The Roles of an Agile COE

Organizations are creating Centers of Excellence to facilitate agile adoption without hiring armies of consultants and risking teams losing touch with each other. The goal is to speed transformation and scaling efforts, while keeping agile principles in mind. Here’s a look at how they do it, from coaching and supporting to learning and observing.

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Leadership is Half the Story: A Fresh Look at Followership, Leadership, and Collaboration: Q&A

Research shows that it takes both roles–leadership and followership–to get the best results. Marc and Samantha Hurwitz talked to the community about being your best in both roles, as well as bringing out the best in your teams by coaching for both leadership and followership. Participants walked away from the Leadership is Half the Story: A Fresh Look at Followership, Leadership, and Collaboration webinar with renewed insight. Here, the presenters offer answers to your questions.

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Why Not Mentoring?

In a recent ASTD/i4cp research report, “Learning in a Down Economy,” only 23 percent of learning professionals admit that their firms currently use mentoring and peer coaching to a high or very high extent, while more than 67 percent of learning executives say that they should be using mentoring or coaching to a high or…

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One to Watch: Wasuthorn Harnnapachewin

As a senior consultant for one of the top three coaching firms in Thailand, Harnnapachewin has been involved in more than 150 human resource development projects. Her experience working with clients from a wide range of industries has given her unique insights into the talent development field. She is passionate about helping businesses achieve sustainable growth through more effective people development.

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Workflow learning vs. the “me-focus” culture

The idea of workflow learning is surprisingly controversial. I attended the “Innovations in E-learning” symposium last week, put together by George Mason University, the US Naval Education and Training Command, and the Defence Acquisition University. I was interested in hearing what Jay Cross, Clark Aldrich, Harvey Singh and Ben Watson had to say about workflow learning, collaboration, and simulations, since these are things I have always been passionate about. Jay’s presentation, as usual, was delightfully challenging, non-linear, evocative, and provocative. But the presentation on “embedded learning” by Michael Littlejohn of IBM astonished me. He provided a well-structured overview of the practical deployment issues of embedded learning. My surprise was not so much at what he said, but that it was being said by IBM. If Big Blue is advocating it, then workflow learning has come a long way, baby. I did a piece on this on my own blog, and have already had a lot of back-channel skeptical feedback. In all that I have read about workflow learning, I have yet to hear anyone argue that it is not a great idea conceptually, but there are a whole lot of people who can’t believe workflow learning will ever work in practice. They are blinded by their culture. It reminds me of the mid-to-late 1990s when I was promoting online learning to a resistant training community, who could not believe that anyone would prefer a computer to a classroom, or that any online learning could be as effective as that delivered by a trainer. Many were also desperately afraid of having to re-invent themselves. At the time, my mantra was “it’s warmer on the web,” because I was trying to get through to trainers that online learning was all about connecting people, building communities, mutual mentoring, and sharing experience. To a largely techno-skeptical audience numbed by the self-indulgent atrocities of CD-ROM courses, online learning was never going to fly. The key that unlocked the e-learning Pandora’s box, unleashing a few gems within a cloud of pestilence, was a culture shift. Corporations started taking for granted ubiquitous desktop computing and internet connections, and started looking to leverage them to improve business processes and cut costs. Trainers started to get as myopically starry-eyed about e-learning as they had about PowerPoint. Workers started to appreciate the need to keep themselves current, valuable, and marketable because it became clear that companies were not going to provide more than the basic essentials. Training vendors saw a need to defend against more tech-savvy competitors, as well as an opportunity to broaden markets and raise margins. Quite a lot of learners had a few good e-learning experiences, mind-sets started shifting from resistance to acceptance, if not enthusiasm, and e-learning was airborne. Workflow learning requires similar, though probably more dramatic, organizational and personal culture changes. A major prerequisite for workflow learning is a culture that fosters collaboration and sharing, that rewards (rather than punishes) individual support initiatives, that builds a fundamental responsibility for informal coaching and mentoring into every employee’s job description, and that places as much value on time spent helping others perform as it does on time spent performing. Another prerequisite is a widespread personal attitude toward supporting others that values highly the giving of both time and knowledge – two things most workers jealously protect. It’s not about the technology or the processes (though of course they are important), because without the individual will and the corporate mandate, the technology will gather dust. To change corporate culture, you need to demonstrate to senior decision-makers how much money can be made or saved (preferably this quarter) as a result of the proposed change. If they buy into the financial reward, corporations can move mountains. But how do you formalize, in a way that bean-counters will accept, the ROI from something as apparently fuzzy and informal as workflow learning? IBM advocates thinking small and running a pilot. That may be a starting point, but it’s not a strategy. Do you need to get conceptual buy-in at CEO level and have a bold shake-up, top-down, in order to achieve any sustainable culture shift? Or do you abdicate and wait for a bottom-up worker-driven evolution that effectively bypasses formal learning systems? However you do it, without a culture shift away from the “me-focus” that most organizational review/reward systems instill, and toward a “we-focus,” workflow learning just ain’t going to fly! Godfrey Parkin

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Why Should My Organization Care About Informal Learning?

In 2008, ASTD partnered with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) to help organizations better understand how to tap into informal learning. For the purposes of this study, informal learning is defined as a learning activity that is not easily recognizable as formal training and performance support. Generally speaking, it takes place without a conventional instructor and is employee-controlled in terms of breadth, depth, and timing. It tends to be individualized, limited in scope, and utilized in small chunks. Some examples include online social networking, accessing “fingertip” knowledge through Internet or intranet searches, and peer-to-peer coaching. [more]Informal learning already exists in organizations, and many managers identified it as a valuable tool. In the ASTD/i4cp Tapping the Potential of Informal Learning study, 41 percent of respondents said informal learning is occurring in their organizations to a high or very high extent. Another 34% of respondents said they believe informal learning is occurring to a moderate extent. These respondents seemed optimistic about the incidence of informal learning increasing. More than half of respondents reported informal learning would increase in their organization over the next three years. In the ASTD/i4cp Tapping the Potential of Informal Learning study, most respondents said informal learning enhances performance to at least a moderate extent and 46% of all respondents said it improves employee performance to a high or very high extent. But these responses are not the only indicators of why managers should devote attention to informal learning. The study also found a significant, positive correlation between the degree to which informal learning occurs in organizations and their reported market performance. Source: Tapping the Potential of Informal Learning (ASTD/i4cp). Click here to learn more about ASTD Research.

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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.

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What is the Definition of Sales 2.0

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

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

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

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Virtual Forum 2010 – Click here for Benefits List

Keynote / Presenters SEEK AND RETAIN THE KNOWLEDGE OF WORKPLACE LEARNING EXPERTS! SEE A “DEMO” of the Virtual Forum! Virtual Forum 2010 APRIL (7), 2010 SEE the TEAM!: Brian Lambert, Ph.D. /ASTD STDrivers Keynote: Linda Richardson, Richardson Sales Training “Sales Coaching: Leave the Carrot and the Stick Behind” IMMEDIATE BENEFITS! Leverage the power of a dedicated and focused learning community!

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UAE consortium formed for INSEAD Executive Leadership Programme

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

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Typical Sim Conversation

Training Person: I can’t do simulations. They are too expensive. Me: Not necessarily. There are many simple models. Training Person: Could you show me some? Me: Sure. Here they are. Training Person: And are these more effective? Me: Yes. They have very impressive long term productivity benefits. Training Person: Those are great. But how about multi-player? Do you have any examples of multi-player? Me: OK. Here they are. Training Person: Those are cool. But you have any with better scoring and coaching built in as well? Me: Sure. Here are a few other examples. Training Person: Animation is really important to me. Do you have any examples of sims also with really smooth animation. Me: Yup, I have a few right here. Training Person: The interface still seems a bit rough. Can I see one with a seamless interface on top of everything else? Me: Sure – how about this? Training Person: Our corporate colors are blue and red? Is it possible to customize it? Me: Yes. Training Person: Wow, that is so fantastic. That really blow me away. Me: It is impressive. Training Person: It’s too bad, really. Me: What is? Training Person: I can’t do simulations. They are too expensive.

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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.

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The Who, What, and How of Sales Training

Are the proper people in your company offering the right sales training? Are they using a delivery method that creates the most impact with your sales force? Ever wonder how your organization’s sales training efforts stack up or compare with those of your peers? Some of the info below may give you reason to rethink your sales training strategy in order to build a world-class sales team that drives increased revenue. In part two of this three part weekly series discussing the findings of ASTD’s State of Sales Training report, we will look at the “who, what, and how” of sales training. “Who” defines those accountable for sales training in an organization, while “what” addresses the 5 categories of sales training, and “how” covers the methods of sales training delivery. As you recall from last week, if you can closely align your sales training with corporate training and goals, your revenue will increase. Who Let’s begin by taking a look who delivers the sales training. As you can see from the figure above, in many organizations it appears that learning executives are in more of a supporting role in regards to sales training, while sales executives tend to own the delivery. What When conducting the research, the team identified and validated a mix of 5 sales training categories: selling skills, product training, industry training, company specific training, and sales management. The pie chart below shows the percentage of training hours dedicated to each category. As you can see, it is clear that the highest priorities in sales training are teaching employees how to sell and about what they’re selling. How Finally, how did our research participant’s organizations deliver sales training? Take a look below: [Note: “on-the-job” at 17.6%/18.3%/17.0% and “coaching/mentoring” at 12.9%/10.7%/17.2% made up a majority of the remaining delivery methods] As you can see, despite the prevalence of technology and the continued discussions of Web 2.0 technologies, technology based training takes a back seat to instructor led training. Based on the data, we can assume that the human touch is essential to the delivery of sales training. Conclusion What other conclusions can we draw from this? As mentioned previously, if you can closely align your sales training with corporate training and goals, your revenue will increase. So it seems counterintuitive to have a sales executive deliver the training. Why does this occur? Could it be that sales executives can provide that human touch needed by sales people? Or that sales executives know how to train selling skills since they have “carried the bag”? What are your thoughts? Where does your organization fit? What conclusions do you draw from this data? Let us know in the comments section!

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The Six Disciplines of Learning Transfer: Turning Training and Development into Business Results

Improving the business impact of training and development efforts is at the heart of a new conference offering from the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and the Fort Hill Company. 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. 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. The Learning Transfer Conference kicks off what is a 10-week learning program that begins with an interactive 1 day workshop. 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: For more information or to register for the Learning Transfer Conference, visit http://www.astd.org/content/conferences/LearningTransferConference/

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The ABCs of the Six “Ds”

One of the first things many L&D professionals learn is the basics of great design and facilitation—both key for achieving desired outcomes. But in an era of increased accountability, if those outcomes are not measurable, you might be missing some big opportunities. So you have to have tools that can move you from organizational “order taker” to strategic business partner. This is where the idea of learning transfer comes in. ASTD has been studying learning transfer and disseminating some great content on LT for quite some time. But over the last year or so, we’ve been partnering with the Fort Hill Company to bring L&D professionals The Learning Transfer Conference. This is an interactive day-and-a-half workshop that kicks off a 10-week learning program. I actually attended the Arlington, VA, conference in October of last year and learned A TON with several dozen professionals from across the US, all of us broken into small groups (at round tables) enabling plenty of brainstorming, sharing, problem-solving, and of course, networking. The essence of the program is learning to apply the Six Disciplines (or “6 Ds”) of Breakthrough Learning with the goal of improving the business impact of our efforts. The facilitators, Roy Pollock and Cal Wick are terrific and very engaging (and I am an English major FYI). They do a great job of interacting us, and it doesn’t all just take place during the conference itself. The online coaching element opens possibility for further interaction with the facilitators and other participants for two months after the workshop itself. As a Community Manager, it’s great to get a glimpse into what you all do each day and learn about what’s important to you. This conference was a great experience for me and the attendees I had the pleasure of meeting, and I hope you’ll check it out sometime this year if you haven’t already. And there is still time to register for Atlanta! I dropped the dates down below. Atlanta, GA — April 4-5, 2012 Chicago, IL — June 19-20, 2012 Denver, CO — October 2-3, 2012 Learn More.

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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.)

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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.

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SimWord of the Day: Pedagogy: Coaches, Virtual

A virtual coach gives customized help to the player. Unlike a Dictionary, Glossary, Wiki, or Instruction Booklet, coaches tend to have personality. They pop up at the right time, either proactively or in response to a question, and give some help. Like all pedagogical elements, the virtual coach has to balance giving neither too little help nor too much. A good coaching system can dramatically reduce the amount of real coaching necessary to support a simulation deployment. Some simulation Genres are easier to coach than others. Branching Stories use discreet nodes, each of which can be tagged with a very specific coach entries (i.e. for node 127b, the coach might say, “you have so far in this situation been very lenient, and now the group is trying to take advantage of you. It may be time to be a little tougher”). You can even have two or three levels of coaching for each node, aligned with the end-learner’s chosen difficulty level or past success. The more open-ended a simulation is, the harder it is to employ such highly targeted virtual coaches. Some coaches in an Interactive Spreadsheet can be trigger based around milestones (i.e. if at [third quarter, second year], customer satisfaction is below 30%, play coach clip showing advice on how to improve customer sat). Some coaches in interactive spreadsheets can also be table based (if market share drops for more than three consecutive terms, play video highlighting problem and suggesting solutions). Coaches also don’t have to be perfect, a nice crutch in more open-ended sims. Like life, one can have a virtual board of directors (and using a board of directors well is a critical Big Skill). Each can offer one, “pure” view, such as one advocate for advertising, another for consistency.

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

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

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Sales Enablement

How do You Enable the Sales Team? Millions of Internet pages are dedicated to the subject of sales coaching and sales training. Have you conducted an Internet search for it lately? With all that content available, it’s amazing that sales team have any trouble hitting their performance goals. Have you ever thought about it from a salesperson’s shoes? Think about it: there are many different resources available for salespeople in how to close, how to manage time, how to ask questions, how to manage a territory, and how to stay motivated. Yet, despite all this, the next evolution in selling is upon us, and it requires all salespeople to conduct a thorough review of where they are, what they stand for, and what they are trying to achieve. If salespeople aren’t actively embracing this evolution, they will be passed by. This is a harsh reality that sales training sometimes doesn’t address, luckily there is an answer — sales coaching. Have you had the opportunity to work with people who are now just just coming into the profession? Have you stopped to look at what the “new” sales reps are seeking and asking questions about? If you listen to what they are asking, you might be surprised. New hire salespeople often seek to understand “WHAT” selling actually entails, before they want to learn “HOW” to apply selling techniques. They seek first the “WHAT” and then the “HOW”. New hire salespeople want to know: This is big difference that is often overlooked. Most sales training focuses on “HOW” to sell. This change has been born from each salesperson’s ability to fully customize their own selling system to the needs of the clients and their territory. Seasoned sales pros of today have a deep command of the basics, and they’ve come up with something that is uniquely their own over time. They did it by seeking “WHAT” and then “HOW.” Sales coaching can help you fully customized an approach that maximizes strengths and minimizes weaknesses — it just took 10–15 years (or longer) to do for many people. In the next evolution of selling, each of salesperson must have a foundation of sales competency and an understanding of the framework of selling is, before they learn a single technique. So where does, my advice for any new person coming into sales would be to first strive and understand the universally applicable knowledge, skills, and abilities you must have to be successful. When you read as many books as you can, attend as many seminars as you can, and ask as many questions as you can, then do it some more. You must work hard to to understand the common “sales language” that other salespeople have. You must be able to engage in a professional discussion with another salesperson who might even be your competitor because of this common language. One way to think of it — work hard to learn and discuss what it means to be a professional. Just like doctors who all understand the contents of “Gray’s Anatomy Book.” The harder you work at the beginning of your career, the better we all are. Other people outside the profession will soon begin to see selling for what it is – a major catalyst in the global economy. Until that time, be proud of selling. Do not be afraid of who you are. Take comfort in the fact that there are over 30 million of you across the globe. I also challenge each person to look at his or herself and engage in a dialog with their customers around what a great sales professional is in their mind. Are you contributing to the sales profession? If you are not contributing to the profession, you are not being professional. You have to take ownership and you have to take responsibility for yourself and your success. With this becoming outwardly visible, believe me, your sales will increase, the trust of your customers will increase, and your impact to others will increase. Finally, I would submit that many salespeople have become their own worst enemy. Work hard to not let this happen to you! It’s just to easy to be complacent, apathetic, and unaware of what your professional calling entails. So do not let yourself become one of the masses. Winston Churchill said: Your enemy is your own ignorance about your profession. To overcome this ignorance attend sales training (not product training). Read sales books. Get a higher level business degree. Never stop learning. Be a student of selling – and you’ll reap the rewards.

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Rules of Engagement for Bank Staff

At a recent national conference for community bankers sponsored by the American Bankers Association, at least three speakers examined ways to improve staff performance. Roxanne Emmerich, CEO of the Emmerich Group, said employees need to be enthusiastic about their bank as well as serving customers. The right attitude involves certain “non-negotiables, she said, such as “we dont whine, we dont make excuses, and we dont hurt other people with our words.” Emmerich added that the right attitude starts at the top. For instance, when a CEO walks by the teller line, he or she should make eye contact with staff rather than look straight ahead. The CEO can also set an example by spending a few moments making casual comments. Daniel Pink, a best-selling author and Wired contributing editor, observed that team spirit is increased when employees believe their day-to-day work is purposeful. To spur creativity, he cited an Australian software company that allows staff to work on anything they want 20 percent of the time as long as these efforts will be beneficial to the employer. Cathy Berch, president of the Center for Practical Management, and Jo Kinsey, senior vice president of Country Club Bank, said employees can improve their performance by going through several progressive steps–clarifying, tracking, setting goals, planning, reinforcing, and coaching–where the skill level rises at each step. Source: BankNews, Vol. 111, No. 3, P. 28 Author: Bill Poquette Web Link Copyright 2011 INFORMATION, INC.

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Ready, Aim, Coach: How HR Can (and Should) Coach Managers on Problem Employee Behaviors

(From UNC Kenan-Flagler) — Problem employees are the bane of everyone’s existence in an organization. They cause productivity to plummet and damage morale. Because few people enjoy conflict, managers often go to extremes to avoid addressing the problem behavior. It seems inevitable that it winds up in the HR department. Unfortunately, by the time it does, the damage has already been done and the clean-up can take months. This white paper will show HR and talent managers how to use coaching skills to help managers handle problem employee behavior and reduce the workplace costs associated with problem employees. Read more.

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Q&A with Weichert Realtors

The ASTD BEST awards are almost here, so we took the time to interview one of the winners, Weichert Realtors, America’s largest privately held real estate firm. Weichert’s core philosophy has always been centered on creating a positive customer experience. In fact, their founder, Jim Weichert always says “people buy people before a product or service.” Because of this philosophy and their size, Weichert offers a very interesting perspective on sales training. We focused mostly on sales coaching and the interaction it has with sales training and touched briefly upon social media’s role in real estate. In regards to sales coaching, Joy Lulis, Director of Training, had this to say: “The proficiency and support of the sales managers is key to the success of our sales trainers. The sales manager’s ability to coach and reinforce our training efforts is essential. A leading guiding principle for company initiatives is for our leadership and management team to experience it first hand and be the first to try a new approach, test a new process, or use a new tool.” What this means for sales trainers is that they must partner with the sales managers to ensure that not only is training happening, but that it is making a permanent change in behavior. One way that Weichert displays this partnering is through its new hire programming. After the new sales associate is trained by the sales trainers, they work with an experienced sales manager who acts as a coach towards them. One of their main focuses is “presentation practice sessions,” where the sales manager observes the sales associate as he gives his sales presentation. After the sales associate finishes, the sales manager offers the associate helpful feedback that the associate uses in the future. Combined with their “OnTrack” onboarding program where the associate is able to meet key players within the company and shadow veteran salespeople, most sales associates at Weichart cite these experiences as some “of the most beneficial they have ever had to prepare them to work most effectively with their future customers.” To wrap things up, we talked briefly about how salespeople can expect to use social media in the future. Joy summed it up nicely in saying: “Networking and maintaining relationships with family, friends, colleagues and customers is an essential business building activity. A natural extension of this would be to take advantage of staying connected on line in addition to the face to face, mail and phone opportunities Social Networking is a component of the larger picture of maintaining relationships.” Please join Joy Lulis and Weichert Realtors for their presentation on their holistic approach to perfecting the Weichert home buying experience and their innovative solutions for involving their entire organization at conference ASTD’s Learn from the Best on October 1. Registration ends September 27!

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Practical Approaches to Leadership Development from 48 Experts

The ASTD Leadership Handbook is an exciting compilation of insights, ideas, and tools that will enable individuals, teams, and organizations to develop their leadership capabilities. This book sets itself apart in a crowded field by emphasizing leadership development and providing practical approaches to this crucial need. Elaine Biech, the trainer’s trainer, edited this substantial – yet practical – collection that contains the wisdom, philosophies, and tools of 48 leadership experts. The ASTD Leadership Handbook presents five major sections: Leadership Competencies, Leadership Development, Attributes of Successful Leaders, Contemporary Leadership Challenge, and a broader view of the leadership discussion. The list of contributing authors reads like a “Who’s Who of Leadership Gurus” and includes such greats as Jim Collins, Len Goodstein, Frances Hesselbein, Jim Kouzes, Cynthia McCauley, Jack Zenger, and many more. The accompanying website provides a wealth of more than 30 ready-to-apply tools like John Kotter’s eight-step process for managing change, Ken Blanchard’s ethics check, and Marshall Goldsmith’s mini-survey for coaching leaders. The ASTD Leadership Handbook gives readers all the insights and applications they need to thoroughly understand and practice its principles, guided by the most respected authorities on the subject. Visit the ASTD store to order your copy. The ASTD Leadership Handbook is co-published by ASTD and Berrett-Koehler Publishers. About Elaine Biech Elaine Biech is president and managing principal of ebb associates inc., an organization development firm that helps business, government, and nongovernment organizations work through large scale change. Known as the trainer’s trainer, she custom designs training programs for managers, leaders, trainers, and consultants. Biech has been in the training and consulting field for 30 years and is the author and editor of more than fifty books. She has been featured in dozens of publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Fortune magazine

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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?

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New York State Office of the State Comptroller Redefines Standard of Business Analysis Excellence

Background The New York State Office of the State Comptroller (NYSOSC) in Albany maintains a broad scope of responsibility unmatched by similar offices in the United States. As the state’s chief fiscal and accounting officer, the Comptroller is a separately elected state-wide official whose primary duties include managing and investing the State’s cash assets, auditing government operations, paying all NYS employees, reviewing State contracts, overseeing the fiscal affairs of local governments including New York City, and operating two of the state’s retirement systems. As an agency charged with monitoring the effective financial operation of numerous other agencies and entities, the NYSOSC understands the need to carefully maintain its own project management (PM) and business analysis (BA) capabilities. Therefore, the Office engages in regular self-assessment and performance improvement in these areas. The ChallengeNYSOSC has built a reputation for continually advancing project management best practices through its PM Center of Excellence (CoE). However, realizing that enhanced business analysis practices can also increase project success and user support, as well as heighten customer satisfaction, the agency has sought, since 2006, to improve its business analysis practices by instituting a Business Analysis Center of Excellence (BACoE). NYSOSC performance improvement programs had primarily benefited PM teams prior, and support had not been available for the advancement of BA teams. By promoting BA competencies, knowledge management, enterprise analysis skills and practices similarly to the PM program, NYSOSC sought to achieve comparable, positive results. Strategic PlanningThe agency’s cross-division Business Analysis Work Group completed a strategic report in 2006 presenting the benefits of advancing NYSOSC’s use of business analysis and making next-step recommendations, including the launch of a BACoE. In 2007, the second phase of the project was launched to begin to develop and support business analysis as an organizational resource. Kevin Belden, Deputy Comptroller and CIO, and Kirk Schanzenbach, Director of the Program Management Office (PgMO), were executive sponsors; and Barbara Ash, Assistant Director for BA in the PgMO, was the project manager. The project team consisted of numerous representatives from BA units across the agency. To provide counsel on industry best practices, and to resolve issues that were impeding progress, the project team enlisted the help of ESI International. “Having worked with ESI in the past to build our project management and business skills capabilities,” said Schanzenbach, “we were confident that they were the best partner in achieving our BA goals.” ESI began by working with NYSOSC leadership and the project team to outline unifying objectives for BA and PM skills areas, including the need to: The Solution In cooperation with ESI, NYSOSC determined the key strategies to ensure a successful program. Foremost among these were: To support the program launch, ESI designed and delivered a two-day, project kick-off workshop that centered on the program’s four-part learning framework and targeted development of knowledge, skills, ability and attitude. Day one introduced the program to senior management and focused on developing best practices in alignment with BACoE operating standards. Executive activities included competitive, interactive group exercises that helped to define and prioritize goals around developing the BACoE. Day two introduced the program to front line business analysts and ensured a common understanding of BA concepts and executive directives. Following the kick-off, the team worked in subcommittees on project deliverables, received best practice advice, and exercised skills and competencies through coaching exercises. Special attention was also given to evaluating and treating such problematic areas as standards and methodologies topics for the BA group. “This intensive learning experience was very well received as a serious enhancement to the traditional instructor-led effort.” said Ash. “Participants also felt that it accelerated the program launch significantly compared to previous programs.” Toward Change In the early months of the program, ESI participated in regular group meetings and calls in order to provide coaching and to reinforce goals and specific training targets. While ESI continues to deliver essential counsel, the NYSOSC has quickly achieved the competency to offer coaching and mentoring using internal resources. Other significant program accomplishments and benefits to date include: Championed by executive sponsors Belden and Schanzenbach and project manager Ash, the internal team continues to recommend and oversee BA learning programs and progress, as well as support the advancement of BA maturity.

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

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

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New Podcast Series for Public Sector Employees Offers Expert Insights on Leadership, Performance, and More

Thought leaders and highly-respected authors bring their expertise and insights to a new podcast series devoted to public sector employees and their unique workplace issues. The series, developed by The Public Manager, is designed to give listeners a deeper understanding of the diverse challenges facing today’s public managers and the solutions needed to drive the issues forward. The Public Manager, a quarterly journal devoted to providing public sector employees leading-edge content and resources, provides this podcast series as an extension of its journal articles, conversations in its online community, and insights gathered from the public managers on the front lines of national, state, and local agencies. “We know that today’s public managers value resources to help them do their jobs better,” says Carrie Blustin, publisher of The Public Manager. “We also know that today’s managers are time-pressed. This podcast series answers a need – useful, practical content in a format that can be accessed on-the-go.” Two podcasts are now available: Upcoming podcasts will feature Christine L. Rush, assistant professor of public administration discussing her journal article “Implementing the 4-day work week,” and Rick Koonce, certified executive coach and consultant discussing, “Executive Coaching, Leadership Development in the Federal Government.” Listen here for a brief preview of the series. More information about the podcast series can be found on the Podcasts from The Public Manager website. 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.

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Mismanaging Workplace Conflicts

(From Human Resource Executive Online) — Handling workplace tensions should be a priority for frontline managers, but many employees believe that their bosses are not up to the job, according to a survey of 2,700 employees released this month by Healthy Companies Intl. in Arlington, Va. Nearly half — 41 percent — of employees responding to the survey think the person to whom they report does not deal well with workplace conflicts. In fact, of 20 managerial behaviors that the survey asked respondents to rate how much they trusted their immediate supervisor to master, handling workplace conflicts ranked last in the survey. Stephen Parker, president of Healthy Companies Intl., says that HR leaders should “first and foremost” model the behavior that best facilitates conflict management: they should “objectively and calmly” summarize the situation for the manager; acknowledge that there are different perspectives and interests in the situation; be honest about their own interests and preferences; and commit to honoring the manager’s decision regardless of the outcome and model team work behavior afterward. “These behaviors make it easier for even the most reluctant boss to manage workplace conflicts,” Parker says. Some managers are in denial because they wrongly think workplace conflicts are a negative reflection on them, he says. However, managing workplace conflict is a core management responsibility, and delaying or avoiding only makes matters worse. Marie Holmstrom, a director of talent management and organization alignment at Towers Watson, says part of the problem is that the role of immediate supervisors has become so complex that managers are now “overloaded” with responsibilities — supervising direct reports, coaching them within talent management programs, completing administrative tasks such as employee-performance reports or expense reports, and also “delivering” on the work-at-hand themselves. “We’ve been working with companies and talking to HR leaders, having them take a hard look at the manager role and redefining the role to better handle workplace conflict,” says Holmstrom, who is based in Charlotte, N.C. “They need to have more time in their day to be able to pay attention to how work gets done, how the team is performing, and to proactively identify potential sources of conflict so they can more easily and quickly mitigate it.” Some of managers’ administrative duties can be offloaded to other players on their team, or they could be given information management software systems, so they don’t have to data crunch or perform other administrative tasks by hand, she says. Managers should also be trained on how to handle workplace conflict. Read more.

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Make an Impact: Sales Training that Changes Sales Team Behavior

Every sales trainer knows somewhere in the back of their mind when their training isn’t sticking, but few do anything to change it. Instead, they focus on “should’ve” and “could’ve”: By making excuses, you’re not just shifting the blame: you’re basically admitting that the situation is impossible to change. In other words: why are you even there? To make sure your training is reaching the sales reps and making a lasting impression on their work, here are some quick tips from the World Class Selling Competency Model. Get buy-in from your sales team Just like comedians don’t work funerals, you shouldn’t train people who don’t want to learn. The first thing you should do is guarantee that the representatives know why the information you’re giving them is helpful. And no, “corporate wants you to know this” is not the right answer. In fact, if you can’t even explain why this is important to them, why are you training them on it? Salespeople care about two things: making sales, and making more time for sales. If you can tie in your learning to these two core concepts, they’ll be interested to listen but not convinced enough to use it. How do you get them to change their behavior then? Suit the sales environment No one’s ever made a sale by standing still and reading off a PowerPoint. This means that you can’t expect typical lecturing to reach the sales team. You need to address the common situations that salespeople find themselves in, and offer valid solutions. Not only that, but you need to show how the situation may actually look using the methods or techniques you’re training them on. If most of your salespeople start looking for the nearest available exit when you mention role-playing though, then try to guide them through a similar process by addressing common questions that a client may have. More often than not, as long as you don’t actually say the dreaded “r” word, you can get away with them actually paying attention and trying out the new techniques. The next question becomes: what can you do to make sure they’ll still be using it a month from now? Make it easily and readily applicable Your sales team was making sales before you started the training session, and they’ll be making them after the session too. Your job wasn’t to reinvent the wheel; it was to help them be more effective. To do that, you need to make sure that your training builds off the foundation of what they’re already working with. The sales team’s behavior is based on past experience and trial-and-error. While it’s hard to make anyone change their behavior overnight, if you at least match their old experiences with new methods, they’ll start trying it. The other main issue with training sticking is that by the time the team finds themselves in a situation where the training applies, they’ve already forgotten too much. A way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to end your training program by asking each salesperson to thinkabout the next three situations where they can use these new skills. By at least visualizing when they can use it, they’ll already be more prepared to use it. When they finally get the chance to try out the new skill they learned, they’ll still be familiar enough with it to start changing their behavior. So why isn’t your training sticking? Sometimes, you’re just going to have a stubborn, set in their ways sales team. And since there isn’t a mind control ray gun (not yet, anyway), it’s difficult to make them change their long-term behavior. But if you’ve centered your training around what the sales team wants, based it in familiar sales settings, and made sure that they can use it right away, the team will start to come around. Or you can keep blaming them and wait for that ray gun. Good luck with that. Related Content Is Your Sales Training Effective after 90 Days? In an article posted by Achieve Global in 2008 entitled “Does Training Rely Too Much on Coaching by Managers? it is discussed that “training and coaching needs to be long-term companions in developing employees.” Sales Training Drivers is in agreement here and it is centered on the Sales Training Drivers core mission. Related Product Sales Training Basics ASTD Member Price: $24.95 The book provides learning professionals with specific guidance on designing programs that provide the right tools and techniques that deliver on an audience focused on value. In addition, trainers and facilitators are offered guidance on accessing their most charismatic and engaging self to draw in and hold the attention of sales professionals.

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Is your Training Effective after 90 days?

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

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Is the sales funnel dead?

We’ve all heard it before. It’s a numbers game! Salespeople just have to keep at it! They should be making at least 50 calls a day and scheduling 10 appointments a week! Those new hires just have to keep filling that funnel to be successful! The problem with this type of sales strategy is that it assumes that if the salesperson makes enough calls, talk to enough people and go to enough networking events that everything will magically fall into place and their numbers will go through the roof. The sales funnel actually supports a mindset that is quickly becoming obsolete with the both new salespeople and the world’s most tenured sales professionals. Think about it. If only it was as easy as “filling a funnel” and having sales fall through the other end… Then, salespeople would just have to make 200 calls a day. PROBLEM! Just pounding phone lines and telling the company story isn’t selling. Or better yet, when they get the check (at the bottom of the funnel) what about implementation or customer service? Now don’t me wrong, having a good prospecting plan is probably the hardest thing about maintaining a sales career; especially in today’s selling environment. With shrinking budgets and more scrutiny over purchases, what salespeople need is a system that relies less on the law of averages and more on helping the customer make the most of every contact they have. The key is to have a complete understanding the entire customer experience and “synchronize” to that buyer throughout-they’re the boss when it comes to the “sales funnel” not the salesperson. What do you do to help that process? To truly understand the customer’s buying cycle and where they are along that cycle will result in a sales process that builds trust and respect, and allows the sales team member to become a trusted advisor -that’s the magic recipe for success. As an example, put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. Or better yet, think about the last time YOU bought something. Remember the earliest stages of need definition? Remember how you progressed throughout the search and selection process? Did that experience end after you wrote the check? I’m sure it continued on into full integration of the product or service into your daily life. What I have done is break down buying behavior into 9 distinct phases outlined below starting from the beginning to the end and this allows the salesperson (a great salesperson) synchronize with their processes. 1. Plan – The buying organization outlines a plan for its business, such as its strategic plan, realignment of the organization, the acquisition of new capabilities, or define a new vision. 2. Recognize – The buying organization realizes they have a need (based on what happened in phase 1) and seeks to satisfy that need. They begin to take action towards buying (as opposed to making their own solution or product). They act accordingly by setting forth goals, objectives, targets, and budgets. They may appoint a team of people to evaluate potential vendors in this phase. 3. Search – The buying organization engages in activities to find a vendor, partner, or supplier. They begin reviewing capabilities of selling organization(s) to see which competitor can meet their needs and with whom they would like to have a relationship. 4. Assess – The buying organization requests proposals, conducts more in-depth meetings, requests more detailed information, has more “serious” dialogue, conducts an analysis of risk. 5. Choose – The buying organization has narrowed the choices down to one organization, begins “testing water” to gauge the organization’s ability to fulfill. Has decided that benefits outweigh risks, begins talking about implementation. 6. Obligate – The buying organization writes the check or signs the proposal. Key decision-makers have their reputation on the line, the budget is set aside, and the entire affected organization has begun moving in a new direction. 7. Implement – The buying organization is now a “customer or client” and begins implementing the selected solution. They re-align organizational resources as necessary. They put long-term plans together. 8. Track – The customer formally or informally begins documenting the selling organization’s ability to fulfill the solution. 9. Integrate – Once the purchase is complete and the product/service is implemented, the final step of the buying organization’s buying cycle is obtaining maximum use of the product/service in the buying organization. This is sometime referred to as return-on-investment (ROI) in pre- and post- sales processes, and return-on-assets (ROA) once the purchase is capitalized. The product or service must be fully integrated, leveraged, and justified. From a relationship perspective, the buying and selling organization begin to work with a more trust-based bond. The buying organization begins to include the selling organization in appropriate strategic discussions. For every buying phase, there is a equal and opposite selling phase. Sounds simple and it is! Ask yourself what you (or your company) does to help salespeople “line up the phases.” Undoubtedly the unique mix of strategy, processes, training, coaching, and goals setting must be tailored to each person. This helps you approach the sales team the right way at the right time, in support of the buyer’s decision making process. Salespeople are their greatest when they realize that it isn’t their job to push their sales funnel onto their prospects (and hope they fall out the bottom). They are their best when they are able to help the buyer make the best possible decision (phase 6). Or, better yet, even help identify if the future customer is months away from a decision (because they were bogged down in phase 3, and they can use their time more wisely in steps closer to the close.) Aside from a better understanding of the customers buying methods, the greatest advantage salespeople can notice derive from implementing this system is the reduction of the adversarial mindset towards sales people. As soon as the clients recognize that the process is designed to assist them in making the best decision for their business, even if that means helping them decide on a competitor’s product, the salesperson has created a new relationship that will eventually lead to more business for me. He or she can even pull this blog posting out and ask they buyer what phase they’re in, and offer help to move them through each one. Here are a few things you can do help your sales team implement a similar approach. 1. Give up the idea that all salespeople need to do is make more calls. Sure, have them keep making calls but create a system to support the madness and find out what “phase” their prospects are in. Focus on helping salespeople identify and advance them through each phase, or letting them sit while you focus on others. 2. Use or develop a system that addresses the buyer’s needs. The United Professional Sales Association system is my choice, but others exist as well. 3. Make sure salespeople lose the sales pitch. Ride along with salespeople or listen to them on the phone as they work. Help them develop a series of questions that will help you what phase your customer is in and where they are in their process. No system can guarantee success, but given today’s business climate, and the challenges of selling today, it’s about time you put a cork in the funnel and developed a better approach.

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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.

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Investing in Informal Learning

According to Training in America by Garnevale, Gainer, and Villet (1990), two out of three workers say that everything they need to know was learned on the job, rather than through the classrooms. Thus the workplace is the most frequently traveled avenue to education and training for most employed persons. The authors further go on to state that estimates of employer investments in workplace training hover around $210 billion annually. Of that, about $30 billion is spent on formal training, while the rest, $180 billion is spent on informal, or on-the-job training. The estimates that I have seen for informal vs. formal learning in a work environment normally runs about 70 to 80 percent for informal learning. Thus I estimate that on the average, workers learn 75% of their job informally and 25% formally. This means informal/on-the-job learning gets 86% of all learning investments, which leaves 14% for formal learning programs. Note that the authors indicate that formal learning is designed, developed, and delivered training; while informal/on-the-job training may be structured, such as apprenticeship programs, or unstructured, such as coaching or showing another the best way to perform a task. I see two interesting aspects of this. This is the first time I have a seen training investment cost that tried to show the estimates for both formal and informal learning, however, the authors might have had more resources than others as this study was underwritten by the U.S. Department of Labour and conducted by ASTD. Of course it did include on-the-job training in informal learning, but on the other hand, is this where it should be included? Secondly, as Jay and others bring the auspice of informal learning to the attention of trainers, it seems to me that trainers will try to formalize even more informal learning. As this shift grows from formalizing the informal, will we see the percentage of investment in formal learning programs grow and the investment of informal learning shrink?

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Integrated talent management, good HR and leadership

(From Canadian HR Reporter) — i4CP sent a newsletter recently commenting on the need for “integrated” to be added to the term “talent management” in order to update it and make it more powerful as they suggest in a new book. They mention the number of providers in the area changing names – StepStone Solutions to Lumesse and PeopleClickAuthoria to PeopleFluent. It sometimes seems as if every update of strategy requires a new name, though the new ones sometimes don’t seem much more enlightening than the old. It got me to questioning the use of the term talent management itself. I have always taken it to be an umbrella that takes in finding, recruiting, orienting, developing, managing and tracking performance and then moving people up through effective succession planning all the way through their careers. That definitely calls for integration of many HR functions and beyond, since line managers have to be central in many of the pieces – from supportive coaching on the development side to career planning conversations with individuals. They are definitely needed for effective succession planning discussions among groups of managers so everyone agrees on how to rotate people through progressively challenging assignments across different divisions to season their leadership knowledge and skills. Read more.

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ICE 2012 Sales Enablement Zone Blog Series 2/23

The Root Cause Why Sales Managers Fail at Coaching by Mark Wayland Session W210: Four Reasons Sales Managers Fail at Coaching – and what you can do about it! Ill bet something like this has also happened to you. At a recent family gathering my favourite aunt said, Gosh, you look just like your father! And it didnt stop there. She also audited my habits, expressions, and demeanour. It became obvious that I (the whole package) was far more than the result of a simple case of genetics. Along with physical resemblances Ive discovered that my beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour have, in part, been forged in the same way: Youre acting just like your father! Ill bet youve all heard these kinds of comments. Now Id like you to hold those thoughts and now imagine youre at a sales managers gathering. Ignoring physical similarities; have you noticed how many beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours you have in common? Youre acting just like your manager! Why do sales managers think the way they think? And how does that affect how they coach and manage? Sure, in part, they absorb attitudes and beliefs by osmosis from those around them; from senior managers that they admire and from the way theyve been coached and managed. The other surprising part is to realise that managers are also the product of over 200 years of management thinking habits created in the factories of the Industrial Revolution. And that thinking is still in use today. In the late 1800s F.W. Taylor, with the Industrial Revolution in full swing, applied a stopwatch to factory production tasks, making them far more factual and more quantifiable than ever before. His studies culminated in 1911 with The Principles of Scientific Management (the first modern use of management). Taylor believed that tradition-based decisions (weve always worked this way) and rules-of-thumb should be replaced by precise procedures developed after a careful study of the quickest/ most efficient worker. Thinking (like creativity, initiative, and imagination) was done by the bosses, while the workers did the doing. Interestingly, firms that adopted Scientific Management found that while productivity increased (and the workers wages) trust between the bosses and workers dropped. Taylor expressed the workers role as, every day each man should ask himself 2 questions. First, what is the name of the man I am working for? and then, what does this man want me to do, right now? The spirit of management was therefore set. It was a device that promoted efficiency by reducing waste and losses incurred by mediocre factory workers. Managers, then, were somewhat detached, analytical as they controlled workers performance in a mechanical kind of way. Performance, in turn, could be maximised by focusing on the task rather than the people. Managers had a mantra of control. We see this today when (eg) a professional code-of-conduct breach notice is received. In truth, they may feel awful, not because a mistake was made, rather because others may think that, as a manager, they werent in control. In many business cultures, control is the weapon of choice to maximise task performance. Has management thinking changed? (progressed?) It sure has; as has our society and the business environment. A far more collaborative and adaptable approach is necessary. Much of it, though, is still rooted in the Industrial Revolution of factory work and production lines. Its difficult to ignore heritage. We now practice engagement, coaching, and partnership to increase productivity. Here are 3 examples of the changes in management thinking: Bottom Line: The sales management job today is far more than making sure the representatives are working hard, calling on 6(?) targeted customers a day. Its not a case of doing more. Sales managers must value the idea that people and relationships, not just the companys products, make the difference. Coaching and managing these relationships to create continuous improvement are now the core function of management; not control. Its just that when sales managers are stressed or under pressure you may see some of the old Industrial Revolution command-and-control behaviours squirt out and become the sales manager default behaviours. And its this excessive need/ belief to be the boss and be in control that stops managers from coaching as best they can. If you’d like more, please consider attending ASTD 2013 where you can hear Mark Wayland at his session

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Human Resources Organizations Lack Critical Skills for Success in 2011

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

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