Episode 113: The Future of Talent Development with Marcelle Fowler and Leslie Riley


Whether you are a coach, consultant, trainer or facilitator who works with organizations – corporations, nonprofits, small businesses, schools or government agencies.


You lead talent development internally for your organization.

I’m betting that you are wondering about the future of talent development.

  • Will online learning become the default – or will live experiences come back once there is a COVID-19 vaccine?
  • How will organizations ensure that their people are having important, challenging, necessary conversations about racism, white privilege, sexism, LGBTQIA rights (and other markers of identity) at a time when we are more geographically isolated than ever before
  • And, whether you support companies or work within them, how do YOU develop the mindset, sharpen your skillset, and increase your comfort to do the often-times uncomfortable things your clients or employees are going to need you to do?

As I share in this podcast episode, unlike in 2008 when learning and development jobs and programs were decimated throughout a lot of the U.S., what I’m seeing this go around during our economic downturn is that companies, for the most part, are recognizing that talent development is FUNDAMENTALLY LINKED to profitability.

And, even in Las Vegas where I’m based, not only are a lot of companies keeping these roles amid layoffs, but growing industries – whether it’s healthcare, grocery-home delivery, tech services, AI – they are actually ADDING positions for trainers, facilitators, and coaches.

In this episode, I chat with two of my amazing clients (who just completed my mastermind) – Marcelle Fowler and Leslie Riley – about the future of talent development.

Marcelle Fowler brings wisdom, humor and unconventional (yet practical) advice on conquering the deeply entrenched barriers to employee development… ensuring that time, resources, and opportunities are more available than ever!

As president of Job Mixology, she works directly with employee groups, senior leaders, and talent development professionals, showing them precisely how to take more creative and strategic approaches to developing the untapped talent within… including within themselves.

She has been an HR consultant, talent development lead, and a leadership coach for clients within a variety of industries, helping organizations of all sizes successfully disrupt, enhance, and improve professional development for their employees.

Along the way, Marcelle has coached and advised everyone from front-line managers and college new hires, to C-Suite executives and US Navy Commanders within the US and Japan.

Leslie Riley, my second guest, is a sought-after speaker and trainer on the topic of team communication. She built her career by answering the number one question she was asked, “How do I fix the dysfunction on my team?”

After training and facilitating teams inside organizations across the globe, from Shanghai to Sweden, Leslie realized she not only saw the same dysfunctions happening in almost every team around the world but also inside every individual as well.

This discovery led her to re-envision how she speaks and trains leaders, at all levels of an organization – so they can create cultures where it’s safe to communicate what previously felt un-sayable and in doing so, achieve goals that previously felt un-reachable.

Leslie has shared her passion for leadership through better communication in such places as Adobe, MEA Energy Association, Fidelity, VISA, Disney, CapitalOne, Procter & Gamble, Honda, and even her alma mater, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

During our conversation on the future of talent development, Marcelle, Leslie, and I discuss:

  • What “Job Mixology” is – and why it’s so important for the future of talent development
  • How organizations and their leaders can develop their teams and engage in important conversations – even when training budgets and promotional opportunities are limited
  • Creative ways to disrupt “Zoom fatigue” and re-envision face-to-face learning and interactivity for online learning
  • Why organizations need to prioritize employee wellness and integrate it with employee learning
  • How organizations can (and must!) address issues of race, racism and white privilege with all employees – plus workplace lessons learned from the #MeToo movement
  • What external coaches, consultants, speakers, and trainers can do to dynamize their ability to support organizations with addressing race, racism, and white privilege in the workplace

In this episode

  • The journeys that Marcelle and Leslie have been on [ 7:20 ]
  • Why job mixology is essential for the future of talent development [ 11:30 ]
  • The reason we need to disrupt how we view our goals [ 15:45 ]
  • How leaders can develop their teams and engage in essential conversations [ 20:45 ]
  • The ways that leaders can prioritize employee wellness [ 26:10 ]
  • Finding creative ways to disrupt “Zoom fatigue” [ 33:30 ]
  • How organizations can address issues of race, racism and white privilege with all employees [ 40:30 ]
  • The ideas and challenges that Marcelle and Leslie want to continue to explore [ 56:50 ]

Moxielicious quotes

  • “Regardless of where you are or what’s happening, there are always opportunities to grow.” -Marcelle
  • “Job mixology is about bringing more ideas to the table so you can grow in new ways.” -Marcelle
  • “People set goals with good intentions. When the goal becomes the destination, they tie themselves to it; that limits flexibility.” -Leslie
  • “Make the goal help us pick the direction, not the end destination.” -Leslie
  • “Have strategies in place to continue building a sense of community.” -Marcelle
  • “Block off time on your calendar in a meaningful way.” -Leslie

Resources mentioned in this episode