Getting to know Kirk Santos: VP of Learning, Leadership, and Organizational Development

By Claire Carlson

It seems as if change has become the new norm–and while it can be challenging to keep up as an individual, imagine being responsible for keeping our global workforce up to speed. That is the charge given to Kirk Santos, our new VP of Learning, Leadership, and Organizational Development (LLOD). Below, Kirk shares a view into his personal journey and offers insights towards reinforcing our culture of learning and enhancing the value proposition that his team delivers across all of Pitney Bowes.

Tell us a little bit about your background?

My parents emigrated from Ecuador without knowing the language, American culture but knew that life in the United States would be better based on hard work, determination, and grit.  I grew up in Brooklyn with 2 brothers in a very humble household with our parents’ unrelenting focus on education.  As a young teenager, the tragic loss of my older brother instilled a resiliency and resolve towards appreciating what you have and helped shape my approach towards family and career path.  When reflecting on my career, I’ve spent the past 22+ years gathering valuable skills and experiences at iconic Fortune 500 companies and describe myself as a business person first whose expertise just happens to be in Human Resources.

What are your top priorities in your new role?

Pitney Bowes is at a pivotal point in its transformation.  Earlier this year we partnered with NIIT, a market-leading, managed learning services provider to design and deliver training needs.  Therefore, a key priority has been to ensure there is no disruption to our business and stakeholders as we deliver on this new learning model.

Secondly, we are repositioning our Learning organization as a strategic enabler of our transformation.  It’s important to not only deliver on the fundamentals but to address root cause issues of the problems our stakeholders are seeking to solve.  This type of approach is key when aligning our investments more strategically to support our current and future workforce.

Building and cultivating our talent is another high priority.  The success of our business relies on its exceptional talent and having the right leadership strategy to develop our workforce, especially those in our most critical roles.  Simply put, we’re going to place a major emphasis on developing best-in-class leaders.

Are you seeing any early indicators of success?

We’ve met with several of our Senior Leaders to better understand their most critical priorities and what’s needed to accelerate their strategy into 2019 and beyond.  Having this line of sight allows us to track our progress with measurable results and we’ve already seen some early wins, specifically around a common sales methodology that will help drive significant sales pipeline results.

What is the biggest challenge you face?

Given the changing landscape, we all need to think proactively on how we learn, how we collaborate, and most importantly – take action to ensure that our strategy will create meaningful wins for the organization and the people in it.  Making sure we are focused on the right business objectives to deliver on the right business outcomes requires relentless focus, leading to better informed decision-making.

What advice would you give to our employees?

Develop a growth mindset and become a lifelong learner.  Technology and globalization have accelerated the rate of change for all of us and will only continue.

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