It's officially Day 10 of our Season of Savings! This week, our theme revolves around our new Strategic Leadership workshop, as well as the launch of the IT Leaders Bootcamp with CIO Network beginning this January! Day 10 Deal is...  Bring the Strategic Leadership workshop in house & we will cover the cost of Lou's travel! (Upon completion of purchase, you will not be invoiced for travel expenses. ​No code necessary)  For more information about the Strategic Leadership workshop, please visit the RMA store website or contact us at't forget to follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page for more daily deals! 
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date ' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 14, 2016 08:05am</span>
As a succession management professional, you thought you’ve had some tough assignments. But none are more complex or closely scrutinized than the transition of the U.S. government.
Janice Burns   .   Blog   .   <span class='date ' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 13, 2016 08:07am</span>
Today marks Day 9 of our Season of Savings at Russell Martin and Associates which means there are only a few days left! We are excited to announce our NEW IT Leaders Bootcamp series with CIO Network starting in January 2017. In four meetings, you'll grow the competencies of leadership that will facilitate your career growth through feedback from peers, CIO/CEO speakers, profiles, assessments, reflection and simulations. Which brings me to the deal of the day! Day 9 Deal is...  Register for the IT Leaders Bootcamp Series and receive two FREE coaching sessions ($350 value)! (Upon completion of registration, you will be notified of your two free coaching sessions) -​No code necessary. For more information about the IT Leaders Bootcamp Series or the free coaching sessions, please visit our store website or contact for additional questions. 
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date ' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 13, 2016 08:06am</span>
Impacts of Task Analysis and Needs Analysis in Micro-LearningWhat is Task Analysis?Task Analysis is one of the oldest foundations in the training practice. It means several things to many professionals. Essentially, it is the process of analyzing how a task is accomplished. The analysis covers all factors that are necessary to perform a job such as physical and cognitive skills, duration and frequency. Some of the original proponents of traditional task analysis or behavioral task analysis were Munsterberg (1909), Gilbreth (1909), Taylor (1911), Conrad (1951) and Crossman (1956).Associated concepts accompanying Task Analysis are:Chaining: Burrhus Frederic Skinner is credited for the term "chaining." He theorized that when a given response produces or alters some of the variables that control another response, a "chain" is formed (The B.F. Skinner Foundation, 2014). A complex task is broken down into small units. Each step or link strengthens the next step and response. Chaining leads to mastery of the task.Training Needs Analysis or TNA is the process of identifying training needs in an organization for the purpose of improving employee job performance.Task Analysis has contributed to successful solutions in complex training as demonstrated in military, healthcare, heavy industries training, complex simulation, and recently in designing products such as the UX design (Interaction Design Foundation, 2016) and software (Bass et al. (1995) that enhances day-to-day experiences.The Remnants of Task Analysis Gone Wild?Task Analysis evolved as part of training and learning science because of the need to identify the activities that learners needed to be trained on. In complex situations it demands extensive new knowledge acquisition. In these cases "front-end analysis" is a must.With Task Analysis comes some practices that have gone wild or out of control. The following are anecdotes that we often hear and observe:"Learners must learn the step by step process.""Learners don’t know what they don’t know.""Training must be based on needs analysis."In today’s high-speed environment and connected workers and learners, does task analysis accelerate or impede learning on the go or learning on need, a way or method we call micro-learning?Consider These Reflections"Learners must learn the step by step process."—The Barista—Self-Correcting, Learning and DoingSee a video of a Barista.In the practical world, when problem solving is the mode of work on the job, learning step by step—although it sounds safe and soothes the comfort level of trainers and designers—does not necessarily happen or is unreal. Admittedly, there are steps that are so closely linked they must be learned and applied in sequence or simultaneously. Technologies in embedded tips, solutions, guides and references enable the learners and workers to find the steps and knowledge, almost instantly without having drilled down in formal or previous training. The error-correcting process of tools makes it possible for a learner to fix the problem and correct the actions before submitting the final action (Quinn, 2009). Learners are doing and learning at the same time.Micro-learning and micro-actions, on the other hand, facilitate the trial and error and simultaneous learning and doing method."Learners don’t know what they don’t know."—Untidy Learning and ExperiencesTask analysis helps create a very clean, clear and well-defined training structure and plan. In the real world, most learning activities are untidy, disorganized, random, disorderly and do not follow a plan. When trainers say "Learners don’t know what they don’t know" they are missing a key ingredient in worker performance—that learners and workers have experience—whether low or high—and they bring these experiences into their work. The workers may not perform a well-defined task based on the "ideal" work condition, but they perform (Pink, 2011).There are so many invaluable implicit knowledge on the job, which no amount of formal and structural task analysis can capture.A Micro-Learning plan helps capture the informal knowledge that forever would be lost without allowing untidy experiences and learning to be captured.See a video on recursive learning."Training must be based on needs analysis"—Wishful ThinkingAfter working with hundreds of clients and thousands of learning professionals in my workshops, I have the distinct impression that we see an increasing number of learning programs that fail the test if they are subjected to the classical training needs analysis process. One of the key reasons is that a significant amount of content is not task-based but rather more informational. Additionally, the volume of knowledge and rapid change provides less incentives to follow a formal training needs analysis process. We should not feel guilty if we fall into this trap. It is good to reflect that perhaps the formal needs analysis is being replaced by such methods as a dynamic collection of rated content, instant insights from learners while at work and growing a need for micro-learning—making content smaller—so workers can use it quickly to match a need. I think this has some relationship to what Michael Allen describes in his book "Leaving ADDIE for SAM." This is what we would call instant application of learning. We now see learners grabbing a tiny lesson to quickly solve a problem. This is, to my mind, a response to a need of learning, which skips formal learning needs analysis.ConclusionMicro-learning is veering from traditional task analysis, which emphasizes formal and hierarchical learning (institutionalized setting), and toward a less formal setting. Although micro-learning breaks down complex tasks into segments or units, there is no need to learn these units in sequential order. In this sense, it can be concluded that in today's learning environment, Micro-Learning encourages that learners jump, skip, learn and apply what they can at the point of need.ReferencesThe B. F. Skinner Foundation. B.F. Skinner Science and Human Behavior. 2014Interaction Design Foundation. Task Analysis a UX Designer’s Best FriendBass, Andrew et al. A software toolkit for hierarchical task analysis. Applied Ergonomics, 26(2), April 1995, pp. 147-151Clark Quinn. Ignoring Informal. 14 October 2009Daniel Pink. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. April 5, 2011Bunson, Stan. Front-end analysis: blueprint for success (part I). June 11, 2011Krüger, Nicole. Micro-E-learning in information literacy. 31 May, 2012Reinemeyer, Erika . Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949). May 1999Tip #29 - Trial and Error: Beng, Beng Bingo LearningTip #35 - Instant Learning Impacts Performance: One Idea, One Action Learning EventsTip #108 - How to Create 5-Slide Micro-Learning - Tiny, Succinct, FastTip #109 - 12 Metaphor Story Questions to Engage LearnersRay Jimenez, PhDVignettes Learning"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"Ray Jimenez, PhD Vignettes Learning Learn more about story and experience-based eLearning
Ray Jimenez   .   Blog   .   <span class='date ' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 12, 2016 05:03pm</span>
We hope you enjoyed the start to our season of savings last week! If you missed it, you're in luck, there's another week of savings! Welcome to Week 2 (and our final week) where you can save big bucks each day on our products and services!   This week's theme is about the importance of strategic leadership featuring our new Strategic Leadership workshop and the start of our upcoming IT Bootcamp series with CIO Network located right here in our home, Indianapolis, IN!  Day 8 Deal is...  Bring our new 2-day Strategic Leadership workshop to your companyand receive our Train the Trainer (Day 3) FREE(Offer will appear in invoice. No code necessary) Here's how it works. We'll come and facilitate two days of awesome learning and growth within your organization through our strategic leadership learning experience. Then we'll stick around an extra day to teach you (or your small team) how to facilitate the same course after we leave. For more information about our "Strategic Leadership" workshop, visit our website or email Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page and follow our website blog for more daily deals! 
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date ' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 12, 2016 08:07am</span>
It's officially Day 7 of our Season of Savings! Each day we will post one irresistible deal right here on our blog, on our Twitter and our Facebook. Each deal will only be valid that day, so act fast because it will be gone before you know it! This week's theme revolves around emotional intelligence and our "Power of You" workshop! We only have 6 days left of our season of savings, so be sure to follow each day closely for your chance to save! ​Day 7 Deal is.... FREE Stress Kitty with the purchase of aTriMetrix EQ Assessment(Stress Kitty shipped upon completion of purchase, no code necessary) TriMetrix EQ AssessmentLeveraging the power of three sciences, TTI TriMetrix EQ measures your ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity.
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date ' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 09, 2016 08:05am</span>
During a recent lunch with one of my Lean Learning certification candidates, we discussed a key Lean concept that had really caught her attention. It’s called ‘one-piece flow’ and it means to satisfy individual customer demand immediately or, put more simply, ‘produce to order’. The word ‘piece’ comes from manufacturing and refers to a product. Products are commonly made in quantities of ten, a hundred, a thousand or more pieces. The thinking goes (incorrectly btw) that it’s most efficient to produce in a batch. Similarly, training is commonly delivered in a batch, which could be a classroom, a lecture hall or webinar. The thinking goes (again incorrectly) that it’s most efficient to teach only to a full or nearly full venue. In truth, satisfying knowledge demand immediately is best. Why Would You Wait? One day, your car breaks down and you call a garage to get it fixed. They ask ‘What kind of car?’ and you tell them. They say "I fix those in batches of 10. You’re number 6, so I need 4 more to start working, which should be in 3 to 5 weeks. Can I put you on the list?’ WHAT?!! That’s crazy. You’d hang up and call another garage immediately. Now, consider this situation. One day, you call Training and say "I need to learn how to set expectations and give feedback to my employees." and they reply "Great. We’re teaching that course when we get a full class of 20, which should be in about 2 to 3 months. Do you want to sign up?". Same situation as above, but, rather than crazy, it’s the norm today. Batching Causes Delay Restricting training to batches means important knowledge doesn’t get delivered until the venue is filled up, for example 20 in a class or 120 in a webinar. The result is people who need to know have to wait weeks or months. In the meantime, they struggle to do their jobs and make mistakes that cost money, infuriate colleagues and customers, and harm patients. Sadly, these effects and results rarely get factored into training decisions, which seem to favor trainer convenience and minimizing overhead costs per trainee. Satisfy Knowledge Demand Immediately One-piece flow in training means to teach individuals just what they need to know exactly when they need it. No more, no less. And immediately; no waiting. It’s what I call ‘one-learner flow’ and the result is that people don’t struggle and make costly mistakes due to lack of knowledge. Sure you might wind up teaching the same topic numerous times, but so what? The key to establishing flow is identifying and then simplifying or eliminating steps that slow down the process and encourage batching. Batching is a symptom of inefficiency and complexity. How would designing training for ‘one-learner flow’ change what you do and how you do it? What formats and tools would be most appropriate? What would have to go? Most important, how would your learners react to your newfound responsiveness? Let’s Ride! Todd Hudson, Head Maverick The post One-Learner Flow appeared first on Maverick Institute.
Todd Hudson   .   Blog   .   <span class='date ' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 08, 2016 05:03pm</span>
Force field analysis is a fantastic change management tool. It also beautifully encapsulates the difference between Lean and traditional improvement approaches. A force field analysis diagram looks like this: Force field analysis is useful whenever you want to improve performance or change behavior, for example yield, cycle time, infection rate, recovery time, sales, morale, responsiveness. All change efforts are subject to driving forces and restraining forces. Driving forces push the current system to change for the better and restraining forces resist these efforts. Force field analysis engages teams of people affected by a specific change to list, discuss and assess the relative strengths of these two sets of forces. More Brute Force Traditional improvement efforts rely heavily, if not exclusively, on applying driving forces. In fact, the bigger the desired improvement, the more forces are brought to bear. Typical driving forces are: Mission and vision statements Goals and quotas Contests and incentives New policies and procedures Performance management The assumption is that the current system is capable of delivering more results if people are driven harder by rewards and fear. This is the complete opposite of Lean. While focusing on driving forces can yield results in the short term, it runs out of gas quickly. Pushed to an extreme, it has disastrous consequences. Think Volkswagen and Wells Fargo. Employees there met goals by doing illegal and unethical activities that severely damaged the company’s brand and cost millions, even billions, in fines and penalties. Remove Restraining Forces Lean assumes that people want to improve and succeed and are held back by system forces beyond their control. Typical restraining forces are: Insufficient resources Unclear requirements Traditions and assumptions Competing goals and incentives Ignorance and misunderstanding Out-dated policies and procedures Inefficient organizational structure Obsolete technology and methods Lean thinking and tools focus on identifying and eliminating these restraining forces. For example, value stream mapping uncovers inefficient organizational structure and outdated procedures standard work clarifies requirements and improves communication customer focus uncovers erroneous assumptions and competing goals and incentives visual management and gemba walks reduce ignorance and misunderstandings Big, Hairy Goals The real benefit of throwing out big, hairy goals, for example ‘Reduce errors by 80% in 2017’, is to identify the restraining forces that make it "Impossible!" Big, hairy goals should provoke people to say things like ‘That’s crazy! We’d have to completely change X, Y and Z.’ AHA! Constraints identified. Then, it’s management’s job to make changes to X, Y and Z possible. Setting a big, hairy goal and just hoping people accomplish it can be demotivating or, as we saw at Volkswagen and Wells Fargo, disastrous. Learning and Training Aren’t Enough While training and learning remove certain restraining forces, they’re insufficient to accomplish real change. Knowledge is a small component of any improvement effort. Knowing a better way to do something doesn’t mean someone can actually do it in their workplace. This is why so many change efforts based on ground-up training die a horrible, slow death. These efforts cast training as a driving force and as the old saying goes ‘You can’t push with a rope.’ What are you trying to improve today? How are you identifying and removing restraining forces? Are you solely relying on driving forces, in particular training, to make it happen? Let’s Ride Todd Hudson, Head Maverick The post Lean Frees Improvement appeared first on Maverick Institute.
Todd Hudson   .   Blog   .   <span class='date ' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 08, 2016 05:03pm</span>
Today marks Day 6 of our Season of Savings! Each day we will post one irresistible deal right here on our blog, on our Twitter and our Facebook. Each deal will only be valid that day, so act fast because it will be gone before you know it! This week's theme revolves around emotional intelligence and our "Power of You" workshop! ​Day 6 Deal is.... 25% off public "Power of You" workshopUSE CODE: 12DealsDay6 For more information about "The Power of You" workshop, please visit the RMA store website. 
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date ' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 08, 2016 08:05am</span>
Fun is a tricky little three-letter word. If we were to think of the workplace as a cross-word puzzle it would be challenging to consider where fun fits into the big picture. There is no "F" in "productivity", no "U" in "effort", and there is certainly no "N" in "results". There simply is no time, nor place, for fun and its varying distracting, immature, and counterproductive derivatives, such as humour, levity, and boisterousness. Games are silly relics of a youthful song which is both out of date and out of synch with the demanding and ferocious reality of the work culture. Or, you know, maybe not? The science of fun Our brains require stimulation. They seek out novelty. Research has shown that along with basic survival needs, and the need for emotional security, our brains not just desire but require stimulation in the form of novel, delightful, and pleasantly surprising experiences. These recharge and excite our mind, and result in a number of measurable and beneficial biological side-effects - from healthier function of our blood vessels to producing certain antibodies that strengthen our immune system. In short, the research is in and it seems to conclude that fun is good for the mind and body. But why on Earth would we want this positive, life-extending emotion entering the tightly constrained confides of the work place? Because there are more ways to motivate people than just the carrot and the stick. Fun is a motivator Yes, employees can be incited into increased productivity with extrinsic motivational factors of the metaphorical "carrot" (pay rises, bonuses, fringe benefits, etc.) or the "stick" (threats, reprimanding, fear) however I would suggest that there is the third path, one that results in intrinsic motivation: the path of creating a working environment that your employees want to work in. Where their brains feel safe, emotionally validated, and intellectually stimulated - and injecting elements of fun into your company will help bring about this increasingly positive state of mind. Let us clarify that fun does not mean lack of seriousness or respect. A fun company is not a company where slacking off or constantly goofing around are the only objectives. Fun in the workplace is more so about the feeling of, so-called, levity. Making your people feel "lighter" as opposed to the "heavier" feelings of sombre, stone-faced, restrained professionalism. Fun is contagious Particularly in the creative or communication-based industries, it is very important to allow time for the mind to breathe. Time when the mind is allowed to open and expand to novel stimuli and sensations results in decreased stress levels, and increased gusto for work. It is not a coincidence that some of the largest and most successful companies worldwide encourage fun in their company culture. The results of these actions trickle down into the company’s products and are indeed picked up upon by the end user. Users are more intuitive than we may give them credit, and they have the ability to notice when a product has been infused with care, zest, and even love, by their product design and development teams. Does this mean instead of increasing advertising budgets we should be buying a foosball table and installing a break room with bean-bags and hot cocoa? Not per se, though it certainly is a gesture that will be appreciated in bouts of 15 minutes at a time. Fun in the workplace, or the room for fun in the workplace to exist and breath, filters down from the top and is visible in smaller "micro-interactions" within the company. The many forms of fun Fun has many forms within a company. Fun has many forms within a company.Click To Tweet It can be in that ridiculous pink squishy ball that gets thrown around from person to person during a brainstorming session. It can be in "Pizza Tuesdays" where people come together from across completely different departments to eat a slice of pepperoni pie and then leave feeling a little more comfortable with their colleagues - realising that there are people, with feelings and thoughts, at the other end of that scathing email they were planning to write. Fun can be in installing the /giphy extension on Slack and not considering it "goofing off" or a lack of professionalism if your team expresses their sentiments about a project or an idea with reaction gifs. One of my favourite moments are design team "Fun Fridays", where the last 20 minutes of the working week have been cordoned off for moments of levity: draw a picture of a cat in sixty seconds and compare it with the rest of the team. Share that absolutely gorgeous logo you saw online with the rest of the team and tell them why you got so excited. Fold a paper airplane and see which one can fly the farthest. Play one, or two quick rounds of stand-up, communication based games, like "Werewolves" or "Mafia". Conclusion 20 minutes of fun a week. 20 minutes shaved off of the forty-hour work week, in the hope that the remaining 39 hours and 40 minutes will feel like an environment that your employees will want to be a part of, will want to give their very best, and will want to pour a little piece of their heart into. Those 20 minutes a week may turn out to be the best investment you make this year.   About the author: After travelling the world over for years as an English Language Teaching consultant, George specialised in designing UI/UX solutions for businesses for mobile and desktop devices. He is excited to bring his background in both education and design with him to Epignosis. The post All work and no play: Fun and games in the work culture appeared first on TalentLMS Blog.
John Laskaris   .   Blog   .   <span class='date ' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 07, 2016 05:02pm</span>
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