How do you know if attending a conference was worth your while?

A week ago, I shared a framework for goal-setting (MPV goals, or Minimum/Primary/Visionary goals).

If want your employer to foot the bill for your attendance at a conference, it can be quite helpful to identify (in advance) what you hope to get out of that conference. I spent last week at the eLearning Guild’s FocusOn Learning conference and I have to say, it was one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended, but…

The key question my supervisor (or myself or anyone else who plans to hold me accountable for the investment of time and money that was spent on my attending this conference) should be asking is: “So, you say it was a great conference… how do you know?”

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5 Key Elements to Effective Meeting Design

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This past weekend I had an opportunity to facilitate an executive leadership retreat with an organization’s senior staff and Board members. As I reflect on that experience, I really don’t think the meeting could have gone better. We accomplished all of our objectives. We stayed on time. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. And there are concrete, actionable items that came out of the meeting that will impact the organization for the next five years.

Over the past several years, I’ve also facilitated strategic planning sessions and other meetings of senior staff that haven’t gone so well. Meetings have ended with a vague set of next steps. Participants have shared they felt lost at times during meetings.

As I contrasted these various experiences in my mind, I began to come up with a list of key ingredients for such facilitated meetings to be successful. Continue reading

Case Study: Adding Training Staff Improved My Organization’s Bottom Line

On November 5, 2015, I happened to be speaking with a training colleague from another department when she began telling me the story of how she was finally able to add a .5 FTE to her training team. I asked how it was working out for her, and she began rattling off all the benefits she was seeing.

It had helped lighten her workload. She had a new partner in crime with whom she could kick ideas around. This new training person was super-high quality.

“This is exciting,” I said, “but have you seen any impact… as in anything you can quantify?”  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.

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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:

In honor of the Women’s World Cup goal-fest, here are 5 goals for L&D professionals…

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Yesterday as I watched the US women make it look so easy to score five goals in the World Cup finals, I wondered if other people in other professions could ever make it look so easy to achieve five goals.

Here are five goals that learning and development professionals might want to consider. They’re certainly not easy to accomplish, but the key here is to make achieving them look easy. Continue reading

Lessons in Professional Development from a Weekend Camping Trip

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I didn’t grow up camping. I never learned how to properly set up a tent (let alone rub two sticks together to make fire), yet I’ve managed to survive my third Memorial Day Weekend in a row out in nature. As we broke down our camp site on Monday, I realized that I learned everything I know about camping by simply spending time with my fellow campers, one holiday weekend a year, for the last three years.

Without these fellow campers, I never would have thought to bring an inflatable queen-sized mattress for the tent. I never would have learned how to make egg burritos without ever needing to clean up a pan (hint: it involves Continue reading