Getting down to brass tacks

Well, I thought today was a good day to officially start a new chapter…

You might be familiar with my original blog, phase(two)learning – 2021 marks 10 years since its inception. Even though I haven’t posted regularly on the site for the past couple of years, the content is still (mostly) relevant and still (amazingly) yields thousands of visitors every month. Last year, I shared this post about some recent life and career pivots I’ve experienced. While my day-job focus has shifted considerably over the past several years – from frontline facilitator…to a people manager…to my current role as Vice President (another pivot since the linked post above – same company, different role!), my passion and commitment to the Talent/Organizational Development profession has never been stronger.

But something has been nagging at me, and I haven’t been able to put my finger on it…until recently.

As special as phase(two)learning has always been to me, I realized that my responsibilities have changed – and thus, my perspective. My original purpose for blogging was to share creative ideas for Talent Development practitioners who were in the trenches with me. But now when I look around, I find myself in a new trench surrounded by a different troop of soldiers, still fighting the good fight.

The pandemic has changed us all – as workers, as learners, as leaders, as humans. As we continue to emerge from COVID’s grip, it’s time for us get down to brass tacks:

As Talent/Organizational Development leaders, we need to DEMONSTRATE our value before we are asked to DEFEND our value.

I’ve long since lost count of how many times I’ve said this over the past couple of years (even pre-pandemic). As leaders, now is not the time to let our guards down – we need to be vigilant about demonstrating our impact throughout the organizations we serve and support, and setting examples for how to learn, work, lead and collaborate right now.

Why Brass Tack Talent?

In a recent conversation with a colleague, I randomly used the expression, “getting down to brass tacks.” We wondered aloud where that expression originated – when I looked it up, this definition stood out to me:


Immediate. Practical. Importance.

And there it was. The remedy for what had been nagging at me – that same day, I secured the domain for this new site: Brass Tack Talent.

This time around, you’ll find my posts to be just that – practical strategies for Talent/Organizational Development leaders. Strategies that help us demonstrate our value. Strategies that can be implemented NOW, as we continue to navigate in this ever-changing, uncertain world.

Rather than just posting more content to the Talent Development universe, my hope for this experience is that together, we’ll build community and conversation. (I don’t know about you, but the isolation of the pandemic has taken a toll on this extrovert!) I’m not asking you to simply leave a rogue comment, or to just share posts to your network (although I do appreciate that very much). Rather, I want to know what you think. I want to know what your challenges are. I want to know what industry trends you’re following. I want to know how you and your team are moving forward and making progress.

After reading a post, please hop over to TackChat – a private Facebook group that will serve as an easily-accessible companion to this blog – and join the discussion. You’ll find discussion questions that align to each post, as well as helpful links and other resources.

What about phase(two)learning?

It’s not going anywhere – the posts and resources will be available indefinitely, though you likely won’t see many new posts there moving forward. If you’re not familiar with phase(two)learning, you can check it out here or access a list of the Top 10 posts from the past 10 years under the Resources tab here at Brass Tack Talent. You might even see some of phase(two)learning’s greatest hits posted in the TackChat Facebook group to spark inspiration and discussion.

Are you ready to focus on the immediate, practical, important business of Talent Development? Here’s your to-do list:

  1. Follow Brass Tack Talent.
  2. Request to join TackChat | Brass Tack Talent on Facebook
  3. Invite your colleagues – please share Brass Tack Talent + TackChat with your network
  4. Share your ideas – be part of the community and the conversation!

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