The Exciting Conclusion: What happens when new employee orientation becomes a game?

A week ago, I wrote about a new and improved orientation program for incoming employees at my organization. The response to that post was unexpected, and amazing. Thank you to everyone who commented on the post or sent me an email or a LinkedIn message to wish me luck with the program and to hear more about how it turned out.

I’m happy to share our experience from our first session in two parts.   Continue reading

Should the development of training programs feel like work?

jumanji

It was a Tuesday afternoon in December. We had been huddled around a conference room table for two hours. The end of our scheduled time to meet had arrived and I needed to leave the office to attend another meeting. I bid farewell to the other two people in the conference room.

When I came into the office the next day, my colleague told me that she stayed in that conference room for another hour and a half, generating ideas and building the framework to overhaul our new employee orientation program. “When I thought about it,” she reflected, “it struck me that I didn’t even feel like I was at work yesterday. It was so much fun!”

It was such a simple, and at the same time powerful, observation. Why can’t we feel like we’re “not even at work” more often?   Continue reading

How ruthless can a learning and development professional be?

darth-vader

Happy New Year!

In my last post from 2016 I shared my one-word resolution that I’m hoping can center me as I try to make my work bigger and better in 2017: ruthless. As in: ruthless prioritization.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been asked to design several training programs in which the clients want big things achieved… and they’ve also given very limited time in which to achieve these things. My biggest challenge was to figure out how to deliver what the clients wanted while at the same time ensuring the training programs were what I’d consider to be fundamentally sound.   Continue reading

Checking the Readability Level of your Training Documents

Last week I had an opportunity to present at the Online Learning Conference in Chicago. After my session was over, I snuck in to several other sessions, including Julie Dirksen’s session entitled The Science of Attention, Willpower and Decision-making for Better eLearning. The facts and figures she presented were compelling (especially the way in which she dispelled the “human attention span is only 8 seconds” statistic), but it was a Microsoft Word trick she mentioned in passing that I found most interesting and couldn’t wait to try.    Continue reading

When the trainer becomes the trainee

trainer-as-trainee

I’m coaching my son’s first grade CYO soccer team this fall and earlier this week I attended four and a half hours of mandatory meetings and training. The morning after the training, my wife asked what I learned.

I paused, then said: “You can’t bring your vuvuzela to games this year.” In fact, you can’t bring cow bells or whistles either.

She asked if I learned anything else during these four and a half hours. I paused again, then began to panic. Continue reading

“Mr. Lecturer, tear down this wall!”

Berlin Wall

When Communism ended in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall (yes, I know that the Soviet Union didn’t break up until 1991 and technically China still considers itself “Communist”, but really, everything seemed to end when the Wall fell), it seemed like the last great struggle left in the world was going to be the battle against bad, boring, wasteful learning experiences.

Of course, the Berlin Wall didn’t just come tumbling down one fall day in 1989. People may have wanted it to just go away, but it was a long process that included a series of events – some big, some small, and some so subtle they barely registered.

In our struggle against bad, boring, wasteful learning experiences, we’d do well to keep this in mind. Continue reading

Looking for some training inspiration? Try these sources…

Lightning in a bottle

I’ve been on the road a lot recently, and I realized I’ve been recycling a lot of my go-to ideas for a variety of projects. The airline miles, the steady diet of fast food, the jet lag, the unnecessary late nights flipping through tv channels instead of going to sleep just because I have access to a tv with HBO, the simple busy-ness of being on the road – it can all conspire to wear me down after a while and leave me looking around desperately for some fresh, new ideas.

Following are several sources of new ideas that have given me a boost over the past several weeks. Hopefully you can find some inspiration in here somewhere, too!   Continue reading