Excellence at Work Podcast Episode 256: 2023 Unveiled- A Year in Review

Speakers: Bob Szostak, Director of Customer Solutions, VPS; and Steve Thompson, Director, New Business Development EMEA, VPS

Bob Szostak has been a part of the VPS for 27 years, starting as an Instructional System Designer, then moving through Project and Program Management into his current role as Director of Customer Solutions. In this role, he is responsible for connecting Learning leaders across the commercial and government markets with VPS services and offerings that help solve business challenges.

Working with scalable transformation projects as a contributor, leader and partner across multiple domains has provided Bob with the experience and perspective to listen to challenges, diagnose key areas of concern and work with organizations to devise solutions that work within their technical infrastructure, learning ecosystem and budget. Bob works closely with VPS Business Development, Operations, Technology and Program teams, as well as Learning Industry Analysts and Providers, to ensure VPS is able to create best-value solutions for clients.

Steve Thompson has been a part of the VPS EMEA management team for 25 years. In his current role as Director of Business Development, he is responsible for expanding VPS’ business in the commercial and government markets.

Steve’s primary focus is in bringing innovative, impactful solutions to customers so that they transform their business through world-class learning.

Managing the Business Development team has allowed Steve the opportunity to work with new customers across a broad range of sectors to help grow their business through the provision of great Learning and Development services.

Host: Michael Rochelle, Chief Strategy Officer and Principal HCM Analyst, Brandon Hall Group™; and Rachel Cooke, COO and Principal HCM Analyst, Brandon Hall Group™

Michael Rochelle is Chief Strategy Officer and Principal HCM Analyst at Brandon Hall Group™. leads a wide range of advisory support and strategic engagements for Fortune 1000 and small- to medium-sized organizations as well as leading and emerging solution providers across the HCM industry. Michael has more than 30 years’ experience in HR, IT, sales, marketing, business development, and strategic and financial planning in Fortune 500 and venture-backed start-up organizations.

Company Bio: VPS

VPS’s Value Proposition for their clients is simple and rooted in the understanding that, while there are commonalities between organizations and challenges, there is no “one right thing” that serves as a panacea to these challenges. Working with 90+ clients each year across a dozen commercial industries, the government and the military, they cross-pollinate best practices and create enduring learning solutions within a client’s ecosystem, infrastructure and budget to solve real business challenges. VPS’s solutions accelerate performance within a changing world. Their approach is summarized under the three pillars of Consult, Engage, and Deliver. These pillars ensure that clients get the right outcomes appropriate to their needs — regardless of the size or scope of engagement.

Topics include:

  • What were the Top 3 topics and challenges that you saw across the learning industry in 2023?
  • Which of these will continue to be a challenge for 2024 and beyond?
  • What should organizations be doing today to best prepare them for success in 2024?
  • What would you say is the biggest takeaway or lesson learned from 2023?
  • Should L&D be more of a disruptive force, in terms of challenging the status quo, in 2024?
  • If you had $200,000 (or some amount) to invest in L&D, where would you spend it?
  • What are the incontestable/indisputable/irrefutable truths that need to be challenged in 2024?

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