EPICo

Our People

Michelle Sterling

Michelle Sterling

Chief Learning Strategist

I'm the type of person that can walk into a place and within a matter of moments pick up on simple ways to make things better. It's just how I'm wired. I see the big picture and the details all at once. My mom's always said "Michelle, you can't fix the world!" which makes me laugh. But I think for me it's less about fixing the world and more about helping people accomplish what they've set out to do.

I think that's why I love my work. As a Learning Strategist I work with organizations to develop and leverage workplace learning in a way that helps them reach and exceed their performance goals - goals such as improving a specific competency, or productivity and engagement levels, or even the overall experience.

Learning empowers people to make positive changes. Effective learning opens minds and expands possibilities and is critical for growth and innovation. And when it comes to business, effective learning can be a key differentiator between success and so-so.

My official training career started in the early 90's at a Louisiana bank. In those days a group of 3 of us handled all of the training for the bank. That meant we developed and facilitated training on a broad range of topics such as new products and services, compliance issues, management, customer service, finance, and even how to repair ATM machines. I was constantly in the thick of everything new. I was hooked.

Banking regulations changed which landed me working with the same, but now national bank, supporting the business banking group. During this time I gained a deep understanding of how money flows through a business, and how to identify potential red flags. This forever changed the way that I looked at learning solutions. I was no longer satisfied with just rolling out a program; I had to be able to track the program's effectiveness all the way through to financial impact. This process allowed me to tell what was working and what wasn't, and to adapt learning strategies to more effectively support the true need. I could see how training was making a difference.

Multiple mergers later, I left the banking industry to challenge myself in new industries. I started and managed Training, HR, and OD departments in the automotive, hospitality, and mortgage industries. I found that the process of developing and delivering effective learning solutions is not industry-dependent. Employees in every industry look for learning to improve their effectiveness and expand their opportunities. And when companies deliver, the results speak for themselves.

In 2002 I ventured out on my own as a workplace learning strategist. This has allowed me to better keep a finger on the pulse of workplace learning trends - such as the integration of social media tools and networked learning. What I have found is that even though the technology is new, the opportunity remains the same: accurately identify the need and then develop and deploy the most effective solution to address that need. To do it right takes expertise, vision, and collaboration.

That's why I love working with the EPICo team. At EPICo we gather the best experts for a project and work collaboratively not just among ourselves, but with our clients. We are always driven by our vision and how we can best help our clients use learning to reach their goals.

WE ALL HAVE OUR QUIRKS

The one thing I should warn you about, though, is that I have a bit of an obsession with pens. My phobia is that I'll have an idea I want to capture, and then not have a working pen to write with. I'll forget the idea - most likely that once in a lifetime idea - and have to go back to my life as a beer cart girl. (Even bad stories need a somewhat happy ending.) So I've amassed a few. It's like a scrapbook of sorts. I've got pens from hotels, vendors, coworkers... and if you lend me a pen and I like it, I'll probably want that one too.