Australia: Corporate learning a growth industry

(From The Australian) — One of the many neologisms coined by business strategy theorists is “co-opetition”, a situation where businesses compete and co-operate in the marketplace. Ungainly as the word is, it well describes the complex relationship between corporate universities – company-owned educational entities for optimising employee learning and knowledge – and more conventional public or private universities. The first corporate universities date back at least to 1926, when the General Motors Institute (now the Kettering University) was established in the US. Following World War II, aided by a liberal legal definition of what constitutes a university, a steady stream of companies such as McDonald’s, Disney and Motorola, founded corporate universities. The heyday of corporate universities was reached in the 1980s, as global companies across the world competed to build prestigious in-house learning facilities. Perhaps the best known of these was General Electric’s Crotonville campus. Here, after receiving a personal welcome note from feted chief executive Jack Welch, GE’s managers and key customers would attend three-month residential courses presented by top academics and GE executives, including Welch. Read the full article.

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ASTD Unveils Latest Research on Mobile Learning at ASTD 2011

Mobile technology has revolutionized the way people access information. In 2008 for the first time in history, mobile access to the Internet exceeded desktop computer access. The implications for the workplace learning and development profession are profound, which is why today ASTD unveiled its latest research on mobile learning at the 2011 International Conference & Exposition – a gathering of more than 8,000 learning practitioners from around the globe. What does the penetration of mobile technology mean for learning professionals and the learning function? How will it affect instructional design? What influence, if any, will device manufacturers, platform providers, and software developers have on mobile learning’s future? ASTD and the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) partnered to investigate the topic, and the resulting report Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand addresses these questions and many others by examining the existing literature, and speaking with practitioners and thought leaders from organizations that are adopting mobile learning applications in an effort to increase organizational learning and performance. This report provides the foundational knowledge for organizations to “get smart “on the current state and future of mobile learning, which has been found to be directly correlated with high performance. Recommendations for formulating a mobile learning initiative are included in the report. Some of those recommendations are Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand is available through the ASTD Store.

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ASTD Study Examines Tremendous Learning Potential of Web 3.0

Web 3.0, the next evolution of Internet-based tools, technologies, and concepts, is upon us and represents a shift in how people interact with the Internet. New research from the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) examines the ways these new technologies affect and influence learning today and the impact they may have in the future. Conducted with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), the ASTD research report, Better, Smarter, Faster: How Web 3.0 Will Transform Learning in High-Performance Organizations, is an analysis of responses from 1,357 business and learning professionals with special emphasis on how high-performing organizations have adopted Web 3.0 into their learning practices. “Today, we actively pursue content based on search terms and our preferences,” says Tony Bingham, president and CEO of ASTD. “In Web 3.0, content will find you – rather than actively seeking it, your activities and interests will determine what finds you, be delivered how you want it, and to your preferred channel. This provides tremendous potential for learning.” Issues addressed in the study include: Social learning and the impact of Web 3.0 was addressed by Bingham at ASTD’s 2011 TechKnowledge Conference & Exposition on February 2, in San Jose, California. An executive summary of Better, Smarter, Faster: How Web 3.0 Will Transform Learning in High-Performance Organizations is available at www.astd.org/content/research. To obtain the full report, visit the ASTD Store.

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ASTD Study Shows Social Media has High Value for Learning and Development

Social media is a force and trend that should be embraced, according to new research from the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD). A new research report, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity across Generations finds that regardless of generation, workers in the United States believe that social media tools have an important role to play in workplace learning and development. The study also finds that most companies have a long way to go when it comes to implementing social media tools for the learning function. While the vast majority of respondents used social media in their personal lives, only 24 percent said their informal learning at work included social media. However, more than 80 percent of survey respondents said social media tools would become an important part of the learning function within the next three years. The findings show very strong and significant correlations between high use of social media tools at work and respondents’ opinions that the tools help them get more and better work done, learn more truly useful things, and learn more in less time. The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity across Generations shows that social media tools have considerable value for the learning function. ASTD President and CEO Tony Bingham says, “Understanding the huge impact Web 2.0 technologies have on how the workforce learns is critical to engaging employees and customers, and ultimately, critical for an organization’s growth and success.” The topic of social media in the learning function will be addressed by Bingham at ASTD’s 2010 International Conference and Exposition on May 17. For more information on The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity across Generations visit www.store.astd.org.

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ASTD Sales Training Virtual Conference Series: Leadership Change at IBM Benefits Sales Learning with Paula Cushing

On October 25, the IBM Board of Directors elected Virginia “Ginni” Rometty president and chief executive officer of IBM, and a member of the board, effective January 1, 2012. She will replace Samuel Palmisano, who will remain chairman of the board. In an international company as large and complex as IBM, you may think that this is an insignificant happening from a Learning standpoint. However, because of the deep partnership that IBM Sales Learning had forged with Ginni in her senior vice president role overseeing IBM’s global sales, global strategy, marketing and communications, it is as if a member of our team has ascended to this position of global significance. Over the last 100 years, IBM has transformed its workforce many times, in many cases creating the most vaunted workforce in the technology industry, or any industry, for that matter. Through its Sales Eminence transformation, the Sales Learning team partnered with Ginni over the last three years to transform IBM’s sales force by developing and deploying innovative learning solutions that are broadening and deepening the skills, capabilities and expertise of IBM’s 38,000 sellers, accelerating their productivity and enabling them to deliver exceptional client value and grow profitable revenue. Core elements of the partnership and transformation are a newly developed and deployed T-shaped Professional Sales Model and a redesigned Sales Career Model. The T-shaped Professional Model represents the breadth and depth of the skills, capabilities and expertise that are required of all IBM sellers and sales leaders. The new design of the Sales Career Model simplified sales job roles into three career paths: industry, solution, technical. Developing and deploying these new models were significant accomplishments and could not have been achieved without Sales Learning’s partnership with Ginni, or our partnerships with other areas of the business. For a learning professional, there is no better place to be than partnered at the highest level of the business, aligning with your clients as a trusted ally, contributing as a consultant to short- and long-term strategy discussions and being an integral part of driving business success. After all, partnering is a condition of success for the learning function. But there are perks and perils associated with powerful partnerships. The learning professional that achieves eminence and delivers results knows how to earn and leverage the perks and avoid and survive the perils. In the new year, for IBM Sales Learning, our “partner” will be occupying the corporation’s CEO office, bringing with it new perks and perils for our team. We’re ready for the challenges and the opportunities, as IBM embarks on its second 100 years. Paula Cushing is Director of Sales Learning within IBM’s Center for Learning and Development, a position she has held since 2008. In this role, Paula and team are transforming IBM’s sales learning strategy by developing and deploying innovative learning solutions that are broadening and deepening the expertise of IBM’s 38,000 sellers, accelerating their productivity and enabling them to deliver exceptional client value and grow profitable revenue.

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ASTD Sales Training Virtual Conference Series: How Has Social Learning and Technology Influenced Sales Training? with Jason Ackerson

The pace of doing business continues to accelerate while employees are constantly challenged to do more with less. Companies continue to look for ways to cut costs and at the same time, increase revenues. Companies must also conduct business faster by processing larger amounts of increasingly complex information. Globalization and decentralization have been the answer for many looking to gain that edge. Distributed sales teams, working different hours, in non-traditional office environments have become the norm. Consequently, this structure has its disadvantages. The rate of change and the disconnected nature of our work are having a negative impact on the modern selling environment. Sellers struggle with efficient communication and are learning through more informal channels. Sellers also struggle with time limitations, information overload, and are realizing newer skill gaps. The reality is, we will all have skill gaps, all the time and there will never be enough time to learn everything we need to learn. The consistent and rapid evolution of the skills and knowledge required to succeed has caused a shift in effective learning delivery. Learning is no longer being provided as a calculated set of costly, formal classroom events where sellers are graded solely on their participation. Instead, companies are shifting their emphasis from bringing the worker to the learning to bringing the learning to the work. For many companies on the cutting edge, social and informal learning have helped bridge that gap. Quite simply put, social and informal learning is learning through conversation and interactions about content.And social and informal learning is not so much about what is learned, but instead, how its learned.The modern work environment has forced us to learn how to learn faster! The benefits of social and informal learning are real. Content is more accurate, more relevant and widely accessiblewhenmaintenance and creation are distributed. It helps sellers grow skills more rapidly, creates a more nimble sales force at a lower cost, and increases engagement. All together, this helps to increase margins and increase revenue. So how has technology influenced the current methods of learning? By using some basic design concepts, social software and simple, cost effective technologies weve improved the way sellers and employees learn. Team challenges bring sellers together and social software allows sellers to connect to share files, bookmarks, content and tasks. Social software also allows sellers the ability to contribute to program design and quickly identify experts. Content can even be filtered, rated and improved through dialogue and conversation. Overall, companies that are harnessing the power of social and informal learning are realizing true returns on their learning investment. Sellers are attaining quota faster, more consistently, at a lower cost and are contributing to the expertise of the overall sales force. After all, most of what we learn is outside of the classroom! Jason Ackerson leads a global technology team responsible for designing, developing, deploying and supporting technology solutions for new and experienced sales professionals within IBM. His focus for the last 7+ years has been on delivering technology solutions that have an impact on how IBM employees learn and more importantly, the bottom line.

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ASTD REPORT: TOUGH ECONOMY CREATES STRONG NEED FOR LEARNING

A new report released by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) shows an overall commitment to the learning function exists in the current tough economy and learning budgets are not being reduced as drastically as in previous economic downturns. Analysis of the report’s data also indicates that a substantial reduction in learning resources was correlated with lower market performance and lower learning effectiveness. The ASTD/i4cp report, “Learning in Tough Economic Times: How Corporate Learning is Meeting the Challenges,” found that while four in ten respondents said the economy had forced them to reduce learning resources to a high or very high degree, extensive cuts to learning programs or content was the exception not the rule. The majority of survey respondents (67.2 percent) indicated they are looking for ways to be more efficient and effective on tighter budgets, while 37.9 percent said their firms emphasized learning to a greater extent in this economic downturn. The new report also shows that only slightly more than one-quarter of survey respondents said the learning function’s ability to meet organizational learning needs has suffered in the current economic downturn to a high or very high degree. Other key findings include: The report also notes best practices being used for learning in a down economy, with three themes emerging: involving subject matter experts in the learning process; leveraging technology better; and raising awareness of cost issues. Two specific best practices include crafting learning around smaller chucks of content by honing focus and presentation times, and staying the course realizing learning will bring benefits in employee engagement, retention, and overall organizational strength. Click to read the executive summary of “Learning in Tough Economic Times.”

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ASTD Releases Salary and Compensation Study for Learning & Development Industry

With a median salary of $75,000, learning and development (L&D) professionals are paid relatively well compared to other HR professionals and the general workforce, but pay levels have not increased, on average, in the last four years. Also unchanged is the gender salary gap – men continue to earn more than women in the L&D profession. These are among many findings in the just-released Salary and Compensation Report from ASTD and the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). The report is the most comprehensive analysis of salary and compensation for L&D professionals and includes detailed analysis of practitioner demographics across industry, tenure, and gender. Based on responses from 1,997 U.S. employees, it includes findings from 40 compensation and benefit data points. ASTD’s last salary survey was conducted in 2007, before the onset of the global economic recession. The ASTD Learning and Development Industry Salary & Compensation Report, 2011 contains these key findings The ASTD Learning and Development Industry Salary & Compensation Report, 2011 is the definitive salary and compensation report for the L&D industry. A whitepaper about the research is free to ASTD members. The full report can be purchased from the ASTD Store.

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ASTD Presents Ram Charan with its Champion of Workplace Learning and Performance Award

The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) presented Ram Charan with its Champion of Workplace Learning and Performance Award on May 17 at the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition held here. This ASTD award recognizes individuals whose advocacy, commitment, or actions in support of workplace learning and performance has influenced groups of individuals, organizations, or society. “Without learning, there is no growth,” says Ram Charan, business advisor, author, and leadership expert. Charan has spent his career studying strategy and leadership. In his 2007 book, Leadership at All Levels: Deepening Your Talent Pool to Solve the Succession Crisis, he advocates for the apprenticeship model, and calls for assigning stiff challenges to high potential employees to accelerate their growth. He believes great leaders have personal traits and skills that cannot be impacted by time in a classroom. “If you want to impact both,” he says, “you must create assignments that will take people beyond their comfort zones to discover what is inside. These apprenticeships allow absorption from other people and the learning is largely on the shoulders of the apprentice.” Charan’s introduction to business came from working in the family shoe shop in the small town in which he was raised. That background combined with decades of observing and working with successful leaders shaped his belief that business leaders learn best through a combination of experience, feedback, and self-correction. He has worked with top executives at some of the largest companies in the world, including GE, Dupont, Novartis, and Bank of America. He developed his research and observation style early in his career as a faculty member at the Harvard Business School and GE’s Crotonville Institute. Charan has sold more than two million books in the past five years. Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty was published in 2009. His newest book, coauthored with Bill Conaty, is Masters of Talent and it will be published in October 2010. Through his books, as well as teaching and coaching, Ram Charan demonstrates his conviction that workplace learning is crucial to business success and affirms that people are value-added contributors.

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ASTD Presents Michael Allen with its Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award

The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) presented Dr. Michael Allen, chairman and CEO of Allen Interactions, Inc. with its Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award on May 23 at a ceremony during the ASTD 2011 International Conference & Exposition held here. This ASTD award recognizes an individual for an exceptional contribution of sustained impact to the field of workplace learning and performance. Allen’s belief in the potential of e-learning technologies guided his more than 40 years of professional, academic, and corporate experience in the development, sales, and marketing of e-learning support systems. His time as director of Advanced Educational Systems R&D within Control Data Corporation’s PLATO project inspired him to found Authorware in 1984, the company that produced the first industry-standard e-learning authoring tool. “Technology enables, but also leads. It amplifies whatever you do,” notes Allen. “We can do a lot of damage, wasting time and money and possibly teaching the wrong thing, but when we get it right, we can do more good than ever.” Allen’s career demonstrates a commitment to developing tools that enable meaningful, memorable, and motivational e-learning experiences. Founded in 1993, Allen Interactions designs, develops, and implements interactive educational simulations for the world’s largest corporations. Allen serves as a high-level consultant for multimedia design and production groups wanting to take full advantage of interactive technologies. His numerous books, including Michael Allen’s Guide to e-Learning, feature interviews with pioneers in the field. Currently an adjunct associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, Allen is working to develop e-learning curriculum focused on reducing the spread of HIV and AIDS.

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ASTD Presents its Lifetime Achievement Award in Workplace Learning and Performance Award to Bob Eichinger and Mike Lombardo

The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) presented Bob Eichinger and Mike Lombardo with its Lifetime Achievement in Workplace Learning and Performance Award on May 17 at the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition held here. This ASTD award recognizes individuals for a body of work that has had significant impact on the field of workplace learning and performance. Eichinger and Lombardo are recognized for creating some of the seminal works in the workplace learning and performance profession, including FYI: For Your Improvement and Eight-Eight Assignments for Development in Place. Their collaboration with Morgan McCall at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) led to one of the foundational concepts of human resource development: the 70/20/10 learning model, which postulates that 70 percent of learning and development takes place from real-life and on-the-job experiences, tasks and problem solving; 20 percent comes from other people through informal or formal feedback, mentoring, or coaching; and 10 percent comes from formal training. A fortuitous course taught in 1991 at CCL put them on the map. CCL gave the two men permission to release a competency tool they developed and they formed Lominger, Inc. the same day. The tool, called the Career Architect, has since generated more than $100 million in sales. Eichinger and Lombardo continued their partnership and devoted themselves to producing research-based and experience-tested tools and materials that would be useful to the workplace learning profession. “We were always very interested in how people solve real-world problems, and how effective people differ from average performers,” says Lombardo. Eichinger notes the pair has noticed a “significant gap between research and practice” over the course of their partnership. In 2004, the pair co-authored a book with Dave Ulrich titled 100 Things You Need to Know: Best Practices for Managers and HR. The book covers practices in recruitment, assessment, selection, development, and feedback, includes short summaries of each, and then poses a multiple-choice question that the authors answer with research findings as a backup. Eichinger and Lombardo’s firm, Lominger, was acquired by Korn/Ferry International in 2006.

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ASTD Presents its Lifetime Achievement in Workplace Learning and Performance Award to Jack Zenger

The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) presented John H. (“Jack”) Zenger, co-founder and CEO of Zenger Folkman, with its Lifetime Achievement in Workplace Learning and Performance Award on May 23 at a ceremony during the ASTD 2011 International Conference & Exposition held here. This ASTD award recognizes an individual for a body of work that has had significant impact on the field of workplace learning and performance. Zenger is recognized for his expertise in leadership development and a career that spans more than five decades across corporate, academic, and entrepreneurial functions. His career includes roles as vice president of human resources for Syntex Corporation, group vice president for the Times-Mirror Corporation, CEO of Provant, faculty member at the University of Southern California and the Stanford University School of Business, and founder of Zenger-Miller and Zenger Folkman. “Working in these three areas has given me a unique appreciation for the role of leaders in organizations,” says Zenger. “Working internally in corporations helps me understand client needs now, and academia gave me the opportunity to see the big picture. Plus, it is an enormous reward when students say that I have helped them. I really enjoy giving people new skills that can help them on the job and in their private lives.” Zenger’s seminal works on leadership development include Results-Based Leadership, with co-authors Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood (1999); The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders, with co-author Joe Folkman (2003); and The Inspiring Leader: Unlocking the Secrets of How Extraordinary Leaders Motivate, with co-authors Folkman and Scott Edinger (2009). In 2002, Zenger teamed up with Dr. Joseph Folkman to form Zenger Folkman, a professional services firm that provides consulting, leadership development programs, and implementation software for organizational effectiveness initiatives, all grounded in data backed by practical ideas. Zenger says his lifelong interest in leadership development can be traced to his childhood observations about how new leaders influenced the functions of the hospital where his father worked as an administrator.

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ASTD Presents Beverly Kaye with its Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award

The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) presented Beverly Kaye with its Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award on May 17 at ASTD’s 2010 International Conference & Exposition held here. This award is presented in recognition of an exceptional contribution of sustained impact to the field of workplace learning and performance. Kaye describes herself as a “lover of learning.” In her early career as a college dean Kaye watched students take a passive approach to their careers. Her observations shaped the work she has done for the last 30 years as an expert in career planning, employee retention, and engagement. Her first book, Up is Not the Only Way, foretold the effects that leaner, flatter organizations would have on workers who would need to take charge of their own careers. The book was instrumental in establishing career development as a professional practice area. Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em, published in 1999, was Kaye’s rallying cry to employers and managers about the importance of employee retention. The book is now in its fourth edition and has been translated into 25 languages. The companion book written for employees, Love it, Don’t Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work is a bestseller and continues the overarching theme of Kaye’s work: people must take charge of their own careers. Kaye’s work extends well beyond her bestselling books. She has created learning solutions for managers and employees to work together to help employees achieve their developmental goals. She has developed innovative approaches to mentoring. The founder of Career Systems International, she is finalizing a new and comprehensive learning solution – CareerPower3.0 – that appeals to all generations and offers multiple methods of delivery in the area of career development.

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ASTD Member workshop in China – Use Learning to Lead

“Learning to lead” is the theme for the ASTD 2011 International Conference and Exposition. In 2011, how are YOU going to use learning to lead professional and organizational development? I just recently returned from the trip to Beijing, China, where more than 70 ASTD members and L&D professionals joined me to discuss how we use learning to lead in our organizations. I shared with participants the latest ASTD State of the Industry Report, how to apply for ASTD Awards, and preview of the ASTD 2011 International Conference and Exposition. The guest speaker, Professor Feng Wu from Peking University, also shared their latest research on corporate university evaluation system. The workshop was supported by the Enterprise Education Center at Peking University, one of the leading universities in China. It was a great networking and sharing session. I look forward to our next reunion in the near future!

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ASTD Image of the Day: We’ve Come a Long Way! Mobile Learning, Circa 1952

The word “mobile” has had several definitions in the training world, but one thing hasn’t changed: the need to bring training to the workers. Training natural gas and electrical workers was paramount in 1952 but so was saving man-hours. A 1940 Twin Coach passenger bus with one row of single seats and one row of double seats was equipped with training materials such as easels, paper, pencils, chalk, and a movie projector. In 2011, the need to bring training to workers is still important, but technology has made that task easier. Mobile learning, as it is known today, is evolving as the technology matures. What would you have put in the bus? Remember, it was 1952, not 2011…. T+D magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society for Training & Development, is about to begin its 66th year of publication. For more information about T+D, visit www.astd.org/td.

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ASTD Declares December 6 -10 Employee Learning Week

To increase awareness about the strategic value of learning in organizations, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) has declared December 6-10, 2010, as “Employee Learning Week.” Many member organizations have planned events to highlight the important link between developing employees’ skills and achieving organizational results. ASTD research shows that organizations continue to invest in growing the knowledge and skills of their workforce. “Senior executives realize that the most important asset in our knowledge economy is talent, and a skilled workforce is the key to realizing results. We encourage all organizations to demonstrate their commitment to learning by recognizing Employee Learning Week,” says Tony Bingham, ASTD President and CEO. Employee Learning Week recently received recognition in the United States. U.S. Representative Jim Moran of Virginia recognized Employee Learning Week with a resolution that appeared in the Congressional Record on September 28, 2010. “I applaud ASTD and its members for their dedication to develop the knowledge and skills of employees during Employee Learning Week,” Congressman Moran said. From obtaining local and state proclamations to hosting panel discussions and learning-related contests, organizations are using Employee Learning Week to draw attention to the importance of a skilled workforce and promote the week’s official theme: “Workforce Development is Everyone’s Business.” Participating organizations are designated “Champions of Learning” for their commitment to recognizing Employee Learning Week. Visit www.employeelearningweek.org for more information.

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ASTD Books on Social Learning, Customer Service Are Top Picks

Two ASTD books have recently been featured as “Top Picks.” The New Social Learning by ASTD CEO Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner was featured on the Washington Post’s leadership blog as a Top 5 Pick in leadership books. It was also featured on Livemint.com as a Top Pick as well. I also heard from Bill Keenan, the editor of the Customer Service Newsletter, who said they’ve selected ASTD author Maxine Kamin’s book 10 Steps to Successful Customer Service as one of the best customer service books for 2010! Bill tells me they’ll be featuring the book in the February issue. I’m really looking forward to seeing that!

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ASTD Archive Image of the Day: Self-Directed Learning, circa 1994

This image appeared in the March 1994 issue of Training & Development. The image appeared with an article on self-directed learning–a timely topic that is gaining traction in the industry. For a more current article on self-directed learning, see Pat McLagan’s article in the current issue of T+D at www.astd.org/td. How has social media tools changed the design and delivery of self-directed learning programs? What is the learning professional’s role in self-directed learning?

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ASTD 2010 International Conference to Feature Experts in Learning and Development

The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) 2010 International Conference & Exposition being held May 16-19 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois will feature thought leaders and innovators in the workplace learning and development field. Voices of Innovation include: David Allen, author of Getting Things Done; Marcia Conner, Fast Company columnist and co-author of the forthcoming book with ASTD President and CEO Tony Bingham titled The New Social Learning; Marshall Goldsmith, named by Forbes to be one of the Top 15 Most Influential Business Thinkers in the World in 2009; Alexandra Levit, syndicated Wall Street Journal columnist and author of the bestselling book They Don’t Teach Corporate in College; Karl M. Kapp, scholar, consultant, and expert on the convergence of learning, technology, and business operations; and Tony O’Driscoll, professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business whose current research focuses on how emerging technologies can rapidly disrupt existing business models and industry structure. Leaders of the Profession include Michael Allen, Geoff Bellman, Ken Blanchard, Rob Brinkerhoff, Ruth Clark, Beverly Kaye, Don Kirkpatrick, Jack Phillips, Bob Pike, Dana Robinson, Thiagi, and Jack Zenger. Voices of the Next Generation include the sons and daughters of industry titans who bring their own knowledge and expertise to the profession: Scott Blanchard, Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, Jim Kirkpatrick, and Becky Pike Pluth. A comprehensive list of featured speakers for the conference is available at www.astdconference.org. New for 2010, all session speakers will be using “paperless handouts” in an effort to conserve resources and reduce waste. Handouts will be available as a password-protected download in multiple formats for a wide array of devices, including handheld mobile devices. Many industry-leading and socially responsible organizations have adopted similar policies for their conferences. ASTD introduced paperless handouts at its TechKnowledge conference in January with positive feedback from both speakers and attendees. For more information on the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition, visit www.astdconference.org.

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Are You a Champion of Learning?

I have heard from a few folks already about the plans they have to celebrate Employee Learning Week in their companies, organizations, and ASTD chapters. It is so exciting to see folks getting psyched about promoting the value of learning! Remember there are lots of tools on the Employee Learning Week website – including downloadable logos, public service announcements to send to your local radio stations, and press release templates to announce your activities to your local press. You’ll find everything at www.employeelearningweek.org. Remeber to send me an email, letting me know what you’ve done to celebrate ELW and we will send you a Champion of Learning certificate to recognize your efforts! You can email me at kfyfe@astd.org.

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A Reading from “Learning By Doing”

If anyone is interested, I read a bit from my new book at Second Life; the 13 minute downloadable MP3 is posted. It gave me a chance to present one of my favorite charts: It suggests in order to understand “The Humanities” (the wisdom of the people who came before us), one thing you have to understand is business strategies. In order to understand business strategies, one thing you have to understand is personal improvement. And in order to understand personal improvement, one thing you have to look at is what you do everyday. All of the most important skills/knowledge/wisdom cut across all these layers. Just focusing on one layer is almost always distorting. Most importantly, viewing content as just linear is crippling. Accepting this view, one might see a unification

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April T+D: Learning in a Down Economy

(By Andrew Paradise and Jennifer Mosley) Every learning professional knows that the struggling global economy has caused considerable distress in the past year. Organizations have been forced to find ways to cut costs, with more pressure than ever. Have learning functions been targets or have they developed ways to adapt? In fact, many organizations are now looking to the learning function for solutions when they face difficult economic conditions. This finding was confirmed in a new study by ASTD and the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) that examined how organizations manage learning in a down economy. Specifically, the “Organizational Learning in Tough Economic Times” study looks at budget reductions, process improvements, effectiveness of the learning function, efficiency changes, and other lessons learned in reaction to market downturns. The study found that organizational leaders realize that increased pressure from the economy can actually create a need for learning. The processes and focus of corporate learning may change as leaders navigate through difficult conditions, but if the specific goals for learning programs are in place and the drivers for reorganization or adjustment of content are clear, organizations can still rely heavily on learning. However, respondents to the study’s survey cited many pressures on learning, with some activities, such as leadership development, in most critical need during a recession.

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6 Leadership Learning Trends You Need to Know

(From the Huffington Post)–I returned from ASTD 2013 last week full of energy about the future of learning and leadership development, about advances in learning technologies, and about the integration of neuroscience into the process of learning new skills and becoming better leaders in all phases of our careers. It was energizing to be among 10,000 learning and development professionals, and to hear about some of the latest learning trends and thinking from large companies like UPS, thought leaders like Ken Blanchard and Sir Ken Robinson, and see new products and services from vendors at the Expo. Having never been to an ASTD ICE before, I wasn’t prepared for the scale and scope of the conference, and it was a bit overwhelming to try to take it all in. What I did notice were several trends that are impacting how organizations tackle learning and development: Read more

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Yawn-Proof Your E-Learning

Finding yourself a bit bored with the e-learning you’ve been creating lately? Looking to jazz up your e-learning courses, but don’t have the resources to create a 3-D immersive learning game that can be delivered on your iPhone? Need to get your content turned around fast — but without sacrificing engagement? In this session, you’ll explore strategies and tips for creating quality e-learning in a rapid timeframe without breaking the bank. You’ll see examples of incoming content received from…

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Why Your Learners Need Space and Time: A ‘How-to’ Improve Learning and Retention (TU312)

Do you ever greet someone new only to forget his name a few moments later? Or run to the grocery store only to leave without the very item that prompted that trip? Sometimes our brain ‘drops’ information as it moves from immediate memory, to working memory, to long-term memory. If that’s true in our everyday lives, it’s all the more true in training. This session will explore the concept of ‘spacing’ out training, the science of how spacing enhances learning, and how to use spacing methods…

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What Do We Know About Learning Research and What Do We Need to Know?

Fact: In 2011, organizations spent $156 billion on workforce learning programs. Fact: Employees of Fortune Global 500 companies clock an average of around 34 learning hours per year. Fact: You are faced with making major decisions to get the most out of all your training efforts. Given all that time and money, shouldn’t you take your decisions as seriously as doctors, engineers, and others who are required to use research to do their jobs safely and efficiently? The Evidence-Based Learning…

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Identifying Strategic Smartwatch Integration Points for E-Learning Applications

From the TechKnowledge 2016 Conference: Studies show that by 2019 about 101 million smartwatches will have been sold in the United States, more than double the current sales. To engage users with this new device for information consumption, educators and e-learning professionals must understand how to take advantage of this new digital product. E-learning professionals can now create relevant, time-based learning experiences that leverage this new platform. Smartwatches are best used for small,…

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Transitioning to Mobile: Liven Up Your Old E-Learning

From the TechKnowledge 2016 Conference: LAZ Parking is the third-largest parking company in the United States. A core component of its business focuses on valet parking at airports, events, hospitals, hotels, and restaurants. In 2009, a valet e-learning program was launched, educating staff about their role in protecting customers’ vehicles, injury avoidance, and property damage. Learners spent 60 to 90 minutes at a computer completing the courses and self-paced exams. Over the years, several…

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Introducing the CHAMPIONS Framework for Next Generation Learning and Performance

From the TechKnowledge 2016 Conference: The world of training and development has changed. Today’s technologies provide new features that can be used in learning and development that were simply not available in the days when training was done in classrooms with instructors and three-ring binders. But making sense of these new features, and the opportunities they provide, can be a challenge. In this session you will examine these features in the context of nine high-level categories: contextual…

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Using Technology to Produce Learning Transfer and Sustainable Corporate Change (SU108)

As trainers, our success is measured by whether we can get people to transfer learning and behave differently. Unfortunately, there are myths that undercut our success, and the well-established techniques of behavior change are not well understood. This session will examine the scientific research demonstrating how to produce sustainable learning transfer and behavior change. The speaker will explore how to produce behavior change among individuals and demonstrate specific techniques and…

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