Magazine article Talent Development

Stuart Crabb

Magazine article Talent Development

Stuart Crabb

Article excerpt

Head of Learning and Development

Facebook

Palo Alto, California

Stuart Crabb is responsible for learning and development at Facebook. Prior to joining Facebook, he was a senior consultant at The Marcus Buckingham Company, and the former head of talent development at Yahoo! Crabb has spent 22 years in the human resources field with Yahoo!, Oracle, Compaq/HP, and Siemens. He holds a master's degree in human resource management from the University of Portsmouth, and a bachelor of law from the University of Westminster in London. He has been a speaker at the Human Capital Institute's Engagement and Retention Conference and the Wisdom 2.0 Conference on mindfulness at work, and is a keynote speaker later this month at ASTD's 2012 TechKnowledge Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Q | HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN THE LEARNING FIELD?

I spent the first four years of my professional HR career as an HR generalist working for an aerospace engineering company at a manufacturing plant in southern England (although in those days, the HR profession in the United Kingdom was called "Personnel"). This was a heavily unionized production environment, with an almost completely closed shop. Not surprisingly, my role reflected a heavy emphasis on employee relations matters, working closely with members of the management team and the recognized trade unions at the facility to tackle productivity challenges and resolve a wide variety of individual and collective employee relations problems.

An early mentor during this time introduced me to a great deal of psychological theory--particularly around motivation, change, and personality type--and coached and encouraged me as I began to explore this field in more depth. This was the beginning of my lifelong fascination with workforce behavior and type, particularly as it relates to motivation and the ability to think or act differently, and subsequently helped to shape my career direction.

Q | DO YOU ACTUALLY USE FACEBOOK FOR LEARNING INITIATIVES IN THE COMPANY?

Yes--the Facebook employee team uses the platform we built for our users as a means to connect, share ideas, and curate content with each other every day. The Facebook platform was built as a base plate to enable new ideas, products, and services to be shared between users across the social graph as a powerful way to build community and personalized value for every user. We decided that for our internal audience we should apply the same thinking, so we built internal learning forums using our groups product, and several e-learning applications, rather than buy just another off-the-shelf program. …

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