Academy Spotlight: August 2019

August 28th, 2019

Every month we profile active members and faculty, highlight topics that are trending in the Academy, share exclusive member benefits, and introduce new programs, features and faculty that are coming soon to the Academy.

This month we chat to David DeFilippo, one of our esteemed faculty members. We highlight a new private chat feature that we’ll be adding to the community soon, and introduce our new Program, "The HR Tech Workshop". And finally we look at a trending topic from the Academy, how to make the most of HR tech tools.


Exclusive Webinar: As many members already know, every month we run a webinar with Josh Bersin and an invited guest that only Academy members can attend. The next webinar will be on “Agile and the Modern Learning Organization”. Josh will talk about his latest research on “learning in the flow of work” and his view of the innovative technologies learning organizations should have on their radars. He will be joined by Riina Hellstrom, an Academy faculty member, who will present several case studies of Agile design in learning.

The webinar will be held on September 10th at 8am PT/11am ET. Check your email and the Academy Community page for announcements and links to sign up.


We have an incredible team of faculty members that provide insights, thought leadership and support to our Academy members. This month, we had the pleasure of interviewing David DeFilippo.

Photo of David DeFilippo David DeFilippo started DeFilippo Leadership in 2019 to provide executive coaching, leadership development and talent management solutions to organizations. Additionally, David is the Executive Learning Officer for Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business and an Executive Coach in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education programs where he focuses on individual and team development through coaching.

Since the early part of his career as a high school teacher and track coach David has remained passionate about developing processes and plans for individuals and organizations to reach their full potential. David’s 25-year corporate career in roles which focused on human capital combined with his doctoral research on executive coaching brings both strong methodology and practicality to his work.

David presents and publishes regularly on topics related to leadership development, executive coaching and learning and talent management. He is currently a columnist for Chief Learning Officer Magazine and serves on the magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board.

What are your primary areas of expertise (in HR)? I started my career as a Spanish teacher and Track coach and have since then focused my career development on learning and talent strategy, leadership development and executive coaching.

In your opinion, what are the most critical skills needed to succeed in "the future of work"? For me, the number one skill required the excel in the future is being a lifelong learner. The top skills that we should be focused on developing are curiosity, dedication to one’s craft, trying and failing, applying ones learning, and teaching others.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing organizations today when it comes to developing their next generation of leaders? In my experience the biggest challenge with developing leaders is “awareness” in the following three areas: 1) self-awareness, 2) awareness of others, and 3) external awareness. Self-awareness is critical to grow, develop and be fulfilled while having awareness of other people is important to flex one’s style and have empathy as a people leader. Lastly, external awareness is incredibly important so that leaders are cognizant of external trends, changes, and signals that can help them inform their organizations and avoid being too insular.

What's your #1 tip for HR & business leaders trying to transform leadership development across their organization? HR professionals should have experience (even if a rotation) in line leadership roles. There is nothing more educational to one’s career development than having to utilize your own products and services – what I call “eating your own dog food”. For example, using the performance management system that HR developed as a line leader is a great experience to gain. Conversely, line leaders should also complete a rotation in HR as part of their career development to experience talent acquisition, learning and development or being an HR generalist – this is great to build organizational capability and even learn how skilled one must be to work in a role with quite a bit of gray involved.

How and why did you get involved in the Josh Bersin Academy? I officially became involved in the Josh Bersin Academy as a Faculty Member in July 2019. Josh and Bill had approached me in early 2019 with the idea for the academy and I thought it was a terrific way to provide professional development and a community for HR, Talent and Learning professionals. Also, I feel strongly in giving back to the field and people that I have gained so much personal and professional fulfillment from for the past 25 years. I look forward to connecting with all of you!


Drawing of Mobile Phone

There are hundreds of HR tools out there to choose from, designed to help make our jobs more productive, data-driven, and of course more efficient. Depending on how comfortable you are adopting new technology some of us embrace these new tools and immediately put them into action, while others choose to only leverage tools they’re comfortable with.

In this short video excerpt, hear from Annella Heytens, Global Head of HR for Coca Cola Bottling Investments Group, on why she isn’t too worried about which digital tools to use—she cares more about how those tools help or hurt organizational growth. The video is taken from the Academy's extensive Resource library, covering this and many other essential HR topics.


We’re constantly building new programs, features, partnerships, and resources behind the scenes so that the Josh Bersin Academy continues to evolve—just as our members do.

Upcoming Program: HR Tech Workshop begins on September 9th, 2019. The HR Tech Workshop is for HR professionals who are responsible for designing, implementing, and transforming the HR Tech ecosystem in their organizations, either directly or indirectly. It introduces an iterative process for assessing, discovering, testing, scaling, and improving HR technology and asks you to go through that process as a team.

New Feature: We’re excited to share a new Academy platform feature that will enable members to message each other individually, and start their own large or small group conversations. The new feature, called Private Channels, will be available within the Community later in September.

New Faculty: We’re delighted to announce two additions to our Senior Faculty coming in September. Dr. P.V. Ramana Murthy, CHRO of Indian Hotels Company and Nuno Goncalves, SVP of Talent Acquisition and Development at UCB Pharma. Welcome to PV and Nuno, we're excited to expand the international reach of our Academy.

Sign up to the Academy to become part of a growng community of global HR professionals committed to advancing our profession. Sign up here.