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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What’s the right formula when working with SMEs on training?

“How do we get subject matter experts (SMEs) to be better trainers?”

It’s a question I hear often, especially in light of the recent presentations I’ve been doing on the concept of radioactive elements, which comes from my book What’s Your Formula?

Before I dive more deeply into SMEs, I want to remind everyone what “radioactive elements” are. Radioactive elements are components of training that can be very powerful, but they can also be very dangerous or even harmful if they’re not used very well. As you can see from the image below, these elements include some of the most commonly used pieces for training today: lecture, PowerPoint, SMEs, handouts, smile sheets (level 1 evaluation forms), icebreakers, elearning, augmented reality, role play, games and data.

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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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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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Help! My podcast was highjacked!

Ok, “highjacked” may be a little extreme. Maybe “I yielded the interviewer seat to a professional colleague so I could be the subject of the interview” is more like it.

You may have heard that I have a book coming out tomorrow.

At some point in 2011 I decided I wanted to write a book, but my writing was rusty. My 2012 New Years Resolution was to start a blog in hopes that I could knock off the writing rust while compiling some ideas about learning and development. Here we are, about 10 years after I had the urge to write a book. And in today’s Train Like You Listen episode, Sophie Oberstein (author of Troubleshooting for Trainers) spent some time grilling me about this book.

Today’s episode is a little longer than usual, so if you don’t have the time to listen to this witty back-and-forth between Sophie and I, then just trust me, my book is awesome and you ought to buy it!

I write that last arrogant suggestion in quasi-jest (if you think the book could be helpful to you as you put together your training programs, I’d love if you bought a copy!). I’d like to thank each and every one of you for taking some time out of your schedule to read my posts and listen to my podcasts each week, thank you for the likes and comments and shares. Thank you for the emails and direct messages you’ve sent. You make me feel like I have something to offer the learning and development community.

Now without further ado, this week’s podcast…

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Why learn everything today when you can learn it slowly, over the next month?

When I was a kid, I used to talk with my friends about how cool it would be if we could just take some sort of pill so that we could know everything we needed to know, and we wouldn’t have to go to school any more.

I think it’s human nature to constantly be looking for shortcuts. There are a lot of times when we don’t need to master knowledge or content, a quick visit to Google or YouTube gives us everything we need. On the other hand, getting really, really good at what you do – whether it’s elearning design, classroom training design, whatever – takes time. There are no shortcuts to mastering your craft.

On this week’s podcast, I had an opportunity to talk with eLearning Launch’s Chief of Awesomeness, Alexander Salas, about the value of learning cohorts as well as the value of learning over time (as opposed to trying to cram all your learning into one event).

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The Importance of Informal Learning: A Conversation with Jon Tota

The 70/20/10 model of professional development suggests that about 10% of what we learn comes through formal means (classes, courses, elearning, workshops, etc), about 20% of what we learn comes through supportive relationships (supervisor support, mentors, coaching, etc) and a whopping 70% of what we learn comes through informal means (stretch assignments, playing with new ideas, talking with colleagues, having coffee with LinkedIn connections, etc).

Jon Tota, founder of Syntax + Motion and host of the podcast Learning Life with Jon Tota, has literally made his living through the “70” part of the 70/20/10 model – by having conversations with other people. Recently, I had a chance to talk with Jon not just about the value of having conversations, but simply how to have meaningful and productive conversations with others in order to learn.

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Experiments in Learning Design: Al + Id + Hn = Surprising Your Participants

On June 29, my book What’s Your Formula: Combine Learning Elements for Impactful Design, will finally be available. I’ve teased this before and I’ll write more about it as the release date approaches, but the gist of the book is that you can (and should) string together various basic elements of learning design (see the periodic table below) to create amazing learning experiences.

Over the next few weeks we’ll explore some combinations of these elements, and I’ll try to find combinations that may not always be so natural or evident. For that reason, we’ll call this series: Experiments in Learning Design.

Today’s experiment: Mixing Al (Adult Learning) + Id (Instructional Design) + Hn (Handouts) to yield a way to grab your participants’ attention from the beginning.

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