Thursday, July 26, 2012

ASTD LearnNow Day 2 notes #ASTDLN

These are my notes from the morning session of ASTD LearnNow Conference, happening July 25 & 26 on the lovely shores of the Charles River in Cambridge, MA.  I’m co-facilitating this event with Bob Mosher (Ontuitive), Conrad Gottfredson (Ontuitive)  and Chad Udell (Float Learning).

Bob Mosher is starting the day off with some discussion around where do we start implementing these new technologies?  "This war is won one project at a time?"

  • Create a proof of concept to solve one nagging problem. Don't try to boil the ocean!
  • Pick an audience that is excited about these new tools and comfortable with technology.  Keep your sample size manageable. 40,000 people isn't a pilot.  Or start with your own internal L&D group where you can keep the control.
  • Use existing learning assets -- build with existing content.  (You've probably got tons of stuff -- people just can't find it now.)
  • Time and scope -- be realistic.
  • Contextualize it -- put it in the workflow!  

People sharing AHA moments from yesterday:
  • Embedded performance supporting -- putting the resources at the point of need
  • Starting within our own groups to experiment with these methods and maximize our own productivity
  • Positioning ourselves as a learning group -- we've got to bring to the table more strategic discussions to how we can impact performance 
  • Design mindset -- we have to shift things. Senior level people want to see something in two weeks.
  • I wish we'd never uttered the words "informal learning" -- it's a really broad brush and how do you put budget on that?  I need to structure and design for informal learning where people are having a conversation on their way to the parking lot? 
  • I can pick a small group of people from my organization of 80,000 and start there -- I can now think of ideas that I can deliver for a smaller chunk
  • L&D teams have put themselves in a box of moments 1 and 2 (new and more). We should be owning all five moments (new, more, apply, change, solve).
  • In training, we've trained ourselves to think that everything is NEW -- that we need a three day course.  But often it's a more -- we have existing models to work on -- the interventions can be different.
  • Get data to understand WHO your workforce really is.  Data to suggest that someone can learn something without sitting in a classroom. 
An embedded performance support system demo...Bob shows off the Ontuitive EPSS product...

As you work with a system or a workflow, you have resources available to you that map to the pyramid.  So the learner/performer can self-select what they need in that moment - they can get more formal instruction, and so on.  These resources can link into the LMS, so you still get your tracking...

Can do this as part of a software system or something more soft like a process (Marketing Planning Process).  (Common objection we hear is you can't build performance support for soft skills because there aren't steps.  But there are steps! It's not click a button or do this menu but the step might be "identify your frame of reference/target market.")

I did a quick tour of different social media tools and platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google + and so on) so people can get a better sense of the tools out there...

Chad now shares his tour of tools for creating mobile tools.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

LearnNow Morning Session July 25 2012 #ASTDLN

These are my notes from the morning session of ASTD LearnNow Conference, happening July 25 & 26 on the lovely shores of the Charles River in Cambridge, MA.  I’m co-facilitating this event with Bob Mosher (Ontuitive), Conrad Gottfredson (Ontuitive)  and Chad Udell (Float Learning).

LearnNow – re-emerging discipline…of supporting our employees in all the many ways that they learn.  Not just in the classroom and through formal learning initiatives.

We often chase the shiny pennies – we put the means (the technology) ahead of the ends. We don’t integrate these tools and solutions into the context of what people are DOING.

Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline – wrote twenty years ago that we need to become learning organizations.  Have we become that? How do we (the L&D folks) be strategic to the organization?  WE didn’t do it because back then, the business environment didn’t demand that.  But today…businesses are starting to demand it.

“We power effective performance at every changing moment.” Who owns this? What must our contribution to the organization be?

The world is changing:

·      We are truly global – performance in Asia impacts Europe impacts America.
·      Disruptive technologies reshape things and trigger new business models
·      Demographic churn
·      Political instability and the correlation with business confidence

To survive, orgs need to learn at the speed of change…continuous learning and new skill cycles…constantly re-tooling to maintain competitiveness.

The old ways fail, unless we learn how to Learn Now. We have to power effective performance at every changing moment. We have to own this.

We try to align with strategy, but strategy is a moving target.       

To learn at the speed of change, your org MUST:

·      Develop external intelligence monitoring capacity – know what’s going on out there in the marketplace!

·      Cultivate a dynamic learning mindset across the entire organization.
Changing the culture and mindset is a big issue. Participants share how changing from a stand-up ILT culture is a BIG CHALLENGE. Maggie Martinez, does research on analytics and environment – how receptive is your enterprise to new technologies?  Check her stuff out of you want to learn more about where your org is at now.

·      Develop leadership capacity to support learning agility throughout the org.

·      Put in place and evolve org learning and performance support systems.

·      Evolve learning and support tech to optimize and support learning agility.

How well are we sustaining competency in an ever-changing work environment? 

Train > Transfer > Sustain

Most of us are in the TRAIN phase…and not focusing on TRANSFER and SUSTAIN.
Lines of business want us starting from the SUSTAIN phase…Learn Now is about starting from Sustain and working backward…that’s what the business needs us to do in order to keep the focus on PERFORMANCE.

The Five Moments of Learning Need

1.     APPLY – at the heart – this is the bull’s eye and what we need to focus on.  When the performer is in the midst of the task and they need to DO something.
2.     NEW – new content – the theory and all that stuff
3.     MORE
4.     CHANGE – keeping up with all the stuff that’s changing!
5.     SOLVE – complex problems, when we get into trouble how do we get out of it?

For more on the Five Moments, read Con’s article on Learning Solutions:

Or my blog notes from our LearnNow session in April 2012:

Formal Learning = New and More
Informal Learning & Performer Support = Change and Solve and Apply

When are the five moments consumed? Any time during the day – it’s not a linear thing.  We want to put the five moments in the context of consumption.

When do we need this stuff?  Before, During, After
During means you’re in the problem.  Where a tool emerges to help you solve the problem.

Captain Sully pulled out a JOB AID to help him land the plane on the Hudson River.  He didn’t want to log into an LMS or read a blog in that moment of need.  He needed the right resource in THAT moment.

Customer comes up and starts screaming at you.  Not the moment for a job aid or a tweet.  But you can say, “I’ll go talk to my manager and the manager pulls up the resource…”

If we do the before and after better, we’ll have fewer during moments.

What is BLENDED learning?  It’s thinking about before the learning event, during the learning event, after the learning event.  It’s helping the learner/performer APPLY. 

  • Before Apply – provide planners (reference guides, wikis, blogs, elearning)
  • During Apply – provide sidekicks (job aids, context sensitive help, FAQ’s, coach/mentor, help desk, twitter)
  • After Apply – provide quick checks (checklists, assessment tools, feedback loop)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

LearnNow in Boston July 25 and 26th

Smack in the middle of summer, a great learning event right in Boston.  (OK -- technically, it's in Cambridge...but it's right on the Charles River with great views of Boston.)

Come join me, Bob Mosher, Conrad Gottfredson and Chad Udell as we talk about learning technologies, the five moments of learning need, mobile, social and embedded performance support. 
Here's where to go for more details on the conference and to register.  Hope to see you there!