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Crisis Points

Use the Greiner Curve to assess and anticipate business needs and create a talent development strategy to address them.

World-Class CEOs Are Made, Not Born

(From Business Wire) — Experts devoted to the study of leadership point to character and competence cultivated over decades as precursors to success. RHR International, a leader in the field of senior executive performance, believes it is possible to accelerate this cultivation timeline as well as the development results. In part one (“Defining World-Class Performance Dimensions”) of a 2-part edition of its publication, Executive Insight, RHR International outlined the criteria that define world-class leadership performance in the Chief Executive position: Read more.

Workers Agree: Company Culture Matters

(From Business Wire) — As many companies continue to focus on recession management strategies such as cutting costs and increasing operational efficiencies, Randstad’s latest Work Watch survey reveals company culture is a critical driver of business success. In fact, two thirds of working adults (66 percent) believe that company culture is very important to the success of their organizations. The survey also found that employees believe company culture has the greatest impact on employee morale (35 percent), followed by employee productivity (22 percent). Twenty-three percent of younger workers, ages 18 to 34, say it plays the biggest role in building job satisfaction. While company culture may be the secret weapon companies need to retain workers and increase productivity and morale, it has suffered during the past two years. According to survey respondents, 59 percent believe that recent economic events have had a negative impact on company culture. With layoffs, reduced benefits and wages, morale has suffered and many workers are feeling disengaged from their employers. “Companies that will perform well will nurture the factors that make their employees feel happier and engaged at work, more connected to overall results, and more motivated to make a strong contribution,” said Eileen Habelow, PhD., Randstad’s senior vice president of organizational development. “Going forward, companies can’t ignore culture. Rather, it should be addressed as a critical component of their overall business strategy.” Read more.

Why is a Mobile Learning Strategy Important?

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

What would you like to see in a Leadership Handbook?

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

What Sales Teams Want

In order to determine what salespeople and sales managers want, we must first determine what they need to know. As markets, models, and buyer expectations have changed, so have the necessary knowledge and skills for the successful salesperson and sales manager. No longer are product knowledge, persuasiveness, and persistence enough. To truly understand what successful sales team members need to know and do, we asked them with our sales training research. ASTD Research surveyed 210 sales trainers and 179 salespeople during the summer. Overwhelmingly, respondents said that they value sales training and believe it to be very or extremely important. When asked about the skills required to be successful in their jobs, survey respondents indicated these top five: Respondents were also asked what kind of knowledge is required to be successful in their jobs. Valuable knowledge areas include: Accenture research found that although 146 of 244 executives from six countries said that the sales team plays the most prominent role in their company’s long- and short-term success, 41 percent of managers and executives from more than 2,500 sales organizations said that their salespeople are performing below expectations (Nightingale Conant/Andy Miller). This backs up our thought that we need a new approach, one in which the sales development and training needs of sales teams are viewed through a strategic and holistic lens. To be successful, this approach requires the alignment of all aspects of talent management, skills development, and sales process execution. Revenue goals must be aligned with business outcomes and business processes that are deliberately designed to allow salespeople to develop productive customer relationships and deliver appropriate solutions. Further, salespeople must be equipped and empowered to make decisions that benefit both the buying and selling organizations, and sales managers must be given both the time and the training to coach and develop their sales teams.

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 to Come in 2008

As I read the blog I’d like to post a few updates on our research and predictions for e-learning in 2008. 1. Social Networking is hitting the corporate scene, driving tremendous demand for informal learning, or what we call “learning on-demand.” The solutions organizations are looking for include blogs, wikis, and communities of practice. The CoP companies we talk with tell us that their businesses are booming (Tomoye and Mzinga being two which focus heavily in this space). We just surveyed 800+ worldwide training directors and CLOs and found that 83% feel they have a significant or urgent need to change their learning programs to deal with the learning styles of younger workers. And despite this need, only 35% feel that they have the tools and experience to do this today. What we expect to happen in 2008 is an explosion in the use of “self-published content”- that is solutions which enable learners to reach out and support each other. Organizations which do this today include Cisco, IBM, Symantec, Infosys, and many more. In fact, this is something which is relatively easy to do – if you remember that your role is to “facilitate”this content interchange, not “create content.” 2. E-Learning, as defined, is not as successful as one may believe. I have to say, I started working in e-learning before the term was coined and spent much of my career over the last 10 years in the development, analysis, and research in this topic. I figured that by now we would have “figured it out.” This is not the case. In fact, in the same research I cited above (to be published this Spring), only 19% of organizations feel they are doing a good job at building “high-impact”courseware, 13% at building simulations and other higher fidelity forms of training, and most surprising of all, only 23% feel that they are doing a good job at blended learning. This really suprised me. While many large organizations are doing quite well at this, far more are still behind the curve. I believe the problem is that the complexity of e-learning grows each year, and now we consider searchable content, audio, video, and web 2.0 interactions as “standard” for all internet applications. Content which is in the early 2000s “page turning” style has become very boring and hard to complete. Anyway, much more to talk about but I’ll keep this short. Please contact me at (510) 654-8500 or visit our website for more – we’re publishing our 2008 predictions this week. ( www.bersin.com)

What Happens When You Neglect to Create a Mobile Strategy?

So now that you have the building blocks of your strategy in your sights, it important to maintain focus. Now is not the time to get caught up in discussions about building your first app or what type of devices the IT department is going to be buying. You need to stay in the driver’s seat and craft the strategy to match the technology landscape of the community at large and also find a healthy mix of progress and protection to meet your business goals. What The Strategy Provides More than anything else, the mobile learning strategy gives you a compass on which to guide your team’s efforts (maybe more appropriately, a GPS). This aerial view of the mobile learning plan you have in mind prevents distractions. Think of wasted time in meetings, hours writing RFPs, designs and wireframes destined for failure. This strategy helps you continue making progress, not wasting efforts. It allows you to see the proverbial forest for the trees. The Trees Oh the trees! They’re beautiful! With mobile there are just many of them. Every time a new tablet comes out, a tree! With every OS or SDK update and beta distribution, another tree! A press release from a company regarding their plug-ins status on mobile, there’s yet another. You see where I am going with this, right? Reading mobile industry news sites is a great idea of course; it keeps you informed as to where the leaders are headed. Attending conferences and webinars is also a great thing to help you see where technology is going. However, to take a single news story or a single bullet point in a keynote speech and seize on it as the cornerstone as your entire strategy will surely lead you to ruin. Each of these aforementioned ‘for instances’ is insignificant in the bigger picture and should be weighed and considered in light of all the other news items, customer or user inputs, and so on in order to help create your larger strategy. When the trees keep popping up quicker than you can cut them down, you know you are in trouble. You’ll constantly be issuing statements to your management about what the latest development means to them and your work. You’ll start to lose credibility with your stakeholders and designers as well. You must elevate and think big! The Forest Step back for a moment and take a look at the trees from a distance. What direction is the wind blowing through them in your line of work? I’m talking about big ideas, concepts, and trends. Are tablets growing in popularity? Is a particular platform taking over or dwindling rapidly? Are users demanding notifications and content just-in-time? Are advanced hardware features like cameras, geolocation, 3D graphics, etc., a now expected featureset? Are regulations hampering progress in your business? Are the stakeholders ready to make decisions and contribute? Is the mobile web winning over hearts and minds in your IT department due to scalability and ease of deployment and support? These are the telling signs that let you understand where you need to spend your efforts. These signs show you the true shape of your forest. Until Next Time Now that we’ve gone over why a good Mobile Learning Strategy is important, what one looks like and you also have a good idea of what happens when you neglect to use one, we’ll talk implementation next week!

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.

Washington Press Corps Veteran Ilyse Veron Takes Helm of The Public Manager

The Public Manager, a quarterly journal about empowering government and developing leaders, announces an editorial change in the Spring 2011 issue. Washington press corps veteran Ilyse Veron will take over as editor, according to the journal’s publisher Carrie Blustin, while longtime editor Warren Master will assume a new role as Editor-at-Large. “For eleven years Warren Master kept readers on the leading-edge with innovative public management articles,” said Blustin. “We look forward to his continued contributions as Editor-at-Large, anchoring interviews for the journal’s new podcast series, sharing insights in his blog, Agile Bureaucracy, and presenting at our events.” “This change brings new opportunities to provide more timely content and perspective,” Ms. Blustin continued. “Ilyse Veron brings years of award-winning experience covering media, technology, and public affairs, including actions of every federal department and agendas of multiple presidents. And, she’s done it for CQ and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, among others.” Master’s final spring issue centers on public managers’ preparations for climate change. Ms. Veron’s first issue, due out in June, will offer a forum on 21st century government – its technology, performance, and talent management. The summer issue of the journal will launch Ms. Veron’s new column, Editorial Perspective, and other features. Ms. Veron joined The Public Manager after years of producing events, programs, and reports with MacNeil-Lehrer Productions, and she has already begun blogging and podcasting along with Mr. Master on management issues at www.thepublicmanager.org. Ms. Veron’s career began at The Brookings Institution, followed by years at Congressional Quarterly. In the mid-90s, she served as principal researcher on The System, a book by David Broder and Haynes Johnson. From 1995-2002 she reported for the NewsHour on national and business news, earning an Emmy award for coverage of the Justice Department’s case against Microsoft and recognition from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Since 2002 Ms. Veron has specialized in outreach and project management, working on citizen events and broadcasts such as PBS’ By the People and “Bernanke on the Record,” and she has developed content on various media platforms for nonpartisan nonprofits with a federal focus. Her freelance bylines have run on Scripps Howard Wire Service, Wired.com, Foxnews.com, and elsewhere, most recently in Education Week’s Digital Directions magazine. About The Public Manager The Public Manager is a unique, editorially independent quarterly journal about government leadership that works. Focused on empowering and developing leaders, it publishes ideas of experienced professionals about critical public management issues including budgeting and accountability, technology and innovation, and the people who make it happen. Additionally, with events and web postings, it fosters a community for current, former and future managers to share best practices and resources regarding federal challenges and professional development. The Public Manager allies with the Partnership for Public Service, GovLoop, Young Government Leaders, the Graduate School, the American Society for Public Administration, and others who serve career public servants. The Public Manager is published by The Bureaucrat, Inc., a nonprofit controlled affiliate of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD). ASTD is the world’s largest association dedicated to the training and development field whose members work in thousands of public and private sector organizations. The Bureaucrat, Inc. maintains its own corporate officer and Board of Director structure to guide The Public Manager.

United Kingdom: 9 in 10 Training Leaders Say Virtual Learning Will Tackle Skills Shortfall

(From Training Press Releases) — Concerns over skills shortages in the workplace have overtaken flexible working to become the number one driver for companies procuring live online learning resources like virtual classrooms and virtual conferencing, according a new study due for release next month. Produced collaboratively by learning provider REDTRAY and benchmarking organisation Towards Maturity, the new study collates the thoughts, opinions and intentions of over 180 Learning and Development professionals across the UK. While delivering a better, more flexible environment for employees is the biggest challenge that learning and development experts want to address with online resources today, the new data suggests that training professionals are re-evaluating the capabilities offered by the technology they procure. They increasingly expect the Internet to work harder for them in more demanding business areas. Read more.

UAE: Securing the right talent is one of the biggest challenges

(From BusinessIntelligence Middle East) — Finance Business Partnering is the way ahead to gain competitive advantage, according to a new report from ACCA and KPMG. The training, development and retention of the finance function is crucial to the success of an organisation, especially in the current economic climate, asserts a new report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and KPMG called Maximising People Power: Effective talent management in finance. The report emphasises that securing the right talent is one of the biggest challenges faced by Chief Finance Officers (CFOs), adding that the finance function must now take the opportunity to make a difference to their organisations’ success – whether in the public or private sector, whether in a listed multinational or small and medium sized enterprise. Ian Lithgow, partner, KPMG says: “The next decade presents a critical opportunity for finance professionals to help create and sustain long term value for organisations. But the challenge lies with employers to realise and leverage talent within their finance function.” Read more.

Turning performance reviews into a tool for greatness

Performance-review time often scares the willies out of both managers and employees. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I am currently reading the edited manuscript for Ultimate Performance Management by Jeff and Linda Russell, and I think they may be on to something…. The book is part of a new ASTD Press series, the Ultimate series, which is a spinoff of the ASTD Trainer’s WorkShop series and is designed to give you everything you could ever need to train people in a particular area. Other books that are currently planned for the series are Elaine Biech’s ASTD’s Ultimate Train the Trainer and Christee Gabour Atwood’s Ultimate Basic Business Skills Training. But I am getting off topic, I wanted to talk about Jeff and Linda’s book, which deals with transforming the scary once- or maybe twice-annual performance review into an ongoing development tool that enables people to go from “Eh, well, I am doing OK,” to “Wow! I am doing GREAT!” The book presents a series of workshop designs that transform the performance review from a single retrospective event into an ongoing, forward-looking development process. Jeff and Linda present a larger performance management framework called the Great Performance Management Cycle, which has much of its roots in ideas from Chris Argyris, Donald Schn, and others. Implementing the framework probably requires a fairly substantial change in the way that organizations manage their people, but has potentially huge benefits for employees, their managers, and the organization as a whole. This is because the ongoing coaching conversations that Jeff and Linda advocate enable employees to feel heard and be encouraged to do great things, managers are encouraged to help their employees achieve those great things, and the organization as a whole reaps the rewards of all those great things. The book primarily provides everything that a trainer or facilitator would need to facilitate workshops for managers and employees on the new performance management model, including lots of training tools, participant handouts, training instruments, and learning activities–all of which is good, practical, here’s-how-get-it-done stuff. However, for me, the heart of the book is chapter 2, which explains the theory and thinking behind the model and is a fascinating read.

Tips for Professional Success in a Down Economy

WARWICK, R.I.–( BUSINESS WIRE)–With the unemployment rate at 8.1% and climbing, many Americans face the interview process for the first time in years. Whether they’re vying for existing opportunities, or recently unemployed, many executives and senior management need to review and revamp their resumes to highlight skills and experience employers are seeking. Waffles Pi Natusch, President of The Barrett Group ( www.careerchange.com), says, “Now, more than ever, senior level executives need to re-evaluate how they are marketing themselves so employers take notice.” Natusch, an experienced speaker on executive level career development issues, offers the following tips for career success in a down economy: ( Read the original release at BusinessWire.)

Thunderbird Executive Education partners with Xenel in Saudi Arabia

Thunderbird, in partnership with the Xenel Group, has delivered the first three modules of an executive development pilot program for middle and upper-level managers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The program began in March and covered strategy, finance, marketing and leadership. It mixed classroom instruction and Saudi-based case analyses with hands-on involvement in real-world projects. The modules jointly blend the best of current academic research with a detailed knowledge of the Saudi Arabian operating environment. The role of professional development is shifting, according to Dr. Ahmed Gabbani, Xenel’s executive education director and one of those responsible for bringing Thunderbird and Xenel together. “In the past, its focus was to provide managers with management knowledge and prepare them for promotion, and it was also used for reward and recognition,” he said. “Today it is about moving it up a level in terms of business outcomes. As we all know, staying competitive in the global marketplace demands new skills and approaches to business.”

The New Social Learning is the Most Authoritative Guide on the Power of Social Media in Organizations

Most writing about social media focuses on how to use it for marketing, but there’s a much larger story to tell, according to Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner, co-authors of The New Social Learning, released this month. This is the first book to help organizations understand and harness social media to improve organizational effectiveness and learning. Co-published by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and Berrett-Koehler, The New Social Learning is for people who are interested in how social media helps people in organizations learn quickly, innovate fast, share their knowledge, and engage with peers, business partners, and customers. More so than any other technology, social media allows individuals to embrace the needs of changing workplace demographics and allow people of all ages to learn in ways that are comfortable and convenient for them. As Bingham and Conner assert, emerging technologies enable a new kind of “knowledge-building ecosystem with people at its core.” The new social learning reframes social media from a marketing strategy to a strategy that encourages knowledge transfer. At its most basic level, social learning helps people become more informed, gain a wider perspective, and make better decisions by engaging with others. Using examples from a wide range of organizations – including Chevron, the CIA, Deloitte, EMC, IBM, Mayo Clinic, and TELUS – The New Social Learning shows how people in organizations across the globe are using social media to collaborate and learn. “A major reason we came together to write this book is to help readers understand how to find new ways to make sense of the mountain of information coming toward them every day,” the authors explain. “We need new ways to filter content, to save information, and to learn from each other and our trusted sources. It is our hope that the new social learning – and the examples, recommendations, and lessons provided in the book – will take us all in that direction.” Tony Bingham is president and CEO of ASTD, the world’s largest professional association dedicated to the training and development field. Marcia Conner is a partner focused on enterprise collaboration at Altimeter Group, a firm that provides thought-leadership, research, education, and advice on leveraging emerging digital strategies. Connect with the authors on Twitter @newsociallearn, and read reviews, chapter summaries, and listen to audio clips at www.thenewsocialearning.com. Copies of The New Social Learning may be purchased at www.store.astd.org. For more information about the book, contact Kristen Fyfe at ASTD: 703-683-8192, kfyfe@astd.org.

The Economic Downturn: Learning’s Time to Shine

How can there be light during a downturn? By using their expertise, workplace learning and performance (WLP) professionals have been given a torch, to help their organization survive the downturn and allow them to emerge in a stronger competitive position when the economy recovers. In the current economic downturn, organizations have been forced to use cost cutting strategies. Departmental budgets are being trimmed, with the learning function being no exception. Learning and development functions are not only being pushed to economize spending on learning activities, but to simultaneously continue to build critical skills and knowledge. A new report by ASTD and i4cp, Learning in Tough Economic Times, indicates that between a fifth and a quarter of respondents said that, to a high or very high extent, the down economy has had a negative impact on each of the following: However, there has been a benefit which WLP professionals need to monopolize, with nearly four-in-ten respondents saying that their firm placed a stronger emphasis on learning during this downturn than previous downturns. Organizations that place a stronger emphasis on learning were also more likely to point to higher market performance, highlighting the bottom-line benefit. Conversely, reducing learning resources during tough economic times was associated with poor market performance. Organizations appear to be learning from previous experiences and realize that eliminating learning opportunities can be crippling for an organization. One respondent to the survey used an impactful analogy to describe this from a previous experience: “turning off the educational tap leaves a company dehydrated with no ability to grow – no way to give the company nutrients”. Experts agree that during these economically difficult times, learning professionals have the opportunity to show the strategic business value of workplace learning and performance. Talent management has never been more important than during this economic downturn, and learning professionals have a significant influence over its success, with expertise in competency management, skills assessment, and organizational development. Thus, the onus is on WLP professionals to demonstrate learning’s effect on developing talent in organizations by ensuring there are processes in place to find, hire, and keep talent. WLP professionals need to partner and collaborate with organizational leaders to demonstrate how learning can positively impact corporate performance and ensure survival through the economic downturn and allow them to emerge in a strong competitive position when the economy recovers. Learning needs to focus on what impacts the bottom line and is business crucial, and a direct cause-and-effect relationship needs to be evident between learning initiatives and results. Source: Learning in Tough Economic Times (ASTD/i4cp) Click here to learn more about ASTD Research.

The Bottleneck – A Lack of Succession Planning in HR

We are all faced with a hobbling paradox. Most agree that employees make or break an enterprise, but the HR team often seems to be constantly catching up. Business leaders complain that they have to “break in” new HR people, and that individuals with HR degrees in college are not overly useful. Finally, when business leaders do praise HR, it is an individual person who gets praised, not the department. Obviously, this impacts Training and Development efforts directly. Any real effort to develop Big Skills requires a trust on the sponsor’s part and a competency on the deliverer’s part that too often are just not there. And any T+D efforts not around Big Skills is just treading water for the training group. As I work with global organizations, I have recently been aware of a staggering truth. Most HR groups have no succession planning for themselves. This is true even when HR works hard to create succession planning for every other part of the enterprise. If this is true, it both provides an explanation and a surprisingly easy remedy for the Hobbled HR group. And best of all, HR is already good at it: they know the tools of identification, rotational assignments, fast tracking, retention for strategic talent, partnering with business groups on critical projects, and global exposure. We have all heard the jokes about the lawyer who died without leaving a will, or the shoemaker’s children going barefoot. So maybe it is time for the doctor to heal thyself.

Technology and the Education Industry

Ever since the SnakeOil post a lot of us have been watching and waiting for the inevitable changequake to occur in the education business. Content is king The medium is NOT the message Analagous to the way technology – digitasl technology – has changed whole industries seemingly overnight The changquake in the recording industry – the music is what they want not the package you force them into buying music on demand music consumers vs music producers The changequake in the photography industry Edwin Land was right People want the picture and they want it now 90% of film development labs have gone out of business Kodak, an iconic company, almost went out of business (and still might) as they swing entirely away from the old analog model pf picture taking to the new digital photography This is extending into the film industry in ways not yet known until broadband big pipes become more widespread the telephone industry is in the crosshairs at the VOIP crossroad. same about to happen in the television industry technology again is changing everything television on demand without commercials television consumers versus television producers control of time – time shifting – anytime control of space – location shifting – anyplace content control – on demand when will technology channge the education industry to give us on demand learning anytime and anywhere? The pieces are in place. When will the information consumers tell the information producers what they really want? The technology will become part of the background. As musicians and producers are learning in the recording industry and television writers and producers and directors are learning in the broadcasting industry, it’s not the station that counts, it’s the show. It’s not the CD label or artist that counts, it’s the tune. So it’s not the educational technology that will count, it’s the content. And some of the gates will be – Interactivity and Engagement; Relevance; Timeliness; Ease of Absorption – Adopt and Adapt; Collaboration and Community of Practice; eMentoring and eTutoring (to carry the content from the formal end of the contuinuum to the informal side (where 80% 0f the learning occurs). What will help me learn to do my job when I need it the most? How can I access the knowledge right now? Who can give me the know-how when I will be on the job and need it by tomorrow?

Talent Mgmt Strategies in Recession and Recovery

Providence, RI ( PRWEB) March 17, 2009 — HR Technology Solutions, the developer of the HRToolbench online suite of HR applications designed specifically for small and mid-sized organizations, has announced the release of a white paper titled, “The Day After Tomorrow: What steps should you take to prepare your company and its talent management practices for the inevitable economic upturn?” This white paper provides guidance and direction for business owners, executives and human resource professionals who are seeking talent management solutions suitable both for a difficult economy today and improved prospects tomorrow. “Many business leaders are wondering what initiatives they should work on today to guarantee future success,” said Robert Levy, president of HR Technology Solutions. “This paper shows them how to develop an effective talent management strategy that meets their workforce needs during a recession and gives them a competitive edge when tomorrow’s recovery comes.” With insight from leading human resources practitioners and consultants, this paper discusses how development of competencies should be the basis for any talent management initiative, and drafting comprehensive job descriptions based on competencies will prepare a business to meet its current and future talent needs, among other advantages. This paper discusses how to build that strategy, including: ( Read the entire release on PRWeb.)

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.)

Succession Planning Presents Challenges for Most Companies

Future success for any business depends in part on who is leading the business, yet according to new research from the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) the majority of companies admit their efforts in succession planning are weak. As the global economy struggles out of the recession it is incumbent on business leaders to identify key positions, critical knowledge and skills, and the talent needed to meet short- and long-term goals, as well as put in place a working process for developing and advancing employees in the succession pipeline. Despite this demand only 14 percent of companies surveyed by ASTD said their organization’s succession planning efforts were successful to a high or very high degree. ASTD surveyed leaders from 1,247 organizations for its new study Improving Succession Plans: Harnessing the Power of Learning and Development. Key findings include: The study also offers recommendations for creating metrics, candidate selection, and key practices to cope with barriers to effective plans. A “Lessons Learned” section shares some of the wisdom gained from study respondents. Improving Succession Plans: Harnessing the Power of Learning and Development is free to ASTD members and may be downloaded from the ASTD Store at www.store.astd.org.

Study: Long-held view of ‘bell curve’ in performance measurement proven flawed

(From Indiana University) — The dreaded bell curve that has haunted generations of students with seemingly pre-ordained grades has also migrated into business as the standard for assessing employee performance. But it now turns out — revealed in an expansive, first-of-its-kind study — that individual performance unfolds not on a bell curve, but on a “power-law” distribution, with a few elite performers driving most output and an equally small group tied to damaging, unethical or criminal activity. This turns on its head nearly a half-century of plotting performance evaluations on a bell curve, or “normal distribution,” in which equal numbers of people fall on either side of the mean. Researchers from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business predict that the findings could force a wholesale re-evaluation of every facet related to recruitment, retention and performance of individual workers, from pre-employment testing to leadership development. “How organizations hire, maintain and assess their workforce has been built on the idea of normality in performance, which we now know is, in many cases, a complete myth,” said author Herman Aguinis, professor of organizational behavior and human resources at Kelley. “If, as our results suggest, a small, elite group is responsible for most of a company’s output and success, then it’s critical to identify its members early and manage, train and compensate them differently from colleagues. This will require a fundamental shift in mindset and entirely new management tools.” Read more.

Student Day Premieres at ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition

The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) announces the premiere of Student Day at the upcoming 2010 International Conference & Exposition to be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, May 16-19. On Student Day, May 18, students enrolled in human resource development (HRD) programs may attend the conference and exposition free of charge. Included in Student Day offering are: In addition to these activities students will also learn about ASTD’s John Con Student Membership Scholarship. ASTD will offer six student memberships and one international conference registration as part of the scholarship offering. Applications for the scholarship will be accepted during the Fall 2010 semester for 2011. Student Day is sponsored by ASTD’s Academic Partner Program which serves the higher education community – students, faculty, and staff – with learning and development resources that have been proven to make an impact in business environments. The Academic Partner Program will feature a series of sessions at the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition geared to HRD faculty and department heads. There will also be a Faculty Forum and special Higher Education Networking Reception. For more details on the higher education offerings at ASTD 2010, or to register to attend, visit http://www.astd.org/ASTD/Partners/Academic/app-conference.htm.

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 Talent Investment

The more talent development professionals link their efforts directly to the strategy, the more likely the business will seek their partnership.

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.

South Africa: Lack of Skills Hinders Mining Sector Growth

(From AllAfrica.com) Johannesburg – THE growth of SA’s mining sector could be hampered further by a serious lack of professional skills, according to a survey by executive recruitment firm Landelahni Business Leaders, released yesterday. The shortage of skills in the sector coincided with an upturn in the global economy and a recovery in world commodity prices, which meant that the South African mining sector could miss out on the full benefits of the recovery. The local mining industry is already battling higher production costs, and the strong rand during much of last year has seen most miners unable to optimise margins despite higher metals prices. Landelahni CEO Sandra Burmeister said what was even more worrying was that the local industry had lost much of its skills development capability. Read more.

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

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

Singapore Positions To Be Global Talent And Leadership Hub For Asia

Developing Singapore as a home for local and global talent will be a key strategy in the next phase of growth, says Minister Gan Kim Yong at the opening of the human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI). The HCLI will offer a unique value proposition in helping companies translate the best talent and leadership ideas into practical strategies to support business growth, he added. Speech by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Manpower, “Singapore – The Global Talent and Leadership Development HUB for Asia” at The Official Opening Ceremony of The Human Capital Leadership Institute at Nepal Hill: Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen Last September at the Singapore Human Capital Summit, Prime Minister announced the establishment of the Human Capital Leadership Institute, or HCLI, by the Ministry of Manpower and the Singapore Management University. This morning, I am pleased to join you for HCLI’s official opening, and share with you how HCLI will help position Singapore as a global talent and leadership development hub in Asia for Asia.

Sen. Brown debuts work-force training bill

(Business Courier of Cincinnati) Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown has introduced legislation to support the development of specialized work-force training programs at two-year community colleges. The Northeast Ohio Democrat said the legislation, known as the SECTORS Act, is needed to support Ohio’s emerging bioscience industry. SECTORS is an acronym for “Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success.” The bill was first introduced in 2008. Brown and co-sponsor Olympia Snowe, a Republican Senator from Maine, re-introduced the bill Wednesday. In support for the new legislation, Brown released a new report showing that Ohio now has 1,100 bioscience companies and research institutions, four times more than it had 2001. The industry is expected to add 700 new jobs over the next several years. ( Read the original article.)

Selling Sleuth? The Secrets of Gathering Intelligence

Gathering Intelligence – An Insightful Sales Competency Business is an intelligent game and to win you have to gather intelligence about the marketplace. As a Sales Trainer, you will teach the sales team gathering intelligence as a sales competency. Your sales training program will present them how to define, analyze and learn about competitors, products, customers, distributors, industries, technologies and field research. Much of this teaching analysis should integrate and accentuate your sales management curriculum. It will also show how environmental and macroeconomic intelligence data is used to make financial decisions. Talent management and organizational development strategies are also linked to business intelligence when teaching sales strategies. According to Sales Training Drivers, once you acquire intelligence, you can: So, what do you do once you have gathered the intelligence and want to use it in the classroom? Keep your Competition Close In sales, gathering intelligence will be a big asset to assessing prospect problems. First you can isolate the data to come up with qualifying questions that give you answers to pain challenges and budget constraints. Use the data to create a behavioral question interview that will help you keep the prospect engaged in objective conversation to uncover weaknesses that you can solve with your product or service. Now, you are on a real fact finding mission with your prospect! Implement action oriented blended learning tools into your teach back that keeps the class motivated on isolating and organizing the business resources effectively. The best way to keep the class on their heels is to turn the learning function into a real world test role play! Establish ROI with all sales data points Another hard line sales management learning objective would be to use the intelligence to teach the class how to design an ROI analysis report that will sell a Decision Maker. That will always get the class up and moving! Focus on gathering business intelligence that is of interest to the decision makers you are calling on. For example, look at all the companies in your selling market that have had a sales decrease, but could really benefit from your product or service in terms of making or saving money. Why are they experiencing a sales decrease? Formulate a short ROI analysis outline using resourced intelligence to raise an eyebrow based on what you think you can do for that prospect to increase their revenue, productivity and performance.

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.

Sam Herring of Intrepid Learning Solutions Named Chair of the ASTD Board of Directors

Sam Herring, co-founder and executive vice president of Intrepid Learning Solutions, Inc., will serve as the 2011 Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD). Herring joined ASTD’s board in 2008 as a director and served as chair-elect of the board in 2010. At Intrepid Learning Solutions, Mr. Herring leads the firm’s major client relationships as well as marketing and product management functions. He is recognized as a “Who’s Who” training industry thought leader by Training Industry Inc. He previously chaired ASTD’s selection committee, and served on the advisory committee for the ASTD TechKnowledge Conference & Exposition. “It’s an honor to assume this position,” said Mr. Herring. “ASTD plays a hugely important role guiding the future of the learning profession, which has never been more important. Coming out of a global recession, our world faces many challenges that leaders responsible for learning and development are uniquely positioned to solve. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board of directors to help ASTD set a vision for learning in the 21st century, and provide the resources to help organizations realize that vision.” Mr. Herring is a frequent speaker at universities and leading industry conferences and seminars, where he speaks on topics including designing effective corporate learning strategies, trends in learning technology, and best practices in vendor selection and outsourcing. He is a past director of New Futures, a Seattle-area children and family services agency, and holds a master’s degree from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from Yale University. In 2008, Mr. Herring was recognized as a top young business leader through the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” awards.

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

RWD Partners with HP to Enhance Support of the Application Lifecycle

BALTIMORE, February 22, 2010 – RWD Technologies, LLC (RWD), a global company that develops and implements human and organizational performance solutions, today announced integration between RWD uPerform and HP Quality Center. As a new Silver Partner within the HP Enterprise Management Alliance Program, RWD now enables organizations to combine the content generation and management capabilities of RWD uPerform with the quality assurance and software testing capabilities of HP Quality Center. A typical application lifecycle follows a development and implementation process composed of several phases, multiple teams, many documentation outputs, and a plethora of content systems. This current way of doing business often translates to significant and redundant effort to create and manage project documentation. By introducing RWD uPerform early in the application lifecycle, organizations can save time and money via one-time capture of steps in the target application to produce both learning and testing output. One of these outputs, a test script, can be uploaded to HP Quality Center for use by test teams during current and future application rollouts. Read more.

Robert Todd Joins ASTD Board of Directors

The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) announces that Robert Todd, ?What If! Technology Director, is joining the Society’s Board of Directors for a three-year term, 2012-2014. Mr. Todd is passionate about applying the latest innovations in information technology to enable innovation capability in the business, nonprofit, and academic sectors. He has more than 15 years’ experience in learning content and technology development. Prior to joining ?What If!, Mr. Todd served as the Director of Technology Enabled Learning at McKinsey & Company where he built the organization’s e-learning capabilities. Before that role, Mr. Todd was the Practice Lead for Convergys Corporation, a global outsourcing company, where he was responsible for product definition and market strategy for the company’s learning outsourcing business. He also served as director of product management and director of course development for DigitalThink. Mr. Todd played a leadership role in the development of e-learning standards and served on the board of directors for the IMS Global Learning Consortium. He was the director of technology for the San Francisco Multimedia Institute from 1996-2000 and has lectured and written instructional texts on multimedia and technology enabled learning.

Persistent Dilemmas in Proving Value

A new book from Jack and Patti Phillips can help talent development leaders address the nagging issue of how to connect learning programs to the business.

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?

Ohio: Need to match jobs with skills of region’s workforce

(From Dayton Business Journal) Solving the mismatch between available jobs in the Southwestern Ohio area and the skills of the region’s workforce was a main concern for a panel of five regional leaders at the Regional Development Forum in West Chester. Keynote speaker Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Ohio Department of Development, stressed the importance of the success of the state on the people in Ohio. She told the 250 people gathered at the Savannah Center that companies are happy with the region’s work force and work ethic, but the firms need employees with more technical skills. Read more.

New Zealand: New subsidy to boost workplace productivity

(From The National Business Review) — The government has announced a fresh initiative to boost workplace productivity. The new ‘High Performance Working’ initiative will provide a pool of $1m per year to fund a network of specialist business consultants, who will work with businesses to promote more effective use of time and skills in the workplace. “Achieving greater employee engagement and developing sound workplace practices is crucial to growing a successful business,” Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson said in a release today. It is expected that about 70 firms per year will receive between $10,000 – $15,000 in consultant services under the new scheme, which is designed to complement New Zealand Trade and Enterprises’s new training and development voucher programme. Read more.

New Webinar: Drive Performance in Times of Change with Sales Coaching

As times change, so does an organization’s strategy. To ensure that the execution is smooth and as close to the plan as possible, new processes and initiatives inevitably need to be created. This in turn requires buy-in and sales team behavior change, which is always easier said than done. So how can sales training and development leaders drive adoption in the most effective way? With sales coaching! Join us for this FREE webinar from Dr. Brian Lambert of Forrester Research as he explores how a robust and active sales coaching program can identify new behaviors and reinforce them with tailored sales coaching conversations. In times of business change, sales coaching conversations are the best way to bridge strategy to execution while helping sales team members take new action or revise their current course. This webcast will focus on: New times may call for new actions, but those new actions still need to be reinforced. Recognizing the role of coaching in a development strategy is key to making certain that behavior is truly being changed. Register now!

New Report Shows Employers Struggle with Ill-Prepared Workforce

As the Obama administration shines a light on the training and skills workers will need for the jobs of tomorrow, a new report shows that U.S. employers continue to struggle with an ill-prepared workforce, finding new hires lack crucial basic and applied skills. For the most part, employer-sponsored readiness training is not successfully correcting these deficiencies, according to the report, The Ill-Prepared U.S. Workforce: Exploring the Challenges of Employer-Provided Workforce Readiness Training, produced by Corporate Voices for Working Families, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), The Conference Board, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). [more]”The results of this study demonstrate how critical it is for companies to be more strategic and focused on efforts such as providing internships and working in partnership with community colleges on workforce readiness initiatives to prepare new entrants before they enter the workplace,” says Donna Klein, Executive Chair, Corporate Voices for Working Families, which partnered with The Conference Board, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on the report and its underlying survey of U.S. employers. “It is a losing strategy for employers to try to fill the workforce readiness gap on the job. They need to be involved much sooner to prepare new employees to succeed,” Klein said. The report published today, The Ill-Prepared U.S. Workforce: Exploring the Challenges of Employer-Provided Workforce Readiness Training, draws from a survey of 217 employers about their training of newly hired graduates of high school and two- and four-year colleges. The survey, conducted during 2008, included employers in manufacturing; financial services; non-financial services; and education, government, and other non-profits. Almost half of respondents said they have to provide readiness training for new hires – and the majority rate their programs as only “moderately” or “somewhat successful.” “U.S. business is increasingly outspoken about the competitiveness threat posed by an ill-prepared workforce – but employers must do a better job of quantifying this threat and communicating it to key stakeholders,” says Mary Wright, Program Director, Workforce Readiness Initiative, The Conference Board. “It doesn’t make any difference if you’re operating a business in Mumbai, Beijing or New York – the number one challenge facing every organization is finding and growing skilled talent,” said SHRM CEO and President Laurence O’Neil. “HR professionals are helping bridge the gap, finding ways to give employees the skills they need to add value and to be more valued. This isn’t just an HR challenge, but a bottom-line global business problem.” “In any economy, having a knowledgeable, skilled workforce is critical for organizations to grow and be successful,” said Tony Bingham, ASTD President and CEO. “As the skills gap widens among new entrants to the workforce, it’s clear that all stakeholders – employers, education, and the public workforce system – must collaborate to effectively prepare workers to be successful on the job.” The report, which includes five case studies of successful workforce readiness programs run by Bank of America and Year Up, CVS Caremark and TJX Companies, Harper Industries, Northrop Grumman, and YUM! Brands, finds that: The full report can be downloaded free of charge from ASTD’s website.

New Jobs for Older Americans via DoL Stimulus

WASHINGTON–( BUSINESS WIRE)–The National Council on Aging (NCOA) began an ambitious program today to create more jobs for low income older workers in several states, thanks to $6.9 million in stimulus funding from the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) under the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Part of the American Recovery and Investment Act, the funds were awarded to NCOA because of its decades of successfully training people age 55 and over for community service work under the SCSEP program. NCOA has been responsible for training and placement of 20,000 thousand people since the program began in 1969. Currently, NCOA operates programs in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, New Jersey, California and Tennessee, New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana. “These challenging economic times require aggressive action and the SCSEP stimulus funding allows NCOA to galvanize our employment program,” said Workforce Development Vice President Sandra Nathan. “We are very grateful for and excited about this opportunity to help older adults keep their dignity, get a job and get a paycheck.” The unemployment rate for older people has surged, according to a March 2009 Urban Institute Report, a challenging reality for seniors who face the intractable challenge of less time to keep their lives intact, as their resources decline. Under the DOL grant, NCOA will train at least 590 low income older adults (based on an income that is 125% of the federal poverty level) in community service jobs through the SCSEP program. An innovative and cost-effective federal program, SCSEP allows individuals to develop the skills needed to find private employment while earning a modest income. ( Read the entire release on BusinessWire.)

New Jersey offers money for job training

(From The Star-Ledger) New Jersey businesses that hire workers who have run out of unemployment benefits will receive up to $2,400 for on-the-job training, Gov. Jon Corzine said yesterday. The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development will spend up to $8 million from discretionary federal funds to pay for the incentives, which are expected to help 3,000 to 4,000 people find jobs. Corzine said it is the first program of its kind in the nation. Read the entire article.

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.

New Book from ASTD Debunks Training Myths & Fads

According to Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark, a renowned specialist in instructional design and workplace learning, workplace learning and development professionals are wasting their time and money focusing on fads and myths like learning styles and relying on course satisfaction surveys as evidence of training effectiveness. Colvin Clark has written a new book, Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals, that helps learning practitioners professionalize their work by using research and evidence to validate their methods. Bridging the gap between instructional research and workplace practice, Colvin Clark tackles popular training myths and makes a strong business case for dropping fads that don’t work and investing resources in proven methods. Instructors, training managers, and instructional designers will find this book insightful and practical as it guides practitioners to incorporate evidence and learning psychology into program design, development, and delivery decisions. Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals is published by ASTD Press. Ruth Colvin Clark will be speaking on Sunday, May 16th at the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition in Chicago, IL, where she will also have a book signing.

New Book from ASTD Debunks Training Fads, Moves Profession in New Direction

Workplace learning and development professionals are wasting their time and money focusing on fads and myths like learning styles and relying on course satisfaction surveys as evidence of training effectiveness, according to a new book from ASTD Press, Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals. Written by Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark, a renowned specialist in instructional design and workplace learning, Evidence-Based Training Methods helps learning practitioners professionalize their work by using research and evidence to validate their methods. Bridging the gap between instructional research and workplace practice, Colvin Clark tackles popular training myths and makes a strong business case for dropping fads that don’t work and investing resources in proven methods. Over the last 20 years a growing body of research has proven what works and doesn’t work when it comes to training and how learning occurs in the brain. This book summarizes the most up-to-date evidence available about critical decisions faced by today’s training professionals. Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals is written for instructors, training managers, and instructional designers and guides practitioners to incorporate evidence and learning psychology into program design, development, and delivery decisions. Ruth Colvin Clark will be speaking on Sunday, May 16th at the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition in Chicago, IL, where she will also have a book signing.

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.

New ATD Research Examines a New Age of Learning through Instructional Design

The failure of senior leaders to grasp the importance of instructional design is a big stumbling block for organizational learning and development efforts, according to a new study from the Association for Talent Development (ATD), formerly ASTD. Instructional design (ID) is critical to effective organizational learning and today the field is navigating an abundance of new tools, technologies, and evolving learning delivery methods. Organizations that want their employees to engage in learning initiatives that enhance performance on every level, must value the essential role instructional design plays. In the report, Instructional Design Now: A New Age of Learning and Beyond, ATD teamed with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) to gather insight from instructional designers and learning professionals worldwide to assess the current and anticipated future states of ID and its contribution to business success. When ATD and i4cp collaborated for the 2010 report, Instructional Systems Design: Today and in the Future, the main focus was instability in organizational learning, complicated by ongoing technological advances and globalization. Today, those factors still exist, however, the new research indicates that ID professionals must become faster, more strategic, global, and tech-savvy. The research also indicates that buy-in from senior leaders has remained low due to the lack of competencies, which has led to low funding. Key findings from the Instructional Design Now: A New Age of Learning and Beyond include: Instructional Design Now: A New Age of Learning and Beyond, is available on the ATD store. Visit Instructional-Design-Now.

Macrodobe or AdobeMedia?

Since I have been covering the area of eCollaboration (which includes some forms of eLearning) for the last 15 years, I talk to lots of vendors about their plans for collaboration and their future. A few months ago I talked about Adobe’s strategy for moving into collaboration through PDF. With the acquistion of MacroMedia it looks like Adobe will be leaping into the collaboration space even more quickly. Macromdia currently owns Breeze, and the Flash Communications Server (FCS) which is the underlying technology for many of the real time audio and video collaboration service offerings. The statement from the Adobe press release this morning says “The combination of Adobe and Macromedia strengthens our mission of helping people and organizations communicate better. Through the combination of our powerful development, authoring and collaboration tools – and the complementary functionality of PDF and Flash – we have the opportunity to drive an industry-defining technology platform that delivers compelling, rich content and applications across a wide range of devices and operating systems.” It also looks like Adobe has acquired MacroMedia to enable them to expand more rapidly into the market for audio and video applications for handhelds and other gadgets. So it will be interesting to see if Adobe either: spins off a collaboration company or business unit from the combination of Breeze, FCS and PDF, or if they will choose to integrate these three technologies into an offering that might even challenge Microsoft. I would love to hear what you think about this most interesting acquistion

Louisiana: Training grants availble

Help is now available for local entrepreneurs to get the training they need to start their own businesses. “Louisiana Economic Develop-ment, in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, has allocated $425,000 statewide for the Microenterprise Development Program,” said Frank Fink, St. Mary Parish’s director of economic development. He said $47,000 of that total has been awarded to the Acadiana Regional Development District to provide training to families in St. Landry, Evangeline, Acadia, Vermilion, Iberia, St. Martin, Lafayette and St. Mary parishes to allow them to help start their own businesses. To qualify, Fink said individuals must be the parent or qualified caregiver of a child with earned income levels at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level or must meet other “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families” guidelines. Read more.

Learning Tree International Awarded Pan-European Training Contract by NATO CIS Services Agency

LONDON and RESTON, VA (July 20, 2010) Learning Tree International (NASDAQ NGM: LTRE), a leading global training provider, announced that they have been awarded a contract by NATO CIS Services Agency (NCSA) for delivering Project Management, ITIL Certification, Technical, Management and Business Skills training to NATO staff throughout Europe. NATO selected Learning Tree International after a six month review process, evaluating providers on consistency, quality and cost effectiveness. Under the contract, Learning Tree International will provide commercial training services to an estimated one thousand delegates a year across NATO and NCSA bases in Europe. The training will be delivered through a mixture of on-site courses run at NATO and NCSA sites, local open enrolment courses and through Learning Tree International’s fully engaged, live online instructor-led training solution – Learning Tree AnyWare. Utilising AnyWare, NATO employees will connect to an actual classroom where they’ll participate online in a live, instructor-led training course being held at a NATO or Learning Tree International facility. AnyWare delegates join from wherever they are stationed, saving the time and expense of travel, and receiving the same training, with the same benefits as their in-class counterparts. AnyWare allows NATO staff from disparate bases and sectors to attend the same training course and fully interact with the instructor, their NATO colleagues and complete all of the course’s hands-on exercises. Richard Chappell, Managing Director, Learning Tree International UK, said, “We have been working with NATO for more than 10 years, giving us an unparalleled understanding of their environment and an appreciation of their need for flexible, timely and robust solutions. Learning Tree International is uniquely equipped to meet NATO’s training requirements thanks to our wealth of experience in delivering onsite training throughout Europe, our ability to host a European open enrolment schedule, and through the use of our live online instructor-led offering – Learning Tree AnyWare.” About Learning Tree International Learning Tree International is a leading global provider of highly effective, hands-on training to managers and information technology professionals. Since 1974, over 65,000 organizations have relied on Learning Tree to enhance the professional skills of more than 2 million employees. Learning Tree develops, markets and delivers a broad, proprietary library of instructor-led courses focused on people and project management, leadership and business skills, Web development, operating systems, databases, networking, IT security, and software development. Courses are presented at Learning Tree Education Centers, located globally, on site at client facilities, and are available via Learning Tree AnyWare, the Company’s proprietary live, online instructor-led training delivery option, which connects online participants to the actual classroom. For more information about our products and services, call 1-888-THE-TREE (1-888-843-8733), visit www.learningtree.com, follow @LearningTree on Twitter or visit Learning Tree International’s Facebook fan page.

Learning in the Blink of an Eye

The book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell is everywhere. From the Chief Learning Officers I recently met at the Executive Development Associate’s CLO Forum, to a few mid level trainers I spoke with last week at a nonprofit, to my neighbor who’s line of business has nothing to do with learning at all – Blink is all the rage. But why? Perhaps it the byline: The Power of Thinking without Thinking. What could be better? Doesn’t everyone want to function effectively in the world without thinking? Gladwell’s ideas have more to do with Flow than anything else – being able to respond and act intuitively, to make judgments and decisions through “rapid cognition”, without the kind of methodical analysis that plagues corporate conference rooms and stifles the agility of organizations. When we apply these ideas to learning, we can only come away wondering if we’ve been overengineering the learning process for our children, employees and managers. Perhaps what we need is a more appreciate mindset for the world around us, the kind of reframe that David Cooperrider at Case Western Reserve University (and ASTD’s distinguished practitioner of 2004) describes when he talks about Appreciative Inquiry? Maybe we need to recognize and create formal approaches to tapping into the power of informal learning? The

Leaders as Teachers: Six Strategic Benefits

Organizations that effectively utilize a leaders as teachers approach can realize six key strategic benefits. The first reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that it drives business and organizational results by ensuring strategic business alignment between senior business leaders and the programs and services provided by the learning function. A leaders-as-teachers program that is aligned with strategic business and organizational goals serves as a type of organizational insurance policy for leaders who teach. The second reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that it serves as a catalyst for the learning and development of the leaders and associates who participate as students in leader-led programs. This dynamic occurs in three ways: role modeling, creating a safe environment for feedback, and building networks. The third reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that it has inherent development qualities for those who teach. Many leader-teachers say that they are not sure who learns more when they teach.the participants or themselves. They move out of their comfort zone. Job challenges of different types, sizes, shapes, and intensities are the “genetic material” that enables leaders to learn, grow, change, and develop. Teaching, for many leaders, is a very significant job challenge and one that also helps them to see new viewpoints. The fourth reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that leader-teachers have the opportunity to strengthen their organization’s culture and communications. Culture transmission and communications through leader-teachers occurs in numerous ways including role modeling, social networks, communities of practice, continuous learning and communication flow across geographies, businesses and functions. The fifth reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that it enables them to serve as catalysts for business and organizational change through their direct access to a wide range of learners. The sixth and final reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that it drives numerous cost efficiencies by leveraging top talent. The leaders-as-teachers approach affords opportunities to deliver programs for “pennies on the dollar” compared with many other forms of delivery.

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

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

Is Learning Transfer Important to You? It Should Be.

Learning transfer is a key to improving the business impact of training. In an era of increased accountability and the drive for measurable results, learning and development professionals need to have tools that move them from order taker to strategic business partner. ASTD has been studying the issue of learning transfer for quite some time. We know it’s our responsibility to provide learning and development professionals with practical and actionable resources to help them make significant impact in their organizations. So we’re pleased to let you know about a new conference offering centered on this critical subject: The Learning Transfer Conference. We’ve partnered with the Fort Hill Company to bring this opportunity to you. The Learning Transfer Conference is an interactive 1 day workshop that kicks off a 10-week learning program. During the program, attendees will learn to apply the Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning to dramatically improve the business impact of training and development efforts, and will interact with the authors of this best-selling and widely-adopted approach to enhancing training’s impact. They will also benefit from online coaching and interaction with the facilitators and other participants for two months after the workshop itself. Attendees will: The Learning Transfer Conference will take place April 7-8 in Chicago and in November near Washington, D.C., on a date to be announced shortly.

Intrepid Receives Five-year Contract from Boeing to Provide Training Delivery Services

Seattle, WA September 14 2010 – Intrepid Learning Solutions, Inc, a leading provider of learning and performance solutions, has been awarded a five-year agreement with The Boeing Company to provide training delivery, skill assessment and support services in support of Boeing’s Learning, Training and Development (LTD) enterprise requirements. The contract includes delivery of training solutions across a range of topics including environmental health and safety, industrial skills for new employees, industrial skills certifications and re-certifications, manufacturing engineering, production systems, as well as training required when an employee requests a transfer from one job to another. “We are very proud to receive this contract from The Boeing Company,” said Intrepid CEO Vikesh Mahendroo. “This contract is a testament to our long-term partnership, and our total commitment to providing Boeing with industry-leading, expert aerospace training services of the highest quality. We pride ourselves not only for our strong execution track record, but also our flexibility and service mindset. We appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve The Boeing Company.” In recognition of Intrepid’s high level of performance, earlier this year Intrepid received a 2009 Boeing Performance Excellence Award. The Boeing Company issues the award annually to recognize suppliers who have achieved superior performance in the delivery of mission-critical services and solutions. Intrepid maintained a minimum Silver composite performance rating for each month of the 12-month performance period from October 2008 through September 2009. This year, Boeing recognized 486 suppliers who achieved either Gold or a Silver level Boeing Performance Excellence Award. Intrepid is among 358 suppliers to receive the Silver level of recognition. Industry analysts recognize Boeing’s award as one of the most significant learning outsourcing contracts of the year, and one of the most strategic among active learning business process outsourcing partnerships between a client and a supplier. “Intrepid once again demonstrates that exceptional talent, learning expertise and trusted partnership keeps them at the forefront of the training industry,” said Doug Harward, learning industry analyst, Founder and CEO of TrainingIndustry.com. “The Boeing Company’s continued confidence in Intrepid is evidence to that trusted partnership and their impact on Boeing’s business performance. Boeing only works with the most respected and qualified business partners; making this a landmark relationship for the training industry.” About Intrepid Learning Solutions Intrepid Learning Solutions is a dedicated provider of award-winning learning solutions that drive business performance. Founded in 1999, Intrepid offers consulting, technology and managed learning services to companies worldwide. In addition, the company offers innovative learning solutions that leverage mobile, agile and virtual technologies to support individual learner preferences and broader business goals. For more information, visit http://www.intrepidls.com.

In India, Anxiety Over the Slow Pace of Innovation

(From the New York Times) – In the United States and Europe, people worry that their well-paying, high-skill jobs will be, in a word, “Bangalored” – shipped off to India. People here are also worried about the future. They fret that Bangalore, and India more broadly, will remain a low-cost satellite office of the West for the foreseeable future – more Scranton, Pa., in the American television series “The Office,” than Silicon Valley. Even as the rest of the world has come to admire, envy and fear India’s outsourcing business and its technological prowess, many Indians are disappointed that the country has not quickly moved up to more ambitious and lucrative work from answering phones or writing software. Why, they worry, hasn’t India produced a Google or an Apple? Innovation is hard to measure, but academics who study it say India has the potential to create trend-setting products but is not yet doing so. Indians are granted about half as many American patents for inventions as people and firms in Israel and China. The country’s corporate and government spending on research and development significantly lags behind that of other nations. And venture capitalists finance far fewer companies here than they do elsewhere. Read the full article.

Improve Sales

What are the needs of the sales team? Sales development needs must begin with an understanding of the intricacies of the buyer and seller relationship. Simply put, you must help sales team members leverage a standard sales process. This requires that youknow as much, if not more, about the sales process as the sales team members who employ it. While many sales team members have been trained on a standard process, or have figured it out on their own, you are in a unique position to prioritize, organize, and implement the appropriate sales training activity to improve its execution — as long as you know what you’re doing. The steps below are recurring cycle. Leveraging this analysis tool, you can improve efficiency and manage sales team development processes more effectively, within a strategic context. This tool offers a structured way for you to identify, prioritize, and implement sales training solutions. Because the approach is a system’s approach, it can help sales teams align to the buying organization, focus on ratcheting up performance, and address immediate problems while keeping an eye on the longer term. Sales managers and sales trainers will approach each sales training action with information about their organization, the buying organization, and the relationship between them. The model’s five phases are: As organizations begin to think of sales development needs within a phased, cyclical process, they are better equipped to adopt an overall holistic approach to sales force recruiting, retention, and engagement that includes talent management and leadership development – building a path towards improved sales team performance. Following this approach can help your organization understand the alignment of areas of sales force expertise in relation to long-term sales goals. By determining the key questions outlined under each step of the sales development analysis tool, you can begin to see how each phase builds upon the one before, and how specific skills and knowledge are developed. It will help you set the stage within your organization to effect the paradigm shift from “sales training” to “sales development and performance,” and will guide your efforts to make the business case for this shift as well as tie it to desired business outcomes. By adopting this approach, you can ensure that your sales organization is knowledgeable, engaged, and equipped to work with even the most demanding buyers to ensure your company’s future growth and profitability. Perhaps more importantly, this model serves as a continuous improvement framework. When you have accomplished step 5, it’s time to begin anew at step 1.

HR Departments Prioritising Training Over Recruitment

(From freshbusinessthinking.com) — Taleo Corporation, provider of on-demand talent management solutions, today released new research findings which show that organisations are prioritising employee development over hiring for the year ahead, as they look to improve staff retention and develop talent within the business. The vast majority (82%) of HR professionals surveyed said they considered employee development to be a bigger priority for their organisation in 2011, compared to just 18% who felt recruitment was going to be more important. In addition, 56% of respondents reported that employee development and training was perceived as an essential business enabler within their organisation, while 15% reported that it was still seen as a nice to have rather than essential. When asked to identify what would help their organisation to develop its talent better, more than a quarter (27%) of respondents felt that better visibility of skill gaps would greatly assist them in developing employee talent, while almost as many (25%) would like better visibility of their employees existing skills. Read more.

How to Streamline Talent Management

Barbara Goretsky explains why the talent development function must evolve help organizations develop and optimize talent, retain and engage employees, and adopt agile business practices.

How Can You Improve Sales?

The top 5 Issues Facing VPs of Sales Every year millions of dollars are spent investigating and pursuing ways to grow sales. Any business owner knows that sales are the life blood of the company. If there are no sales there is no company, it is that simple! A past study of 2,663 sales organizations by Think Training, Nightingale Conant, and Trainique uncovered five areas that shed light on what separates the best from the rest. Issue one – A poorly defined sales process. 82% of all CEO’s said their sales organization had a process that was poorly defined or a process that wasn’t being followed. A sales process is like a road map. If you pay attention it helps you determine if you are in heading in the right or wrong direction. A well defined sales process does the same thing. It should be consultative in nature, have defined steps that allow both parties to develop a better understanding of each other and a set of questions that help you qualify or disqualify. Issue two – Lack of essential skills. 42% of CEO’s said their salespeople lacked the essential basic skills needed to do their job properly-ouch. During the 70’s and 80’s it was common for large corporations to hire new sales recruits and put them through a 12- 18 month intensive sales development program. Those days are gone, leaving a huge skills gap! Odds are if you are younger then 40 you never received the type of training you really needed. Issue three – Failing to focus on the right kinds of activity. 90% of CEO’s said their salespeople focused on low payoff activities or called on the wrong people. It is a common mistake to confuse being busy with being productive. Top performers know what they are doing, why they are doing it and whom they are doing it with. Issue four – Allowing “self talk” to sabotage your efforts. 86% of CEO’s said their salespeople had negative thinking or self talk that was damaging their sales efforts. There are hundreds of examples but the most obvious has to do with discounts. Over and over again I hear salespeople say they have to be the lowest price to win the business. Every study I have ever read says that there are 4 – 6 other issues ahead of price but we have been “programmed” to think price is the issue. It is critical to understand how you have been programmed and how some of thoughts are working against you! Issue five – Sales management not developing their people enough. 67% of CEO’s said that their sales managers were not spending enough time coaching and developing their salespeople. The job of a sales manager is to coach their people just like in professional sports! Unfortunately if we don’t have a sales process, salespeople with undeveloped skills or the wrong people coaching becomes impossible. For salespeople taking responsibility for our own professional development is the key! Have a process, hone your skills, focus on the right kinds of activity, be aware of your thoughts, get some coaching, join a sales mastermind group, or join an association dedicated to your success. Good sales professionals realize their strengths and weaknesses and create a plan that addresses their abilities. Great sales professionals repeat this process over and over.

Hot Tip: Invest In You–Guaranteed Free Prize

A blog. Who me? Who reads these things anyway? I don’t want to just be more pollen clogging up the communication airwaves! ASTD has convinced me that I have something to say and that someone will listen. When asking for advice about blogs, I received this advice: 1. Use a compelling title. 2. Make it interactive. Therefore my initial blog includes a title that incorporates at least six powerful marketing words. (Read on for the interactive part.) Invest in You. As WLP Professionals we are often like the shoemaker’s shoeless children when we are vigilant about everyone’s professional development except our own. Stay on top of the profession including state-of-the-art practices as well as the fads of the day. Read journals, newsletters, and books; attend an ASTD Training Certificate program; read the training spam you receive; subscribe to e-newsletters – often free. Attend virtual learning events: webinars, teleconferences, and webcasts (also often free or for a small fee). And the most important thing you can do to Invest in You is to attend ASTD’s ICE. For the last quarter century I have religiously attendedASTD’s International Conference and Expo, fondly called ICE. I often hear ASTD members say they can’t afford it, because business is down, or because their company isn’t paying for it. I say that you “can’t afford not to attend!” It is an Investment in You. If you won’t invest in you, who will? Attend ICE. It is an excellent way to learn a great deal, get away to a great location, meet new people, renew past acquaintances, and attend sessions where presenters discuss new ideas and approaches. The networking is phenomenal andprovides youwitha ready-resource list in the future when you have questions. Guaranteed Free Prize. I want interaction. Those of you who have been in a training session with me know I like interaction, dialogue, two-way discussion. I want you to be involved in this blog . So, here’s the deal: I will award a prize to everyone who provides me with your business card at ICE on which is written a topic you would like to see in this blog. Please be sure your physical mailing address is on your business card. (Seems like a silly request, but you’d be surprised.) So, want a free prize? Interact with this blog. Look me up at ICE. Give me a topic to address in this blog written on your business card. Clear and fair? I have a third piece of advice for bloggers: Stay ahead of it; the next one is due before you know it. And that’s why I have started writing the next blog, “The Upside of a Down Economy.” So, regarding this blog: S ee you in D.C.!

HMC gets award for e-learning

(From Gulf Times) — The Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has received a Gold Award from the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology in Qatar (ictQATAR) for actively promoting e-learning among its employees through the Qatar National e-Learning Portal. HMC Marketing, Media and Public Relations executive director Mohamed al-Noimi received the award at the first anniversary celebration of the Qatar National e-Learning Portal on Tuesday. He praised the initiative carried out through ictQATAR regarding e-learning adoption in all government sectors, and stressed the value of collaboration among different organisations in utilising opportunities offered by ictQATAR. “The award recognises the continuous efforts of HMC in collaboration with ictQATAR towards the adoption of e-learning across our organisation,” al-Noimi said. HMC has achieved the highest adoption of e-learning in terms of course completion with 1,450 courses successfully completed by HMC staff in 2010 and takers achieving at least 80% scores. Health Information Systems (HIS) department’s Information Technology head Omar Sweiss was also honoured as the “e-Learning Manager of the Year” for his leadership in promoting e-learning among employees at HMC. “E-learning has truly impacted the skill sets of many HMC employees. We have had the active support of the e-learning team at ictQATAR in our efforts to promote e-learning courses within the organisation, and to build awareness in order to lay the foundations for corporate adoption of the initiative as part of human resource development plans,” Sweiss said. He praised the self-initiative of HMC employees who were keen to develop their knowledge and skills, and have voluntarily enrolled in online business and information technology courses.

Government Organizations Must Learn to Collaborate

Strategic workplace learning and its role in achieving priority outcomes for public sector agencies gets the spotlight treatment in the summer 2010 issue of The Public Manager, a quarterly journal devoted to furthering knowledge and best practices at all levels of government. Aligning training to meet strategic business goals is a key driver for private organizations and it is increasingly so for the public sector as well. This issue of The Public Manager details a transformational effort at the National Park Service that won The Graduate School’s Edwards Deming Award. Other best practice articles that highlight the value of aligning training with priority outcomes include features on improving business analysis through integrated learning in the New York State Office of the State Comptroller, and scenario-based training that improves state trooper performance in New Jersey. Change in the public sector workplace, and how to manage that change, are also discussed in this issue of the journal. Topics include: strengthening civic skills; budgeting federal labor costs; the government workplace of the future; service learning through colleges and universities; bridging the skills gap; and how executive coaching is boosting leadership development in the federal government. The full text of the journal articles, and a searchable archive of more than 2,500 past articles, are available through subscription at www.thepublicmanager.org. The website also features electronic forums and blogs, including a blog partnership with GovLoop, a social network of 30,000+ people in the government community. About The Public Manager The Public Manager offers readers practical solutions for emerging public administration and policy issues from experienced professionals. A forum for developing and disseminating best practices, it encourages continuing excellence in government and nonprofit organizations. The Public Manager is published by The Bureaucrat, Inc., an affiliate of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), the world’s largest association dedicated to the training and development field whose members work in thousands of organizations in the public and private sectors.

Global Assessment Trends Report Reveals Shifts in Talent Management Focus

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

Free Webinar on Maximizing Sales Training ROI!

Effective sales results are critical to growth, and outmoded training and development approaches represent a very real barrier to that growth. Adopting a holistic, strategic, competency-based approach to sales training and development will help tear down that barrier. From Functional Support to Strategic Business Partner: Maximizing Sales Training ROI leverages the Sales Profession Competency Model, providing best practices on how to maximize impact in Architecting and Facilitating Sales Force Learning and Coaching to dramatically improve the return-on-investment that companies obtain for their sales training dollars. In terms of what to focus on, here’s what presenter Mark Myette has to say. “The number one area that impacts sales performance is expectations, feedback, and information. That means that roles and performance expectations are clearly defined, clear and accurate guides are used, and that performance management systems guide the sales team towards the proper development So if we’re focusing on just that area, chances are you’ll have a positive impact on sales performance.” Register to view today!

Former Disney Insiders Provide Roadmap to Organizational Excellence

Decades of experience at Disney and other Fortune 500 organizations are brought to bear in Lead with Your Customer, a book that goes beyond buzzwords and business theory and provides a practical roadmap to achieving excellence in an organization. This is not an academic book about business theories, but is a book about people – both external (customers) and internal (employees) – what makes them tick, and how truly understanding them can give a company the competitive edge. Lead with Your Customer: Transform Culture and Brand into World-Class Excellence is the result of years of operational implementation and spells out a clear method for focusing on the right things to achieve world-class results and bottom-line success. This real-world, proven process of improvement knits together four key concepts to create a strategic foundation: From leadership self-assessment to the examination of core customer qualities, Lead with Your Customer explores how to understand people’s motivations and leverage this insight to create an experience that serves internal and external customers. Examples from legendary organizations like Apple, Google, General Electric, IKEA – and of course the Walt Disney Company – provide excellent support for the World-Class Excellence Model developed by the authors. Lead with Your Customer: Transform Culture and Brand into World-Class Excellence is written by Mark David Jones and J. Jeff Kober, who have decades of experience at Disney and other Fortune 500 organizations. Out of their proven success they have developed their World-Class Excellence Model. Lead with Your Customer offers the opportunity to get an insider’s angle on the great business successes of our time. Lead with Your Customer: Transform Culture and Brand into World-Class Excellence includes a foreword by Lee Cockerell, former Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World Resort and author of Creating Magic, is published by ASTD Press and can be found on the ASTD Store at www.store.astd.org. ASTD Press is the publishing division of the American Society for Training & Development.

Excellence in Practice

Could partnering with your Senior VP of Sales allow you to see improvements in your sales team? Maybe hiring a professional training manager could provide you with a fresh perspective. How would your sales team improve if you found a more effective coaching platform? IBM, Knology, Inc., and MetLife have all developed award winning sales programs in the fields of (respectively) career development, workplace learning and performance, and workplace learning and development. Read how three winning programs of the Excellence in Practice award have helped these companies to find success as they seek to develop better sales teams. IBM Sales Learning Armonk, New York Class: Sales Eminence Over the last 100 years, IBM has transformed its workforce many times, often creating a leading workforce within the technology industry. Through its Sales Eminence partnership, the learning team joined with the senior vice president of sales to transform its sales force, increase client value by setting the agenda for client’s ever-changing needs, and ensuring IBM’s continued leadership in the market. The partnership focuses on enhancing the skills and expertise of sales professionals and a sales career model that simplifies jobs into three career paths: industry, solution, and technical. Knology, Inc. West Point, Georgia Class: Call Center Frontline Leadership Development At Knology’s customer care centers, frontline supervisors often gained their positions through superior technical capabilities, but they were frequently ineffectual due to a lack of leadership skills. Recognizing this developmental gap, the executive director hired a professional training manager who created a four-stage program addressing the vital areas of essentials of leadership, effective team building, performance management, and coaching for top performance. Training focused on classroom academics, between-class activities, and manager coaching interventions. Subsequently, frontline performance has significantly improved, both representatives and supervisors exhibit more positive attitudes, and everyone is working more effectively and efficiently – directly increasing the bottom line. Metlife El Segundo, California Class: Sales Coaching Excellence Program The Sales Coaching Excellence Program was developed to provide a comprehensive, consistent, and effective coaching platform for MetLife’s Annuity Product Wholesaling Sales Desk and Field Development function. The goal of the program is to offer sales coaching strategies, tactics, and tools to the Sales Desk Managers to improve the performance of all inside sales reps. Managers are trained on conducting high-impact sales meetings, conducting monthly goal-setting meetings, delivering performance feedback, and conducting sit-along coaching. Direct results of implementation have been impressive. In less than eight months the program has had a direct impact on the company’s sales results, employee productivity, and business growth. So, what are you doing to improve your sales training programs? Are your learning and performance solutions worthy of recognition? If you think you have an award winning program, submit here.

Esse quam videri

That’s Latin for “To be, rather than to seem.” It’s the state motto of North Carolina, and that’s the only way I know that, for I left my Latin studies behind long ago.If you work for a business, be a business person. T+D (formerly called Training & Development) is the magazine of ASTD (formerly known as the American Society for Training & Development). The cover story of the last issue tells WLP (workplace learning and performance) professionals that Business Acumen is Priority One. The article, Build Your Business Acumen, tells us that we WLP professionals “need to think and talk like their internal customers.” The article advises readers to understand the business and how it operates, to use business terminology to gain credibility, to recognize business priorities, to create a value proposition, and to advance the learning and performance business agenda. Follow the instructions and you can become an Enabler, trusted by management to help run the business. This is fine advice but it doesn’t go far enough. You can do more than sharpen your business acumen, use management’s vocabulary, and position yourself as an understanding, savvy helper. Instead of acting like a business person, why not become one? “Earning a seat at the table” is not enough; you need to be invited back frequently.If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. If a WLP professional looks like a business person, walks like a business person, and talks like a business person, why shouldn’t she join a business community of practice and become a business person? Am I being too subtle? You are paid to help create value, not to train people or design learning environments: those are but the means to an end. Make yourself profitable. Add value. Don’t fake it. Just do it. As Janis Joplin advised, “Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.” Esse quam videri.

Entrepreneur Touts ASTD, Value of Training

Learning and development is critical to business success. We all know that. It’s nice when a major media outlet like Entrepreneur makes the case too. Check out this feature article, How to Make Employee Training a Winning Investment, which includes a nice mention of ASTD and quotes executive editor, Pat Galagan.

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

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

E-Learning Still Trending Up

(From Human Resource Executive Online) — According to the 2010 State of the Industry Report just released by the Alexandria, Va.-based American Society for Training and Development, 37 percent of training hours involved electronic technology in 2009; 28 percent of training was done online, up from 23 percent in 2008. By comparison, in 2002, only 15 percent of the 304 companies surveyed used electronic technology to deliver formal training. Meanwhile, live, face-to-face interaction is down to 59 percent, says Pat Galagan, ASTD executive editor. “There is a lot of blended electronic and classroom. It’s a general trend.” Despite a total drop in training expenditures, the ASTD says it is encouraged by the continuing high level of investment in job training by U.S. companies, despite the recession. Companies surveyed invested $126 billion in job training in 2009. While that is a decrease of 6 percent from 2008, the average cost-per-employee remained stable — increasing very slightly, by 1 percent — because there was a smaller work force. In addition, learning expenditures accounted for a slightly larger percentage of corporate revenue and profit. “The findings… clearly demonstrate that executives and business leaders know their investments in employee learning and development are keys to survival, recovery and future growth,” says ASTD president and CEO Tony Bingham. Galagan says it’s not unusual for training expenditures to “remain stable despite the recession”. When the workforce is cut, the employees that remain are doing more and often have to be trained in new areas. In addition, in bad times, companies often opt to make a “rapid change in direction” or business model, which “requires a change in skills for everybody,” she says. Read more.

Dubai: Retention and Employee Engagement the Topmost HR Challenge

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

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.

DesignJot, the First iPad App for Instructional Designers

(From Business Wire) — Allen Communication Learning Services is proud to announce the release of DesignJot, the first app made specifically for training professionals and instructional designers, now available for download at the iTunes store. DesignJot is an innovative new tool for the iPad that will help new and seasoned instructional designers, trainers and performance consultants build better training by sharpening the collaboration between designers and stakeholders. “This new app will revolutionize how the foundation is laid for new training courses,” said Ron Zamir, CEO of Allen Communication. “By using this single tool, training development professionals will have all they need to complete a rapid needs analysis and export a high-level course design for an impactful training solution at their fingertips. All this, coupled with the go-anywhere convenience of the iPad, makes this tool truly revolutionary.” Read more.

Defining talent management

I’m reviewing Larry Israelite’s manuscript for his forthcoming book Talent Management: Best Practices and Strategies for Success from Six Leading Companies, and “at the risk of biting the hand that feeds” him says that he feels that ASTD’s definition of talent management is too complex: ASTD’s definition (as published in the “ASTD Talent Management Practices and Opportunities” research report): “A holistic approach to optimizing human capital, which enables an organization to drive short- and long-term results by building culture, engagement, capability, and capacity through integrated talent acquisition, development, and deployment processes that are aligned to business goals.” Larry’s definition: “The collection of things companies do that help employees do the best they can each and every day in support of their own and the company’s goals and objectives.” Now these are very different definitions. One has 38 words, the other has 29. One uses terms like “holistic approach,” “optimizing human capital,” and “integrated talent acquisition”; while the other talks about helping people “do the best they can.” They obviously have different audiences: The ASTD definition is geared toward specialized professionals who use specialized language, while Larry’s definition is geared toward anyone who works. And that last difference is part of Larry’s point: talent management is not the sole domain of human resources professionals, but really belongs to everyone. So what is talent management? Does it belong to everyone, or should it mainly concern human resources professionals? What other definitions are out there? When people talk about talent management, are they talking about the same things? It’s a hot topic these days, but why does it matter? Does it matter more or less now given the difficult state of the economy? Any thoughts?

DDI Announces Online Assessment System Manager Ready

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

Convergence Learning

I came upon an interesting term — Convergence Journalism: from the convergence of technologies that has taken place with digitization, to economic convergence in media ownership, through to the journalistic convergence that is seeing both a combination of media forms into one ‘multimedia’ form, and a multiplication of delivery systems. Wondering if the learning profession has such a term, I Googled it and came across this interesting definition from KERIS – the Convergence Learning Model is founded upon cognitive sciences and operates on three impetuses: the psychology of learning, pedagogical change, and technological advancement. From a psychological view, the model addresses intrinsic motivation based on Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory. From a pedagogical view, the model provides a link between formal and informal learning to the benefit of each. Finally, the model is implemented using ubiquitous computing technologies. Flows are not just one element of social organization, they are the expression of the processes dominating our economic, social and symbolic life – Manual Castells in The Rise of Network Society. Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.” Thus the development of learning spaces is far more than developing content, rather it is staging experiences that allows the learners to gain a finely tuned sense of rhythm, involvement, and anticipation known as “flow.” And rather than seeing learning as a chore, “learning flow” challenges the learner to want to learn. Formal & Informal Learning “The learning zone” is the convergence of formal and informal learning within a social context where the interests of the enterprise and individual meet. The role of social networks is essential to successful learning in enterprises. – Window into Talent and Learning Thus, rather than learning being organized around an event, it becomes a network of both planned and spontaneous situations. Some business processes are just too important to be left to chance. For example, manufacturing a product to specifications or safety procedures normally require that some type of formalized learning be given. Yet, it does not require strictly formalized learning methods. Competencies require the mastery of the 5 Cs: Content, Conversation, Connectivity, Collaboration, and Context: Technology Technology is meaningless except in how it can assist you, and then it should disappear and be invisible. It allows you to think of things you couldn’t think of, it doesn’t think of them itself. – Richard Saul Wurman When most of us hear the word “technology,” we tend to think of hardware, yet it is far more than computers and electronics. It is the application of tools, machines, materials and processes that help to solve problems and extend human capabilities. It has a circular effect on us in that we use technology to learn other technologies; use the newly learned technologies to create new technologies, and then use the newly created technologies to learn other technologies.Thus learning has sometimes been described as the meeting of people and technology. Since technology extends our capabilities, it can help to provide that needed flow that fully engages us in the task we are focusing on.

Connecting Government to Improve It

The article below is from the April 2010 issue of T+D magazine. It has some intriguing info about the advances social media is making in the public sector and some of its implications for learning and development. I hope you enjoy it. Shawn Connecting Government to Improve It By Dean Smith As the U.S. government steadily loosens restrictions on social media, some agencies are already benefitting from the next era of community and collaboration. While social networking tools are increasingly enabling corporations to market and sell more effectively by getting closer to their global customer base, government agencies have embraced these technologies to share knowledge, drive informal learning, and establish communities of practice. Terms such as “eGov,” “Gov2.0,” and “opengov” have entered the lexicon. While significant obstacles remain, it’s catching on. “There is power in connecting people in government,” says Steve Ressler, founder of GovLoop, a social networking site for government with more than 25,000 members, 4,000 blogs, and 1,500 discussions. “It’s definitely a learning community.” A recent survey conducted by the Human Capital Institute and Saba titled “Social Networking in Government: Opportunities & Challenges” reports that 66 percent of all government agencies currently use some form of social networking- from blogs and wikis to instant messaging and discussion boards to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. At the same time, 55 percent of all government workers say that they’re uncertain about the future use of social networking tools, but still see them as an effective means of real-time collaboration and have hopes for future application of the technologies in the workplace. “The public sector managers I have worked with seem to have an intrigue-fear relationship with social networking tools and practices,” says Lisa Haneberg, author of High-Impact Middle Management: Solutions for Today’s Busy Public Sector Managers. “They are intrigued with the potential in these tools for relationship building, project management, and collaboration. They fear the learning curve involved in becoming efficient at using social networking and worry that it might end up being a waste of time.” The case studies are piling up. The CIA uses Facebook to attract college students to apply for internships or jobs. As a way to share knowledge, build collaboration, and improve employee engagement in contrast, the Environmental Protection Agency created a Facebook network for employees to achieve better talent management. County and municipal governments are leading the way in leveraging digital options for the dual aims of improving customer service and reducing costs: 31 percent of those surveyed have embraced social media as a means of providing a more efficient customer feedback channel. “The EPA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are pretty far advanced,” says Ressler. “They need to be active to prevent misinformation.” The survey reports that social networking tools within governmental agencies are used most effectively for knowledge sharing and informal learning, as well as development functions. The top three most likely uses of social networking tools in government involve learning and development, public relations and communications, and recruitment. Despite the uptake of social media in government agencies, the government still lags behind the private sector in the overall use of these tools. The top three internal forces barring their widespread use are security concerns, other priorities, and difficulty in building a business case. “Public sector leaders are learning about how for-profit organizations are using social networking and are interested in how these new technologies might help their teams succeed. Their process involves two types of learning,” said Haneberg. “They need to get comfortable with the tools and then translate how social networking will work in their often highly regimented and regulated environment.” Dean Smith is director of publications at ASTD

Competitive Analysis: What Sales Teams Want

The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) recently published a whitepaper on “Selling with Competence: How Sales Teams Succeed.” In that whitepaper, the authors discuss recent trends and research in the sales training profession. In order to determine what salespeople need to learn, we must first determine what they need to know. No longer are product knowledge, persuasiveness, and persistence enough. To truly understand what successful sales team members need to know and do, ASTD asked them. ASTD Research surveyed 210 sales trainers and 179 salespeople during the summer of 2007. Overwhelmingly, respondents said that they value sales training and believe it to be very or extremely important. When asked about the skills required to be successful in their jobs, survey respondents indicated these top five: Respondents were also asked what kind of knowledge is required to be successful in their jobs. Valuable knowledge areas include: Accenture research found that although 146 of 244 executives from six countries said that the sales team plays the most prominent role in their company’s long- and short-term success, 41 percent of managers and executives from more than 2,500 sales organizations said that their salespeople are performing below expectations (Nightingale Conant/Andy Miller). ASTD advocates a new approach, one in which the sales development and training needs of sales teams are viewed through a strategic and holistic lens. To be successful, this approach requires the alignment of all aspects of talent management, skills development, and sales process execution. Revenue goals must be aligned with business outcomes and business processes that are deliberately designed to allow salespeople to develop productive customer relationships and deliver appropriate solutions. Further, salespeople must be equipped and empowered to make decisions that benefit both the buying and selling organizations, and sales managers must be given both the time and the training to coach and develop their sales teams.

Charles Fred, Founder of The Breakaway Group, Joins ASTD Board of Directors

The American Society for Training & Development announces that Charles Fred, founder and CEO of The Breakaway Group, is joining the Society’s Board of Directors for a three-year term, 2012-2014. In his role as CEO of The Breakaway Group, Mr. Fred has led the organization in significant growth from its initial startup to a leading position in healthcare IT adoption services. He has a proven track record of success in both education and enterprise software companies, and served as the CEO of Omega Performance and Avaltus before those companies were acquired. Mr. Fred is the author of the best-selling book Breakaway, which is used today in many leading universities’ curricula to reinforce innovative methods for instructional technology and simulation. The eight-year research effort that resulted in the publication of the book also provides the foundation for The Breakaway Method used in service to healthcare organizations worldwide. Featured at the Smithsonian Institute and the International E Learning Expo in Paris, Mr. Fred is one of the healthcare and corporate education industry’s most renowned keynote speakers. Mr. Fred holds a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering and technology from Montana State University, and completed the Aerospace Industry Manufacturing Program from the University of Washington’s Graduate School of Business.

Chapter Leader Webcasts Scheduled for December

National ASTD will offer three webcasts in December. Registration is FREE for chapter members and chapter leaders. Championing the Competency Model and CPLP Credential for Chapter Success Wednesday, December 2, 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT, 12 p.m. MT, 11 a.m. PT) Audience: Current or upcoming chapter leaders ( REGISTER ) Webcast facilitator: Patricia Harrold, CPLP, (Nebraska Chapter), National Advisors for Chapters Join your fellow chapter leaders in an interactive webinar. Session outcomes: Chapter Leader Onboarding Thursday, December 10, 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT, 1 p.m. MT, 12 p.m. PT) Audience: Current or upcoming chapter leaders ( REGISTER ) Webcast presenter: Charnell Westerman, CPLP, Baton Rouge Chapter and National Advisor for Chapters New leader onboarding is a critical step in volunteer retention and high performance. Attend this webcast as we discuss the value of an establishing a chapter onboarding process, identify resources available, and equip you with tools to create an onboarding process for your chapter. ASTD CPLP Competency Model Tuesday, December 15, 1 p.m. ET (12 p.m. CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT) Audience: All chapter members and chapter leaders ( REGISTER ) Webcast presenter: Jennifer Naughton, ASTD Director of Credentialing The ASTD competency model defines what people in the training profession need to know and do to be successful. Find out how the ASTD competency model can be leveraged in your organization and your chapter. Discover the latest trends that are impacting the field’s professional development agenda and skills that can help us stay relevant and indispensible to businesses during tough economic times. The most recent round of updates that were made to the 2004 ASTD Competency Model will be highlighted. All chapter leaders and members are encouraged to attend this webcast for an overview of the CPLP Competency Model.

Can Mid-Level Managers Escape the Gloom of the Recession and Drive a Recovery Strategy?

(From PRWEB) — The Human Capital Institute (HCI) in association with Development Dimensions International (DDI), global talent management expert, announced last week at the Human Capital Summit in Tucson, Arizona, the recent results of a new research report, Mid-Level Managers: The Bane and Salvation of Organizations. The report focused on the strategic importance of mid-level management as companies recover from the worst recession in decades. In recent history, mid-level managers have been recognized as vital ambassadors between senior leadership and the front lines of a business. Because mid-level managers have such crucial roles in their organizations’ success or failure, because they are largely responsible for strategy execution HCI and DDI set out to gather “point in time” information by surveying human resource leaders to understand the current set of issues creating strain within organizations. “This is a unique survey that opens a window into a critical component of the management structure at a time when they have faced tremendous pressure during the recession,” says Michael DeMarco, HCI’s Director of Research, “Ultimately, the survey results will help organizations answer many questions about mid-level managers as the recovery takes shape.” Read more. For more information on developingmiddle managers, consider attending the sessionBuilding Middle-Management Excellence: A Model for Trainersat the ASTD 2010 International Conference and Exposition!

Canada: FuelCell Energy Charges up High-Potentials

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

Canada: Feuding and Failure vs. Performance and Innovation

(From PRWEB) — Psychometrics Canada, a leading assessment publisher and consultant for the development and selection of people in business, government and education, today announced the results of its study of leadership in the Canadian workplace. In many cases strong leadership has resulted in dramatic effects on work engagement, team performance and innovation. However, the report also shows that poor leadership has negative effects on employee morale, project success and working relationships. The study, which involved a poll of 517 human resources (HR) professionals across Canada, confirms that leadership is seen as an important area of organizational functioning and development. The majority (63.2%) see leaders as having a lot of influence over their organizations’ success, with only 2.5% reporting that leaders have very little influence. The most common effects of good leadership are increased motivation (85.5%), improved working relationships (85.1%), higher team performance (80.7%), better solutions to problems (68.9%), and major innovations (41.6%). Read the full release.

Bombardier: Giving women wings

(From The Globe and Mail) — Bombardier Aerospace is one of the world’s largest producers of civil aircraft, with nearly 17,000 full-time employees in Canada. But its areas of engineering and manufacturing traditionally haven’t attracted many women. The company is out to change that. “We’ve broadened our strategy to increase diversity, with having more women throughout the organization as a top priority,” says Elisabeth Buss, director of leadership development and talent management at the Dorval, Que.-based organization, a division of Montreal’s Bombardier Inc. “Increasing diversity is a business strategy: We want our employees to be representative of the community in which we do business.” Women have made up two-thirds of the recent growth in the Canadian workforce, climbing from 35 per cent in the 1970s to 50 per cent in 2005, according to the book Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations. Following its inaugural two-day Women in Leadership Forum in Montreal in 2010, Bombardier Aerospace set a goal to increase the percentage of women in management positions from the current 16 per cent to 25 per cent by next year. Read more.

Blackboard Offers Solution for Corporate Learning through Salesforce.com’s Enterprise Cloud Platform

Dreamforce 2010 — Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), a global leader in education technology, today announced plans for an improved learning management solution for corporations and other learning focused organizations that will emphasize training for sales teams. The announcement will be made today at Dreamforce 2010, the cloud computing event of the year. To support the improved solution, Blackboard will develop a new application on Force.com, salesforce.com’s enterprise cloud computing platform that will add a range of administrative capabilities to its flagship learning platform, Blackboard Learn(TM). Already noted for its flexibility, ease of use and low cost of ownership, Blackboard Learn will gain stronger certification, reporting and tracking abilities commonly associated with more complex and costly corporate learning management systems. As a result, customers will be able to more closely align employee learning and development programs with key corporate initiatives and priorities and ensure that they have a larger, more measureable impact on employee behavior, business goals and company performance. “This new application combines the strengths of leaders in education and cloud computing to provide an improved solution for corporate learning and training that better supports business goals,” said Michael Chasen, president and chief executive officer at Blackboard. “Force.com provides the fastest way to bring Blackboard’s leading learning and training platform to the cloud. Now Blackboard’s customers will be armed with the tools and capabilities of the next generation of cloud-based learning and training,” said Kendall Collins, chief marketing officer, salesforce.com. Blackboard Learn is currently used by thousands of institutions worldwide including hundreds of corporations of all sizes, government agencies, nonprofits and associations. The platform includes a range of powerful capabilities, social learning tools and web 2.0 innovations to more effectively engage and develop learners, and can be enabled for use on mobile devices with a range of native applications for smartphones and other devices including the Apple(R) iPad(TM). “Blackboard offers a flexible option for corporate learning that is highly focused on ease of use and learner engagement,” said Josh Bersin, president and chief executive officer, Bersin & Associates. “Combining the strengths of Blackboard and salesforce.com will give sales and service teams an easy to use learning platform designed for both formal and informal learning.Training is one of the largest segments of corporate learning and this solution will greatly expand the availability of training offerings for small and mid-sized businesses.” “With deep roots in education, our understanding of how knowledge is acquired and shared in support of business goals has helped us grow quickly in corporate and professional learning in the last few years,” said Tim Hill, president of Blackboard’s Professional Education group. “Working with salesforce.com, we can quickly bring a more robust offering to a wider range of organizations, departments and teams that seek a more flexible solution.” Chasen will join salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff on stage today at Dreamforce 2010. The keynote will be available online at www.salesforce.com/live beginning at approximately 9 a.m. Pacific time. For more information about Blackboard’s work to support corporate learning, please visit http://blackboard.com/Solutions-by-Market/Corporate.aspx. About Blackboard Inc. Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard’s solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia

Blackboard Offers Improved Solution for Corporate Learning on Force.com

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Dreamforce 2010 — Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), a global leader in education technology, today announced plans for an improved learning management solution for corporations and other learning focused organizations that will emphasize training for sales teams. The announcement will be made today at Dreamforce 2010, the cloud computing event of the year. To support the improved solution, Blackboard will develop a new application on Force.com, salesforce.com’s enterprise cloud computing platform that will add a range of administrative capabilities to its flagship learning platform, Blackboard Learn(TM). Already noted for its flexibility, ease of use and low cost of ownership, Blackboard Learn will gain stronger certification, reporting and tracking abilities commonly associated with more complex and costly corporate learning management systems. As a result, customers will be able to more closely align employee learning and development programs with key corporate initiatives and priorities and ensure that they have a larger, more measureable impact on employee behavior, business goals and company performance. “This new application combines the strengths of leaders in education and cloud computing to provide an improved solution for corporate learning and training that better supports business goals,” said Michael Chasen, president and chief executive officer at Blackboard. “Force.com provides the fastest way to bring Blackboard’s leading learning and training platform to the cloud. Now Blackboard’s customers will be armed with the tools and capabilities of the next generation of cloud-based learning and training,” said Kendall Collins, chief marketing officer, salesforce.com. Blackboard Learn is currently used by thousands of institutions worldwide including hundreds of corporations of all sizes, government agencies, nonprofits and associations. The platform includes a range of powerful capabilities, social learning tools and web 2.0 innovations to more effectively engage and develop learners, and can be enabled for use on mobile devices with a range of native applications for smartphones and other devices including the Apple(R) iPad(TM). “Blackboard offers a flexible option for corporate learning that is highly focused on ease of use and learner engagement,” said Josh Bersin, president and chief executive officer, Bersin & Associates. “Combining the strengths of Blackboard and salesforce.com will give sales and service teams an easy to use learning platform designed for both formal and informal learning.Training is one of the largest segments of corporate learning and this solution will greatly expand the availability of training offerings for small and mid-sized businesses.” “With deep roots in education, our understanding of how knowledge is acquired and shared in support of business goals has helped us grow quickly in corporate and professional learning in the last few years,” said Tim Hill, president of Blackboard’s Professional Education group. “Working with salesforce.com, we can quickly bring a more robust offering to a wider range of organizations, departments and teams that seek a more flexible solution.” Chasen will join salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff on stage today at Dreamforce 2010. The keynote will be available online at www.salesforce.com/live beginning at approximately 9 a.m. Pacific time. For more information about Blackboard’s work to support corporate learning, please visit http://blackboard.com/Solutions-by-Market/Corporate.aspx.

Black and Decker nails down quicker learning

(From peoplemanagement.co.uk) Shorter training courses are the answer to making the most efficient use of training budgets during the recession, according to toolmaker Black & Decker. The company has introduced two-hour “Learning Bite” courses to get more immediate results. Jenny Daley, learning and development project manager, said it was a more “creative” way to use the training budget. Learning Bites offers sessions led by senior company business champions who give workers support with practical skills. While Daley said it was too early to see monetary results, she said they were working on a measurement system to gauge the effects. Daley said: “The scheme would have had its place regardless of what’s going on in the economy, because it’s logistically easier to do, and new session topics can be drawn up and rolled out really quickly. The courses are easier to set up because they are two-hours long, so they can be completed over a lunchtime or included as part of a longer meeting. Its flexibility is an advantage.” Read the entire article.

ASTD Study Examines Tremendous Learning Potential of Web 3.0

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

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

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

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

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

ASTD Presents its Dissertation Award to Sewon Kim

The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) presented Dr. Sewon Kim its Dissertation Award on May 23 at a ceremony during the ASTD 2011 International Conference & Exposition held here. This ASTD award recognizes an outstanding dissertation that holds major implications for practitioners of workplace learning and performance. Dr. Kim’s dissertation, titled “Managerial Coaching Behavior and Employee Outcomes: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis,” examined employees’ perceptions of the relationship between their mangers’ coaching behavior and employee affective and performance-related responses, an area which lacks empirical research. The study focused on a state government organization, and measured six outcomes: role clarity, satisfaction with work, satisfaction with manager, career commitment, organization commitment, and job performance. Collected data revealed that managerial coaching directly affected employee satisfaction with work and role clarity, and indirectly affected satisfaction with work, career commitment, job performance, and organization commitment. Results also indicated that role clarity, as a direct outcome of managerial coaching, influenced job performance. Study findings demonstrate that managerial coaching motivates and satisfies employees, and improves their commitment and performance toward designated goal achievement, further supporting existing theories. This research gives a clearer picture of managerial coaching practices in organizations, and can potentially guide the use of managerial coaching competency for hiring and developing effective managers. Dr. Kim received his PhD in August 2010, and is currently an assistant professor in the Business, Management, and Economics department at the State University of New York (SUNY) Empire State.

ASTD Member Meeting in the UK

Here’s a blog post from guest blogger Neville Pritchard, from ASTD International Partner The Learning Sanctuary in the UK: The Learning Sanctuary held its second meeting for ASTD members and prospective members at Olympia on January 26. The room was kindly donated by Principal Media Ltd, the organisers of Learning Technologies Conference & Expo held at Olympia on the following two days. Once again we had over 30 attend a lively and interesting meeting where discussion was extensive. We opened with Gordon Bull (ASTD Board member) explaining how to maximise ASTD e-membership benefits before we split into sub groups. We explored technology based learning developments and when to utilise what; the need to focus on performance impact and to utilise an appropriate mix of measurement models depending upon the purpose of measurement and reporting; the increasing need for L&D to ensure high quality consulting skills; trends in the use of coaching and the need for individual and coach responsibility; links to informal learning and ‘letting go’; the need for collaboration, coordination and integration in implementing L&D initiatives; considered goodpractice.com research into leadership development trends; and explored the group’s pressing issues within the management of learning. Each topic was visited twice as groups rotated around a choice of subject every 20 minutes with facilitation being delivered by members with specific expertise and interest in the subject areas. As a full group we also considered what research we felt would help take the profession forward. An example amongst a number of topics we included was: – What types of learning delivery actually lead to best improvement and response from learners? – How do different types of role or function influence this? – Is this influenced by the type of industry an organisation operates within? – Content/training methodologies different to roles, types of business, types of department – Comparing delivery models It was a fabulous meeting with high quality debate and an opportunity for members in the UK to network and consider key issues with other L&D professionals. Neville Pritchard

ASTD: Instructional Systems Design Still Relevant, Needs to Adapt

Most companies have instructional systems design (ISD) programs that are, at best, moderately effective in achieving both learning and business goals and are not positioned well enough for the future, according to a new research report from the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD). The research also found that while there are many challenges facing the world of learning and ISD practitioners, the need for instructional systems design still exists and will continue to as the field adapts to the demands of the contemporary learner and a global workforce. The report, Instructional Systems Design: Today and in the Future, includes a survey of major ISD practices and interviews conducted with experts and business organizations. The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) partnered with ASTD in the research. The study reveals that the traditional classroom course, often reported as being irrelevant, is still used by most organizations, with 97 percent of respondents saying they currently use the classroom to deliver workplace learning. Other key findings from the study include: The report finds that many ISD professionals believe their processes are not as effective as they could be and that indicates a necessary shift in how practitioners approach the field. The future of the profession lies in formulating instructional programs or products for not only the classroom, but also for other learning approaches like mentoring, coaching, online and offline simulations, asynchronous and blended learning systems, mobile learning, and serious games. This will require instructional designers to have a broad range of competencies, and overcoming resistance to new tools will be a necessary skill. The report also suggests that change is necessary at the university level where tomorrow’s designers are prepared. Instructional Systems Design: Today and in the Future provides a data-driven foundation for course designers who wish to adapt to the changing learning environment, and take advantage of new technologies. The full report can be accessed via the ASTD Store. This report is free to ASTD members.

ASTD Declares December 6 -10 Employee Learning Week

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