It’s National Learning and Development month, and here at Abilitie, we’re using this national month-long celebration of skill-building and professional development to share our favorite, thought-provoking resources with our network of L&D professionals. We’ve also consolidated our most-read articles from our own blog in hopes of helping to accelerate you down the path towards professional excellence. Enjoy!
In a society that glorifies business and constant productivity, the concept of mindfulness has begun circulating around modern workplaces as a means of intentionally slowing down and alleviating stress. Mindfulness, at its core, is the practice of being fully present and engaged in one’s own life, exploring self-awareness, and making an effort to act intentionally.
Once you have received executive buy-in and budget for a training program it is essential that the program leaves a favorable impression on all the participants. That desired favorable impression is not driven only by the lessons learned, it is equally critical that the program leaves a positive impact in an area that is at times difficult to quantify, the growth of the participant’s networks.
Given that participants will be sacrificing work hours to participate, it will be crucial that they end the program believing this was a commitment worth making.
In many of our roles it is easy to fall into a silo and by adding a networking component to your training offerings, you give people a chance to grow bonds that can help make their day to day easier - and more fun.
When I started working in corporate learning and development 16 years ago, a few trends were predicted to be inevitable:
The classroom would become obsolete
Most lessons would be taught online
Professors would be replaced by e-learning
Today, not all of these predictions have come true. We continue to see new technologies, fads, and buzzwords (remember Second Life classrooms?) but most of them fade as quickly as they arrive.
So rather than write about another new trend, I wanted to reflect and take stock of some truths that I have found to withstand the test of time.
Below are five lessons I’ve learned about leadership development – lessons that I think will stay relevant even in learning environments full of VR and AI learning.
At our core, we are a company that believes in the transformative effects of training & development.
Here are 18 of our favorite quotes from a diverse group of professionals, intellectuals, and history makers, to give you some inspiration as you embark on your own pursuit of personal and professional growth:
When an organization seeks to bring about change, the team will often work with a consultant to help them see things they can’t see themselves. We’re often too close to our own organizational problems to be able to see them clearly. The same can be said for an individual — which is where a good coach comes in.
A coach can help you in the same way a good change consultant can help an organization: by spotlighting your blind spots and helping you connect areas you otherwise would miss out on.
The importance of the individual development that a good coach can bring is greater than the individual level. There is no amount of organizational change that can happen without real change at leader level.
Leaders set the culture and direction for organizations — whether they know it or not — which means that if they want to effectively bring change to an organization, they’ll have to bring change to themselves. This is not an easy task. One way a good coach can help a leader, and therefore an organization, grow, is by growing the leader’s self-awareness. One tool a coach can deploy to achieve the goal of self-awareness is the Johari window.
Abilitie was thrilled to partner with Amy Speranza and Jaclyn Courter to present Abilitie's third Learning Leader Roundtable, our first in New York, NY.
The foundational topic of the event was "How to develop high-potential leaders online," though the conversation spanned all the big issues that learning programs face today! Attending learning leaders represented organizations in the Fortune 100, non-profits, startups, and the global public service sector.
Before the event, Abilitie surveyed attendees on their online learning practices to set the stage for the conversation. Interesting trends emerged:
- In the programs represented, the demographic most frequently engaged in hi-po programs was recent graduates and entry-level, followed by managers, and then the executive level.
- The three most popular elements to include in hi-po learning programs were action learning group projects, personal assessments, and traditional classroom training.
- The least popular element to leverage for hi-po programs was job rotations.
- Participants surveyed reported that 5 years ago, only about 20% of their training took place online while today closer to 47% of their training takes place online. They predict that in 5 years, about 60% of their hi-po training will take place online.
While there is truly never a "one-size-fits-all" for learning, some patterns emerged as the roundtable participants discussed. A few are outlined below:
- Just because the platform is virtual doesn't mean the connections can't be real. Online programs are successful only when there is an element of socialization and community.
- In virtual settings, variety truly is the spice of life. Don't expect the same platform or medium to work in every phase of the program. Variety keeps learners engaged.
- Be ready for the long haul in showing ROI. There are many ways to demonstrate the value of learning, but to demonstrate long-term value, consider intermittent follow-ups and check-ins with participants for years to come.
Once again, a huge thank you to Amy and Jaclyn from GE for partnering with us to present this Learning Leaders Roundtable. There's nothing like engaging with our community to get us excited about the future of learning and development!
This post is adapted from content originally posted on the Enspire Learning Blog
Better learning, better retention, better transfer, and better business results — critical goals of any organization’s training and development program. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve these training outcomes in our classrooms and online training offerings. Have you ever wondered about how our nation’s most prestigious universities pursue these same goals?
UT Austin is engaged “in reinventing higher education in the 21st century” by applying the latest evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning. We're excited to see these approaches in learning sciences and instructional technologies applied to corporate and non-profit organizations’ learning programs.
Below, I’ve distilled the basics of several higher-ed transformation lessons that you can integrate into your training.
What are the business objectives?
It is always important for corporate trainers and instructional designers to remember the guiding question: What are the business objectives?
If this sounds over corporatized, there’s an angle of business learning that you’ll want to consider: program participants who feel their training isn’t relevant to their work are unlikely to be as invested.
If you don’t know what the business objectives are and how they connect to your training, then your learners won’t either. This is not good.
People (understandably) strive for symmetry in their work. We seek balance in our lives. Of course this idea carries over to how we plan our learning and development programs!
While there is a time and place for evenly paced learning, there is good reason to push yourself into uncomfortable, new, asymmetrical spaces!