Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Employee Learning Week - Day 3: Leaving ADDIE for SAM (Instructional Design)

Employee Learning Week - Celebrating Day 3!

It was one year ago this week that I had the great pleasure of meeting Richard Sites, Vice President - Training and Marketing, Allen Interactions and co-author of "Leaving ADDIE for SAM." 

We had the good fortune of each presenting at last year's Memphis ASTD Employee Learning Week Conference and had the rare treat of participating as audience members in each others' sessions.

Afterwards, Richard and I started dishin' (okay, ranting) on all things learning (in cahoots with the FABULOUS Project Management Queen, Lou Russell, who was also a Memphis ASTD conference presenter) and we've kept the conversation going in a series of discussions across the globe ever since.

It was happy happy, joy joy from the moment Leonard Cochran made the introduction.

You see, I've been kind of an Allen Interactions nerd and Michael Allen fan since the mid 1990s. 

Yep. I roll geek like that - back then, I was the Production Manager for the only Macromedia Authorized Training Center in the USA Midwest - and an avid Authorware user. (Michael Allen created Authorware in 1987.)

I designed, storyboarded, and authored my first CBT and e-learning projects 20 years ago. I cut my tech training teeth on Authorware.

I've seen a lot of technology and tools change; I've experienced first hand how much the workplace has evolved. 

Unfortunately, in 20 years, despite technology and dramatic workplace shifts, I haven't seen much in the way of change or evolution in how we, as a profession, design and develop learning - especially when leveraging learning technologies.

Seems we're still designing, developing, and delivering using the same old approaches from decades ago, and continuing to get the same under performing, lackluster, boring page turners as a result.

Richard calls them "tell and tests." 

I laughed out loud when I first heard him say it!


You know that moment when you discover you're in the presence of a kindred spirit?

Yeah. THAT.

Richard and I both agree that it's imperative for us - as a profession, and as professionals - to change our ways.

Time to evolve, to up our game - to transform!

So we've been staging a series of interventions and Calls to Action.

It started with Michael and Richard's book, "Leaving ADDIE for SAM"...

Everywhere I go, working with learning pros around the world, that's the #1 question I'm asked - "Have you read Leaving ADDIE for SAM?"

Followed closely by, "What do you think...?" 

Which has fueled a lot of discussions and inspired a blog post (and a firestorm of Twitter tweets!)...

CLICK HERE to read the What Got Us Here Won't Get Us There blog and post your comments!

Which led to a radio show...

Richard Sites and I were invited by TrainingPros to be interviewed by Business RadioX co-hosts Lee Kantor and Stone Payton LIVE! on the floor of the EXPO Hall at the 2013 ASTD International Conference and Exposition at the Dallas Convention Center.

Topic of choice? The CRITICAL need for a shift in Instructional Design models from content-centric to learner-centric and performance focused.

CLICK HERE to listen to Richard and I share our thoughts on the high cost of under performance and the call for change to Instructional Design in the 21st century.

All in efforts to inspire dialogue and energy within the global learning community to move toward transformation - transforming ourselves and the profession we are passionate about!

So mark this week as a milestone of disruption and quiet mayhem. 

The "Leaving ADDIE for SAM" fieldbook is out and the "Leaving ADDIE for SAM" workshop launches its inaugural program right here in Chicago next week (December 16-17, 2013).

The Cracken is about to be unleashed! 

DOOM! DOOM! To soulless, empty e-learning! DOOM! DOOM! To strictly "sage on stage" instructor-led!

There's no going back - only forward!

Richard and I are on a mission -  as is the case with many of our peers - to create a world that works better!

It's the absolute BEST way to CELEBRATE Employee Learning Week - by keeping the employees - the LEARNERS - in mind and in full focus as we design, develop, and deliver meaningful, memorable, motivational learning experiences to help them improve their performance!

Join us! :-)

To your success!

~ trish

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

ELW Day 2: Performance Conversations for Trainers & Other Learning Professionals

Celebrating ASTD Employee Learning Week - Day 2!

Long-time friend, colleague, and fellow CPLP Alwyn Klein recently facilitated an OUTSTANDING Webinar on the need for training professionals to develop and implement a performance mindset within the organizations they serve.

What does Alwyn know about making the shift from training & development to learning & performance?


After more than 15 years at his organization, Alwyn is currently Senior Manager for Learning & Performance at a large African mobile phone company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Alwyn has a Master's Degree in Psychology,  and is one of only a very few people in the world to hold both the ISPI Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) and ASTD Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) professional certifications. 

He has been instrumental in the support and development of his team - now boasting the largest population of ISPI CPTs outside of North America - and leading the very first cohort of delegates to take the CPLP Knowledge Exam on the continent of Africa.
Alwyn and his team deal with performance issues on a daily basis that, not only impact business results and "the bottom line," but also provide a lifeline of support to some of the poorest and most rural people on the planet.

The learning team's work environment is such that their ability to equip and empower others to performance is visibly vital to entire South African communities; where they can see - every day - that what they do as learning professionals matters.

But I'm jumping ahead! You'll just have to see for yourself in Alwyn's Webinar presentation entitled Finding our Personality: Getting to the ROOT of Workplace Learning AND Performance, featured below.  

From the Webinar organizer - Central Florida ASTD Chapter Web site:

"You will gain some ideas (should you embark upon the journey to Performance thinking) to spark critical thinking; enhance engagement in your organization and with customers;
and some effective planning, too.

You will also get a sense of how one training manager is far down the line in converting his training team to a learning and performance team.
We will explore the potential barriers and traps, the quick wins and benefits.

Most of all, you will get a view of some of the challenges facing the emerging markets and how Performance Improvement has assisted us to improve how we develop people.

At best - a roadmap towards Performance thinking; at worst - a fascinating glimpse into learning and performance in Africa.

WARNING! You cannot 'un-hear' the Performance Messages, so this session may change the way you see performance gaps forever."

Note: Adobe Flash Player is required to view the recording.

CLICK HERE to launch the Webinar recording Full Screen in a separate window.

SHOUT OUT to Nick Elkins at Artisan E-Learning for providing the Adobe Connect platform and to the Central Florida and Suncoast ASTD chapters for partnering to host the event! 


Don't you wish you could learn more from Alwyn about how he and his learning pro team made the transition from "order taker" to strategic partner?

You can! Just leave your questions & feedback below! 

I'll be sure to bring them to Alwyn's attention and post his replies.

Perhaps we can even persuade him to write a guest blog post... ;-)

To your success!

~ trish

ELW Day 1: Celebrating ASTD Employee Learning Week!

Celebrating ASTD Employee Learning Week - Day 1!

What is Employee Learning Week (ELW)?

Established by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), and celebrated annually during the first week of December, Employee Learning Week aims to raise awareness about the direct correlation between learning and organizations achieving their strategic goals. 

As Tony Bingham, ASTD President and CEO, observed, “Increasingly business leaders realize that the most important asset in our knowledge economy is talent, and a skilled workforce is key to realizing results. We encourage all organizations to demonstrate their commitment to learning by recognizing Employee Learning Week.”

State of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have taken this message to heart and officially proclaimed December 2-6, 2013 Employee Learning Week!

ASTD Employee Learning Week - Proclamation from Governor Quinn, State of Illinois
SHOUT OUT to Sarah Jeffcoat and the team at Heart of Illinois ASTD (HOI ASTD) for securing Governor Quinn's proclamation for the State of Illinois and to Katelind Hays and the team at the Chicagoland Chapter ASTD (CCASTD) for securing Mayor Emanuel's proclamation in Chicago!

ASTD Employee Learning Week- Proclamation from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

LOTS of FABULOUS events taking place this week around the US and around the world as ASTD local chapters and global networks CELEBRATE!

Join the fun at the CCASTD Holiday Party scheduled for Thursday, December 5th at the Hyatt Lodge on campus at McDonald's Corporate Headquarters in Oak Brook where CCASTD will announce the 2013 winner of the Dr. Deborah Colky Workplace Learning & Performance Student Award (including a $1,000.00 scholarship!) and present its 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award!

Jump in on CREATIVITY at the Heart of Illinois ASTD (HOI ASTD) Employee Learning Conference "Think Differently" Friday, December 6th at the Professional Development Institute in Peoria, IL.

Here at Owl's Ledge we'll also CELEBRATE Employee Learning Week and all things learning by listing additional resources and opportunities for you to attend to your own professional development and focus on improving your performance!

Stay tuned for more - all week long!

To your success!

~ trish

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Owl's Ledge CPLP Mastery Series: CPLP Knowledge Exam Online Prep Course - 110 Minutes [Webinar Replay]

Are you curious about the weekly online facilitated sessions we conduct at Owl's Ledge as part of our CPLP Mastery Series: Knowledge Exam Course - Online?

Check it out!

The video below is a recording of an actual CPLP study prep session on the subject of Knowledge Management. [110 minutes]

Watch the recording to the end for details on our 2014 CPLP Knowledge Exam online course registration and a discount code for our upcoming January - March 2014 online class!
To your success!

~ trish

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Complimentary Kindle Copy Available TODAY ONLY! "Unleashing Workforce Potential: Accelerating EXTRAORDINARY Business Results" Written by Global Learning Leaders!

Colleague and fellow Chicago resident Dirk Tussing, Executive Director of the Chicago Learning Leaders Exchange has compiled a brand new book containing learning & performance and talent management essays contributed by U.S.-based global learning leaders, including:
  • Josh Bersin, Principal & Founder, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • Kent Barnett, Founder, Chairman & CEO KnowledgeAdvisors
  • Frank J. Anderson, Jr. Retired Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force
  • Laci Loew, Principal Analyst & Practice Leader Talent Management, Brandon Hall Group
  • Bob Danna, Deloitte Consulting
  • Richard Rykhus & Lindsey Reedy, Grant Thornton
  • Connie Fuller, Professor & Associate Chair, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • Joe Hare, Executive Director, Bellevue University's Human Capital Lab
  • Michel Koopman, CEO, getAbstract Inc

... and more!

Complimentary Kindle copy available WORLDWIDE TODAY ONLY! (Saturday, October 12, 2013)

This book offers timely and relevant reading materials to learning professionals everywhere!

To your success!
~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

ACTION REQUESTED: Need Your Feedback

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all doing well. I know it has been a long time since the Owl's Ledge team posted anything, but there is a good reason. Over the past few months, Trish Uhl has been running around the world, continuing to make radical changes to the Learning & Performance profession. I've been welcomed so warmly by this community, and would like to increase the level support I provide to you all. 

I've spent the past year living, breathing, and working with the content of the CPLP certification. While I am blessed enough to work for a CPLP Pioneer who enthusiastically shares her wisdom and insight with me on a daily basis, I recognize this as a gift so few have the opportunity to utilize. Having watched Trish work with candidates day in and day out, I understand and appreciate that so much confusion exists around the question, "What is the CPLP?" 

With this in mind, I took the initiative to storyboard, design, script, and provide the narration for a video that answers that very question. I wanted to impart some of Trish's knowledge with the community at large in a focused, clear, and approachable way. This is my way of giving back to you, those who have already given me so much. 

I welcome and encourage you to critique and comment on this video in the "comments section" below. I would be honored to have your feedback about how I can continue to assist Trish in demystifying the certification process, and the Competency Model upon which it is based.

Have a wonderful week and I look forward to hearing from you!

~ Katelind

Friday, March 01, 2013

How to handle an expo

     If you read my previous post, you know that my Training Magazine conference experience was stellar. I've already touched on major points concerning how to present yourself at a conference, and the importance of awareness. However, one of the biggest mazes to navigate when attending a professional conference is the expo hall. The best explanation I can offer of the expo is that it is a giant room full of 10'x10' booths that are manned by people who are incredibly excited about their company and products. The sheer size of the expo can be daunting, and then huge banners and peppy people in polo shirts are thrown into the mix, and it is the perfect recipe for a panic attack. Thankfully, however, I deconstructed the entire expo concept with Trish Uhl and figured out that there is a method to all of the madness. Now it my turn to impart my limited, but helpful, wisdom to you on this confusing matter.

     One of the things I learned prior to my expo exploration is that I needed to have a game plan. I read through the booklet highlighting all of the individuals speaking at the conferences, and all of the companies hosting booths in the expo hall. There are blurbs about each organization - what the company's focus is, who is representing the company in the booth, and the products offered. I sat like a loser on a bench outside the expo hall for an hour and half before it opened reading the pamphlet and decided which booths I should visit. Yes, I looked lame, but at least I had a better idea of what I was going to do once the hall doors swung open and sucked me in. Plus, by looking at every vendor on paper, I was able to know which companies my boss already had relationships with, which ones we were interested in knowing, and who had products that could be helpful to us. 

     When I walked into the expo hall, I was immediately overwhelmed, even after my preparation. I still had no idea where to start. And on top of everything, corporate representatives were staring expectantly at me, which only added to the pressure I was under. Thankfully, on day one, I was able to follow some new friends through the expo and learn the ropes while following the group, instead of being forced to blaze the trail myself. One of the things that I discovered was the existence of electronic scavenger hunts within the expo hall. With the mobile app SCVNGR, I was able to visit specified vendors and ask highlighted questions in hopes of discovering the answers so I could earn points in the game. While it seemed silly at first, it proved invaluable. By taking part in the game, I was able to add even more structure to my expo wandering. When going to an expo, check and see if there are any of these opportunities. If there are, take advantage of them. 

     On the flip side of things, if you are going to be a booth representative, there are some things that you should know before jumping in for the first time. The person responsible for putting the booth together should make sure that those in the booths are trained on what the intended outcome is to be, as well as what is appropriate for dress and decorum. It seems obvious, but if you are being tasked with this job and don't have much structure, you need to ask your superior. It's better to have too much clarification than not enough. If anything, just be sure that you manage the expectations of how you are supposed to drive people to the booth, the intake process is, and what the follow-up process will be after the expo. You should also know that the goal of the booth is NOT to close business details, but rather to generate business leads. This affects the way you will speak to booth visitors. Ultimately, you want to be engaging, but not pushy. You aren't a used car salesman trying to sell 1996 Dodge Dynasty to a grandma. Rather, you are a peer trying to help a colleague out by providing a potential business solution to a problem they have. Ask questions of your booth visitors, instead of spewing information. By interacting with the visitors this way, you can draw the person out and look for a chance to hep them, even if it isn't with your company. This may seem counterproductive, but if you are able to be useful and help solve their problems, you'll also be memorable. Plus, whether you can help them this time around or not, you still generated a lead for your group. When working with others in your booth, be sure to to be aware of the interactions of those around you, and help manage the conversations. At the end of the day, driving people to the booths is about visibility - people love complimentary offerings (cookies and small candies are especially popular) and no one wants to miss a party. If a booth seems fun, people will congregate to be sure that they aren't missing out on something. 

I'm looking forward to my next chance to expo-lore, and here's to hoping you are now, as well!

~Katelind Hays 

Training Magazine Conference Experience

     Last week, I became an official professional grown-up person and embarked on my first business trip. The Training Magazine conference held in Orlando wound up being a fantastic opportunity, and one that I am seriously grateful to have had the chance to experience. Prior to my departure, though, I'll admit I was incredibly nervous. Thoughts like - What counts as business casual attire? How would I know what to do? Who would I talk to? - swirled through my head. Thankfully, my boss, Trish Uhl, is beyond fabulous and helped me every step of the way. However, I know that there are plenty of baby minions who aren't blessed enough to have such guidance and support. That's why I'm here: to review my experience and offer some insight for those of you in the "completely lost and totally unguided" category.

     My only basis for comparison for this upcoming adventure was my experience with sorority rush in college. It sounds bananas, and I didn't want to admit it out-loud to my seasoned veteran of a mentor. I could hear it now, "Well, I'm glad that you remember talking to a number of college-aged women over the course of five days about a variety of, um, pressing social matters, but this a conference where the most important people in the field come and interact with one another." So, obviously, I kept this connection to myself, even after it proved to be immensely helpful. Rush is all about putting on a good face, learning about other people, and representing the best your organization has to offer, just like I would be required to do at the Training Mag conference. So, for survival purposes, I applied my best rush tricks (engaging other people; talking enthusiastically about my organization; attempting to be charming) over the three days, and was pretty successful. That's the secret - just be warm and open and it'll go better than you could ever expect. 

     My two biggest fears before the conference were: how do I make sure I'm dressed appropriately? and what if I can't find anyone to talk to? I erred on the side of caution with the attire. Yes, I was told business casual included khaki pants and polo shirts (two things I don't own on principle), but I knew that a pair of tailored black slacks and a shell with a sweater is always a safe bet. I was right, and was reminded of this when I saw a girl my age wearing a crop top and platform flip flops into the conference. Don't be that girl. Go with the black pants. As for my fear of awkward loneliness, I was redeemed by the fact that every single person at the conference is there to talk to strangers, and not in the way our parents warned us about when we were kids on the playground. People are there to promote themselves, their companies, and their products, and they are surprisingly interested in hearing about yours. Thankfully, I discovered this an hour in to my conference journey, as I sat alone at a very large round table, picking at a Caesar Salad that came from a box. I watched as literally hundreds of people walked by, and I saw them seeing my solo situation. As I flashed back to middle school and many lunches spent alone, I realized this was much worse because I was wearing a lanyard that advertised not only my name, but my company. I was already a failure. And then, I wasn't. A wonderful woman named Mary came and sat with me and we chatted for thirty minutes. Because of her, I realized that people didn't see me as weird, but as an opening to meet someone new.

     The most important lesson that resonated throughout my trip was that of awareness. You will meet people who are incredibly powerful, people who are disinterested in the present moment, and those who are unexpectedly fun for such a potentially stuffy environment. The key is knowing you situation, the context of what's happening, and your companions. There are things you can say over dinner after the day is over with friends that you've made, that you should not mention in the middle of a keynote address to the random person next to you. Be aware of your presence and your word choices - they will impact the perception people have of you, and the impression they will take away. Know that social media may not be appropriate in all conference situations. Some companies may not allow their employees to indulge in an adult beverage after a long day. So, tweeting a picture of them holding a birthday cake martini could be harmful to their career beyond what you may initially think. What I'm saying is, step back and really consider the possible ramifications of that status update. Finally, with this awareness, know that it is essential to reach out to the people that you met along the way. Acknowledge your interactions, thank them for their time, and don't be afraid to send that follow-up email after the conference. The relationships you initiate are why you are there, and to allow them to drop off after that first contact is a shame. By following up, you can allow these professional relationships to grow, and I promise your boss will be thrilled with the new business possibilities.

Pack your bags, leave your crop tops and insecurities at home, and enjoy your trip!

~Katelind Hays