35 Reasons this L&D Professional is Thankful this Season

Thanksgiving 2015

Tomorrow, millions of Americans will sit down to watch football and fill up on turkey. Then they’ll fall asleep on the couch.

It’s Thanksgiving!

Before the turkey and the football (and the nap on the couch), I wanted to take a little time to share my thanks for so many things I’m grateful for in my journey through the world of L&D this year.

I’m thankful for:  Continue reading

Infographic: Why Corporate Training is a Colossal Waste (and What to Do About It)

Would you get upset if you spent $1,000 on a watch that didn’t work? How about spending $40,000 on a car that didn’t go?

Would you be upset if you spent $97.5 billion on something that was never really used?

I’m not sure why corporations around the world are willing to spend that much without getting anything in return for that investment… or why they don’t seem to get too upset about it.

As you can see from the following infographic, there are some… er… issues with the way learning and development is being conducted.

Why Corporate Training is a Colossal Waste.jpg

On the bright side, there are some clear steps that can be taken – indeed, that organizations should insist on – in order to increase the effectiveness of corporate training.

These five solutions are based upon research and self-reported surveys. Have you tried anything on here? How has it gone for you?

What’s missing? What other solutions are available to transform learning programs into a results-drive, effective investment for organizations?

Want more information on possible solutions? Try:

Lesson Plan: Giving & Receiving Feedback

Giving Feedback

There are plenty of articles and blog posts out there about how to give feedback. Some even talk about the importance of how to receive feedback, too.

Articles can be interesting. Some people even act on them. Most people think: Huh, that’s interesting… and then eventually they’ll forget about it.

If you’re looking to train people on how to effectively give and receive feedback, here’s a free Continue reading

PowerPoint and Canva are making it easy to create amazing slides… but terrible slides are only part of the problem.

Last week, Microsoft “declared war on boring PowerPoint.” If you have Microsoft 365 for Windows desktop or Windows Mobile, you’ll have access to PowerPoint Designer (for better slide design) and PowerPoint Morph (for better animation).

Then there’s Canva, which is a freemium design tool that can be used to create amazing visual experiences by limiting the number of poor design choices you can actually make.

There are other tools for interesting ways to present visual information, too. Haiku Deck. SlideRocket. Prezi. PowToon.

Yet, contrary to popular vernacular, the slides actually aren’t the “presentation.” A presentation is the total experience that you offer to the audience. Slides? Yes. And finding ways to engage your audience with your content.

What I’ve found most presenters to be missing is Continue reading

9 ways to get smarter if your bus (or subway) is running late this morning

Bus Stop

I was out of breath, but I had made it. I had just sprinted two city blocks up a (small-ish) hill, dodged oncoming traffic, hurdled a raccoon that just happened to waddle out of a neighbor’s hedge and firmly planted my two feet at the base of the bus stop sign. It was 7:03am, and I was on time. Barely.

Then I checked the OneBusAway app to find out when the bus would arrive and my blood pressure began to rise.

I had risked life and limb to catch the early bus, and it was delayed. Not just delayed… it was delayed EIGHT. WHOLE. MINUTES!

Suddenly a strange, Zen-like feeling washed over me. Instead of getting upset or indignant, I could be thankful for an 8-minute window I could use to get smarter or learn something new.

If you’re in a similar situation this morning as you commute to work, here are 9 articles, resources or videos you may want to check out in order to productively spend your minutes before that next bus (or train or plane or automobile) arrives: Continue reading

5 of Jay Cross’s Best Tweets

Jay Cross, a proponent of informal learning and an influential thought leader in the professional development space, passed away at the end of last week. All weekend, my Twitter feed was packed with tributes to him.

Perhaps you had a chance to meet Jay, attend one of his sessions, engage with him in a forum like #lrnchat, or perhaps you’d never heard of him. Wherever you fall in the spectrum, here are 5 tweets he shared with the world over the past several months that I thought were worth mentioning today. Rest in peace, Jay. Thanks for the inspiration. Continue reading

An Increasingly Cantankerous L&D Professional Makes His Birthday Wish(es)

Birthday Candles

As I grow older, I’m not sure I’m getting any wiser, but I sure seem to be getting grumpier. While I try not to use this space to vent with an unconstructive, unproductive airing of grievances, today is my birthday so I’m going to indulge in a bit of curmudgeonly pontifications.

With forty candles on my cake this year, I’m assuming that means I get forty wishes as long as I can blow out all the candles in one big breath. Here are 40 things I wish for the future of learning and development:  Continue reading