Why it’s good to have L&D friends outside of your own organization

How many people do you talk with about learning and development outside of your colleagues and co-workers in your organization?

Recently, my friend Betty Dannewitz and I had a chance to sit down and discuss the importance of having “friends” across the L&D landscape, especially people outside of our own organizations, with whom we can talk, brainstorm ideas, collaborate or just plain nerd out.

If you’re not sure where to find people outside of your organization, social media such as LinkedIn or Twitter could be a good place to start. Attending a local ATD chapter event could also be a way to begin connecting with other L&D professionals in your area. Want more ideas? Give this week’s podcast a listen!

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Tips On Establishing A Structured On-The-Job Training Program

Is all of your orientation and onboarding done in a classroom? Or perhaps it’s done via Elearning? How much of it is on-the-job training?

Several weeks ago at the Association for Talent Development’s annual International Conference and Expo, I had the opportunity to meet presenter, author and Head of Training at Baker Construction Enterprises, Paul Smith. Paul has literally written the book on how his organization successfully implemented a formal, structured on-the-job training program that effectively helps bring new employees up to speed while also helping them to feel supported in their new work environment.

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How can everyone on your team learn from one person’s professional development experience?

On Thursday, I shared a short story about a recent team meeting that was nothing short of magical. One of my colleagues, Erin Clarke, had recently attended a virtual conference and shared a few of her take-aways with the rest of our team. As she shared, the team grew more curious about how the rest of us could apply some of the things Erin was sharing.

Perhaps you just returned from ATD’s International Conference and Expo. Perhaps you or someone on your team attended a virtual conference, or even a webinar. During today’s podcast, Erin and I talked a little more about how she was able to inspire the entire team with both curiosity and the desire to try new things by sharing her own virtual conference experience.

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What are the most “radioactive” elements you can include in a training program?

The Association for Talent Development’s International Conference and Expo kicks off in earnest today, and in the final podcast of our series featuring ATD ICE speakers, my longtime friend and fellow L&D nerd (and VP of Organization Development at FORUM Credit Union in Indianapolis), Michelle Baker, fills in as our podcast interviewer to ask me some questions about my upcoming session (which will take place on Wednesday, September 1, from 8am – 9am Mountain time).

My presentation will focus on the “radioactive” elements that are often (mis)used in training programs, and how they can best be leveraged to yield maximum impact on your learners. These elements include lecture, PowerPoint, subject matter experts, handouts, smile sheets, icebreakers, elearning, augmented reality, role play, games and data.

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Helping SMEs Become More Effective Presenters through Communities of Practice

For years I’ve facilitated presentation skills programs and train the trainer programs for Subject Matter Experts, hoping that they’d buy into the idea of adult learning theory, some basic instructional design principles and the need to abandon bullet point-laden PowerPoint slides. It’s worked to varying degrees of success.

Later this month at the Association for Talent Development’s (ATD) International Conference and Expo (ICE), Darlene Brady Christopher, who is a Senior Knowledge and Learning Officer with the World Bank, will be sharing her experiences from a program that has seen great success converting SMEs to more effective presenters. Through a bonus podcast this week, we went into more depth about how her community of practice program has helped keep SMEs at the World Bank engaged and interested on becoming stronger presenters.

If you plan to be at ATD ICE, Darlene’s session will be on August 30, from 1:00pm – 2:00pm.

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What Are The Top 200 Tools for Learning?

Since 2007, Jane Hart has been compiling a list of the top 200 tools that learning professionals find the most useful. It began by asking a few people to opine and now her annual top 200 list receives votes from thousands of learning and development practitioners from around the world.

What trends has she seen? What’s been the most surprising tool to top the list over the past 14 years? Take a few minutes to hear about why she originally began compiling this ranking and what she’s learned in doing it.

And don’t forget to make your voice heard. Vote on your most useful tools before voting closes at noon (BST) on Thursday, August 26!

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Developing an L&D “playbook”

Later this month, Brandon Carson, a Vice President of Learning & Leadership at Walmart and author of the recently published book, L&D’s Playbook for the Digital Age, will be speaking at the Association for Talent Development’s annual International Conference and Expo about the importance of developing an L&D playbook for the digital age.

Recently I had a chance to talk with Brandon, and my biggest take-away was that it’s silly for folks in L&D to insist on a “seat at the table” where decisions are made in an organization if we haven’t done our homework and identified the needs of individuals and teams we’re working with. L&D professionals shouldn’t wait for someone to tell them to do a needs assessment. We need to be proactive, which is how we bring value to the table.

Of course, once a needs assessment has been conducted, then we need a strategy to address those needs. That’s where Brandon’s concept of a “playbook” comes in.

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Nontraditional Methods for Learning Reinforcement

It’s one thing to put together a creative, well-designed and engaging learning experience. It’s another thing to have your learners return to their jobs and apply what they’ve learned in the real world.

One of the biggest barriers to having your learners apply what they’ve learned is the fact that the brain simply forgets a lot of the stuff they’ve learned over the course of the day. If they can’t retain what they’ve learned, they can’t apply it.

Enter the strategy of learning reinforcement – opportunities to remind your learners about what they’ve learned, after they’ve completed a learning experience. Shannon Tipton, owner of Learning Rebels LLC, has some thoughts about using existing technologies in a nontraditional way to help reinforce the learning.

Shannon will be sharing these thoughts more in depth later this month at the Association for Talent Development’s International Conference and Expo as part of her session entitled: Drips, Bots and Blogs – Oh My! Nontraditional Methods for Learning Reinforcement.

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How “weird” or “novel” should leadership development training be?

At the end of this month, the Association for Talent Development will be hosting their annual International Conference and Expo in Salt Lake City. During the conference, Amy Posey, CEO and Chief Weirdo at Super*Mega*Boss will be facilitating a workshop entitled Why Weirdness Works: Using Novelty to Create Better Learning Experiences in Leadership Development.

Recently I had a chance to talk with Amy about this concept of “using weirdness”, and she not only shared a little about her approach, but also a little about the research behind why a novel approach can be extremely effective.

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More Effective Compliance Training Through Storytelling

Training that you’re required to take for your job – think about things like safety training, anti-sexual harassment training, fraud prevention – can be some of the most difficult training to complete. Will any of this stuff really happen to me? Yeah, I get it that the company needs to make sure all its bases are covered, but does it have to bore me to tears while covering its bases?

In late August, the Association for Talent Development will be bringing thousands of training professionals together, in-person, for its annual International Conference and Expo (ICE), and Rance Greene will be leading a presentation on how to transform your organization’s compliance training through the power of storytelling. Rance is the author of Instructional Story Design: Develop Stories that Train, and we recently had an opportunity to come together and discuss his upcoming presentation.

If you happen to be headed to Salt Lake City for ATD ICE, you can find Rance’s presentation on August 29 from 10:30am – 11:30am.

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