by Denise Zdunyck
With knowledge at our fingertips, we sometimes forget the beauty and power of connecting with other people. When like-minded people gather to share their insight and experience, the room comes alive.
On Oct. 28, 2015, ATD-OC welcomed award-winning eLearning designer, Kevin Thorn, for an evening of “Tapas, Wine, and Storyline.” The evening had almost a fireside chat feel to it as Gloria Hays expertly guided the conversation with Kevin. Sitting in the audience, we felt we were as much a part of the conversation as the star speaker.
Listening to Kevin, one gets the feeling that it is possible to attain one’s dreams even when unsure where those dreams lead. Kevin learned Storyline basically on a dare. And, in his stories, he dares us to dream and think bigger – or at least differently.
Kevin shared tales about how something as simple as doodles became the logo for his company, Nuggethead Studioztm, along with insightful perspectives on process design.
Through that story, and several others, Kevin encouraged eLearning developers to “think differently about their design” -- to think through the behavior of what they want their learners to experience -- the user experience. Focus on this, and design from this. Too often, Kevin shared, individuals building programs ask development questions when they should be focusing on design questions.
One of the questions asked by Gloria prompted a lively discussion amongst the group. She asked “[Do you have] any tips for how to get the stakeholders involved in the eLearning review cycle, earlier in the Design process?”
In the subsequent discussion, one guest in the audience insightfully leveraged her Executive Experience saying: “Tell them nothing. Ask them everything”.
Not only is Kevin Thorn a Storyline Star, he’s genuinely a nice guy. He took the time to talk with all of the participants who approached him, he answered questions, told fun stories, and, to top it off, he described ATD-OC’s hospitality as “exceptional.”
When Senator Paul Ryan announced that he would entertain the House Speakership, he did so with a few conditions. One of those: that his weekends were reserved for his family. "I cannot and will not give up my family time," he said.
This requirement for work-life balance isn't new, but it is a defining trait of today's leaders. According to an EY study: "Work-life Challenges Across Generations," approximately half of managers globally are working more than 40-hour work weeks. Four in 10 say their hours have increased over the past five years.
This challenge to work-life balance appears to have impacted Millenials the most, who the EY report states are almost twice as likely to have a spouse or partner working at least full-time than Boomers -- a conclusion that highlights the differences between the multiple generations within our workforce.
Baby Boomers are typically characterized as driven, working long hours to establish self-worth, identity, and fulfillment. Seen as sacrificing family for work-ethic, they're currently blamed for a rising divorce rate, a sharp contrast to the Millennial desire for both solid family time and rewarding work.
A potential side-affect from this approach to work: Boomers perceive that the ability to lead comes from the work experiences they have gained during those long work weeks. Millennials, coming into management with fresh MBAs and leadership certifications, lack that experience. As they bring their ideas and mindset into the workplace, these young leaders often challenge the established workforce with their "way of doing things" that hasn't been tried and tested over time, and won't be tried or tested if they insist on sticking to an 8-to-5 schedule.
Work-life balance is one snapshot of many in which Millennial managers impact a multi-generational workforce. This month Devon Scheef, co-founder of The Learning Cafe, will share other snap shots of Millennials as formal organizational leaders, how they view their own leadership, and how these create a gap between those protecting an organizational legacy and those pushing forward with approaches unencumbered with past practice.
Join us for lunch this November 18 to explore this topic further!
With sadness, we announce that ATD-OC has lost a long-time member, devoted volunteer, and friend. Sheri Long passed away on Monday, November 9, after a two-year battle with cancer. She was at home, at peace, and surrounded by family and friends.
Sheri, who joined our Chapter in 1993, was a consummate learning, development, and diversity professional. As a child, she grew up on a ranch alongside Mexican farm workers, thereby learning Spanish at the age of six. Later, she lived and studied in Mexico. This background, plus training and experience as a family counselor, lead to the vocation she loved so much. Her company, Amigos At Work, helped organizations lead, train, and engage their Hispanic workforce. Sheri volunteered for many organizations, especially those serving Orange County's Hispanic communities. She performed many volunteer roles for ATD-OC, including 2014 Vice President of Talent Management.
If you knew Sheri, you know how much she is already missed. She had a rare kind of positive energy, which she brought wherever she went. David Hartl, Sheri's close friend and fellow Chapter member, captured her perfectly in the email he sent to inform us of her passing:
"Please, take a moment to pause and remember Sheri: her vitality, her talents, her laughter and party spirit, her colorful ideas and surroundings, her extraordinary bilingual skills, her knowledge of people and organizations . . . her impact on her many clients and systems that benefited from her leadership . . . Also, remember her love of fun and joy, and her amazing ability to share those qualities . . . "
If you called Amigos At Work, and got her voicemail greeting, "Hola, amigo!" you felt she really meant it. When Sheri and I first worked together on the Chapter Board, I noticed right away her generous use of the Spanish word for friend -- and got used to being called "amiga."
Sheri's husband, Lee Pound, asks those who wish to share thoughts and memories of her to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to type "About Sheri" in the Subject line. Also, a celebration of her life will be held at a time and place to be announced. If you wish to attend, please be sure Lee has your email address.
In the meantime, as David Hartl said, "we're going to miss that girl."
Yes, we will. Good-bye, amiga.
Kathleen Ashelford, Past President
On behalf of ATD-Orange County
2016 News: Your 2016 ATD-OC Board has been working hard in preparation for next year. First they met with the current board for wisdom transfer and next an onboarding session and idea exchange meeting on October 17th. Last night we met in virtual meeting to discuss details to create member value through programs, volunteer and leadership opportunities.
The underlying theme for 2016 is Explore, Experience, Share and our focus for first quarter ATD-OC programing is ‘Local Treasures’.
Over the next few months, we will be reaching out for presenters to fill various program needs for 2016. Additionally, if you have dynamic content to present or know others with exciting content our members would enjoy experiencing, please contact or have them contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with information about these "Hidden Treasures."
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Jay Cross, a pioneer in the informal learning field. Jay was an ASTD Orange County presenter in the late 'aughts where he spoke, I believe, on what he called "time deflation" and its impact on learning, predicting a further reliance on eLearning as a training solution, and identifying a push for informal learning to support an employee's need to learn on the job.
This presentation was unique (for our chapter) in that Jay delivered it from his boat anchored off the Central American coast while we listened in the DoubleTree Club conference room, simultaneously informed and inspired with new life goals.
Jay was on a continuous quest for knowledge, the results of which you can glean from his continuously expanding digital footprint. You can learn more about how far-ranging Jay's quest took him from his Internet Time Alliance peer Harold Jarche.
2015 ATD-OC Programs Value Survey
We would like to start by thanking each and every one you for your time, your attention, your perspective, and your obvious genuine interest in advancing the mission of the ATD Orange County Chapter.
In July, we sent a survey asking for your input and insights into chapter activities, programs, and overall value. Click the link to find the final results and recommendations from the program survey.
Thank you again for contributing to YOUR chapter and YOUR membership. Look forward to seeing YOUR programs in 2016.
Yours in service,
Jolynn Atkins, President
We asked Kevin Thorn, Articulate Community Hero and facilitator of this month's Articulate Fundamentals Workshop, what will you want you learners to be able to do by the end of the class?
The answer surprised us. "By the end of the class," Kevin replied, "I want them to think differently about their designs.
"If you think differently about the way you design and not try to design within a tool... if you think through the behaviour of what you want your learner to experience -- the user experience -- think about that first, design that, and I guarantee you Storyline can build what you want to design."
In this "extended cut" from our Kevin Thorn interview, we hear more about his approach to eLearning design, and why pencil and paper are such important resources at this stage.
You can listen to the extended cut here.
Haven't heard the entire interview? Check it out here.
More details on the Storyline Fundamentals workshop here.
These members were selected because of their great work and the positive impact their having on our association and programs. Among other things, we appreciate their:
Kathleen Ashelford has had a long and storied career at ATD-Orange County. She joined us in 2009 with a passion for mentoring others, and dove in to support our ever-evolving Chapter Website. This year, she's our Chapter Past President. We sat down with her to learn more about her relationship with our community, and what's next for her and ATD-OC.
The results were not surprising, with most respondents indicating: "What orientation?" followed by "Gave me a little insight into the company."
This highlights a peculiar gap between an organization's hiring practices and their onboarding practices.
Corporations are increasingly hiring people who they believe will fit within their culture. Highlighted as far back as 2001 in Jim Collins' Good to Great as the practice of "getting the right people on the bus," recruiters often seek out potential candidates who espouse the same values as the hiring organization.
And yet, once that hiring process is over, so is the focus on the employee's "fit" within the organization. With 18% of talent professionals in our survey indicating that their orientation clearly explained their role, one wonders why that ball is dropped.
Perhaps the gap comes from the push to reduce the time impact of orientation. The talent development team may face pressure from managers who state that a new hire doesn't have time for any new hire training that extends beyond the first day. Or the talent development team may be a "department of one," a taught shoestring able to get to orientation when a quorum exists for the class. A big component of Taco Bell's new hire orientation success story, as shared in our April 2015 Learning Event, was the reduction of new hire orientation from 30 hours to six with the implementation of just-in-time eLearning combined with on-the-job observation. With an employee turn-over of over 140%, this reduction of time was absolutely necessary for the rapid induction of their front line.
Most orientations dive into the compliance rules. Because those are important. They explore the company benefits. Because the new employee needs to plan and prepare. They might provide an introduction to the other employees and facilities. Because we've all got to know where the facilities are. But that should be the tip of the orientation iceberg.
"Understanding and being successful in the culture of an organization is the leading indicator of new hire’s speed to performance and retention," says Amy Hirsh Robinson in her whitepaper: "From Orientation to Acculturation -- What Really Belongs In Your New Employee Orientation."
She continues to share that a successful onboarding program should focus on:
You can hear more from Amy Hirsh Robinson and Angela Chang Tran, Learning Strategy Manager at Southern California Edison, this September 23rd as they share a case study of how Southern California Edison re-created New Employee Orientation to focus on employee ownership and connection. True to their model of new employee orientation, they're planning an interactive event, so book your seats today!
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