“She works on learning and technology
in a way that is creative, concrete and quirky”

Whither higher education? To the opera!

Making Evidence-based Decisions

I often think about the condition of higher education, but was concerned not at all when I  went to see "La Boheme" in a movie theater at the mall. Opera in San Diego Opera is very much on the minds of San Diegans. Recently and suddenly, our local opera announced it was closing. The situation here is as it is in many places: aging donors and audiences, increasing costs, decreasing revenue, and competing entertainments. The leader of the opera, Ian Campbell, and his gigantic board, chose to die swiftly at their own hand. All hell broke loose. Was it as dire as Campbell and the Board proclaimed? Why the rush? Were there no affluent … [Read more...]

A Training Professional Seeks a Yoga Practice

Andalusa wasn't wrong in her evaluation, but neither was she motivating

Malinka My first ever yoga class happened six miles from my house. I was annoyed about the distance, but because Malinka had strong recommendations, I drove across town. Malinka, not her real name, was known as a laid-back teacher, which appealed to me. The last thing I need is a yoga instructor that encourages my competitive streak. As I drove to the session, I wondered about who would be in the class and whether I would be able to keep up. I looked around but couldn't tell anything about my classmates. In Malinka's dark living room, I could discern seven lumps lying quietly, each in a personal cave comprised of four fluffy blankets … [Read more...]

Sue describes her online learning as excruciating

Unmotivated to learn online

Sue got caught texting while sitting in her car at a stoplight. She was just sitting there when law enforcement nabbed her. But that's another matter. We are here to talk about how Sue dealt with the ticket she got. In California, those of us who get tickets may reduce the penalty via traffic school. Some turn to Clown Traffic School or my personal favorite, Shop 'til You Drop  Traffic School. There are even gay and lesbian training options. Sue decided that e-learning made the most sense for her. She did it for the usual reasons associated with online education: access on demand, novelty, and location, location, location. She paid up. … [Read more...]

The best way to strengthen the learning organization is to ….

The best way to strengthen the learning organization is to ….

A friend took over a large, far-flung learning organization. His task was to strengthen it. Strengthen it. Two words, hundreds of possibilities. Perhaps my recommendations aren't what you would expect: Think less about the learning organization and more about the company or agency. Get really smart about the context. What is keeping the executives up at night? They want  you to strengthen learning in order to do what? Change what? Add what? Fix what? Fight the inclination to tend to your edifice and head count. Instead focus on building learning, community and reference capacity in line with organizational priorities. Deliver less … [Read more...]

The Color Becomes Me: More Lessons from Larry

The coloring process

You met Larry, my hair color consultant, in my prior post. The big day arrived. The time had come for Larry to work on my hair. It had been eight days since our brief diagnostic meeting. I was concerned that he wouldn't remember me. But he did. Larry remembered my hair, my problem, and my goals. He urged us to review them together to make certain. He proposed to do something he called low lights. He asked me if that was OK. I started to nod and then stopped myself. I admitted that I had no idea what low lights were. His explanation was sufficient. I wanted whatever he said. Then I removed my earrings, sipped my water, and leaned … [Read more...]

Colorful Consulting: Lessons from Larry

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Today I learned about consulting from a surprising source. It began at lunch yesterday, when my usually positive pal Ellie remarked that my hair wasn’t looking so great. I think the word she used was listless. The cut was fine. But she wondered about the color. What was up with the color? In order to tell this story I have to admit that I’ve been throwing color at my hair for years. Recently, I’ve encouraged my stylist to use a bit less color, to help me transition to a more real me, a salt and pepper me. But it has been a few steps forward and then about the same number of steps backwards. Just when I think I am ready to let the … [Read more...]

Introducing WorkLearnMobile– it’s all about mobile

Of course, Qualcomm is interested in mobile learning and support. The very global, San Diego-based company is the leading patent holder on 3G and 4G mobile technologies. Their self interest delivers benefits to the rest of us. As impetus for more and better mobile learning and performance support, they've launched WorkLearnMobile-- The Mobile Learning Innovation Network. On the resource rich site, Geoff Stead, who leads the mobile learning/support effort for the company, blogs about technology implications for learning and performance. His first entry presents 8 trends in a way that helps readers look beyond the hype. The trends range from … [Read more...]

Compliance Training: Doing Something About the Least Popular Training on Earth

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Compliance training satisfies few who experience it. Not only do we often fritter away this opportunity, I have come to believe that compliance training promotes cynicism about all of workplace learning. Complaining about compliance is not good enough. I convened a panel devoted to improving compliance training at the Corporate Learning Summit conference in Chicago. Meet the panel I sought panelists who believe in enhanced compliance and regulatory training. Meet three optimistic and active learning executives. Samantha Hammock is Vice President, Regulatory Learning and Administration, for American Express. Justin Lombardo was … [Read more...]

Leader development is the question. Is mobile the answer?

When you look at the numbers associated with workplace learning and development, the investment in leader performance jumps out. Bersin Associates, now a unit within Deloitte, wrote this in 2012: U.S. companies have increased leadership development spending 14 percent over 2011 levels to an estimated $13.6 billion in 2012. The Bersin group notes that this spending is extending beyond senior leaders and to mid-level and even first-level managers. Talent Edge 2020, a longitudinal study of the matters weighing on executives’ minds, identified leadership as their most pressing talent concern. Can we rely on training and development for … [Read more...]

Moving beyond the classroom — talk that leads to action

The learning organization of the last century focused on the classroom. That was challenge enough. Today, the canvas of the learning organization expands to include the classroom and the world of work. With humility about the influence of scheduled training events, learning leaders now are asked to deliver experiences, resources and relationships on demand, where and when needed. While this shift is good in many ways, it is no slam dunk. Let's look in on a conversation between Erun, a global learning leader and a workplace learning professional, Meg. Meg has been asked by the VP of Sales to “develop a dynamic, digital training … [Read more...]