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Cantina Coffee Chat: "COVID-19 and a Shift Toward Agile Talent Development"

☕ Cantina Coffee Chat is a new series we've developed to share our knowledge about a variety of topics in design, development and innovation. It provides an interactive platform for hosting conversations between folks from inside Cantina as well as with outside thought leaders. We are excited to use this venue for starting a dialogue and helping others. We hope you enjoy the exchange.

Check out past episodes:

Episode 1: Best Practices in Remote Work

Episode 2: Best Practices in Prototyping

Episode 3: Facilitating Remote Workshops


In episode four, Amy Baron, Director of Education and Education Technology at Cantina, talks with Jeanine Delay, Assistant Vice President of Global Talent at Sun Life. The conversation centers around the adoption of Agile practices that put digital tools at the center of a team-based approach to help the enterprise move more quickly. With a shift toward Agile, the organization is able to be more client-focused and can more effectively train and educate employees by making learning easier to access and consume. Captured below are three takeaways from the conversation:

  • Support colleague-to-colleague learning and learning on-demand: Sun Life created a video series in their learning management system called “My Learning Minute,” which encourages employees to post short, home-grown videos and podcasts to share their knowledge and insights with each other. This “bite-sized” learning, which is also available through a mobile application, allows employees to create playlists and follow each other to build knowledge and skills.
  • Incentivize participation in workplace training by using gamification: Sun Life has taken a page from consumer tech by gamifying workplace training to motivate employees. The program rewards high achievers and contributors with digital badges, awards, and credentials. This is an example of Sun Life’s agile approach to talent development, and the reward system has increased interest and made training more fun for employees.
  • Experiment with emerging tech: Sun Life is actively looking into 3D simulation and virtual reality to help employees envision what a return to the physical office might look like, as well as other use cases that could help employees learn and adapt to “the new normal” during- and post-pandemic.

Amy's conversation with Jeanine will be launching a podcast series titled upskillED: Solutions in the Learning Universe, which will address innovation in education and workforce development. Stay tuned for more information.


If you’d like to connect with Amy or Jeanine, let us know. We are also offering a limited number of complimentary remote workshops if you or your team are looking to innovate your approach to employee engagement, workplace training, or Agile delivery. Please reach out at hello@cantina.co if you have any questions. We’d love to help!

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