• Feb 13
    2017
    Organizations are finding every day that cloud computing can move maintenance issues into the background, freeing your IT staff to think about ways technology might increase business revenue. I won’t pretend this is not scary. Staff who have made their living patching the software on user computers can suddenly be made redundant. They might be told that the work they have been doing no longer matters. This can be disturbing ...
  • Nov 08
    2016
    Every business has an inescapable imperative — marketing. It’s a simple fact: if you’re in business, you’re in the marketing business. This is true regardless of your product, industry, or customer base. Marketing is the means by which you find new customers and maintain engagement with existing ones. And when I say “business,” I intend the broadest possible meaning. Marketing is not only necessary for organizations that sell things. It’s ...
  • Sep 30
    2016
    In 2011, Wired ran an article titled “5 Reasons Why e-Books Aren’t There Yet.” It was a good article and fairly amusing: one of the reasons was that you can’t use eBooks to decorate your home(!). The article was good in 2011, but it was written from the perspective we all had when we were arguing over whether eBooks would replace regular books. That perspective has since turned out to ...
  • Jul 29
    2016
    In the 1989 film, Field of Dreams, an Iowa corn farmer named Ray Kinsella hears a voice telling him to build a baseball diamond in his field. Ray builds the field, and the spirit of legendary ball player Shoeless Joe Jackson turns up to play on it. He even brings many of his friends. By watching their games and interacting with the legendary players, Ray is able to come to ...
  • Jul 07
    2014
    In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell said you need 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an elite performer. A study that was published last week suggests that the most popular interpretation of the 10,000-hour rule - i.e., that much practice will make you an expert - is misguided. While your training course development efforts probably don't include providing for 10,000 hours of student practice, we are all interested in ...
  • Jun 30
    2014
    A few weeks ago, I wrote in this space about how Google's workforce is only 30% women. I was suggesting that technology training could prove to be a path to technology careers for women. This week I am writing to explain just how wrong-headed I might have been in that post. I was looking at the wrong end of the problem of gender in technology. I quoted a scholar/activist named ...
  • Jun 16
    2014
    In January, I posted here about the importance of learning reinforcement in training course development. Reinforcement helps to ensure the transfer of training back to the job. "As a trainer," I wrote, "anything you can do to keep the content active in the learner's mind until it is transferred to more permanent memory will reduce the information loss and improve learning." I based this in part on remarks by Peter ...
  • Jun 09
    2014
    It's a common practice among training professionals, when planning a day-long training session, to schedule highly interactive activities right after lunch. We know that, without steady stimulus, many learners are at risk of falling asleep after a meal. It's true that a meal heavy in fat and carbohydrates can trigger a neural response that causes drowsiness. It's something most of us have experienced at Thanksgiving. But if your learners are ...