Blog Archives

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]


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]


Effectively using taxonomies to structure an amazing learning experience!

Last year I wrote about a course mapping process that I created to help any individual structure a learning experience that would include measurable outcomes (cognitive), proficiency, and true engagement (affective). Once the scope of a course is established, a frequent next step is to select action verbs to ensure participants know what they will measurably achieve (cognitive taxonomy). However, measuring cognitive understanding is not the same thing as becoming proficient in practice. As such, setting up a graph such … [Read More]


Let’s Look at Collaboration Models!

It is only human to find collaboration natural. Collaboration is the oil that keeps us running smoothly, but too much oil can reduce effectiveness. A couple examples are the “squirrel” effect that prevents completion, or context shifting that makes completion take longer than necessary. There are huge benefits to collaboration, but it’s easy to forget the soft dollar costs that are absorbed with the meetings, email, and continual communication online or in an open floor plan … all this culminating … [Read More]


Aligning Workplace Learning to Organisational Paradigms

Being exposed to Reinventing Organizations has been incredibly effective for me to better articulate the dynamics of how a company or large groups within a company are conducting management strategy. That articulation then removes judgment, on my part at least, and provides simple acknowledgement of current status. Models and frameworks such as exhibit 1 below help us develop necessary shared language, and in this particular one, Laloux helps us visualise more effective strategy for incremental evolution forward. My mind then goes to … [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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