Sales Training Research

Do you make decisions, or do you make the right decisions? Much of today’s sales training market research has focused on a reactive approach to competitive markets. While these discussions are relevant and provide insight to the challenges faced by sales managers and sales trainers, they are often conducted with little regard for the entire selling system required for sustained sales excellence. As such, until now, very little research has been conducted on the strategies or best practices of executing a sales training and performance initiative to drive sales outcomes (even in areas such as sales management research). Think about it: Why is there so much sales content on ‘how’ to sell and so little content on ‘what’ to do to make salespeople better?As a sales training decision maker, you are directly responsible for improving one of the most important occupations in your organization — the sales team. Over $15 billion (USD) is spent every year on sales training in the United States alone (according to ASTD’s latest State of the Sales Training Industry report). The money you help invest in your sales team should be spent wisely, yield a specific ROI, and help move your organization toward its short- and long-term goals. To achieve this, you should leverage sound, objective, and comprehensive research to help you:

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Sales Quota Anyone?

The Myths of Salesperson Competency If you stop any sales person on the street and ask them if they are good at what they do, chances are, they will all say “yes!” But ask their manager, marketing department, customer service area, human resources department (or any other function of the firm), and chances are the answer is “no.” The difference in defining sales competence is a matter of perspective. Compounding the problem are two myths regarding measures of competency in sales. Myth#1: Quota performance does not equate to sales competency – A salesperson’s quota is usually determined by management. More often than not, the quota is set as a way to attain a goal of an increased share price or its just pulled out of the air as a “nice-to-have-number” that is bigger than last year. It’s a rare organization that can articulate how a quota was set. It’s even rarer to find an organization that sits down to do the sales math and determine the realistic quota and stretch quota for their salespeople. Without this understanding, how do you know if the quota is too high? How do you know if it is too low? You don’t! Therefore the salesperson that hits quota in an organization that doesn’t know how to set one is not proving his or her competence. Myth#2: Activity level does not equate to sales competency – Many organizations set sales activity goals. They will ask their salespeople to accomplish X sales calls, X phone calls, and X proposals a day. These types of measurements, and constantly hitting them, do not mean the person can sell. Sure, there is a positive correlation between activity and selling, but if I play the lottery every single day I probably won’t win. If I play X lottery games, in X states, and with X amount of money, it doesn’t mean I’m driving towards a win. It simply means I’m increasing my chances. I’d rather have someone that knows exactly what they are doing and not playing the lottery with their sales territory. So what exactly is sales competency? Competence is defined as someone’s knowledge, skill and internal motivation. Knowledge is the building block of competence. Effective sales professionals are continuously learning and they have developed a framework and process for accessing their knowledge. They have a solid knowledge foundation and they understand their strengths and weaknesses. Skill is determined by the knowledge a salesperson has gained plus their experience level. The most skilled sales professionals have stayed in one vertical market or industry for a longer period of time. They have also stayed in the same sales role for a longer length of time (such as outside sales). They have also followed a defined career path with increasing levels of responsibility and complexity of sale. Internal motivation is someone’s self talk, drive, and purpose. Their passion for the product, zeal for the organization where they work, and their positive attitude form the cornerstone for the ability to overcome objections, handle rejection, or deal with poorly set sales quotas. A competent sales person has the ability to move into any organization and gain the trust of the decision-makers. They work to create a situation where buying can occur within an ethical environment at a fair price. They have the knowledge to speak to a CEO, the front-line manager, or the newest employee about what issues and challenges they face. Most of all they strive to increase their knowledge, skill, and motivation so they can be the best at what they do.

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Sales Operations

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

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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 Leaders: Born or Made

I recently attended the Sales Management Associations (SMA) first annual conference where I had the privilege to speak with many thought leaders and practitioners in the area of sales leadership. A recurring topic of conversations throughout the many networking opportunities was whether great sales reps make great sales managers. When someone brings this subject up, many people let out a sigh. They think back to a situation where one of their successful sales peers was promoted to sales manager and bombed. Was this the fault of the recently promoted sales rep? I think not. The onus lies with the company to vet and prepare future managers for the position. In any other area of the company, it would be unthinkable to promote someone into a position of leadership without properly training them with the skills to be leading others. Sales managers, much like their corporate peers, need skills like business acumen and ethics. They must also be prepared to coach, conduct successful meetings, and do periodic performance reviews. All of this in addition to meeting the team quota. All too often, newly minted sales managers think back to what made them successful and simply try to impose these behaviors on others. This doesnt always work. And when all else fails, the manager simply jumps in and closes all the deals. (Note: Some successful sales reps do go on to successful sales management careers.) As a sales enablement professional, Im encouraged to see organizations such as SMA put forth excellent resources for the success of our sales management peers. Let me get your thought on the topic of sales leaders. Are they born or made?

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RWD Partners with HP to Enhance Support of the Application Lifecycle

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

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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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Recognition a Viable Strategy for Fostering Innovation in the Workplace

(From PRNewswire) — Companies leveraging new ideas and innovation will be able to distinguish themselves from competitors in the global marketplace. No longer the purview of only Research & Development departments, innovation may spring from any employee – especially when they are encouraged and motivated by management, says the new Performance Perspectives executive briefing, released today by Madison Performance Group. “In companies with innovative environments, employees feel management is open to new ideas and experimentation. These companies understand that new strategic ideas come from all levels of an organization,” says Mike Ryan, Senior Vice President of Madison Performance Group, a premier global reward and recognition design and consulting firm. Research shows, according to the Madison briefing, that innovators flourish at workplaces where employees are rewarded for idea development. “Companies that give positive attention to new ideas demonstrate to employees that it’s okay to experiment and develop new ideas – even if they aren’t ‘perfect’ the first time around,” adds Ryan. “In fact, showering positive attention on new ideas is considered a best practice at innovative companies. And because innovation is often a project-based activity, the simple recognition of a new idea by a manager can kick start its adoption into a firm’s work processes.” Read more.

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One from the Vault: Sales Quotas and Competency Myths

As we wrap up the year here at Sales Training Drivers, we decided to take a look back at some of our previous posts. This one stuck out, because even though it was written over a year ago, the principles still apply today. So we ask: what are some ways to dispel these myths? What can companies do to create effective and meaningful quotas? Is cold calling the best use of a salesperson’s time? Let us know in the comments! If you stop any salesperson on the street and ask them if they are good at what they do, chances are, they will all say “yes!” But ask their manager, marketing department, customer service area, human resources department (or any other function of the firm), and chances are the answer is “no.” The difference in defining sales competence is a matter of perspective. Compounding the problem are two myths regarding measures of competency in sales. Myth#1: Quota performance does not equate to sales competency – A salesperson’s quota is usually determined by management. More often than not, the quota is set as a way to attain a goal of an increased share price or it’s just pulled out of the air as a “nice-to-have-number” that is bigger than last year. It’s a rare organization that can articulate how a quota was set. It’s even rarer to find an organization that sits down to do the sales math and determine the realistic quota and stretch quota for their salespeople. Without this understanding, how do you know if the quota is too high? How do you know if it’s too low? You don’t! Therefore the salesperson that hits quota in an organization that doesn’t know how to set one is not proving his or her competence. Myth#2: Activity level does not equate to sales competency – Many organizations set sales activity goals. They will ask their salespeople to accomplish X sales calls, X phone calls, and X proposals a day. These types of measurements, and constantly hitting them, do not mean the person can sell. Sure, there is a positive correlation between activity and selling, but if I play the lottery every single day I probably won’t win. If I play X lottery games, in X states, and with X amount of money, it doesn’t mean I’m driving towards a win. It simply means I’m increasing my chances. I’d rather have someone that knows exactly what they are doing and not playing the lottery with their sales territory. So what exactly is sales competency? Competence is defined as someone’s knowledge, skill and internal motivation. Knowledge is the building block of competence. Effective sales professionals are continuously learning and they have developed a framework and process for accessing their knowledge. They have a solid knowledge foundation and they understand their strengths and weaknesses. Skill is determined by the knowledge a salesperson has gained plus their experience level. The most skilled sales professionals have stayed in one vertical market or industry for a longer period of time. They have also stayed in the same sales role for a longer length of time (such as outside sales). They have also followed a defined career path with increasing levels of responsibility and complexity of sale. Internal motivation is someone’s self talk, drive, and purpose. Their passion for the product, zeal for the organization where they work, and their positive attitude form the cornerstone for the ability to overcome objections, handle rejection, or deal with poorly set sales quotas. A competent sales person has the ability to move into any organization and gain the trust of the decision-makers. They work to create a situation where buying can occur within an ethical environment at a fair price. They have the knowledge to speak to a CEO, the front-line manager, or the newest employee about what issues and challenges they face. Most of all, they strive to increase their knowledge, skill, and motivation so they can be the best at what they do.

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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 SDI Leadership Development Experience with Dr. Michael Maccoby

Carlsbad, CA – January 25, 2011 – Leadership is a relationship-one that exists in a context. Becoming a Leader We Need with Strategic Intelligence is a new program from Personal Strengths Publishing that focuses on the skills and qualities leaders need to be effective-no matter the context. This leadership development experience for senior leaders (and those who aspire to these positions) is the result of collaboration between world-renown leadership expert Dr. Michael Maccoby and Tim Scudder, President of Personal Strengths Publishing. At the heart of this program is Strategic Intelligence, the distillation of decades of Michael Maccoby’s research and practical experience as a consultant to many of the world’s largest organizations. He identified the things that leaders do to affect sustainable change in organizations. This course condenses and communicates that wisdom while the integration of SDI helps to carry that wisdom into the relationships between leaders and followers. The synergy between the concepts of Strategic Intelligence and Relationship Awareness are rooted in a common foundation; Dr. Maccoby has written or co-authored 13 books including one with Erich Fromm, whose work was a major influence on Elias H. Porter and his development of Relationship Awareness Theory. “Integrating the SDI and other works of Elias Porter into Michael Maccoby’s powerful leadership concepts has been a peak experience for me personally,” said Tim Scudder. “The integration of ideas was facilitated by the discovery of a remarkable common heritage.” Becoming a Leader We Need with Strategic Intelligence takes a systems view of developing the leadership capabilities of leadership teams. Leaders are challenged to clarify and communicate their philosophy of leadership-and of life. The course explores the fundamental relationship of the motives of leaders and followers, the four R’s of motivation and how they are colored by different Motivational Value Systems, and many more important leadership concepts. “This is the best leadership course by far,” said Betsy Chittenden, U.S. National Park Service. “And I think I’ve taken at least one course from every management trend over the last 20 years.” Michael Maccoby will deliver the keynote address at the upcoming Relationship Awareness Conference in Carlsbad, CA. Tim Scudder will present a special workshop at the ISPI (International Society for Performance Improvement) conference in April of this year. A pre-print of a related article can be downloaded at http://www.leadersweneed.com/links.html Learn more. Becoming a Leader We Need with Strategic Intelligence Free Informational Webinar February 28, 2011 For more information go to: www.leadersweneed.com Or call 760-602-0086

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New ASTD Study a ‘Wake Up Call” for Sales Teams

Successful selling organizations depend upon sellers’ abilities to shift strategies in a changing sales environment. New research from the American Society for Training and Development indicates that current sales training needs improvement to help sellers effectively confront these changes. Technology available to buyers, buyer and seller behavior, and the sophistication of the marketplace are underlying causes of the rapid evolution of the sales profession. Sales training must now address these factors. In Accelerating Revenue Through Learning: Developing Sales Teams that Win, researchers found that 96 percent of survey respondents think continual learning is critical to their success. However despite recognizing the importance of training, only 44 percent of survey respondents attend any kind of formal sales education. Other key findings include: Salespeople need customizable frameworks, approaches, and methodologies to effectively leverage the sales training they receive. Relationship building, problem-solving/diagnosis, and listening are three critical sales skills. Digital content is a valued delivery method. 44 percent say they learn by listening to digital content. Nearly half of the respondents feel a lack of support in being agile, creative, and flexible with their clients and prospects. Many salespeople are uncomfortable with how their companies and management define the role of a sales person. The study also offers recommendations for taking a strategic approach to sales training, assessing training requirements, implementing appropriate support systems, and building performance measurement systems. Accelerating Revenue Through Learning: Developing Sales Teams that Win is free to ASTD members and may be downloaded from the ASTD store at www.store.astd.org.

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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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Mid-Level Leadership Crucial to Productivity and Employee Trust

(Atlanta, GA, PRWEB, Feb 10, 2009) The global economic contraction followed by massive lay-offs has left talent management teams reeling. Under this kind of pressure, it is difficult to make informed decisions around choosing the most effective leaders – those who can to do more with less. A new assessment suite from PreVisor, the Supervisor and Front Line Manager Solutions, may supply some answers. Organizations can now have a complete and immediate picture, efficiently and cost effectively through advanced technology, of employees being hired for or moving into mid-level leadership roles. PreVisor, the global leader in employment assessments and talent measurement solutions that connect employment decisions to business results, developed the new products with input from client research partners who were instrumental in providing real-world feedback. These partners reported consistently positive results drawn by comparing the assessment scores to job performance ratings, which validated the effectiveness of the solution. ( Read the entire article.)

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Member Workshops in China

Here’s a blog post from Wei Wang, international relations manager, who recently hosted two member workshops in China: In April, I went to China to organize two ASTD member workshops in Beijing and Shanghai in April. About 120 members and their colleagues participated in the two events. We sincerely thank Siemens Management Institute China and Baosteel Talent Development Institute who kindly sponsored the events. I shared with attendees the presentation “Keep Learning Mission Critical in Tough Economic Times,” which is based on ASTD’s most recent white paper. My favorite quote from the report is: “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” The participants found the information very interesting. After the workshop, one of the participants emailed me and said, “Just want to say thanks for organizing the seminar in Shanghai. It’s very helpful to get opinions from insiders of the industry. ASTD will be greatly valuable to help the industry to build expertise and make more impact. Looking forward to more presence of ASTD in China.” We are so pleased that our members found the content valuable. During the trip, I also had the opportunity to present ASTD’s latest research and resources for learning and performance professionals at Peking University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, IBM Global Services (China), and several other events. We look forward to working with more organizations to introduce ASTD’s research and resources. It was great to connect with the HRD professionals in China again. We sincerely appreciate the support from our members and partners! Thank you for helping us to build a stronger international learning and performance professional community in China.

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May T+D: Learning’s Earnings: 2008 Salary Survey

ASTD’s learning and performance professionals are well-compensated, earning on average more than $35,000 more than the national average of $48,000. However, as with past ASTD salary surveys, men are earning more than 16 percent more on average than women. The ASTD market research department conducted surveys with more than 590 members in 2008, providing a snapshot of salaries across areas of expertise, job responsibilities, and industry. The top earners reside in larger companies, manage larger budgets, are more experienced, and have significant management responsibilities. Facilitating organizational change and managing the learning function are the top-paying areas of expertise, but human performance improvement and delivering training are increasing in importance and compensation level. As in past years, men are outpacing women in earnings (16 percent more), which is in line with the national average (17 percent). Men make more money than women at every level, with the average for men at $93,377, compared with $79,051 for women. The survey shows that more women are making $100,000 or more, but the men who are making $100,000 or more are making approximately $14,000 more than women on average. Read more in the upcoming May T+D.

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Lumesse: Inspiring Talent 2011 Global Survey Report

(From Business Wire) — Lumesse, a global leader in integrated talent management solutions, today announced that it is making available as a free download the final detailed report on its global survey Inspiring Talent 2011 at www.lumesse.com/talentsurvey2011. The survey reveals that despite employee happiness at work, 29% of workers expect to leave their companies within five years. Four out of five employees also felt that their skills were not fully utilized, while almost half reported that their performance appraisal process was of little or no value. Based on a survey of almost 4,000 employees in larger companies in 14 countries, including the US, UK, Germany and China, the report examines employee attitudes to their jobs and employers in areas such as loyalty, job satisfaction, workplace pride, training opportunities and salary perceptions. Lumesse CEO Matthew Parker noted: “Some consistent messages come out of this free report regardless of age, gender and geographical location. It’s clear that many people feel their skills are not used as well as they could be, and that many employers are not using effective performance appraisal techniques to help people contribute more. For many people the solution is going to be a move to a new job. That’s a pity because overall the survey shows good levels of workplace pride and satisfaction. If employers can combine that happiness with better career management then the benefits are obvious – better retention, better performance and higher productivity.” Read more.

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Listen to the Voices of Measuring and Evaluating Training: Roger Kaufman

The ASTD Handbook of Measuring and Evaluating Training, edited by Patti Phillips, has just released. This book serves as a comprehensive go-to reference and a roadmap to developing effective processes. Each chapter is written by an expert in the field, chosen for their experience and actual results in specific areas. From evaluation planning and data collection, to data analysis and measurement, you’ll gain insights and practical advice from individuals who have applied their tools and methods in organizations worldwide. At the end of the book, a special section called “Voices” hosted by Rebecca Ray features summarized interviews with eight world-renowned gurus. These complete interviews are available as podcasts online! Our next highlighted legend is Roger Kaufman, PhD, professor emeritus of Educational Psychology Learning Systems at Florida State University and a recipient of the Professional Excellence Award. He is also a distinguished research professor at the Institute of Technology in Mexico. A Certified Performance Technologist, he spent years in human resources, training, and engineering positions and served two terms for the U.S. Secretary of the Navy’s Advisory Board on Education and Training. He is past president and member for life of the International Society for Performance Improvement and was the recipient of the society’s Thomas S. Gilbert Professional Achievement Award. Recognized by ASTD for distinguished contribution to workplace learning and development, he is the creator of the Organizational Elements Model and consults worldwide. He has written more than 265 articles and 39 books on strategic planning, management, performance improvement, needs assessment, and evaluation.

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Listen to the Voices of Measuring and Evaluating Training: Jack Phillips

The ASTD Handbook of Measuring and Evaluating Training, edited by Patti Phillips, has just released. This book serves as a comprehensive go-to reference and a roadmap to developing effective processes. Each chapter is written by an expert in the field, chosen for their experience and actual results in specific areas. From evaluation planning and data collection, to data analysis and measurement, you’ll gain insights and practical advice from individuals who have applied their tools and methods in organizations worldwide. At the end of the book, a special section called “Voices” hosted by Rebecca Ray features summarized interviews with eight world-renowned gurus. These complete interviews are available as podcasts online! Next up to highlight is Jack Phillips, PhD, chairman and co-founder of the ROI Institute and developer of the ROI Methodology. Phillips’ work spans more than 50 books and 200 articles. Former bank president, Fortune 500 human resource director, and management professor, he provides consulting services in more than 50 countries. His research and publications have won numerous awards, including the Society for Human Resource Management’s Book of the Year and the Yoder-Heneman Personnel Creative Application Award. Phillips is a former member of ASTD’s Board of Directors and the recipient of ASTD’s highest honor, the Distinguished Contribution Award for Workplace Learning and Performance.

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Listen to the Voices of Measuring and Evaluating Training: Jac Fitz-enz

The ASTD Handbook of Measuring and Evaluating Training, edited by Patti Phillips, has just released. This book serves as a comprehensive go-to reference and a roadmap to developing effective processes. Each chapter is written by an expert in the field, chosen for their experience and actual results in specific areas. From evaluation planning and data collection, to data analysis and measurement, you’ll gain insights and practical advice from individuals who have applied their tools and methods in organizations worldwide. At the end of the book, a special section called “Voices” hosted by Rebecca Ray features summarized interviews with eight world-renowned gurus. These complete interviews are available as podcasts online! Our next expert podcast is from Jac Fitz-enz, PhD, a pioneer in human capital strategic analysis and measurement. After holding senior corporate human resource positions, he founded the Saratoga Institute and developed the first international human resource benchmarking service. He later launched the Human Capital Source and the Workforce Intelligence Institute to take human capital valuation to the next level. Named by the Society for Human Resource Management as one of the 50 most influential people in human capital management, two of his books were selected by SHRM for the “Book of the Year” Award: Human Value Management: The Value-Adding Human Resource Management Strategy for the 1990s (1990) and The ROI of Human Capital: Measuring the Economic Value of Employee Performance (2009). He was honored in ASTD’s “Legends” series at the International Conference in 2005.

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Latest Research Finds Onboarding Improves New-Employee Engagement and Productivity

(From Online PR News) — According to a recent Aberdeen Group study sponsored in part by SilkRoad technology, inc., the leading provider of Talent Management solutions, 63 percent of organizations with a formal Onboarding process experienced employee performance improvements within the first year. Aberdeen interviewed 466 human resources professionals for the study, “Onboarding: The First Line of Engagement,” and concluded companies with a formal onboarding process (with a dedicated strategy and objectives) had a 60 percent greater year-over-year improvement in revenue and a 63 percent greater year-over-year improvement in customer satisfaction than those with an informal or ad-hoc onboarding process. The 466 executives identified the most important goal of onboarding as ensuring employees are engaged and assimilated into the company’s culture and to make them productive as quickly as possible. Out of the companies Aberdeen found to have “Best-in-Class” performance, 85 percent have a formal onboarding process in place. Of those top companies, 67 percent also supported onboarding processes with formal learning and development, and 66 percent evaluated its onboarding impact at least annually. Read the full release. For more information on onboarding, consider attending the session From Knowledge Hoarding to Collaboration: New Employees Lead the Wayat the ASTD 2010 International Conference and Exposition!

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

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

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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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Increase Business Capacity to Increase Sales

Analyzing Organizational Capacity Analyzing Capacity within a business organization can be one of the most challenging of the sales training foundational competencies. The reason is because a positive cash flow from sales revenue generated by a high performance sales force ensures that the company can afford to risk making strategic market decisions. It needs to be able to service and deliver quality products that can be sold to grow the business. What is the function of Business Capacity? Business capacity involves analyzing, monitoring, measuring, evaluating, managing, and planning all functions of the company for financial, statistical, and behavioral data. This process allows business leaders to clearly identify how to grow and sustain the health of the organization. This includes: technological, operational and human performance. You can perform activities that align and maximize capacity measurements and improvements within any part of the organization. According to the ASTD World Class Selling, the definition of “Analyzing Organizational Capacity is to: “Assess and weigh competing requirements against available resources to minimize risk, ensure quality deliverables, and balance capabilities with capacity.” Key actions would include: 1. Assessing resources accurately 2. Balancing risk with goal achievement when determining next steps Should I integrate the capacity of my SALES or TRAINING department? Absolutely! It is extremely valuable for you to understand the financial, operational and human requirements and costs to run your training department. As a Sales or Talent Management Sales Trainer, you are responsible for the knowledge management of the sales team and its’ performance outcomes. The health of your own training department is vulnerable to business capacity shifts and changes. The better you understand how analyzing capacity works the better your departmental efforts will be measured for your own success as a Trainer! How does this relate to Sales Training? Your sales team’s performance in any given month will reflect the increases or decreases in the “capacity” to which the organization can utilize internal or external resources. In this case, we are talking about the companies’ ability to access financial resources that come from new and existing sales revenue. Sales revenue is the anchor of life for all business, The company will suffer in capacity when a sales organization is not strong. The business must be able to “afford” to adapt constant change and if it cannot do that without strong sales leadership, revenue increase and consistent sales productivity. If the organization be able to adapt to capacity changes or sustainability is threatened.

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Improve Sales

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

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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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Global Employee Satisfaction Continues to Lag in 2011

(From PRNewswire) — Workforces worldwide are reaching their tipping point as employee satisfaction, or engagement, continues to be sluggish and remains at the lowest level since 2008, according to analysis recently released by Aon Hewitt, the global human resource consulting and outsourcing business of Aon Corporation. At the end of the third quarter, Aon Hewitt analyzed its Employee Engagement Database of more than 5,700 employers, representing five million employees worldwide. The findings reveal an engagement level of 56 percent thus far in 2011, which is the same as 2010, but lower than 2009 (60 percent) and 2008 (57 percent). Traditionally, engagement levels between 65 percent and 100 percent represent a high-performing culture; 45 percent to 65 percent indicate the workforce is indifferent to organizational success or failure; and anything lower than 45 percent represents a serious or destructive range. According to Aon Hewitt, the largest drop in engagement this year is employees’ perception of how companies manage performance. Workers worldwide believe their employers have not provided the appropriate focus or level of management that would lead to increased productivity, nor have they connected individual performance to organizational goals. Read more.

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Formalize Your Commitment – “Join Me and We can Rule the Universe!”

Formalizing Commitment WHAT does “formalizing commitment” (or any other sales competency) mean to an executive, corporate behavioral psychologist, or sales trainer? These Leaders want to build a BEST Sales Company. They are concerned about building a sales culture that focuses on business sales education, human performance and ROI measurement of training. WHAT vs. HOW The ASTD Sales Training Drivers World Class Competency Model defines the “WHAT” in sales training not the “How To”. It outlines a “framework” of competencies by which sales management can be managed. It also provides a “learning function” for building the sales organization and defines the roles that ensures sustainability. Formalizing commitment is a “competency”. It is NOT just about “closing the sale” which is a “how” factor in sales execution. There are plenty of books and research on “how” to close the sale. The World Class Competency Model supports an educational culture or departmental business “backbone” so that executing the “how” strategies ( like “closing the sale” or “overcoming objections, or teaching the team how to “bond and build rapport” can be taught effectively! Explaining to you what formalizing commitment means is just way of defining how a sales competency “fits” into the creation of a World Class Sales Organization. There are 5 actions that define the sales competency of “Formalizing Commitment”. Sales Trainers will also want to integrate teaching commitment concepts that integrate with human performance skill building including: business behavior modeling and building trust to ensure a successful long term client relationship. Try exposing your sales team to many forms of written contracts to formalize our relationships. Written literacy and laws, seals, signatures, and value of exchange via bills, checks, bearer certificates and accounting /bookkeeping systems are other examples ways we formalize commitments. The contract is the foundation of a strong marketplace whether it is a retail, wholesale, commercial, residential, corporate or a consumer sale. It can be a legal binding agreement for the exchange of a good, service or a barter, Formalizing commitments are also key when safeguarding or resolving potential conflicts that may arise from misunderstandings. NEVER make an agreement in business based on verbal commitment if you can help it. As trust is an issue here, in this age of marketplace exchange, business transactions are vulnerable to security breaches and hearsay judgment calls by unscrupulous types with fraudulent intent. Information security is a very important reality today that must be adhered to during business transactions. The Internet has allowed business professionals to secure new kinds of relationships in this new environment, just as contract law, business forms, and accounting principles have formalized commitments and secured business relationships on paper. Always be careful to use common sense when getting involved with any financial transactions. Make sure that all parties are in agreement and signatures are verified by 3 party witnesses. Listed below are areas where formalized commitment will exist in a sales and marketing business environment where employees and clients are involved. Sales Trainers will want to review this list with HR to make sure they are in compliance with delivery of training of sales professionals. While many of these guidelines are put in place to control sales and marketing actions and decisions, it may be difficult to enforce them within larger organizations. You may not be able to cover every situation in the daily conduct of a sales professionals many varied activities.

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Esse quam videri

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

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Engaging Employees Pays Off

(From Human Resource Executive Online) — Australian research has shed new light on the importance of employee orientation to a company’s bottom line. Employee orientation has more of an impact on a corporation’s financial performance than a focus on any other individual stakeholder — including shareholders, customers, suppliers or the community, according to Most Valuable Stakeholders: The Impact of Employee Orientation on Corporate Financial Performance, by Nigel de Bussy, a marketing and business professor at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. The key managerial point to take from his work is “engage your employees [from the start of their employment], pay attention to your employees, and you’ll make more money,” he said in a July 14 speech at the BledCom symposium, a global gathering of academicians and practitioners exploring communications and public relations management issues. In his research — which encompassed two separate studies of 491 Australia-based chief financial officers conducted in 2004 and 2010 — de Bussy measured how strongly orientation toward the different stakeholder groups influenced corporate financial performance, resulting in an employment-orientation coefficient measurement of 0.84, compared to 0.36 for customers, 0.32 for communities and 0.08 for shareholders. Read more.

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Employees Have a Lot to Contribute: A Majority Make Suggestions All the Time

(From PRWEB) — Fifty-seven percent of employees say they regularly make suggestions in the workplace, according to a survey by Right Management. In fact, 27% claim to offer more than 20 suggestions every year. Right Management is the talent and career management expert within Manpower, the global leader in employment services. The firm analyzed responses from more than 600 individuals throughout North America via an online poll conducted in partnership with LinkedIn . “We find that employees really want to be heard,” said Deborah Schroeder-Saulnier, Senior Vice President of Global Solutions at Right Management. “Making suggestions signals they are thinking about the performance of the organization and want to contribute over and beyond the requirements of the job. And this can be seen as a great opportunity by employers – if they know how to take advantage of it.” Among key findings: –Nearly one-third of respondents indicated they offered more than 20 suggestions last year. –And 30% made more than ten suggestions, but fewer than 20. –Only 6% offered no suggestions at all. Read the full release.

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Employee Engagement: Key Indicator for Greater Satisfaction in Life and Work

(From PRWEB) — According to Right Management, 84% of employees say they plan to look for new jobs in 2011 – up from 60% in 2009. Now, only 5% say they definitely intend to remain in their current position. For companies to keep employees from searching elsewhere and to execute on their growth and innovation plans, employers must focus on improving employee engagement, a central factor in the performance and success of organizations. “Employee engagement is sinking to record lows. For corporations to flourish in this challenging economic climate, it is critical that they maintain focus on employee engagement to sustain a thriving workforce,” said Zack Lemelle, Managing Partner, Corporate Engagement Services, of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). “The key for driving employee engagement is directly connected to leadership engagement. Leaders must be prepared, and supported, to fully engage in all aspects of their position – not only in driving the typical bottom line results, but also in building powerful, dynamic teams and a supportive organizational culture. Only through a dedicated engagement strategy for leaders and employees can corporations avoid the consequence of high-employee turnover that can result in losing talented workers and the costly training of new staff.” Read more.

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Do You Brag About Your Personal Learning Network?

One of the best things about being an instructional designer right now is that now more than ever we feel that our field is in the zeitgeist of what’s happening in the media and technology worlds. What we do (rather, how we do it) is influenced greatly by technologies that support more flexible means of communication and collaboration. Social media and mobile technologies have turned the spotlight on social learning concepts, which in turn have made more of us think about the large, ill-charted dark matter of culture: informal learning. Of course, our response to this turn of events should be elation – finally, Charles Jennings can stop talking about 70-20-10! We can explain communities of practice without once using the phrase “well, no, that’s not really an example of what i’m talking about…”! (bonus: we can avoid awkward tittering by wholly avoiding the name ‘Wenger’ in a classroom setting). Everyone in the Internet Time Alliance can retire to tropical islands. Their work here is done, because everyone in your care now understands the value of social and informal learning. Except maybe they don’t. Maybe you’re having trouble convincing your boss that her task force is not a community of practice. Maybe your top-down Yammer implementation has yielded more tumbleweeds than users. Perhaps it’s because, in fact, no one is making the connection between the breakthroughs in networking that they can plainly see and whatever it is that you do. Maybe you should brag about your personal learning network. In this new world, those in our care probably find it harder – not easier – to square the existence of this wikiHow entry and your job as conductor of whatever they’ve been led to think formalized training is. Do you exemplify the benefits of social and informal learning in your own work life? Do you document successes of social learning? Are you watching and listening to the concerns of your co-workers, providing the right nudge when needed, and openly sourcing your information? Are you connecting your peers with relatable thought leadership or community resources that you’ve found valuable? How about using technology to make spaces for serendipitous learning – loosely organized, de-escalated learning, free from expectations but endowed with purpose? As I’ve said before, I love our kind of people, and not just for their unfailingly sparkling personalities. Every day, they are useful to me in my work, and every day I make it known that I am bringing fire to those in my care because of my associations. In design meetings, I nip errant learning styles talk in the bud. I stay up-to-date on the development of Project Tin Can and use what I know to rethink learning management systems. I experiment with Google Hangouts. I make it easy for myself to be a node in the network and I make sure that people know that part of my value is being as connected as I am. While I probably spend more time talking about #lrnchat than I do participating in it these days, I’ve been known by more than one boss as ‘the Twitter guy.’ I’m proud that I eventually stopped being ‘the Twitter guy’ – that is, I stopped being just a tolerated, quirky evangelist for the platform when I stopped telling people how valuable Twitter is and started using it very publicly to inform my discourse in the workplace. (As Jane Bozarth says, “Google gets you links. Twitter gets you answers.) As a result, the questions that I get around social media are less of the “what good is Twitter?” variety and more about how to use social learning tools to their best effect. As I rely on a large, diverse learning network to help me be competent and prescient, I hope to show (not tell) that I am here to solve problems, not simply build courses or teach classes. I can suggest and employ social and informal learning strategies in part because they’re already working: social media tools, content curation, collaboration, and networked learning are making me better at what I do. Craig Wiggins has been helping people create and manage learning experiences for the last 10 years. He is the eLearning Instructional Design Strategist for the Corporate Executive Board’s Corporate Leadership Council, where he manages the creation of meaningful distance learning and performance solutions. Craig holds a B.A. in anthropology and an M.Ed. in curriculum development, and spends a lot of time thinking about how to sneak usability, accessibility, and proper task analysis into the mix. In his natural habitat, he is usually storyboarding on wall-sized whiteboards or pontificating on Google+.

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Don’t Engage Employees; Empower Them

(From MoneyWatch) — The management fad of the millennium is employee “engagement.” Gallup has done a remarkable job of marketing it as the one metric for improving everything from employee retention to business performance. But does it work? Not necessarily. Sure, every executive and business leader wants employees to care about their jobs and the success of their company. That’s a no-brainer. But accurately measuring employee engagement, developing the right strategies to improve it, implementing them, and not screwing up anything else in the process is far easier said than done. More importantly, at least one credible expert and a human capital analytics consultancy firm say the cause-and-effect relationship between employee engagement and business results isn’t compelling, primarily because their drivers are not necessarily the same. And I happen to agree. If the results are questionable, then why have so many companies jumped on the employee engagement bandwagon? Like so many things nowadays, executives do it because it’s popular, it sounds good and it sounds easy. Hire Gallup, have them do a survey, make a few tweaks and — voila! — instant engagement. The truth is that companies do half-baked stuff like that all the time. I’ve seen it over and over. Half the time it backfires because they’re not measuring the right factors, they don’t make the right changes, or they fix one thing and screw up another. Now, I know employee engagement is a phrase with a deeper meaning, but whenever I hear it, I can’t help but relate it to domesticated animals. You engage a dog by getting it to do tricks in the hope of getting a treat. You engage a cat with a piece of string or, if you really want to go high-tech, a laser pointer. I know it’s a condescending analogy, but when you lump individuals into masses to be measured with tools and manipulated into doing what you want them to do, what can I say? It seems to fit. Maybe it works with certain employees. Maybe not. But there’s one thing I do know: There are better ways to motivate employees and improve business performance. Read more.

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Decision Makers LOVE Me!

People prefer to do business with people they like!How do you do that? One of the most rewarding aspects of great sales training is teaching others how building great relationships with prospects, customers and their client referrals. This article is about building relationships. Building relationships is foundational to performance improvement and transcends all areas of your life at work, play and at home. A good Trainer will teach that the most important person in a conversation is the other person! Steering and focusing the conversation on what is happening in the other persons life will be 90% of the conversation in the sales process. The other 10% will be the sales person questioning and gathering feedback. (Yet, statistics will show you that 80% of sales professionals still do not do this even after training because the skill is not practiced enough!) These statistics show that Sales Trainers and Talent Management still have a lot of collaborating to do! Sales Training Drivers.com is committed to helping the Workplace Learning Industry foster more of this collaboration and help sales professionals stay on target to meet their professional and personal goals. The business goal of building relationships is to teach how to move the sales forward for mutual benefit. Show your sales team that building rapport is broken down by value percentages representing the highest amount a prospect will likely receive and absorb your message during conversation. Rapport is comprised of your ability to use: 1. Words (7%) – 93% of people only listen to 7% of what you say and only remember 3%. 2. Tonality (38%) – the tone of your voice matched with someone else’s level of tone 3. Physiology (55%) body language, facial expression, posture, stance, composure, movements, gestures Learning how to use words and body language is crucial to successful selling (and training!). It must be done over practice sessions, one on one coaching, role plays, and measured evaluations. Practicing the use of specific words, tonality and physiology during the sales process is an art in itself. Less than 10% of sales professionals ever fully master it! Your ability to present yourself appropriately and ask questions will prompt people to give you the personal answers you need to solve their issues and sell them. Teach active listening skills and questioning techniques that check for agreement. It will show your sales team how to look at the prospects problem from their point of view. Have your sales team learn how to present your product or service as a valuable addition to the security, comfort, and enjoyment of your prospects life. Teach them how to become interested in their prospects lives. (family, job, and recreation activities, and financial concerns). This takes a lot of practice in building transferable behavioral skills in relationship building. We all want to feel special and we all want to feel OK. Many customers will go miles out of their way to do business with someone they like and will make them feel happy and appreciated. Once someone likes you, they will bring you into their inner circle of influence and their friends will become your friends. Your business will grow much faster while other sales people who do not build quality relationships are vulnerable to the ups and downs of the economy, trends and budgets.

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DDI Launches Global Leadership Study

Pittsburgh, PA (Vocus) August 11, 2010 — Development Dimensions International (DDI) has launched the Global Leadership Forecast 2010-2011. The Global Leadership Forecast will examine how the economic downturn has impacted confidence in leadership, how leaders are dealing with transitions into new roles and the relationship between leadership practices and bottom-line performance. This year’s study features a special section on innovation from Gary Hamel’s The Future of Management. “This year’s Forecast pushes inquiring minds further by asking not only about satisfaction with current leadership practices, but what is needed in the future to be successful,” said Jazmine Boatman, co-author of the study. Read more.

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DDI Launches Definitive Survey of Global Leadership

(From DDIWorld.com) DDI, Stoke Poges, 21st July 2010: Global Talent Management Consultancy, Development Dimensions International Ltd (DDI), has launched its Leadership Forecast 2010/2011, the definitive study of leadership trends across the world. The Leadership Forecast has been launched in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) and aims to evaluate how the economic downturn has impacted confidence in leadership and how leaders are dealing with leadership transitions. It will also examine the best-in-class strategies for selecting, promoting and developing tomorrow’s leaders and compare information from other countries. In addition, it aims to examine the relationship between leadership practices and company performance. This will be the sixth Leadership Forecast, spanning twelve years and since the last report, the world economy has seen turbulent times. Steve Newhall, managing director of DDI UK comments: “In our last survey, we saw how far leadership development efforts had closed the gap between expectation and reality. And we saw what, in the mind of leaders themselves was working and what wasn’t. That study was conducted right before the economic crisis hit and it will be fascinating to see how it has affected leadership in the UK and around the world. Leaders have been through challenging times, many are operating in a completely new reality and will have had to adjust to totally different organisational priorities. To see how the global recession has affected learning and development strategies for our leadership teams will be immensely valuable.” HR professionals and senior managers are invited to complete the survey at www.ddiworld.com/leadershipforecast. Organisations that can encourage 30 non-HR leaders to participate will receive a free customised company report comparing their organisation’s data to local and global norms.

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DDI Announces Development Program for Individual Contributors

As organizations look to the future of business, the performance of every employee will be critical for business growth. So global talent management expert Development Dimensions International (DDI) has created a development solution to help individual contributors boost the skills that will improve both individual and group effectiveness DDI’s program, Interaction Management: Exceptional Performers (IM: ExPSM), includes eight courses to build the skills of professionals and emerging leaders, from financial whizzes to engineering gurus. “Organizations can’t afford to ignore this group of professionals that aspire to be the technical experts as well as the next generation of leaders,” said Jim Davis, Vice President of Workforce and Service Development for DDI. IM: ExP uses interactive learning experiences to build skills that result in positive behavior changes in employees, resulting in a more productive and more engaged workforce. The course list includes: Communicating with Impact, Embracing Change, High-Impact Feedback and Listening, Networking for Enhanced Collaboration, Navigating beyond Conflict, Valuing Differences, and Working as a High-Performing Team. Read more.

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CPP, INC. JOINS ASTD PARTNER PROGRAM; APPROVED FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION BY TOP PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 15, 2010 – CPP, Inc., announced today that it has been selected by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), the world’s largest association dedicated to training and development, to participate in its newly launched Professional Partner program. Additionally, CPP announced that its new public Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and CPI 260 Certification Programs have been awarded approval for continuing education credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI),* International Coach Federation (ICF), and National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).** ASTD’s Professional Partner program is designed to encourage employee learning and development by connecting training professionals with the performance improvement-related products and services they need to accomplish their goals. CPP, which provides a full suite of products and services to help people and organizations be their best, will offer ASTD members solutions, guidance, and support ranging from team building, leadership development, and coaching to conflict management, career development, selection, and retention. “Understanding of individual preferences and styles is a key ingredient in the ongoing effort to re-skill a severely disrupted U.S. workforce,” said Jeff Hayes, President and CEO, CPP. “This partnership, as well as these qualifications, represent significant strides in CPP’s efforts to enable the U.S. workforce to continue adapting to changing conditions worldwide so that it remains competitive in a remade world economy.” Read more.

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Corporate pandemics of 2006

Inspired by a batch of recent frustrating consulting gigs, a battery of medical check-ups and the current buzz about pandemic preparedness, here are my predictions for six emerging corporate pandemics that trainers will have to deal with in 2006: 1) Ulteriorsclerosis – the clogging of an important initiative by personnel or policies, for spurious reasons that mask more pernicious ulterior motives. Widespread ulteriorsclerosis will lead to the demise of several organizations in 2006. The disease, once it takes hold and starts to spread, can only be cured by surgical OD interventions. It manifests itself in the right projects not being approved, or not moving forward, for apparently good reasons which, with persistent investigation, turn out to be fatuous. Ulteriorsclerosis is typically artificially induced by the idle, the desperate, or the power hungry, and can be career threatening to diagnose. 2) Nearly Ubiquitous Wireless Mobile Informal Learning Syndrome (NUWMILS) – the propensity to instantly learn only what one needs to learn in order to perform, when and where the performance is required. Also referred to as Schizogooglia, it will evolve in cultures where networked knowledge links of known quality and reliability become so intuitively accessible that it will be like having multiple brains in your head. Sporadic outbreaks have been occurring with increasing frequency, and now seem set to attain pandemic status in 2006. Once it loses its stigma and is accepted as a blessing rather than a curse, NUWMILS will be renamed “ambient learning” and at least three gurus will claim to have invented the term. 3) Mailanoma – the unrestrained metastasizing of productivity-sapping email, texting, and instant messaging, leading to complete breakdown of one’s ability to communicate. While much of this has been from externally inflicted spam, as 2006 progresses there will be increasing volumes of malignant messaging that are internally generated through quite unnecessary cc-ing, bcc-ing, and e-messaging of people sitting whispering distance apart. As communication is the life blood of organizations, malfunctioning of the system can cause a serious breakdown in performance – and in the ability of training to have an impact. 4) Infobesity – the deleterious effect of excessive data consumption on the fitness and agility of individual and corporate minds. With the volume of new data being produced doubling every three days (vs. every three decades a few generations ago), Infobesity will become dramatically debilitating, though it will stimulate the growth of technology filtering tools. Those who master infofiltering will jog confidently through the fog, while those who don’t will keep staggering into lampposts. Employees and teams with calcified knowledge filtering modes will become alienated and resentful, unable to compete, and decreasingly productive. Fortunately for them, they make up most of upper and middle management, and still dominate the shareholders of most large companies. So they will hold onto legacy processes and implement new glass ceilings to keep info-savvy juniors from gaining power (often by inducing ulteriorsclerosis in the relevant area). Unfortunately for their companies, the info-savvy are subversive, mutate rapidly, are well networked, and will job hop into smaller, more fluid entities that will collaboratively run competitive rings around the big corporations. 5) Organizational Incontinence – the involuntary leaking of things you’d rather not have others see. As the networked world brings on premature aging in organizations, they will start to leak at increasingly alarming rates. They will leak knowledge (IP Incontinence) as their walls become porous and their employees network outside of the company to gain the insights they need to get things done. They will leak processes, as much that used to be done in-house becomes outsourced. They will leak secrets, as staff start to blog and podcast without the censoring filter of Corporate Communications. And they will suffer from increasing motivational incontinence as employees finally lose all sense of belonging to a cohesive caring organizational family. This in turn will lead to the leaking of valuable employees. Organizational Incontinence, in all its forms, may require a significant rethink of the role of learning services, and its repositioning as an aid to the enhancement of an individual’s market value. 6) Learning Impact Myopia – the failure to expect or demand that learning initiatives have lasting effects. Like most other things in corporate life, training activities will be evaluated more and more on what effect they have on each quarter’s financial results, rendering longer term impacts irrelevant, and in turn making the development of long-term programs pointless. When trainers struggle to develop interventions that have lasting impact, they will be told that such esoteric stuff simply does not matter, and will be pressured into providing instant gratification to the bean counters. Learning Impact Myopia and Schizogooglia both seek faster short-term solutions to the expertise problems, but for different reasons. Trainers may have to selectively succumb, while still fighting for some strategic surgical impact. [Paradoxically, Surgical Learning Impact Myopia (SLIM) — the deliberate implanting or nurturing of e-learning 2.0 where appropriate — may give SLIM organizations added vigor and longevity]. Be prepared! The future will be a dangerous place if you relinquish control of your integrity to the organizational pandemics. Compliments of the season to all, and may your 2006 be filled with health, wealth, and happiness! Godfrey Parkin

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Blackboard: Over 1,000 Clients Adopt Next Generation Platform

WASHINGTON, Oct 12, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Driven by the rapid adoption of Blackboard Learn(TM) Release 9.1 over the summer, more than 1,000 clients are now on Blackboard’s next generation online teaching and learning platform, Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced. The adoption rate is faster than for any new learning management release in Blackboard’s history, making the Release 9.x platform the most widely used across the Blackboard community. Release 9.1 also provided a number of key enhancements targeted to the WebCT community which helped speed adoption, with over 100 former WebCT clients upgrading to Release 9.1 during the first six months following its release. Launched in April, Release 9.1 features an updated Web 2.0 interface, built-in social learning tools like blogs and wikis, and the ability to integrate multimedia content from Web sources like YouTube(R), Flickr(R) and Slideshare to create a more engaging course experience. The release also includes lesson planning and standards alignment, important new features for K-12 teachers and learners. With Release 9.1, Blackboard has also made significant investments in product quality, client support and responsiveness, and support for managing upgrades. The investments have spurred not just upgrades but improvements in overall client confidence, with responses to Blackboard’s client satisfaction surveys improving throughout 2010. On the support front, seven and 30-day closure rates for support tickets — a good benchmark for support quality — are up sharply, recording the largest increases since Blackboard has measured the statistics. “I’m pleased with this positive signal about our direction and our performance on the fundamentals of Blackboard Learn,” said Ray Henderson, President of Blackboard Learn. “Our clients are telling us that our fundamentals are improving, and it’s great to see their willingness to show us with this vote of confidence. We’re not satisfied that we’ve reached our full potential, and so this result is great encouragement to keep our focus on improving our products and the experience we deliver our clients.” To help support clients upgrading to Release 9.1, Blackboard has created a set of free resources including a series of video tutorials to help institutions acclimate new users with the latest release. Blackboard has also established a popular guided cohort program that hundreds of clients are participating in to learn from each other as they go through the upgrade process. “We have had a very positive experience with Blackboard and the resources that they’ve put together for the Release 9.1 upgrade go miles in making the case that we have chosen the right platform,” said Gary Friesen, Director of Academic Technology at Taylor University which is currently participating in the cohort program and is planning an upgrade to 9.1 in December. “I am very encouraged by what Blackboard has put together to help us in this transition and to support the upgrade experience.” In addition to the core features of Release 9.1, it can also be enabled for interactive mobile learning opportunities through Blackboard Mobile(TM) Learn — native applications for the most popular mobile platforms. It also integrates Blackboard Connect(TM) technology to let students choose how they receive course notifications and updates, including through messages to their mobile devices. For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://blackboard.com/Teaching-Learning/Learn-Platform.aspx. Read more.

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

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

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Blackboard Offers Improved Solution for Corporate Learning on Force.com

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

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Big Question Thought Leaders

I’m happy to announce that several thought leaders have joined together with me to revitalize the Big Question. We will likely be trying some different things over the next few months. What exactly, we aren’t sure. We’ll figure it out as we go. The goals of the Big Question will remain the same: We are definitely interested in having contributions from other Thought Leaders, so feel free to contact me: akarrer@ techempower.com if you are interested in participating. Glenn has over 10 year’s experience in the field of workplace learning and performance, and is currently the Learning and Development Manager at The Salvation Army Employment Plus in Australia. He has a particular interest in how communications technology can enhance and facilitate corporate learning and performance, and the creation of new opportunities for learning in and outside the workforce. Glenn holds a Master of Psychology degree, and enjoys Australian Rules Football, NFL and most other sports that involve a ball and action. Blog: http://www.glennhansen.tumblr.com Twitter: @glennhansen Thomas Edgerton is a performance consultant, professional coach, instructional technologist, master swimmer, and perpetual optimist. Over the years, his award winning work traverses sneaker net to the present crossing diverse industries, platforms, pedagogy, and people. Let me warn you beforehand, I am more hopeful today than at any previous point in my life. twitter: 4EFRSWM linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasedgerton website: www.skilledge.net Jeff Goldman has 13+ years experience in the training and development field, including nine years designing and developing e-learning. He has a dual focus in both online learning and classroom training and has experience designing learning solutions in banking, healthcare, and for nonprofit organizations. Jeff holds a Master of Arts degree in Instructional Systems Design from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder. LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/minutebio Twitter: www.twitter.com/minutebio Holly lives on a small semi-rural island off the coast of British Columbia, Canada where she works as an independent learning strategist, advising clients thoughout their journey to e-learning. She’s particularly interested in performance support and the rise of user generated content as growth areas for traditional workplace learning. Holly’s been tinkering in the learning field for over 15 years in a variety of roles. After 12+ years in the corporate world, she decided that climbing the career ladder was not the only option and freedom 55 was someone else’s dream. She’s enjoying the diversity that consulting offers, even if the workload is daunting at times. She’s a voracious reader (mostly snobby fiction), a fair-weather sea kayaker, enthusiastic (but not particularly skilful) downhill skier and a busy mom who seeks to find time to do it all. Web: http://www.sparkandco.ca Twitter: http://twitter.com/sparkandco LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/hollymacdonald Blog: http://sparkyourinterest.wordpress.com/ Kasper has over 25 years of experience in the field of learning and user performance support. His learning experience goes from teaching, authoring textbooks, designing and creating e-Learning, knowledge management and user performance support. As a manager his experience ranges from being CEO of an early internet startup in the nineties to his current position as CEO of easygenerator. He has a passion for learning, learning technology and innovation. With easygenerator he is on a mission to make it the best e-learning authoring system in the world and innovate e-Learning along the way. He believes that we should bring (e)-Learning to the workplace and that learning content is key in reaching that goal. Blog: www.KasperSpiro.com LinkedIn, Skype, Twitter: KasperSpiro Web: www.easygenerator.com

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Be a Leader of Change! Resistance is Futile.

Facilitating Change is a World Class Sales Competency that needs attention! This subject is so COMPLEX and CHAOTIC that it is very difficult to explain, manage or measure. As a Trainer, it is critical now for you to be able to understand how change affects your company and is reflected in your training. Let’s keep this SIMPLE! Your company is most likely affected by harder economic conditions today and will be driven to improve efficiency, productivity, and service quality. The training methods and outcomes you present to your employees will be a measuring stick for these improvement changes.Change happens CONSTANTLY and you must be able to ADAPT to it. Business Change – Sales Training In Sales Training, be sensitive to teach your team about the size and scale of any management decision. – small to large – and how it affects operation, sector, location, history, and employee population. Change is about moving an organization from a current position to a future condition, for the purpose of marketplace strategy and employee workplace performance alignment. Evaluating sales and marketing change strategies can be done by looking at other company case studies and ROI analysis. But, beware! “Tested” sales strategies and implementations that have been tried before by other organizations may not be the best one for your company or for your team to experience! Also, be careful to look at the effects of bringing in other Subject Matter Experts or Consultants who have had successful outcomes using “tried and true” methodologies that have worked for them in the past. These too may not work in your particular organization. Make sure that the new change initiative is a process to be facilitated rather than a plan that can be dictated to the employees The People vs. YOU! Facilitating change through people is very TOUGH because people are TOUGH and generally RESISTANT to anything that is different than what they are used to – especially if they have created a habit or routine that seemingly makes their life easier. People are more reactive than proactive and changing anything in their world (personal or work environment) can be confusing to deal with! However, through honesty and being straightforward about your change strategy, you can break through any resistance that people give you. The TRUTH will always set you free, even in business where money seems to be king over the people. Nothing could be farther from the truth! You cannot run a business without the power of people. The love of people is the root of successful business in sales! If there is a change initiative approaching where people are involved, brace yourself for the resistance. You can guarantee that too many opinions will be involved! So, like the good Boy Scout or Brownie, “Be Prepared” to brace yourself emotionally and intellectually for the upcoming change challenges presented in front of you. People present problems all the time at the top, middle or bottom of any organization – that will need to be dealt with if the company is to succeed overall. Many organizational studies say that the best change efforts are better left to employee engagement and creative teams rather than top down leadership. Many change efforts have failed because the company demanded the change process to be handled and controlled by corporate policy and procedure with little or no creative thinking allowed. According to Hank Garber, CEO of National Risk Managers in Long Island, NY, (natlriskmgrsltd@aol.com), one way to engage employees in facilitating organizational change is to “make your employees your partners in the process of change”. He also states that you can gain “greater and more effective communication- internal & external- by working to create a sales orientation that permeates every part of a business, leading to increased revenue, client retention, and loyalty by customers and employees. The focus of change should be for the betterment of everyone in the organization as it relates to increase business results that sustain organizational growth.

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ASTD Presents its Dissertation Award to Sewon Kim

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

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ASTD Presents 21 Excellence in Practice Awards

During its 2010 International Conference & Exposition held here, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) presented the Excellence in Practice Awards and Citations to 38 organizations from eight countries: England, Hong Kong, India, Philippines, Taiwan, The Netherlands, Turkey, and the United States. The Excellence in Practice Awards program recognizes organizations for results achieved through learning and performance practices and solutions. From 131 submissions, 21 awards and 38 citations were given in nine categories: career development, diversity and inclusion, learning technologies, managing change, organizational learning, performance improvement, training management, technical training, and workplace learning and development. “The winning organizations advance the knowledge and strategic importance of the training and development profession,” notes Tony Bingham, ASTD President and CEO. “The accomplishments demonstrate how the alignment of learning to organizational goals and strategies increases the performance and success of organizations worldwide.” The Excellence in Practice Awards are presented to those organizations with proven practices that have delivered measurable results in achieving organizational goals. The organizations and their partners selected to receive Excellence in Practice Awards are: The Excellence in Practice Citations are presented to those organizations with practices that have shown that they will demonstrate measurable results. The organizations and their partners selected to receive Citations are:

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ASTD Offers New Training Resources for Public Sector Professionals

Government agencies, like private sector organizations, continually look for ways to increase efficiencies and improve agency performance. Having a knowledgeable, skilled workforce is a critical step in meeting those goals. To help managers and learning professionals build their talent, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) has several new offerings tailored specifically to the needs of professionals in the public sector. One certificate program, “Managing Talent for Mission Success,” is designed for managers and supervisors, training and development practitioners, and HR specialists in the federal government. This practical two-day workshop will enable participants to better leverage their role in the organization to more effectively inform, influence, and lead talent management in support of mission achievement. Participants will explore a six step process: Other ASTD certificate programs explore topics relevant in the public sector like training design and delivery, coaching, human performance improvement, managing organizational knowledge, and measuring and evaluating learning. ASTD offers other beneficial resources to public sector employees. Through its content licensing program ASTD enables agencies to deliver learning libraries to agencies’ protected websites, providing employees with access to cutting edge training materials. The Public Manager, a quarterly journal dedicated to encouraging professionalism and high performance in all levels of government, gives public managers and executives the opportunity to write and share ideas about critical public management issues. ASTD Press offers books that can help managers and training professionals in the public sector such as High-Impact Middle Management: Solutions for Today’s Busy Public Sector Managers, written by Lisa Haneberg. More information about ASTD’s resources for the public sector is available at http://www.astd.org/ASTD/Government/.

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ASTD Member Meeting in the UK

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

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ASTD and the United Professional Sales Association Join Forces

Hot off the presses! ASTD announced that it has formally acquired the United Professional Sales Association (UPSA). UPSA was created by a team of sales professionals with the goal of helping their colleagues in sales to collaborate, share best practices, and improve the buyer-seller relationship. UPSA began in 1999 as a non-profit member based professional association. Through the expertise of volunteer leaders and global community of sales professionals, UPSA set standards for sales professionals, published sales content in its 2004 Compendium of Professional Selling, and grew membership in 19 countries. To help the organization widen its reach into new markets, the UPSA board of directors and its members voted to transfer UPSA’s assets and operations to ASTD. UPSA’s content and research are now housed on ASTD’s sales training portal. “With the acquisition of UPSA, we are continuing to build a robust community dedicated to developing high performing sales professionals,” said Tony Bingham, President and CEO of ASTD. “Expanding the body of knowledge will benefit the growing number of sales professionals around the world who are looking for professional standards, an established community of industry thought leaders, and how to accelerate sales team performance through learning.” With more than 65 years of content and expertise in the training field, ASTD’s resources for sales training professionals are increasing. Salestrainingdrivers.com features webcasts on improving sales performance and developing sales professionals, articles on sales success from Training + Development ( T+D) magazine, new research on the state of sales training, and focused content on communication skills, negotiation, time management, and more. Also included is information about World Class Selling: New Sales Competencies, a new publication from ASTD that provides a competency-based approach to sales team development. From October 1st to 8th, ASTD will host a 7-day virtual conference experience and trade show, “Sales Training 20: Accelerating Sales Team Performance in a Down Economy.” Scott Santucci from Forrester Research and John Esposito from Amicas will be keynote speakers for the event. More information is available here.

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ASTD 2011 International Conference & Exposition Attracts Thousands of Attendees from Around the World

More than 8,500 people attended the recent ASTD 2011 International Conference & Exposition, held in Orlando, FL, May 22-25. The conference drew more than 2,100 attendees from outside the United States representing 81 countries, the largest number of international participants in recent years. ASTD 2011 featured keynote speakers focused on leadership. Best-selling author Marcus Buckingham debuted a new book and strengths assessment tool called Stand Out. Campbell Soup Company CEO Doug Conant and leadership development expert Mette Norgaard, and former Blue Angels lead solo pilot John Foley brought their own perspectives to the topic. The need for leadership development, succession planning, and talent management are important issues for the workplace learning profession. Mobile learning was the focus of the presentation by ASTD President and CEO Tony Bingham. Bingham told attendees, “Mobile learning is the latest emerging trend in our use of technology for learning. Gartner reports that worldwide sales of tablets will jump from 19.5 million units in 2010 to 208 million units in 2014. Research from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) indicates that organizations’ use of mobile learning had one of the highest correlations with market performance and the highest correlation with effective instructional design. Those are very compelling reasons to incorporate mobile as part of a learning strategy.” Supporting the value of mobile technology for learning and professional development, ASTD introduced an app for attendees that allowed them to build their conference schedule, access educational materials, post and read Twitter updates, map the conference floor, take notes, and much more. The app was featured in an article in the New York Times. Don Kirkpatrick, the creator of the Kirkpatrick Model of training evaluation, was specially recognized for his contributions to the profession. Kirkpatrick, who is retiring, delivered his last educational session to a standing-room-only crowd. Highlights from the conference include Annually, the ASTD International Conference & Exposition is the world’s largest gathering of training and development professionals. The ASTD 2012 conference will be held in Denver, Colorado May 6-9.

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

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

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Are your Sales Goals “Unachievable”?

According to an article on a Bloomberg BusinessWeek blog, posted 5April 10 by Josh Setzer, He comments on the advice of a Coach he interviewed entitled: “Run Your Stars Hard”. After asking several sales people in a survey about meeting expectations, 73% of reps believe that their sales goals are unachievable. WHY? Sales organizations do ask a lot from their sales representatives, particularly in an economic slump, and as Sales Managers continue to push them to drive performance harder, burnout is a risk – which leads to gross under-performance.Where is the positive psychological SALES MANAGEMENT BALANCE in this? From a Sales Training perspective, it sounds severe. There are logical arguments for slowly growing the behavior of your team members through practice and patience. But, there is an ROI to worry about when you are investing in your sales performers. Is it FAIR to push your Sales Reps and set them up to think they have unrealistic goals? Should high expectations after training be enforced (or else)? or Should training be based on individual Human Performance assessments to build each team member? or Should the company tell the Sales team member that their performance is being monitored against business ROI? POST A COMMENT and let us know! We will discuss it!

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3 Ways to Beat Technology Challenges with the Sales Team

Many sociologists have tracked the evolution of industrialized societies. One key trend these sociologists often discuss is the definitive impact of new technologies on these civilizations. Since the dawn of times, technological changes such as fire, the wheel, farming, the cotton gin, steel, and automobiles have led to rapid advances in quality of life for individuals. While these advances have translated into huge gains for civilization they have become so mainstream the impact these advances have are long forgotten. A more recent technological advancement has also had a huge impact on society. Advances in information technology and the Internet are still being felt, not only on consumers and individuals, but also within sales teams trying to cope with the rapidly evolving set of knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to fully harness the dearth of knowledge and information created. Needless to say, salesperson competency has been buffeted by technology in multiple ways. First, salespeople are no longer the gatekeepers of information about products and services. Buyers arm themselves with information long before the sales call ever occurs. They have access to buying consultants, automatic replenishment systems, decision making models, and customer reviews of products and services. Buyers hold fewer inventories, want just-in-time inventory, and embrace systematic purchasing. Second, salespeople are also called upon increasingly to use technology in their jobs. Hand held devices, mobile computing, instant messaging, social networking, and search engines have revolutionized prospect identification. Customer relationship management systems are intended to help salespeople manage and prioritize their contacts. Selling takes place in new venues and channels. For example, the “click to talk live” feature of many websites blends customer service with telesales in a call-center environment. Selling is also becoming the responsibility of nontraditional sales roles, and companies are cross-training installation, service, product-development, and other staff in sales techniques. While technological advances have shifted the power in the buyer-seller landscape, sales teams have sometimes struggled to keep up. Sales managers and sales trainers have tried to deliver technology into the hands of their sales team and had to improve salesperson skills and knowledge. As a result, sales training needs have evolved at a quicker pace than ever before. Customer Relationship Management software, contact management, email, Internet capabilities, and hand held devices provide more information to today’s salesperson than ever before, yet many salespeople struggle to master the technology (let alone keep up with it). Technology has also helped salespeople stay abreast of product changes, customer changes and market changes. Unfortunately, many sales team members have so much information at their finger tips they have trouble retrieving it quickly. However, where technology has created many challenges to sale team performance, technology has also provided help. Use of technology in sales training has exploded with the advent of podcasting, video-on-demand, and virtual classrooms like second life. Technology has also provided access to new markets and new prospects through online networking tools (such as LinkedIn) and customized search engines that quickly retrieve the most relevant information. Sales portals organize content and provide an easy way to refresh knowledge or brush up on an industry. And learning management systems allow HR professionals and training professionals to customize course content for new and experienced salespeople. With all these technology challenges facing sales teams, how can sales managers and sales trainers help? The following recommendations are given: RECOMMENDATION 1: understand that technology is not an enabler; it’s now the status-quo. Many organizations implement technology for the sake of technology without understanding the impact to the sales team. More importantly, companies can negate technology roll-outs by not focusing on helping sales teams deliver value, in the eyes of the buyer. Since so many buyers use technology daily, sales teams are expected to use technology in a transparent way. It’s now something like breathing. Everyone does it. However, not every company can leverage technology to align to the customer, streamline communication, and facilitate an exchange of value. RECOMMENDATION 2: realize that one technology platform or tool doesn’t solve every single challenge faced by the sales team. While some technologies help sales team members serve the customer better, others can actually bog down processes or stifle the creativity needed to truly customize the buyer experience. RECOMMENDATION 3: realize that bad processes are not helped by technology. Many companies fail to realize that poorly aligned processes and poor policies can impact the buyer-seller relationship more than the use of technology. When these processes and policies are facilitated by technology, the organization just become “better” at getting in its own way.

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2012 Workplace Trends Report: Integration, Flexibility and Wellness Top Drivers of Employee Engagement

(From PRNewswire) — Sodexo, Quality of Daily Life Solutions provider to more than 1,800 corporate clients in the United States, released its 2012 Workplace Trends Report today, offering a unique perspective on the workplace that combines insight from clients, academia, principal research, and leading facilities management and human resource trade organizations. The research predicts continued focus on well-being and the ability to deliver a unique value proposition to business communities that focuses on not only integrated, effective and efficient use of space, but also the performance of human capital. Employees are looking to organizations for tools and resources to help them simplify their lives, stay healthy and balanced, and bring their “whole self” to work as these continue to be top drivers of engagement. Employee engagement, productivity, brand image and loyalty continue to be relevant measures of success. “For any business wanting to grow, these trends show there is a premium on programs that are outcome driven and on sustainable results that address both people and physical space,” said Michael Norris, COO and market president for Sodexo’s Corporate segment. Read more.

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Emotional Intelligence as a Leadership Predictor

We are all familiar with emotional intelligence, but how do we leverage it in our practice as learning leaders and utilize it as a measure of potential leadership success, and ultimately organizational performance? Emotional intelligence (EQ) requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain; it represents the path between feeling and reason. The four skills that together make up emotional intelligence include self-awareness and self-management, which are…

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12 Ways to Provide Better Feedback

From the classroom to the boardroom, feedback is a vital component of communication and effective talent development. Most people in the workplace suffer from a lack of performance feedback, yet feedback is essential in supporting candidate progress and improvement. Feedback is the cheapest, most powerful management tool that we have at our disposal. However, it is often underused, or provided in ways that are geared toward compliance, rather than meaningful performance improvement. Effective…

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Proactive Learning Brings Healthy Results

October:
The drive to deliver high-quality, patient-centered care and create great patient experiences propels one healthcare system to stress every detail of workforce training and development.

This podcast is sponsored by Pfeiffer, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pfeiffer serves the professional development and hands-on resource needs of training and human resource practitioners and gives them products to do their jobs better. They deliver proven ideas and solutions from experts in HR development and HR management, and offer effective and customizable tools to improve workplace performance. Lean more at www.pfeiffer.com.

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People Power Makes the Difference

“Great hotels guests love” is not just a slogan for this global innkeeper. It’s a business strategy that has dedicated and knowledgeable employees at its core. This podcast is sponsored by Pfeiffer, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pfeiffer serves the professional development and hands-on resource needs of training and human resource practitioners and gives them products to do their jobs better. They deliver proven ideas and solutions from experts in HR development and HR management, and offer effective and customizable tools to improve workplace performance. Lean more at www.pfeiffer.com.

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Learning at Your Service

October:
Through virtual training, the Global Service Department of one prominent workforce solutions company responds quickly to meet the needs of the business and delivers measurable results to the bottom line.

This podcast is sponsored by Pfeiffer, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pfeiffer serves the professional development and hands-on resource needs of training and human resource practitioners and gives them products to do their jobs better. They deliver proven ideas and solutions from experts in HR development and HR management, and offer effective and customizable tools to improve workplace performance. Lean more at www.pfeiffer.com.

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Learning Assisted Service

October:
The carwash company gives customer loyalty and satisfaction a steady boost by using coaching, certification, and social media to develop its employees.

This podcast is sponsored by Pfeiffer, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pfeiffer serves the professional development and hands-on resource needs of training and human resource practitioners and gives them products to do their jobs better. They deliver proven ideas and solutions from experts in HR development and HR management, and offer effective and customizable tools to improve workplace performance. Lean more at www.pfeiffer.com.

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Keeping Knowledge Safe and Sound

October:
B&W Pantex maintains a no-nonsense approach to career advancement, and to compliance and safety training. Using innovative knowledge-transfer strategies, the company is well-prepared for future challenges.

This podcast is sponsored by Pfeiffer, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pfeiffer serves the professional development and hands-on resource needs of training and human resource practitioners and gives them products to do their jobs better. They deliver proven ideas and solutions from experts in HR development and HR management, and offer effective and customizable tools to improve workplace performance. Lean more at www.pfeiffer.com.

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Determining What Is Necessary

June: Learning executives need to take certain variables into play when determining the degree of executive support for learning initiatives. This podcast was sponsored by CPP, the exclusive publisher of the Myers-Briggs instrument and a group of people committed to improving the performance of individuals and organizations around the world through team building, leadership and coaching, conflict management, career development, selection, and retention; https://www.cpp.com.

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Certificate or Certification That Is the Question

November:
There are some pretty important differences between earning certificates versus certifications. Professionals need to begin asking themselves which is needed to accomplish their performance and business goals.

This podcast is sponsored by Learn.com, the knowledge platform. Learn.com puts knowledge to work for organizations of all sizes around the globe with its cloud-based learning management platform. Learn.com dramatically improves the way businesses capture and share knowledge, communicate and align their goals and objectives, and evaluate and develop their most precious asset: their people. Learn more at www.learn.com.

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The HPI Balanced Scorecard

Do you need a tool to help you gauge the effectiveness of HPI interventions in your organization? This issue shows you how to take concepts of the balanced scorecard and apply them to performance. A 12-step process is provided that clearly helps you build a case for management, while a sample HPI scorecard helps you visualize key elements to measure.

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Cultural Audits: Supporting Organizational Success

Sometimes an organization’s culture can stand in the way of its success, which is why culture audits can be important tools for identifying deep-seated and persistent performance problems. This issue will explain the basics of a culture audit, and introduce the next steps in the process of conducting one within your organization. This process will determine if the time is right for a culture audit in your organization, help you sell the concept of a culture audit to management, and show you how to select the audit tool that is most appropriate for your culture.

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Targeted Evaluation Process

A flexible, six-step process to determine the success of any performance solution. The Targeted Evaluation Process offers six steps including communicating with stakeholders, understanding the organizational context, asking the right questions, choosing the right tools to carry out the analysis, and reporting the results, and a simple project management frame work for conducting an accurate, concise evaluation.

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10 Steps To Be A Successful Manager

Become an exceptional manager; learn to motivate employees, communicate expectations effectively, and build great work teams.10 Steps to Be A Successful Manager is a primer for on the job management excellence. Regardless of your years of experience, it provides a simple, straight-forward 10-step model to align your management practices for improved results and communications. Build great work teams and ensure that your staff clearly understands performance expectations and standards for success. Dont forget to check out 10 Steps to Be a Successful Manager: The Facilitator’s Guide. Part of the ASTD 10 Steps series.Click here to read a review of this title.

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TeacherMatch – Uses analytics as a hiring and professional development tool

TeacherMatch was founded by a group of dedicated, passionate educators with a wealth of experience who understand that teachers are the most critical factor in: Fostering whole student development Increasing measurable student academic growth and achievement Advancing district/school performance and reputation Their four co-founders worked together in the K-12 public education system — where they […]

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Tritone Music Education Systems – Online music instruction platform

About The Tritone Music Series is an award-winning Managed Learning Environment (MLE) focused on delivering music education courseware over the Internet to schools and distant learning environments. Created by leading music educators, our integration of curriculum, assessment and course management distinguishes it as one of the top online music programs available to the educational market. […]

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Meridian – Change Your Perspective on Learning and Development

Move beyond traditional, boring learning and development solutions with Meridian’s learning management system (LMS). Quickly deliver targeted training courses aimed at onboarding talent, increasing engagement, fostering collaboration, improving skills, achieving compliance, accelerating performance and advancing individual career growth. Build a culture of learning and collaboration. With Meridian, organizations can quickly onboard, strategically train and continuously develop […]

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Brightspace – An online platform designed by learning experts

Brightspace helps you create a strong learning culture built for your next-generation workforce. Redefining what a learning management system should be. Brightspace helps you deliver a personalized learning experience for anyone, no matter where they are. Brightspace is Easy. The user experience makes it easy for instructors to design courses, create content, and grade assignments. That gives […]

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Epicor HCM – Built to Enable Employees and HR Professionals

Epicor HCM enables both employees and candidates through self-service to save time and improve communication. It allows customer flexibility for integrating to the payroll and benefit vendors of your choice. It extends the value beyond feature-rich core functionality with expanded performance, training, and recruiting modules to support company growth. Epicor HCM automates your HR processes, […]

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Overview of Role of Chief Learning Officer

Chief Learning Officers are often found at larger organizations where the human resources department is broken out into various specialties. CLOs, who are sometimes called chief knowledge officers, usually report either to the top talent officer or the chief executive officer (CEO). A CLO’s responsibilities may include on boarding, training courses and materials, employee development […]

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