• Nov 18
    2013
    English majors sometimes can’t get much respect in modern business, and they are often the butt of jokes about employability and job-skill mismatch. But in 1930, when he founded Fortune magazine, Henry Luce decided to hire a bunch of them to write about business. In the words of Robert Lubar (the magazine’s managing editor from 1970 to 1980), “he put the question of expertise aside and turned to men with ...
  • Nov 11
    2013
    Here’s a survey finding you might not expect. According to The State of Workplace Productivity Report published by Cornerstone OnDemand, 34% of U.S. employees report experiencing information overload. One quarter (25%) of them report experiencing technology overload. But that’s not the unexpected part. What is unexpected is that when the responses are tabulated by age ranges, it’s the youngest workers who are most likely to report these overloads: “Millennials” (i.e., ...
  • Nov 04
    2013
    Most managers now understand that you need to do a job-task analysis of some sort before you administer training. You need to start with an understanding of the critical work functions of the job. From that information, you can determine the task requirements and the competencies needed to complete the tasks. This information is either the roadmap for your training course development or the standard against which you judge courseware ...
  • Oct 28
    2013
    Writer Karl Taro Greenfield’s article in The Atlantic last month got me thinking about blended learning. Greenfield describes his adventure of doing his daughter’s school homework for a week. The article’s title gives away its perspective: “My Daughter’s Homework Is Killing Me.” He puts in 3-5 hours each night on Algebra, Earth Sciences, and the Humanities and ends up protesting on a parents’ email list about it, whereupon he has ...
  • Oct 21
    2013
    Archaeologists have unearthed clay tablets with drawings on them that show how brick modules were to be used to construct ziggurats in Mesopotamia thousands of years before the Roman Empire. Ziggurats are among the oldest buildings in human history. They predated the pyramids of Egypt. It shouldn’t be surprising that Mesopotamians used building plans, but the discovery of these tablets serves as a reminder that the discipline of design is ...
  • Oct 14
    2013
    I was thinking about mobile learning when I was interviewed for an article on the bring your own device (BYOD) trend for Training magazine. The article appeared on their website last month. The article’s even-handed approach is summarized in this sentence from the second paragraph: “Organizations must balance employees’ preferences with the need to keep confidential company information and strategies secure.” It went on to enumerate some of the risks ...
  • Oct 07
    2013
    When you first hear about it, it sounds like it might be a joke. But the learning curve, so well known in training course development , has a counterpart in experimental psychology. It’s called the forgetting curve. It was discovered by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, who described it in Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology, which was published in 1885. He also discovered the learning curve, but he never actually used ...
  • Sep 30
    2013
    Loyalty guru Frederick Reichheld once showed that a five percent improvement in customer retention could boost the profits of most companies by 25% to 100%. Most companies understand that it costs far less to keep a customer than to acquire one. Customer loyalty has become a major marketing goal, and loyalty marketing has its own Wikipedia entry. But the Wikipedia entry is mostly about consumer rewards programs. A rewards program ...