Guest Post: Collaboration to Light Up Your Day

Light Up My Day

As many of you know, I recently launched a learning and development company named Endurance Learning. My co-founder, Tim Waxenfelter, shared the following story with me a few weeks ago and I thought it would make an excellent guest blog post.

When it comes to instructional design, having someone to bounce ideas around with generally leads to many, many better outcomes than if I’m just sitting by myself thinking through the design of a session. Following are Tim’s observations and thoughts on the idea that two heads are better than one:

I’m very lucky to be able to have my whole family together every night for dinner. It is one of my favorite parts of the day. We have a tradition where we ask “what lit up your day?”   Continue reading

The Need to Process: What L&D Pros can Learn from AMC’s The Talking Dead


A little while back, my family tried “cutting the (cable) cord” and we moved exclusively to local channels plus streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

After about a year and a half, we returned to cable and we enjoyed the ability to watch a brand new episode of The Walking Dead on the same night that the rest of America was watching it.

One night, after an episode had ended, we kept the tv on. We found a show called The Talking Dead aired immediately after The Walking Dead. In The Talking Dead, a panel of people (sometimes actors who had just been killed off on the most recent episode of The Walking Dead) would discuss the episode that just aired. It helped me process what had just happened in the show… and in the panel discussions, I found new ways of looking at events that had taken place.

Giving learners a similar opportunity following a training exercise is something facilitators and instructional designers should be building into their lesson plans. Here are five strategies Continue reading

The Key to Training Success in Exactly One Word

Employees return from a conference with energy and enthusiasm and new ideas only to drown in a tidal wave of voicemail and email messages waiting for them.  A new LMS is rolled out to great fanfare only to have enthusiasm fizzle three months down the road.

The more I work on training projects, the more I’m convinced that there is one word, one concept, one key ingredient that will ultimately determine the success or failure of a training initiative: momentum.


This thought was inspired, in part, when I read this recent post by blogger Ashley Robinson.  I encourage you to check out the entire post, but basically she shares the idea of not getting bogged down in this season of New Year’s Resolutions and instead offers the idea of committing to one word.  It sounds like a simple concept, but whittling down a bunch of thoughts and ideas and arguments and data into one word is quite a challenge.  It requires careful consideration and reflection on how to get to the most fundamental element of the matter.

Arguments can certainly be made that training will succeed or fail based upon sound instructional design, incorporating adult learning principles, establishing a relationship between the trainer/learner/learner’s manager, ensuring any learning intervention has a direct connection to professional development goals or identified learning gaps.

In the end, I believe that it can all be boiled down to momentum.  In order to create momentum, learning should indeed be fun (for more on this, check out Juliette Denny’s recent post), learning should indeed have good design, it should include managers in the process, learning should include effective assessments and take-home job aids.

But if all of these elements haven’t created momentum for the learning to be transferred to the job, the success and stickiness of training will surely fizzle.

A good question to keep in mind the next time you’re gearing up to design a presentation or training program is: how will my presentation facilitate momentum?