Flipping your training toolbox upside down

JD Dillon is an interesting creature. The best that I can tell, the guy eats, sleeps and breathes talent development. I’ve followed him on Twitter, I’ve seen and interacted with him at conferences. And he’s a total learning geek. So it’s fitting that his company is called LearnGeek.

Earlier this week we shared our latest Train Like You Listen podcast, featuring JD, and we had a chance to talk about organizational learning strategy and a modern learning ecosystem. I want to return to this idea in today’s post because there’s something fascinating about the modern learning ecosystem model that JD offers. It literally turns the tools we typically use in training and development on their heads.

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Prioritizing Learning and Development.

Generations tend to shift their priorities based on many things, like values and events that happen as they enter the workforce. As the youngest of our co-workers start their professional careers, many are noticing a shift in what they value from their employer in the form of benefits. One interesting thing I have encountered is the priority many people, across generations, are starting to place on learning and development over many other benefits that used to seem like the bee’s knees. Continue reading

What are training professionals actually doing with their time?

Several weeks ago I introduced our presentation design tool — Soapbox — and asked for volunteers willing to test it and provide feedback in our Beta phase. This week we’ll begin Beta testing on this tool intended to save people time in the design of their training programs.

As our Beta testers have waited to get their hands on Soapbox, we’ve asked them to participate in several short surveys about how they’re currently spending their time. Following are some insights from their responses.  Continue reading

Elements of Amazing Learning Experiences

If professional development experiences are a sort of lab, in which learners can test new knowledge and skills and instructional designers and trainers can concoct new and engaging ways to create amazing learning experiences, I wonder what the basic elements for this lab would be.

Being inspired as the son of a science teacher, I put together the Elements of Amazing Learning Experiences organized by solids, liquids, gases, radioactive elements and interactive elements.  Continue reading

Case Study: The Impact of Training One Year After Launch

A year ago I found myself in Birmingham, AL, helping to lead a train the trainer session as part of the launch and roll-out of a new sales training program.

A year later, we’ve been able to look at the impact of training through the lens of Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation and see the results and impact on each level, including a double-digit growth in sales for those stores who have implemented this program compared to those who haven’t.   Continue reading

Use Data to Make a Compelling Business Case for Training

Shortly after this year’s Super Bowl, this statistical analysis began making its way around the Internet:

Statistics used poorly

As a Buffalo Bills’ fan, I appreciated it.

As a training professional, it served as a very good reminder that numbers can be very deceiving.

So how do we make the best business case for training and professional development? Numbers can be helpful… if we use the right ones.   Continue reading

7 Presenter Gifts that Can’t Miss

As the Christmas season descends upon us and you stress out over that perfect gift for that special presenter in your life, I’m here to help you with a variety of presenter gifts at various price points. I’ve intentionally kept each of these gifts relatively small in size because presenters are constantly traveling and need things that are easy to cart around – whether simply moving from their desk to a conference room, or perhaps they’ll need to pack these things in a carry-on and haul it across the country or around the world.

Presenter Gifts Under $10.00

Mr Sketch - Inexpensive Presenter Gifts1. The Perfect Flip Chart Markers. I’ve raved about Mr. Sketch markers in the past – they’re long-lasting, they don’t bleed through the paper and they smell good. And just in time for the holidays, you can even get holiday-scented markers!

2. A Beach Ball. Having one or two of these around will give you the opportunity for an easy icebreaker – either planned or on the spur of the moment. I like this soccer ball-style beach ball because there are a lot of different, well-defined spaces. Write a get-to-know-you question (or a debrief question) in each panel and toss it around the room. Each learner needs to answer the question closest to their left thumb when they catch the ball. Want a fancier version (which may not quite fit into a stocking)? Try these pre-made activity balls from Trainers Warehouse.

Presenter Gifts Under $50.00

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