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In my opinion, managers have gotten a bad rap, especially in articles and blogs that compare leaders versus managers; managers take on the role of multitasking villains and leaders become heroic visionaries. In reality, we depend on our managers; they are the people keeping the balls in the air and the organization moving forward.  They help us coordinate people, processes, and projects and take charge of the day-to-day...

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 00:00

DISRUPTION FOR THE SAKE OF IMPROVEMENT

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I’m not someone who typically has liked change.  I’ll deal with it and move on, but I don’t normally seek it out.  I’m certainly not someone who loves chaos. But between managing a marketing team in an emerging and ever-evolving space, and caring for my 4-year-old son with special needs, it seems my world is hellbent on keeping me on my toes.  I guess that’s a good thing, though, since now I know I can deal with change and chaos and still thrive.  It definitely has...

Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00

BEING A LEADER MEANS INSPIRING COMMUNITY

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Have you heard of Airbnb? Bromium? Uber? If you haven’t yet, you can be sure that you will. These are just a few examples of companies that have seemingly sprung up overnight and are poised to totally disrupt the status-quo in their respective industries. I’m not telling you anything new when I say that this type of market reality is the new normal for organizations, and that as a result, companies...

I really wanted to go into the State Department for a period of my life (the travel, adventure and service pulled me in), so when the government career fair came to my college campus senior year, I was thrilled. This was my chance to put those What-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life-in-a-month-when-I-graduate?! nightmares to bed by scoring an “in” at the State Department.  Picture this: I am rushing from class to the fair (I don’t want to be late!) and need to change into my professional outfit...

According to 2008 research presented by CEB, your employees forget close to 70% of what they learn in your formal training classes after less than a week. Within a month, that number jumps to 78%.  Add in ASTD’s estimate of $1,195 spent per employee on learning and development in 2012, and some quick math tells us that most organizations aren’t getting great returns on their formal learning investments. But it doesn’t have to be that way...

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:00

IS L&D STUCK IN A TIME WARP?

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 While watching CNN’s documentary series, “The Sixties,” recently, I began thinking about how far technology and our concept of work has advanced, yet how organizational learning and development has somehow managed to lag behind. The entire notion of work has gone from a mutual commitment that lasted a lifetime and was celebrated with a gold 25-year anniversary watch to an era of networked freelancers who may not be bound to a physical desk...

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 00:00

WHY YOU NEED A DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL LEARNING

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A recent Brandon Hall Group webinar, Research Spotlight: Trends for Mobile and Social Learning Strategies, reported that social learning is of growing importance to organizations, and the model they presented makes it clear that social learning requires a holistic approach. They touched on the fact that social learning is not just exposing the workforce to forums, videos, wikis, and blog capabilities; this captures only the very informal or haphazard side of social learning...

By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be made up of people from my generation, or the Millennial generation. We are headed for the cubicle, desk or office near you. Are you ready for us?  I like to think it is in your organization’s best interest to hire and retain the best people that the Millennial generation has to offer (and really any generation, but I’m a Milennial so it’s all about me, me, me, right? J). Don’t just take my word for it (the hiring bit, not the narcissistic bit); look at industry-leading companies like Apple, Google...

Wednesday, 04 June 2014 00:00

CRAPPY ADVISORS STIFLE SOCIAL LEARNING

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Healthy and dynamic social learning groups require one or more people to assume the role of advisor or group learning leader. This advisor should be someone who knows relatively more about a certain skill or has more knowledge and expertise in a certain area than the people who are in the group as learners.  (And it’s worth noting that an advisor’s age and title should have no bearing on whether or not they are advisors.). That said, if you’ve been asked to advise others...

One of the best things about my job is that I get to partner with amazing clients to help them enable and build dynamic learning environments within their organizations.  Not only are my colleagues and I granted the opportunity to play a role in their success, but we are also exposed to leading-edge thinking and incipient industry trends.  And let me tell you, compared to when we first starting discussing concepts related to social learning a few years ago, the tone of our conversations has changed substantially over the last 24 months or so… and it’s getting exciting...

A 2014 Bentley University study revealed that the majority of recent Millennial graduates gave themselves a C- when it came to their level of preparedness for the workforce. Many people from this huge generation, an estimated 75% of the global workforce by 2025, are arriving to your organization lacking skills, knowledge and cultural awareness they will need to be successful in the short and long term. When they arrive at our corporate doors, we must begin the process of onboarding and getting these new employees indoctrinated into our cultures...

We all have dreams and aspirations. We all have ideas for our futures. We all have plans for how we want to live our lives. However, not all of us are able to make these dreams a reality. Why are some people able to turn these fantasies into realities while others are not? It could be due to personality differences, commitment to realizing their dreams, a change in priorities, an inability to complete tasks, trying to take on too much too fast, and numerous other reasons...

In honor of David Letterman’s recent announcement about retiring his Late Show post in 2015, here is a Top 10 list for those of us immersed in learning and development. Top 10 Signs that You Might be Doing Social Learning Wrong 10.  You approach social learning like a “once and done” event.  Social learning is not a sprint to the finish line; it is more of a marathon, in that it requires continuous thought and commitment. In this way, it is not enough...

Monday, 28 April 2014 00:00

3 MYTHS ABOUT COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

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Think you know what your employees want when it comes to collaboration and knowledge sharing in the workplace?  In a 2013 benchmarking study by Towards Maturity called “New Learning Agenda,” researchers found that: 88% of learners want to be able to learn at their own pace. 77% of learners want to engage with online learning...

One trip to the grocery store is all it takes to know that tis’ the season of egg-shaped candy and bunny ears—the time of the year where some children are paid a visit by the Easter bunny and participate in a good ol’ fashioned Easter egg hunt. During this hunt children search all the nooks and crannies of their homes and backyards for these hidden plastic eggs filled with candy and goodies. As I reminisced during my recent trip to the grocery...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 00:00

RIVER & GETABSTRACT: THE SMART WAY TO LEARN AT WORK

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Learning is about changing behaviors and improving the way we work. As advocates of the 70-20-10 model, we know that people learn from others (socially), through their experience and the experiences of others (experientially) and through training materials (formally). With River, we seek to bring elements from all of these learning modalities together at the appropriate moment of need to help people learn and, thus, perform better as a result...

Tuesday, 08 April 2014 00:00

3 WAYS TO BUILD TRUST VIA SOCIAL LEARNING

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With more and more colleagues dispersed from one another and working remotely, it can be hard to make personal and professional connections and feel like part of the same team.  What can be seemingly even harder, at times, is building trusting relationships with one another. This same issue can arise in social learning environments. People may ask...

Tuesday, 01 April 2014 00:00

HOW TO CREATE A DYNAMIC SOCIAL LEARNING SPACE

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How can your organization achieve an environment that encourages knowledge sharing and social learning that is dynamic, engaging and productive?  What’s the L&D professional’s role in facilitating or enabling social learning of this type? As social learning becomes more and more of an organizational priority, many people come to me with these questions. They are interested in not only creating a mechanism for social learning, but also ensuring that the social learning they enable...

Interested in saving your organization time and money while also improving the employee learning experience? Who isn’t, right? While this may sound like a too-good-to-be-true type of scenario, we’ve found that by pairing social learning strategically with your formal training and learning efforts, you can actually save both time and money while enhancing the way your employees learn and develop...

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 00:00

MUCH ADO ABOUT MOOCS

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Corporate learning professionals face many pressures in trying to do it all and be it all for their constituents. They have to show value while keeping training costs low. They have to support and educate an increasingly diverse workforce. They have to keep up with technology and the types of learning people want. And they have to prove the impact they have on the business...

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