Ideas and Insights

  • 02/24/2015 9:52 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)
    You've probably seen a few announcements for ATD-OC's Total Trainer: Creating Training program. If you've been a member for a few years, and have participated in Total Trainer before, you may have commented on its new name.

    "Is this part of the ATD re-branding?" you may have wondered.

    ATD-OC would like to assure you that it is not.

    "We’re bringing 'Total Trainer' and 'Powerful Presentation Skills' under the same name," shared Anthony Harmetz, Past President of ATD-OC and Total Trainer project manager. "The thought is to bring both programs under the umbrella of the “Total Trainer University.” Other ongoing offerings that might one day be part of the Total Trainer University include a course on SAM and a course on developing elearning."

    The two programs will now be called: 
      * Total Trainer: Creating Training (formerly “Total Trainer”)
      * Total Trainer: Delivering Training (formerly “Powerful Presentation Skills”)

    But the name isn't the only thing that's been updated.

    "We have quite a few volunteers to help with this year's program," says Anthony. "And the team has started working together earlier than usual. What this means to the program is that we will have the bandwidth to make some enhancements we've been wanting to make for some time."

    Already in the works? A Total Trainer Glossary. 

    "We are identifying terms from your presentation that are key in grasping the overall concept of your training topic." says Meghan Koyama, Total Trainer volunteer who has been diligently connecting with each of the Creating Training facilitators to capture their expertise in this resource.

    But the biggest change will be the class project. 

    "We’ve decided to try this new approach," says Anthony. "Instead of 3 or 4 small groups each creating brief presentations, the entire class will work together to create a two-hour training session which some class members will deliver on the final evening."

    This will allow participants the opportunity to develop in the areas of most importance to them.

    But perhaps most exciting? The team is working to develop training for a real client with a real need.  According to Anthony, they've conducted some initial planning with a training manager at a local Orange County company.

    What hasn't changed:

    "Total Trainer: Creating Training" continues to be taught by senior training professionals from the ATD-OC community.  Over a series of ten workshops, participants will learn about all facets of creating training from initial needs analysis through the evaluation of training. Topics will include: 
    • Performance Consulting
    • Needs Analysis
    • Program Design
    • Program Evaluation
    • Document Design
    • Facilitation
    • Distance Learning
    This is an exciting time for us as we take real steps to enhance a flagship ATD-OC program. We hope you join us, by registering for the event, or by sharing your Total Trainer experiences with our 2015 Total Trainer program volunteers at our Chapter meetings!

    Our Total Trainer Program Team:
      * Carolyn Kelly
      * Brad Logue 
      * Andrea Plummer 
      * Meghan Koyama
      * Grace Valle
      * Don McGray
      * Angela Helmer 
      * Anthony Harmetz
  • 02/20/2015 10:11 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    "The future is not given. Especially in this time of globalization and the network revolution, behavior at the individual level will be the key factor in shaping the evolution of the entire human species. Just as one particle can alter macroscopic organization in nature, so the role of individuals is more important now than ever in society." Ilya Prigogine, 2000

    In preparation for this month's Learning Event, presenter Denise Lamonte begins by asking: "Is your organizational change effort failing because the wrong people are leading it?" She goes on to suggest that the people with the titles are not necessarily the right drivers of organizational change, other individuals are.

    Denise won't be quoting Belgian physical chemists, but will be referring to the research conducted by Dr. John Kotter, a best-selling author and authority on leadership and change. Dr. Kotter identified an 8-Step Process for leading change, one step of which is assemble a group of the right individuals with the power and energy to lead and support a collaborative change effort -- or, building a guiding coalition. 

    This session will draw from Denise's real experiences in building a guiding coalition at St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare, and promises to be an insightful exploration of Dr. Kotter's process for successful organizational change.


    Are you a manager involved in a project that will likely create some organizational change? Do you, yourself, wish to change the world? Join us over lunch this Wednesday, February 25.

  • 06/05/2014 10:45 AM | Denise Ross-Admin (Administrator)

    American Society for Training & Development is now Association for Talent Development


    What this means for you and for our Chapter 

    Hi Denise, 


    Earlier this month, on May 6, ASTD National announced to members and to the world that the American Society for Training & Development, ASTD, has changed its name to the Association for Talent Development, ATD (see the email at the bottom of this message).


    As soon as I read this announcement, my first response was curiosity about the history behind this decision. Even more, I wanted to know the implications for our Chapter. Key answers to those questions were provided to me and other West Coast Chapter leaders in a recent conference call with our National representatives.


    Here are the first things to know:

    • Our membership benefits remain the same.
    • The online content available to National members remains the same.
    • Changes include a new name and logo for the organization, plus new names for its publications, to be rolled out over the next year.

    I believe the spirit of the change makes sense. This new name and brand reflect more clearly our profession's mission, which covers more than Training Delivery and Instructional Design. Our Competency Model includes Coaching, Performance Improvement, Change Management, and other disciplines, all of which are needed for effective learning in the workplace.


    • Each Chapter decides how it will implement the new name and brand for its members and community. A plan for our Chapter is in the works, and your Chapter leadership will keep you informed.
    • We have between now and May 2015 to do so. National has provided tools and resources for our use along the way.
    • More information will be shared as it comes to us. So, please stay tuned.


    President Elect Jolynn Atkins has graciously stepped up to lead our transition from ASTD-Orange County to ATD-Orange County. Your questions about it may be directed to her at




    Kathleen Ashelford, President, ASTD-OC

    ASTD is becoming ATD

    Dear Kathleen,

    Yesterday at our 2014 International Conference & Exposition, the ASTD Board of Directors and I announced that 

    ASTD is changing its name to the Association for Talent Development (ATD).

    Since some of our members and customers were not able to join us in Washington, D.C. for the conference, I wanted to be sure that you heard about the change first hand.

    As I shared with conference attendees, this change comes after years of consideration of ASTD's brand, a thoughtful review of major trends and changes in the profession, and a reflection on the positive and significant impact of our members' work.

    Since ASTD was founded in 1943, the profession has transformed dramatically. T&D professionals' roles are much broader and deeper than ever before. You and your peers are responsible for a wider scope, have a greater impact on the organizations you serve, and have become critical business partners.

    What hasn't changed in 70 years is the purpose of the field-to develop people: their knowledge, skills, and capabilities.

    ASTD is changing to the Association for Talent Development to demonstrate how this profession's work-and the impact that our members and customers have-stretches beyond training.

    Rest assured that training and development remain at the core of ATD. We have been your professional home, and my personal pledge to you is that our service and commitment is stronger than ever. While we are excited about this bright future, we are deeply appreciative of the 70-year history that is the foundation of this vibrant and global community.

    We will be implementing the change in our name and brand over the next year. You'll see some immediate changes to the website, which will be co-branded for a time. We've also created a special website ( where you can find out more information about the change-including a timeline that maps out when you will see certain products transition to the new brand.

    If you have questions about this change, please reach out to us by emailing

    Today is the beginning of an exciting future for everyone in our global member community. Together, we are creating a world that works better, and we're excited to partner with you on this journey.

    Best regards,

    Tony Signature
    Tony Bingham
    President and CEO
    Association for Talent Development (ATD)  

    ATD Customer Care

  • 04/12/2013 5:16 PM | Denise Ross-Admin (Administrator)
    ASTD National will be offering 5 certificate courses in the LA area (El Segundo) this year?

    Designing Learning



    Training Certificate



    Blended Learning



    E-Learning Instructional Design



    Project Management for Learning Professionals



    Remember to use the Chapter Incentive Program code (ChIP code) when registering: CH8091.
  • 02/20/2013 3:21 PM | Kathleen Ashelford (Administrator)
    On Thursday, February 28, ASTD-OC features internationally known author and speaker Lou Russell on “Stop Winging It: Realistic Project Management.” Having just finished her book Project Management for Trainers: Stop Winging It And Get Control Of Your Projects, I can’t wait for her one-day, low-cost workshop next week.

    Whether you're job-hunting, seeking a promotion, or just wanting to keep your expertise up to date, consider that project management is fast becoming a critical skill in the learning and development profession. Those with demonstrated ability to manage projects have a distinct, competitive edge over those who don’t.

    Ms. Russell does a great job covering the most critical and universally applicable project management practices, then customizing them for learning initiatives. She approaches her subject with the full awareness of how often we wear dual hats of training developer and project manager.

    Here are some topics covered:
    • How to set meaningful objectives.
    • Why it is important to distinguish between business objectives and learning objectives – and how to document both.
    • How to create a scope document your stakeholders are likely to read.
    • How to develop the essential components of a project plan – a work breakdown structure, a schedule (including a critical path), a stakeholder communication plan, a risk management plan, cost estimates, and so on.
    • When to use project management software – and when not to.
    • Why you should conduct post-project reviews, and how to apply systems thinking and knowledge management principles to get the most out of them.
    She makes her principles easy to apply through extensive use of examples, exercises, checklists, templates, and other resources. Most important, her approach is both rigorous and flexible, which equips her learners to manage the constant changes inevitable in the real world. You will come away better equipped to manage projects, deal successfully with change – and forge ahead in your career!
  • 01/31/2013 5:05 PM | Kathleen Ashelford (Administrator)
    January and February always pass so quickly I wish they could each be two months long. The first weeks of every year seem so full of possibility, promise, and a special energy that cries out to be grabbed like a brass ring, and laser-focused on whatever goal or cause lights a fire inside you.

    Are you on fire for your career? Do you know where you want to be by January 2014? What is your plan to get there? My 2013 plan includes many of last year’s most valuable elements, plus a few new ones:

    1. Take at least two courses from a university or professional association. 
    Last year, I took both of ASTD Orange County’s signature courses, “Total Trainer” and “Powerful Presentation Skills.” The instruction from recognized leaders in Southern California’s L&D community vastly increased my knowledge of best practices. Also, I learned a lot from dozens of other professionals who comprised my classmates. Tuition for these courses was a substantial investment, but worth it – and I received a discount on each through my chapter membership. 

    2. Investigate the CPLP Certification.
    For years, I’ve heard of the CPLP, but didn’t know much about it. Since ASTD Orange County launched its CPLP Certification Program last year, it’s time to consider whether it’s an investment worth making now. For chapter members, participating in the CPLP Study Group is free. 

    3. Build proficiency with E-Learning tools. 
    I have a lot of ideas for creating online courses, but need more skill. Last year, I took a class in E-Learning Instructional Design Tools through the certificate program in E-Learning at University of California, Irvine – and received a 10% discount on tuition as an ASTD-OC member. This year, I joined the chapter’s “Technology Tidbits” Special Interest Group (SIG). It features both online and live sessions on topics such as Captivate, Learning Management Systems, and many others. Attendance for chapter members is free.

    4. Meet more professionals within my chosen specialty. 
    That means showing up more often for the “Organizational Development” SIG. Also, I’ve joined our newest SIG, “Trainers.” Again, attendance at all SIGs is free to chapter members.

    5. Give back to the profession and build a network through volunteering. 
    There is no better way to form the kind of professional relationships that make a difference in your career. This year, I serve my second term on the Board – and before that, volunteered on two of the chapter’s many program teams. I’ve come to know talented practitioners passionate about their work, and seen first-hand how they are ready to help anyone who needs advice, coaching, or other form of support. 

    6. Be more educated and aware overall about the latest trends in the profession. 
    I’ve been an ASTD National member for a couple of years. This year, I’m committed to more than paying dues and reading T&D Magazine. While taking the time recently to explore National’s website, I discovered a wealth of tools and other resources – of which I’ve been shortchanging myself by not using! The cost of the two memberships combined are a bargain.

    What’s your career development plan for 2013? I hope it includes making the most of any or all of your professional memberships, including ASTD. Professional dues make a great tax deduction, but they don’t benefit you otherwise unless you use them to the fullest. How will you get the most from your membership this year? January is over: one month down, eleven to go. Another year will pass before we know it!
  • 12/05/2012 10:20 AM | Rhonda Askeland

    It’s hard to believe that we’re at the end of 2012. The ASTD-OC leadership team had the last board meeting of the year and spent time reflecting on the year: our accomplishments and how each of us has contributed to the chapter.  When we looked at all that was achieved this year, it was gratifying to know that 2012 was a successful year.  A few highlights include:

    • The chapter reserve fund was increased by 52%
    • Membership increased by 63 chapter members (28%) and dual membership increased 18%
    • We achieved CORE for the first time (CORE are the Chapter Operating Requirements set by ASTD National)
    • Average monthly learning attendance is up by 29%
    • Outstanding programs were the foundation to our increases: Total Trainer, Powerful Presentation Skills, Articulate with Thomas Kuhlman, Advanced Storyline with David Anderson, and our CPLP™ study group pilot program were robust and provided members with a number of learning development options
    • Membership drives gave away a Kindle Fire and two ASTD Certificate Programs

    More than the chapter successes were the personal connections and enrichment that came from serving the chapter.  The leadership team shared the value they gained from each other. I know I feel fortunate to have worked side-by-side with so many talented people!

    We have great plans for 2013 and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish!  Wishing everyone a fabulous 2013.

    Rhonda Askeland

    ASTD-OC, 2012 Chapter President

  • 11/14/2012 8:18 PM | Denise Ross-Admin (Administrator)

    E-Learning Instructional Design Certificate Program

    It is critical that training professionals remain up-to-date with changes to how training is produced and delivered. UC Irvine Extension’s fully online E-Learning Instructional Design certificate program provides the foundation for today’s instructional development that focuses on aligning skills and knowledge needed to achieve organizational strategic goals and objectives. The courses also provide knowledge and skills in planning and designing e-learning instruction in training areas to match today’s varied company business needs based on identifiable learning objectives, rapid authoring tools, content requirements, and outcomes.

    Here is the link to our program page: This describes the program and requirements in detail. Here is a direct link to the course schedule as well: Here you will see all six of the course descriptions and what quarters they are offered. Each of these six required courses are eligible for the discount.

    Click here for the full brochure.

    UC Irvine Extension offers a 10% discount on courses in this program to ASTD-OC members. You must maintain active membership ASTD-Orange County for the life of the program to be eligible for the discount.

    You must be logged in to access the enrollment form.
  • 11/09/2012 5:24 PM | Denise Ross-Admin (Administrator)

    Jennifer Broas of PIMCO Human Resources who won the Kindle Fire generously donated by Everest CS


    Sheri Longwho won and chose to attend the Blended Learning Certificate Program from National ASTD

    During August and September, our incentive program to attract new members focused on “The Power of 2.” Our goal was to let National ASTD members know the benefits of belonging to our local chapter and for our Orange County Chapter members to become aware of the advantages of joining National. "Power of 2" offers members twice the support, twice the resources and twice the networking than just one membership.

    This 2-month program closed with drawings for a Kindle Fire and a complimentary seat in a National ASTD Certificate Program. And as a bonus, members belonging to both organizations were given an extra 5 entries to enhance their opportunity to win.

    Our President Elect, Coline, generously donated the Kindle Fire from her organization, Everest CS.

    Everest CS is a consulting partnership based in Orange County, CA. They combine Workplace Learning and Performance (WLP) with Project Management to develop performance solutions that are people centered and future driven.

    Through their 20 years of combined experience, they recognize that training is one of many approaches for achieving improved performance. Everest CS provides Instructional Systems Design, including e-Learning, Project Management Consulting, Change Management, Facilitation and Training, and Career and Personal Coaching.

    ASTD National offers a wide range of certificate programs throughout the year in various areas of the country. To see all the benefits of ASTD National, visit To join ASTD National, visit the ASTD Store and enter the ASTD-Orange County ChIP code CH8091 to receive the "Power of 2" rate, or call ASTD Customer Care at 1.800.628.2783 and mention the ChIP code CH8091. (As a matter of fact, anytime you place an order with National, be sure to use the ChiP code, as the chapter receives incentives.) 

    Congratulations to our winners and to those who took advantage of our Power of 2 promotion.

  • 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 . . .

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