• Ram Charan to HR Managers: Build a 'People Engine' Geared for Results, Not Vision

    Last week I had the great pleasure of hearing Ram Charan speak at the Bay Area Executive Development Network meeting. The theme of Charan’s talk was how the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) can add value and build a people engine that will help the business achieve its objectives. Charan has…

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  • Man Filming

    Are You Using a Training Design Zoom Lens?

    The lens through which we examine information can either help or hinder our ability to make good design decisions. Zoom in too close, and you may get overwhelmed or lose sight of the business strategies that training is supposed to support. Zoom out too far, and you may miss the warning signs of a changing environment that requires trainees to learn new skills or knowledge.

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  • Opposite

    Training Lessons from Seinfeld: Lesson #3 – Do the Opposite

    It’s easy to get stuck in a design rut whenever there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it. Re-using and re-purposing design elements that have served you well in the past is one great way to enhance your efficiency, but over time, it can lead to a course library that lacks visual identity or personality. When your 20th course starts to look and feel like a carbon copy of your first course, it may be time to stop what you’re doing and apply George Costanza’s “do the opposite” theory.

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  • Not Measuring ROI for Training? Then Don't Bother With the Investment

    Although many learning professionals talk about the importance of conducting return on investment (ROI) analysis of training programs, few actually do it. Many reasons are given for not conducting this level of analysis. One reason is that time and resources are limited and learning professionals have many other programs to…

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  • How to Transform Old Training Content into New Performance Support Tools

    Our society has a ravenous appetite for just-in-time information. In the world of “there’s an app for that,” we don’t want to read a book or take a class to learn things when a simple keyword search will do. And this desire for self-directed, easy access to information doesn’t just vanish when we go to work. For most trainees (particularly the millenials) this is an expectation of the modern workplace – and it means that trainers must embrace opportunities to re-imagine old-school content into new-era performance support tools. But when you’re staring down a catalog of old school classroom training content, where do you start?

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  • A 3-Part Tech Cocktail For Trouble-Free Training

    Have you ever wished for a way to navigate a website, live inside your training presentation – without having to leave PowerPoint and open up a web browser? Have you ever struggled to give your trainees a clear, detailed rendering of a large diagram or a form in PowerPoint – only to resort to cropping the images and spreading them across multiple slides? How many times have you shown up to lead a training workshop only to discover that you left your thumbdrive at home and you don’t have the latest version of the files you need?

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  • 3 Ways to Get Inspired for Your Biggest Training Challenges

    Feeling like you’ll never make headway with a project stakeholder, win over that difficult SME, or build trust with an audience full of skeptical trainees? I know your pain. Do what I do and give yourself a shot in the arm courtesy of a TED Talk.

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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! Of course, most SMEs aren’t out to annoy you. Some simply feel they have a better grasp of the brand, the product, the “real” problem, or the needs of the target audience. And, while it’s part of our job as trainers to listen to our SME’s input and allow their ideas to inform our designs, it’s also our obligation to act as a voice of reason, a content filter, and a designer.

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  • How to Plead the Business Case With E-Learning Skeptics

    Many organizations are considering implementing e-learning projects, but there are always stakeholders who are tough to convince. They have certain objections to e-learning, which makes trainers’ jobs more difficult. You know e-learning is the way to go, but how to do you persuade these stakeholders that it needs to happen?…

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  • 5 Ways to Stretch Your Training Budget

    Despite ample evidence supporting the bottom-line value of ongoing training and professional development in employee recruitment and retention, training budgets are almost always the first place business leaders slash spending. For those of us who are left to do more with less this can mean working towards smarter, more scalable, longer-term training solutions. In this post, I’ve got a few ideas to consider to stretch your training budget and help you set your training team on the path to long-term success.

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  • Is Your Training Path Full of Traffic Lights (Instead of Roads)?

    Some food for thought: Is your training path full of traffic lights? Before you answer that, check out the following video from Rogert Ebert’s blog for the Chicago Sun Times.  The question posed by the video: Does turning off traffic lights speed up traffic? Did you notice the reactions of…

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  • How (and Why) You Should Promote Informal Learning with Trainees (and the Boss)

    In the past many companies viewed informal learning as a negative reflection on their formal training programs. It was thought that if trainees were learning from a co-worker instead of a trainer there must be a training “gap” or a need not being addressed in the classroom. But in today’s faster, cheaper, better world, the fact that more learning takes place without a structured training intervention is a big glowing dollar sign to business leaders trying to pinch pennies. For training leaders this new willingness to embrace informal learning begs the question – how does the training team fit into the picture when trainees are learning more from each other than they are from you?

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  • Are You Training for Ideas or Actions?

    In our world of rapid-everything, no matter how experienced you are, it’s easy to lose sight of the end goal when you’re formulating a training plan and objectives. In this post, I’ll revisit a training design 101 topic that can trip-up even the best of us from time to time – training for ideas vs. training for actions.

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  • Why You Should Consider a 'Game Layer' To Boost Training Impact

    Concepts like collaboration, innovation, problem-solving, leadership, and resource allocation – these are essential skills in successful game play and in the workplace. But that being said, most of us aren’t game designers. So what are some practical ways the rest of us can leverage games to add more impact to our training?

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  • meetings-are-toxic

    37signals' Idealogy Meets Online Training (Part 1): Meetings are Toxic

    Simply put, we at Mindflash are big fans the 37signals’ ethos. Usefulness, simplicity, and ease-of-use are principles we strive for. We also think that these principles apply to online training, whether you are building a full blown LMS or developing a simple eLearning courses. In this blog series, guest blogger Lee Graham will explore a few of 37signals’ concepts and discuss how we can apply them to the online training realm. This is Part 1 of the series.

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