Trainer’s Fishbowl: An Inside Look at a Pilot Program that Didn’t Hit the Mark

Fishbowl

This week we had an opportunity to pilot a training program that we’ve been working on for the past two months. We were excited to unveil it before a pilot audience, especially because we had an opportunity to incorporate a board game into the module.

At the end of the pilot session, we realized that we didn’t quite hit the mark in our first draft. Yesterday, the Endurance Learning leadership team came together via Slack to debrief the experience.

Today’s post is a sort of “fish bowl”, an opportunity to take a look into the conversation that took place as we de-briefed this session.   Continue reading

Fall into Training: A Series of Autumn-inspired Training Haikus

Autumn

Last week I was out for a walk in the woods and a leaf fell on me. The calendar says it’s still summer for the rest of the week here in the northern hemisphere, but the weather is turning cooler, the days are growing shorter and, well, leaves are falling on me.

I love the change of seasons, and I think it’s fun to write poetry.

On this not-quite-fall Monday morning, I offer you this series of autumn-inspired training haikus.   Continue reading

Critical Moments in Beer and Learning

Farm restroom

A few years back, a couple of my friends made the decision to leave the big city of Helena, MT to move back to the farm to continue the family business. I am not going to pretend I know much about farming, but I do know that the arid lands east of the Continental Divide are a great place to grow barley. Yes, my friends are beer farmers, and visiting their farm is one of my favorite fall activities. Every year after the hard work of harvest is complete, my family visits the farm to enjoy everything the land has to offer. We hike, fish, watch wildlife, catch crawdads, and harvest as many vegetables from their garden as we can fit in our cooler to bring home. I enjoy knowing where my food comes from, and at the farm, I feel more engaged in that aspect. Continue reading

Want to be better in your L&D craft? Get involved outside of your organization.

I have a lot of coffee – both in-person and virtual – with L&D professionals and there’s one question that always comes up: how did you get to where you are?

I can safely say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without getting involved in self-initiated professional development on projects and activities outside of my own organization. I can also say that too few other L&D professionals look beyond their own organizations to get involved, and therefore hone their craft.

Here are five ways I’ve gotten involved, and how I’ve benefited from these activities Continue reading

Facilitation Lessons from a First Grade Teacher

connectionMy daughter’s first grade teacher called me the day before school started. She was calling to remind me that the school’s open house was that evening. As we introduced ourselves, we talked about how she and my daughter share the same first name. During our conversation, we also discovered that they share the same middle name, same initials, and same birthday. When they finally met in person that evening, my daughter and her teacher were elated to meet the person with whom they share so much in common. When I dropped my little girl off on her first day at school the next morning, she comfortably greeted her teacher as if they had known one another for years. Continue reading

Divide and Concur – Why Proof Reading is Important

Screenshot_20170830-103751

In my first job after college, I sent an email to all staff regarding the status of a server. My email ended with:

“The server should be back up and running within the hour. We apologize for the incontinence.”

I didn’t realize my mistake until I received an email reply from a colleague highlighting the difference between incontinence and inconvenience and the people within the cubicles around me erupted with laughter. This typo became a long running joke at meetings, in future emails, and while passing my colleagues in the hallway. Continue reading

L&D Spotlight On… JD Dillon

“Building connections between people, not content.”

In February I asked a number of my colleagues in the learning and development field to sum up their careers using exactly six words. JD Dillon was the first to respond with the six words at the beginning of this post.

I’ve been wanting to take a step back from training tips and tricks for a while, writing a post on bigger picture L&D strategy. As I began to gather my thoughts and skim through my Twitter feed for inspiration, I realized that there are already some very good, very smart posts on the topic. Many of those articles have been written by JD.

Instead of saying similar things, just with different words, I’d like to use today’s post to spotlight three of his most recent posts on learning and development strategy.   Continue reading