Blog Archives

Design Learning to Work with Human Memory

Your working memory is the receptionist of the brain’s very busy lobby, taking in all the information and directing it to hopefully the right place. And it’s chaos. Our sense of overwhelm starts here. Yes, it can juggle 4-7 things. That does not mean we should continue to test the limits of something that actually can’t change. Our brain does marvelous things, including growing and building new neural pathways, yet humans are frequently dead set to try and change the … [Read More]


Engaging the Whole Person in Learning

  Why is it that we spend so much on training (over $150 B in just one year, industry-wide) but see so little change? I watch instructional designers, trainers, and course writers work painstakingly to provide a clear message to the receivers, but then see the learning bounce and skip off, never fully landing at a level that creates true retention. Using the phases of learning that Bloom presents in his cognitive taxonomy is a solid tactic for good instruction. … [Read More]


Being a Leader of Change

Call it a transformation. Call it a cultural shift. Call it reset. Choose your industry buzzword for organisation-level changes that impact people, process, and technology. The bottom line is that a task force, whether internal or external, is faced with implementing huge change with complex impact to cross-functional and geographically dispersed teams. There are many processes, methods, and strategies to implement large-scale change, yet there is often missing a key ingredient. The inspiration of the people. Step 1 of any … [Read More]


Learning Resilience in Change

The start-up world celebrates experiments and failures as the fastest way to discover what actually works. It’s high energy, collaborative, disruptive … and fun. Up to this point, we are in a high state of learning. But THEN you find something that seems to really work for you. Things are falling into place! However, we can easily get fixated on what’s working. Whether we like it or not, the habits of high-speed learning fall away … and we lock onto … [Read More]


Tired of Default Training Methods?

“Every year we have to provide sexual harassment training, but the people are either bored because they’ve done it before and have to check the box, or they are completely freaked out because they are new. Either way, I don’t think the issues are really being understood.” While there is plenty of default training, defined as “well, we have just always done it this way” … I pick on the absolute worst experience of them all: [important] training required by … [Read More]


What are you measuring for success?

Do we measure opera singers by their technical skill? Do we measure jazz players by their musical exactness? Do we measure writers by their grammatical skills? If that’s how these artists measured their success, would our souls be moved? So why do we judge ourselves on things that don’t matter to our customers? Being moved to tears by the new Pia de’ Tolomei opera at Spoleto Festival in Charleston this week reminded me how I didn’t even notice the performance’s … [Read More]


Discerning the real learning needs

Remember when you felt that frustrating surge through you because “they just were missing the point”? Remember when you felt that pang of fear of totally not following what was going on and really hoping there would be documentation you could read up on so you wouldn’t have to make an idiot out of yourself? 


Disrupting the Addiction of Status Quo

Change. It is the mind killer for a large percentage of the workforce. There is a percentage of those employees who have the capacity to embrace change as opportunity for learning. There is a much larger percentage of those employees whose foreheads hit the desk as soon as a new process is announced … in other words, more change. It is not terribly challenging to engage the employees already aware of the bigger picture and looking for continuous improvement opportunities. … [Read More]


What IS a Learning Culture?

  We’re not short on content. YouTube, Lynda.com, Coursera, Udemy, EduX and so much more give us excellent self-directed learning options and reasonable quality instructional content. So why are organisations dumping $150+ billion into training with such ineffective results? The real question is whether our training is actually providing effective learning. We already have employees struggling with focus, cognitive overload, and decision fatigue, leaving only 1% of capacity available per week for targeting training. Not making the learning a part … [Read More]


Do you have agility in your learning plan?

Senge shows us that true learning organisations must have the systems thinking necessary to see the big picture and the dynamics between, the mental models that help shape our behaviour, the personal mastery for individuals’ own vision, the shared vision that gives individuals voice and purpose, and finally, the team learning that is the result of focused development. To become a learning organisation, we cannot have learning occurring in a way purely reacting to organisational needs. So how do we … [Read More]


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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.

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