People Matters: People Leaders Need to Get on the Highway
An interview with Guillermo Miranda, former Chief Learning Officer at Boeing and IBM
by Jomayra Herrera, Partner at Reach Capital
Learning never stops. At Reach, we actively invest in companies serving adults and the workforce, through services across talent acquisition (Handshake, Workwhile), reskilling and upskilling (Springboard, EdCast), leadership development (Hone) and much more. Talent management and development is an enduring priority for companies and HR leaders know they must evolve their practices as the future of work continues to change. Every company will be an edtech company, as my colleague Esteban Sosnik often says.
As with K-12 and higher ed, our investment approach is informed by experts and practitioners who serve as our ears on the ground. To this end, we are launching a blog series People Matters, which will share what we’re learning from people leaders about how they view the talent development market, the pain points they are facing, and how founders should think about building and connecting solutions for them.
We are excited to launch this series with one of Reach’s advisors, Guillermo Miranda. He was most recently the Chief Learning Officer and VP of Leadership Development at Boeing (a company of ~140K employees), and previously spent 20 years rising up the ranks at IBM to a similar role. Here’s where he sees opportunity for technology to serve people leaders, his biggest pet peeve when it comes to HR, and how he completely revamped the learning experience at two large global companies to improve both engagement and business impact.
How did you get into HR/L&D?
Let me start with a confession. I was trained and worked as a lawyer for the first few years of my professional life. Then I realized that this was not what I wanted to do in the long term. I came to Spain, did my MBA and when I went back into the labor market there was a good job in HR. I became the HR director of the Revenue Service in Peru (SUNAT) and helped to change and modernize many things while I was there.
I like being a person who can bring business sense to impact people initiatives. I always gravitated between a specialist and HR leader roles: talent management, compensation and benefits, delivery operations, et cetera. My first Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) role was in the multilateral financing sector. Then I moved to be the first CHRO for the Digital Business Group at IBM, and eventually the Chief Learning Officer of the entire enterprise.
Can you share a little about the journey to revamp the learning experience at IBM and later at Boeing?
I first had to focus on shifting two different mindsets: 1) the mindset of using learning as entertainment, as a reward, or as a way to justify lack of performance; and 2) the mindset that what we should deliver is an academic style of transmitting knowledge…