• July 27, 2021 9:00 AM | Colin Hahn

    It's time for our annual board elections!

    Chapter members will be receiving a direct email invitation to vote for open Board of Director roles. There are three open positions, including President Elect, VP-Technology Services, and VP-Marketing and Communications, with terms beginning January 1, 2022.  

    Candidates have been approved by the Nominating Committee for presentation to membership. These nominees include Kristin Derwinski (President Elect), Tami Martin (Vice President – Technology Services), and Rebecca Reindl (Vice President – Marketing and Communications).

    Voting will open Wednesday, July 28th and end August 11th. All members in good standing are eligible to vote. Renew or join to be eligible to vote. If you do not receive a direct election invitation email, or experience any difficulties while submitting your vote, please contact our chapter administrator at admin@sewi-atd.org or via phone at 608-204-9815.

    Are you interested in serving on the board? Or do you have a colleague who would thrive in a volunteer leader role? There is an interim opening for our Vice President of Professional Development. Nominate yourself or a colleague here.

    The VP of Professional Development plays a key role in our chapter's success. This person will plan, organize, and host quality professional development programs and services for Chapter members and professionals of talent development, organizational development, human resources and managers who have talent development as a part of their positions, in the form of issue-focused and special interest programming, skill development workshops, presentations, forums, and events.

    Nikki Palmer-Quade

  • July 15, 2021 8:46 AM | Anonymous

    Through our membership in MMAC, SEWI-ATD members can attend a series being offered through Fuel Milwaukee.

    Race Bridge offers monthly, 60-minute conversations intended to help Milwaukeeans better understand the nuances of race and racism - while feeling empowered to speak openly them. The goal is also to equip program participants with the language and tools to identify racial inequity and challenge it in a productive way.

    More details about this specific Race Bridge conversation to come, but register now to reserve your spot.

  • July 11, 2021 10:00 AM | Colin Hahn

    As talent development professionals, we know how much people matter to companies and organizations. So, it's no surprise to me that our chapter membership is what makes SEWI-ATD special.

    Many people join SEWI-ATD to build their network. I'm always impressed by the caliber of professionals in our community. For me, access to this community is one of the greatest strengths of our chapter.

    Did you know that you can use our Member Directory to help grow your network and strengthen your connections? You can:

    • Ask for career advice from people with the job titles you want
    • Learn from people with expertise in specific skills
    • Connect with people at particular companies or industries
    • ...and more!

    If you haven't explored our Member Directory yet—now is the time to find out what you've been missing! Connect with each other, and discover how our people make our community so exceptional.

    Want your network to work for you? Take a moment to update your member profile. You'll help others in our community find you for the right reasons, and you'll help your chapter leaders understand our membership so we can provide the right kind of professional development opportunities for you!

  • June 14, 2021 8:56 PM | Anonymous

    by Daniel Stewart, President of Stewart Leadership

    How is your organization developing leaders for the future? This is what we asked when we surveyed over 300 Human Resource leaders across 15+ industries within the US in April of 2021. We wanted to know how organizations wrestling with a tight labor market, remote work, social justice issues, mental health challenges, increasing digitization, and political unrest view and develop their leaders. 

    Current leadership development trends inform our expectations of leaders today and how we anticipate leadership evolving in the coming years. To understand this, we wanted to know how are organizations answering these key questions:

    • What skills and mindsets do leaders need as they rally their teams for the future? 

    • How are we defining leadership success? 

    • What development approaches are working (or not)?

    • What strategies and approaches will help us prepare future leaders?

    With our partner, From Day One, we surveyed 310 respondents who collectively represented five levels in their organizations - with 80% at the manager level or above. The participants worked in more than 15 industries with most working for companies with more than $50 million in revenues. Each generation currently in the workforce was represented in the survey with Gen X being the most numerous at 55% followed by Baby Boomers (23%) and Millennials (21%). Gen Z came in at 1% of the survey respondents. We looked at the overall data as well as the data in context with the demographic information above. From that research, here are the top five trends in developing leaders in 2021

    Leadership Development Priorities

    Companies of all sizes are putting a higher priority on cohort programs rather than targeted, individual approaches. Smaller companies were more likely to focus on getting back to the basics of leadership development, and managers at all levels in the organization are focused on development conversations backed with individual action plans. 

    78% of respondents, when asked to choose among several priorities for the next 18 months selected one of these four options:

    • Promote development conversations and action plans (22%)

    • Acquire micro-learnings and virtual tools for all levels (20%)

    • Create cohort development programs for specific audiences (18%)

    • Get back to basics of leadership development (17%)

    Leadership Preparation 

    Of all the generations. Baby Boomers expressed the most confidence that the leaders in their organization are prepared to deliver results, while the largest companies represented in the survey were most optimistic about the preparedness of their leaders.  A concerning 40% of respondents from organizations with revenues of $500 million - $1 billion or more were neutral or pessimistic about their leaders being prepared for the future.  Overall 65% of respondents agree or strongly agree that their leaders are prepared, leaving 35% of respondents unsure that their leaders can deliver both business results and people results. 

    Leadership Development Investment by Level in Organization 

    Organizations of all levels reported that Managers (28%) and Directors (23%) are being targeted with the highest level of leadership development investment reflecting the ongoing trend of focusing on developing strong managers. Investing in Individual Contributors (22%) proved a higher priority than focusing investment dollars on Vice Presidents (10%), Senior Leaders (11%), and C-Suite Executives (96%).

    Desired Future Leadership Style

    More than 88% of respondents expressed a strong preference for leadership styles that demonstrate trust and confidence in employees exemplified by supporting the employee’s work by providing feedback, recognition, and support. A micromanagement approach of driving an employee’s work by providing detailed day-to-day directions and guidance was strongly rejected. 

    Respondents also wanted a collaborative approach to problem-solving, expressing a desire for leaders who influence results by breaking down silos, collaborating across functions, and overcoming obstacles through clever approaches. While 76% of respondents preferred the collaborative approach, only 24% of respondents expressed a preference for leaders who would drive results through a focus on leading function priorities and goals. 

    Top Leadership Development Approaches

    When asked to choose from a range of leadership development approaches, respondents tended to select development approaches that could be conducted in a virtual environment. The top approach selected by survey participants was, “Development through projects, assignments, and job positions.” All levels in the organization and all company sizes favored this approach. Workshops, webinars, and formal cohort programs conducted virtually also rose to the top of the list, with Baby Boomers expressing a strong preference for virtual workshops. 

    Top Strategic Priorities and Critical Leadership Skills

    HR leaders have been highly motivated to proactively respond to the challenges of conducting business today. A slim majority will place their primary focus on engaging and retaining employees (19%) while 18% of respondents will focus on building an inclusive culture. Millennials, in particular, ranked building an inclusive culture as their top priority, as did the majority of directors and senior managers. Other top priorities include aligning strategic direction and goals (15%), finding the right balance of in-person, remote, and hybrid (12%), and upskilling managers to lead change and transformation (10%)

    The critical leadership skills included aligning strategic priorities with building the employee experience. The most commonly selected skills noted for leadership investment were communication (12%), building an engaging experience (11%), connection (8%), and inclusion and belonging (8%). 

    Want to Know More?

    You can read our full research report by visiting StewartLeadership.com/Research

    Also, to see our webinar detailing the full report and our recommended next steps, visit Stewartleadership.com/Webinar

  • May 18, 2021 9:22 AM | Anonymous

    What are the pros and cons of internal programs vs external programs?

    You know you want to create a leadership development program for your organization. Now you need to decide if you should take on that development work internally or utilize the expertise of an external consultant or program. Below, we will discuss a few factors to consider to help you make the best choice for your organization.

    Size- First, consider size, both in what you want to accomplish and who you can accomplish it with. If you are a “training team of one” with a large scope, you may not have the bandwidth to tackle a project of this size. However, if you have an established and sizable talent development team, this can be a great opportunity to tap into the expertise of multiple individuals to build a program.  

    Additionally, consider how many individuals you would like to develop through this program. Are you rolling this out organization-wide or starting with a small group? Knowing the total number of learners you hope to connect with can provide some valuable data as you consider additional factors.

    Timing- How quickly do you need your learners to complete your training? If you need to train a large number of individuals quickly, it may be best to do this work internally provided that you have a team large enough to support that endeavor (or bring in external partners to assist in this process). If you have a smaller group of intended learners or can pace this development over time, utilizing an external partner or program can allow individuals the flexibility to learn as their calendars allow.

    Competencies- Consider what competencies you are hoping to strengthen with a leadership development program. Do you or others on your team possess the subject matter expertise to train in these areas? Are these skills aligned with the current needs and future projections for what your leaders will need? Can these competencies be fulfilled by a hybrid approach, where you can tap into internal expertise while partnering with outside resources for additional needs?

    You may find that your answers to these questions about size, timing and competencies fall in a combination of internal and external needs. Perhaps you have an influx of leaders to onboard in the near term followed by the need for a sustainability model for future leaders. This type of scenario provides a unique opportunity to partner with an external vendor that can seamlessly align with your needs and make training provided outside of your organization feel like an extension of your brand.

  • May 17, 2021 9:00 AM | Colin Hahn

    As talent professionals, you and I know that on-the-job experience is a powerful development tool. That’s why I invite you to consider joining our chapter’s Board of Directors. Serving on the SEWI-ATD board is a way to gain leadership and business experience to advance your career, and make a positive contribution to our professional community at the same time.

    I can personally vouch for the value of board service. My skills as a leader have grown because of this work, and I can point to specific improvements that my manager noticed in my last performance review that came from my volunteer work with the chapter. I’ve also gained more senior-level skills like managing budgets and understanding the key business drivers because of the P&L responsibilities in my roles. And, I’ve had a ton of fun in strengthening my relationships with my network and seeing the impact of our work on the local community.

    If you are interested in learning more about board membership, reach out to me or our President-Elect, Nikki Palmer-Quade, and let’s have a virtual coffee! We have several roles up for election, including our Membership VP and VP of Marketing and Communications. We also have non-board roles such as Assistant VP roles in Professional Development, so there are ways to get involved even if you’re not sure if you’re ready for a board-level commitment.


    Colin J. Hahn
    SEWI-ATD President

  • April 20, 2021 8:21 AM | Anonymous

    As a member of our SEWI-ATD, independent consultants have the opportunity to promote their businesses on our chapter’s website. The Consultant Directory is proactively publicized by our chapter on a quarterly basis to our database of roughly 1,000 professionals. Visitors to the Consultant Directory spend significant time interacting with the page (over six times the expected engagement rate), and 70% of users scroll to the bottom of the page, indicating they are reading each description. (Note: larger organizations can become chapter sponsors to gain significant exposure)


    With a new VP of Marketing & Communications on our board, Rebecca Reindl has also elevated our presence on LinkedIn. As you can see from the LinkedIn follower demographics below, our Consultant Directory members are getting in front of the key decision-makers you want to reach. Each of our posts on LinkedIn gets an average of 200 unique views, which means that we are broadcasting your bio directly to 200 of these professionals with each post. 


    As a member of SEWI-ATD, you enjoy dual benefits as a member of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. Last summer, we co-sponsored the MMAC Talent Matters Series where a dozen chapter members volunteered as event facilitators. SEWI-ATD programming was broadcast to the MMAC database of over 4,000 business executives in the 7-county region.


    At an investment of $100 annually, we hope that joining the Consultant Directory is an easy decision. There are a number of ways you can grow your business, and we appreciate your decision to partner with SEWI-ATD. To do some comparisons related to other advertising opportunities, you can preview offerings by MMSHRM and MMAC.


    To join the directory, simply go to: https://sewi-atd.org/event-4169693 and follow the registration steps.


    Our chapter administrator will be able to answer direct questions related to payment. You can reach out to them at admin@sewi-atd.org or by phone at 608-204-9815. To connect with a board member, you can reach out to Nikki Palmer-Quade, President Elect, at nikki.palmerquade@sewi-atd.org or Susan Davies, VP of Sponsorship, at sponsorship@sewi-atd.org.

  • April 20, 2021 8:17 AM | Anonymous

    Sometimes the challenges that are seen within organizations and teams are the result of leaders who are not practicing their leadership with intention. The unintended consequences of this style of leadership can be felt organization-wide. In this week’s video post, Matt Meuleners of FOCUS Training talks about the value of intentional leadership and offers tips on building your intentionality.

    Click here to view video.

  • April 19, 2021 4:13 PM | Colin Hahn

    Like many of you, I joined SEWI-ATD to connect with other talent development professionals. I love being able to ask peers for advice to solve challenges in my job, and I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with others.

    Since I love learning with others, I’m incredibly excited about our chapter’s professional development networks, or PDNs. We currently have standing groups for leaders of learning, training delivery, and (as of last week!) organizational development. These groups enable practitioners to discuss challenges, share techniques, and see how other companies are tackling similar issues. Every time I attend, these conversations are a highlight of my week.

    I want to thank all the group leaders who make these sessions engaging and insightful. Jennifer Buchholz, Megan Cardenas, Lora Haines, Susan Keith, Camille Parham, Sheri Weaver, and Kathleen Volk--you do amazing work to create these collaborative learning opportunities!

    Because these groups are such powerful learning communities, I want to encourage you to start your own group within our chapter. Megan Cardenas will tell you that the reason she started the leaders of learning group is because she wanted to get together with a bunch of people facing similar challenges, and forming a group was an easy way to make that happen.

    You too can form a PDN to scratch your own professional development itch! Your PDN can be organized around almost any aspect of our field:

    • Do you want to collaborate with others in a subject area, like instructional design, e-learning, or talent analytics?
    • Would you like to share insights with others in your industry? (We’ve got a lot of chapter members in financial services, health care, and manufacturing!)
    • Do you have a short-term project that would benefit from a working group? (Maybe you want to collaborate for the next four months on how to launch an affinity group program...)

    As a chapter member, all you need to do is reach out to me or another board member and tell us about your proposed group! We’ll announce it to our list of over 700 local TD professionals, and you can start sharing ideas and building connections.

    I look forward to collaborating with you!

  • March 23, 2021 8:17 AM | Anonymous

    By Teresa Pappas, Ph.D., Consultant, The CARA Group

    Let’s face it, these continue to remain unprecedented times. And they require an unprecedented response from us all.  We’ve been used to working within a global VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) business environment for some time—one that’s required us to demonstrate both adaptability and resilience. But these times are different. As we continue to do our part in combatting the global coronavirus, we are finding ourselves still working 100% virtually. This need to work differently, along with the stressors of finding ourselves within a global pandemic, is likely still bringing up some new reactions for us all. Common challenges include the need to balance work priorities and deliverables, while battling feelings of isolation and missing the kinds of everyday ‘hallway’ interactions we’ve relied on and enjoyed. We’re all battling these experiences for ourselves while we find our way. And if you’re a leader with direct reports, you’ve got a team of people relying on you to address their concerns and keep them connected as well.

    This article focuses on five ‘must have’ techniques for doing just that. As you read, keep in mind how and when you can begin applying these for yourself and your team. 

    1. Plan your Approach

    Eleanor Roosevelt once said “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Comparing the two, experience tells us that we can have a much better ‘hit rate’ for success with a plan, so why not start there? Take the time to be intentional about what success will look like while leading a team that is completely virtual. 

    This starts by reflecting on your vision and hopes for your team. How do you want your team members to act and feel in this virtual environment? What will it mean to be productive, connected, and successful? How can you help team members tap into their individual core competencies and strengths? How do you see yourself continuing to build team cohesion remotely while making sure that everyone feels part of the team? Your answers to these questions will shape your interactions with your team members and will go a long way to foster the type of virtual team environment that your employees will have. Share your vision and what this means for your team.

    Remember that you have a critical role to play in shaping your team’s virtual culture. Be a role model by demonstrating virtual team commitment and collaboration. What work style habits can you build that will benefit you and provide examples of what others can emulate (e.g., taking care of yourself and your energy levels, integrating work and family tasks, maintaining effective routines)? Keep in mind that regular routines go a long way to combat an unpredictable external environment. How can you authentically convey the importance of your team in supporting each other in a virtual setting? Aim to develop realistic, focused goals (both team and individual), and establish upfront expectations of each other. Also, be the kind of leader who has ongoing conversations with your employees on progress made.

      2. Communicate Early and Often

    In a virtual environment, it is more important than ever to use a variety of vehicles and methods to set the stage for open communication. How can you develop a cadence and process for coming together—for both team and one-on-one touchpoints? What structure can you provide for your team to foster information sharing and connection? How can you augment this by seizing impromptu opportunities to check-in, share information, ask a question, or simply say “hello” and see how people are doing? Don’t assume that others know what you’re working on or who you’re interacting with. What questions do your team members have? Where should people go with specific questions? Consider your responses to these questions for establishing your team’s pattern of communication, and see where it may need to adapt over time.

    On top of this, don’t forget to master the ‘basics’ of communication. Respond to others in a timely manner. Keep scheduled meetings. Listen actively. Remove distractions in your work setting. At the end of the day, set yourself up to be present, engaged, and in-the-moment when communicating with others. When face-to-face conversations aren’t practical, know what to listen for. In this case, you won’t have the benefit of seeing someone’s nonverbals—so you’ll want to pay extra attention to subtle nuances in individuals’ tone and pace of speech. This will clue you in to where you may need to check for understanding.

    Communication is so important because it helps direct your team’s actions, accountabilities, and progress made. What methods and processes can you use to make sure everyone is on the same page? Share meeting agendas, outcomes, commitments, and next steps.  Your team members will rely on the open communication you foster to build trust in a virtual environment. This will go a long way to your team members being open to giving and receiving feedback as your team continues to evolve. 

    3. Leverage Technology

    We are fortunate to live in a time where we have wide access to technology and systems that give us the opportunity to work remotely. That said, you’ll want to make optimal use of available technology and resources. This means using the right tool(s) for the situation. We’ve probably all been part of remote interactions that didn’t go well simply because an overly complex tool for the situation was utilized. When a formal meeting is involved, this is when you’ll want to learn to make good use of your company’s online meeting software. However, in other cases, exchanging emails, sharing instant messages, sending texts, or holding phone calls will easily suffice to expedite making the right connection. 

    Another recommendation is to opt for face-to-face interaction to increase engagement (and decrease the tendency to multi-task), particularly when longer conversations are involved. Now is the time to practice getting technology savvy with using your computer’s camera feature! This will come in handy when holding virtual face-to-face meetings with your team. Think of it as a wonderful opportunity for the team to come together, share updates, ask questions, and foster a sense of camaraderie.  

    What about other important logistics? You’ll want to test your technology equipment and connections to ensure you’ll be in a position to connect easily and both begin and end on time. Do what you can to anticipate and mitigate any challenges that may arise. If you’re part of a global workforce, you’ll want to be sensitive to time zone differences when scheduling team meetings. Think about ways you can facilitate holding an effective and efficient meeting so you are focused and attentive to your role in the moment.

    4. Don’t Neglect the Human Component

    It’s been said that the most effective leaders show they care first, and give direction second. Focus on how you can continue to build your relationship with each of your team members so you’ll be in the best position to meet them where they are—uniquely and individually. It will be particularly important in a virtual setting to ask your individual team members how they are doing with the changes to their work environment. Listen to what they have to say and empathize with their reactions. 

    One resource that may be helpful is Kubler-Ross’ change commitment curve—the process humans go through when adapting to a new reality. It gives additional insight into the internal psychological adaptation process that an individual goes through when moving through a change. Consider where you fall in adapting to virtual work, as well as where each of your team members are. 

    Doing so will raise your awareness not only to what you’re personally experiencing, but to what your team members are going through. By reflecting on this you’ll be in the best position to help your team move through the change curve. You may even help them think about how they can reframe initially perceived challenges into opportunities. This will help to foster an environment of team learning. When and how might you hold conversations on how individuals are adapting to virtual work? How could you provide a forum for team members to share ‘bright spots’ they’ve experienced along the way?

    This is the time to show your appreciation for your team and how they are rising to the challenge of virtual work. Recognize and celebrate both individual and team success when you see it. Get to know your team members’ individual preferences for recognition, and customize your approach to this. This is also the time to incorporate F-U-N where you can into the work day! Get creative when thinking about how you can build virtual team camaraderie. 

    5. Stay Flexible

    A virtual work environment lends itself to continual adaptation and the opportunity to be flexible. You may find that expectations about how the work will flow and how people will come together will need to shift over time, and that’s okay. Know where your team may need to re-prioritize tasks, assignments, or ways of interacting along the way. Keeping flexible will help you and your team to not get bogged down in old ways of thinking or acting. 

    This will serve you well in being able to identify what changes may still be needed, both in the short- and long-term. It will also help you determine any immediate changes needed around the corner, along with their impact on the team in general and individual team members in particular. This is where open communication will be instrumental.

    In the end, we now find ourselves working in completely new ways where the need to engage virtually has never been greater. As a leader, your opportunity to bring your team together is at a critical phase. We hope you’ve gathered some new insights that will be immediately helpful in directing your team to rise above and achieve more. 

© Southeastern Wisconsin ATD

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Phone: 608-204-9815

Association Managers
Seth Trickel
Heather L. Dyer, CAE

Mailing Address
4075 Vilas Road
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
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