Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Shades of Instructional Design [Slides from eLearning Guild #OLF]

Today I got to kick off the eLearning Guild's latest online forum, Instructional Design Approaches for Project and Learner Success.

I talked about one of my favorite subjects: the many shades of instructional design and shared some tips and ideas for designing better eLearning along the way. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Kate Matsudaira on Success, Day Two Keynote #ATDTK

These are my live blogged notes from the opening keynote at ATD TechKnowledge 2016, happening this week in Las Vegas. Forgive any typos or incoherencies.

Talking today about SUCCESS. Goal: one or two things from today that you can bring back to your office to be more successful.

Merit no longer is the way we get ahead. What happened to merit?

Four parts to her success formula:

1. Chess
2. Cake
3. Oprah
4. Mickey Mouse

The new world of tech:
We’re all really busy today.
Most people are distributed – we work from home offices, we communicate online and face to face time is less frequent
We often have to define the work we’re doing and the projects
It’s a different world and we have to think about our careers a little differently.

Chess is about strategy. Like a game, you have to think of the work you’re doing as a series of moves. It’s gotta be part of a bigger plan. And what limits you is time and  energy.

Make sure you’re on the right path. Invest in something that’s going to make sense for you. Choose the right game to play. Pick what you focus on.

Build skills that are rare and valuable. You’ll earn more money, have more flexibility, have more control.

Following your passion is for suckers.

As you think about your career path – think about what your doing now that you really like. And then think about how to make those skills rare and valuable.

It’s a craftsman mindset. Think about your rare and valuable skills and then make a plan around it.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal…

Set aside time to be strategic. The idea of DELIBERATE PRACTICE.

The notion of spending 10,000 hours to get really good at something – new research shows that number may be more or less – what matters is the quality of what you’re doing and how you spend that time. Get thoughtful about how you spend your time.

Have a plan. Do you have a target? It’s hard to hit a target that you can’t see. You need a plan and a direction.

Make a list of your skills that are rare and valuable
Take time for deliberate practice


A wonderfully baked cake is about getting great results. In a study at her former company, they asked people “what was the one thing that contributed to your success?” And it was getting results.

Make sure you’re doing work that matters. Every to do list item needs to answer a question “how does this help my company?” Can you tie this in a concrete way to business goals?

Work on the right things.

It’s not enough to just do your job. Fill in the gaps. You get paid to do your job. The more you add value, the more successful you’ll become.

A key part of doing more, is making sure that people know about it. Your manager is your most important relationship at work. Make sure your boss is your advocate and your mentor.

Not all bosses are good ones. But you can make your boss a good boss.

Make sure you have regular meetings with your boss. Build rapport.

If you’re only using one on ones to talk about work, your missing an opp. Ask questions like “what’s the most important thing for our team to accomplish this quarter?” or “is there a project like this that happened in the past that went really well?”

When they coach you and answer your questions, they’re investing in you. And it’s hard not to like someone that you’re investing in. Manage your manager.

If you have a lot of autonomy, no one knows what you’re doing all do. Make sure you communicate what your doing. Send regular status updates – every week. And make them short enough to fit on a phone screen.

Get good at estimating your time and be on time with your deliverables.

Be on time to things. Show up and be respectful.

Make the most of your time. Use it efficiently. The secret of time management is knowing what to do when you have a spare 15 minutes. Break your work up into 15 minute chunks so you can do something productive. Have a system. Think about how to work smarter (time blocking, pomodora ?)

Making it work for you:
Manage your manager – have regular meetings and ask good questions.
Share your status and make your work known
Be on time
Work hard


Like Oprah, your success and influence is really important. Successful people are influential.

Influence comes from power.  Power means that you have the ability to get things done, people listen to you.

Three sources of power to help you become more influential:

1.     Expertise – you have knowledge about a topic and people look to you. You know a lot about how your world works and how your company works. Build your expertise.
2.     Charisma – people do things because they like you, because of your personality. Read the Charisma Myth if you need more help. Some great leaders weren’t charismatic.
3.     Relationships – an area where all of us can be better. When you have great relationships, you get more done. Relationships are about trust. If you have no trust, you have no relationship. Think about whether you and your boss have a good relationship. Do they trust you? Your boss wants to know if you’re going to be a good investment in his/her time.

So think about how you build that trust.

How do you assess performance? Hours worked is not a good indicator. Features? Talk to the people that your people work with. 

Trust in an organization is all about the relationships in the org.

Elements of trust: Contribution, Reputation, Relationship Architecture

Relationship Architecture
Make two lists
1.     Who are the most influential people at your work?
2.     Who do you spend the most time with?
If there’s not a lot of overlap in your list, then you’ve got a lot of work to do. Your relationship architecture is all about your trust graph. The people who are influential are only going to get more influential over time? If they know about you and have good things to say about you, it helps…

Relationships are like filmstrips – every interaction with someone is like a frame in a filmstrip. Find ways to add frames to that filmstrip. Go out for coffee, have conversations, etc.

If you want to be really influential, rebuild bridges with people. Generate positive interactions with those people. If you’ve had an issue with someone in the past, ask them to help you with someone. Ask them for advice. When we help people, we can’t but help like them (see more on this from Benjamin Franklin).

It takes six positive interactions to counteract one negative interaction. Take the long term on rebuilding that bridge.

Where does success come from? It’s not from your work, but from people. These relationships and your influence is what you should work on.

And then you have more power, like Oprah.

How can you build better relationships?
Expand your relationship architecture; make influential connections with people outside your work


This one is about your attitude. Who doesn’t like Mickey?

Rate yourself on a scale from 1-10. Now think about what you need to do to be amazing. Write a few things down.

Imagine you come back from a conference and your boss has hired someone to replace you – someone who is way better than you. What do they do? Do they work more hours? Do they have more knowledge? What do they have that you don’t?

It’s less about how you work and more about the relationships you have. It’s these soft skills.

It’s not just about what you do, but how you do it.

Work on being better in those softer areas.

Be someone people want to work with. Inspire others and motivate them. Be a person that people want in their meetings because you add value.

Learn to be open to new ideas. Don’t be the person who just tells others all the way their ideas are wrong. Help other people foster and grow their ideas.

Bring solutions. Don’t just complain.

Don’t commiserate and jump on other people’s pity party bandwagon. Don’t badmouth people. When you bad talk and then act differently – well, that just erodes trust.

Empathy with a positive attitude. Don’t erode your own power and influence by falling to other people’s negativity.

Try to reframe the situation – if someone is negative, ask “why may that be?”

Think about the long term. How many people remember about stressful situations from five years ago.

Think about every speed bump as a chance to grow.

There’s no right answer. There may be some wrong ones.

Make others feel important. If someone talks to you, be present. Make other people’s days better. Have a good attitude.

Be coachable. Solicit regular feedback. Not “how am I doing?” but “I did this presentation, is there any way I could have improved the slides?”

And if they give you feedback that you don’t like it or don’t agree with it, take it as valid. Say thank you. Take it as a gift to learn from.

Making it work for you:
How are you coming to work?
Be present. Be an active member of the team.
Ask for feedback and try to be better from it.

So chess, cake, Oprah, Mickey Mouse = strategy, results, influence, attitude – all come together to make you more successful.

Time and energy are limited. Maximize your energy. Know when you write best (maybe not late afternoon, but morning – work to your energy flows).

Manage your email and social media. Eliminate distractions so you can use your time more effectively.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

“Enablement: A High-Impact Corporate MOOC Strategy” #ATDTK

These are my live blogged notes from a concurrent session at ATD TechKnowledge 2016, happening this week in Las Vegas. Forgive any typos or incoherencies.

Sam Herring, Intrepid Learning -- “Enablement: A High-Impact Corporate MOOC Strategy”

The corporate MOOC – flip things. Instead of leading with the instructor’s knowledge, lead with business problem that you’re trying to solve. Motivation goes way up when you help people do their work in a MOOC.

If a credential really demonstrates market value for the individual, then maybe the individual will be motivated to complete the course (in a discussion of whether or not completion of a MOOC matters).

Collaboration is key.

If we need to develop our leaders to transform our business – and we need major behavior change – you may have a hard time convincing seniors leaders that technology based learning is the way to go.

Off the shelf content is so often not relevant and so no one sticks with it.

Case Study: Microsoft
Microsoft’s new CEO had an evolutionary strategy vs. a revolutionary strategy: Mobile First, Cloud First. Moving to a SaaS product. And so lots of change across Microsoft.

And so not a challenge that the learning team could just throw off the shelf content at.

Instead, partner with one of the world’s top business school programs and tailor it.

So Intrepid went out and talked to the top business schools. They were looking for those with a track level in innovation (not content, because they all had content).

Partnered with the largest executive ed program in the world: INSEAD (“The Business School for the World”)

Landed on:
3 8 week courses, multiple cohorts
Semi-synchronous, cloud-based
INSEAD professors
Intrepid Corporate MOOC platform
LinkedIn Certificates from INSEAD
Target Global Audience: 15,000 sellers

The Secret Sauce:
Learner Centricity (keeping them in the course)
Business Relevance
8 week program
Tile-based design (similar to Microsoft or EdEx).

Elements of the course include:
High level senior leadership involvement from MS execs (videos laying the reasons…)
Earn your certificate in the program by earning a certain # of points – earn points by watching videos, completing assignments, weekly discussions, final assignment, giving feedback to colleagues on their assignments [“gamification with a purpose”]

Shot Microsoft sellers in the room (with people you might know), the Dean from INSEAD in the classroom talking – you feel like you’re in a program for Microsoft sellers.

The Dean then shares a case study and talks about Michelin, the French tire company.

Social forum on the case study. Collab and participation was off the charts. 80% participation across the course in all forums.

So this combo of world-class content, frictionless learning experience, and the context – this was working.

Assignments. Like a lab. You bring your biggest accounts and your apply this learning to your accounts.

In Week 5 – studying Value Chain mapping. The first thing they do after learning these concepts, is create a map – could be on a napkin. And then you answer a bunch of questions. This is the assignment which then folds up to a field report. You see how each learner is applying these concepts to their accounts – in a pinterest like feel.

[This course was not required. Completely optional.]

So for a 20 point assignment on mapping the value chain, people posted some amazing maps. This effort by students in an optional course, really blew people away.

This learning process becomes a mechanism for sharing best practices. Sharing their thinking about their own real accounts. Connecting people across the globe.

For the program, the metric that Microsoft execs really cared about was “account plans created”. This was the leading indicator. Lagging indicators were really strong, too (e.g., deals closed, etc.)

The whole challenge of engagement – the team was obsessing about how to drive engagement. The idea here is that the learners are leaving their fingerprints all over this course through discussions, etc. So they harvested this info through curation – moderators teed up the really interesting posts from the previous week. Or they created word clouds from different topics.

Another things that was awesome – with low-fidelity video – the Dean answered questions which he captured on his computer’s camera and uploaded to the cloud.

It doesn’t all need to be planned out to the nth degree in advance.

Created a simple leaderboard. Gamification with a purpose.

Have a verified badge.

“We want to be the place where technology sellers build their careers.” This badge helps build that brand for Microsoft.

85% completion (for an optional course, 8 weeks, 3 hours a week)!
This has held constantly across cohorts. Cohorts are typically about 1,000 each.

From a business metrics perspective:
3,600+ account plans created (partial data only)
188 Readiness Indicator Score – this is a score within Microsoft that means a lot. 188 is high.
95% said the course will improve how they perform their job
A $25m deal was attributed directly to the financial acumen skills learned in the MOOC
99% overall satisfaction rate
This was the highest scored program ever within Microsoft. We more than rivaled engagement levels from face to face classes. We far surpassed it.

Best practices and lessons learned:

Exclusivity at scale – initial deliveries always positioned as exclusive opps for top performers – created sense of scarcity and exclusivity
World class content from top biz schools, relevant content, tailor to MS content
Clear expectations and communication – concise, twice weekly emails; pre-, midway, and end emails; course calendars, syallabus, FAQs, context tiles
Compelling learning experience: single seamless online tech platform; learner-first philosophy; intuitive, easily updatable interface – don’t put up barriers for the learner, make it as easy and frictionless as possible
Fresh content curation – moderators curate top posts of the week & questions for professors; professors respond to participants each week
Demonstrated ability – final assignment aligned to job function; peer review
Co-branded badges
Constant improvement – solicit feedback and adjust

A context tile at the front of each learning path that described what was going to happen drove completion

Microsoft is now going beyond skill based courses to product based courses

David Rose: Enchanted Objects -- Opening Keynote #ATDTK

These are my live blogged notes from the opening keynote at ATD TechKnowledge 2016, happening this week in Las Vegas. Forgive any typos or incoherencies.


Advertising is about pixels (think Times Square)

Where else will it go? Will we clothe ourselves in technology?

The uncanny valley: we’ll reject robots that are too human…

David started a company in 2000: Ambient Things
Creating things like an umbrella that glows when rain is nearby. (this is how simple our relationship to technology could become)

Information access becomes “glanceable”

Learning from fiction – the umbrella was like Frodo’s sword (which glowed when orcs are nearby).

Computation embedded in lots of things:

In Cambridge, MA – trash cans that call the garbage man when the trash can is full.

Anoto pen/Livescribe – in the form factor of a pen, a microphone to record the conversation/lecture, time-stamps everything you write – you tap your notes at a particular spot and it will play the audio recording from that point on.

Services become embedded in the objects.

David Rose argues that everything will be connected.
Tech is getting so small and so cheap.
Objects become avatars for the services they can fulfill.

Enchanted objects are ordinary things that look like they always did – ordinary things with extraordinary capabilities.

In his home, he’s got a coffee table with a Google Map surface. They talk about travel and the world so much more now.

Glowcap on medicine bottles reminds you to take prescriptions.

Some people thing the connected home will be overwhelming. But if enchanted objects can be designed the right way, we’ll want them.

Today, the notion of “screen time”. This will change. If your Google Earth table ONLY does Google Earth and not facebook or angry birds…

The internet of things/enchanted objects that are coming – by area of human need:

Omniscience – the desire to be all knowing.
A crystal ball – it glows a certain color depending on the weather, or the pollen count, etc. The ambient orb. You can set it up to track different things – how well your company is doing, the weather, stocks, etc. “Pervasive is persuasive” – the more info you see, the more likely you are to take action. Whatever is shown is what people tune into.

Energy Joule shows consumer how much energy their home is consuming.

Augmented reality technology – to help your program objects. We will need to design the world to be recognizable by computer vision systems.

A company that made their customer satisfaction data public – they placed a glowing orb on a pole outside of their bank to show current customer satisfaction data.

Telepathy – the desire/yearning to connect with other people.
Think the Weasley family clock.

Who’s coming home when? A device that tells you where people are via ring tone and when they’re on their way ome.

Safekeeping – the desire to shield ourselves from threats.
Parrot – a sensor that you stick into the soil. You tell it what the plant is and then it tells you if you need to water it or PH balance, etc.
August Lock: Locks on your house that are internet connected. You can leave the door open to your brother, but only for two days.
Can help your coordinate getting people into your house of laundry, dogwalking etc.
BOA came to his labe with the proverbial wallet. With credit cards, people spend through their budgets without realizing it. So this wallet gets harder and harder to open as you run out of your budget. It’s feedback that avoids pixels. The hinges get harder to open.

Immortality – the desire to be healthy and vital.
Internet connected pill bottle cap that reminds you to take your meds. Big change compared to a control group – over 95% of doses taken within the first six months of this pilot. The bottle knows that it’s been opened and talks to the cloud. That’s all it does.
We do need to think carefully about privacy and data flow.

The biggest opportunity for wearables is to make them not ugly. To make them fashionable. (Withings Activite – a French smart watch that looks like a really nice watch. He argues that the fashion brands will drive wearables.)

Enchant the most common objects. An accelerometer on a fork – which helps you monitor how fast you’re shoveling food in your mouth. If you go too fast, it starts shaking so you miss your mouth.. HapiFork (the haptic feedback fork). Who would have thought silverware was ripe for ambient connection?

The Chrona Deep Sleep pillow.

These new sensors are creeping into the most common of objects.

Beam – a connected toothbrush. There are 120 million people in the US who don’t have dental insurance. The plan for Beam is to sell $20 a month dental insurance to people who use their brushes – so he’s monetizing the data flow that provides insight on risks…

Teleportation – the desire to move effortlessly. The fantasy of beam me up Scotty.

Biking to work. A lot of people don’t do it because they’re afraid of sweating. The Copenhagen wheel fits onto an existing bike wheel – parasitically drafting onto an existing object. You replace the hub on your old bike with this and not sweat on the way to work.

OTA – over the air updates make smart furniture sustainable. Refresh and update things without having to build or buy a new one. So a Tesla can be programmed with new features – the connected object can inherit new capabilities.

Self-expression – the desire to create, make and play

A brush that has a camera at its tip.

We’re taping cameras everywhere. An oven that knows what’s inside and you can check on your app so you don’t burn the cookies
Life-loggin cameras – creating a flipbook of your day.

2.8 billlion photos are shared every day on Instagram, twitter, fb, etc. So who’s looking at all those photos? Ditto (David’s company) is – on behalf of brands. Who’s passionate about Harleys? Who’s eating KFC? They’ve trained the system to recognize brands, products, locations.

Hiring new employees – there’s a lot of data out there, available publicly. Are you looking at it?

Machine learning. Deep learning. Building classifiers – the ability to see things in photos by feeding the algorithm examples. E.g. they fed it 1,000 examples of ice cream in photos so it could learn what ice cream could look like. password: ditto – go try it out. Thinking about the intersection of the Internet of Things and all of these cameras – what might you learn?

A trashcan that knows what you throwaway.

A ladder of services that can go on top of that connectivity.

The trashcan includes audible commentary on the products you consume (and throwaway) – “eating a lot of cookies this week, eh?”

“Would your meetings improve if there was real time feedback on the balance of a conversation?” The idea – introverts have as many good ideas as the extroverts. So a “facilitator” that shows feedback on who’s contributing. An ordinary table with a constellation of LED lights that show who is talking and contributing. So you can see who’s contributing and if there’s conversational balance.

Ordinary things that can have these features and these connectivities to make our relationships more haptic, more tactile.