Training News

  • The Truth About Teams—And How to Know What Type of Team You’re on
    Adapted from “The Loyalist Team: How Trust, Candor and Authenticity Create Great Organizations” (PublicAffairs, Hachette, Sept. 12, 2017).Article Author: Linda Adams, Abby Curnow-Chavez, Audrey Epstein, and Rebecca Teasdale The best teams make it look easy. They perform together so well and so consistently that it appears as if they are one single organism instead of a group of disparate personalities with varied backgrounds. It can look, from the outside, as if skilled and talented people came together and blended their skills and talents effortlessly. If that were the case, however, that no effort was necessary, building a high-performance team would be as simple as pulling smart people together and saying, “Go.” But that’s not the case. Haven’t all of us seen a sports team with the most talented athletes implode long before the playoffs? And maybe we’ve even served on a team of extraordinary individuals who came together and failed, sometimes spectacularly.... Read more »
  • The Evolution of Blended Learning
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    No longer bound to only the classroom or e-learning, it is becoming easier to create experiences that better fit the ways people learn. Companies today are recognizing the importance of delivering more informal and experiential learning, according to the 2018 Brandon Hall Group Learning Strategy Study.Article Author: By David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall GroupThe increasingly rapid advance of technology is speeding up the way companies do business, and creating an environment in which organizations are able to deliver more flexible, continuous learning experiences. No longer bound to only the classroom or e-learning, it is becoming easier to create experiences that better fit the ways people learn. This approach also enables learning to keep up with the pace of the business, adapting to ever-changing needs. The shift is on—companies are recognizing the importance of delivering more informal and experiential learning, according to the 2018 Brandon Hall Group Learning Strategy Study.         This... Read more »
  • How to Have Difficult Conversations
    If the reason you avoid difficult conversations is that you think you’re not being nice, think again. You’re like a surgeon. In every surgery, there is some pain involved, but it’s good pain; it’s pain that helps and heals, not pain that damages.Article Author: Trevor Throness Recently, I spent time with a CEO whose company had let five relatively senior people go within the previous six months. I asked him to bring out their “coach and connect” forms (a quick performance review) and discovered that all of them had been rated as “A” players prior to their release. He immediately called in the senior managers responsible for these fires, and asked, “What gives? How did these people get great scores from you, and then get fired after receiving their great reviews?” The managers hung their heads and generally looked sheepish. As we talked further, the truth came out. For various reasons, none... Read more »
  • Training Top 125 Best Practice: Haskell’s Group-Specific Program for Management Development (PMD)
    L&D leveraged the skills, knowledge, and experiences of a team of talented professionals to create a “best of the best” subject matter expert (SME) team to instruct Haskell Consumer & Packaged Goods (CPG) employees on the company’s overall structure, operations, resources, and capabilities.Article Author: Edited by Lorri Freifeld After the April 2016 merger with Benham, Haskell’s Program for Management Development (PMD) was revised from an organizational level to a Group-specific level for the Consumer & Packaged Goods (CPG) markets. The challenge was that different employees, including newly acquired team members, needed a better understanding of Haskell’s project delivery model and best practices. An emerging need was identified when the manager of Learning and Development (L&D) met with CPG leaders and managers to understand the challenges. In order to meet client needs, all team members must have a comprehensive understanding of the Group’s overall structure, operations, resources, and capabilities. L&D leveraged the skills,... Read more »
  • Unconscious Bias: Some Lessons Learned
    Let participants discover unconscious bias for themselves. Telling participants about unconscious bias is often counterproductive. A phased experiential approach is best.Article Author: Terence Brake, Director, Learning & Innovation, TMA World Am I unconsciously biased? Yes. Are you unconsciously biased? Yes. This discovery can be a shocking self-revelation. I remember my surprise years ago when the IT support person who came to help me was a woman. What was I thinking? Well, I wasn’t thinking. I was on bias-autopilot. Since then, I’ve learned a few lessons I hope trainers find useful: Be pragmatic rather than ideological. Too many training interventions about bias push a rigid set of beliefs (an ideology) onto participants. Though well-meaning, they divide the world into simplistic “good” and “bad” categories that create denial or resistance. No one wants to be accused, preached at, or shamed. Let participants know unconscious bias is perfectly normal. An unconscious bias is a mental shortcut for... Read more »
  • Do You Hear What I Hear?
    Strong communicators take responsibility to get their point across: If the other person does not understand you, it reflects your inability to communicate rather than his or her inability to comprehendArticle Author: Robert Chen, Executive Coach, Exec|Comm On a recent vacation to Italy, we stayed on the Amalfi Coast in Positano and wanted to take a day trip to the town of Amalfi. When we asked the travel office for the best way to get to Amalfi, the agent recommended we take the public bus. Unfortunately, the bus was overcrowded, and with our 2-year old son, the one-hour start-and-stop ride through windy, bumpy roads was an unpleasant one. Later in Amalfi, we learned from another family we met that there was actually a high-speed ferry from Positano to Amalfi that took only 20 minutes with plenty of seating. Naturally, I wanted to blame the travel office for misguiding us, but when I thought... Read more »
  • Can Augmented Reality Workspaces Improve Jobs?
    Author: By Margery Weinstein I had never heard of an “augmented reality workspace” until I saw an article, “Step Into Your New Virtual Office,” by Maria Lokke in Wired last week. The funny thing about the article is, instead of the beauty part being that you can sit in your pajamas on the sofa at home typing away, the technology is being talked about as an enhancement to the office. So, in other words, you still have to trek to the office, and sit in your uncomfortable little cubicle, even though you have “smart glasses” technology that allow you to see and access all the same things from your living room couch. What’s the point of that? Lokke writes: “Picture it: You get to the office, grab a keyboard off the shelf (because air typing still sucks), and find an open space. You log in to your glasses, and your entire workspace appears... Read more »
  • Lack of Leadership
    Excerpt from “Purpose Meets Execution” by Louis Efron (Routledge, 2017).Article Author: Louis Efron Purpose-based organizations tend to attract and hire very smart and driven people. As the organization grows, these people can believe they can do any role well, even leading people, because they are so passionate about the organization’s purpose. There is a tendency to promote great individual contributors loyal to the cause into leadership and management roles without any assessment or even a discussion to determine whether they will be good people leaders. In most cases, there is not even a day of training that accompanies this significant promotion. These people are tossed into the leadership waters to sink or swim. In many cases, they sink as they fail to engage those around them. Sadly, it is only when the organization starts to face substantial business troubles that these people get called out to take the blame for... Read more »
  • Boosting Sales
    To be successful these days, salespeople have to be creative problem solvers—advice and expertise win business nowadays, rather than simply the product or service the salesperson represents.Article Author: By Michael Rosenthal, Managing Partner, Consensus Q: I support our organization’s Sales function, and am looking to address a persistent challenge. While prospective customers consistently express interest in our company’s solutions, they are less willing to buy. This, combined with rumors of departmental layoffs, has taken its toll on morale among the sales team. I want to help, but don’t know where to start. A: Selling in today’s economy can be challenging and, therefore, discouraging. At the same time, when things aren’t running smoothly, it can be a great wake-up call for identifying better practices and building on one’s skill set. Now more than ever, a salesperson’s role is less about providing product information and more about creating value for the customer. In fact, customers’... Read more »
  • Fostering Curiosity: The Hunger To Learn
    We need more opportunities for curiosity to flourish where we work.Article Author: By Roy Saunderson, Chief Learning Officer, Rideau Recognition Solutions The character, Alice, in the book, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” once exclaimed how she was “Curiouser and curiouser!” While Alice realized this was not proper English when she said it, her adventures are a great example of the power of exploration and learning from being curious. Most of us think we understand what curiosity is. But what does it really mean? Can we actually foster and develop curiosity and apply it to learning in the workplace? ALWAYS THINKING “WHY?” We all have moments of curiosity when we wonder why something happened or how something works. However, besides this momentary curiosity as a state of mind, it also can be a stable personality trait for some people. Some of us are high in curiosity, while others are low in this attribute. Children are born with an... Read more »
  • The Human Factor
    It is always a good idea to “watch your economics,” but be careful not to forget that caring about people is one of the most essential characteristics of successful trainers.Article Author: By Bob Pike, CPLP Fellow, CSP, CPAE-Speakers Hall of Fame Tough economic times bring out some of the scariest mandates in American business: Become lean and mean. Trim the excess fat. Do more with less. Training departments are not above these directives, however stopgap they may seem. Like other corporate functions, Training is told to prove it makes a difference or have its budget sliced. Training is told to contribute to the bottom line and stay focused on that goal or be ignored by line managers who must buy— literally and figuratively—what you have to offer. Training is told to get people in and out of the classroom faster because employees are too busy to spend a lot of time learning.... Read more »
  • Lighting And Leading The Way
    The primary paradox we face today is that we are desperately looking to leadership to light the path to a better tomorrow at precisely the moment they feel the most insecure in their ability to lead the way.Article Author: By Tony O’Driscoll, Global Head, DukeCE Labs Almost a quarter-century ago, social philosopher Charles Handy’s prophetic book, “The Age of Paradox,” foreshadowed seismic shifts in the global economy triggered by new technologies that would disrupt entire industries and compel corporations to doggedly pursue productivity gains to propel their share price into the stratosphere. Importantly, Handy warned us that this technologically accelerated causal chain of events would create a host of paradoxes for societies, economies, organizations, and individuals to grapple with. Welcome to the Age of Paradox. Since the introduction of the Mosaic browser in 1993, the Internet and its social and mobile cousins have woven the Web into a digital nervous system that connects... Read more »
  • A Strategy For Improving Learning
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    Prioritizing activities with the biggest influence on alignment, effectiveness, and efficiency for the business, the learner, and the Learning function is a practical and integrated strategy for improvement.Article Author: Brenda Sugrue, Global Chief Learning Officer, EYThe concepts of alignment, effectiveness, and efficiency have been used for decades as a framework for managing and measuring corporate functions, including Learning. If we look at these outcomes through three lenses—the business, the learner, and the function—we can formulate a strategy for improving corporate learning.             Alignment Business alignment requires investment in those people (roles, groups) and skills that are most important to executing business strategy. For example, if a company's growth strategy is to focus on emerging markets, this can justify and, indeed, necessitate differential investment in developing the skills of employees in those countries. If a company is relying on a new product or service to drive growth, then investment in learning opportunities for people responsible... Read more »
  • Sexual Harassment Training: Myths And Reality
    Many organizations turn to the least expensive anti-harassment training “solution” with poorly acted videos demonstrating blatant and unrealistic scenarios that turn the training into a joke.Article Author: By Neal Goodman, Ph.D., President, Global Dynamics, Inc. New reports of sexual harassment at work appear daily. According to a 2016 report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as many as 85 percent of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work (https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/task_force/harassment/upload/report.pdf). The response that many organizations are taking to end sexual harassment is comparable to using a small bandage on a compound fracture. The EEOC task force found a majority of corporate sexual harassment prevention training programs have not prevented harassment even though NPR’s Marketplace reports that the anti-harassment training industry’s annual revenue reaches into the billions of dollars (https://www.marketplace.org/2017/04/06/business/companies-seek-legal-cover-attempts-limit-workplaceharassment). Prevention training is mandatory in some states such as California, Connecticut, and Maine, and between 70 and 90 percent of... Read more »
  • Focus On Brazil
    While networking is important in any culture, cultivating relationships and connections is even more critical for getting things done in Brazil.Article Author: Dr. Curtis D. Curry, COO, Quality Learning International A security guard stood nearby as I waited in the otherwise empty office lobby for a driver to pick me up and return me to my São Paulo hotel. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a Brazilian woman open one of the large glass doors and enter the building. At first, she headed for the elevators, but once she saw me, she smiled and quickly changed course toward me. She broadened her smile further, introduced herself as the spouse of one of the leaders in my training program, moved to within inches of my face, and warmly shook my hand. She enthusiastically welcomed me to Brazil, said she hoped the training had gone well, and wished me a... Read more »
  • Conduct A Training CSI
    Determining the root cause of an organizational problem requires L&D professionals to go in with a CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) mindset. Gather the tools, your observation skills, and your questioning mind.Article Author: Shannon Tipton, Owner, Learning Rebels You know the drill: Something has happened ...something is changing...a problem needs to be solved, and the Training department is called on to create a training program to make everything right. But just as we cannot investigate a crime unless we know what crime has been committed, we cannot address a problem unless we know the true nature of it. It’s time to put on our Sherlock Holmes hat. Where do we start? Most Learning professionals would raise their hands and state, “Training Needs Analysis” (TNA). They would be correct to start there, but problems arise when we look at the TNA through an incorrect lens. Determining the root cause of the actual problem requires the L&D... Read more »
  • Creating Stories That Work
    Applying narrative assessment to executive coaching.Article Author: Robert Barner, Ph.D., Professor, Southern Methodist University As individuals, we strive to make sense of our life experiences. Our narratives, or life stories, are the organizing vehicles we use to weave our daily experiences into meaningful patterns. As with any good novel, each life story comes complete with its own unique, tangible plot (i.e., “the search for redemption,” “being fully committed to success”); unexpected plot twists (i.e., job loss, divorce, unanticipated eldercare responsibilities); and associated themes (i.e., life story as drama, tragedy, comedy, or action-adventure). So what do narratives have to do with your coaching practice? To answer this, you first need to understand that our life stories are not descriptions of our life events; they are the method we use to construct meaning from those life events. In other words, when it comes to constructing our narratives, each of us carries around an active... Read more »
  • Strategies To Make Learning Stick
    Learning retention must be approached through the holistic integration of learning methodologies with how people actually learn in the workplace.Article Author: Ross Tartell, Ph.D., Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia University The U.S. has made a tremendous commitment to training. Training magazine’s 2017 U.S. Training Industry Report shows that U.S. businesses spent $93.65 billion to train their employees. That equates to an average of $1,075 per learner across all industries. But the perception is that training often does not yield the intended results, and research on the transfer of training to the job indicates that 80 percent of the learning is not applied to the work. The consequences are dire for U.S. competitiveness. The St. Louis Federal Reserve reports that the U.S., once known for having the best-trained and educated workforce in the world, has lost much of its lead. In addition, the 2016 Future of Jobs Report issued by the World Economic Forum,... Read more »
  • Products & Services (Jan/Feb 2018)
    The latest products and services launching in the training industry.Article Author: Lorri Freifeld CreativeLive, a creative education platform featuring online classes taught by top experts, unveiled CreativeLive For Business, a new subscription-based learning solution designed to serve the needs of corporations, organizations, and small businesses, offering access to more than 1,500 classes. Bravely announced a new platform that connects employees with expert communication and conflict coaches for off-the-record conversations about workplace issues. Through Bravely’s application, employees can confidentially describe the issue they’re facing and schedule a phone consultation with an expert coach or HR professional. Salesforce, a global leader in customer relationship management (CRM), announced myTrailhead, which allows companies to customize the Trailhead gamified online learning platform with their own content and branding—from custom onboarding trails to company-specific enablement skills. Skillsoft, a global leader in corporate learning, introduced a digital transformation course series aimed at helping customers leverage digital technology at scale. Digital Transformation... Read more »
  • Front-Line Management 101: 2018 Leader Resolution #1: Ease Up on E-mail
    On average, we send approximately 206 billion e-mails daily, according to blogger Kenneth Burke. How can you get a few minutes back in your day—and share them as much-needed time with your team?Article Author: By Ashley Prisant Lesko, Ph.D. 2018 brings a host of resolutions most of us will break by January 31. What about areas of leadership? One skill many leaders struggle with in time management is the art of managing e-mail. On average, we send approximately 206 billion e-mails daily, according to blogger Kenneth Burke (https://www.textrequest.com/blog/howmany-emails-do-people-get-every-day/). How can you get a few minutes back in your day—and share them as much-needed time with your team? 1. Block time on your calendar. Figure out how often you really need to check e-mail. Try for five minutes at the end of every hour or 30 minutes, or two to three times a day. And stick to it. 2. Shut down the e-mail application... Read more »