Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How to Turn Your Resident Experts Into Star Trainers

One of the great debates within the learning professional circle right now is whether subject-matters experts (SMEs) can be used as effective trainers. SMEs, which can come from anywhere — including within your very-own organization — are just people who happen to have an area of special expertise, whether that’s sales, using the computer system, or making coffee. In my experience, I’ve found that most trainers tend to believe that since these so-called “SME”s lack formal teaching skills of a trainer, they can’t do the job as effectively.
[Read More]

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Acknowledging Inspirational Tweeps in My New Book

I have a book coming out soon called Critical Skills All Learning Professionals Can Put to Use Today. It is my first book, so of course, I am excited about it. I want to share a few acknowledgments that I include in the book in a series of blog posts. It is just a way of showing gratitude to those who helped or otherwise inspired me to write the book. Here is one acknowledgement to the group on #lrnchat.

Excerpt from the Acknowledgement Page:

Finally, to my friends on #lrnchat. There are quite simply too many people to thank from this group, but I must say that my personal learning network (PLN), and friends on #lrnchat, have been an enormous inspiration to me and my attitudes toward how we need to steer the direction of our industry. Through our weekly #lrnchat Tweet chats, I am able to keep up with current
and future thinking in our fi eld and make some good friends to boot. If you are a learning professional and have not participated in #lrnchat, you are missing a golden opportunity to tap into the minds of a talented bunch of learning professionals, and also meet some very impressive people.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Seven Training Sins to Avoid at all Costs

Almost all of us have been stuck in a training class at some point with a bad trainer. So, to help spare the world from these mind-meltingly lame training sessions, I’ve compiled a list of the seven worst habits bad trainers exhibit — many of which were suggested over Twitter — and offered simple and practical remedies.

[Read More]

Cool Project! The Kindle Fire and Leadership Development

I am working on a project targeted at managers to improve their people management skills. One idea we are kicking around is to do a book club, but instead of physical books, we would use e-books or digital books of some kind. There are several options: Soundview Executive Book Summaries, Books 24x7 from Skillsoft, and handout to each manager a Kindle Fire or iPad and load books on those from time to time.

Each of these options has its pros and cons, but over time, the least expense option is the Kindle Fire option. If you consider the cost of a Kindle Fire is $199, and Kindle books costs (eyeball average) between $10 and $15, if we bought each of our managers a Kindle and then bought them 4 books per year that would be a first year cost of $260 and an annual cost after that of $40-$60 per manager. I can handle that.

And if you were a manager, what would be cooler: 1) receive a Kindle Fire or 2) receive a link to a web site and the name of a book to read. You tell me. Comment below.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Want to Reap the Benefits of Training? Get Everyone in Your Organization Involved in Teaching

Here’s a great bit of insight I came across recently on Steve Wheeler’s blog:  ”We Learn by Teaching.” Wheeler, a professor of learning technology at Plymouth University, reminded me of similar advice my father gave me about reading when I went off to college. His technique is a three-step process:

[Read More]

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

When (and Why) Training is Not the Best Solution

Training professionals often make two mistakes without ever realizing it. By simply acknowledging them, we can begin to improve performance quickly and easily — and without any new training programs.

The first mistake is that most trainers typically operate in reactive mode. If the VP of operations says his managers need to learn how to run meetings, we go out and find, or design, a training solution that can get the managers up to speed. We’re given a request and we try to fulfill it.
[Read More]

Friday, February 3, 2012

How to Run a Lean & Mean Learning Organization: 4 Strategies for Long-Term Success (and Profit)

.....So I went to my CEO and explained that in order to cover everything on our list of training issues, I’d really need two designers, five trainers and a manager — and that’s assuming the list doesn’t keep growing. But even if we were able to do a bang-up job with that team, it’s entirely likely that a year or two from now some manager would look at how much he or she was spending on training professionals and say, “Are you kidding me? I’m not spending that much on training!”
[Read More]