Thursday, December 23, 2004

Best you might've missed

A short best this holiday week. Also, I'll be out of the office from December 24th until January 3rd and won't be posting. I wish you all happy holidays and a happy new year!

Traditional training/business

Creating a Learning-Driven Culture. Keys to sustained competitive advantage are knowledge, learning processes, learning culture, and knowledge practice.

Instructional Design Models. An in-depth directory of Webpages on the various instructional design models.

Emergent learning

"Instant Messaging: Collaborative Tool or Educator's Nightmare?" This paper examines advantages and disadvantages to instant messaging in general and in education.

"Doctors Use Video Games to Hone Skills." Video games as training for surgeons in the private sector and military. (Thanks, BoingBoing.)


"Technology and Happiness." "Is it possible that technology, instead of liberating us, is holding us back? Is technological progress merely a treadmill, and if so, would we be happier if we stepped off of it?"

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Free Webinar resource

I'm using ambiguity on purpose here. is not only a free resource, but many of the Webinars listed on the Website are free as well.

Some of the listings might be too HR-y for trainers (for example, Introduction to Workmen's Compensation Claims), but there are others that look promising, such as a Webinar on Developing Women Leaders (January 6th, free) or the Thought Leaders Interview with Marshall Goldsmith (January 10th, free).

Archived Webinars are available for a fee.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

What companies are doing to improve performance

A Leadership Pulse study from the University of Michigan and eePulse, Inc. asked executives "What are you doing to improve your company's performance beyond cutting costs?"

Responses were:

• 27% Undertaking company-wide performance improvement initiatives to
refine current processes

• 17% Focusing on specific strategies, partnerships and business growth
opportunities to increase sales

• 13% Providing employees with training, seminars and other educational

• 11% Motivating and recognizing employees

• 8% Introducing new products and services to the marketplace

• 7% Implementing the latest technology to streamline operations

• 7% Hiring new employees and concentrating on recruitment efforts

• 6% Improving internal communications

• 4% Improving customer service and personal goals mentioned

Friday, December 17, 2004

Best you might've missed

I've been catching up on my reading slowly but surely. To make up for last week's short list, here's a super duper list of articles and resources that I found most interesting or useful recently.

Traditional business/training

"The Six Myths of Creativity." Findings from a ground-breaking study, published in Fast Company.

The World's Ten Greatest Innovators. Good content from Dave Pollard yet again.

Staff want their employers to "disorganize." SmartMobs reports that "employees want more human organisations with greater autonomy and flexibility."

"The Plight of Middle Managers." An excerpt in Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge publication from the book Top Down.

Emergent learning

"Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age." A good article by George Siemens of elearnspace.

"The Business Singularity." A reprint on his Website of Jay Cross's article in CLO magazine. Discusses the convergence of networks of people and businesses.

The Two-Punch Power of Weblogs in Education. The two-punch is 1) support for organic, personalized, collaborative learning networks and 2)campus community.

Learning Objects, Metadata, Blogs And RSS: The Future Of Online Education According To Stephen Downes. An interview of the learning technology guru by collaboration guru Robin Good. (Note: this is an audio recording.)

Interview with Ray Ozzie. Gartner fellow Tom Austin interviews the founder of Groove about the future of technology and collaboration.


Beyond the Administrative Core: Creating Web-based Student Services for Online Learners. A partnership project developed by several colleges and universities.

Promoting E-Learning Research and Application Scenarios in Europe. A paper discussing the Network of Excellence in professional learning (PROLEARN).

"E-Learning: The Hype and the Reality." A paper from the School of Education at the United Kingdom's University of Southhampton.

"A Typology of Virtual Communities: A Multi-Disciplinary Foundation for Future Research." A recent article from the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.

E-Learning as a Narrative Technique: Yeah! A nice dialogue between Maish Nichani of elearningpost and Amy Gahran of Contentious.


"Always 'Talking': When Three Days Without a Word is an Eternity." Today's teens and future workers expect constant and ubiquitous communication. Employers take note.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Online mentoring

As a rule, I don't blog about for-profit products or services, but the exception is when it's something, well, exceptional. In other words, something unique that I haven't seen out there before.

Advance Mentoring fits that description. It's an online service that both helps individuals find mentors and also enables companies to set up customized Web-based mentoring programs.

The site reads, "The sophisticated Bloodhound Matching Algorithm™ matches prospective Mentors and Mentees based upon such factors as skills, personality, personal information, career background, and industry of focus.

The Advance Mentoring Organization Client also provides training and resources for both Mentors and Mentees."

Web components include:

* Personal Home Page Features
* Advance Mentoring Email
* Reminders and Calendar
* Instant Messaging
* Advance Mentoring Personality Test

Intriguing. If anyone tries it, leave a comment and tell us how it is.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Best you might've missed

I apologize for the short list this week. I'm swamped trying to get a Trends article done for Learning Circuits. It's on augmented reality and learning, really neat stuff. Look for it up on Learning Circuits after the 20th. I'll also try to remember to post the link.

Best business books of 2004
. From the Fast Company blog.

Creative people's work methods. Includes authors, artists, writers, and entrepreneurs. (Thanks for the link, BoingBoing.)

E-Learning Grab Bag. A great list of links from Amy Gahran, who's obviously been doing her required reading (unlike me).

"Managers Misuse Tech to Control Workers, Study Says." Findings from the "Future Role of Trust in Work" study.

Quiz for small business success. From Small Business Success magazine. Lets you analyze the readability of a document or Website. Good resource for e-learning content.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Cat gets online degree; owner sues

From the News of the Weird file: A woman is suing an online university after her cat was granted an MBA degree. The woman just happens to be the deputy attorney general in Pennsylvania. Kathryn Silcox is suing Trinity Southern University for consumer fraud and illegal email marketing after she filled out the university's self-evaluation form and applied for a $299 bachelor's degree under her cat's name. The university granted the cat not only a bachelor's degree but also an MBA--if the cat would pay an additional $100. Silcox paid $99 for a transcript that showed the cat had taken four semesters of business classes. (From the Chronicle of Higher Education, via Edupage)
Trends in diversity training

Corporate diversity programs, which took a hit with the recession in the United States, are regaining momentum, says Mike Hyter, president and CEO of consulting firm Novations/J. Howard Associates.

Hyter points to these trends:

"--Development of all employees. More organizations integrate their diversity efforts with overall development programs. While focus is still on the needs of specific groups, the new trend is to insure that all employees are given equal access to skills training and other career opportunities.

--Growing age bias. Women, African-Americans and others in the workforce have made gains, but bias complaints by older employees continue to rise and are now at the highest level in more than ten years.

--Advancement of women. While women’s needs continue to hold the attention of management, emphasis has shifted from just recruitment and retention to career development and advancement of women into the upper executive ranks, including C-level and corporate board positions.

--Workforce globalization. No single factor has done more to transform and expand diversity training than accelerating globalization of the workforce. International trade competition, the Internet and economic integration have combined to redefine diversity. Global organizations seek global solutions, even when issues and demographics vary by country and region."

Friday, December 03, 2004

Learning Circuits's E-Learning Trends 2004

Now on Learning Circuits: results and analysis from two e-learning surveys, the Annual Trends Survey and the E-Learning Readiness Survey.

Lots of interesting information about how companies are using e-learning and the issues they're facing.

Best you might have missed -- super duper edition

I'm still catching up on reading, but here are the articles and resources I've collected in the last couple of weeks.

Business/Traditional Training

Corporate fun. Funny office signs--use at your own risk.

How We Can Improve Collaboration. Good, in-depth thoughts from Dave Pollard.

"Are You Burning Out Your Best Employees?" Something every company should stop and consider.

"Is Your Job Just Work?" From Harvard Business School, an interview with the author of the new book, Just Work.

"At Tech Firms, Time Again for Flextime?" Focuses on technology companies but is a good general look at flextime and job sharing.

E-mergent Learning or Technologies

Virtual 3D Collaboration Spaces Strike Again: Imaginer. Robin Good's introduction to a new product and summary of others.

Ten Technologies That Are Going to Change the Way We Learn. Also from Robin Good, always on the leading edge.

Social Bonding Device for Human Connectedness. Another device that helps introduce people. Also see my Intelligence article for November, "The Future of Meetings."


The eLearnopedia. A Website with lots of e-learning resources from the Academic Co-Lab (ADL).

Top Ten Tips for Implementing E-Learning. From the UK's eLearning Centre.

"Orientation Practices for Effective Distributed Learning Coursework: Students Speak Their Minds." From professors at the University of Arkansas.

CTB/McGraw-Hill Releases First Online Test for Adult Education. Don't be fooled by the headline: They mean adult remedial education.

"Cognitive and Logical Rationales for e-Learning Objects." A scholarly paper out of the University of Bern, Switzerland.


Google Scholar. Search for papers, theses, books, and other scholarly documents.

"How to Live, Love, (and Text) in the 21st Century." Manners for a new age.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

December T+D now online

The December issue of T+D magazine is up online here.

This month's feature articles:

--"Get a Seat at the Table" by Kenneth Brown
--"Waiting to Exhale" (how the job market is finally looking up) by Chris Taylor
--"An Illuminated Path" (on the Organizational Savvy Model at Becton-Dickinson) by Martin Seldman and Edward Betof
--"Learning Outsourcing: A Reality Check" by Nancy DeViney and ASTD's own Brenda Sugrue

The Brown feature is free to all with registration while the others are free for ASTD members only. However, links to the online store are included, where the articles can be purchased.

My Intelligence column this month, "Succeed to Lead," covers executive competencies and development and is part one of a two-part series. It is free with registration.

The Fundamentals column, available to ASTD members or for purchase, is written this month by business guru Stephen Covey.

The Working column, free and not requiring registration, discusses the emotional intelligence of Genghis Khan.

...and more!

Lots of good stuff, whether you're an ASTD member or not. Check it out!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Happy Employee Learning Day!

For more, go here.