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For the term "Personal Development".

Big Data, Personalized Learning and 5 More eLearning Trends

The eLearning market is predicted to reach $51 billion turnover by the end of 2016. The whole industry is growing by 10 percent from year to year constantly presenting innovations and development. So, what are the main trends the eLearning industry in concerned about this year?

Children’s Progress Academic Assessment – Provides a personalized assessment experience

Measure early childhood learning with CPAA Help your youngest learners leap ahead—track early childhood learning with CPAA Prekindergarten and early primary students aren’t just small versions of bigger kids—that’s why Children’s Progress Academic Assessment™ (CPAA™) provides a personalized assessment experience that supports your youngest learners’ unique developmental needs. Designed by Columbia University and MIT researchers, our adaptive skills assessment offers educators a reliable tool to guide targeted instruction for early childhood learning. In addition, CPAA offers easy-to-understand parent reports and instructional activities for the home. Set skill acquisition on the right path from day one Quickly identify fully and partially...

Interview with Steve Pavlina

If you like to read personal development blogs and articles, you must have read Steve Pavlina’s blog. His posts like How to Give Up Coffee and How to Becom

Book Review: The 360 Degree Leader

A John C. Maxwell book published by Nelson Business 2005, 313 pages, Nonfiction, Business, Leadership and Personal Development, Includes bibliographical re

5 Steps of My To-Do Lists Revolution

Gleb Reys at his Personal Development Ideas Blog talks about his to-do list evolution. He talks about his original setup of his to-do list setup and how he

Where Are the Blokes?

Today’s post is not so much a personal development ‘lesson’ as it is a discussion and exploration into how men and women are wired; a look at something whi

10 HARD Ways to Make Your Life Better

Some of the most worthwhile things in life aren’t easy. One of the things I dislike most about “power of positive thinking”-style personal development phil

Lifehack Digest for April 29

6 Ways For Maintaining High Energy Levels – Practical advice on personal development, productivity and GTD Experimented ways to stabilize our energy levels

A Book Review:Winning With People

A John Maxwell book published by Thomas Nelson, 2004, 272 pages, Nonfiction, Business, Leadership and Personal Development. Yes, I know I just reviewed a J

Scotland: Contact Centres Resolve to Raise Employee Engagement

(From Business Wire) — The Customer Contact Association (CCA), the leading independent authority on contact centre strategies and operations, says a drive to boost employee engagement in contact centres will unlock greater productivity and lead to happier staff and customers. CCA’s thought leadership agenda supports organisations who employ some 30% of the one million people working in contact centres in the UK. CCA has completed an authoritative industry census in which it emerged that an overwhelming majority of organisations described their contact centre employees as mostly committed. However, it identified room for improvement to boost the proportion of employees described as ‘very committed’ from the current figure of 18%. CCA Census 2010-11, which canvassed the views of 246 respondents (the majority of whom work for organisations employing more than 1,500 people globally) found that 73% of organisations describe their staff as ‘often committed’ while a minority of 8% said staff are ‘rarely committed’. CCA Chief Executive Anne Marie Forsyth said: “Front line contact centre staff are living through taxing times, frequently bearing the brunt of customer concerns and complaints as well as worrying about job security. Despite these pressures, employee engagement is relatively high among our membership. CCA is leading a drive to help members raise the bar on engagement levels even higher in order to deliver consistent world class service.” Forsyth added: “We need a renewed emphasis on people issues to reflect the seismic change taking place in customer contact. Performance throughout the recession has been good – our census shows that 82% of our members have had ‘very active’ engagement with customers and 79% are committed to personal development of employees. We’re proud of what members have achieved in a cost-cutting environment and we’re collaborating on strategies designed to boost performance even further.” Read more.

Sales Moves by Jeffrey Gitomer: 12.5 predictions and challenges for a great 2012

PLEASE NOTE: These are not economic predictions. They are based on my personal observation and first-hand knowledge of sales forces across the United States their present situation, and their future hope based on market conditions and readiness. And please DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELVES. Rather ask yourselves: Am I ready to win more based on these predictions and challenges? 1. PREDICTION: More business will be available as the economy begins to surge and the elections become a reality.CHALLENGE: Are you ready for an increase in business, not just with product and inventory ability but with better attitude, mood, friendliness, and morale of the entire company? 2. PREDICITON: There will be pricing challenges even in the wake of greater business. CHALLENGE: Now is the time for PROFIT. You have left too much money on the table for the past two years. Create a better value proposition, and use it rather than having to justify (and perhaps lower) your price. 3. PREDICITON: There will be an emphasis on 3rd party purchasers and buying groups in order to leverage pricing. CHALLENGE: Build value-based relationships that the customer would lose out on if they joined the group. Get testimonials from customers that decided not to participate. 4. PREDICITION: Full participation in business social media is no longer an option for your company. CHALLENGE: Counsel your counsel and determine what you CAN do. Do that as fast as you can. Your plan must include all forms of business social media, and interaction with customers one-on-one. Need examples? There are plenty of them online right now. One of them may even be your competition. 5. PREDICITION: Full participation in business social media is no longer an option for you personally. CHALLENGE: Set up a business Facebook page where people can Like you and invite all your customers to begin to comment on your products, service, and impact of ownership or service provided. Your LinkedIn connections must exceed 501 and you must have at least 10 recommendations. This makes your image look powerful, structured, and reputable. Twitter must attract 500 followers, and you must tweet twice a day. Your YouTube channel must have at least 10 testimonial videos that use the most searchable words in your business category. Your blog is the real-world outlet for yourself and your customers make it valuable and interact with customers one-on-one. 6. PREDICITON: Your personal reputation and brand will play a greater role in getting a sales meeting and getting a favorable decision. CHALLENGE: Google yourself to establish your base in January. Then take WEEKLY actions to enhance your status. Get testimonials. Volunteer for charity. Speak in public. Post on your blog. Get others to praise you. And build your reputation one action item, and one good deed, at a time. 7. PREDICITION: You will need to be able to differentiate yourself from the competition (in the mind of your customer) to be greater than ever. CHALLENGE: Begin by asking yourself and your present customers what differentiates you from your competition. Then take actions to widen the gap. HINT: The ordinary things are a great start. Use Ace of Sales emails ( www.aceofsales.com) to begin the process. 8. PREDICTION: Your company will finally (after three years) begin to provide sales training. CHALLENGE: Is the training relevant? Is the training acceptable to your sales team? Is the trainer acceptable to your sales team? Does the training incorporate the voice of your customers? Is the training working? 9. PREDICITION: You will lose more than one sale to an inferior competitor. CHALLENGE: Find out why and fix it. HINT: It aint price! 10. PREDICITION: More face-to-face meetings will be necessary to build relationships, or you will become vulnerable to the competition. CHALLENGE: Double your existing face-to-face meetings from last year, and double your networking hours. 11. PREDICITION: Breakfast will be the new lunch. CHALLENGE: Your connections, relationships, and even your prospects are crunched for time. The two-hour lunch will wane. An early morning, 30-minute meeting over coffee will net more and better results. Set a goal of three breakfasts a week. 12. PREDICITION: Your sales plan/goal/quota/numbers will be much more attainable. CHALLENGE: The business is out there for you to earn. Your perceived value, your perceived difference, and your reputation will determine your numbers way more that your price. 12.5 PREDICITION: Your personal dedication or rededication to excellence will reach new heights. CHALLENGE: Allocate three hours a day to YOU. Allocate an hour for social media and personal branding. Allocate an hour for customer interaction. And allocate an hour for reading and study. You will have to allocate more time for personal development and training because the new challenges require new knowledge. If youre looking for a game plan, if youre looking for a success plan, Ive just given you one that will make 2012 more than you could hope for. All you have to do is WORK HARD. 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: 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

Risk of Losing High Performers Increases Post-Recession

(From PRWEB) — A new study shows, North American employees are twice as likely to head for the door as they were before the recession, according to the latest findings of global consulting firm BlessingWhite. An alarming 19% of high performers who scored low on job satisfaction indicate plans to leave. Another 48% are non-committal, saying they’ll “probably” stay. Christopher Rice, President and CEO of BlessingWhite, explains, “In attempts to survive the recession, organizations handed employees more work to complete with fewer resources. Now employees – especially the high performers – may be burnt out or under challenged, and they are seriously considering leaving at elevated rates.” Rice cautions that leaders should think about how to create growth opportunities and assign meaningful work to keep their top employees from walking out the door. “High performers, after months of heroics for their employers, are finally stepping back and asking, ‘What about me? What about my career?'” If management doesn’t present employees with the opportunity to pursue personal development or to engage in work that’s interesting or worthwhile, these individuals are going to take their knowledge and skills elsewhere.” Read more.

New Book Explores Overlooked Keys to Executive Success

July 22, 2010 – Greensboro, NC – How do talented managers develop into effective senior leaders? And what can organizations do to ensure this growth? Extraordinary Leadership: Addressing the Gaps in Senior Executive Development proposes some groundbreaking answers, providing strategies and tools to round out leadership skills and create a steady pipeline of top executives. A joint publication of The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) and Jossey-Bass, the book is edited by executive leadership experts Kerry A. Bunker, Douglas T. Hall, and Kathy E. Kram. It collects views on the often invisible elements of intrapersonal, relational, organizational, and contextual development from more than 20 leading thinkers in the field. “The chapters in this book address the subtle yet powerful forces that combine to differentiate outstanding leaders from also-rans,” Bunker, Hall and Kram say in the book’s introduction. “The end product is a comprehensive guide for leader development, a resource for executive coaches, human resource professionals, mentors, corporate officers, and aspiring senior leaders themselves.” The 321-page book provides techniques and strategies based on real-world examples, helping executives, mid-level managers and emerging leaders identify the issues that contribute to these leadership gaps. Such issues include the accelerated career advancement of high potential managers, the rapid pace of technology and globalization, and the importance of accountability and emotional intelligence. Leaders must now be as approachable as they are inspirational, according to the editors. To fill the gaps present in the workplace, they must demonstrate authenticity, integrity, emotional competence, and the ability to inspire leadership with and through others. In Views from the C-Suite, a chapter on intrapersonal development, former CCL Board member Naomi Marrow explains that self- assessment helps executives gain clear insight into the impact they have on others. In The How-to-Be Leader: A Conversation with Frances Hesselbein, Kathy Kram explores what it means to lead with authenticity. Other chapters with contributions from CCL include The Learning Premise: A Conversation with Peter B. Vaill by Kerry A. Bunker and CCL faculty member Laura Curnutt Santana; Developing Leaders with Cultural Intelligence: Exploring the Cultural Dimension of Leadership by Santana, Mira las Heras, and Jina Maol; Leading Inclusively: Mind-Sets, Skills, and Actions for a Diverse, Complex World by CCL Board member Ilene C. Wasserman and Stacey Blake-Beard; and a final chapter entitled Looking Forward: Creating Conditions for Extraordinary Leadership, where editors Kram, Hall, and Bunker integrate the perspectives shared throughout the book. Bunker, founder and president of executive development firm Mangrove Leadership Solutions, is a former CCL senior fellow. Kram, a professor of organizational behavior at the Boston University School of Management, is a former member of CCL’s Board of Governors. Hall, a professor of management at the Boston University School of Management, is a former H. Smith Richardson Jr. Visiting Fellow at CCL. About the Center for Creative Leadership The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) is a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that accelerates strategy and business results by unlocking individual and organizational leadership potential. Founded in 1970 as a nonprofit, educational institution, CCL helps clients worldwide align business and leadership strategy, develop the organizational environment and prepare individuals to be more effective leaders. Each year, through its proven, innovative and highly personal approach, CCL inspires and supports more than 23,000 leaders in 3,000 organizations around the world. Through an array of programs, products and services, CCL and its world-class faculty, coaches and researchers deliver unparalleled leadership development, education and research in more than 120 countries. Ranked by clients as No.3 worldwide in the 2010 Financial Times annual executive education survey and among the world’s top providers of executive education by BusinessWeek, CCL operates out of eight locations around the world. Headquartered in Greensboro, NC, CCL’s additional locations include, Colorado Springs, CO, San Diego, CA, Brussels, Belgium, Moscow, Russia, India, Africa and Singapore.

Employee Engagement Trends Across the World

There are a few main employee engagement drivers that motivate employees to work harder and perform better. For example factors like – career and personal development opportunities, company policies and practices, company reputation, total rewards including, pay, additional benefits and perks.

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How to Read and Digest a Book

Reading is important for personal and professional development. If you want to grow your knowledge, you have to read. Reading is a tip of the iceberg thoug

Legal Career Issues – Best Skills

Many people dream of starting a career in law, but there are various quality-of-life issues affecting lawyers in their professional development. Learn about work/life balance, lawyer burnout, family issues and other professional and personal concerns, and find out about alternative careers for lawyers.

The Benefit Is Mutuals: New Models of Public Service Delivery

Public managers around the world are exploring more personalized, proactive, entrepreneurial, and productive models of service delivery. They should study developments in the United Kingdom with interest. As governments around the world are searching for ways to square the circle of fiscal austerity, rising citizen demands, and the need to stimulate wider economic vitality, old organizational forms may offer new hope. In the United Kingdom, mutuals are enjoying a renaissance as the government opens up the provision of services to public servants. Mutuals are organizations owned by their employees or members and loosely encompass many forms, such as cooperatives and social enterprises.

Statesmanship Takes Leadership and Governance to the Next Level

One can assume that readers of this publication are probably not only interested in leadership development, but are, quite likely, students of leadership theory and practice as well. Most of us have become familiar with the customary, sometimes tedious, repackaging of the same list of good leadership characteristics. But when was the last time your personal standard of leadership was really challenged?

Taking Inventory of Myers-Briggs

From its humble family origins during World War II to its spike in popularity during the 1970s, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has enjoyed a mostly unchallenged place in the sun. Many in learning and development tout its capability to provide deft insight into personality alongside job-fit, coaching requirements,…

Make Mentoring Work for You: Ten Strategies for Success

The pervasiveness and popularity of mentoring is undeniable. That it results in significant personal growth and career development is indisputable. That it holds the potential to change people’s perspectives and the quality of their lives is irrefutable. Learning and development professionals spend a great deal o…

Building Talent: The Very BEST of 2015

Helping employees reach their full potential can be personally rewarding for talent development professionals, but it also helps organizations sustain growth and achieve strategic goals. This year’s BEST Award winners invest resources in their people. Profiles of the 2015 BEST Award winners.

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 is the Definition of Sales 2.0

Have you heard of Web 2.0? What about “Sales 2.0”? There is new sales 2.0 conference that is owned by Selling Power Magazine — it remains to be seen what specific direction they will take it. Is Web 2.0 the same thing as sales 2.0? What is the current buzz surrounding sales 2.0.? There are two camps currently: Camp 1: Sales 2.0 is the use of web 2.0 technologies (and technology only) for sales or sales-related purposes. Camp 2: Sales 2.0 is the “Next Evolution” of Selling — where Selling is taken to the next level What do you think? Add Your comments? Recently, I asked the question to my LinkedIn Network… here is what some people said: View these answers on LinkedIn too ———— Aaron of Office Tools, LLC Says: Sounds to me like you have answered your own question, but it’s more than just using technology and resources like web portals and Blackberries. It’s also combining these technologies into your relationship with the prospect in a manner that is attuned to their comfort level as well, i.e. don’t make your customer a technology guinea pig every time a new tool is introduced. ——————— Martin B Success Coach, speaker, trainer and author. Known for his focused, rapid-results coaching. Says: Again to me it is about integrity, ethics and how they work with the customer for all the technology in the world can not replace that. I think sales 2.0 will include the sales person building an on-line quality reputation that will go with them over time. Of course I think being a CRSP ( Certified and Registered Sales Professional ) is very important as well. Quality relationships take time and SHOULD take time, technology can help but it still demands the basics. http://inquireonline.info/sales/sales-as-a-profession ———————– Nathan, a Director of Client Services Says: Interesting question and I hope this helps. I had been meeting with clients about a potential proposal for two months and doing a lot of work with them in between. They put on events as a part of their business model so I showed up to a happy hour one night to network and build rapport. They called the next day and wanted a proposal immediately. It was for a pretty big project so I got to work immediately. I sent the proposal to the principal and his VP of Advertising (two person show). I got the email from her (VP) Monday morning saying they were going with a different company. I did the customary follow up with an email asking why and didn’t hear back for several days. The VP of Ads is pretty into her myspace account and added me as a friend four days later (we got along well socially). I ended up following up with her on myspace, found out that it was a price point and we are currently renegotiating the terms of the proposal. ————- Brian a Life Sciences Training, Marketing and Branding specialist Says: Great question and one in which I view there being multiple answers to. These answers could be based on existing sales methodologies along with the technology stack, both current and planned, that will used within the sales organization. Sales 2.0 for us is evolving. Sure, we use standard SD processes and have a great CRM in place. Beyond this, what is sales 2.0? – Web advertising – Web networking – Blogs – White papers – SME webinars – Referral marketing – Tying it all together – Any so many others If I were to define sales 2.0 for the industry, I would state the following today. — Sales 2.0 is the sales approach where proven development methodologies are combined and blended with new communication & collection mediums where the client is empowered through the use of information to make well informed decisions — Yes, I said empowering the customer. As the web is now a central point in all communications, providing the information that your client’s seek is paramount to being viewed as a strong player in the service or product field that you serve while this also will help them in making better decisions. When structured property, Sales 2.0 approaches should increase contact to conversion ratios without all the (hub-bub) normally associated with sales development. I view a perfect sales world to be the day that a blinking super ball with your logo on it IS NOT required to impress a potential client, but a well formed and intuitive intake process does so without all the old school glitz. —————— Flyn P, The Inside Sales Guru Says: Sales 2.0 is the integration of all sales best practices as Web2.0 tools are now integrated for websites. I find many people stuck on one sales method over another when all of the methodologies have best practices that are probably applicable to most selling environments. The other half of this solution is that sellers have to learn to embed and incorporate best practices into their sales processes instead of placing the sales process on top of what they are doing. It is my belief that the most effective way to teach a sales best practice is from within the sales process for which you intend to use it. This means you must find the appropriate places and applications for the best practice and then customize it to fit your specific selling process. It is one thing to lean about “impact” questions it is another thing to apply them to your selling. Thus, you take the impact question and put it in the sales process for ABC Co. and make the question ABC’s. Impact Question: “What is the impact of the bottleneck in manufacturing on revenues?” ABC may not have such an issue in their selling — the key problem may be productivity of a widget in an adverse environment. The impact question that directly addresses that issue must be developed and made part of the selling process. The result is salespeople don’t need to figure out how or when to ask the question. That combined with the use of all sales methods and best practices would be Sales2.0. I hope that helps. Clarification added 5 days ago: I have noted that other addressed marketing issues and I would agree with these ideas — I kept my answer strictly to “Selling.” ———- Christian, an International CRM & e-Marketing Expert – Techno-Marketing Specialist Says: Dear Brian, More than a collection of technologies that help sales professionals personalize information for customers and interact with them rapidly, Sales 2.0 should be considered as the synthesis of new technologies, models, processes and mindsets. It is about leveraging people, process, technology, and knowledge to make significant gains. It means integrating the power of Web 2.0 and on-demand technologies with proven sales techniques to increase sales velocity and volume. It also relates to increased communication and collaboration between sellers and buyers and within the selling team, together with a proactive and visible integration of knowledge and measurement of the buying cycle into the sales cycle. It seems that Sales 2.0 truly merges sales and marketing into a seamless effort to target buyers more effectively using innovative and integrated tactics with an objective to bring in a lot more business at a lower cost. It is also about making anything and everything in the sales and marketing lifecycle measurable, so that you can take that information and resulting analysis to further optimise your sales process. More streamlined processes, together with the technologies to carry out smarter approaches, can immediately help organisations that are committed to moving their sales and marketing efforts to the next level of performance and dramatically accelerate their sales cycle. For further insight on this and related topics, please see http://www.saastream.com/my_weblog/2007/11/sales-20-taking.html#more —————– Joe G, a VP and Research Director, Sirius Decisions Says: Sales 2.0 is being trumpeted in the market place as the next wave of sales automation technology that will improve sales productivity, reduce cost of sales, increase customer loyalty and drive sales performance through the roof. Sound familiar?… think of SFA 1.0 promises. Sales 2.0 is – or should be – a focus on adapting customer engagement strategies to the rapidly changing environment that is dominated by the unrelenting evolution of the Internet. While leveraging technology should be a part of any approach, it is just an enabler to a broader sales readiness strategy. Obviously there are a variety of perspectives on what Sales 2.0 is, should or could be. I would suggest a visit to the blog at The Sales 2.0 Network website: http://sales20network.com/blog/ Duncan, A Business Development and Salesperson Says: To me Sales 2.0 is more about leading your customer to the best conclusion rather than ‘closing’ them through manipulation and hard sales tactics. i.e. you should strive to make sure that the product is a good fit for your customers and that your customers are a good fit for your company. The better the fit, the more repeat sales and referrals you will get. posted 5 days ago Nigel: CEO, Sales 2.0. Next Generation Sales Information, Telesales & Consulting Says: Hi Brian, Thanks for asking the question. I think it’s pretty clear from the answers that there is not yet one clear definition of sales 2.0 The way I came up with “sales 2.0” two years ago was through my personal frustration with a lot of the ways we have been selling. Added to that my realization that a lot of these techniques date back over 100 years to John Patterson at NCR. So I saw “sales 2.0” as a statement that we can “take sales to the NEXT level”. What happened after that is that some smart folks in Silicon Valley noted that the Internet is already creating change that we sales people can harness NOW to move our selling to the “next level”. Hence the emphasis on technology solutions in many current definitions of “sales 2.0” So for now we don’t have ONE solidified definition but the most popular one short-term is using Internet tools to boost sales performance. Long-term I hope the buzzword can stick around to really mean “taking the whole sales profession to the next level”. That’s my dream.

Welcome to the ASTD Books blog!

Hi, and welcome to the ASTD Press books blog! I am sure you want to know a bit more about this blog, so I got some time to sit down and interview myself and try to answer some of your questions. TE: Hi, thanks for taking the time to give me this interview. Why a blog about ASTD Press books? TE: You’re welcome. I think of this blog as an opportunity to connect the ASTD Press audience a little more closely and personally with what we do at the Press. I’d to talk about what we are doing, the books and Infolines that we are working on and have published, what’s going on with some of our authors, and perhaps a little something about what’s going on in publishing in general. I’d also like to get the chance to hear a bit more from the ASTD books audience. What kinds of books would they like to see? What do they think about some of the books that we have published and why? Also, what are their opinions about certain controversial and/or high-profile topics in the field of workplace learning and performance? For instance, expect a post in the near future that talks about the differences between ASTD’s definition of talent management and Larry Israelite’s definition. (ASTD Press will be publishing Larry’s book on the topic in January 2010.) TE: What is ASTD Press? TE: ASTD Press is the American Society for Training & Development’s publishing department, and we publish 18-24 books and 12 Infolines per year. We are a team of nine great people who find interesting and talented authors and topics; work with these authors to hone their books and Infolines; manage publishing projects, which involves editing, proofreading, working with designers on text and cover designs, and working with printers; and disseminate books through a wide variety of channels. (There’s more to it, but I could probably go on all day.) Our work ranges from the big-picture scale of book ideas and content that will be meaningful and valuable to our audience to the itty-bitty details of widows, orphans, and misplaced commas that mean the difference between quality we can be proud of and, well, something not so high in quality. TE: Who am I? TE: My name is Tora Estep. I am a senior associate editor with ASTD Press, and I have been with ASTD for almost seven years. I’ve worked as the editor of Infoline, written some (I think) funny articles for T+D, and managed book projects. My proudest accomplishment at ASTD was working as project manager with Elaine Biech on The ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals, to which I also contributed two chapters. The quality of this book is phenomenal, from the content to the package. In working on this book, I probably read the whole thing at least three times (it’s 928 pages so that took a chunk out of my day) and was amazed again and again at the incisiveness of the content and the consistency of the themes that emerged from so many disparate writers. That’s a real tribute to Elaine as well as the 60 authors who contributed to the book.

Watch Out! Your Customer is Evaluating YOU!

E valuating Customer Experiences To discuss and deliver a training program on “Evaluating the Customer Experience”, expect that your audience will give you highly charged feedback that is vocal, interactive, and filled with very personal testimony – positive and negative. Why? Depending on the customer service outcome, in any given shopping experience, organizational and human behavioral psychology are forced into one place – revenue gain or loss at the expense of an emotional consumer. Quantify Your Customers Buying Habits Managing the Sales Learning Function becomes an important factor here in successful training and development.With this in mind, it is even more critical now to watch carefully and evaluate the quarterly value proposition percentages and net revenues of a business against the customer experience. Sales and Customer Service Training Managers need to teach their teams the importance of learning to execute best practice behavior that ensures a positively outstanding customer relations experience. The result of not applying these behaviors at any random moment when interacting with a buyer or repeat customer can have dramatic negative results on a business brand that is trying to sustain a positive marketplace perception. The Customer is now a REAL Consumer Watchdog It is at this place, where the consumer has a lot of “power” over the company. Viral feedback, negative or positive, flies in the face of internet social economics where the consumer will post comments on Facebook and Twitter. Negative postings can severely handicap a brand, cash flow results and organizational effectiveness. It is extremely expensive to fix the perception of the customer. Negative customer feedback can derail the efforts of a well planned business strategy designed at increasing customer market share. The Customer is in Control Organizations are facing more intense customer service pressures, so Trainers need to make sure that soft skill competencies in customer, sales and service delivery are taught in ways that reflect positive business results. According to the Journal of Marketing Research, http://www.jstor.org/pss/3152082 “when a service failure occurs, the organizations response has the potential to either restore customer satisfaction and reinforce loyalty or complicate the situation and drive the customer to a competitor.” The ASTD Sales Training Drivers defines “evaluating the customer experience” as assessing the effectiveness and positive impact of solutions and then communicating the results to the stakeholders. Key actions include: identifying and using operational metrics that clearly express beneficial results that are understood and valued by solution stakeholders. (net promoter scores, total cost of ownership, return on investment (ROI) time to competence and productivity ratios.) Therefore, it is the Trainers responsibility to show how a total customer experience will influence customer perception, customer value, service quality and customer loyalty, as it relates to financially responsible business results.

Want to be a great coach? This gem of a book tells you how.

Apologies to all our other authors, but no other ASTD Press author is quite as hip as Lisa Haneberg. Now, here’s a lady who tours country roads on her purple motorcycle Hazel; writes creative nonfiction essays about science, nature, traveling, and motorcycles; writes the popular blog Management Craft; and has a thriving organization development practice called MPI Consulting. Moreover, she is smart, has a great sense of humor, and plays well with others-all of which comes across loud and clear in her newest book Coaching Up and Down the Generations. This little gem of a book has two main themes: providing insight into and advice for effective coaching and understanding the generational differences that affect coaching conversations. She paints portraits of four generations that are in the workplace today-the Traditionalists (born 1900-1945), the Baby Boomers (born 1946-64), Generation X (born 1965-80), and the Millennials (born 1981-99)-enabling you to understand other peoples’ perspectives. Here’s just a small sample of one of those portraits that describes my generation (I have blanked out the generation name-can you guess which generation I belong to?): Because they are media savvy and well educated, the members of ______________ might seem to have advantage that would translate into personal happiness and fulfillment. Yet many of the ______________ who shared their experiences with me described a sense of alienation and skepticism. ______________ are, after all, a small generation squeezed between much larger ones on either side-a “baby bust.” Although they are now entering their peak earning and spending years, many suffer from economic anxiety about their own and their children’s futures. Some worry that they will be the first generation in American history to be significantly less well off than the one before. What Haneberg’s book boils down to is getting where another person is coming from and learning how to help him or her become more effective, more productive, and get more out of their work. Another key point she makes is that coaching doesn’t just go one way; each generation has valuable insights and knowledge to impart and to be effective as a coach, you have to be open to being coached yourself. Her well-written, entertaining, and insightful book helps you to do all that. To get a free sample chapter and have a taste of Haneberg’s smart and funny writing style, click here. For more books by Lisa Haneberg, click here.

UK Partnership Launch Agenda

I am pleased to share with you some additional details on the partnership launch and member event in the UK. The event will be held at the Ministry of Defence on Monday, September 21, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will be in the Henry VIII room – an underground room deep in the MOD building with lots of history. Our International Partner, The Learning Sanctuary, has lined up speakers and a sponsor, to provide you with opportunities for networking and professional development. Members and their guests are invited to attend. Space is limited, so please contact us soon if you wish to participate. The agenda is as follows: 10:00 am Welcome – Neville Pritchard, Director, the Learning Sanctuary ASTD – The Full Package – Lauren Forgacs, Director, International Relations, ASTD Challenges for the MOD L&D – Major Andrew Frost ASTD – A Personal View – Lea Toppino, Head of Client Training and Business Development MetLife ASTD in the UK – Neil Lasher, President of ASTD Global Network UK Synchronous Learning – David Smith, InSync Training eu Ltd The Learning Sanctuary / ASTD International Partner – Neville Pritchard 1:00 pm Lunch – Sponsored by InSync Training eu Ltd

Time Warner Cable Director of Training: Join your Local ASTD Chapter!

Our local ASTD chapters across the country received a glowing endorsement in a recent Bloomfire interview with Anthony Lewis, Regional Director of Learning and Development for Time Warner Cable in Los Angeles, CA. When discussing social media and the need for added personal engagement, Mr. Lewis noted: “A critical piece of advicemaintain your annual membership and get involved with your local ASTD chapter. In some areas, it may offer a Mentor Program. I believe that you should have a formal mentor at some point in your career. Find a mentor that is more senior than you and establish two goals he or she can help guide you toward.” The work that chapters are doing in pairing learners and mentors is clearly being recognized, and is a credit to all the hard work of our volunteer leaders!

The New Hierarchy: First, learning to BE; second, learning to DO; and only then, learning to KNOW

I had a high school teacher who observed that the male students seemed to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to be male students, and the female students seemed to spend a lot of time trying figure out how to get male students. As I work with companies implementing both social networking and simulation technology, I have observed a new hierarchy of needs. 1. Learning to Be People strive to know who they are. What do they like to do, and what do they hate to do? With whom are they most comfortable, or motivated, or depressed? Who are their role models? How can they get satisfaction and sustainability out of life? What are their priorities? What is a good day and what is a bad day? Where do they fall on the issues of the day? Is it better to be directive or participative? As people figure this out, they want to test this new personality out on the world. They make comments online, and post pictures. They speak up at meetings. They give suggestions and then orders of their co-workers, friends, and subordinates. They strive understanding and validation. To a large degree, this has been the drive of much of social networking and web 2.0, as well as pop culture, and “Cosmo” and Match.com self-tests. People today strive for self definition increasingly globally, not just defining themselves by where they live, where they work, or as a friend or enemy of the next door neighbor. 2. Learning to Do People then want to have a impact on the flow of their world – to change the course of activity in a positive way because of what they do. This is where the big skills, such as leadership, stewardship, project management, and innovation come in. This is where people put forth some blood, sweat, and tears, and experience ownership This is where simulations play a critical role. Immersive learning simulations, especially practiceware, have the ability to give people ten years of distilled experience in 15 hours. Sims develop an awareness of the all-critical “active knoweldge” trinity of: 3. Learning to Know At this point comes the learning to know. This might be cultural literacy/history, or organizational history, or trivia. This is where we try to make sense of the world we inherited – to piece together the giant puzzle. This is where books and the History Channel become so interesting. It is around this third category that academics has built both their curricula and their research process, one of the reasons I have so little hope for the role of Ph.d dominated Foundations to add significantly to the first two. I say again that what we teach is limited by what we can teach. The exciting thing about this new media order is that we have more power at our fingertips for development than ever before.

Survey: The Best Companies for Leaders Demonstrate How to Weather Economic Storms and Prepare for the Upturn

(PHILADELPHIA, BUSINESS WIRE) The world’s Best Companies for Leaders-among the world’s most respected-are focused on developing leaders who will not only survive and thrive in the current financial crisis but will be well positioned for growth once the economy improves. The 2008 Best Companies for Leaders survey-conducted by management consultancy Hay Group and Chief Executive Magazine-identifies the top 20 best-in class companies (see below) as well as the attributes that make these companies known for great leadership. The research suggests a number of best practices to help organizations and their leaders navigate the significant challenges brought on by the economic downturn as well as key tips to prepare for the upswing. Surviving the downturn When asked what organizations value the most in leaders, 83 percent of the best in class organizations as compared to others said “execution”. Organizations value leaders who can achieve results through others. These leaders create a climate in which people know exactly what is expected of them. In ideal times, the survey results showed, people value authoritative and democratic styles of leadership in comparison to the other four styles of coercive, affiliative, pacesetting and coaching. In tough economic times, employees’ desire more communication and clarity around goals. They want their leaders to become more visible and to be leading from the front. Typical leadership styles which accomplish this include authoritative with some coercive and pacesetting when needed. During tough economic times, best-in-class companies create clarity, encourage development, drive accountability and recognize successful leaders. 65 percent of the top twenty companies on the list hold senior managers accountable for commitments versus 36 percent for all others. 63 percent create a sense of purpose for employees by communicating values versus 43 percent for all other companies. 45 percent honor leaders within the organization versus 32 percent for all other companies. In addition, 62 percent of respondents indicated that matrixed roles are increasing in their organizations. Managing in a matrix poses its own set of challenges, including the need for collaboration, creating a cohesive team, not having authority over resources, managing conflicts over differing agendas, goals or priorities, and minimizing confusion over roles, decision-making and accountability. Hay Group says that there will be an increased emphasis on the skills needed to work in a matrix environment. Relationship building, influencing, adaptability, interpersonal skills and collaboration skills will all be more important in the future workplace. “The conventional top-down chain of command is yielding to decision-making that’s spread across business units, executive teams with far-reaching authority and other activities that reflect a brave, new, flat business world,” said Rick Lash, Hay Group’s national practice leader for leadership and talent. Preparing for the upswing The Hay Group/Chief Executive survey reveals that the top 20 best companies for leaders make leadership development a priority. 70 percent of the top 20 companies say they have a formal process to identify individuals for leadership roles, versus 37 percent of all companies. 65 percent of companies say that talent management is driven by a clear business strategy versus 39 percent of all other companies. 55 percent have formal programs to accelerate leader development versus 34 percent of all other companies. “What we have been seeing in these uncertain times is that organizations are not pulling back on their development of leaders, primarily because organizations recognize they don’t have the depth of leadership they need to meet future demands,” said Lash. “This year we have seen the best in class organizations become more focused, investing their assessment and development on their best leadership talent, rather than providing across the board development for everyone,” he said. “The Best Companies for Leaders are making serious investments in leadership development,” said Lash. “Development opportunities include special projects, assignments, and online training programs.” Hay Group is a management consulting firm that works with leaders to transform strategy into reality. We develop talent, organize people to be more effective and motivate them to perform at their best. Our focus is on making change happen and helping people and organizations realize their potential. We have over 2600 employees working in 85 offices in 47 countries. Our clients are from the private, public and not-for profit sectors, across every major industry. ( Read entire release.)

Strategic Workplace Learning in the Public Sector – Part II

My last post on this blog highlighted two recent public sector training efforts that demonstrated strategic alignment with priority agency outcomes – both in the US Department of Defense ( http://community.thepublicmanager.org/cs/blogs/agile_bureaucracy/archive/2010/03/29/strategic-workplace-learning-in-the-public-sector.aspx): enabling success in Afghanistan by building cultural expertise at the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) creating a collaborative culture at DIA through an effective onboarding program in which employees learn that knowledge sharing is their own personal responsibility Other Public Sector Case Illustrations Here are brief highlights from other government training efforts that tackle a wider array of challenges – many of which will be featured as articles in the summer 2010 issue of The Public Manager and presented at the American Society for Training and Development’s (ASTD’s) 2010 International Conference & Exposition to be held in Chicago, Illinois, May 16-19 ( http://www.astdconference.org/): Business Analysis Center of Excellence: NY State Office of the State Comptroller This case illustration explores the New York State Office of the State Comptroller’s intensive, cross-agency learning experience aimed at more effectively aligning business analysis with management initiatives. With the assistance of an outside management consulting group (ESI International – www.esi-intl.com), the state organization developed key strategies – including coaching and mentoring programs complemented by skills assessments and other learning programs that continue to refine business analysis (BA) best practices. Education Transformation for Results: Sandia National Laboratories This case study at Sandia, one of the US Department of Energy’s prestigious national labs, demonstrates an approach to begin the process of transforming corporate education into an effective education partnership between an organization’s executive and line management and its HR organization. Sandia Labs’ focus on fostering a learning culture drove its transformation of the Labs’ education process to enhance individual capabilities and behaviors that produce tangible results. It offers a blueprint of how a line management and human resources team, commissioned by the organization’s leader, can create a charter, establish a plan, gather and analyze data, prepare and present recommendations to executive management for action. Practical concepts, checklists, and tools are explained as application opportunities, and innovative approaches to obtain and sustain executive engagement and partnering early in the transformational education process are identified as essential success factors. Pushing Management’s Buttons to Improve Performance at the US Coast Guard This case study highlights several of the most powerful, but under-utilized, approaches to improve workplace performance. The old maxim: “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” rings true in the workforce performance field. If all you have is a training solution, then everything is a skills-and-knowledge problem. Yet, research and common sense have demonstrated that oftentimes the performance problem isn’t with the people in the organization, but with the organization itself. This experience brings focus to many of the areas the organization’s leadership should examine before assuming a problem will be solved through training. It includes real-world examples and case studies from the US Coast Guard on how a true performance perspective results in quantifiable and cost-effective returns in individual and organizational performance. Share Your Observations I’ll continue sharing examples of how government organizations at all levels are aligning training efforts with strategic agency goals. If you know of others that align workplace learning efforts with priority mission and management challenges, please let me hear from you.

Strategic Workplace Learning in the Public Sector

Strategic Workplace Learning in the Public Sector A little less than two years ago on this blog, I entered a curmudgeonly post on “The Non-Strategic State of Workplace Learning” (See Agile Bureaucracy, June 16, 2008 – http://community.thepublicmanager.org/cs/blogs/agile_bureaucracy/archive/2008/06/16/the-non-strategic-state-of-workplace.aspx ). My snarky premise was that even though since the mid-90s government at all levels had begun requiring strategic goals, measurable outcomes and periodic reporting on results, “this shift (hadn’t) yet made a noticeable dent” in aligning training and development investments with agency mission or management priorities. For example, I noted, “In a post-silo organizational culture, Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs) would be fully involved in the organization’s strategic planning and management systems (and such T&D) activities would be (integrated) to meet priority challenges.” Designing Strategic Leaning Efforts I also speculated that indicators of this integration might appropriately include the training community’s involvement in designing learning efforts to: foster an organization-wide performance culture improve oversight and accountability behavior recruit, engage and retain young professionals – among other priority HR challenges help IT professionals and non-technologists alike keep pace with expanding E-expectations help managers transcend boundaries of federal, state and local governments and foster collaboration among public, private, and nonprofit sectors assure that transparency becomes an organization-wide value help agency managers plan to share responsibility for achieving results – with other governmental levels, internationally and the private sector prepare managers for and respond more collaboratively to catastrophic disasters Again, the unflattering picture I painted two years ago didn’t include much evidence that the T&D community even had a seat at the table on these matters. To be sure, some of the feedback (and blowback) I received suggested that I had painted too bleak a picture. (After all, even the Dutch Masters included a few swatches of thick, white oil paint on their invariably dark canvases.) Nevertheless, few colleagues – trainers, HR leaders, and other public management professionals – could point to instances where training figured as an integral part of strategic public sector initiatives. Strategic Workplace Learning Observed Well, in searching for such illuminating examples, I’m beginning to see some light. In fact, the theme of the summer 2010 issue of The Public Manager is strategic workplace learning – with likely articles featuring case illustrations from such government organizations as: the US Departments of Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; and New York State, among others. Moreover, many of these public sector workplace learning innovations will be presented in interactive or workshop-style sessions at the American Society for Training and Development’s (ASTD’s) 2010 International Conference & Exposition to be held in Chicago, Illinois, May 16-19 ( http://www.astdconference.org/ ). Here are brief highlights from just two of these training efforts – both involving the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA): Enabling Success in Afghanistan: Building Cultural Expertise at the US Department of Defense As the United States geared up to send thousands of troops into Afghanistan, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) faced the challenge of preparing hundreds of intelligence analysts to enter the country knowing something of the history, culture, politics, and governance of the region. The Afghanistan-Pakistan Regional Expertise Training Program was developed to deliver cultural expertise training to intelligence professionals and operations personnel across the Intelligence Community and US Department of Defense. This case study considers how the DIA responded to a time-critical, far-reaching problem that crossed agency and coalition lines. It examines how to meet the need for an immediate solution while addressing questions of funding, format, location, and ideal content – in effect, how to create and evaluate a sustainable model for preparing employees to operate in a range of countries and cultures. Creating a Collaborative Culture at the Defense Intelligence Agency After the terrorist attacks of September 2001, the members of the Intelligence Community (IC) needed to transform from a stove-piped culture, where employees viewed knowledge as power, to a collaborative culture, where employees saw knowledge sharing as their personal responsibility. Creating such a culture begins with an effective onboarding program. In 2004, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) leadership directed the development of an orientation and acculturation program to bring together all junior-level, professional-grade employees, regardless of job responsibilities. The 5-week program develops an understanding of how all elements of the DIA work together to support US National Security objectives and Department of Defense operations, and to collaborate with other Intelligence Community (IC) members. This program is innovative among IC onboarding courses by its attendance policy, the length of the course, the curriculum, and the instructional methodology. DIA recognized that new employees could be effective change agents and designed its onboarding program to help establish a knowledge sharing culture. The recitation examines training techniques DIA has used to foster a culture of collaboration across organizational lines, explores the challenges within organizations that inhibit collaboration, and identifies the role of senior leadership in transforming the culture and the onboarding process. Share Your Observations In subsequent posts, I’ll be sharing more examples of how government organizations are aligning training efforts with strategic agency goals. If you know of other examples of how public sector organizations have begun to align workplace learning efforts with priority mission and management challenges, please let me hear from you. Better still, encourage trainers and managers in these organizations to comment on this blog directly and weigh in with their own best practice T&D stories. I’ll make sure to share these examples with a larger audience.

Strategic Sales Training

It’s time for some new thinking in sales training. Clearly, there is a need for more comprehensive approaches to increasing individual competency and building sales capacity. The current approach just isn’t working. Let’s look at some of the newest trends in sales and sales management, and how they can help: Talent management. Studies have shown that a deliberate approach to talent management, including the recruitment, selection, orientation, engagement, and retention of top sales performers, results in annual sales force turnover of less than 10 percent (BPT Partners). Top sales organizations focus keenly on the proper identification and selection of new sales team members who have the best fit for building the sales team. That means they fit withing the sales culture, selling system, and types of products being sold. S kills development. Training is conducted with the purpose of helping salespeople increase their knowledge of the business and developing higher level skills, not just focusing on one element of the sales training mix such as product knowledge. Sales leaders coach and develop their team members. Sales process execution. Once equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills, salespeople must be free to use them. They must be permitted – and expected – to take initiative, use good judgment, and make ethical decisions. Yet, 81 percent of sales organizations say that they don’t have a consultative sales process or are not following the one they have. Foundational selling skills. Skills such as presentation skills, speaking, closing, and follow-up – seem to be less important in today’s selling climate. Don’t get me wrong, salespeople do believe that addressing tough customer requirements, leveraging industry knowledge, and troubleshooting complex business problems provide the right customized experience for the buyer. Salespeople can provide value to buyers through a collaborative approach that co-creates a solution through a complex sales cycle. These approaches require salespeople to develop a wide variety of skills to keep pace with the increasing sophistication of the market and of their offerings. A competency model can help to define and guide that development. A competency model. A sales competency model can serve as an objective foundational starting point that can help to forecast and address knowledge and skills issues that arise due to the changes in markets and demographics. Consider the impact of a younger workforce: Will the only gap be one of turning knowledge into skill? How will companies turn the raw, undeveloped abilities of these younger players into consistently applied talent? What resources do we have for the bright, knowledgeable sales-team member who lacks the interpersonal skills to form lasting relationships with customers? And how will we address the loss of accumulated knowledge and years of experience when our most senior salespeople retire – many of them within the next five to ten years? If the experience of maturing workers is important to a company’s success, how can that experience and expertise be captured and transferred to younger, less experienced workers? Sales trainers, sales managers, and company executives must be more concerned with providing a holistic learning and development progression rather than relying on ad-hoc sales training activities. Furthermore, management must take a more proactive role in promoting the importance of this development and supplying adequate resources. Right now, many companies’ leaders are getting in the way of their sales teams’ success: In response to the ASTD survey, 44 percent said that there was a lack of management buy-in to sales training in their organizations, and 42 percent said that management’s short-sighted focus on results was an obstacle to successful sales training. To engineer world-class sales performance, sales team development must be holistic, all-encompassing, and proactive. There must be a paradigm shift in thinking, from “sales training” to “sales development and performance.” Sales training must quickly and deliberately evolve from a sometime activity by sales managers to an intentional, qualified effort that is directly tied to business strategy and measured according to business outcomes. Its practitioners must be knowledgeable, dedicated, and guided by a competency-based approach. A quantum shift to sales development and performance will bring sales team members together with professional sales trainers to create positive, progressive change by balancing human, ethical, technological, and operational considerations. A competency-based approach can help organizations attain business outcomes and results by focusing on sales-team member knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, and actions in relation to the workplace environment. For example, a competency-based approach allows sales development and performance professionals to work with a hiring manager to select new employees who demonstrate the agreed-upon competencies and expertise required to be successful in the position. These competencies then become part of the performance management system to monitor and evaluate the individual’s performance on the job. Finally, these competencies serve as the basis for guiding future development. A competency-based approach applied to the sales organization can provide a firm foundation by which sales team members can develop. With this approach, development efforts aimed at helping sales team members gain basic skills, technology skills, or even management skills are designed to be immediately applicable. Salespeople must continually develop new skills in order to contribute to the growth of their companies. The only way for companies to grow and compete in a rapidly changing global business environment is to have a skilled sales team that is innovative, understands the economic environment and marketplace, and is driven to excel within their industry. This requires the right people, with the right skills, at the right time. The tools and systems created by a competency-based approach to sales-team development can help organizations overcome many of the barriers cited here and maximize the potential of their sales force.

Schools hate businesses, businesses hate schools

As a gross generalization, schools hate business and businesses hate schools. Let me defend that: Schools hate business 1. Many academics view any skills that empowers an individual outside of academics as either “vocational” or “turning students into drones of capitalistic societies.” (Yet they have no problem rewarding skills that turn students into drones of academic environments.) I mention teaching subjects like “project management”and”solutions sales” to teachers and they recoil. 2. Professors are even encouraged to downplay their consulting to corporations. Even in b-school environment, what consulting is done, according the school mythology, is prostitution, a pursuit of lucre at the expense of integrity, unless it is done at the board level of a Fortune 500 company. 3. A lot of academics smile when the stock market dives, vindication of both their world view and their own personal career choice. Businesses hate schools 1. Businesses rail against classrooms, even their own training classes. Corporate people love to complain about training classes. “Classes don’t work!” “Training doesn’t teach anything.” “No one ever learned anything of important in a classroom.” Many training books and training professionals love quoting high profile individuals (such as CEO’s or brand-name consultants) hacking at classrooms, thinking “beyond the classroom.” If you listened to all of them talk, you would assume that employees are spending half of the lives trapped in basement lectures. Most people spend less time in classes than they spend waiting in line at their organization’s cafeteria. It reminds me a bit of the supporters of the a flag burning amendment. I wish people wouldn’t burn the American flag as much as anyone, but as far as I can tell, there is just not an epidemic of flag burning. And there sure is no epidemic of too much classroom training. The railing is really just posturing. 2. Business people love talking about academic reform. But when a company is performing sub-par, business people don’t talk about Xerox reform or corporate reform. They talk about change management, growth, and re-invention. They talk about “taking a short-term profit hit” to “restructure.” 3. Even amonst the corporations that do the most training, I have never seen a business sponsor an internal remedial history class, or art class, or literature class, or any kind of liberal arts experience. They say they respect it on a resume, but if you don’t arrive with it, they are sure not going to give it to you. 4. And businesses fight hard for tax breaks, which come out of school pockets. All with a big smile But both sides hide their animosity reasonably well. The development side of schools want donations from businesses. They talk to parents about preparing students for the future. Businesses want to appear helpful and benevolent and part of the community. It is only after the love-fest meetings and PR events do the real feelings emerge. And I believe the friction, the misalignment, this cold war between these two hurts students, hurts our GDP and standard of living, hurts schools, and hurts business. The Hope of T+D In our profession, literally of the people reading this blog, lies either the opportunity to bring these two worlds together, or to create a bigger wedge to push them apart. It is an opportunity (and yes, responsibility) that I hope we all consider as we present our ideas, shape our strategies, postore, define ourselves, and invest in and execute our plans.

Research: Emotional Intelligence Promotes Positive Business Performance

Highlands Ranch, Colo. (PRWEB) June 3, 2009 — Research indicates a strong relationship between business performance and emotional intelligence. In recent years, interest in emotional intelligence has grown as research shows impact on a variety of business measures, including recruiting and job selection, sales results and leadership performance. Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions to improve work and personal life. In a new whitepaper titled, “Emotional Intelligence: What’s New, What’s True – Improving EQ with Behavioral Styles,” the TRACOM Group explores the importance of emotional intelligence and its direct link to critical business measures and individual success, more so than traditional measures such as IQ. The complimentary whitepaper can be downloaded at http://www.tracomcorp.com/forms/eiwhitepaper.html. The whitepaper also explores the genetic disposition people have for emotional intelligence and the affect it has on improved leadership and managerial performance. However, research also shows that emotional intelligence, just like technical skills, can be developed through a systematic and consistent approach to training and development. ( Read the entire article.)

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?

November Guest Blogger: Chad Udell

Chad Udell is the managing director at Float Learning, a consultingfirm that combines strategy, mobile app development, and eLearning to guideorganizations by harnessing the power of mobile learning. Chad has a B.S. in Graphic Design from Bradley University(where he is also an adjunct faculty member for the Interactive MediaDepartment), with deep experience in large-scale web design and development.Chad and his team have done some impressive educational interactive design workas well (see what they built for the AlderPlanetarium to get an idea of some of that work), and released some greatapps on the iTunesstore and AndroidMarketplace. Chad is currently running ASTD’s Essentials of Mobile Learningcourse along with Jeff Tillett.Chad will be blogging here this month, focusing on mobile learning. You cancatch up with Chad and the Float team over on their blog at floatlearning.com/blog, and if you’reinterested in web design and development, check in with his personal blog at visualrinse.com. Chad will be leading a fullday workshop on prototyping at the upcoming ASTD TechKnowledge Conferencein January. Oh, and if you think Chad is only a tech guy, he also brewshis own beer (he prefers nice citrusy IPAs) and is pretty good behind a grillor smoker. Join Chad as he explores topics this month on mobilelearning strategy and how to get started on the road to mobile learning.

New Survey from Krauthammer: Around 80% of businesses feel resistant to current difficult business climate

KRAUTHAMMER | London, UK 80% of international businesses feel relatively resistant when it comes to the worsening business climate. 55% will defend their investments in ‘behavioural development’ programmes in areas such as leadership, management and sales. On the downside, 20% say that they will cut their budgets. This and other findings are the results of a probe conducted by Krauthammer in late Autumn 2008. 34% of the respondents forecast a poor business climate for 2009. Around 20% believe they have “low resistance” to a difficult business climate and are planning to cut their behavioural development budgets in line with their predictions. However, over twice as many – 55% – feel resistant – and 42% even plan to raise development budgets. “The news is mixed. The most positive signal we can distill from our probe is that companies will prioritise initiatives with a real and measurable impact. So consultants that excel in sophisticated forms of body-shopping will probably be hit as hard as temporary personnel providers”, comments Ronald Meijers, Co-chairman of the Board of Krauthammer. *) body shopping typically implies filling temporary competence gaps rather than structurally improving a company’s performance. The respondents will defend training and coaching more vigorously than they will consulting. And as many CEOs admit their difficulties in predicting results for 2009, leadership training will be most defended – by 53% of respondents, followed by sales training (47%) and management training (42%). Crossfunctional training such as IT- and language skills will be least defended, the probe suggests. When it comes to coaching, too – leadership, management and sales coaching will be most defended. Overall, training seems less vulnerable than coaching – training will be cut by fewer numbers of people than its coaching equivalents. According to the probe, consulting budgets will be defended by around a third of businesses. Least popular, the probe suggests, will be consulting in “hard issues” such as strategies, operations and structures – only 19% of the respondents would defend it. A combination of “soft” and “hard” issues such as sales effectiveness will be most resilient of consulting propositions – 33% of respondents say they will protect budgets in this area. Nick Girling Senior Consultant, Office Leader UK, Krauthammer Tel: +44 20 8770 7200 Mobile: +44 7900 5648 79 E-mail: nick.girling@krauthammer.com Coaching, consulting and training company Krauthammer assists clients worldwide in successfully uniting permanent people development and sustainable business performance. It offers major change implementation and human capital development programmes at the individual, team and corporate levels optimising the personal effectiveness of leaders and managers, salespeople and negotiators, trainers, coaches, consultants and support staff. Established in 1971, Krauthammer International has 300 consultants and employees, delivering services in over 50 countries, in 15 languages. International consistency and the ongoing professional development of the consultants are ensured by four annual Krauthammer University sessions where every consultant spends between 2 and 3 weeks per year. www.krauthammer.com

New Deloitte Research Finds Increasing CEO Involvement in Talent Management

The fast growing talent gap is prompting even CEOs to add leadership development and recruitment to their busy daily schedules, according to a new report by Deloitte and Forbes. The Threading the Talent Needle report, which features several different takes on talent management revealed through one-on-one interviews with senior leaders at global organizations, described several companies that believe the shortage of qualified people is becoming severe enough to get the CEO’s direct attention. [more]Two-thirds of the organizations in the study cited a critical need for the CEO to meet face to face with high-potential employees. These findings underscore the severity of the human capital shortage, considering that CEOs must add talent management to their daily tasks of directing business strategy, managing finances and working directly with the board. “Our CEO is very much involved in selecting people at higher levels, and he is directly involved in the talent review process in our organization,” said Juergen Brokatzky-Geiger, head of Human Resources at Novartis. In addition to interacting with employees to aid retention and develop skills useful to the organization, some CEOs are even spending time on attracting new talent at all levels. “I personally get involved with recruitment days and sessions that we organize around the world, so I can speak to young people and see what they really have on their minds,” said Peter Bakker, CEO of TNT, a Netherlands-based delivery services company. The effort CEOs are placing on talent management emphasizes the importance building a competitive workforce plays in the future of the organization. For more information on this study, please visit Deloitte’s Talent Management website at www.deloitte.com/us/talent.

In a cash, time, and people strapped work environment, how can we develop our own games?

A great question from Kevin Shadix is the topic of my first proper blog post here on Learning Circuits. For me, the answer to this question lies in the perception of what a ‘game’ is. Personally, I’ve adopted Jesse Schell’s definition of a game which suggests that a game is “a problem solving activity, approached with an attitude of fun”. It’s a pretty simplistic definition but it helps me to frame my thinking when it comes to designing a new game. The definition says nothing of time or expense, or even particular skills and resources to be deployed; it is purely about solving a problem with a fun approach. Of course, Schell isn’t the only person to have an opinion on the definition of games and for many this would be too simplistic. So I’ll throw another at you here; this time from Chris Crawford, which doesn’t so much define Games as it defines the taxonomy of creative expressions Things get really interesting with Crawford’s taxonomy when you get to the lower reaches. Crawford suggests that without a competitor whose outcome you can directly influence, you don’t have a game. I’m not so sure direct “attacks” are actually required in order to influence the outcome of an event – think about the mind games that occur in a running race where you can’t actually touch your opponent, but you can psych them out. But his definition really boils down to this element of conflict, an element which makes it into other definitions of games, such as that of Learning Games expert Simon Egenfeldt-Nelson, who suggests the definition of computer games to be ‘virtual worlds with a conflict’. For me, ‘virtual worlds’ is a contentious term because it conjures the image of 3D graphics engines, Second Life and the rest of it. I don’t believe that this level of virtual world is necessary to create a computer game, but I do believe it is necessary to create a reality which is different to our own – be that through a webpage, an app or a world. Constructing the ‘world’ is a key part of the games design, as are a number of other elements. I’ll throw back to Jesse Schell who neatly outlined 4 pillars of game design for us to work from: Schell suggested that all games have a basis within these 4 pillars. They have Aesthetics – a look, feel and touch which appeals to players and is appropriate to the context. This might mean a 3D virtual world, or it might mean a few scribbles on a piece of paper. If you are short on resources, it probably doesn’t mean a 3D world, but that’s no big issue. Many fine computer games are played out through a text interface within a browser window. Schell also talks about the Story behind the game. This, for me, is one of the most important features in any game. Does it have a narrative that I am compelled to see through to the end? Am I genuinely interested in the outcome? To often ‘serious games’ overlook this aspect as they seek to rip the ‘fun’ elements out as an unnecessary and childish addition. It couldn’t be more core. If ‘fun’ isn’t a part of your vocab, leave games-based learning well alone. Mechanics are the pillar which the architects of many a ‘gamification’ have come to rest upon. Mechanics are the methods by which we compete within a game, the way in which we do better and win. Most people come to rest on the ideas of points, levels and badges as being the sum-total of mechanics, but again, this is selling the concept short. Mechanics can be woven into complex design patterns which promote engagement within the game if they are done right. Think about ideas like Quests, Treasure Hunts, Reputation, Scarcity of Resources and Roles as just a handful of mechanics which you can use to promote engagement and signal competence within the game. Finally, technology is the pillar which allows your participants to play your game. Simplistically, the technology you choose needs to facilitate the other pillars to the best of its ability. If you choose an aesthetic which happens to be a webpage, then you better have a web server which can serve it up reliably and your students better be able to access it. But it doesn’t need to be an X-Box to do this. I guess what I’m getting at with this background information is that you shouldn’t feel constrained by the ‘normal’ view of what a triple-A rated game on the store shelf looks like. You don’t need to invest in the next Call of Duty to make a great game. By considering the core components of a game and aligning the games objectives with your learning outcomes, you can create a neat solution which doesn’t cost the earth. Games come in all shapes and sizes and, if you structure your expectations accordingly, can be brought in at low or even no cost if you are willing to do the work yourself. Plagiarism is rife in the game development world and I wouldn’t be adverse from taking a leaf or two from existing games as your inspiration. For example, in a recent project we created a very simple game that replicated “Guitar Hero” to teach students the rhythms behind a horses hoof falls. Really simple, less than a day to make and it works really well. In reality, unless you happen to be a kick-ass coder, most games that are within the reach of your ‘average joe’ probably play out most of their story without the use of a computer game engine. But that’s fine too; the approach transcends computer games technology once you know the core components of creating a decent game. Nowhere in those definitions will you find an insistence to make it a 3D photo-realistic shoot ’em up. Let me close on a favourite story of mine for the development of a simple game. Imagine you are running a new employee orientation course. On the first morning, you arrive 10 minutes late, looking a real mess. You announce to the class that you’ve lost everything for the onboarding programme – every scrap of information, save for the contents page at the front of the binder. Your job is on the line unless you can pull this information back together before the end of the day. You need their help. They need to get online, get around the office, and get talking to people to find you the information you need. They’ll compete against each other to get the info back to you first as you only need one copy. But you need it all by the end of the day. Well, what are you waiting for? Get going!

HUD Chief of Staff Laurel Blatchford on risk taking and engaging employees

(From The Washington Post) — Laurel A. Blatchford, chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since 2009, previously worked for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg first at City Hall and then at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). During her time in city government, Blatchford worked with agencies and private partners on mayoral initiatives that included the redevelopment of the Far West Side of Manhattan, the transformation of the High Line park, and the Mayor’s affordable housing plan. Was there a critical event that led to your becoming the leader you are today? There are two: one professional and one personal. 9/11 was an enormously significant experience for me, as it was for so many people in New York. Following the attacks, the city was in terrible shape – but it represented an enormous opportunity for collaboration. People wanted to work for the mayor to help rebuild New York and were working together like never before. This was a lesson about uniting around a common goal. Read more.

Do you really KNOW your Sales Team?

ACCELERATED LEARNING – Multiple Intelligence and YOU. “It’s not how smart you are but how you are smart,” states Harvard College of Education Professor, Howard Gardner, who developed the ” Theory of Multiple Intelligences”. Why is it that people with IQs of (160) end up working for people with IQs of (100)? When you understand how to identify and use the intelligences strongest for you – is when you can really begin to use your full brain power. An Accelerated Learning system can speed up the design and learning process to increase learning effectiveness with a calculated return on business results. Gardner revealed his theory in “Frames of Mind”, a book where outlining (8) distinct Intelligences. Linguistic Intelligence The ability to read, write and communicate with words. Authors, Journalists, Poets, Public Speakers and Comedians. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence Reasoning and calculating, logical and systematic. Engineers, Scientists, Economists, Accountants, Detectives, Legal Professionals, Mathematicians. Visual-Spatial Intelligence Visualization, and Imagination for actualizing and materializing a thought or creation. Architects, Sculptors, Photographers and Strategic Planners. Direction, navigation and drawing. Musical Intelligence Create or compose music, singing, vocalizing or moving to rhythm. Understanding or appreciating music. Musicians, Composers, Recording Artists / Engineers. Music ability can be learned and used for accelerate memory, pnemonics. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence Solving problems, create products or present ideas and emotions with your body or through intuitive feeling. Athletics, dancing, acting, building and construction / hands on vocational agility. Interpersonal (Social) Intelligence Relate and work effectively with others through empathy, understanding, discernment. Teachers, Facilitators, Therapists, Politicians, Religious Leaders and Sales People. Intrapersonal Intelligence Self-analyze, and Reflect. Contemplate behavior and inner thoughts for personal growth and human development. Having an aptitude to love one’s self and help others see the same reality. Philosophers, Counselors, Top Performers. Naturalist Intelligence Understanding of how to use and appreciate the natural world. Fishermen, Farming, Biologists, Forestry, Conservationists, Environmentalists. Spiritual Intelligence Spiritual Intelligence has yet to be accepted and validated by the “world”. Howard Gardner resisted the temptation of placing this category at #9, but it should be noted that many people will attest to having the enlightened ability to access a knowledge through spiritual discernment for wise decision making and achieving a personal life state of contentment and peace.

DDI: Best-Practices in Building the Leadership Pipeline

Organizational focus on succession management will continue to grow as a result by the limited and narrowing skilled labor market, according to recent research by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), underwritten by Development Dimensions International (DDI). How Best-in-Class organizations address the pressures of a tightened labor market, as well as the results they’ve achieved by doing so, are highlighted in the new benchmark report by Aberdeen Group, Succession Management: Addressing the Leadership Development Challenge. Aberdeen revealed that the foundation of an effective succession management program lies in a solid competency framework as well as a standardized performance management process. In fact, organizations that achieved Aberdeen’s Best-in-Class designation for this study are 45% more likely than all other organizations to have clearly defined success profiles (knowledge, experience, competencies and personal attitudes) for key positions. “When it comes to identifying high-potential talent, it is critical to evaluate their performance equally,” said Jayson Saba, senior research associate, human capital management at Aberdeen. “Viewing succession candidates through the same looking glass allows organizations to compare apples to apples and make better decisions for selecting leadership candidates.” Moreover, this research highlights the importance of establishing accountability at the management ranks for ensuring a qualified leadership pipeline. To this point, Best-in-Class organizations are 62% more likely than Laggard organizations to have a systematic process where senior managers regularly review the performance and progress of high-potentials enrolled in development programs. According to Kevin Martin, Aberdeen’s vice president and principal analyst for human capital management, “this research compliments and reinforces research we’ve conducted across other elements of talent management, specifically performance management and learning and development, where we see Best-in-Class organizations view employee development more as a collective effort rather than an individual’s sole responsibility”. The research also found that integrating succession data with other talent management elements has yielded great benefits in terms of workforce knowledge management. Best-in-Class organizations are more than twice as likely as Laggards to integrate succession data with performance management and learning and development applications. Saba added, “Integrating talent management data provides organizations more visibility into the development of high-potentials and improves their decision-making ability when it comes to determining promotion readiness.” Read more.

CSTD Fredericton

Well after finally getting my wireless to work I am able to upload some blogging from the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD) conference in Fredericton (links in this post are to my summaries). Clark Aldrich led off with a talk called Simulations, Computer Games and Pedagogy. It took a long time to get to the point, so he really didn’t get inot a lot of detail. Then, in one of the breakout sessions, Darlene Burt and Darren McKinnon of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce did a really nice session on the development and deployment of a personalized learning system for customer center staff, New Communication and Information Technologies Emerging in the Workplace. Good, comprehensive presentation that was well organized and didn’t skimp on detail. Good things about the conference so far: good mix of people, and not the same crowd I see at academic conferences. Talked with many people thus far. One good talk. Some interesting displays. Bad things so far: the Delta Hotel here is declining in quality (room wasn’t restocked, no milk for coffee in room service, convenience store closed). No signs at the conference and no rooms listed in the conference schedule – as a result, I missed this afternoon’s session, as there were no sessions scheduled for the one room (the lecture theatre) I thought there would be.

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

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

ASTD Launches Free App for TechKnowledge 2011

The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) launched the TK 2011 event app for its annual TechKnowledge conference, further demonstrating its commitment to providing cutting-edge content through multiple platforms. The app integrates the conference schedule, program guide, session handouts, and social media functions. These tools enable conference attendees to personalize the settings and share their thoughts with other attendees in real time. Other features of the TK 2011 app include: This free app is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad through the App Store. Android users can find the app in the Android market. A BlackBerry and Web version are available at www.ativsoftware.com/apps. Preview the app at http://vimeo.com/18620745. ASTD created the TK 2011 app in conjunction with ATIV Software. The app is based on ATIV’s EventPilot, the customizable mobile conference app for event planners, meeting organizers, and professional associations.

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.

Next Generation E-Learning

The latest research by ATD and the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) found that self-paced e-learning is thriving in nearly 90 percent of organizations. Talent development leaders and practitioners say they anticipate not only continued growth, but exciting changes for e-learning ahead. They expect e-learning to take on new characteristics: greater levels of personalization, more interactivity, expanded use of videos, and an increased focus on content presented as microlearning. Join…

Keeping Your Career on Track in a Complex World

In this volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, is career planning a thing of the past? With skill requirements changing so frequently, how can anyone stay current? What can you do to stay marketable? During this webcast, you will learn about steps you can take to: – Assess your VIPS (values, interests, personality, and skills). – Clarify your career direction. – Evaluate your skills gaps. – Think ahead to future-proof your career. Join Sue Kaiden, Manager of ATD’s Career Development community and career coach, for a conversation about managing and thriving in your career despite uncertainty and ever-changing expectations. Be sure to submit a question for Sue when you register for this interactive webcast.

Disrupt Yourself

You are ready to do something new. Really new. But what will you do? How will you navigate a job change? A career pivot? In this webcast, Whitney Johnson will illustrate a seven-point framework she codified in the critically acclaimed book Disrupt Yourself. As president and co-founder of the Disruptive Innovation Fund with Harvard’s Clayton Christensen, Whitney used disruptive innovation in investing. This webcast will show you how to make disruptive innovation meaningful to you, by applying it to your career development. You will also have access to a proprietary diagnostic that will indicate whether it is, in fact, time to disrupt yourself. During this webcast, you will: -Learn about the seven-point disruption framework. -Understand how you can apply the framework to your personal career path. -Identify if it is time to disrupt yourself. Join us for this fascinating look at disruption on a personal level.

5 Key Competencies to Drive Performance and Achieve Results (SU303)

Time management is increasingly important, but there are simple, effective techniques you can use to improve how you spend your day. This session, based on best practices from a leading time-management training and assessment company, will show you how to strengthen your personal effectiveness, leadership development, and capacity to change. You’ll leave with tools to achieve measurable increases in productivity, engagement, and accomplishment.

Be a Better Manager

Managers are crucial to the success of organizations because they make executive-level strategies happen. Not intended as a replacement for formal management development, this issue helps readers identify areas for improvement and plan for development and acts as a supplement to formal learning programs offered in organizations. The issue describes a group of competencies that are widely believed to be important for managers, including business management, people management, process management, communication, and personal effectiveness.

Implementing E-Learning Solutions (In Action Case Study Series)

Where are you in both your understanding and implementation of e-learning solutions? The development and implementation of e-learning solutions has become a topic of discussion for most training organizations. It is also an area of interest among corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofit entities, where it is not limited to those organizations’ training departments. The interest in e-learning and the exposure it is getting are both a blessing and a curse for training professionals. Along with the high-level exposure for pending or existing initiatives come perceptions about the results. Many times these expectations of deliverables, the time frame to launch and investment requirements are unrealistic. Training managers are expected to have a great deal of knowledge about the field, the players, and the staffing requirements. Unfortunately, without personal experience this knowledge can be difficult to obtain. Implementing E-Learning Solutions contributes to the understanding of the e-learning field by offering a variety of systems, processes, and models through the case studies. By sharing the challenges and successes of those who have already embarked on the e-learning path, other training professionals will benefit from their experience.

Effective SMEs

Content expertise isn’t enough for the training room. Partnering with subject matter experts can really pay off. SMEs (we pronounce it smees) bring credibility and relevance to live training. They enrich learning programs with their insight and depth of experience. But content expertise alone isn’t enough to deliver effective training. . . .SMEs want to do well in the classroom, but it’s often unfamiliar terrain. They’re authorities on content, not talent development. Without guidance, they may overshare or find themselves unable to facilitate a productive discussion—all of which frustrate learners. But, with the right approach, you can bring SMEs into the training room successfully, in a way that makes learners, instructors, and managers feel like their goals are being met. Effective SMEs: A Trainer’s Guide for Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning is the blueprint to managing SME-led training. Authors Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger offer first-rate advice gleaned from decades helping presenters, instructional designers, and SMEs become better communicators. Underlying all their tips is their belief that SMEs and instructional designers must get comfortable with each other’s role. The authors lay the groundwork for you, describing the fundamental principles of a successful training event and the personal approach they contend every SME and ID bring to the training table. You’ll discover how to design learning events with the needs of SMEs in mind. And you’ll try out best practices for coaching SMEs to deliver training efficiently and effectively. The authors also share detailed and relatable workplace scenarios drawn from their vast business experience as well as job aids to assist you in a variety of learning situations. Effective SMEs is the rare book that addresses both designing for SMEs to deliver training and coaching them to be effective once they’re in the training room. Don’t plan your next live training event without it.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home and Organizational Policies

This article discusses the trend of working from home in view of some recent developments in the United States. The key theme in this article is that there are both advantages and disadvantages of working from home and therefore, it is high time both employers and employees arrived at a mutually beneficial policy regarding the practice. The article makes a case for allowing women employees to work from home in personal exigencies.

Roles of the People Manager and the Project Manager in Contemporary Organizations

In recent years, there has been a trend in some services sector firms to have a people manager for the employees who is distinct from the project manager. This article discusses this trend and assesses the reasons for having a dual approach towards reporting. The key theme in this article is that the shift in emphasis from treating people as yet another factor of production to treating them as the key assets and sources of competitive advantage has prompted the development and emergence of the trend towards having a people manager who is responsible for personality development.

Leadership Toolkit for Managers | Coursera

Leadership Toolkit for Managers from Vanderbilt University. Personal branding is critical for today’s executive—it distinguishes you as a competent authority, helps you establish your own goals for continuous improvement and development of your …

PlayPosit – Deeply engage learners and accountably measure understanding

Why school leaders choose PlayPosit Among the changes in education, there are two particularly pressing forces: Blended learning and Common Core testing. The Blended model–individualized, differentiated video instruction to complement in-person learning opportunities–has never had more game-changing potential with the ubiquity of tablets and computers, but it is not standardized in implementation, efficacy, and alignment to school needs. The Common Core State Standards–computer-based summative assessment designed to standardize learning progress across states–are rolling out in most US states this year. They are rigorous and require teachers to deliver new content and students to master a new assessment environment. Existing Challenges...

CoreSpring – Problem banks & formative assessment tools for K-12 math, English and science

The CoreSpring Learning Suite – The ultimate toolkit. The CoreSpring Learning Suite is a comprehensive, scalable, and perfectly priced formative assessment solution that addresses the present and future needs of any application. It brings together an unparalleled collection of open education resources, our WYSISYG authoring tools, and their powerful technology platform. Content Collections: Designed for and aligned to standards. With CoreSpring’s advanced question bank, educators have access to handpicked assessment items that are designed for — and organized by — College and Career Readiness Standards. Items are immediately scored and evaluated so data can be used to inform the next lesson, discussion...

Cognii – The first virtual assistant designed exclusively for education & training market.

Cognii Virtual Learning Assistant Cognii’s Virtual Learning Assistant uses powerful natural language processing technology to provide instant assessment of students’ open-response answers, along with qualitative feedback. It acts as “Siri for Education” by engaging students in adaptive tutoring conversations and helping them master concepts and solve problems. Cognii supports inquiry-based learning and facilitates implementation of Common Core and Next Generation Science standards. Students can learn any topic, anytime, anywhere with the help of Cognii’s interactive formative assessment. Key features and benefits of Cognii: Instant assessment of open-response answers Evaluates conceptual understanding Highly scalable and easy to integrate Significant cost savings...

BetterLesson – Empowering teachers to drive their own professional learning

BetterLesson Launches PersonalizedPD Platform to Transform Teacher Learning Their current economic and social challenges require nothing less than exceptional thinkers and creators. They need their students to be truly lit-up, ready to tackle evolving sets of novel challenges. Nothing less will do. At BetterLesson, they believe that teachers can (and must) be this transformational force, enabling greatness for their students by modeling how to quickly and bravely Learn by Doing. Unsurprisingly, the key to their model is personalization. Without true personalization, there’s no way to bring genuine, active learning within reach for every teacher. With this in mind, PersonalizedPD delivers...

SymbalooEDU – Manage all your resources in the cloud

  SymbalooEDU is the visual resource management tool that helps educators and students organize and share the best of the web. Users save their resources in the cloud and access them from anywhere with any device. But it doesn’t stop there! With features like embedded content, group tiles and sequenced tiles, educators around the world are creating lesson plans, research assignments and personalize learning in many different ways. SymbalooEDU is used in schools to support: 1:1 Classroom Blended Learning Flipped Classroom BYOD Create. Share. Discover. Now Symbaloo has over 8 million users worldwide and offers extensive support in 5 different languages....

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...