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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When training is a matter of life and death. Literally.

While many of us are extremely passionate about being able to bring amazing learning experiences to our audiences, very few of us can say that the work we do can literally make the difference between life and death.

Colonel Andy Saslav has been leading troops in the U.S. Army for more than two decades, and while it’s true that the training he puts people through can indeed literally help save lives, the lessons we can all take away from how training is done in the U.S. Army are seemingly countless.

I’m not suggesting that each of us becomes more drill sergeant-like in our approach (though it’s a fun thought: Hey! You! Get your thoughts down on that flipchart! NOW! I SAID NOW! MOVE IT! MOVE IT!). The nuggets that Colonel Saslav was able to share about the way in which the Army uses reflection, coaching, feedback and critical thinking is something we can all certainly learn from.

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What is xAPI and should you be using it to collect data?

Last week I had the pleasure of talking with Megan Torrance of TorranceLearning. I’ve seen her talk about xAPI at conferences and post about it on LinkedIn, but I wanted an opportunity to connect and learn more about what xAPI is and who should be using it (plus we learned that she grew up in the very small town in western New York where my father now lives!).

If you don’t feel like you’re getting the data you need from your learning programs, then this short conversation with Megan could change the way you decide to collect data.

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L&D-style Out Of Office Messages

As the calendar turns to July and the country opens up to tourism and travel once again, it seems to be vacation season. If you’re planning to take some time off and want to bring a little something extra to your out of office replies, try adding any of the following to your out of office messages (and then see if anyone is paying attention to your automated responses)!

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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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Experiments in Learning Design: Ex + Lp = Much More Engaging SME Presentations

Last week I began to share some “experiments in learning design” based upon the following periodic table (which is the basis for my upcoming book, What’s Your Formula: Combine Learning Elements for Impactful Training):

This week we’ll take a look at another experiment. Today’s experiment revolves around the question: Are there ways to support SMEs to help their presentations to be more engaging and effective when they’re asked to train other people?

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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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