Monday, February 28, 2005

Workflow Learning Symposium, online

You might think workflow learning is just another buzzword and the Next Big Hype, but it's my and others' opinion that it's where learning is going. Jay Cross, co-founder of the Workflow Institute, pointed out on the institute's blog recently that the proceedings and support materials for the October 2004 Workflow Learning Symposium are available online.

The materials include presentations from and interviews of such notable names as Gloria Gery, Tony O'Driscoll, Harvey Singh, Clark Quinn, and of course Jay Cross. A discussion space is also provided.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Webinar on connectivism

George Siemens of elearnspace will be presenting at a free Webinar based on his popular article on connectivism.

The Webinar will be March 2nd. See details here. He'll also be announcing the launch of a new Website and blog on connectivism.
Best you might've missed

Here is this week's roundup of articles.

Emergent collaboration/community

The Online Collaboration Potential For The Networked Small Business Company. "Here is the open thought of a collaborative business developer [and] a reader of Kolabora."

"How are new capabilities within communications technologies going to change the shape and scope of human communities?" The president of the World Future Society provides some thoughts to answer this question.


"Can Interest in Distance Training be Sustained in Corporate Organizations?" "... the ability to sustain distance training is deeply rooted in the success during the early stages of implementing distance training and the integration of the work and learning environments."

"Honesty in Online Education." "This article attempts to critically analyze the arguments on both sides of the online cheating debate while presenting techniques for circumventing and alleviating issues related with online education."

Traditional training/learning/human capital

"Seven Key Indicators Measure Value of Learning." A CLO magazine article about Zeroed-In Technologies. Request a more-detailed paper on this from the company here.

Five Takes on Creative Leadership. A special section based on presentations from the Wharton West Leadership Conference. (Also see our March Leadership issue of T+D next week.)

"Case Study: Investing in People who Invest in People." Based on ASTD research showing that companies that invest in training perform better on the stock market, Laurie Bassi launched an investment company. (See this 2002 T+D article as well.)

"Climbing the Pay Scale." Business 2.0 takes a look at labor shortages happening now and their effect on salaries. Expect even more of this in the future; I report on the issue in my upcoming April Intelligence column.

Create your own mission statement. An interactive exercise from Franklin Covey. (Thanks, Lifehacker.)

Five Mini-Quizzes to Test Your Customer Service Email Writing Skills. Each quiz is based on a chapter from Clear, Correct, Concise Email: A Writing Workbook for Customer Service Agents.

General business

Is Business Management a Profession? A long but worthwhile read from Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge publication.

A Day in the Life of Tom Peters. A collection of photos. Not all that informative, but kind of fun to check out.

"Ego Makes Entrepreneurs?" BusinessWeek's Q+A with researcher Brian Wu on his award-winning paper "Entrepreneurial Risk and Market Entry."

Why Do We Overcommit? Study Suggests We Think We’ll Have More Time In The Future Than We Have Today. Interesting research from the American Psychological Association. (Thanks, Lifehacker.)

"Build a Great Brand for Your Business." An article from the Small Business Times. (Thanks, Small Business Blog.)


How to Receive and Listen to Podcasts. Podcasts are one of the new big things. This informative article from Amy Gahran gives you the basics. (Also see this article on videoblogging vs. podcasting.)

The Top 100 Gadgets of All Time. From Mobile PC magazine, an interesting and fun article that might also make you nostalgic.

Forget Spam. Have You Been Spimmed? Instant messaging, which is being used more and more as a business tool, has its own breed of spam.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Press release on T+D magazine redesign

This press release on our redesign went out today. The expansion of my Intelligence column was highlighted--nice.

We hope you like the changes. I'll post the link to the March issue when we have it up.

ASTD’s T+D Magazine to Unveil a New Look, Content Enhancements

Publication Re-design will debut March 2005

(Alexandria, VA) February 24, 2005 – Readers of Training + Development (T+D) magazine, published by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), will see a more practical and personality-driven magazine as it launches a new design and some content changes in the March issue. For almost six decades, T+D magazine has covered the art and science of developing people and the systems in which they work to produce results.

Rex Davenport, editor of T+D magazine, anticipates positive reactions to the enhancements in the March issue. “Real-life, actionable items are the name of the game with this re-design,” he said. “Readers will notice that the articles are more applicable to the profession, with less focus on theory. We will incorporate business authors as a complement to the industry writers.”

Some of the new additions and modifications include:

- One page dedicated to research from ASTD and other organizations

- An expanded Intelligence section will open the magazine with news and developing trends

- Shorter, more succinct articles

- An increased focus on “hot-button” topics, or burning issues, in the profession

Readers will also begin to see themselves in the magazine, as the content will profile individuals who make up the workplace learning and performance industry. “New Guard,” a special section that recognizes professionals who separate themselves from their peers through innovative and unique practices, was formerly part of one issue each year. Now, every issue will end with a “New Guard” profile.

In 2004, T+D magazine was named by ICA (Independent Consultants Association) on its list of "Ten Essential Magazines for Consultants.” The American Society of Business Publication Editors awarded special recognition to the column “The Web” in 2002.

For more information on ASTD’s flagship publication, T+D magazine, visit

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Free Webinar: Campus Recruiting in the Public Sector

This Webinar, co-sponsored by the Human Capital Institute and, will take place Wednesday, March 23rd from 1 to 2:30 pm EST.

The HCI Website reads:

"Faced with a rapidly aging workforce and a potential wave of retirements, the public sector is turning once again to colleges and universities in search of new recruits. But you may already have noticed that the competition for recruiting students and recent grads has intensified in recent months. Career fairs are bursting with more employer booths, Recruiters are returning to campuses, and students are finding that they have more choices when seeking a new career. Join campus recruitment experts Graham Donald and Roger Campbell as we discuss pressing topics like building a presence on campus with constrained resources, attracting the right candidates and connecting with today's students."

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Blogging applicance for corporate communications

A company called WhatCounts has just announced the first "blogging in a box" applicance for companies that want to incorporate blogs into their communications strategies.

BlogUnit is "tuned to network security requirements and can be up-and-running in 15 minutes." It can be used to "author, manage, measure, deliver, and syndicate" blogs.

According to E-Media Tidbits, which pointed me to this news item, the appliance helps resolve one concern companies often have with blogs: employees posting unreviewed content. An approval and permission system is built in.

The president and CEO of WhatCounts says, “Blogging is a growing reality for corporations worldwide as they look for ways to improve communications with their key audiences...But there are a myriad of issues, such as accountability, accuracy and security that corporations have to address as they get into this new territory.”

At a quick glance, it seems as if this could be a good solution for companies that want to get into blogging but are nervous about the security and permissions issues. And blogging can be a KM solution, as explained in this T+D blog post and the additional posts listed at the end.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Best you might've missed

Happy weekend, all. Here are this week's picks.

Traditional business/training

Organizing for Performance: How BP Did It. BP pulled off some amazing feats. Read this article now, and then in March read T+D's training-focused take on the company, "BP Refines Leadership."

India: The next knowledge superpower. Don't say you're surprised. "Big changes are making the country a centre of innovation," this article says.

The Importance of Face Time. The Telework Times links to a thought-provoking article and adds a videoconferencing spin on it.

How to Establish Credibility. The key is to listen--not talk!


"Relative Effectiveness of Computer-based and Human Feedback for Enhancing Student Learning." "...instructors cannot rely on computer-based feedback alone to correct errors in student understanding..."

Access for All: How Distance Education Addresses Learning Needs. E-learning and accessibility . (Thanks, elearnopedia.) Also see "Accessibility: What You Should Know," from Learning Circuits.

"Creating Flexible E-Learning Through the Use of Learning Objects." A case study and lessons learned from the University System of Georgia.

The Huge Opportunity in Online, Video-based Instruction Guides. Kevin Kruse of e-Learning Guru says, "If I was a product manager for anything...I'd make online instructional videos my #1 priority for 2005."

"Diploma mills provide phony credentials." ...the federal government has paid more than $7.5 million in tuition reimbursements, making the United States 'the largest supplier of diploma mills in our country.'" I wrote about avoiding diploma mills here.

Emergent learning

YahooGroups, Groove Or Socialtext Wiki: My Personal Impressions. Robin Good compares and contrasts the tools as he works collaboratively with people across long distances.

Workflow Learning Gets Real. An important article by Jay Cross and Tony O'Driscoll from Training magazine.

Emergent Learning: Social Networks and Learning Networks. The most recent paper from the always-at-the-forefront Stephen Downes.


Cultural divide in IM: presence vs. communication. An interesting reflection by Ph.D. student Danah Boyd.

Writing for Websites. A good basic primer from Crawford Killian, author of the classic manual Writing for the Web.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Mobile learning

I'm beginning research for an upcoming Learning Circuits article on mobile learning, with the focus being the hype versus the reality.

If your organization is currently doing mobile learning (via cell phone, PDA, etc.) or is investigating it for possible launch in the future, please email me at ekaplan at I'd love to ask you a few questions.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I received a press release on this portal that enables users to search for classroom and online training offered by various providers. (In November I wrote about a similar service,

In any case (here comes the commentary you all asked for), I think this kind of thing is a good idea, but in both cases I found the offerings pretty slim compared to the number of providers and courses I know are out there.

It's kind of a catch-22: You need providers to add their courses to have a good service, but people won't add their listings if the service isn't good in the first place.

What I like about TrainUp's idea is that it attempts to offer course reviews provided by learners (the Website says "coming summer 2004," but none seem to be available yet) as well as a way for individuals to track the training they've signed up for.

Does anyone know of a service that does this kind of thing well? Or is a centralized database of training offered across the U.S., in a wide range of subject areas, and from a large number of providers just a Holy Grail that's too difficult to pull off?

Monday, February 14, 2005

More original commentary

So the winner on the survey of what readers want to see more of on this blog is original commentary. Thanks for letting me know that you'd like to see more of my thoughts. Original commentary is the type of information that takes the most time to develop, so I had reduced the amount I was offering as I've been juggling other things. It's good to know my thoughts are missed, though, so I will try to include more of this as my schedule permits!

Thanks again to all who answered the survey.
Valentine's Day tidbit: executive romances at work

Happy Valentine's Day, all!

Here are some stats that may surprise you: More than two-thirds of executives say they've had a secret crush on a co-worker. Close to half have been involved in an office romance. An excerpt from a press release I received is below.

"The survey of 734 executives in the $100k+ job market found that a combination of long hours, close quarters and the slow hum of the photocopy machine may be the perfect recipe for romance. When asked: Have you ever harbored a secret crush on a co-worker; a full 68 percent of the executives surveyed said, 'yes.' Only 32 percent said, 'no.'

As for those workers who’ve taken the crush one step further, 42 percent of those responding to a related survey of 1,044 executives said that they have been involved in a full-fledged office romance.

How many of these PowerPoint and Excel spreadsheet-fueled romances involved infidelity? When asked in a third survey of 1,349 executives: Have you ever had an extramarital affair with a co-worker; 17 percent of respondents said, 'yes.' Thinking better of the repercussions of this type of romance, the 83 percent majority said they had not been adulterous with a co-worker.

'At its best, a healthy work environment is an intense, inspiring, challenging and gratifying place,' explained founder and president, Marc Cenedella. 'While this combination can sometimes create a hothouse for emotional ties to the people we spend so much time with, office romances are not generally good for your career track. Executives who are serious about their careers need to think about business first; courting Alice in accounting isn’t the best way to maintain that killer instinct.'’s look at Office Valentines is based on a series of three independent surveys of registered $100k+ executives conducted on Web site between January 11, 2005 and February 3, 2005."

Friday, February 11, 2005

Best you might've missed

Here is this week's collection of articles. I tried to cast the net a little wider, since the survey indicated that you all want more of these. I may have gone somewhat overboard. :)


"Database Fights Diploma Mills." The U.S. Department of Education has created a searchable database of accredited institutions.

"Improving Retention in Distance Learning Classes." Focused on higher education, but offers some transferable information.

"A Content Analytic Comparison of Learning Processes in Online and Face-to-Face Case Study Discussions." "The findings provide evidence that [asynchronous learning networks] generate high levels of cognitive activity, at least equal to, and in some cases superior to, the cognitive processes in the FTF classroom.

"Assessments through the Learning Process." A free whitepaper from Questionmark available for download.

Emergent learning/community

When Will Business Embrace Blogs? Dave Pollard talks about their use for KM and the value proposition.

Vloging. You know all about blogging; now get ready for the next wave. (Thanks, Business 2.0 blog.)

Videoconferencing And Avatars To Complement Lack Of Non-Verbal Clues In Online Meetings. A good look at what's up-and-coming.

The Connecticon: Learning for the connected generation. A short book review from the e-Learning Centre. Back in my We Learning part I article, I called this the Age of Connection--this book looks like it might expand on that idea.

Cooperation, Sharing And Social Networking As Emergent Economic And Production Forces. A short review and summary of a long PDF.

PacMan Must Die: Cooperative Physical/Virtual Gaming. Implications for game-based learning? Also see my "Augmented Reality Check" article, which discusses some PDA games like this.

Traditional training/business

"HP After Carly: What Went Wrong?" Not to jump on the media bandwagon, but this is a good article from Wharton examining the leadership and strategy side of the hot topic.

"20 Frequently Asked Questions About ROI." A CLO magazine article from ROI guru Jack Phillips.

How to Manage Smart People. A manifesto from Change This. (Thanks, Fast Company blog.)

"Top 10 Practices in Knowledge Management." "The first three practices detail how companies create forums for exchanging ideas, the next two focus on aligning knowledge management with strategies and the final five focus on best practice identification."

American Management Association Offers Business Lessons Learned from The Apprentice. Each week offers a new lesson. January 20th focused on training. (Thanks, Fast Company blog.)

"Don't Put Your Company in a Purple Haze: Let your retiring Baby Boomers go, but not their knowledge". From CIO magazine, this short article has an IT slant on it but still contains some useful info.


"Gray Matter and Sexes: A Gray Area Scientifically." Are men's and women's brains fundamentally different? The New York Times examines the issue.

New resource for business travelers. Google announces its new Google Maps service.
Bad bossology revisited

In April of last year I wrote about the Bad Bossology site, which provides a wealth of resources on how to handle or minimize the impact of bad bosses.

Now the site has launched an anonymous "email this link" feature, which enables people to "safely email resources to their bosses and senior management to address difficult boss behaviors and promote useful discussion."

The press release I received said that about 40 percent of employees have had to deal with a bad boss--and that surveys have shown that a major reason employees leave companies is their immediate supervisor. (Also known as the "people leave people, not companies" theory.) Studies I've seen uphold this idea; in fact I was just writing about it for my April Intelligence column.

The site may sound like a joke, but the helpful resources it provides are no laughing matter!
A couple more free Webinars (you asked for it!)

These are from Interwise.

Self-Service Learning: The Key to Sustaining Competitive Advantage. Tuesday, February 15 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. ET

Workforce Performance Solutions: Engaging Employees to Increase Productivity. Wednesday, March 2 at 2 p.m. ET/11:00am PT

Thursday, February 10, 2005

More Webinars

The survey is showing that readers want more information on Webinars, so here are some coming up that might be of interest:

Human Capital Institute Webcasts. There is no charge for these, but HCI says that their Webcasts will be free "for a limited time."

Introducing the Concept of "Portable Employment": The Rise of the Independent Workforce. Wednesday, February 16 at 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (ET)

Sustaining Inclusiveness: Slipping Past the Curse of Diversity Programs. Wednesday, February 23 at 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (ET)

No More Trumped Up ROIs - The Business Case for Diversity. Wednesday, March 2 at 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (ET)

Skills and Psychometric Assessment in Hiring: Risk vs. Reward. Wednesday, March 9 at 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (ET)

Continuous Change: Kaizen and Kaikaku. Wednesday, March 30 at 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (ET)

Horizon Wimba Desktop Lecture Series. These are all free as well.

Building Community Among Educators
Vance Stevens, Petroleum Institutue (Abu Dhabi)
Tuesday, February 22, 2005 at 12pm EST

Leadership & Learning: A Collective Inquiry
Monica Manning & Anne Sturdivant, NovaLearning
Thursday, March 3, 2005 at 3pm EST

Demonstration of Horizon Wimba's New PowerLink for WebCT Vista
Aaron Bond & Matt Wasowski, Horizon Wimba
Thursday, March 10, 2005 at 3pm EST

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

New salary and career-planning resources

ASTD has recently partnered with to provide new salary and career planning resources free to registered users through our online Career Center. (Click on Salary Calculator to access all the tools.)

This enhancement to our Career Center includes the following licensed content:
Salary WizardTM: Provides pay data (national average, adjusted by zip code) for jobs searchable by category and location.
Executive Compensation Wizard: Discloses compensation of executives of publicly-traded companies (drawn from SEC proxy filings)
Cost-of-Living Wizard: Helps users compare the cost-of-living across multiple locations.
College Tuition Planner: Helps users choose a savings-rate appropriate to the cost of a child’s future college education.
Job Assessor: Helps users determine which of two job opportunities is better for them.
Millionaire Maker: Helps users determine the age at which their specified savings rate will yield total savings of $1 million.
Salary Timer: Helps users compare their salary to salaries earned by celebrities, on a dollars-per-second basis.
Salary Articles: Delivers timely information and advice on compensation-related topics. (coming soon)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Webinar tomorrow

Sorry for the late notice--Pilat and AberdeenGroup are hosting a free online Webinar tomorrow to discuss the findings from AberdeenGroup’s report "Employee Performance Management: The Aligned, Performance Driven Workforce."

Start time is 1 pm eastern/10 am pacific.

To register for this free event, visit, e-mail, or call (800)338-9701.

To download a complimentary copy of the report, visit
T+D February issue online; changes afoot

The survey is showing that some of you want more links to T+D articles. So I'll make sure to post here each month when the new month's articles are up on the T+D site. I can't link directly from here to the articles because some are members-only/available for purchase and the rest require registration, but I can tell you what's available, and then you can click to the T+D site.

Also, look for a new T+D Website design coming in the next couple of months. It will jive with the new look for T+D that will launch in March. (The Website may not be ready at the beginning of March because of time needed by our pulled-in-a-million-directions Web team to do the work.)

What about this blog, you ask? It could surely use some design touches. Plans are in the works to relaunch this blog with a better design and better integrated technology (ie, comments, RSS feed, etc.). Stay tuned for that as well in upcoming months.

February T+D


"Does Knowledge Management Still Matter?"
By T+D editor Rex Davenport
Discredited or not, gathering useful knowledge and managing its distribution and use is a vital organizational need--despite what it's called or who actually controls the process.

"The Results Chain"
By Geary A. Rummler and Kimberly Morrill
Using the results chain, you can increase the effect you have on your organization's performance--and on the value received by its customers.

"The Inside Pitch"
By Theresa Seagraves (author of the ASTD book Quick! Show Me Your Value)
Communicate the value of training tersely and in the language of your CEO.

"Small Businesses Bask in Training's Spotlight"
By Paul Harris
When it comes to training, small businesses often ride in the rear of the bus, overlooked by many training suppliers playing the numbers game. But that picture is changing.

"Growing Strong Leaders," an ASTD BEST Award winner profile
By Josephine Rossi
Equity Residential has an emphasis on solid personal development that cultivates capable leaders and self-awareness.


--My Intelligence column, "The Changing Workforce," talks about the fascinating study "Generation and Gender in the Workplace."
--Guru Allison Rossett writes a Fundamentals column on "Moving Online"
--The new New Guard column profiles Holly Huntley, director and CLO of global learning and development management for Computer Sciences Corp.
--and more!

Friday, February 04, 2005

More on the survey, and Best this week

Responses to the blog survey are still coming in--thanks to those who have participated so far--and it's not too late for those who are just seeing it. So far it looks like a slight majority want more links to outside articles, but that's not to say that I won't try to incorporate all of your feedback as much as I can. I'll write a bit more on survey results after people have had more time to answer.

For now, here's the Best You Might've Missed for this week.


Handling Porcupines, Trolls, and Other Online Vermin. An excellent multi-part series from the always-informative Contentious Weblog.

Do People Really Pay Attention During Online Meetings? Robin Good offers some statistics that may surprise you.

Encouraging Community in an Online Course. Get on the podcasting bandwagon--download this online audio post from the E-Learning Queen.

Improving Retention in Distance Learning Classes. An article from the International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, via the e-Learning Centre.

Virtual Teamwork Best Practices: Focus on People. A good set of tips from Kalabora.

PlayAttention. An online game that helps increase focus and concentration for adults and children.

Traditional training/business

The February issue of the Future of Work Agenda. The Future of Work Community and their monthly newsletter are always great places to get good futuring info.

Speaking the Unspeakable. The Fast Company bloggers add their thoughts to an article on talking about taboo subjects at work.

Protecting the Workgroup. Another good post from the Fast Company blog on how good leaders use "intelligent disobedience" to help their group.

How Bosses Reveal Their Attitudes Towards Employees. An informative article from the European Business Forum.

A Twelve Step Program For Identifying and Eliminating Organizational Change. A humorous look.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Take my ViewletPoll on the T+D blog

I'm testing out ViewletPoll for the Learning Circuits Try It section. I figured instead of making a silly test poll, I'd make something useful.

So here's the poll on what you'd like to see more of on this blog.

It's just one quick question--please take a minute to give me your thoughts. I'll take them into account when adding future content here.

(Unfortunately, the software doesn't allow write-in votes, but feel free to leave a comment here or send me an email at ekaplan at if you have an answer that's not listed.)