Ideas and Insights

  • 03/10/2015 11:06 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)
    In his book "Leading Change," J.P. Kotter says, “Because major change is so difficult to accomplish, a powerful force is required to sustain the process.”

    Last month, Denise Lamonte shared her experiences on what it took to create that "powerful force" through the establishment of a "guiding coalition."

    "The characteristics of people who should serve on a coalition are key in choosing the coalition -- specifically to avoid egos that fill the room and those whose behaviors create mistrust and kill teamwork," Denise shared. "These two requirements are straight out of Kotter, and I applied them diligently."

    It was a message that resonated with more than one of the event's attendees.

    When asked what was the event's most important take-away, ATD-OC member Mary Escudero replied: "The success of the coalition was the direct result of choosing the right people. Denise set up her significant criteria and followed them in staffing the coalition and its support organization. When backfilling positions or expanding her team she kept to the same criteria. This created a true team that worked together creatively."

    Donald McGray was surprised to learn that the guiding coalition at St. Joseph's comprised of 10 people on three teams:
    1. An Executive Steering Committee that included the COO, CAO and a couple of Vice Presidents
    2. A Core Coalition of 12 people that included supervisors
    3. An Adjunct Coalition of 23 employees interested in contributing to the change
    And yet, despite the coalition's size and complexity, the three teams experienced a meager 10% turnover over a period of 14 months. 

    Erik EiselTraining and Technology SIG Leader, pointed out that Denise ensured her guiding coalition had a firm foundation. "She basically explained to her colleagues, 'Look, if you want to use Kotter, let's really read him, and figure out how to apply him.' By getting consensus around Kotter, she was able to build a foundation for the entire change process. By adopting Kotter in this way, it prevented this process from becoming ad-hoc."

    Even though this presentation addressed such a large project, attendees felt that there were some best practices they could immediately walk away with. A few attendees commented on the practice of opening coalition meetings with "Good News - an opportunity for people to share with the team what successes have come from their work since they last met."

    Denise is carrying her passion for change management into ATD-OC's new Special Interest Group: Change Leadership. Co-led by Denise and Lisa Kolbe, the Change Leadership SIG will provide an opportunity for participants to learn more about current and upcoming change models as well as deepen the dialogue about their role in managing and leading change. 

    "As learning and development professionals, we live and breath change everyday," says Lisa Kolbe. "By better understanding this from a theoretical level will help us all tailor our learning solutions and OD initiatives for effectiveness."

    "Lisa and I were talking at an MLE during one of the structured networking sessions about change initiatives we were both a part of," said Denise. "We mused about how many of us are involved in these types of initiatives -- and we concluded it was probably a lot. We quickly realized we both had a passion for change leadership and were hungry to learn more and talk with others about their experiences to enhance our knowledge."

    The Change Leadership SIG will explore a wide variety of theories, models, and aspects of the change process through a unique dialogue-oriented structure. 

    "We wanted to take more formally-shared knowledge around various change theories and leverage the opportunity to increase the dialogue and provide opportunities for peer coaching/learning," said Denise and Lisa. "By shortening and focusing the guest speaker’s case study of change we can view real world examples of our featured change theory in practice and increase learning penetration and future application."

    The Change Leaderhip SIG meets the first Tuesday of every other month, with the next meeting in May. See our Event Calendar for details.

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  • 03/03/2015 5:28 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    "The manager’s challenge is to build individual capabilities at the same time he or she encourages individuals to tackle new challenges that build their competencies in preparation for the future." from the  Dale Carnegie Training whitepaper: Talent Management.  

    If your company's performance review period is like mine, you're just wrapping up your mid-year reviews. And if you're company's like mine, you're realizing that performance management is still driven primarily by deadlines.

    Maybe you've grown accustomed to that.

    "Coaching is a small part of the job description for most managers. Nearly half spend less than 10% of their time coaching others." reported back in 2010.  Wonder if that number's gone up in the past four years, or down, or remained about the same.

    Coaching is widely recognized as an important component of performance management.  Articles in Forbes, Inc., and Harvard Business Review (to name a few) all study how strong performers can grow and improve when coaching is done well, and the impact of coaching when done poorly or not at all.

    Just as equally recognized: effective performance management requires ongoing coaching discussions.  

    The Dale Carnegie Perspective: "Most development occurs on the job and in the context of work activities. It is not limited to off-the-job training."

    This perspective is evident in Dale Carnegie's Growth and Change cycle. It's a little different than the performance management cycle you may have shared with your managers when kicking off another "performance year," but it similarly establishes an accountability between manager and employee for the employee's development.  It also points out where most performance management stops -- at least until new goals are set.

    You can learn more about Dale Carnegie's Growth and Change Cycle at this month's ATD-OC Learning Event.

  • 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.

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