by Marianna Noll – Director, Marketing and Communications
At the end of October, ANCILE participated as a learning supplier in Elliott Masie’s annual event. This follow-up is a bit delayed in coming, but here are my reflections on Learning 2012.
First, what a pleasure it is to listen to the quality of keynote speakers that Elliott brings each year - from Susan Cain, author of Quiet; to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit; to the absolutely incredible General Colin Powell. If you don’t walk away after hearing these folks with an accelerated heart rate and renewed energy and motivation, you don’t have a pulse in the first place…
I found several great ‘nuggets’ from so many sessions. Two quick and easy highlights that really resonated with me:
- Elliott interviewed Treion Muller and Matthew Murdoch, authors of The Webinar Manifesto. Drop-dead-simple advice, but was very impactful for me: webinars don’t have to be 1 hour. Don’t be tempted to ‘fill to’ an hour. How about a 15-minute webinar?
- The average wait time between when a presenter asks for questions and then starts speaking is only 3-4 seconds! I’ve been testing this myself internally here at ANCILE and timing myself after I ask for questions. I’m shooting to wait for at least 5 seconds;)
Below are some notes and insights from several sessions.
Designing the Social Learning Experience panel - The panel suggested that the approach should be to not design social learning but, rather, design for it – leave space for social elements. Also, consider putting social ‘in the way of learning’. How can social ‘get in the way’? By remembering that social is also one-on-one and face-to-face; not just online. By flipping the classroom as a way to enable social learning — study and read offline and then come together for the social element of discussion and questions.
There was also a great discussion regarding the importance of taking advantage of all an employee knows - not just the role/job they are currently executing. This was echoed later when the panel talked about the tendency to throw away a person’s resume and prior experience when they walk in the door. How can we acknowledge an employee’s prior experience and reflect this in learning we deliver to that employee? This topic came up in several of the sessions I attended.
Learning’s Role in Change Management session - I was particularly interested in this topic as ANCILE readies our latest product offering for introduction in early 2013. We’ll be sharing more information about ANCILE uAlign™ – a microlearning and communication tool – in coming weeks. ANCILE uAlign will allow organizations to deliver microlearning and key communications and confirm receipt and verify comprehension. ANCILE uAlign can help address regulation and compliance requirements and allow organizations to integrate change management activities throughout learning projects.
Organizations need to spread change agents throughout the organization to carry the message. What tools and processes can be used to help these change agents easily spread the message?
The Future of Learning Is About Me: Using Analytics to Personalize Learning session – Richard Culatta of the U.S. Department of Education referenced Open Badges while discussing the ability to download your learning data and carry this data with you in a ‘digital portfolio’. This could be a way to better ‘carry forward’ your experience to new roles and new jobs – so one’s prior experience doesn’t get lost or overlooked.
The Journey to Workplace GPS and Performance Support session - YUM Brands continued the theme from earlier by talking about the need to change from a culture where we ignore an employee’s resume and past experience to one where we value and leverage past experience and look for ways to have this impact and influence our delivered training.
The Power of Habit - Charles used Prezi for his presentation – very impressive and engaging! I’d seen this tool a bit before, but Charles’ presentation really brought home how impactful this tool can be. When you combine this tool with someone who has obviously practiced, rehearsed, and practiced some more – wow!
Charles talked about both expected and unexpected rewards. Organizations must have both types of rewards. Our tendency is to discount rewards we expect — think rewards offered as part of annual performance review – and over-emphasize those that are unexpected – like sending a team member a ‘well done!’ email out of the blue.
Charles shared a story illustrating the importance of instilling new habits in young workers by sharing a video (note: adult language reference in video).
During an interview with Josh Bersin around learning development, Elliott asked “What can we stop doing? Everything is additive.” This is a consideration for ANCILE, as well, as we develop products – what features are not being used very much (or at all)? What features could be combined/streamlined? It’s not just enhancements; we also need to be thinking about subtractions. This is especially key over time as products receive ongoing ‘adds’ (new features).
Performance Support “Tools of the Trade”: Vendors’ Perspectives on What Works session - Our own Josh May participated in this panel.
The panel agreed that the trend is toward bite-size content and shorter courses, but the conversation then took a difference twist based on audience questions.
Is performance support different for knowledge workers vs. call center employees, cashiers, factory personnel? A member of the audience noted “it seems like performance support is a white-collar solution, what about blue-collar solutions?” We talked about the potential integration of QR Codes to provide access to content from a machine/device. (The use of QR Codes came up in a few sessions at the event.) But I got the sense that this was a topic worthy of more time and discussion to really get to a better answer.
During this panel, there was some discussion around a learning tool and a performance support tool being two separate things. But, you can combine a learning/training tool and a performance support tool – you don’t need to install and manage separate tools. One thing that struck me throughout several presentations was the number of organizations using multiple tools. For example, one organization talked about using an LCMS, LMS, and portal – each with different language capabilities. Now, I may have some bias here;) … but ANCILE uPerform combines key capabilities of all three of these tools in one tool.
Partnering with Learning Vendors: Perspectives from Both Sides of the Fence panel - The panel and audience included a pretty even mix of vendors and customers. Much of the discussion dealt with how to select the best vendor and ensure a successful partnership.
One audience member was curious what questions to ask vendors. I would make sure to ask:
- What case studies and references can you share that address needs similar to my organization’s?
- What’s a typical engagement/rollout like when I work with your organization?
- What kind of user community do you nurture/sponsor?
- For product vendors, what is your product roadmap?
Finally, ANCILE had the pleasure of jointly presenting with Valerie Hall from Orange County Public Schools on the topic Better Together: Pair Performance Support & Microlearning to Drive Results.
To view more content from the event, visit the Learning 2012 website.