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The Daily Mindflash

The Mindflash Knowledge Sharing and Online Training Blog

How To Retrain for the Gig Economy

The "Gig" Economy. That's what Daily Beast editor Tina Brown calls our new, recession-based economic environment. Instead of full-time jobs with benefits, legions of underemployed people -- even high-earning-potential "creative class" types -- are turning to part-time and freelance work out of frustration and impatience. CNN reports that, as of 2009, 26% of the U.S. working population report themselves as freelancers - up from 19% in 2006. The downside? Lack of benefits (especially healthcare) and inconsistent pay. The upside, of course, is that you get to be your own boss (for the most part).

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Get Started in Social Learning in 5 Steps (Without Spending a Dime)

Social learning is not new, but we still do not know what it is. Albert Bandura wrote a book called Social Learning Theory in 1977, and he didn’t even have a Facebook account. Who would have thought? Bandura wrote that people learn through observation of other people. So social learning is about watching others and doing what they do?

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Cartoon: "I'm learning toymaking to bring in some extra money for the holidays."

Holiday cartoons are kind of an oddity. There's all kinds of material available (Santa, snowmen, elves, Scrooge, reindeer...) but you're looking at probably a good 100 years or so of Christmas cartoons that you're up against; just about everything has been done at least a few times.

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The Year's Most Thought-Provoking Training Blog Posts

It's that time of year again -- the onslaught of top 10 lists, wistful reflections, and flawed predictions for the year to come. Normally I try to avoid such clichés, but in support of other much-maligned but secretly cherished holiday traditions like office parties and staff potlucks, here's my contribution to the annual countdown list genre: The Year's Most Thought-Provoking Training Blog Posts.  Enjoy!

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How to Win Over Tough SMEs

From time to time, we've all had to tap into our inner Perry Mason to convince a tough Subject Matter Expert (SME) to let us try something new. Many of us can attest to the challenges of working with skeptical, change-resistant, know-it-all, or overly-involved SMEs. And in many cases, these pesky SMEs are the very people whose strangle-hold over training content has perpetuated the very problems intended to be addressed by training!

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Inside Tips from America's Top Santa Trainer

Tim Connaghan has been dressing up as Santa since the Nixon years — and now spends most of his time coaching hopeful amateurs on how to go pro. Through his traveling seminars at the International University of Santa Claus, Connaghan has graduated more than 1,900 Santas, and is considered the top authority on Santa Inc., from proper fashion and hygiene to how to answer kids’ tricky questions.  With Santas at peak deployment this week, Mindflash called up Connaghan to explain more about his training regimen, career tips, and how to know when a Santa in training just doesn’t have the right stuff.

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Top 10 SMB Tech Tools of 2010, from ReadWriteWeb (12/20/10)

Top 10 SMB Tech Tools of 2010, from ReadWriteWeb (12/20/10)

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How to Get Up to Speed (Fast!) on Rapid E-Learning

Everything you know about rapid instructional design or rapid e-learning development is likely wrong. Vendors will have you believe it's only about the tools. Consultants will have you believe it's about streamlining existing processes, even skipping unnecessary steps. Which begs the question: If they are unnecessary steps, why are they there in the first place? Real rapid instructional design requires a change in mindset. In fact, learning real rapid instructional design is one of the critical skills learning professionals need to learn now.

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3 Lessons Trainers Can Learn From Marketers

I've worked for many places where there was a pretty intense rivalry between the marketing team and the training team. To the training geeks, marketing was the popular but superficial prom queen to our brilliant but awkward social outcast. Marketing always had the big budget for sweet graphics, costly video, and fancy color printing. Training had hand-me-down click-art packages and a ditto machine. Marketing was all gloss and glory. Training was all guts and no glory.

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Friday Cartoon: "The tech repair video said to first unplug the computer..."

One of my favorite kinds of cartoons to do is one where it circles back on itself. For example, I once did a cartoon where an angry person is yelling at another: "I'm being redundant?! I'm be redundant?!" I used a similar technique here.

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