Training in the 21st Century

Increase Your Effectiveness in Any Group

Guest Blogger: Sharon Mulgrew, http://sharonmulgrew.com/plays-well-with-others/

“Computer skills are expected on a resume; they are no longer a bonus; they are now considered necessary basic skills. However the skill of the future, the most sought after skill now, is the ability to work in a team, to work collaboratively, to play well others.”  (Kate Austin, Director of Simulation and Digital Entertainment Program at UB, 2006)

We sit through boring, frustrating or ‘resultless’ work meetings every day.

We think that nothing can be done. Yet there are actions that group members can take to make their meetings and collaborative work more focused, more fun, and more effective: There is a rhyme and reason to effective work groups, and the more members know and practice the behaviors that actually help any group perform, the better the experience is for all members. Continue reading →

Webinars: More (Information) Is Not Always Better

Last week, when I attended and presented at the Virtual Edge Summit in San Diego, I realized once again what odd and valuable experiences conferences are: People come from far away, sometimes at considerable expense, to meet and greet others as they rush from presentation to presentation. During this intense experience, they sample a smorgasbord of knowledge and information. Those topics that are most relevant to their present needs will likely stick with them. Less relevant information may be stored in their memories (and/or folders) as interesting tidbits, headlines, and key words that will enable retrieval and exploration later, when needed.

This process works for conferences. The short- and long-term value is proven each year as people put responsibilities on hold and head off to the airport to attend this or that annual meeting. Certainly, I learned many new and important things at VES, met new people, and encountered a few I knew from other events. But this year, the conference experience offered one additional insight: As I was leaving, I came to a realization that the way conference presentations are designed is a close match to the way many webinars are structured. And though it works for conferences, it’s usually a very unsuccessful format for virtual presentations. Continue reading →

Secrets to Successfully Introducing Change

As we transition from 2011 to 2012, we lay the groundwork that will help us realize our goals and triumph in our challenges during the new year.  Continuous improvement—learning from past experiences while scouting for new possibilities—gives us a solid stance from which to proceed. And with the fast pace of technological change, new opportunities for continuous improvement arise in varied and unexpected ways. But resistance from within our organizations can be one the biggest barriers we face in our efforts to make use of these opportunities.

Those whose work will benefit directly from the implementation of a new technology, a change to a process, or the introduction of new practices generally recognize the value of a proposed change quickly. But the value of the change may not be obvious to organization members whose work and responsibilities are not directly impacted by the change sought, and they may resist, impede, and even prevent the introduction of new ways of doing things.

One important way to gain the support and buy-in of people from all areas of an organization Continue reading →

Quick. Quick. Tell Me What You Think of Brainstorming. Want another way to get high-quality ideas?

Guest Blogger: Kris Schaeffer, Kris Schaeffer & Associates

We’ve all participated in a brainstorming session. A rapid-fire volley of ideas.  Ideas come so fast that it is difficult to record them all.

But what if someone in your group doesn’t like to compete for talk time?  Or what if you had an entire group that is reluctant to speak up, doesn’t like conflict, and defers speaking until others (elders and native-born) speak first?

That’s exactly what the Community Outreach Program (COP)* had to consider when designing three community meetings for San Francisco’s Japantown.  How can we get them to be involved and active participants in rezoning their neighborhood? Continue reading →

Blended Virtual Solutions to Enhance Training and Learning

The creation of the blackboard (or chalkboard) in the early 1800’s offered a huge new benefit for teachers: the ability to share drawings, writing and formulas with everyone in the classroom at the same time. Their use spread fairly quickly, given the speed of those times, and by the mid-1800’s blackboards had become standard equipment for classrooms throughout the United States. Just as this innovative breakthrough in the early 1800’s opened possibilities for new ways of teaching, today’s new technologies offer enormous benefits Continue reading →

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