Ideas and Insights

  • 09/24/2012 11:27 AM | Kathleen Ashelford (Administrator)
    The year 2012 has been a great year for science geeks – or at least those into space exploration (full disclosure: I’m married to one). This past Friday, my spouse and I joined the throngs of people all over California who flocked to observatories, beaches, rooftops, and streets, for a sight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Some spectators chanted “USA! USA!” as it passed overhead. Even in retirement, the Space Shuttle, like all of NASA, symbolizes for many people the best of who we are as a nation. 

    To me, NASA’s nearly 60-year history is even more than that – it’s a true and powerful story of the positive impact of traditional organization development when practiced over the long haul: strategy, organizational learning, teamwork, leadership, and so on, to support goals stakeholders know will take many years to achieve.

    Two friends of mine are aerospace professionals involved in the NASA Mars Rover project, Curiosity. They were part of the reason why, last month, on August 6, our household sat transfixed before a screen watching Curiosity enter Mars’ atmosphere. When the rover landed, intact and fully functional, after a suspenseful “seven minutes of terror,” the internet-transmitted sight of group hugs and high-fives at NASA made me glad, but wistful. As with the entire U.S. economy – industries, companies, and people – the last decade has been brutal for NASA. The Shuttle Program was declared finished in 2004. The nation’s priorities have shifted elsewhere. Decades of once-generous government funding have ended – probably forever. 

    The organization has undertaken the years-long process of reinventing itself for its new environment, but the process has been painful. Many aerospace professionals who spent their entire careers on the Space Program lost their jobs. These are some of the most highly educated professionals in the world; many have nowhere else to go. I watched a “60 Minutes” program telling the stories of some of these people, and it made me weep.

    Almost two decades ago, Peter Drucker wrote what is still one of my favorite articles on strategy and organization development: "The Theory of the Business," published in the Harvard Business Review in 1994. He observed that a company must be prepared to reinvent itself as needed, and implied that it could be as often as every three to five years. Last spring, I served as a coach and facilitator for a career transition class at Brandman University in Irvine. John Hall, the executive coach who taught it, said professionals in the 21st century must be prepared to change employers every two to five years! In the 21st century, Hall said, we must all become entrepreneurs. 

    The term “entrepreneur” is defined in Wikipedia as someone willing to help launch a new venture or enterprise and accept full responsibility for the outcome. “Learn to see yourself as a provider of solutions to the problems businesses everywhere are trying to solve," Hall told the class. "Even when you find employment within a company, never stop seeing yourself that way." Also, he emphasized, never stop expanding your skills. Be ready to reinvent yourself and your career again as the world changes.

    Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and author of many books on the world of work, titled one of his recent columns “New Rules,” and delivered the same message: “More than ever now, lifelong learning is the key to getting into, and staying in, the middle class,” Friedman wrote. “There is a quote attributed to the futurist Alvin Toffler that captures this new reality: In the future ‘illiteracy will not be defined by those who cannot read and write, but by those who cannot learn and relearn.’ Any form of standing still is deadly.”

    If Drucker, Hall, and Friedman are correct, the implications for the role of learning and development are huge. The need for constant reinvention is upon us – perhaps even more than for other professions. How do we help our organizations – and the people who work in them – reinvent themselves as needed, in a world requiring them to do so again and again? Also, what does this mean for how we manage our own careers?

    I look forward to finding resources to answer those questions as I attend this week’s Enterprise Learning Conference & Expo. And I’ll explore them more in a future blog . . .

  • 09/04/2012 2:37 PM | Rhonda Askeland

    There’s been quite a buzz with different chapter events going on. I wanted to pass on the highlights and share good news.

    We have seen quite a bit growth in our chapter this year, some by design and some as a result of the learning events this year. There are quite a few benefits that we’ve seen members taking advantage of - highlights include:

    • Attending ASTD Certificate programs for free
    • Opportunity to win a Kindle Fire
    • $100 in product from Wiley/Pfeiffer
    • Discounted rates for Thomas Kuhlman Articulate and Advanced User Storyline workshops
    • CPLP study group opportunity – the program starts September 8
    • Powerful Presentation Skills member discount - program launch date is September 25

    ASTD National offered our chapter the opportunity to attend a certificate program at no charge in April and we have just been offered the same opportunity this fall.  Anyone who is member of ASTD-OC as of September 30 will have an opportunity to select from four ASTD Certificate programs (Training, Blended Learning, e-Learning Instructional Design, and Project Management for Learning Professionals) in Southern California in October and November.

    We currently are offering the opportunity to win a Kindle Fire if you are a member as of September 30.  If you are an ASTD National member, we have discounted rates to attend our chapter meeting in September and check us out. If you decide to become a member, you’ll have the same opportunities mentioned above.

    In August, our members were given an opportunity to be part of a learning professionals survey in support of research by Elaine Biech. As an incentive to do the survey, Wiley/Pfeiffer offered the chapter with the highest percentage of member responses a credit of up to $100 on any product for each person who responded. Orange County had the highest number of responses and 45 members were able to select a product from the Wiley website. I can’t wait to receive my book!

    We brought Thomas Kuhlman in to review Articulate and Storyline and had an incredible response. Members were able to attend at a deeply discounted rate. One participant said to me, "I would have paid three times the rate - the day was really inexpensive." The response was so good, we were approached by a member to bring an advanced user Storyline to the chapter. We brought in David Anderson and he added the "icing on the cake" to the previous event with an advanced user workshop. The testimonials were outstanding.

    We are excited for the CPLP study group to start this Saturday, September 8. All members attend the study group at no charge, as a benefit of being a member. I encourage you to see what we’ll be doing by clicking on the CPLP tab.

    Powerful Presentation Skills is back! The program launches September 25 and members can save up to $200 off the non-member regular rate. Register by September 7 to receive the maximum discount. Go to the Home or Event pages for more information.

    I invite you to check out our upcoming events. We will be changing things up this month with our monthly learning event at the Enterprise Learning Conference & Expo. You can find more info on our events page.

    It’s a great time to be a member of ASTD-OC! I look forward to connecting with our members and invite you to contact me. Our community is rich with knowledge and experience and I’m happy to connect you with your fellow members.

     

    Rhonda Askeland

    2012 Chapter President

     

    Come for the content. Stay for the community.
  • 08/22/2012 11:52 AM | Denise Ross-Admin (Administrator)

    On August 11, we lost Stephen Glass, 1972 ASTD-OC Chapter President. Earlier in the month, he fell and fractured his hip and contracted pneumonia. 

    Obituaries usually provide the details, and his obituary was no exception. What his obituary could not communicate was the love he had for his wife Kit, his children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren, his extended family, his community, his country and his God.

    Here are some of the details about the man. He was born in 1917 in Pennsylvania, the second of ten children. He earned his Master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University. He found the love of his life, Kit, in 1937 and they have been married 69 years. He has four sons, two grandsons and six great-grandchildren, so far. He served with pride in the Marine Corps in WW2 and in the Korean War.

    Here are some of the details that make him a remarkable man. His father worked in the coal mines and the family lived in coal-mine provided housing. Sadly, his dad died at 36 in a mine cave-in. The family faced eviction, so Stephen (the oldest son) began to work in the mines to allow the large family to stay in the housing unit. He hated working the mines and wanted out; he hitched-hiked 15 miles to Indiana University of Pennsylvania every day after working in the mines in order to complete his college education.

    He really was a family man. He cherished his wife, teaching his sons about life by loving and respecting their mother. He was always a teacher, taking time with his sons to play catch (the right way).  Ditto with the grandsons: “Do it the right way.” He was firm and loving, setting the bar high and expecting their best. The family celebrated his 80th birthday (probably wondering how many more big birthdays he might have). His best gifts? The letters that his family, friends and community wrote to him, detailing the stories and impacts that he had had on their lives. Reading through these letters at his memorial brought tears and smiles, and insights into this man’s enormous impact on others.

    He proudly served in the Marines. He also often worked with the military after he was discharged, providing management training.  Stephen was trim enough to probably fit into his old Marine uniform, a feat and a tribute to his healthful regime throughout his life.

    He swam almost every day, followed by relaxing in the hot tub. Others report that he swam AND sang every day; no one offered him a place in a “granddad band!” His favorite tune? He could be heard singing “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…” his favorite tune to sing to and about his beloved Kit.

    His long career spanned management training, consulting, and real estate. He worked at success.

    ASTD-OC was chartered in 1969; our chapter is blessed that Stephen was one of the grandfathers of the chapter. Stephen was there in the early years to provide leadership guidance, and served as President in 1972.  Past Presidents were invited to the 1999 December chapter meeting by Geri Lopker, 2000 President, in order to celebrate their support throughout our 30 year history. Stephen and Kit attended almost all of the December meetings since 1999, when he was just 82.  Each time, he proudly stood and introduced his wife, reminded us of his age, and implored us to partner with the line manager to keep training relevant to the performer.

    His legacy? It is different for everyone who knew him. One thing is certain. He will be remembered by everyone who knew him as a remarkable man, who strived to leave the world a better place.

    Rest in peace, friend. Stephen J. Glass, 1917-2012.

    By, Geri Lopker, President 2000


    Please send any cards or condolences to Kit Glass, c/o ASTD-Orange County, 9852 W. Katella Ave. #187, Anaheim, CA 92804.

  • 08/20/2012 8:47 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)
    How many of our members use Captivate, Articulate, or some other tool to develop eLearning? After reading a post in our LinkedIn Discussion Group, I wondered who I would find after doing a quick search of our Member database.

    I found six names.

    That number doesn't reflect the interest our membership has shown in eLearning topics. Our Articulate Storyline seminars sold out earlier this month. The Technology Tidbits (formerly Technology and Training) SIG is flourishing. Surely we've got some eLearning gurus amongst us.

    I performed a search for Captivate users. Results: four members. Articulate users? Again, four members.

    This research led me to ask a different question. Are we using our member profiles to their fullest? By now most people who are actively looking to promote themselves online know to use keywords in their various profiles.
    Philippa Gamse says in her book 42 Rules for a Web Presence that Wins,  "Search engine marketing is very passive, but proactive participation on LinkedIn can be very helpful in this type of situation, where targeting is very important, and where displaying your expertise can be more productive in gaining qualified leads than blatant advertising. Yes, it takes some focused time, but can really pay off."

    Jeff Haden, writer for Inc., states that we should layer keywords within our profiles. "Work through the rest of your profile and replace some of the vague descriptions of skills, experience, and educational background with keywords," he says. "Your profile isn’t a term paper so don’t worry about a little repetition. A LinkedIn search scans for keywords, and once on the page, so do people."

    And so does the ASTD-OC Find A Trainer feature.

    If you've inserted the objective statement from your resume in your ASTD-OC profile, you're not helping people find you. A recruiter's eyes wash over those statements on your resume, diving straight for the meat. A project manager seeking a consultant will do the same with any online profile.

    What should you do?

    Think about how you want to be found. What key statements have you included in your resume, or in your elevator speech, that describe what you want to be doing next in your career? Think about the special skills that you possess, the software that you can utilize, to accomplish the things you are most passionate about. I encourage you to include that information in your ASTD-OC profile. Pepper those statements with the keywords people look for:
    Change (14 results) 
    Coach (28 results)
    Leadership (33 results)

    Especially since ... that guy who was looking for eLearning consultants? LinkedIn wasn't giving him the results he was looking for. So I told him to look here.


  • 08/07/2012 9:56 AM | Rhonda Askeland

    I look at the calendar and ask myself, “How did it get to be August already?” The good news is that ASTD-OC has had a productive summer . . . even taking the month of July off. 

    We kicked-off the summer with an addition to the Board. Coline Son Lee joined the Board as the Co-VP of Marketing and has made a serious splash into chapter events. Here's some info on Coline:

    • She comes to the chapter from Northern California where she has been active on ASTD National activities.
    • She has her CPLP and has initiated a CPLP preparation and study group program for the west coast with ASTD-OC being the hub for the program.
    • Coline was instrumental in securing the Advanced Storyline from Articulate workshop, held August 7. In her short-time on the Board, she has helped the chapter kick-off a sizzling summer.
    • Welcome, Coline!

    The June Monthly Learning Event with Mark Samuel was a hot ticket. The doors had to be expanded for a robust group to hear the details on making one’s self and organization “indispensable.” Mark provided insights and tips that were not only timely in today’s workplace, they were also practical and easy to implement. If you weren’t able to be there, check out Mark’s new book, Making Yourself Indispensable: The Power of Personal Accountability.

    ASTD-OC has a lot more in store to “turn up the heat” in August and September.

    • The Ardrey Group presents, Train the Trainers – Four P’s to Team Building Success” on August 22
    • The September Monthly Learning Event is being hosted at the Enterprise Learning Conference & Expo on September 26. A dynamic panel will talk about learning & development in today's workplace.
    • Go to astdoc.org for more info on our events.

    Would you like to have a Kindle Fire? Here's how you can be eligible: All ASTD-OC members on September 30 will have an opportunity to win a Kindle Fire. Make sure you renew, if your membership is due to expire, and join if you aren’t currently a member. The administration fee will be waived for all new members who join in August and September. Good luck!

    The election season is upon us. The Leadership Selection Committee, led by Denise Lamonte, has been contacting potential chapter leaders. August is nomination month. If you, or someone you know, are interested in knowing more or would like to be a part of a dynamic team, please contact Denise at pastpresident@astdoc.org. The rewards of being a part of chapter leadership are bountiful. Ask any Board member for more info.


    Continue to enjoy your summer and join us for the ASTD-OC Summer of Sizzle!

     

    Rhonda Askeland

    2012 Chapter President

  • 06/12/2012 9:58 AM | Rhonda Askeland

    It’s been a month since I attended ASTD’s International Conference (ICE) in Denver. Reflecting on the ideas and thoughts has given me perspective and what it means for ASTD-OC.  A key takeaway for me was around learning agility. I realize how ASTD-OC is a resource that helps me address this important area.

    Learning agility was defined as the ability and willingness to learn from experience and successfully apply that learning to perform in new or first-time conditions. Agility includes quick thinking, initiating curiosity, creating fresh connections, having a broad range of thinking, and utilizing principles or rules of thumb in approaching situations. The need for learning agility is critical to today’s demands and the role of training and development enables learning agility in organizations.

    ASTD-OC has made it our mission to equip our community with access to the skills and connections that enable learning agility. The programs that are offered take into consideration the various learning needs of our community. The results: a wide-variety of programs are offered through monthly learning events and our Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings. Emphasis on design and development, both ILT and elearning, was delivered in the month of May with a successful Thomas Kuhlman workshop and a “nuts and bolts” ADDIE presentation by Langevin. Our OD SIG kicked-off the month by sharing ideas on organization design.  June started with the OD SIG showcasing a top-notch panel discussing talent management and we’ll be taking the discussion on people and productivity to the next level with our monthly learning event, Making Your Organization and Yourself Indispensible.  The Training & Technology SIG presents technology tidbits to improve learning and performance this afternoon.

    We want to help you build your mastery – with programs that increase your depth in an area or expand on your breadth of knowledge. We love to hear from you about learning events that will help you increase your learning agility. Contact me at president@astdoc.org with the best ways to meet your needs.

     

    Rhonda Askeland

    ASTD-OC, 2012 Chapter President

  • 05/21/2012 9:52 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)
    ASTD-OC is that leadership lab you've been looking for.

    It's a community of practice for DISC, Myers-Briggs, black hats and blue pens. For breaking all the rules and discovering your strengths. It's a petri dish of leadership theories and styles all mixed together because hey! this isn't science as much as it's life.

    I bring this up having read an article on the 6 Habits of Memorable People and a companion post, 6 Ways Successful People Stand Out.  Each article suggests that as we spend our days working towards some definition of success, we're not being memorable. Being a person that other people remember -- our peers, our bosses, that person you just networked with -- requires stepping outside the cubicle, so to speak, and doing things rather than reading and talking about them.

    Take a walk through the ASTD-OC community. You'll meet someone who is developing a recognition program. There's an onboarding program in its infancy. Here are project managers dipping their brains into web design. Over there is a leader in training who managed a failed project, explored the lessons learned from the failure, and went on to plan and manager bigger and better projects, both for ASTD-OC and for work. And let's not forget this gregarious fellow, whose smile is as broad as the support he's willing to give to anyone who asks for it.

    If you're a person seeking an opportunity to stand out in your organization, trying doing so outside its box. Try doing so here.
  • 04/03/2012 11:01 AM | Rhonda Askeland

    The first quarter has launched and the ASTD-OC chapter has been coiling the spring with impactful learning events. Our motto, “Come for the content. Stay for the community.” has never been more true as our community is strengthened with new members, sponsors, and business connections.

    We are excited to spring forward with a full-to-capacity Total Trainer program. The robust 10-week series promises to give training professionals the tools to design, develop, facilitate, and implement training that makes a difference in organizations. Watch out! The Total Trainer training professionals will take the ADDIE model to new heights of learning. Participants will help their organizations spring forward by applying their learning skills.

    We couldn’t have coiled the spring any tighter to get the excitement and anticipation for our May workshop. Thomas Kuhlman, the rapid Elearning industry guru, will share his insights and tips on using Articulate and Storyline to create effective Elearning. Participants will get hands-on experience with the latest from Articulate. We are pleased to support our learning community with a workshop that is sure to be a valued tool in a training development toolbox and helps Elearning professionals spring forward with cutting-edge tools.

    The ASTD-OC community has seen growth in its membership and volunteer base this past quarter. The growth strengthens how we serve our learning professional community and helps the chapter spring forward and provide outstanding learning events and services. We anticipate offering workshops and additional learning opportunities that give our community a place they know they can go to and depend on for their learning needs.

    We invite you to spring forward with us and explore the events coming to you this spring. Your learning community awaits you.

    Rhonda Askeland

    2012 Chapter President
  • 03/25/2012 6:51 PM | Anonymous

    Every organization needs to adapt to change if it is to succeed in today’s economy.  It is a known fact that change is inevitable and the only constant is change itself.  The problem is that most people don’t like change and many have a difficult time accepting and making the change.  It takes an average of 12 years for an organization to change. 

    Excellent people skills are critical for the Project Manager (PM)/Change Agent (CA).  Combining the right people skills learned from project management methodologies and change management best practices will help increase cooperation and communication between departments and functions.   This will help expedite changing an organization more quickly and effectively. 

    For example, the PM/CA should ensure that they have full support from Executive Management.  Next, the customers (internal and external) should be made aware of the planned change, be informed why it is important and necessary, and told how it will affect them.  Also, informing the customers of what’s in it for them will help gain everyone’s buy-in, or at least, consensus and openness to the change itself. Regular communications and necessary training throughout the change process will help assure continued buy-in throughout the organization. 

    People skills are essential to effectively motivate and communicate with the project team, and ultimately with the rest of the organization.  Using these methodologies, along with other project management and change management best practice methodologies (not contained in this blog) will help ensure that the organization has a higher percentage rate of achieving the desired change effectively and efficiently in the shortest time possible.

    Note:  Linda Huey, MBA, is ASTD-OC Chapter Secretary for 2012.  She has a Certificate in Organizational Development Best Practices and is currently working on obtaining certificates in Project Management Professional and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.  

  • 03/23/2012 10:30 AM | Jolynn Atkins

    Evaluate the results of training in session (week) five with Melissa Smith, an adult learning expert who teaches trainers how to train with impact (specializing in program design and delivery,) and helps individuals improve self-leadership and interpersonal effectiveness using tools, skills and knowledge of personality differences.


    When was the last time we stopped to ask "Was our last program a success?" or "Are our participants applying what they learned and if so, are we achieving desired results?" In this session, we will learn to monitor and evaluate existing training through practical application of the Kirkpatrick four levels of evaluation, use trend analysis to evaluate participant feedback and learn to match tests to learning objectives. 


    In today's workplace, being able to demonstrate cost justification for training and show return on dollars invested in training is critical. No worries if you are not sure where to start because we will also learn to measure the value of training using cost benefit analysis that will allow you to present return on investment (ROI).  


    Now, back to the question at hand, "Does your program evaluation pass the test?" Total Trainer and Melissa Smith will share how to use a validation tool to identify the transfer of learning to the workplace that you can take back and immediately apply in your learning environment.

     

    We love our ASTD community and its breadth of expertise, so please feel free to share yours or your organization's best practices for program evaluation in the comments section below.

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