Content Creation in an Age of Excess

See on Scoop.itCurating

Small businesses take note: It’s no longer about your products and services. It’s about giving your customers what they want and need–and not old-fashioned marketing.

Kristina Schneider‘s insight:

Trust is built with a client when they are confident of your expertise. For consultants, a great deal of the work is educating your client in order to gain that confidence and trust. Becoming their "go to" person on your area of expertise is one of the key ways. Good marketers have always known this and social media makes it much more accessible. 

See on www.inc.com

One Thing Employees Need (But Rarely Get)

See on Scoop.itWorkplace Performance

If you want to be considered a great employer–and you certainly should–providing your employees with higher pay, better benefits, extensive training, and greater opportunities are definite factors.

The problem is you might not have the resources to do all that.

That’s okay. You can still be a great employer, because one thing you can give your employees is more important.

Self-respect.

See on www.inc.com

I Know What Learners Need

Last Saturday, I was talking with a past colleague and good friend Virginie, an instructional designer working in the field for 10 years now. We talked about some of the struggles we go through in this profession. We tried to pin point what was the one character quality that all instructional designers should have. We both agreed that it was empathy, that is the ability to put one’s self in the learner’s seat and anticipate their needs. This, coupled with competency in applying sound instructional design techniques is what makes an instructional designer great.

When I read a recent post by Archana Narayan, I heard her strongly say “I know what learners need“. As professionals in the field of development and training, we all need to say it stronger and louder if we want to be respected as the professionals that we are. It can be a constant struggle to have our expert opinion heard, but it’s crucial that we do, both for the learner and for our professional integrity.

Whether it’s with dealing with clients who want to micromanage their learners, whether it’s dealing with outrageous requests or whether it’s dealing with subject matter experts and trainers that dismiss the instructional design process, Archana provides some great tips to get you started.

Reference:

Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

A Reflection on Eight Years of Moodling

I’ve been more engaged in corporate e-learning as of late and away from the academic side of e-Learning. But recently I have been exploring options for blended learning activities, more specifically a hybrid mix of instructor-led online programs. It got me going back to one of my previous areas of expertise: Moodle.

I logged into Moodle this morning to finally get acquainted with Moodle 2.0 and I realized my profile has been active for 7 years 345 days. How time flies! My first experience with Moodle was in graduate school, developing a group project in 2003 for a Human Performance Technology course. I remember the awe on everyone’s face when they saw the application. I also recall them not understanding completely when I told them that I had not hand coded the whole site but rather was using an open-source system.

And how Moodle has evolved over the last 8 years. The interface is flexible and robust, the modules and plug-ins are extensive and cover all the bases. The new Moodle 2.0 has integrated many of the strong user generated plug-ins such as the feedback module, which I always found lacked in the standard Moodle installation. And I have only just begun rediscovering it and all the possibilities it offers. Moodle most certainly is a strong argument for community developed systems and how the strength of many practionners advance a concept or a system.

2011 Resolution Reality Check

As I gleaned my Google Reader for interesting things to report to the Workplace Learning Today readers, I noticed a few predictable patterns in early January posts. I found could classify about 50% of the blog posts I surveyed into 3 categories: the past year in review, predictions for the new year and of course, new year resolutions. The latter category was the one that really caught my attention, as it seems to be the one area where I see many people, myself included, shooting themselves in the foot.

The following are a sampling of the well intentioned personal and professional improvement 2011 resolutions posts that I found:

There are even smart phone apps that claim to help reinforce new year resolutions. But I couldn’t help wonder if making resolutions is such a wise thing to do. So I kept searching.

I came across a post by corporate consultant Stephen Shapiro who discovered in his research that New Year’s Resolutions just don’t work.

According to our study, only 8% of Americans say they always achieve their New Year’s resolutions. The way it seems to work now, setting a New Year’s Resolution is a recipe for defeat.

He goes on to write that people eventually put an end to the misery of trying to keep up the resolution and call the whole thing off. One of the core issues, according to Shapiro’s research, is that when making a resolution, people focus on where they want to be rather than enjoying where they are right now.

We sacrifice today in the hope that a better future will emerge — only to discover that achievement rarely leads to true joy.

Now Shapiro isn’t against self-improvement, but rather provides detailed guidelines for making more sustainable resolutions. The headlines are:

  1. Choose a broad theme rather than specific measurable goal.
  2. Choose an expansive and empowering theme.
  3. Reflect on the previous year.
  4. Develop your theme jointly.
  5. Remind yourself of your theme.
  6. Remain open to new possibilities and to changes in direction at any point in the future.

Personal growth blogger Tina Su echoes this type of resolution in posting how she will approach and envision her 2011 year:

The commitment I will make today is to relinquish an idealistic definition of perfection that has bubbled up empty goals, with only a façade of meaning. I can, then, wholeheartedly make room to embrace true commitments that honestly serve who I am; even in all of its imperfection.

These are truly phenomenal tips for steering resolutions down a more successful path. In addition, I’d add the following bit of advice from Derek Sivers: Keep your goals to yourself.

I guess that I already broke that rule once, stating that one of my resolutions was to blog more.

References:

Rules and Incentives are not a Substitute for Practical Wisdom

In a recently posted Talk on Ted, Barry Schwartz shares his reflections and finding on the power of virtue, or what Aristotle called practical wisdom, and how it is the key element required for real change and the betterment of our society.

Through poignant examples, he demonstrates how in today’s society, the change agents must work against the current system managed by a script which is tightly controlled by rules and incentives. He also claims that this way of making small, incremental change is not only slow but that it isn’t sustainable in the long run.

Let’s see if some of Schwartz’s wisdom might rub off on all of us in 2011.

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