How do you get the most out of your conference experience?

FocusOn

This week I’m headed to Austin, TX, to participate in the eLearning Guild’s FocusOn Learning conference. Attending any conference can be a significant investment – either for your organization or, if you’re footing your own bill for professional development opportunities, then it’s a significant investment for yourself.

For example: without any discounts, the FocusOn conference registration is $1,695. Add a couple hundred dollars for the hotel, a couple hundred more dollars for airfare, some more money for meals, local transportation and other expenses, and this could easily run several thousand dollars. That’s before you factor in the cost of your own time.

What’s the best way to ensure there’s some sort of return on this investment? 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:

Including Remote Staff in your Next Training Session

Max Headroom

A month and a half ago, we had a high profile speaker come to our headquarters and some of our remote staff wanted to be included in her training presentation. We set them up in Adobe Connect, we turned on the web cam in the conference room, we projected the remote staff on the screens in the front of the room (so we wouldn’t forget about them), and then… we forgot about them.

They were seen, but not really heard, during the presentation.

We struggle to include remote staff in our meetings and training sessions. Have you had similar problems?

Recently I was involved in a training program and the organization that hosted the event may have stumbled upon a better way to include remote staff.   Continue reading

L&D lessons from… a photobooth?

Photobooth

Last weekend I attended a fundraiser and near the entrance was a photobooth. And there was a long line to wait in order to get pictures.

It seems photobooths are en vogue these days – at wedding receptions, birthday parties, church gatherings, office holiday parties. Inside the photobooth, children and adults alike giggle, make funny faces, wear silly hats. The photobooth is an instant icebreaker for some, a must-do destination for others.

On the other hand, there’s training. I can’t say people line up for most training courses. There’s not much giggling or enjoyment that comes out of the training room.

Are there lessons that the photobooth can teach L&D professionals? Continue reading

Book Review: Disruptive Learning: Discover Your Inner Learning Rebel

Disruptive Learning

80-word Summary: Whether you’re looking to put together a strategy on how to address learning gaps or if you’re looking for specific strategies to engage your learners in the classroom, Disruptive Learning has a little bit of everything. There are a lot of books out there offering ideas on traditional ways to improve training efforts. This book, which is mostly a collection of Shannon Tipton’s blog posts from the past several years, challenges traditional notions and encourages readers to think a little differently.

The Details:

  • Author: Shannon Tipton
  • Price: $5.99 on Amazon
  • Pages: Depends on the size of your e-reader screen (it’s available only as an ebook)… but it’s pretty short

Bright Spots:

  • If you’re like me and just can’t keep up with all the amazing blog posts that so many different high quality writers are putting out there every week, then this book offers a series of Shannon’s best posts (updated and modified to better fit the book format) all in one place.
  • From the beginning, this book is a bit different – not starting with strategies or tips on how to engage learners or feel more comfortable speaking in front of an audience, but rather it’s a holistic look at how learning programs should be developed.
  • “Feed Your Curiosity” components toward the end of each chapter provide links to a variety of other thought leaders who wrote in more depth about the topics in Shannon’s book.
  • Who doesn’t like well-placed Star Wars and Star Trek references?

Who Should Buy It:

  • I’m not sure this is for the part-time trainer or a casual presenter. This book may be for someone new to the field of learning and development as long as they’re open to doing something their employers may or may not like. This book really seems like it’s written for readers who are willing to make some waves when it comes to designing and delivering learning initiatives. This book isn’t just about training (Shannon makes the point that training is just one element of a more comprehensive learning initiative), it’s about finding ways to make investments in learning pay off. If your organization or client expects you to deliver training to solve performance problems, this book probably isn’t for you. If you’re willing to do some things that might get you in a bit of trouble, tell people who request training some things they may not want to hear (“What do you mean this issue won’t be fixed after a half-day training?”), Disruptive Learning will offer you some important things to keep in mind as you lay out your future learning initiatives.