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For the term "Business Planning".

Analyzing Business Decision Making Process

Business decision making is a critical process. While decision support systems are built to support managerial decision making, a lot goes into planning and designing of these systems. This article discusses the need and process for evaluating business decision making, which is required to build bespoke decision support system software to ensure ‘good’ decision making in an organization.

Business Process Reengineering and Best Practices

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) evolved at the same time. Both are related to radical redesign of an organization at a relatively short period.

Sales Planning Starts with Product Profile Detailing

In case of consultative selling, you need to gather and study all details of your product and your business so that you are very well conversant with your product or service.

The Use of Enterprise Resource Planning Applications in Finance and HRM

ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning Software integrates the whole lifecycle management processes and provides the top management with a high altitude view of the different business processes. In addition, cost control and autonomy can be achieved as well as making the employees work easier by automating routine and specialized tasks.

BPI Project Planning – Process Overview

Business Process Improvement (BPI) Planning begins with formation of the Executive Implementation Team and Process Improvement Team. Lets understand the BPI Project Planning process in detail.

Why is a Mobile Learning Strategy Important?

With mobile learning getting a lot of interest recently (roughly 50% of businesses surveyed say they have plans to implement some form of mobile learning in the foreseeable future), it’s becoming clear that many companies don’t have a plan to successfully create a sustainable, robust mobile learning strategy. This is evidenced by the quick jump from talking about goals and roadmaps to the proverbial “We need an app for that!” conclusion that is being reached in meetings and boardrooms across all industries and company sizes. This rush to deploy without proper planning is a big oversight and will ultimately make it difficult to understand if your mobile efforts are successful. A mobile learning strategy can help give your work grounding and a solid base on which you can build. This approach helps you bring mobile in where it will provide the biggest impact. A metered, reusable framework is far more useful than a scattershot approach. When apps are pumped out and then discarded it’s often because they didn’t perform as expected. These apps likely don’t fix the problems that were considered but not dealt with fully during the design phase. Perhaps the app shouldn’t have been built at all. Maybe its focus should have been narrower, or altogether different than what it turned out to be. A mobile learning strategy’s importance is not only limited to savings during the design and development of the applications that may be created. Real, actionable metrics can only be established for individual efforts when the bigger picture is considered. What will you measure? How will you know when you are successful? What sorts of changes are you able to and prepared to make when you start to get data back from your learners? The creation of a strategy will allow outside stakeholders to help weigh in on your anticipated mobile learning efforts to come, giving your work a much needed validation. The strategy’s strengths will help build support throughout your organization, creating trust between your partnering departments and content creators allowing them to create great work. The concerns that could arise about the focus of the efforts or how it fits in with or aligns with other work will already have been addressed. This proactive approach works with other facets of business planning, why would mobile learning be any different? Over the next few weeks, we’ll investigate topics related to this, covering the building blocks for a mobile learning strategy, the effects of creating one, what happens when you neglect to create one, and then finally how to get started on implementing your completed strategy. Come back and check out our next installment.


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4 Ways to Sabotage Your Office – BestSkills

How to Sabotage Your Office. Sabotage is a deliberate act to damage or destroy property and disrupt business. If you are planning to sabotage your office, it’s important to remember that your actions may have far-reaching consequences,…

3 Ways to Start an Event Company – BestSkills

How to Start an Event Company. Event planning can be a fun and rewarding type of business to run. Choose what events you want to focus on and promote your company as much as possible. Gain experience and build a name for yourself through…

Top 25 personal productivity books

  The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss The New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Body shows readers how to live more and work less, now with more than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content. Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint. Getting Things Done by David Allen “A completely...

5 Ways to Become an Event Planner – wikiHow

How to Become an Event Planner. Want to be part of a worldwide, $500-billion industry? Entrepreneur, How to start an event planning service, http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabusiness/businessideas/startupkits/article37892.html If…

How to Open a Nightclub (with Pictures) – wikiHow

How to Open a Nightclub. Have you ever dreamed of running a nightclub business? Though it takes careful planning and a considerable amount of time, a properly managed nightclub can be a very profitable business for years to come. If this…

How to Quit Your Job Graciously (with Pictures) – wikiHow

How to Quit Your Job Graciously. Whether you are trying to begin a new business or career, or are just fed up with your present employment, quitting a job without burning your bridges or losing your home takes planning and tact. Learning…

How to Get an MBA (with Pictures) – wikiHow

How to Get an MBA. If you’re planning a career in business, getting your Masters in Business Administration (MBA) can help further your goal. This versatile graduate degree can help open doors for you, whether you’re planning to go into…

Is Franchising Right For Me?

Franchises are often the best way to go, especially for new entrepreneurs who are looking to be their own boss. What type of business are you planning?

Financial Career Resources and Advice – Best Skills

There’s a lot of money to be made in finance… but if it were easy, everyone would do it. Learn how to get a job in finance or start a financial planning business, and find out what kind of education, training, and certifications you’ll need.

Self-Employed Retirement Plans – Best Skills

Running your own business is full of twists and turns. Now, add retirement planning to the mix. Like the rest of your business, retirement planning opportunities abound, and making the right decision is critical. Learn about SEP-IRAs, solo 401(k)s, Keogh plans, and SIMPLE IRAs.

Road Warrior

Before leaving on a road trip or planning a vacation, most people plan the route they’ll take, the places they’ll visit, and the hotels they’ll stay in along the way. Having a plan eases stress and makes the journey more enjoyable. According to three leadership gurus, executives must have a plan to succeed in the business…

Creative Leadership for the Win

The recession and the state of business these days has left many organizations in transition, but what exactly are CEOs, especially successful ones, planning strategically in future terms? While 60 percent of leaders are currently experiencing a high to very high level of complexity within the economic environmen…

What would you like to see in a Leadership Handbook?

Yesterday, we had a great meeting with Elaine Biech to start talking about a new project that we are planning for next year: a Leadership Handbook. Having worked on the ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals, I am excited to get the chance to expand that product into new areas (we are also working with Patti Phillips on a Handbook for measuring and evaluating, but I will talk more about that in another post where I will also introduce her forthcoming blog). Some of the ideas we tossed around in the meeting included at least three sections (development, characteristics/competencies, and tasks or roles of leadership). We came up with a huge list of potential contributors. We also thought about opening up the scope of the book to include chapters on leadership that focused on the military, politics, global politics, the ministry, as well as specific business sectors such as financial, healthcare, and so forth. As a bit of a news junky, the idea of opening up the scope like that sounds like big, juicy, exciting fun. (At least, until we get into the nitty gritty of editing, proofreading, managing the schedule, bugging the authors for answers to queries, and so forth!) At present, no outline exists, the topic list is wide open, and only a loose timeline is in place. Those of us who attended the meeting have been tasked with coming up with five to six contributor names or topics to give Elaine as fodder for her ideas, so I thought I would cheat a little and see if any of you have any thoughts on what you’d like to see covered in a Handbook on Leadership.

What Makes Successful Salespeople

What do sales coaches need to know in order to help their salespeople succeed? More importantly, what does a complete, well-rounded, super-star sales professional do anyway? Surely, if you cornered one of these high-performing sales professionals at a social event and asked them what they actually did as a sales professional, there would be more to it than “I help people.” What exactly is it that salespeople DO anyway? I’m talking about what they actually do, not what their company does or what their value proposition is, but what THEY DO day in and day out as a sales professional? To be a complete sales professional, their daily activities should be in support of creating customer satisfaction and loyalty. What are these daily activities? I have analyzed the outputs and deliverables of thousands of sales professionals. I found that these tasks can be grouped into eight key areas. The idea is to help them become highly competent (i.e. superstar) sales professional through helping them: 1. Manage Themselves – highly competent salespeople keep their personal life in check. They stay healthy. They set goals, they make plans for your future. They keep their finances in order. They find stress-reducers. 2. Manage the Sales Cycle — The highly competent sales professionals seek out continuous comprehensive training and education to support their sales process. You should also be able to initiate, plan, and execute a sales process in order for your product or service to be assimilated into the buying organization. There are many systems out there to choose from. 3. Manage Opportunities – Highly competent sales professionals understand how to identify, manage, develop, and close the right sales opportunities. To do this, they’re experts at opportunity planning, territory management, opportunity development, and closing. 4. Manage Relationships- Highly competent salespeople become a trusted advisor to the buyer only happens when the sales professional is successful at building relationships, communicating, distributing information, and influencing others ethically through collaborative dialogue. Building relationships within your own organization is just as critical. Make sure that you take the time to forge relationships with your support teams, delivery teams, management or any other party that is involved in your sales process. 5. Manage Expectations – Highly competent salespeople continue their relationship after the sale. Providing top-notch service to buyers ensures repeat business and a solid sales reputation. 6. Manage Priorities – Highly competent salespeople understand the crucial elements of managing personal time to achieve ones goals and objectives. Great sales professionals understand that they must define the right tasks for the day or month, prioritize them, schedule them and execute. 7. Manage Technology – Highly competent sales professionals utilize technology in order to maximize personal and organizational effectiveness. 8. Manage Communications – highly competent sales professionals understand their choices in selecting, delivering, and leveraging communications strategies and mediums in order to effectively get their message across. There are many people that wonder why sales professionals are “harried,” have short attention spans, are always too busy, or seem a “little flustered”. Perhaps by identifying and understanding these eight areas, you have a new found appreciation and an understanding of why? So the question is, does you sales coaching program help salespeople become better in each area? How can you help them understand which area they are the strongest in? Or which area they are the weakest? A well designed sales coaching program provided by a reputable organization can help sales managers and sales coaches build action steps and coaching programs that help salespeople improve in each area every single day.

What Does a Good Mobile Learning Strategy Look Like?

Last week we established a few baseline expectations of the benefits of a mobile learning strategy. We talked about how it affects your immediate team, your external stakeholders and how it improves the long-term success of your mobile learning efforts. With those points in mind, you’re probably ready to get your efforts underway in creating a strategy. Hold on there, partner. Before venturing in this direction it’s vital to get a good understanding of what components comprise a great mobile learning strategy, what you need to avoid, the basics on what it takes to get started and what resources are out there to help you on all of this. What’s in a Strategy? In essence, a strategy is a comprehensive high-level view of your mobile learning roadmap and technology landscape. The roadmap for a successful mobile learning should take in account your learners, their goals, the organization’s pedagogy and value on training/learning, the focus placed on just-in-time learning and performance support, and the companies views on augmentation. These topics should be considered in terms of where they are now, but also with an eye to the future, possibly thinking out 6 months, 1 year, or maybe 2 years. Planning much further out than that would be very difficult due to the constantly quickening pace of the mobile landscape. The practicality of estimating where technology will be that far out, when you yourself are not one of the technologists inventing it is a fruitless exercise. The technology landscape can be comprised of the Six P’s of a Mobile Technology Strategy, published by Float, here. These six P’s are: Platform, Procurement, Policies, Provisioning, Publishing, and Procedures. By carefully weighing your options in these areas, completing the necessary analysis, and then choosing a recommended path or paths in each of them, you will know you are making the correct steps to achieve success. A strategy is useless unless it can be implemented, so in that light, be sure to ground your planning in the practical and don’t get too theoretical. You’ll need to make sure that scope, schedule, and budget are always aligned with your business strategy, resources, and funding you have available to you. What’s Not In A Strategy? It should be clear that a strategy should be full of big ideas tempered with implementation practicality as a backdrop. A strategy is not an app, or really for that matter a series of apps (though it could potentially be, depending on your analysis outcome, natch). A strategy is not an edict of platform nor policy, though these are likely to be components of your larger effort. A strategy should not be a dead tree. This mobile world moves quickly. What was once unthinkable becomes reality with the next major keynote by a hardware or software vendor. What was once only the territory of an app becomes possible on the next OS revision’s improved webbrowser. Mergers happen, OSes evolve, consumers’ buying habits change. Speaking of consumers, your strategy needs to take into account the likelihood that your learners will be bringing their own devices into the workplace, and that this pattern is likely to increase as IT deals with pressure to support more and more smartphones, tablets, and other form factors. A strategy missing this point will be seen as having a gaping hole in understanding the learners’ profiles. Basics Make no mistakes, an effort of this scale takes time and hard work. You’re going to need to dig in. Research the market place. Investigate where your competitors are going. Talk to other like-minded departments in your organization. Survey your learners. You’ll likely find common threads in your discovery process. It’s important to be expansive in your thoughts at this point. Then once you’re ready, start the analysis. We’ll go deeper into detail on this topic in a subsequent post in this series. Finally, you’re going to have to consider how to present your findings, curating, and then collating the important content. Keeping the deeper findings in order to back up your analysis and provide a sold foundation for the team that will implement your strategy is crucial. Business cases, estimations of the work to be done, and considerations on the skills and whether or not you will need to enlist outside vendors to produce the work should also be included in this body of findings. Until Next Time Well, we’ve covered a lot of great ideas here. Be sure to come back next week, when we’ll discuss the effects you’ll start to see after you’ve created and begun the implementation of your strategy.

U.S. Tech Industry Likely to Lose Thousands of Experienced IT Professionals to India

(From PRNewswire) — U.S. companies might face a brain drain as thousands of Indian IT professionals contemplate returning to their homeland according to a new survey conducted by Corp-Corp.com, one of the fast-growing U.S.-based technology job portals. They conducted a survey recently among the Indian IT professionals in the U.S. about returning to India trends. “The results are very important for American businesses because they may face challenges in filling the gap of these resources,” said Prabakaran Murugaiah, CEO of Corp-Corp.com. “Businesses cannot replace an experienced workforce overnight.” Over 1,000 responses were received and the results reveal that almost half of the IT professionals of Indian origin are planning to return to India. 50% of the people who responded said that they will be returning to India soon, while 6.4% of them have already returned to India. The survey participants include permanent residents, citizens and visa holders. The survey results show 69% of visa holders and over 57% permanent residents or citizens intend to return to India. Read more.

UAE consortium formed for INSEAD Executive Leadership Programme

(From AMEinfo.com) — Translating the UAE’s leadership vision of establishing the country to be the centre of leadership excellence in the region, Du, Dubai Holding, DUBAL and First Gulf Bank have formed a UAE-based consortium of principal companies in the country, and launched an Executive Leadership Programme in collaboration with INSEAD, one of the world’s largest and leading graduate business schools. The INSEAD Executive Leadership Programme (ELP) was conceived and designed to bring a higher level of training to executives at the Vice President and above levels in the UAE. “INSEAD’s Executive Education Programmes create an environment where individual, group and organisation-wide learning is achieved simultaneously. We are honoured to partner with the consortium made up of leading UAE companies, in order to bring comprehensive leadership training to future leaders,” said Dipak C. Jain, Dean of INSEAD. With an aim to expound upon the skill set already demonstrated by those in senior executive managerial levels, the ELP, which will be delivered by INSEAD, will hone the attributes necessary to becoming a company leader, focusing on Strategy and Planning; Customer Centricity; Financial Management; Strategic Human Resources and Supply Chain Management. In addition, the course develops team building leadership and incorporates personalised executive coaching, with participants taking part in live case studies and CEO panels.

Top Five Ways to Advance Your Training Career in 2011 – Number 1

This is the first in series of five podcasts on how to be the most effective training professional you can be by producing business value for your organization. Dr. Jim Kirkpatrick shares a valuable tip with you in each podcast of 10 minutes or less. Dr. Jim Kirkpatrick is the son of Dr. Don Kirkpatrick, the creator of the Kirkpatrick Four LevelsTM training evaluation model. Kirkpatrick Four LevelsTM Developed in the 1950s, the Kirkpatrick Four Levels, also known as the Kirkpatrick Model, have become an industry standard for measuring the value of training. Jim Kirkpatrick carries on the work of his father by teaching the true and correct four levels. He has also expanded them with the Kirkpatrick Business Partnership ModelTM, which shows how the four levels apply during the planning, execution and demonstration of value phases of any initiative. The first podcast in this series is entitled “Align Training Efforts with Level 4 Results”. It explains how to use the Kirkpatrick Four Levels during the planning phase of an initiative. Click to listen to the podcast: http://www.kirkpatrickpartners.com/Resources/tabid/56/Default.aspx

Tool Usage to Support Learning

The newly released ASTD/i4cp research report, Instructional Systems Design: Today and in the Future, found that most organizations have Instructional Systems Design (ISD) programs that are, at best, moderately effective in achieving both learning and business goals, and are not positioned well enough for the future. ISD is adapting to the current, fast-changing learning environment and the uncertain future. The learning environment is constantly evolving, with companies’ operations expanding globally; learners coming from increasingly diverse backgrounds and cultures; and technological advancements constantly changing the ways in which learning occurs. What tools are ISD professionals using and considering using, in order to help them adapt for the future? Classroom instruction is not being substituted for emerging technologies and informal learning. In fact, 97 percent of respondents reveal that their organizations currently use classroom instruction, with less than one percent saying they no longer use it. New forms of instruction will not replace classroom learning-at least in the short term-but rather supplement and shape such learning. Learning today is becoming much more customized, informal, just-in-time, and technologically mediated. The study shows that the trend towards blending classroom learning with technological tools has become well established. More than two-thirds of respondents say their organizations use blended learning (combinations of synchronous and asynchronous, classroom, and e-learning). Although this study confirms the finding from ASTD’s The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaborations and Productivity Across Generations study, that most companies have not yet systematically embraced social media technologies for the learning function, there is evidence that these technologies are gaining momentum. A significant percentage of participants say their companies are planning to use them in the future. In fact, fewer than 5 percent of respondents do not think the use of social media will increase over the next five years. Mobile learning, social networks, podcasts, and wikis are the top four tools being considered for use in the future. A complimentary copy of the report’s executive summary can be downloaded and members can download their free copy of the report from the store.

The Workforce Investment System that Works!

Since participating in the public workforce system many years ago, I can see the successes that both the organization and individuals have achieved working through it. Unfortunately, many in our community were not as aware of the accomplishments of the local workforce boards (WIB) or the Career One Stop Centers (One Stop). Now that is about to change! The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), roughly 600 state and local workforce board members, have designed a site and a process to collect success stories from the public workforce system. The site is designed to help policy makers when making decisions on funding and other policy priorities within the system. Here are the key messages NAWB would like the site to find and promote, according to their campaign toolkit: 1. The system is working for America. 2. We are a network of workforce experts. 3. We make investments that count. 4. Our mission is all about workforce talent. How can ASTD participate? We are a membership organization of workforce experts! We could always help the system by becoming active in the system. There are many opportunities for engagement, and I encourage you to check it out. You can engage can be as a policy maker on a WIB or even as a career coach in a One Stop. If you currently are a volunteering in the system, here is an opportunity for your group to share success stories with others. Just follow the directions on the www.workforceinvestmentworks.com. The site also has several sections where you can find workforce information. The sections will be: 1. Why workforce investment videos. 2. Find workforce experts. 3. Legislative corner. 4. Workforce stories. 5. Business champions. 6. Sponsors. It looks to be a great place for system participants, key stakeholders, policy makers and the general public to get current, relevant information and stories about what is really happening in the public workforce system. We will continue to monitor the site and keep you posted on progress as this project moves forward. The web site is planning to go live mid-February, just in time for NAWB’s annual conference and Capitol Hill meetings. This will be a good tool for those going to the conference in speaking to successes of the public workforce system.

Survey: U.S. Workers to Receive Largest Merit Increases Since Start of Financial Crisis

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–U.S. employers are planning to give employees this year the largest merit increases since the start of the financial crisis, according to a new survey by Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW), a global professional services company. The survey also found that the hiring freezes that were put into place during the recession are beginning to thaw, especially for professional and technical workers, and positions that require employees with critical skills. The Towers Watson survey found that companies are optimistic and are budgeting merit increases of 3.0% for 2011. That compares with the 2.7% merit increase awarded to employees overall in 2010 and is the largest merit increase since before the financial crisis when increases typically averaged 3.5 – 4.0%. Though the horizon is brighter for most companies, the survey also found that 5% of companies plan to freeze salaries for all workers this year, the same percentage as last year. However, 13% of companies plan to freeze salaries for executives while 12% plan to freeze salaries for hourly workers. Both figures are down sharply from 2010. “Most companies have turned the corner and are now in a much stronger position financially to recognize and reward employees, especially their top performers,” said Laura Sejen, global head of rewards consulting at Towers Watson. “Throughout the recession and even afterwards, companies made it a high priority to provide better rewards to those employees who performed at the highest level and made the highest contributions to their organizations.” Read more.

Survey: How Small Companies Respond to Recession

SAN LEANDRO, Calif.–( BUSINESS WIRE)–As the U.S. recession deepens and monthly job losses reach historic highs, a recent survey of more than 400 white-collar small businesses is shining a light on how small employers are evolving their human capital management practices in a down economy, and how employer practices are directly influenced by whether the small business owner is considered an “economic optimist” or an “economic pessimist.” Conducted by TriNet, a leading provider of human resources outsourcing and consulting services to small businesses, the TriNet Recession Practices Survey polled businesses in the technology, financial and professional services fields. The survey found that nearly half of the respondents fall in the category of being “economic optimists” and saw market conditions as least as good as in 2008. Of the economic pessimists, 34 percent viewed the economy as worse and 18 percent viewed it as much worse than 2008. When it comes to hiring and talent acquisition practices for white-collar small businesses, the survey found that hiring plans are still on the table, but are being scaled back overall, with more than half of respondents saying they will hire fewer employees in 2009. Just as consumer confidence influences the performance of the market, employer confidence influences their business’s response to it . Specifically, 28 percent of economic optimists are planning to hire more employees in 2009 than the previous year and only 4 percent of economic pessimists are planning to hire more in 2009. ( Read the entire release.)

Study: Certain IT skills in demand despite economy

Chris Kanaracus, IDG News Service. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. companies are planning to trim IT staff this year, but certain skills remain hot, according to a new study by the IT staffing company Veritude. The poll, taken in the fourth quarter of 2008, shows that companies’ hiring plans plunged dramatically in recent months. In a study Veritude conducted during the second quarter of last year, just 4 percent of respondents planned to make cuts. In addition, the new survey found that only 38 percent of companies intend to add staff, down from 52 percent in the previous study. One silver lining is that the anticipated cuts are not especially deep; 22 percent of those who plan to reduce staff said they would eliminate between 1 percent and 5 percent, Veritude said. But workers with business-intelligence skills and expertise in C, C++ and C# programming should fare especially well in the weakened job market, according to the study. Also, 17 percent of companies are now looking for Mac developers, more than tripling the previous survey’s finding of 5 percent. But demand for enterprise architects has declined significantly, indicating that companies are both reluctant to shoulder the larger salaries such individuals receive, and also scaling back on long-term project planning. Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents that intend to hire workers on a “temp-to-perm” basis shot up to 56 percent from 27 percent in the previous study, which suggests that companies planning to add jobs are doing so tentatively. Story copyright 2009 IDG News Service Inc.

Skillsoft Study Reveals CEOs in the UK Are Willing to Pay Extra for More Training in Less Time

Skillsoft recently announced the results of a study which reveals that in the current global economic climate, CEOs increasingly believe in the value of learning, with 93 percent of business leaders in the United Kingdom stating that they will either maintain or increase their training budget over the next 12 months. Only 13 percent listed cost as their most important consideration. The study, conducted by OpinionMatters on behalf of Skillsoft, surveyed 503 CEOs of businesses with more than 250 employees, across 13 business sectors, on topics that included recruitment, leadership, learning, succession-planning and staff turnover. Reflecting the time constraints in today’s competitive business marketplace, 42 percent of the CEOs interviewed for the study said the length of a course was a more important deciding factor than its content. They prefer shorter courses that require less time and allow for employees to remain productive while receiving necessary training. “This research shows that business leaders increasingly appreciate the value of learning,” said Kevin Young, managing director of Skillsoft EMEA. “However, while training budgets themselves are not being cut, the time businesses have available to undertake training sessions is clearly shrinking. Courses need to be more succinct and to-the-point than ever, delivered in highly relevant, bite-sized pieces. Cost may not be a priority for the CEO, but it will and should matter to the training and development team, and we work hard to set the standard in cost-effective learning with a measurable ROI,” Young added The study also found that measurable return on investment from training mattered most to only seven percent of respondents. Also, the format of delivery was largely irrelevant with only six percent listed this as an important factor in choosing training. But the study did show that innovative technologies are starting to impact the workplace, with 61 percent of CEOs responding that they have a mobile learning strategy in place, with 24 percent planning to embrace mobile learning in the near future. A detailed analysis of the research can be found in the latest Skillsoft whitepaper titled CEO perspectives on people: leadership, recruitment and skills which can be downloaded on http://www.skillsoft.com/emea/documents/Research_Whitepaper_A4.pdf

SimWord of the Day: Rush (or Tank Rush)

For those of you who play Real Time Strategy games, to rush is to, early on in a scenario, build a large, mobile army and attack an opponent, hopefully catching them unaware while they are still building up their infrastructure. This term is increasingly used in real business situations, both for people internally planning to get support for their idea “let’s do an email rush before the report is released,” and externally, “it is not enough to be an early mover. We have to do a tank rush to dominate the store shelves.” This is typically an all or nothing strategy, that if fails, leaves the attacker in a vulnerable situation.

Sales Operations

Your critical sales dashboard for aligning measurement and effectiveness… Sales operations is an over overlooked area of the professional selling system. Sales operations team members are responsible for a helping sales team members attain success by designing processes, tools, and controls to support the sales process. An effective sales operation function supports sales management decision-marking by helping to monitor current business processes and sales productivity tools for adequacy. Sales operations staff also develop and drive strategic infrastructure planning efforts by collaborating with business planners, functional leaders, and sales management team members. Sales operations employees are also responsible for driving or supporting infrastructure change and alignment. Therefore, collaboration with sales and operational management is very important in order to develop change management strategies and programs. Think about it: When does the sales process begin? When does it end? Sales operations helps you align sales effort to performance and determine exactly what it takes to improve selling efforts.

Sales Moves by Jeffrey Gitomer: Why are you fighting with procurement and purchasing?

DISCLAIMER: The following article is a reality and a strategy, NOT defamation or a tactic. THE CONCEPT: Why purchasing and procurement departments should be avoided, and how to do it. THE REALITY: Purchasing and procurement are a way of life. YOUR REALITY: Your total lack of C-level relationships makes your life a sell-from-the-bottom-up proposition. HERES YOUR SELF-TEST: Are you relegated to purchasing as part of corporate policy? Are you prevented from talking to the person who actually uses the product youre trying to sell? Are you making decisions as to how much profit youre willing to sacrifice to secure the business? Are you bullied into matching price to get the order? Are you being TOLD what your price will be in order to do business? Welcome to the club of losers. Not people, profit. The purchasing department or the procurement department has one major job: To save their company money. Oh wait, let me complete that sentence as it relates to you: To save their company money, at your expense. In general, when you deal with the procurement department and their people keep in mind: They dont care about quality. They dont understand outcome. They dont understand the need for service after the sale. They dont understand productivity. They dont care about morale. They dont care about outcome. They dont care about vendor relationships. They dont care about vendor profitability. They dont care about you. They NEVER look for the best, just the lowest price. Procurement departments operate under the general principle of, and are measured and rewarded by: We saved a nickel! BUT the outcome of the saved nickel may be that everyone in the company is unhappy, the product is crappy and breaks down, the service response is slow. NOTE TO PURCHASING: Its also likely the productivity, and low quality, and loss of morale, cost your company 500 times more than the nickel you saved. Theres a Rock, Paper, Scissors game of business: CEOs cover purchasing and procurement. If the CEO calls down to purchasing and says, Were going with ACME Widgets! The procurement person says, ACME boss? Okay boss! And thats it. No proposal, no bid, no price cutting, no match this price. No nothing. Just a purchase order. NOTE WELL: This is only possible if you have a relationship with the CEO. Ouch. ATTENTION PURCHASING: Here are a few recommendations that eliminate lowest price from the final decision: 1. Demand testimonials. Dont just bid. Prove what you promise. 2. Create a range of price acceptance. If the price is within 10% of the lowest bid, the purchasing agent can (and should) choose what he or she believes is the BEST product or service. 3. Let your people test the product. 4. Let your people tell you what they want. 5. Let your people tell you who they want to do business with. NOTE WELL: Independent third party purchasing groups should be TOTALLY avoided. The hotel industry is besieged by RFPs from bullying third party event planning companies that shield the customer, and only care about price. Hotels hate them, and are forced to eliminate most of their profit to book the event. And the ultimate customer loses respect, face, and is in total jeopardy of having a third rate event with a poor outcome. All in the name of saving money. And reverse auctions are worse. They milk every cent of profit. My two-word strategy for both of these is: DONT PARTICIPATE! If no one played, theyd go away in a week. The strategy to eliminate, or at least mitigate, the process of starting with purchasing, is to have a relationship with the person or people that direct them. You can be recommended and you can be the standard used for selection. You can have a history of success at other companies based on quality, productivity, results, and profitability and present proof of this as a price alternative. You can have a social media presence that allows your customers to provide feedback. You can write value-based articles that C-level people might read. This can get you in direct contact with decision makers. NOTE WELL: These 750 words are not going to resolve the issue, and are certainly not going to eliminate the purchasing department. In most cases, purchasing and procurement are a vital part of any large company. The challenge Im issuing is that it is NOT just a price decision. Bidding is a losing proposition. Best and value are the winners. If youre a purchasing agent and you personally need heart surgery or a hip replacement, do you want best, or lowest price? Best, or three bids? Think about it. Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at salesman@gitomer.com. 2012 All Rights Reserved. Dont even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112

Sales Moves by Jeffrey Gitomer: Re-think your holiday game plan and name plan

Its beginning to look a lot like, Chris ah, er Its holiday time. When I was growing up, they called it Christmas. Now, in order to offend no one, they call it nothing. Sad. So, its shopping time, party time, vacation time, family time, gift giving time, bonus time, travel time, football time, basketball time, TV time, and now Facebook posting time. BUT ACCORDING TO LAWYERS AND HR DEPARTMENTS, ITS NOT CHRISTMAS! Easy to understand where bah, humbug! came from. With all of that, and the economy, and politics, and world unrest its time to sell, and celebrate. What will you be doing? How will you be selling? How will you be celebrating? How will you be getting ready for next year? Or are you just making your list and checking it twice? The holiday season is an emotional one. Time to reflect, time to remember, time to review, and time to reconsider what youve done in the past, so you can resolve what to do in the future. Many plans and goals are made during the holiday season some of them are even kept and achieved. Most, unfortunately, are not. Reason? Goals and plans made in the heat and the emotion of the moment are often not realistic. Im writing about this so you might take more time and put more realism into your next years list of proposed achievements. My planning and goal setting has always had the luck of the calendar. I start thinking and writing about the next year during December and January and decide what I will document as my goals on my birthday, February 11th. By then, the emotion of the moment has calmed and I am able to set them, having had a month to think about them. But lets get back to today and the holiday season. Santa (can I say that?) and sugar plums and holiday trees (what an insult to tradition). Hey, lets go out and build a snowperson. Just kidding. Heres what you need to be doing this holiday season. These are my personal recommendations for maximum holiday enjoyment, both in business and with family: Do not use auto-reply telling people your out of the office for the holidays. Either respond, or let them sit until you return. If I send you an email, I dont really care where you are or what you are doing. Send cards that are saved. Go to Ace of Sales (aceofsales.com) and send email holiday cardsthat rock. Thank your customers. Dont just wish them well. Change impersonal to personal. I want a card signed by people, not a printed corporate name at the bottom. Spend as much time as you can playing with kids. They relax you and bring you back to a less stressful time. They also tell you whats next. Remember a few years ago when they were texting and you werent? Ask them whats new. Then start doing it as soon as you can. Get together with the people closest to you and tell them how grateful you are that theyre in your life. Trade some memories. Tell them you love them. Offer some new ideas. Stay positive. Stay sober. And stay focused on family, not just football. Make peace with at least one person. Theres someone youll see during the season thats not your favorite. Talk it out and make it a better relationship. Youll feel great. Be your own Santa Claus. Make a list of gifts to buy, and put yourself at the TOP. Buy yourself something nice. Something you really want. Celebrate your past year and set the tone for next year. Select a local childrens charity and give them some books. As long as were talking Santa, be a real one. Select a local childrens hospital and visit with small gifts. Youll feel way better than the children you visited. (And they will feel great!) And as much as I want to keep work out of this writing, I cannot. Many people will be working, and this is an excellent time to set meetings, have meetings, make sales, and solidify relationships. Its the season, baby. Let it snow. Go out and work in it. Go out and play in it. Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, CustomerSatisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email himpersonally: salesman@gitomer.com 2011 All Rights Reserved – Dont even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer . 704/333-1112

Sales Managers and Sales Trainers: Are you on the same page?

STOP the SALES INSANITY! Integrate Workplace Training Education with Sales Management. Long-term behavior cannot be changed without consistent coaching, counseling and on-going sales management and leadership support. It takes committed Sales Trainers experienced in workplace behavior change to help Sales Managers who have demonstrated experience in the sales field. Sales Trainers and Sales Managers must work together to teach sales teams how to make significant behavior changes in their lives at work and at home. (Beware). Sales Training Drivers highly recommends organizations to hire Trainers with Behavioral Workplace Education experience along with Sales Experience to help Sales Managers build Sales Teams. Our goal on this site is the help “integrate Talent Managers (Corporate Trainers who have Workplace Learning Behavior knowledge) with Sales Management. Here is the typical breakdown in most sales organizations today. Typically, organizations today do not operate within the “framework” of a World Class Selling” System that integrates the expertise of both Sales Management and Workplace Behavior Training Education. A Workplace Learning Trainer with no sales experience will struggle with designing a sales curriculum and will not be able to communicate sales processes effectively to the sales team during training. A Workplace Learning Trainer with no sales experience will struggle working with a Sales Manager. A Sales Manager with sales experience and no workplace behavior education will struggle building a cohesive sales team because they do not understand Human Performance Improvement psychologies or how to manage a learning function or designing a curriculum that promotes behavior change. Effective Sales Training takes BOTH the Workplace Learning Knowledge and Sales Management Knowledge and expertise. Together they can create dynamic sales teams that evolve into long term high performance production. If this does not exist in your organization and the two parties are not aligned in a program that works to ensure business results through proper action planning and evaluation of team performance – you will lose sales and sales people! Now you understand why (45%) of sales professionals (managers and reps) are still operating by “trial and error”! This is why most sales managers are REACTIVE in their day to day activities and not PROACTIVE. They are still flying by the seat of their pants to meet quota every month. They have no concrete system when throwing their bag of sales skills into the sales field. They are not aligning Sales Management Best Practices with proven Workplace Behavior education. If this is your organization, take a serious look at investing in Workplace Learning Behavior Education to build a better sales organization. Otherwise, you will be left with the same performance and productivity headaches you have experienced before. Look at the hundreds of thousands of sales organizations that continued to “wing it” and went out of business! They will tell you the human carnage and financial waste that was left at the end of the project is not worth the effort. Integrate your experienced Sales Managers with experience Workplace Learning Educated Trainers! Stop the Sales Insanity!

Report from ASTD TechKnowledge 06

This morning, hundreds of us packed the ballroom of the new Hyatt Regency Colorado Convention Center for the opening of TechKnowledge 06. Incoming ASTD president Kevin Oakes thanked the Rocky Mountain Chapter, advisory boards, hard-working staff, platinum sponsors, silver sponsors, planning committees, and others. Kevin and I go back quite a ways; Oakes Interactive was hawking multimedia training before the Web was invented. If I’m not mistaken, Kevin is the first educational technolgy specialist to lead ASTD. Elliott Masie took the stage to encourage us to adopt Extreme Learning. We should devote half our time to making incremental improvements in what we’ve already got, for instance fine-tuning and revamping existing programs. The other 50% should go into things that are dramatically different. He demonstrated a cool little device that projects a working keyboard on virtually any surface. (Elliott advises you not to use this as a sample of dramatically different thinking unless you want to lose your job.) What if we started every day with a five-minute learning clip? Business Week’s one-question customer service evaluation: would you recommend this to a friend? Not a bad measure for the training business. Who’s going to be first to base a training manager’s pay on this? Elliott described a cardiologists’ conference where four large videoscreens are showing surgery live. An expert panel gives advice. The entire audience clicks in answers to questions. The Wisdom of Crowds meets medicine. Elliott offers a new recruit three hours of face time. She says she’ll take a pass, asks if he doesn’t have a CD version. “Why would you want a CD instead of a live CEO?” The fearless recruit says, “You don’t have a fast-forward button.” Excerpted from Internet Time Blog. Would you like to see more excerpts from other blogs posted to Learning Circuits Blog? Leave a comment.

One Version of the Future

Per Mindy B’s request, here’s my version of our future. I can elaborate a little now. As to a longer focus on workflow learning, we have several members of the LCB Blog Squad who are very involved in such efforts. I’ll encourage them to post some of their thoughts. Jay Cross and Tony O’Driscoll laid out a more detailed vision of workflow learning in the February Training. From a very high overview, I think we’ll see changes in what learning interventions are and changes in what the Learning and Development function does. Supervisors at all levels will be held responsible for the development of their employees. My growth strategy (versus developmental plan) will be focused on building my strengths and will be a matter of public knowledge so my colleagues will be able to help me meet my personal goals while we work together. Employees will be given opportunities to learn whenever, however they need. Let’s say I’m a marketing director with budget responsibility for my department. A week from today there’s a meeting to launch the budgeting process for next year’s budget. When I logged onto my work portal this morning my tablet PC reminded me of the meeting with to do’s from my supervisor’s memo. It also has organized last year’s budget, my budgeting notes, a guide from finance on corporate budget strategy for this year – with my bosses reactions and directions included. My system also gives a list of requested initiatives from my notes for meetings with my business partners, industry benchmarking numbers for similar initiatives and a reminder that I never took the training for the forecasting component of our new financial software – with a link to the online training. Outlook has even identified that my staff can meet with me at 3PM on Monday and is holding the time on everyone’s calendars waiting for my approval. Finally, I have my comments regarding budget processes for each of my direct reports culled from our reviews over the past year, L&D’s suggestions for materials to share with each, and coaching tips for me. To guide the development of interventions that anticipate employee needs, we learning professionals will have to become proficient in systems thinking, business processes, change management and strategic planning. We’ll get so close to our business partner that we’ll become one of them. Needs analysis will truly be about what is needed and what the best solution(s) is – not the best training solution. Assessment will become focused on helping employees develop self-awareness of what they need to know to execute on their business objectives and pave the way for where they want their careers headed. You asked who the vendors will be. Some will be the vendors you know today – SumTotal, GeoLearning, SAS, Oracle, etc. But don’t be surprised if you’re learning business process tools from Hyperion or Verity, synchronous meeting tools from Interwise or Skype, team/community enablement tools from UberGroups or Google and data mining and content management tools from Documentum or Fatwire. So what do you think Mindy? Are you prepared for the change?

New Grads Find Stiff Competition for First Jobs

MAYNARD, Mass.–( BUSINESS WIRE)–Employers’ entry-level hiring plans are conservative compared to prior years according to MonsterTRAK’s annual nationwide survey of college students, graduates and employers. However, findings indicate that 54 percent of companies surveyed still plan to hire 2009 college graduates. MonsterTRAK is the channel of Monster.com, the leading global online career and recruitment resource and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW), that connects college students and recent graduates with employers looking for qualified entry-level and internship candidates. Employers Still Hiring While 71 percent of employers reported a decrease in the total number of planned hires for 2009, those still planning to hire college graduates fell only five percentage points from 2008 (from 59 percent to 54 percent). However, that five point drop is substantially smaller than the 17 percent drop reported by employers last year with respect to graduate hiring plans (from 76 percent in 2007 to 59 percent in 2008). “While the percentage of employers planning to hire college graduates in this year’s MonsterTRAK Entry-Level Job Outlook has declined somewhat compared to last year, it is encouraging that over half still plan to hire 2009 graduates,” said Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster. “However, because there is more competition for entry-level jobs compared to years prior, graduates should do everything they can to stand out among other job applicants in this challenging labor market environment.” Employers reported that although growth opportunities and job fulfillment/interesting work remain important to graduates, they are, in the current environment, re-emphasizing salary, job title, and benefits/time off. In addition, relevant work experience gained 9 percentage points from last year, while previous work experience grew by 8 percent, indicating that employers are looking for candidates who can hit the ground running. Volunteer work also gained ground as an attractive candidacy attribute, with 7 percent more of the employers surveyed citing it as valuable experience. ( Read the entire release.)

New ASTD Certificate Program for Sales Trainers

( Limited free registration available in Alexandria, VA until Friday, September 10 at 5 PM!) Many of us are entering into the annual planning phase for 2011. Do you know what your sales training strategy will be? How will you address the new trends and challenges facing your sales teams in today’s market? If you are looking for a fresh approach and a more efficient model, ASTD might have the solution for you. Building on the insights from the Sales Training Drivers report, ” Implementing the ASTD World-Class Sales Competency Model,” ASTD has recently announced new certificate programs for sales trainers. These two-day workshops will show you how to use the competency model to create a sales training strategy that will drive your approach to defining business needs, conducting gap analyses, and determining metrics. New ASTD Certificate Program: Creating a Sales Training Strategy that Delivers Results September 13, 2010 Alexandria, VA December 7, 2010 Dallas, TX This program will teach you how to: ASTD is offering a limited complimentary registration opportunity for the Alexandria class! Contact Regina Litzendorf at rlitzendorf@astd.org to register.

Learn to be a Problem Solving Expert!

Solving Problems According to the World Class Selling book “New Sales Competencies”, Solving Problems involves “Creatively bringing new or alternative perspectives forward to overcome difficulty or uncertainty.” How do we make it easier for you to manage solving problems? Let’s break it down to a manageable effective action. The best way to approach solving challenges creatively is to find a fresh perspective and focus on the key actions that bring about change. Change and knowledge transfer can be can be effective with the right focus and planning. Access Resource Intelligence to Solve Problems Learn about changes in your business from all angles possible. Salespeople need to be PROACTIVE. You need to respond quickly to change in the marketplace and find problems to solve that your product and service can address. Watch or read community and industry news reports, subject matter content and published customer opinion discussions where you can introduce the use of your products, or services to provide valuable solutions. Business research done externally and internally will always show you business challenges that you can inquire about. Be creative and have fun getting the “who, what, where, why, when and how”. Set Your Daily Top (5) PRIORITY Objectives Bring value to your customers. Decision makers and customers want to understand how to reduce costs, increase revenue and optimize performance. Know what Decision Makers want ahead of time There are many types of decision makers. To solve their problem you simply need to find out their pain and what challenges they are experiencing that can be directly addressed by the product or service you are selling. Decision makers want you to get to the point. Make sure you know AHEAD OF TIME how to ask the RIGHT questions that will get them emotionally involved in sharing their challenges with you. This can be done by analyzing the behavior of other decision makers in their industry and offering solutions. But, more importantly, you must get involved in making them tell you what their personal challenges are. Otherwise, your efforts are pointless and you will not sell a thing to them. Identify and Develop Options for Decision Making Identify ways to make quality assessments during the decision making process and how to act on decisions. Understand how do develop a key word SWOT Analysis and marketplace review with the PEST Analysis. Group workshop programs and online virtual conferences are great problem solving “think tank” resources! Look for ways to assess and grow your sales skill level. Become more creative, learn new decision making techniques, hone in on your language clarity, sense of timing and judgment, and LEARN HOW TO IMPLEMENT action plans. This will separate you from the rest of the Sales Experts in your industry.

Korn/Ferry International Named HR Consulting Firm of the Year at China Staff Awards 2010

(From PRNewswire) — Korn/Ferry International, a premier global provider of talent management solutions, has won the HR Consulting Firm of the Year award in the category of Talent Management at the recent China Staff Awards 2010. Organized by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, the China Staff Awards, established in 1998, recognizes individuals and companies whose dedication to the HR profession is acknowledged by their peers. “We are thrilled to win the award for HR Consulting Firm of the Year under the Talent Management category,” said Jack Lim, managing director of Korn/Ferry’s Leadership and Talent Consulting business in Greater China. “The award is a testament and recognition of the work we do with our clients to help them continually build their capabilities and talent pipeline, in order to remain agile in a fast changing environment.” In recognizing Korn/Ferry, the panel of judges noted that “Korn/Ferry’s research-based talent management solutions have come at a critical time in the China market and worldwide. We recognize them for their quality services in the areas of identifying best fit talent, leadership assessment, and customized development programs. Korn/Ferry leverages unique methodologies to attract, identify and develop high-potential leaders who learn quickly, navigate change and drive the changes needed in the market.” The HR Consulting Firm of the Year award recognizes the firm that offers cohesive and effective HR management solutions in areas such as HR Strategy, cost & budget, organizational development, leadership development, succession planning, HR technology and workforce planning. These solutions must not have only helped clients create a high-performance work environment, but also proved to result in measurable benefits to the client company. Previous winners of this award include Hewitt Associates Consulting and Mercer Human Resources Consulting. Read more.

Is your Training Effective after 90 days?

In an article posted by Achieve Global in 2008 entitled “Does Training Rely Too Much on Coaching by Managers? it isdiscussed that “training and coaching needs to be long-term companions in developing employees.” Sales Training Drivers is in agreement here and it is centered on the Sales Training Drivers core mission. 1. Integrate Sales Management with Talent Management 2. Create a Dynamic Sales Learning Culture 3. Increase Revenue and Maximize Sales Performance The question of whether sales training is effective after the employee receives it – is an emotional debate on its’ own. Coaching, Training and Managerial Effectiveness has had to change for the better in the Workplace over the past few years to respond to employee conflicts, and behavioral dysfunction between employees and managers. Unclear long term employee action planning is also a detriment to specific business results. Many trainers still do not understand how to tie specific business objectives to individual employee training to determine the impact of organizational revenue and performance productivity. Employee turn-over is the most costly of this mis-managed metric. And, if the Trainer does understand how to deliver at this level, is there enough time, a budget, resources and open communication with management to address such concerns? Sales Training Drivers will be discussing the evolution of this human performance improvement challenge in more detail in up coming blogs. Stay tuned for a lively conversation. We will take a look at the history of training and the different aspects of how it impacts HPI. (Human Performance Improvement).

India: The just-in-time talent solution

(From Business Standard) Can online, real-time engines ensure rapid but temporary manpower provisioning for today’s uncertain times? Downsizing. Right-sizing. Up-sizing. Human capital planning swings between these three points, without ever finding a balance at any point of time. It is amongst the most challenging and demanding business problems of our times. In his book, Talent on Demand, Peter Cappelli, professor of management, Wharton School, argues for using the principles of supply chain management, suggesting that the fundamentals of just-in-time manufacturing can be applied to talent management. In other words, talent management could boil down to a few basic questions: When do we need a particular talent or skill set? Where do we find it? For how long will we need it? Will the talent arrive just in time to manage the requirements? What is the right price for the talent? It does sound like asking for the parts of a product, but that is exactly what it is: A solution to manpower provisioning meant for today’s uncertain times where managers find it impossible to forecast their business needs and their requirements for specific talent and skills. Read the full article.

Human Resources Organizations Lack Critical Skills for Success in 2011

(From PRNewswire) — Bersin & Associates, a world-class research and consulting firm that empowers HR organizations to drive bottom-line impact, today announced the launch of new research that shows many HR organizations lack the skills they need to succeed in 2011. The study, which included surveys and interviews with more than 720 global organizations, found that overall spending levels, organization structure, and team size have far less impact on business performance than the skills of the HR professionals themselves. The resulting report, The High-Impact HR Organization: Top 10 Best Practices on the Road to Excellence is a foundational piece of research in Bersin & Associates’ new HR Research Practice, which offers benchmarks, tools, case studies, operational frameworks, and proven service models that define best-practice human resources organizations. “This research clearly shows that the days of bloated HR organizations focused on administrative tasks are over,” said Josh Bersin, chief executive officer and president, Bersin & Associates. “Lean, technology-enabled, well-trained HR teams are able to take advantage of modern talent practices and partner with business leaders to drive impact.” The research also determined that the decades-old “HR generalist” model is no longer effective unless these individuals are highly trained and connected to senior business leaders. The key competencies that drive results today are familiarity with integrated talent management, understanding of workforce planning, and comfort with social networking and HR technology. These findings emerged from a two-year global benchmarking study that looked at 14 talent management and HR effectiveness measures across global businesses. The measures included a company’s ability to source the best talent, hire and onboard top candidates, identify and develop leaders, build a culture of learning, allocate compensation effectively, and drive high performance through coaching and feedback. Read more.

Hate networking? Then have I got a book for you!

I most definitely fall into the camp of folks who have an intense dislike of networking. Count me squarely among those who has always thought it’s “phony, self-serving, fake, inauthentic, superficial, conniving, manipulative, and useless.” Only I had a time and project management training session on Tuesday in which the facilitator placed networking and relationship building into box II of the urgent/important grid, thus designating networking important and not urgent-one of those things that I should really spend my time on if I want to make the most of my time and my life. Only The facilitator advised us to think about where we want to be in five years and identify the people we need to know to get there. Because knowing the right people is how to get there. Ugh. OK. Fine. I will try to spend more time on networking-even though it feels like pulling teeth. Without Novocain. On a high-wire. OK, so not that last one. Then I remembered, hey, didn’t ASTD Press co-publish a book by Devora Zack with Berrett-Koehler called Networking for People Who Hate Networking? Maybe I should check it out And then I came across this blog post by Meghan Casserly at Forbes.com about the book. Hm, convergence. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something? So, I got a copy of the book and started reading, and I am already hooked and convinced that there may be something to this thing you call networking. After conveying the common viewpoint that networking is “phony, self-serving,” and so forth (see above), Zack explains why it’s worth your time to bother with it. She answers the question, “What is at stake?” with “Only whatever you want to accomplish in your life. No biggie.” Sheesh, all right, all right, already. Just tell me what to do, and how to do it. And Zack does. Explaining that the standard rules of networking don’t work for everyone, she provides a new set of guidelines for introverts, the overwhelmed, and the underconnected-guidelines that play to introvert strengths. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I already love it. For one thing, if you are an introvert you may have internalized some of the common perceptions of the introverted-shy, quiet, anti-social, awkward, sedentary, uninteresting, slow, dull-which don’t exactly make you feel too good about yourself. She makes you feel a whole lot better by explaining the strengths of introverts and how you can play them up to have fun networking (wow, what a concept) and get ahead. (And she doesn’t do it at the expense of extroverts, who have their own strengths and weaknesses. In fact, this book is not just for introverts; it has plenty of good information for extroverts as well.) Another benefit of the book is that she provides practical tips for different situations. One example is the platinum rule, which states, “Treat others how they want to be treated,” and is a whole lot more effective than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to communicating with people. Other examples are effective ways to manage the job search, benefit from business travel, and plan your own networking events. Finally, there is her tone. Reading the book is a blast. Her writing style is fun, funny, and insightful, enabling you to recognize your own quirks and foibles with a laugh and allowing you to own your strengths. OK, now I want to get back to reading the book and planning my approach to world domination through networking. Oh, I meant my approach to achieving success. The book is Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected by Devora Zack (Berrett-Koehler and ASTD Press, 2010).

Global Assessment Trends Report Reveals Shifts in Talent Management Focus

(From PRWEB) — PreVisor, the global leader in employment assessments and talent measurement solutions that connect employment decisions to business results, released its 2nd annual Global Assessment Trends report summarizing findings from over 230 companies headquartered throughout the world. Co-sponsored by ADP, this year’s report aims to provide HR and business audiences with an up-to-date perspective on practices and trends related to talent measurement programs used for hiring, career development and succession planning. Highlights of the 2010 Global Assessment Trends Report (GATR) include key HR trends related to assessment, an overview of talent measurement practices around the world, and changes observed in comparison to the 2009 report results. “The report findings confirm what we’ve witnessed in the past twelve months: that many of our clients, while recognized as leading HR practitioners, continue to feel pressure from the economic downturn”, observed Noel Sitzmann, PreVisor CEO. “However, the data also indicates that many organizations have made the necessary adjustments to move forward with effective talent measurement and management programs that will contribute to business growth going forward. These are exactly the kinds of strategic initiatives we work hard to support.” Among the key findings from the report: 1) The emergence of performance management and career development In the top talent priorities for 2010; 2) The economic recovery impact showed most companies (68%) indicated concern about employee retention; 3) A focus on Quality of Hire, as 70% of respondents feel pressure to demonstrate ROI for the use of assessments in the staffing process; 4) Social Media for hiring received mixed results. While almost 70% of organizations plan to use various social media sites in their recruiting efforts, 50% remain unsure if the efforts are effective. Only 24% of companies agree that social media websites have a large impact on talent management. 5) Applicant reaction was considered critical, but was not always tracked. Eighty-four percent of companies agreed that applicant reaction to the hiring process is important; however, only 41% obtain feedback from candidates. And 6) Formalized Post-Hire talent programs could improve. Only half of respondents use assessment tools with their current workforce. Less than 30% have established formal career development for employees. Read the full release.

Exhibit Success-Start with the Conversation!

The 2010 conference season is just a few weeks away. It’s exciting to think what a successful exhibit can do for your business. New customers, new relationships, brand awareness, and even gaining market trust are all aspects of a conference. Both experienced exhibitors and beginners can be overwhelmed by the amount of information and potential preparation an event can hold. One simple, yet critical key to your exhibit success is planning for meaningful conversation. The way we present ourselves and the way we connect starts with our ability to communicate and relate. Your ability to connect with attendees can make or break your show experience. Here are a few tips for conversation when planning for your next exhibition: 1) Clean up your pitch. Can you tell someone about your business in 15 words or less? Is what you are saying clear, and will it help solve a customer need? Make sure everyone representing your company knows and agrees on a general explanation of your business. Try to keep it clean, simple, and to the point. 2) Train for the title. No… not the heavyweight belt, I’m talking about the job title here. I am always surprised when I hear from an exhibit staff person that they are only looking to meet c-level attendees. Think about your business. How often in your sales process do you start and end with the CEO? Maybe less than 5%? Knowing how to approach every level of attendee, and prepare the questions you need to ask can make a huge difference. Ask the attendee what their role with their organization is, and what their challenges/successes have been. Understand what they need before explaining the features your business can provide, and equip them with the tools they need to explain your business to their colleagues or CEO (see point 1!). 3) Ask for the referral. To some exhibitors, 1 solid lead can make the difference in having a successful show. What if that number was 10, 20, or 300? What if you could take a handful of “dead-end” interactions at your booth, and turn them into a boat load of good opportunities? If an attendee does not have a direct need for your services, perhaps they know a co-worker, department, or even separate business that does. Ask that attendee if you could mention them in your follow up. Taking this step could help double your show success! Make a New Year’s resolution to improve your event communications and conversations. Your team will enjoy more success, and that leads to an improved bottom line in 2010!

Execute Your Plan with Precision!

Executing Plans is a World Class Selling Core Competency and is an essential part of strategic planning. It allows you to focus on your priorities, assign responsibility, address current needs, communicate effectively, measure your progress and provides an opportunity to celebrate your success and make adjustments for future success. Follow these principle guidelines when executing sales action plans. Vision Vision should be a compelling, visual statement that is concise and empowering to your business goals. It should be read everyday and used as a constant reference point before making any decisions. Measurable Results Understand the two or three results that define true purpose of your business. They will be related to your vision, and will include profitability, performance, evaluation and customer value propositions. Key results Clear outcomes or differences in your business. Three to five of the key business processes that drive success. Focus will be on: marketing, selling, delivering, developing and managing. Be laser focused on what matters most and top priorities to achieve. Key Performance Indicators One or Two Measures and Evaluations showing quantitative business values that track targeted results. Improvement actions Projects, initiatives, investments and opportunities that help make the changes in your business. Celebrate your Success – Celebrate every step in your plan everyday. According to the book “World Class Selling – New Sales Competencies”, Executing Plans has several key actions: Definition: Organizes tasks and resources in a manner that coordinates resources effectively, maximizes productivity, and communicates expectations and results to stakeholders. Key Actions:

Employers Cite Talent and Performance Management Technology as Most Critical HR Service Delivery Issue in 2011

(From Business Wire) — With expectations that hiring activity will increase this year and next, HR departments at a large number of U.S. employers say that talent and performance management technology systems will be one of the most critical HR service delivery issues they will face in 2011, according to an annual survey conducted by Towers Watson, a global professional services company. The 14th annual survey on HR service delivery trends and practices also found that companies are planning to increase their spending on HR technology this year as they look for new ways to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. According to the Towers Watson survey, 41% of the 444 companies surveyed indicated talent/performance systems as one of their top three HR service delivery issues for 2011. Streamlining HR processes and systems was listed by 27% of the respondents, while 25% cited greater involvement in strategic business-driven issues as the other top three HR service delivery issues for this year. “As the economy continues to improve, the need for robust talent and performance management programs and enabling technologies has never been greater,” said Tom Keebler, global leader of Towers Watson’s HR Service Delivery and Technology practices. “Companies view talent and performance management technologies as a critical component of their workforce attraction and retention initiatives, and also as a way to enhance HR’s role in helping the business to meet its strategic goals.” Read more.

Employee Learning Week Kicks Off in Five Days

Employee Learning Week is just days away – December 7 – 11! We have been receiving several emails every day for the past week from people sharing their plans for Employee Learning Week. One of our chapters is planning a regional conference, another one has secured a proclamation from the county government recognizing Employee Learning Week. A gentleman from from the United Kingdom wrote to say they have big events planned for every day of the week; another business owner will be sending training tips to her employees and customers every day. It is exciting to see the genuine enthusiam so many members have for employee learning — and their desire to celebrate, recognize, and promote it. Here at national ASTD we have a week of activities planned too. We’ll share more about that in the coming days. Remember — if you, your organization, or chapter are planning Employee Learning Week activities – please let us know so you can receive your Champion of Learning certificate. Just send an email to elw@astd.org

Employee Learning Week is 5 Days Away – How are You Celebrating?

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing Employee Learning Week. Several ASTD chapters have secured proclamations from their local cities, counties, and states also declaring Employee Learning Week 2010. Some businesses are hosting learning fairs, others are holding lunch & learn events, still others are tying performance reviews to the organization’s learning initiatives. Individual learning professionals are planning to send learning tips to their clients. Training departments around the country – and across the globe – are planning activities to recognize the critical role that learning and development plays in organizational success. So what are YOU doing? ASTD is holding several events for our own employees. And we’re also hosting a FREE webcast on The New Social Learning, the book by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner. The webcast is December 8 and there are still a few spots left, so be sure to register. We’ll be posting some other great resources for you to take advantage of in future blog posts. Remember — Employee Learning Week is a great time to celebrate the value of what learning professionals do every day. And it’s a great week to treat yourself to some learning opportunities too! Be sure to let us know what you do to celebrate #elw10 (if you’re going to tweet about your activities, please use this hash tag!). Email elw@astd.org so we can send you a Champion of Learning certificate!

Dubai: Retention and Employee Engagement the Topmost HR Challenge

(From PRNewswire) — In a recent survey conducted by the International Quality and Productivity Centre, 44% of the 2,895 Energy sector respondents have chosen retention and employee engagement as the topmost HR challenge in the Oil & Gas sector compared to 19% for recruitment. Continuous intake programs and intensive training have helped the industry address the recruitment challenge well. Now it is the next step of engaging and retaining the staff that has come under the spotlight. Building competencies and leadership development were the other top-quoted challenges. A surprising result was when people were asked to define the most prominent role that HR had to play in Oil and Gas. Planning for rewards and compensation came in last with only 9% voting for it. Talent Management and learning and development with 17% each were on top of the table. The most interesting areas of interest were Nationalization and leadership development initiatives. As the custodians of the region’s natural and mineral wealth, it is important that the national population is involved in key leadership positions which in turn are safeguarded through a structured succession plan. Mark Bechtold, HR & Organization Development Consultant at Saudi Aramco, commented, “Factors impacting organizations include rising costs, competitive business environments, and changing workforce demographics. To address these issues, management in Middle East Oil & Gas companies must build on the strengths of the Middle Eastern, Arab culture in a way that involves, engages and inspires employees to work harder and smarter.” Read more.

Drastic Moves by Organizations to Reduce Labor Costs

PHILADELPHIA–( BUSINESS WIRE)–The number of U.S. organizations decreasing overall staffing levels has nearly doubled in the past four months, according to management consulting firm Hay Group’s latest Reward in a Downturn Survey. When Hay Group conducted a similar study in November 2008, only 19% of U.S. respondents reported planning layoffs. However, only four months later, that number has jumped to 34% for U.S. respondents. Organizations are also turning to wage freezes and modest salary increase budgets to reduce labor costs. According to Hay Group’s survey, 37% of U.S. organizations have instituted a wage freeze for their employees – and more than half of U.S. respondents report their executives will receive no salary increase this year. A total of 2,000 organizations from 88 countries across six continents participated in Hay Group’s latest survey. “Organizations have been swift and decisive in their actions to reduce labor costs during these trying economic times,” said Tom McMullen, U.S. Reward Practice Leader for Hay Group. “When we conducted a similar study a year ago, only 16% of U.S. respondents expected their business results to be significantly worse than targeted levels. Today, that number has jumped to 40% for U.S. respondents, and we’re seeing organizations substantially tightening their belts as a result.” Hay Group’s survey also found that the impact of the downturn is indeed a global issue – significantly affecting high-growth economies in Asia, Eastern Europe and South America, as well as the more developed economies in North America and Europe within the past four months. Unlike Hay Group’s November survey, the percentage of organizations expecting business results to be worse than targeted or budgeted levels is now largely consistent around the globe. Other key findings from Hay Group’s Global Employee Pay and Staffing Survey: ( Read the entire release at BusinessWire.)

Despite Warnings, U.S. Companies Remain Unprepared for Baby Boomers’ Exodus

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (PRNewswire) — With millions of Baby Boomers poised to age out of the workforce, U.S. companies remain unprepared for an imminent talent drain that threatens to alter the national economy, according to a new report by the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College. Nearly 70 percent of the almost 700 organizations surveyed do not yet know how old their workers are or how many are likely to retire. Forty percent reported that the aging of the workforce will have a detrimental impact on their businesses by 2012. “The out-migration of a generation of workers will upset the entire balance of the workplace,” said co-author Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, director of the Sloan Center on Aging & Work. “U.S. companies need to start planning strategically for workforce sustainability. The current abundance of older worker talent and experience is going to dry up, and businesses will very soon need to fill hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs.” The report — The Pressures of Talent Management — examined talent management practices at 696 organizations across the 10 leading sectors of the economy. The companies studied employ more than one million workers combined and represent businesses that account for roughly 85 percent of the jobs and payrolls in the U.S. Read the full release.

DDI Announces Online Assessment System Manager Ready

Development Dimensions International (DDI) announces the launch of Manager ReadySM, an online frontline leader assessment that combines the efficiency of a technology-driven process with insights of live assessors-leading to a realistic participant experience and in-depth insight into leadership capability and performance. This real world simulation provides organizations with critical information used to make decisions about who is ready for frontline leader roles and how people can develop in those roles to be more effective. Through the use of a computer-based simulation that utilizes streaming audio and video, candidates experience a ‘day-in-the-life’ of a frontline leader and are given the opportunity to respond to problems and inquiries presented through open-ended emails, video voicemails, planning activities and problem-solving exercises. These various data points contribute to a high-quality diagnosis of an individual’s leadership capabilities, giving companies more than 900 participant performance data points that roll up to 9 critical core leadership competencies that determine how a global leader will perform on the job. “Frontline leaders are more critical today than ever. They make the day-to-day decisions that make or break the business,” Scott Erker, Senior Vice President of Selection Solutions at DDI said. “We hear more and more that they’re not ready for the job the organizations needs them to do. Our goal, with this innovation, is to identify the gaps between what skills leaders have-and what skills they need to be successful.” Manager Ready incorporates the high-touch method of extracting real behaviors through simulations and trained assessors scoring those behaviors. In the past, this type of information would require a significant investment-Manager Ready provides high-value diagnosis at a fraction of the cost. Unlike multiple choice tests where participants choose actions from a static list, Manager Ready participants respond in open-ended formats, allowing candidates to reply exactly as they would on the job. The advantage is that it is more realistic to participants and the responses are more reflective of how they handle challenges in the real world. “This data has some teeth, which in an organization like ours is hugely important,” said Tim Toterhi, senior director of global organizational design for Quintiles. “Part of the reason we like Manager Ready is that it gives us robust, fact-based data to help enhance the decision-making process for selecting people-either for promotions or for hiring them into the organization.” Manager Ready participants are scored on how they resolve conflicts with customers and coworkers or how they coach a direct report through a difficult situation. In turn, organizations receive insight into how the candidates perform in these tasks, and measure a participant’s readiness for leadership across nine critical managerial competencies: Coaching for Success, Coaching for Improvement, Managing Relationships, Guiding Interactions, Problem Analysis, Judgment, Delegation & Empowerment, Gaining Commitment, and Planning & Organizing. These competencies were chosen based on more than 700 frontline leader job analysis studies conducted by DDI across the world as well as the millions of leaders trained and assessed by DDI over the last 40 years. “Manager Ready gives organizations deeper insight into the strengths and development needs of their current and future frontline leaders, ensuring better hiring and promotion decisions and improved diagnosis for accelerating development,” Erker said. “The bottom line is that organizations need to find leaders who are ready to take-on the challenges of the new economy.” About DDI Founded in 1970, Development Dimensions International, a global talent management expert, works with organizations worldwide to apply best practices to hiring/promotion, leadership development, performance management and succession management. With 1,000 associates in 42 offices in 26 countries, the firm advises half of the Fortune 500. For more information about DDI visit http://www.ddiworld.com/aboutddi

Creative Leadership Development Strategies in Tough Times

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–“Talent management and succession planning are more critical during tough times to avoid talent shortages when the economy improves” says Darleen DeRosa, Managing Partner of OnPoint Consulting. Rather than slashing budgets, Dr. DeRosa suggests five strategies: Companies that invest in talent will be better prepared to take advantage of the upturn when tough times are a thing of the past.

Communities undereducated for today’s workplace needs

(From The Expositor) — A report that identifies which sectors show the most promise for the creation of “green” jobs has been released by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie. The 62-page report pinpoints agriculture, construction, manufacturing, utilities, transportation and warehousing, and waste remediation as the top sectors for green employment. “Grand Erie’s labour force is well-positioned to meet the demands of the growing Green Hub,” said Jill Halyk, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board, referring to the region’s designation as a green place to do business. “Our manufacturing firms have demonstrated leadership in environmental products and we are in a rich agriculture region.” The report, called The Future of the Green Economy, was created in partnership with the Hamilton Training Advisory Board and Niagara Workforce Planning Board. The report defines the Green Economy as activities that contribute to preserving and restoring the quality of land, air and water. This includes reducing the use of fossil fuels, decreasing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, energy conservation, recycling materials, and developing renewable energy. Read more.

Canada: FuelCell Energy Charges up High-Potentials

Ottawa, Canada ( PRWEB) April 24, 2009 — FuelCell Energy Inc., the global leader in clean stationary electric power, implemented Halogen Software’s talent management suite globally in just six weeks, and within one appraisal cycle created a high-performance culture. The organization improved the integrity and value of its employee performance data, aligned its rapidly growing workforce around a common set of goals, and ensured its high-potential employees were recognized and nurtured. The demands of the current economic climate are putting pressure on organizations globally to quickly gain a better understanding of their workforce and align, communicate with and motivate their top performers. FuelCell recognized that, especially during this difficult economic downturn, maximizing the performance of its human capital was essential. Understanding where to allocate scarce resources and how to strategically develop talent to meet business needs is an urgent necessity for companies of all sizes. FuelCell Energy is a clear example of how quickly organizations can achieve these goals and strengthen their competitive position in the process. By automating its talent management processes FuelCell helped strengthen and streamline its rapid global expansion- growing from 150 to over 500 employees in four years. Before implementing Halogen’s solution, the organization faced a number of challenges in their performance management system, including a lack of consistency, accountability, and employee engagement with the existing process. As a result, performance reviews were not considered a valuable tool for the organization as a whole. “The HR team found the system and process painful for everyone involved and looked to overhaul it and implement an automated system,” said Sandra Mauro, HR Manager with FuelCell Energy. “Once we had decided to invest in Halogen, things began to improve quickly. We were live within six weeks of training. It was awesome. I have done a lot of software implementations in my career and I know how painful they can be. Getting Halogen up and running was painless.” Halogen Software is able to consistently implement its suite for customers under very tight deadlines, even for those with global operations, because the solution is so flexible and easily configured. This enables customers to have the Halogen applications adapt to their processes and forms-rather than the other way around. Once Halogen’s suite had been successfully implemented, FuelCell was able to address its business problems almost immediately. Availability of information and a methodology toward a high performance culture began to evolve and improve with each review process. Accountability for goals and alignment around performance is now the norm for its global workforce. The company fosters greater recognition of high performance, and nurtures employee growth via development planning and ongoing feedback. The intelligence gained through the performance appraisal process is now readily accessible and is therefore actionable, unlike with the paper-based process, which was impractical to aggregate and report on. The shift is an exciting one for the HR team. “I recommend Halogen to pretty much anyone who will listen. I talk about it all the time,” says Mauro. “We use the employee performance management system to drive a higher level of accountability. As a high-growth company, we have many employees who join our team from different companies and corporate cultures. The new system enables us to standardize performance expectations and unify our corporate culture.” (Read the entire article at Canadian Business Online.) Learn more about Halogen Software here: http://www.halogensoftware.com/

Building an Internal Simulation Capacity

Organization that want to build an internal simulation deployment capability should first learn from the best practices of other departments developing new competencies: Developing N ew Organizational Competencies, 101 New projects often require skills that do not exist within a business unit, creating a gap that needs to be filled across the project’s life. To produce the right portfolio of skills over the life of the project, managers have to juggle between: Some organizations have outsourced everything, a strategy that gave them the immediate ability to compete, but ultimately was too expensive and rigid. Other companies have tried to develop the capacity from within, only to find that it took too long and the window off opportunity passed. Many leading organizations have taken a hybrid path. They have begun with bringing in outside experts in different capacities and jumped start the process. While the project was being designed, they also began a parallel track of building an internal capacity, through training and hiring and shadowing. At some inflection point, the responsibility is shifted from external to internal. Now, Simulations With that as a bit of background, here are the skills an organization will need to develop, in order. acquisition – The best simulations will be bought “off-the-shelf” and mildly, if at all, customized. In some academic environments, commercial off the shelf (COTS) computer games will better meet a need than any educational simulation. Evaluation criteria include: learning objectives, cost, ease of deployment. measuring/evaluating situations – Measuring the effectivness of sims is critical to growing and perpetuating any program. project management – Deploying and scheduling sims is a bit of work, although should be less impactful than scheduling a physical class. coach/facilitator – Coaches add pedagogy and motivation. planning, strategic – Where to use sims is a critical , but it is an issue that can only be fully understood after a few real simulation deployments. – Build versus buy is a critical long term issue, although most organizations will want to leverage vendor experience initially. web, creating – An organiation should have people with a basic knowledge of HTML/CSS Director and Flash, using – Flash remains the first programming skill to need. dedicated tool, branching story – Scenariation – Moodle dedicated tool, game based model – authoring environments dedicated tool, interactive spreadsheet dedicated tool, virtual lab – But most people use the more general Director and Flash. database, programming – Data management/manipulation, from database (e.g. mySQL) to even manipulation of batches of number in Excel languages programming – Organizations need people with some sort of programming and scripting to generate interactivity. anywhere from JavaScript to ActionScript/Lingo to PHP/ASP images, manipulating – PhotoShop/PaintShopPro sound, editing – Audacity developer, simulation/game – game engines

As President Obama Considers Government Reorganization, The Public Manager Journal Shares Expert Insight to Guide the Way

With the recent news that President Obama received recommendations on a reorganization of the federal government, the summer issue of The Public Manager couldn’t be more timely. Available June 15, it spotlights the topic of government reorganization for the 21st century. The Public Manager, a nonpartisan quarterly journal about federal executive leadership at all levels of management, presents an 11-article forum organized by former Commerce Department executive Alan Balutis that explores ways to manage government reorganization. From the importance of Oval Office outreach to Congress, to planning whether to take on mega-, Cabinet-, or agency-level reorganizations, The Public Manager marshals experts who have executed federal reorganizations before and can offer valuable tips and insights. Collectively they ask: Is President Obama Thinking Outside the Box? Other feature articles in the journal focus on how the government can avoid a fiscal crisis, closing leadership gaps, improving performance reviews, implementing a groundbreaking food safety law, and a look at how the Veterans Affairs agency is taking care of business by committing to training. “We call it Federal Leadership That Works,” says new editor Ilyse Veron of The Public Manager’s practical offerings, which are augmented throughout the year at www.thepublicmanager.org. This summer issue also debuts two new features: Exchange and Visionaries. Exchange showcases interviews, also available as podcasts, with newsmakers in the field such Charlene Li, the author of Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead. In Visionaries, the new back page, the journal will present innovations and ideas from award-winning or standout public managers starting with the Service to America finalists chosen by the Partnership for Public Service. About The Public Manager The Public Manager is a unique, independent, and nonpartisan quarterly journal about federal government leadership that works. Produced in print and electronic format with related podcasts, blogs, and events, it communicates best practices, innovations, and techniques for learning at all levels of government. The Public Manager is affiliated with good government groups such as the Partnership for Public Service, GovLoop, Young Government Leaders, the Graduate School, the American Society for Public Administration, and others. It is published by The Bureaucrat Inc., a not-for-profit organization owned by ASTD that is chartered and devoted to furthering knowledge and best practice in government. The Bureaucrat, Inc. maintains its own corporate officer and Board of Director structure. For more information about The Public Manager and the new summer issue, visit www.thepublicmanager.org.

Alert! Your Competition Just Got Your Market Research Data!!

SPANNING BOUNDARIES Warning! Your companies market research data has just been hacked! How did this happen? Some sales guy just “spanned his boundaries!” thus the State of a Free Capitalistic System and that is a GOOD thing!Spanning Boundaries is a Sales Training Drivers World Class Sales Competency. It falls under the category of “business insight” and involves the active collaboration of cross functional teams or work groups. The purpose is to collecting critical information on organizational challenges. Sales training and the need for knowledge management will be invaluable to this process as it relates to team building, prospect data collection, cultural behavior analysis and market trends. Knowledge Management is focused on leveraging different knowledge bases that can provide Sales Trainers up to date resources faster and more efficiently than one leader, group or organization can do by itself. In other words, two or more resources working together towards a common goal is better than one. Wikipedia describes it this way – ” Knowledge management (KM) comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences.”The incoming information is shared, stored and analyzed by knowledge management so that sales leaders and upper level management can address the business climate and organizational development concerns quickly. Boundary spanning teams and workgroups will continue to collect and bring in the information for problem solving and finding new ways to capitalize on learning and development opportunities. The organizational challenges being examined externally by a cross functional sales and marketing teams could include: business intelligence, global competition, changing marketing demographics, cultural development or technological advances by a competitor. Internal boundary spanning by the team could look at challenges and root weaknesses in executive leadership behavior, succession planning, and an in depth look at interpersonal communication breakdown between senior leaders, departmental directors, and managers. Sales Directors and Sales Trainers will look to give Senior Leaders information on how to solve sales revenue and sustainability problems collectively. This will require the deliberate initiation of highly trained boundary spanning teams.What may be most difficult for Senior Leaders, Talent Management and Marketing / Sales Analysts, is that the re-organizing the traditional vertical organizational charts showing how employees directly report to one another will be changed for open source communication. This is no easy task. It pushes the critical need for knowledge management expertise front and center to measure the success of changing people processes. It will need to ensure the alignment and commitment to a collaborative business strategy. However, it has been found that teams engaged in boundary spanning are more likely to achieve team goals. Just be careful of how you collect and distributeculturally diversity information. Gathering this data and dispersing it into the wrong hands could pose serious organizational concerns. Everyone wants real time business intelligence that is critical to stay competitive.

5 Lessons from the 2010 Webinars

It’s hard to believe, but the end of the year is almost here (it’s even closer when you think about how Christmas brings everyone’s personal and professional life to a screeching halt). While each of us reminisce about the past year and plan for the next one, here are five quick tips we’ve learned from the 2010 webinars. 1) People Will Listen Better if You Use a Story (Five Ways to Use Business Storytelling) People like stories. Storytelling allows you to be personable, captivating, and persuasive. Even if you’re not planning on writing the next Great American Novel, this can still help you train. Because let’s admit it: no one wants to be trained using only facts and figures. Business may live in a world of facts and figures, but it’s only a smaller part of a universe made of emotion. Stories enable you to make emotional appeals to people. If you use them in training, people remember your point better because they can relate to it. So, to make your point clearer instead of having it lost in a swirling storm of numbers, use a story to explain it! 2) Always Do Your Homework (How to Select The Right Sales Training Provider) I know it’s hard to believe, but planning usually pays off. So if you have to outsource your sales training, you should plan to spend a great deal of time beforehand preparing. For starters, instead of letting the provider decide what you need, try to get an objective assessment of your situation either inside or outside the company. When you do finally select a provider, work closely with them to not only develop a plan of action, but also to plan metrics to establish the ROI. After all, you’re going to be responsible for explaining that to your supervisors; why shouldn’t the provider be responsible for it too? 3) Sales Training Doesn’t Just Involve the Trainer (Sustainable Sales Training) Just because you train a salesperson doesn’t mean that they need to listen. What this means is that unless change is institutionalized, it’s often lost, with most training lost less than 90 days after the program. What’s one great way to make sure that training sticks? Train the sales manager first. After all, the sales manager is the person that the sales team works the closest with. If you can get the sales manager to reinforce the new behaviors even when you’re not around, you have a much better chance of seeing successful training. To adapt an old clich: teach a salesperson and you’ll feed them for a day. Teach their sales manager, and you’ll feed them for a lifetime. 4) Your Team Isn’t Using LinkedIn Enough (LinkedIn for Sales) That statement might sound rash, but think about it for a second. LinkedIn allows you to prospect for the key decision makers within an organization (use the advanced search option to set location and job title). You can also use it to make cold calls warmer by checking to see if you know any of the same people the person you’re calling does by checking second or third degree connections. And most importantly, it can replace business cards. Because after all, when someone gets promoted/leaves that company, that card is almost useless to you. But because of LinkedIn’s dynamic nature, it’s almost like having a constantly updated rolodex. So are you still sure that you’re using LinkedIn enough? 5) For True Sales Transformation, Focus on All Parts of Your Business (From Functional Support to Strategic Business Partner: Maximizing Sales Training ROI) The first step in true sales transformation is defining what everyone’s roles are. By doing this first, you can not only manage expectations for the entire process, but also enable everyone to hit the ground running. As a plus, by making sure everyone knows what they’ll be doing, you’re also helping them take ownership of it. While you’re improving and streamlining operations, don’t be afraid to ask for customer evaluation too. All too often, companies will gear new policies and processes for making it easier to work within the organization. To avoid this pitfall, make sure to garner outside evaluation too. What are some of the things you’ve learned during 2010? What are your expectations for 2011? Let us know in the comments section!

Executive Presence Belongs in Every Leadership Program

High-potential initiatives and leadership programs are top priorities in the business world as companies focus on succession planning and the development of future leaders. As companies define skill gaps, executive presence becomes a hot topic and an urgent priority.

The 24/7 Interconnected World and Its Susceptibility to Sudden Collapse

We live in a hyperlinked and hyper connected 24/7 world that depends on complex global supply chains for its everyday activities. This article discusses the impact of Black Swan Events on our globalized world and details the need for Business Continuity Planning systems for transitioning to alternatives quickly. This article also discusses how as individuals we can take steps to manage disruptions.

The Need for Change Management

This article discusses about The Need for Change Management and the role it plays in determining the success of an organization in the long run. “Change is Inevitable” and whether organizations like it, all have to manage change for achieving a leadership edge by planning and implementing an effective change management process. Due to the growing complexities in the business environment and increasing competition, organizations which are more responsive to change and flexible in approach, remain ahead in the competitive battle, rest end up as strugglers or as losers.

How Individuals and Companies can Protect Themselves from Systemic Risks

In this 24/7 global age where the – City Never Sleeps, systemic risks have to be planned for and contingency measures put in place to safeguard companies from the impact of systemic risks. This article discusses some aspects of how systemic risks can threaten the business operations of companies and suggests some points that can be taken into account when planning for such contingencies.

Epicor HCM – Human capital management solution for school

Epicor HCM – HR Management Software Today’s economy demands a more proactive, strategic role for the HR department. As competition for critical resources intensifies, managers, employees and candidates are demanding more from HR and human resource information systems (HRIS), moving beyond self-service to secure  direct access to relevant information and processes whether in the office or on the road. Epicor® Human Capital Management (HCM) provides these capabilities and more, helping you to manage your globally dispersed workforce, improve human resource processes, and enhance employee satisfaction for greater efficiency and cost savings across the enterprise. Comprehensive HR Management Software Epicor HCM automates your HR processes, enabling...

Overview of Role of Chief Learning Officer

Chief Learning Officers are often found at larger organizations where the human resources department is broken out into various specialties. CLOs, who are sometimes called chief knowledge officers, usually report either to the top talent officer or the chief executive officer (CEO). A CLO’s responsibilities may include on boarding, training courses and materials, employee development initiatives, executive coaching, knowledge management and succession planning. CLOs may also supervise the selection and implementation of learning technology, such as learning management systems (LMS). CLO Job Responsibilities: Develops an organization’s educational process Promotes knowledge management Institutes effective training strategies Directs large scale change management...