• May 03, 2016 1:28 PM | Andy Marris, CPLP (Administrator)

    At the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of ATD, our combined vision and mission is to "Partner with individuals and organizations we serve to develop highly skilled and talented professionals" in the SEWI workforce. That especially applies to great Learning and Development Professionals like you. As the current VP of Communications for our chapter, I can think of no better way to do this than to develop a "must read" resource for you to stay current, and sift through all the noise.

    Meet the SEWI-ATD Blog. We will work to bring you the best in talent and development research and enrichment, so that you can consider this blog a one-stop-repository to keep you abreast of what's current and what's next.

    In the past, we've posted great information here casually to keep you informed, but going forward, we are committing to you to make this blog the go-to resource for you in the talent development field. Please take a moment to look back at the excellent content that we've already posted in the past, but make sure to check-in frequently to see the awesome content this blog will now provide on an ongoing and continual basis. Please tell us how we're doing as a blog, a website, and most importantly a chapter to help make you the best at what you do

    Thanks for reading!

    Andy Marris

    P.S. If you're interested in blogging compelling information here, please don't hesitate to contact me at communications@sewi-atd.com.

  • April 28, 2016 8:54 AM | Andy Marris, CPLP (Administrator)

    Change is hard. Especially when one feels that one's credibility or competence will be challenged by the change. Yet every organization is looking for innovation. "Encouraged change." This article by Dorothy Leonard offers some unique perspectives on how fresh eyes, not just new ones and she explains the difference, can lead to innovations in the workplace (such as the space exploration team at NASA).

  • April 12, 2016 3:24 PM | Andy Marris, CPLP (Administrator)

    Doing more with less has been a mantra of organizations for better than a decade now. In fact, on April 22, SEWI-ATD will be offering an event on lean learning. Getting the right competencies in place to ensure your people are as effective as they can be in this environment is critical. This piece by Jim Graber is a great place to start.

  • April 07, 2016 1:20 PM | Andy Marris, CPLP (Administrator)

    If you are a Talent Development professional with five years or more in the industry, you have a wealth of experience. Are you recognized for what you know and do to improve workplace performance and drive productivity?

    The CPLP® (Certified Professional in Learning and Performance®) credential tells the world you are the best in the field. You know how to analyze an organization’s needs and design learning programs that have a positive impact on the bottom line. You not only know it; you have demonstrated it in your organization.

    The CPLP® credential gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace, increases your earning potential, and differentiates you from your peers. Global organizations across a wide spectrum of industries seek CPLP® professionals. This includes Hilton Hotels, Allstate, Coca-Cola, Ralph Lauren, Walmart, and Whole Foods to name a few.

    Are you interested in learning more? Would you like to join a study group to prepare for the exam or Skills Assessment? SEWI-ATD offers free informational webinars and hosts study groups. Our chapter CPLP® professionals are here to support you on your journey.

    To earn the CPLP® credential, you must have five years of talent development experience. Next, you take an exam that covers talent development’s 10 Areas of Expertise. After passing the exam, you complete a Skills Assessment Exam, where you apply what you know to business cases in your specific area of expertise (e.g., Instructional Design, Change Management, Learning Technologies, etc.).

    **This blog post was authored by Marilyn Zwissler, 2016 Past-President of SEWI-ATD, and a credentialized CPLP.

  • March 23, 2016 10:18 AM | Andy Marris, CPLP (Administrator)

    How often have you heard or maybe said yourself that talent development deserves a seat at the senior team table? CLO Magazine is named after the concept of a Chief Learning Officer, yet they are often few and far between. As learning professionals, we need to not only know our business, but the business that we serve. In essence, get out of training and into the business you're training for, making them better at what they are in business to do. This article from Sara Fister Gale brings this concept home.

  • March 15, 2016 1:15 PM | Andy Marris, CPLP (Administrator)
    With organizations spending so much money on training their people (and let's face it, that money is going to many of us), how can we ensure that knowledge  gained isn't knowledge lost? How do we get the participants to actually apply what they've learned? This Art Kohn article is an excellent read, as it speaks to boosting both retention and application.
  • March 03, 2016 9:00 AM | Andy Marris, CPLP (Administrator)
    When soldiers in the Vietnam War started frequently assassinating their superior officers, the US Army quickly learned it had to change its preferred style of leadership, command and control. The disturbing practice had become so common, it even earned a nickname, "fragging."  From this dark time in the Army's history to today, where emotional intelligence and informed decision making is valued, the army has really evolved in how it leads its people. This article is an interesting read on leadership, including the Army's focus on training, education, and experience.

  • December 07, 2015 12:59 PM | Andy Marris, CPLP (Administrator)

    Today marks the start of Employee Learning Week (December 7-11, 2015).  You can help promote it in the following ways:

    • Encourage employees to attend a course or program that will enhance their skills
    • Hold an education fair or “lunch and learn” during the week to remind employees about training opportunities
    • Send an email to employees each day of the week with a new learning tip
    • Involve the CEO and senior executives in recognizing the value learning brings to the organization
    • Submit a proclamation request to government officials within your community, city, or region to highlight your Employee Learning Week events and activities

    We'd love to hear what you are doing to promote Employee Learning Week.  Send us your ideas for a chance to win an Amazon Fire, ATD books, among other great prizes.

  • November 04, 2015 4:30 PM | Anonymous member

    A Blast from the Discovery Past

    We've Gotta Stop Meeting Like This!

    Submitted by Victor Gray
    May 1993

    Recently, I overheard an executive of a well-known company complain that his full management staff was never available for a meeting.  One of the attendees stated, “We don’t mind meeting, but we didn’t know that today was the day.  If you don’t let us know in advance, we might not be able to make it!”

    Meetings fail for a number of reasons:

    1. Lack of objectives.  Stating the purpose of the meeting and what’s to be accomplished is helpful in planning the meeting; it’s also critical when the attendees need to “buy into” the agenda items.
    2. Lack of an agenda.  My executive friend proved that without advance notification as to the date, time and place, poor meeting attendance may be the result.  Participants want to know if the meeting is relevant to them.  Give them an opportunity to be involved in setting the agenda.
    3. Lack of planning.  Poor planning usually results in poor meetings.  If you want better meetings, proper planning is essential.
    4. Wrong people.  Make sure the people attending are the ones who need to be there.  Let guest speakers be first on the agenda.  Exits from the meeting attendance should be offered when the assignment to the group has ended.  Most people won’t argue about attending one less meeting.
    5. Failure to start and end on time.  If you don’t start your meeting as scheduled there is no incentive to be on time.  Furthermore, the individuals who arrive on time are punished by having to wait or stay later for those who arrive late.  Get a reputation for starting and ending on time.
    6. Allowing interruptions.  Beepers that go off, and participants who are called out of the meeting interrupt the desired activity.  When possible, ask participants to check their beepers at the door and be interrupted only in the case of an emergency.
    7. Failure to follow up.  It is important to check that agreed-upon assignments outside the meeting take place in a timely manner.  Having an “open door policy” isn’t always enough.  Subordinates may benefit from some encouragement, assistance or correction.  A smart leader will look for the things that people are doing right and provide some praise.
    8. Failure to regularly critique meetings.  Meetings should be evaluated on a periodic basis.  Do the attendees still agree that the objectives represent what we are trying to accomplish?  Have we obtained feedback on the agenda regularly?  Are the right people in attendance?  If you stopped having the meeting would anybody miss it?

    I’ve heard that my executive friend has identified dates that his staff could meet.  He also issued an agenda.  His meeting problems have been solved.  Have you solved your meeting problems?

  • October 02, 2015 8:21 AM | Anonymous member

    A Blast from the Discovery Past

    Creativity from Chaos

    A New Kind of Gathering for Business

    Submitted by Barbara Markoff
    October 1993

    Imagine a long rectangular room with only chairs around the perimeter.  Attached on one long wall is plain poster paper and in the middle of the room is a small table covered with notepaper, markers and tape.

    A meeting has been called and soon everyone files in and takes a seat.  Often people are feeling a bit nervous about the lack of structure or skeptical about whether this is going to be worth anyone’s time.  The leader of the organization welcomes everyone, states why this event is occurring and encourages broad participation.  Absent is any statement about expected outcomes.  Then the facilitator moves into the center of the room and gives the instructions that are to shape the next one to four days.

    We are talking about a new meeting methodology called “Open Space.”  It is an alternative to the typical meeting or conference for which the agenda has been painstakingly laid out, often months in advance.  With “Open Space,” the actual agenda is developed on site with all the participants creating it “just in time.”  The only advance planning an event such as this requires is setting a meeting or conference time, inviting the right people to come and arranging the logistics.

    Harrision H. Owen, the originator of “Open Space,” credits part of the idea for this methodology from his frequent observation at conferences.  Owen found the most creative and often spirit-filled time was during coffee breaks and between sessions.  He decided to experiment with designing conferences that could produce the good, intense interaction that occurs during a coffee break, while achieving the output and performance that results from a meeting.

    The entire conference agenda can be created within one hour even if there are 400 or more people attending.  Participants are invited to think of a topic or issue that relates to the conference theme that he or she is interested in initiating.  The issue is given a title, recorded on a piece of paper, announced and then attached to the wall.  The posted topics are arranged in immediate, late morning, and afternoon time slots and are given locations by the volunteer convener.  Then the participants are invited, en masse, to come to the “village marketplace” to sign up for the session they wish to attend.

    It has been said, “Structure happens.”  What may seem like a chaotic process soon transforms into a fluid structure.  People negotiate with conveners if there are simultaneous sessions they wish to attend and new sessions are added throughout the event as new ideas occur to people.  There may be personal computers available on site for the recording and printing of notes so they can be posted for the benefit of the whole community.

    While some management systems are designed to boost productivity by reorganizing and controlling, this process edges on chaos, promoting it as a potent, creative force.  “Open Space” is a bit like the “Stone Soup Story.”  The minimal guidance offered is like the rock in a pot of water; everyone offers their ideas to the soup and in the end the group is well fed.  

    “Open Space” technology is effective when real learning and innovation are required and using familiar methods will not likely spur that result.  It would assist any organization that knows it needs to make some fundamental changes, but is unsure about the direction in which to go or how to get there. 

    Who would agree with this assertion?  Major corporations, government organizations and communities on five continents have used this innovative approach from polymer chemists at DuPont to the U.S. Forest Service.  Most were highly skeptical that the approach would “work for them” and were surprised and delighted when they saw the results.  Many now use “Open Space" for many of their meetings.

    You cannot do much better than convene such an event with almost no planning time and expense, and walk out with pages of ideas and plans to a highly motivated group.

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