavimbela, Nkoszana Mkefa, Caiphus Chauke, and Dr. Imogen Boikanyo Mashazi

The Learning and Development Center Hosted a Delegation from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality of South Africa


Houston, TX—Chief Learning Officer, Kelly Shreck and members of the Learning and Development Center (LDC) met with a delegation from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality of South Africa on Wednesday, April 19th to discuss workforce development at the City of Houston. The delegation was comprised of six individuals, including Mazda Denon, Administrative Affairs and Event Manager of the Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Affairs.


“We were contacted by the Mayor’s Office because the delegation was interested in learning about workforce development and supporting programs that allow city workers to develop their skills,” said Kelly Shreck, Chief Learning Officer of the Learning and Development Center.


At the meeting, Ms. Shreck briefed the delegation on the type of learning investments that are being made at the City of Houston. She was followed by LDC team members, who each gave a brief overview of their area of responsibility and then opened the floor to questions and comments.


Background on Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality

Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) is situated in South Africa's manufacturing heartland. Originally a rich gold mining region, it has a well-developed transport network which has contributed, over the years, to notable industrial growth, making it the industrial hub of Gauteng. Ekurhuleni is easily accessible to major centers in Gauteng, and has a well-developed air, road and rail infrastructure.


About the LDC

The Learning and Development Center (LDC) is a strategic development and employee performance improvement organization that offers comprehensive training solutions that significantly affect performance and institutional outcomes. The LDC’s consultancy is comprised of an experienced team of professionals with the knowledge and capabilities to design and implement strategies that help our clients’ achieve their goals. The LDC’s primary focus is to provide transformational learning programs that enhance the skills, job competencies, and improve performance and overall satisfaction for the City of Houston's workforce.


For more information, please visit the LDC website at http://www.houstontx.gov/ldc/


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Upcoming LDC Events

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What areas of your job do you find most difficult or want to improve?

Come and experience our Administrative Development Program (ADP) that will equip you with the tools, techniques, and behavioral skills you need to maximize your success! If you are looking to improve your skills in communication, technology, professionalism, and other areas, then this is the program for you.


ADP is our multi-track program consisting of 16 sessions designed to enhance and empower administrative effectiveness and efficiency.


Please note ADP is only available to administrative assistants and those who wish to be promoted to administrative assistant.


A new track begins on June 19, 2017. ADP courses are held weekly every Monday, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Learning & Development Center in room 131.


All registration requests can be sent to Bonnie.Sandberg@houstontx.gov


For more information, please visit the TMS website: https://talent.houstontx.gov

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Learn How to Develop a Group Culture That Supports Organizational Values in the Pursuit of Workplace Objectives

Come and experience the Learning and Development Center's City Accreditation Program for Supervisors (CAPS). Learn skills on how to coach your employees for stronger performance. Discover eye opening modeling techniques that will allow you to have a more positive influence on the actions and attitudes of others. Mentoring your employees will enable them to advance farther and faster in their careers.


CAPS is a citywide, middle management multi-track program consisting of 18 sessions designed to assist supervisor competencies in managing various circumstances regarding employee workday considerations and performance.


***Next CAPS tracks begin Tuesday, July 11 and Thursday, July 27, 2017.***

Micro-learning Video: Effective Job Interviewing Skills

An Animated Presentation on Effective Job Interviewing Skills

Check out our latest micro-learning video that will give you interviewing tips and sample questions you may encounter during an interview.

Click Here to View our Calendar of Classes

***Click on one of the following course titles to register in the Talent Management System (TMS).***

Employee Learning Spotlight

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Featuring Sheree D. McCarty: Administration Manager for the Human Resources Department


MMJ: Which department do you currently work for and what is your role in that department?


SDM: I currently work in the Human Resources Department and I am the Administration Manager who oversees the budget for the Learning and Development Center.



MMJ: How has your department or any other City of Houston department helped you to develop in your career?


SDM: My manager, Kelly Shreck, is very big on cross training. I was an administrative coordinator in my previous role and she allowed me to cross train with the grievance coordinator, and he and I completely switched duties. I trained him on some things that I was doing and he trained me on some things that he was doing. Cross training really helped me in my career because it gave me insight into another area that I didn’t know about. I also engaged in cross training at the Learning at Development Center, prior to starting my new position.



MMJ: Please describe your experience in LIP and share some positive outcomes.


SDM: The Leadership Institute Program is great because it allows you to meet other people at various levels throughout the organization. My biggest takeaway from the experience was learning to work with employees from different backgrounds. You get insight on how other people think and how they feel about their jobs and their functions. It was a very positive experience, especially during LIP project week, working with total strangers and trying to come up with a project that you think would be successful at the end of the program. My project week team placed second by one point. Of course, I requested a recount.



MMJ: What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far? (here, or elsewhere)


SDM: I wouldn’t necessarily say three because the one that’s most important to me is to treat people how you want to be treated. I think you have to be respectful and mindful of others no matter what their role or function. Sometimes people get away from customer service, which is also high on my priority list. It’s a way to build relationships, and it’s important because you never know when or if your paths will cross again, and people never forget good deeds.



MMJ: Why did you choose a career in public service?


SDM: I chose public service because I enjoy helping people. It’s such a broad sector comprised of many different functions. I’ve been in three departments in my 22 years with the City of Houston, and my experiences in each department were a growing period for me.



MMJ: If you could switch positions with anyone else within the City of Houston, whose job would you want?


SDM: My manager, Kelly Shreck, has a very interesting job as the Chief Learning Officer of the Learning and Development Center and also the Division Manager of Employee/Labor Relations for the Human Resources Department. I’m familiar with both areas having worked in both. I believe Employee Relations is the heart of Human Resources although it’s sometimes overlooked, but if people in Employee Relations do not handle their jobs properly it could result in lawsuits and liabilities for the City of Houston. Employee Relations is a great area to be in especially when you’re learning the different facets of Human Resources because they touch every area.



MMJ: If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?


SDM: I would have loved to have seen President Barack Obama’s first inauguration.

Upcoming Industry Webinars & Events

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Engaging Learners: How to Think Like a Marketer

Think about all the times you have launched a new program, tool, or initiative in your organization. All the hype, excitement, planning, preparation. The launch comes and goes, but then what? Getting the attention and, more important, time of employees is going to take more than a reminder email. You’ll need some marketing best practices and to create engaging, ongoing campaigns that support continuous learning.


Join this webcast for a conversation on engagement tactics and how you can adjust your approach and create a true learning culture where the workforce has a learning habit!


You’ll learn:

  • Why progressive learning leaders are including marketing in their technology implementations
  • Components crucial to successful enterprise learning transformation
  • Simple modifications you can make to increase tool adoption and usage.


Topic: Engaging Learners: How to Think Like a Marketer

Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

Host: https://www.td.org/

Leading Successful Organizational Transformations

Based on personal experience leading the transformation of sales enablement at Cisco and driving top change initiatives for Cisco’s services business, the speaker, 2017 chairwoman of the ATD board of directors, will discuss what’s needed to lead successful transformation at the organizational level.


During this webcast, participants will:

  • Gather insights on why transformations are important to businesses and individuals.
  • Learn what makes a transformation fail or succeed.
  • Engage in discussion on how to prepare yourself and your organization for a successful transformation.


Topic: Leading Successful Organizational Transformations

Date: Friday, May 5, 2017

Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Host: https://www.td.org/

Change Happens: Leading Yourself and Others Through Change

Based on personal experience leading the transformation of sales enablement at Cisco and driving top change initiatives for Cisco’s services business, the speaker, 2017 chairwoman of the ATD board of directors, will discuss what’s needed to lead successful transformation at the organizational level.


After attending this webcast, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify opportunities presented by organizational change.
  • Identify two methods for communicating change to decrease resistance to change.
  • Implement a strategy to unite the team around a unifying purpose.


Topic: Leading Successful Organizational Transformations

Date: Friday, May 19, 2017

Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Host: https://www.td.org/

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Getting Performance from Performance Management

Changes in the annual review process and eliminating ratings get a lot of attention lately. But organizations are exploring other ways of improving performance management with interesting results.


Join Max Meadow, VP of Strategic Engagement with Brandon Hall Group as he discusses real-world experience, research, and presents case studies of organizations going through changes in performance management and what results are really being achieved.


Attendees will learn:

  • What the most successful people-focused performance management strategies look like
  • What areas of the performance management process are being changed and why
  • What results are being achieved by companies who are embarking on these changes

Topic: Getting Performance from Performance Management

Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT

Host: http://brandonhall.com/

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Research Spotlight: The Ever-Changing 2017 State of Talent Acquisition

Be among the first to hear about the findings from Brandon Hall Group’s soon to be released 2017 State of Talent Acquisition Practices survey. While there are some organizations still floundering with their talent acquisition practices, others are achieving success in terms of quality hires and overall business performance.


Join Daria Friedman, Principal Analyst for Talent Acquisition, as she discusses the state of the talent acquisition landscape; the maturity levels for the three different components of talent acquisition – sourcing/recruiting, evaluating/interviewing, and onboarding; and the impact of talent acquisition practices on the organization.


The discussion covers these topics:

  • Key findings from the Brandon Hall Group 2017 State of Talent Acquisition Practices
  • Best practices for the three main components of talent acquisition
  • Key elements that need to receive more attention from organizations


Topic: Research Spotlight: The Ever-Changing 2017 State of Talent Acquisition

Date: Thursday, May 18, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT

Host: http://brandonhall.com/

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Extended Enterprise Learning: Creating a Big Impact on the Bottom Line

To win in today’s fast-paced economy, organizations are becoming increasingly dependent on a wide network of global stakeholders to grow their bottom line and achieve their goals. If you’re not extending training beyond your employees to business partners, suppliers, resellers and customers, you are missing a major opportunity to achieve even better business performance, including increased sales and improved customer relationships and retention.


An extended learning strategy that empowers your external audiences with knowledge and information can deliver tangible, business-changing results and contribute to achieving your organization’s key strategic goals.


Join David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst at Brandon Hall Group, and Cornerstone OnDemand as they discuss the market demands and trends for leveraging Extended Enterprise Learning, including:

  • Using learning to improve the sales channel by reaching sales teams, resellers, franchisees and customers
  • Identifying opportunities to reduce costs and generate revenue
  • Ways to leverage extended learning to increase market awareness and product adoption
  • How extended learning can lower costs and increase productivity by reducing and recouping the cost of a traditional learning program


Topic: Extended Enterprise Learning: Creating a Big Impact on the Bottom Line

Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT

Host: http://brandonhall.com/

About the Learning and Development Center-The Center for Excellence

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At a glance...

The Learning and Development Center (LDC) develops and provides programs designed to empower and enhance employee skills and competencies for improved performance and job satisfaction. Our services also extend to external businesses, organizations, and communities.


Our mission is to build a world-class, responsive and results-oriented workforce by providing the following:

  • Learning that meets critical business goals and needs
  • Lifelong learning opportunities that will prepare employees for life and work in an increasingly technological society

Facility Features

The LDC is a two-story, 54,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility featuring:

  • An auditorium capable of seating 150 with fold-down desktops
  • Instructor computers connected to HD projectors and the Internet
  • 170 available campus parking spaces
  • Break-room area with microwaves and refrigerators
  • Welcoming lobby area
  • Open atrium for al fresco activities

Internal & External Room Rental Request Forms

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Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't


The New York Times bestseller by the acclaimed, bestselling author of Start With Why and Together is Better. Now with an expanded chapter and appendix on leading millennials, based on Simon Sinek's viral video "The Millennial Question" (150+ million views).


Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.


In his work with organizations around the world, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?


The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. "Officers eat last," he said. Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What's symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort--even their own survival--for the good of those in their care.


Too many workplaces are driven by cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best ones foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a "Circle of Safety" that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.


Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories that range from the military to big business, from government to investment banking.

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Fact Check:

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!

The LDC has been asked to follow Executive Order 1-37. All employees who work, train or visit must display assigned City of Houston identification badges. Employees should dress work-appropriate at all times when attending classes at the LDC.


*Opinions expressed in interview statements and messages from featured articles are not necessarily the views of the staff of the LDC or employees of the City of Houston.


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