Ideas and Insights

  • 02/01/2017 11:01 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    Our chapter is run by volunteers. They are the life blood of our existence, and the ATD OC Board works tirelessly to ensure volunteers receive much in return.

    On November 2, 2016, the Wall Street Journal posted the growing trend of business schools to move away from internal case studies and focus more on experiential learning opportunities in the ‘real’ world.

    From now, THINK of your ATD-OC Chapter as your Experiential Learning One-Stop Shop.

    As our 2016-2017 President, Jeffrey Hansler says:

    "We are giving you the keys to the car. We are dedicated to having you get behind the wheel and drive. We are obsessive about creating opportunities for you to innovate, experiment, to fail and get up again, and lead others by example.

    We constantly create opportunities for you to close the knowing/doing gap. To take ideas from your head and bring them to life. To give you the experience of applying your innovative ideas and leading innovation on a team and contributing to others as you massively learn from your experiences which is something you cannot get from the knowledge base of Google.

    Engage with us, learn the specifics of your own knowing/doing gap. Share the news and come and play with the car, hit the gas, do some spins, and burn rubber."

    Our ATD-OC Strategic Objective for 2017 is:

    Increase member engagement through 200 active volunteers annually – that’s two-thirds of our chapter membership:

    • 90% self-assessment of positive experience
    • 75% serve 10 or more hours per year
    • 50% come back to volunteer again

    Our ATD-OC Vision Statement is:

    Be the space in which to practice and perfect your talent development skills and build your professional network in Orange County.

    Our ATD-OC Mission Statement is:

    Empower local professionals to effectively develop talent in the workplace.

    Jeffrey Hansler states: "It is not the WHAT we accomplish, it is the HOW we accomplish it. And the above becomes the operational guide and measurement for staying on track.

    At ATD-OC, our chapter volunteers are guaranteed an awesome Talent Development Experience and the best coaching and mentoring in the world. I speak from experience here. So, take a leap with your career and volunteer.

    What volunteer opportunities can help advance your Talent Development career?  
    Find out here:

  • 01/23/2017 1:31 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    When asked which social networks our members belong to, LinkedIn stands out the most.  Which comes as no surprise; ATD OC is a professional development community, and LinkedIn is recognized as the online space for professional networking. 

    I’m interested in a few other questions, however. 

    • How frequently do we use LinkedIn?
    • Why do we use LinkedIn?

    You can answer those questions by clicking this unassuming link, which will take you to a short survey.

    Common wisdom is that we professionals use LinkedIn for networking.  I believe I saw a bit of that in action over the past few weeks, as I’ve been managing ATD OC’s social media communication for a little over a year, and LinkedIn has notified my network that I’m celebrating a work anniversary.  The congratulations have been trickling in over the past few weeks – little pings in my network of people who, briefly, remember my involvement of some part of their past business lives. 

    I confess, my LinkedIn networking skills are similar to my peers: I check in, see that someone’s got a job announcement of sorts, and congratulate them. 

    Of my ATD OC network, I can point to two people who truly use LinkedIn as a networking device, seeking information and opinion about something I profess to know about.

    LinkedIn also has Pulse, which I’ve turned to more recently since my Facebook feed has overwhelmed my senses with political sniping and social dismay.  There, at least, I will find a preponderance of network-sourced professional news.  Yes, social media does rear its ugly head in the LinkedIn news feed, but not to the extent of Facebook.  Perhaps I’ve curated my network more assiduously there.

    But LinkedIn is meant to be about interaction! Networking! Community!  Once we have tweaked our LinkedIn Profile to perfection, we’re supposed to do something with it, get it noticed!  And that takes me back to my question:

    Why do we use LinkedIn?

    We’d like to hear your thoughts on this, so again: here’s the link to our survey asking for your experience.

  • 01/09/2017 3:45 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    It's a brand new year, so my blog feed is replete with topically predictable posts about the coming year's trends. 

    Gamification has been a prediction for at least three years, and it ranks high on many posts this year.  I believe "mobile learning" has been trending since 2010.  And this year, augmented and virtual reality are topping the charts, as well as AI.  To which I say: "About time. I've still got an article titled: 'Enhance Mobile Learning with Geolocation and Augmented Reality' from when I attended ATD TechKnowledge 2012." (Then I mutter something about clearing out my archives).

    It's easy to take these prediction posts with a grain of salt.  It's probably more beneficial to take them as a launching point for professional development.

    Take, for example, this post: Top Learning Trends for 2017 (according to the experts).  This blog's editors gathered insights from several leaders in the talent development field and collated their thoughts on the coming months.  Yes, some of the experts touted mobile learning and augmented reality, and yes, there were others who focused elsewhere.

    Lori Niles-Hoffman, who brands herself as a data-driven learning strategist, looks to deepening talent development's relationship with data, and points to xAPI tracking technologies as a tool to be embraced in 2017.

    "To really understand how our audiences consume and interact with digital content, we need robust tracking and analytics engines," she says, noting that most LMSs these days have the capacity to look at anything more than course completion.

    Connie MalamedAuthor of Visual Design Solutions: Principles and Creative Inspiration for Learning Professionals, suggests: 

    "Rather than thinking in terms of the latest instructional strategy and technology trends, I suggest we ask ourselves a different question this year: 'What do people want from their learning experiences?' In answering this question, we may see the direction that our industry will take in 2017 and beyond."

    This opinion ties in neatly with the ATD OC Learning Event: "The Customer Centricity Imperative." So our Chapter's already trending (according to one expert)!

    Clark Quinn, the executive director at Quinnovation, wants to hear more about measurement and smart design.

    "Here’s hoping that this coming year is when we start using human intelligence more appropriately, and look seriously at learning science. Too little of what we do reflects what’s known, and instead still is more mired in learning myths. If we start taking a ‘learning engineering’ approach, applying science to design, we have the ability to achieve real outcomes."

    Did you notice that?  Mr. Quinn is not predicting that the talent development industry going to focus on learning science, he's hoping that someone decides to make it their focus for the year.  Ms. Malamed suggests we ask ourselves questions for guidance. 

    That's what I see as exciting about the new year.  Forget making resolutions -- consider honing focus.  What are you going to learn more about, and perhaps apply in your job, in 2017?  

    If you're not sure, then consider looking at those predictions posts.  In the "from the experts" article that I shared, we got a glimpse into where these professionals' passions lie.  

    Do any of their passions align with yours?  

    What excites you about those trends that everyone's hyping up?  

    What are you going to focus on in 2017?  Let us know in the comments.

  • 12/01/2016 5:48 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    This month’s ATD OC Chapter Event is more mixer, less learner.  And as we come together to celebrate our achievements as a community, we may find ourselves struggling to come up with something new to talk about.  After all, we’ve been all about networking and business throughout the year – it’s time to relax a bit.

    We’ve done a little leg work for you – below are a variety of factoids that could serve as conversation starters during any number of holiday gatherings.  Commit a few of them to memory, or write them down on slips of paper that you hide in your pocket and – just like those contestants in “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” – share one at an appropriate moment.

    1. Every time you recall a memory or have a new thought, you are creating a new connection in your brain. 
      Memory is formed by associations, so if you want help remembering things, create associations for yourself.

    2. Juggling has shown to change the brain in as little as seven days. The study indicates that learning new things helps the brain to change very quickly.

    3. The average number of thoughts that humans are believed to experience each day is 70,000.

    4. The most commonly used work in written English is “the.”  The most commonly used work in spoken English is “I.”

    5. 90% of English text consists of just 1,000 words (while the Oxford English Dictionary adds roughly 1,000 words per year.

    6. 18% of job seekers search for jobs from a restroom.  Thanks, mobile devices.
      38% of job seekers search for jobs during their commute (hopefully not while driving!).

    7. Of those who take learning on their mobile devices:
      a.     52% take mLearning in bed after waking up
      b.     46% take mLearning in bed before they go to sleep.

    8. Blue is supposed to be a calming and serene colour, but the blue light generated by LED screens and mobile devices has been proven to negatively impact sleep patterns.  Some optical companies are producing glasses that block that light.

    9. It was the Greek philosopher Plato who discovered that you can mix two different paint colours together to produce a third colour.

    10. The colour purple may boost creativity.  Purple uses both red and blue to provide a balance between stimulation and serenity that is supposed to encourage creativity.

    So grab a paintbrush with us on Wednesday, December 14 and, armed with one or more of these factoids, see what new conversations you can spark in our community!

  • 08/25/2016 11:35 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)
  • 07/28/2016 3:03 PM | Denise Ross-Admin (Administrator)
    We need your expertise and insights. Organizations always ask us for talent development benchmarking data because they want to see how they measure up against their peers as they strive to improve their performance. We provide this through our annual State of the Industry report. I’m emailing to ask that you contribute to our profession by completing this year's State of the Industry survey.

    Your participation will help us more fully represent the state of talent development worldwide and provide more detailed insights on key trends. Additionally, the more responses we receive from your industry group or sector, the more valuable the 2016 State of the Industry report will be for you specifically, so I’d ask you to share this survey with your peers at other organizations in your industry.

    Please complete the survey or forward it to the owner of your organization’s training budget. You can use this PDF of the survey questions to simplify the data collection process.
    As a thank you, you will receive a complimentary download of the 2016 report—a $499 value—when it is released in December. We will also invite you to attend a complimentary webcast where we will debut the findings.

    Thank you for supporting our profession and this essential and definitive research.


    Tony Bingham
    ATD President and CEO

    Take Survey

    The deadline is Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

  • 04/11/2016 10:24 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    In 2015, our chapter completed the significant transition from a local society for training and development to a local association for talent development. Read more about ATD's "Case for Change" here.

    We were wondering: What does that mean to you?

    In no way did this transition mean we were stepping away from supporting the trainers and developers in our community. Rather, we were acknowledging a shift in business from a "traditional" view of training to a more holistic approach.

    In no way does this shift exist without you. So we're asking:

    • What does "talent" mean to you?
    • What does "development" mean to you? 
    • More importantly, how does an "association" for talent development influence and support you and what you do?

    Let us know your thoughts!

  • 03/28/2016 1:56 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    With training effectiveness beset on all sides by time constraints and learning obstacles, what hope does talent development have to make a difference? We asked Dave Meier, Director of the Center for Accelerated Learning, how Accelerated Learning can ensure training is effective, not merely efficient.

    We shared a few of Mr. Meier's thoughts on our social media channels.  On Twitter, a brief dialogue ensued.

    Dave Meier would agree, and believes he has identified a way we can access the creativity needed to train those 1,000 people without being responsible for the creation of 1,000 different programs.  He challenges us to critically analyze the models that we hold dear, and determine if they are serving us (and our learners) as much as we believe they are.

    Questions we asked:

    1. What is Accelerated Learning?
    2. The Accelerated Learning method incorporates what you're calling the SAVI approach to learning, incorporating Somatic, Auditory, Visual, and Intellectual Learning modes. Is this another way of applying Learning Styles to instructional design?
    3. It seems that training managers and clients have "no time" to devote to training anymore, and when they absolutely have to have training, it has to be designed and delivered "tomorrow." Will I have time to design a course using Accelerated Learning?
    4. A recent ATD Research poll indicated that Instructor-Led classroom training was the dominant training delivery method in 2015, making up 50.63% of training offerings delivered. In an environment that seems devoted to asynchronous training interventions, what do you make of those findings?
    5. What will your participants be able to do once they leave the workshop on April 13?

    Click here to listen to the interview.

    We briefly mention next month's Accelerated Learning workshop in the interview. If you'd like to learn more about that, click here.

  • 03/18/2016 12:30 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said: "There is nothing permanent except change."

    The internet attributes a similar saying to him: "The only thing that is constant is change."

    Which has, in turn, evolved to: "The only thing that is constant in life is change."

    And, in workplaces around America: "The only thing that is constant here is things are always changing."

    Since we're so used to changes occurring around us, why do organizational change efforts have such a hard time being successful?  ATD Orange County staff writer L'Oreal Battistelli explores this question in the below post.

    WSA (Work Systems Affiliates) President Paul Plotczyk writes that “Most large-scale organizational change initiatives fail” in “Why Change Efforts Fail.” At a minimum, most organizations (that launch large scale initiatives) meet “only a fraction” of their projected goals because:

    1. Organizations naturally resist change

    2. Organizations give up too soon

    Co-author and developer of both the Drucker EMBA and Executive Development Programs that are now offered in China, The Druker Files contributing author Dr. Robert W. Swaim opines contrarily: employees don’t always resist change within an organization (contrary to popular belief) but rather they respond negatively to the way organizations launch them i.e. “Eight Reasons Change Efforts Fail.”

    Please read:

    Part I: Nine Reasons Organizations Need Change

    Part II: Why People Aren't As Afraid of Change As You Might Think

    Swaim says: “There are several common mistakes that companies often make when implementing change...”

    “Change should also be accompanied with continuity.”

    In Part II, Swaim writes that people don’t resist change, exactly, contrarily, they resist “what is perceived loss or what people think they will lose as a result of the change effort…”

    One of the “perceived losses” is one of a perceived “uncertainty about the causes and effects of the change,” (see a few examples provided by Swaim below):

    • People avoid uncertainty (risk); established procedures are well known and predictable.
    • Lack of trust – Distrust of any changes instituted from above.

    Another “perceived loss” is “unwillingness to give up existing benefits,” (see the below additional examples):

    • Unwillingness to give up tasks and relationships - The massive restructuring of the U.S. healthcare industry through the passage of “ObamaCare” is highly resisted as many feel they will lose the relationship they have with their present physician.

    A third “perceived loss” is an “awareness of a weakness in changes being proposed,” i.e.

    • Potential problems overlooked by initiators of the change (“We tried this before and it didn’t work.”)
    • Plan to introduce the change considered to be too complicated, costly, and too time consuming. May also disrupt current operations.

    However, Swaim quotes Drucker as saying that when an organization does decide to launch an initiative, there are things that should remain constant; the “human-behavioral” needs present within the working framework of every organization:

    • The Need for Recognition
    • The Need for Respect
    • The Need for Trust
    • The Need to Feel Productive
    • The Need to Grow

    Swaim also writes about educating employees, and opening lines of communication (as a strategy for success) between the hierarchal levels within the organization to increase the likelihood of a change initiative’s success.

    According to Swaim, communicating what will be changed, and “what will be preserved” will also be key; communicating “how the organizations missions, values and visions” intersect will provide the organizations’ envisioned transformation.

    Plotczyk says that organizations are collectives of people, and their natural response to change is going to be to push back when they

    • “Are not involved in creating it
    • Don't understand the reasons for it
    • Don't understand the change itself
    • Are afraid of the unknown”

    Plotczyk says that resistance to change (even at the most human level) should be anticipated, and expected. He identifies the natural opposition as “inertia,” and he also touches on “homeostasis” as the “biological” push-back component (that organically occurs) when people are challenged with any type of modification to their organization’s status quo.

    Plotczyk says: "the more radical, systemic, permanent or difficult the change, the deeper the resistance.”

    Anticipating opposition and integrating strategies to overcome it when designing even the smallest initiatives can take change effort failures, and make them successes.

    Plotczyk says the second main reason change efforts fail i.e. “Organizations give up too soon” in combination with the first, doom a change effort from its start.

    He says it’s natural to anticipate the ripple of a change in a large organization would take longer to make it way through a Company, than one pushing itself outward to all employees in a small business. It’s the time period during that wave (when resources are dwindling and during which the impact of a change isn’t being seen, and when employees are “front loaded” (i.e. understandably taxed with new, additional and unfamiliar protocols) when organizations give up.

    Plotczyk says it’s during THAT time when “those who resist change are most vocal” (because they aren’t seeing an immediate return on their investment) when it’s tempting to surrender and return to familiar processes and protocols (in spite of their ineffectiveness) that leaders can take a potential change initiative “win” and turn it into a “change initiative loss” for the Company.

    Ploytczyk says that as a change leader, it is “essential” that leaders of a change initiative “resist this temptation.”

    Understanding the “upsurge” timeframe (when launching a change initiation), accepting the integration (application) time period, and waiting out the time it takes to determine the initiative’s ROI (return on investment) ensures an change initiative is implemented with the systematic framework (and time necessary) needed to succeed.

    Persisting in a change initiative with continuity ensures the results of organizations’ change efforts will prevail.

    Managing change efforts is a complicated topic, and ATD Orange County is thrilled to have Peter Block join us in a discussion on "Why Many Change Efforts Fail."

    Topic Summary: 

    Most “efforts for change” are nothing more than sophisticated marketing strategies: They originate in companies’ upper echelons; they are commonly “rolled out” hastily, and focused on analytics. Completion reporting confirms or refutes their value: “High” completion reports substantiate success; “low” completion reports measure failure. This type of “colonial” strategy has long been accepted (and defended) as a business standard of practice in the training industry over time.

    “High impact” change (the kind company leaders seek in today’s initiatives) occurs via engagement; it requires individual “buy in”, and its adoption within companies occurs organically at its own pace.

    Peter Block provides examples of these kinds of “change efforts" that have altered companies completely, and forever impacted leaders and their employees’ perceptions about change.

    This is a "hybrid" learning event: while we will still meet in our regular location, you can also join us online. 

    Register for the in-person meeting here, or register for the webinar!

  • 03/08/2016 10:57 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    Over the years the concept of training people from afar has evolved from correspondence school to the televised classroom to webinars and most recently to mobile learning. 

    Its appeal: getting information to a dispersed audience at a fraction of the cost. Its challenges: getting information to a removed audience in a way that will stick.

    How does curriculum design differ between webinar-based training and classroom-based training?

    My answer: it shouldn’t.

    The well-designed virtual classroom engages the learner to apply the information being presented. A poorly-designed virtual classroom attempts to dump the content into the attendees’ brains -- lecture-hall style.

    Wired Academic has an interesting infograph detailing the history of distance learning here.

    A well-designed virtual classroom utilizes most of the facilitating techniques available to a real classroom facilitator. A poorly-designed virtual classroom is frequently one-way delivery, with the most engaged learners staring at a computer screen.
    (I kid, of course. When presented with a computer screen and a lecture, when is anyone content to remain staring at their screen?)

    True, there are a few different facilitation techniques between the physical classroom and the virtual classroom. It's those challenges that make the job exciting -- the focus on vocal quality, the timing of when to use which tool, the gauging of your audience to determine how well they are understanding the content.

    I will often design my web-based training courses as if I’m going to facilitate in the classroom, and then find a way to facilitate the same activity online. If I can’t, then I rethink the activity. But if I can…

    This is what I like to share in my Total Trainer: Creating Training session. My session is titled "Distance Learning," a throwback to the days when "ASTD Orange County" was teaching how to facilitate over what was then a technologically innovative medium.

    We'll touch on how the technologies constantly change, how a field once dominated by sophisticated software tools such as WebEx has been fragmented into a broad spectrum of products ranging from the robust to the cost-effective. We'll explore the features of ATD OC's web meeting provider, GoToMeeting, and compare them to a different web meeting provider to highlight the fact that while the even the virtual classroom venue might differ, the ADDIE model remains the same.

    *This post title references (perhaps poorly) a stanza from Led Zeppelin's "The Song Remains The Same".  

    About Paul Venderley What is Total Trainer University

    An Orange County e-learning designer whose portfolio includes webinar, leader-led, and blended learning programs. 2015 Recipient of the LearnX Gold Award for Rapid Authoring.

    From designing and facilitating instructor-led training both in the classroom and over the web, to creating self-paced training that blends learner-led activities with eLearning modules, Paul focuses on interactivity, engagement, and overcoming learner performance gaps.

    Paul joined ASTD-Orange County well over a decade ago because someone was networking, and had cued him into a vibrant organization devoted to the professional development of trainers just like him.

    He has viewed ATD Orange County as the keystone for his professional development, and has advocated using both Chapter and ATD National resources as a source of information for those seeking to further themselves in this vibrant career.

    Paul seeks to expand the viability of our professional network to create opportunities for our members to practice what they learn -- to do something that adds to their resume through experience and measurable accomplishment.

    Total Trainer University is the county's leading Train-the-Trainer program. It consists of two courses:

    Creating Training

    Taught by some of the highest caliber training professionals from the ATD‐Orange County chapter, this program takes participants from the initial needs analysis through the development of training materials, the presentation of training and conducting the final evaluations.

    Delivering Training

    This program teaches you to design and deliver impactful presentations for business meetings, conferences and special events, or classroom assignments. 

    The learning environment is highly interactive and participants receive individual feedback for improved performance. 

                                            Learn more.

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