Here’s what I learned from trying Pecha Kucha

I’ve written about Pecha Kucha-style presentations before (Pecha Kucha: PowerPoint presentations as performance art! and Want to be creative in your next presentation? Try Pecha Kucha-style!), but I’d never actually put one together until last week.

What is Pecha Kucha?

Pecha Kucha-style presentations are tightly structured presentations that require you to present on your topic using exactly 20 slides, each slide lasting only 20 seconds. The slides are generally set to auto-advance. The entire presentation is six minutes and forty seconds.

Pecha Kucha Lessons Learned

I had an opportunity to serve as the emcee at this year’s ATD Puget Sound Chapter annual workplace learning conference. One of the breakout presentations was on the topic of Pecha Kucha-style presentations and, in the spirit of showing participants one potential way to apply what was learned during the day, I thought it would be fun to issue a closing call-to-action using the Pecha Kucha format.

Here is a video of my presentation, and a few lessons Continue reading

Crowdsourcing Training Trivia

Crowd Sourcing

This coming Thursday I’ll be serving as the emcee for the Association of Talent Development Puget Sound (ATDps) chapter’s annual conference. As I was talking over this opportunity with a colleague, she asked what I’d be doing to engage the audience from the beginning.

One idea that came to me is that we could get the audience engaged before the session even begins. This is where, dear reader, I need some help from you today.   Continue reading

Gamification in New Hire Orientation

Recently, I was fortunate enough to work alongside Miranda Greenberg and Marci Morford on one of the most creative and fun projects I’ve ever worked on in my career.

I wrote about this in a two-part case study: An New Employee Orientation Overhaul and The Exciting Conclusion: What Happens When A New Hire Orientation Becomes a Game.

After speaking with Alex Moore at the Association for Talent Development, we were also given an opportunity to share about adding gamification in new hire orientation, which was published in TD magazine. Continue reading

Award-winning Learning and Development Team

“Hey! How’s your day going?”

A co-worker threw that question to me on Friday morning as I was walking to my desk for a few minutes of meeting-free respite.

“Fine,” I replied.

“Just fine?!” she asked.

“Uh. Yeah. Good. No, today is great. I guess. It’s fine. Stop badgering me.”

“We won that award!” she said.

It took a moment for that comment to register. Scanning my memory bank for a few seconds, it all came back to me. At the end of September, we had submitted an application for ATD’s Excellence in Practice award program in the category of Performance Improvement. Apparently, ATD mad us an award-winning Learning and Development Team.    Continue reading

Why I’ve asked every trainer at my organization to attend our local ATD chapter’s annual conference

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I work at an eye bank. I’m surrounded by a lot of very smart people. We cure a lot of blindness. We want to cure more, so we’re growing.

As we grow and roles get more specialized, many of our departments have created technical training positions. While the people who fill those positions are among the best in the world at what they do, they’ve had very little exposure to trends and best practices in learning and professional development.   Continue reading

Case Study: Add Staff to Improve Training ROI

On November 5, 2015, I happened to be speaking with a training colleague from another department when she began telling me the story of how she was finally able to add a .5 FTE to her training team. I asked how it was working out for her, and she began rattling off all the benefits she was seeing.

It had helped lighten her workload. She had a new partner in crime with whom she could kick ideas around. This new training person was super-high quality.

“This is exciting,” I said, “but have you seen any impact… as in anything you can quantify?”  Continue reading

A time and place to think inside the box

Have you ever wondered where the phrase “think outside the box” comes from?

After a quick search through several sources and sites, it seems to have originated from some management consultants who used the “Nine Dot Puzzle” to challenge their clients to think more creatively.

9 Dots

You will find no bigger advocate than me when it comes to the need for training professionals to be creative and innovative. But there’s a time and a place for everything. Continue reading

Play in the Training Room has a Perception Problem. Let’s Fix It!

Play

Some feel that “play” is a four letter word when it comes to training and professional development. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with using play as an engagement strategy… as long as it’s an intentional design element.

This month I was asked by the folks at TD magazine to write an article outlining some specific ways that L&D professionals can incorporate play (with a purpose) into various delivery methods – from classroom-based to webinars to performance support.

It was an honor to be asked to write for TD’s “Fundamentals” section. If you have five minutes or so and are interested in how you can incorporate more play into your next training program, give it a read… and then let me know what you think.

Do you feel “play” is appropriate for the professional training room?

What’s Missing from ATD ICE?

Searching (Blank Face)

ATD’s annual international conference and expo began yesterday, and I have a feeling it’s missing something (and I’m not necessarily talking about me… although really, what good is a conference without me?).

I’ve been to several ATD conferences and a SHRM Talent Development conference over the past few years and they all seem to be missing something.

The crowds I’ve encountered at the ATD conferences have primarily included instructional designers, training program managers, classroom instructors and some independent consultants. The SHRM conference was primarily HR professionals – business partners, generalists, department heads and consultants.

I imagine it’s similar at major conferences for professionals in coaching or organizational development. On the one hand, it’s to be expected. These conferences, after all, are for specialized segments of the greater human performance field. On the other hand, none of these initiatives can be successful if professionals from across the human performance spectrum don’t have opportunities to cross-pollinate.

Recently, as I got involved in my local ATD chapter, I was given an opportunity to work on an annual program called the Allied Professionals Event, which will take place on June 9th in Seattle. I’m looking forward to it because it is the one night of the year when people from across these specialized areas – learning & development, human resources, coaching and organizational development – can all come together, spend some time networking and discussing what’s on their minds, and then listen to some of the region’s rock star executives in both HR and business operations speak to the impact of human performance initiatives on the people within their organizations.

If you’re in the Seattle area, I’d like to invite you to attend (here is the registration information) and I’d love to hear what you’re working on. If you’re someplace else in this world, I’d love to hear from you – have you found similar opportunities to engage with your counterparts from other areas of the human performance spectrum?

While I know large national conferences are organized for specialized groups that make up their membership, are they completely serving their members’ best interests with such a narrow focus across all conference programming?

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let’s hear it in the Comment section.

Know someone who might be interested in this type of initiative, please pass this along!

5 Reasons I Got Involved With My Local ATD Chapter

 

ATDps Logo

Some professional associations offer little more than another line on your resume. Honestly, this was a big reason why I joined my local ATD chapter a few years ago. I had been a member of the national association for a while, I was beginning a job search and I wanted to show potential employers how connected and invested I was in the world of talent development.

As I’ve come to attend more local chapter meetings and more recently, as I’ve become involved in a more official capacity with the chapter, I’ve found that the benefits go much further than a simple line on my resume. Here are five benefits I’ve enjoyed as I’ve gotten more involved, and these benefits double as five reasons you should consider not just joining but becoming involved in your local ATD (or other professional association) chapter, too.

1. Networking. I continue to be surprised by what I can learn just by talking with others in the L&D field. Over the past week, I’ve had two conversations with two separate Board members of the local chapter, and I was introduced to two different sales models that their organizations use. Yes, I’m more of an instructional designer, but everyone in the training field needs to be able to sell their modules and resources to key influencers – whether at the executive level or line managers. If they don’t buy in, we don’t have traction.

2. Structured Learning. The chapter provides educational sessions on a monthly basis. Some of the speakers are great and talk about topics that I’m currently struggling with in my own work (free resources to make our LMS more user-friendly and engaging, evaluating training, creating a culture of learning). There are other times when I take more from small group conversations and other attendees. Sometimes a seed is planted and hopefully I’ll be able to use it at some point. Regardless, the monthly chapter meetings help remind me that I need to take a few hours out of the month to come up for air and sharpen my own skill set.

3. A Learning Community. I work on a very small training team, so being able to geek out on training ideas with other like-minded individuals on a regular basis is both energizing and helps open my eyes to a world of new possibilities.

4. Playing with House Money. Recently I volunteered to take on the role of “partnerships coordinator”, figuring: what do I have to lose? Stepping into a situation in which I have to seek out new relationships and approach potential corporate sponsors goes a tad beyond my comfort zone, and it’s a skill set I wouldn’t have a chance to work on in any other setting. Yay for personal and professional development!

5. The Lay of the Land. It’s so easy to focus solely on my work at my day job and not care about what others are doing or how they’re doing it. After all, in my day job, I have an opportunity to cure blindness. How cool is that? Except, I can’t do that to the best of my abilities if I’m not on the cutting edge of learning and development. Being more active in the local chapter has given me a much broader perspective on what people are doing and how their learning departments are organized and how their projects are managed. As part of the local chapter, I soak up insights on professional development from independent contractors, small consulting firms, large aerospace companies and huge technology firms.

And you? Have you found any benefits to getting more involved in professional associations in your local area?