Death to Learning & Development! Fact or Fiction?

revolutionIs workplace learning and development (L&D) dying? Does it deserve to continue to exist? What should L&D become to survive? These are some of the questions people have recently been asking. My friend and colleague, Tom Spiglanin, just blogged about a significant change in the workplace learning space. Tom knows his stuff and I encourage you to read his post, “It’s Happening” first before reading this. But also, Tom (and me too) is open to discussion so please share your opinions. Read the rest of this entry »

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3 Career ‘Must Do’ Resolutions!

Yup, another year over and the pressure of another year is upon us. To be honest, ringing in a new year is exciting but at the same time extremely intimidating.

Recently, on my regular radio workplace segment on CJAD800 Radio, my friend, journalist and talk-show host James Mennie (Twitter @jamesmennie) asked an interesting question. He asked, “Should you only develop your career skills and marketability to find a new job?” Regretfully, many people believe this and only act when they need or want to find a new job. Too many people polish themselves up when they are seeking a new job and coast in their current job.

The reality is that it really doesn’t matter whether you are starting your career or seeking career mobility the pressure is on to be better, smarter, and current on just about everything about your career and to be career marketable.

So, here are some of what I believe to be the most relevant ‘Must Do’ items for your career and professional development growth.

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Trends, Goals, and Professional Development….Planning for 2016

The 35th anniversary of John Lennon’s death just passed but his word remain…“So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over. And a new one just begun.”

Yes. Another year is over and what have you done? If you are unable to fully answer this question don’t worry, you are not alone. The end of a year comes upon us quickly and it is often difficult to reconcile considering the promise a start of the year offers.

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The Real Business of Learning Evaluation

Thank you to Con Sotidis (@LearnKotch) and #OzLearn for inviting me to be part of their upcoming Nov 10, 2015 (8pm AEDT) Twitter Chat. I wish my L&D colleagues ‘down unda’ learn as much from my perspective as I expect to discover from them.

boss-hidingBusiness leaders place Learning practitioners under tremendous pressure to demonstrate that their learning efforts are worth the budget they allocate. This is probably one of the biggest challenges facing those involved with any aspect of workplace learning.

There are many reasons why learning practitioners are unable to connect their efforts with actual workplace applications. One that stands out is that learning practitioners focus on the “learning” rather than on how learning impacts business performance.

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Don’t Drink the Learning Evaluation Kool-Aid!

knowledge-retention

Learning practitioners are taught early, or should I dare say brainwashed, to believe the ‘essential’ four levels of evaluation. Many of us refer to these levels as the Kirkpatrick’s Evaluation Model and it has been a cornerstone in every learning event and also a foundation for many evaluation models that followed.

But let’s be honest, the unspoken truth is that the Kirkpatrick model is flawed. Yes, I dare say it out loud and may the learning gods, and some of my peers, strike me down. While you pick you jaw off the floor, the fact is that the evaluation method has some apparent issues. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Love Letter to ATD for Hosting ICE 2015!

loveWe would like to begin by saying, thank you ATD 2015 for reminding we why we do what we do. ATD Conference organizers really know how the bring it!

We thank you because after a long, cold, and dark winter and an overwhelming demand of client mandates we were feeling unmotivated and questioning if our efforts as leading industry contributors are being heard or was it all for not? After the last few days meeting friends, peers, and followers it is all for something.

This post is to share our feelings with you because we don’t think we are alone in our self-reflection. After speaking to some other colleagues (also leading industry contributors) we were not the only ones feeling this way…and it seems ATD 2015 was the medicine to cure our melancholy.

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The Last Employee on Earth

Thank you to my friend Adam Weisblatt (@weisblatt) for contributing this post and sharing his truly unique perspective.

disengaged-employeeMegan the VP of Contractor Management in Operations went to see Ralph, an engineer who had been dodging her for a while.

“Ralph, we need to talk.” She had cornered him in the coffee room and he was busy trying to fuss with his tea in order to avoid direct eye contact.

“You are the last employee at the company and probably the last employee on earth. It’s 2025 already. We just don’t have the infrastructure for you to stay in this position. Why won’t you transition into a contractor status?”

Ralph absently responded “I just want the security.” Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s Not About ‘Learning’…It’s About Business Accountability!

3monkeysBusiness leaders place Learning practitioners under tremendous pressure to demonstrate that their learning efforts and initiatives are worth the budget they allocate to it. This is probably one of the biggest challenges facing those involved with any aspect of workplace learning.

There are many reasons why learning practitioners are unable to connect their efforts with actual workplace applications. One that stands out is that learning practitioners tend to focus on the “learning” rather than on how learning results impact business performance. Workplace learning likes to talk about being ‘accountable’ but behind the talk is an unfortunate reality where, like the three monkeys, the belief still exists that it will go away if we do not speak, see, or hear it. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Snake Oil’ From the Bully Pulpit

bullying2Recently, a well-respected workplace learning peer posted an interesting and conversation-inducing discussion about dealing with a ‘snake oil’ person within your personal learning network (PLN).

Personally, I found this blog post very insightful. I respect the message the post is attempting to communicate but a thought crossed my mind, “How prevalent is the issue of having a ‘snake-oil’ person in a PLN  become?” It doesn’t seem to be a significant issue within my PLNs.

Since it is not an issue for me, I reflected on how would I define a ‘snake oil’ person within my PLNs? And, do they exist in my PLN or other learning environments I participate?

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Giving Thanks for Turkey Stuffing & Lifelong Learning

windingroadPeople often say to us, “Wow, you’re lucky! You have everything you wished for.” We politely respond with a ‘thank you’…but what we really want to say is that both ‘luck’ and ‘wishes’ had nothing to do with it.

With (US) Thanksgiving only a few days away, we do believe that this is a good time to reflect. We reflected upon our successes and the good fortune that we experience in our personal and professional lives. Read the rest of this entry »

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