L&D Symposium 2021

5 minutes

Debbie Key
Head of L&D
Forty Winks

5 minutes with Debbie Key

Q: In your opinion, has the pandemic highlighted the need to invest in L&D?
A: The pandemic forced the engagement of virtual learning into acceptance almost overnight and with this many companies finally recognised the need for investment in L&D initiatives they had previously held back on or didn’t see as necessary. The focus on getting correct information to employees regarding COVID initially, and now, 18 months in the focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing, has seen a diversity of investment in L&D moving away from the traditional process, product and soft skills training.

Q: What excites you the most about your role as an L&D professional? 
A: I get excited about the ‘AHA’ moments, which are just as good virtually as they are face-to-face. I love being able to engage learners and influence their behaviours through innovative, interactive, experiential learning.

Q: As a learning leader, what are your top priorities in navigating the ongoing disruption?
A: Courage- be aware and willing to break boundaries
Compassion- for self and others, remember we’re only human!
Connection- whether it’s a SMS, email, phone call, Zoom or any other way, reach out to someone each and every day

Q: What are some of the ways your organisation fosters a learning culture?
A: Recognising employees for learning achievements, continually and consistently measuring outcomes and connecting them to performance, an extensive library of diverse self-directed learning to meet individual and business needs.

Q: What are some of the innovative ways you are reimagining workplace learning?
A: I’ve always wanted to involve VR, AR and AI into workplace learning to really embrace experiential, transfer the learning effectively into application and embed the learning. With more uptake of these concepts, the expense is coming down making them a viable option and the imagining can bloom into reality.

Q: What are you most looking forward to at the L&D Symposium?
A: Listening to and learning from the amazing line-up of L&D professionals. I always walk away with small gold nuggets that I combine to make a difference in my world.

Don’t miss our event updates

Fill out my online form.


We bring people and ideas together,
the connection just happens.


Tim Stuart-Harris
Tim Stuart-Harris

Commercial Director, Ashton Media

Ph: +61 (0)402 567 117