Article: Leading Through Traumatic Change

When we, as leaders, first realized that Covid-19 was going to impact the world in profound ways, we focused our attention on the tactical needs of enabling remote workforces and ensuring that we could protect those we lead while they’re working either from home or in-person, as necessary. As the pandemic has continued, we’ve begun to recognize the long-term effects and trauma that this event has caused us all. When we recognize that some changes are traumatic, we can begin to support those we lead in ways that support their mental health as well as their physical well-being.

From’s Leadership Excellence April 2021 edition. Read more:

Article: Maintaining Human Connection In A Remote World

Societally, we were moving towards less face-to-face time and more remote work. However, nothing prepared us for the changes that we’d have to make in the wake of a global pandemic.  For many people, the only interactions they have with other employees and extended family is through a two-dimensional screen and a data connection. Despite the limitations, it’s possible to maintain – and even develop – relationships during a global pandemic.

From’s Human Experience Excellence March 2021 edition. Read more:

Article: Choosing a Change Model

One of the most daunting problems with change management is identifying which model to use. Some people swear by Kurt Lewin’s simple three-step model, others are hooked on Prosci’s ADKAR model, others love John Kotter’s eight-step model, and still others are using models by different change management luminaries. But why would you pick one model over another, and how do the models compare? We’ll explore the common options and explain the reasons why you may choose one versus another.

Published on the ATD blog. Read more:


Article: Training Resources for Microsoft Content Services

SharePoint – including SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online as a part of Office 365 – is the most widely-deployed content services platform.  In fact, 85% of the Fortune 500 is using Office 365.  This creates enormous opportunities to learn from a thriving community of people in commercial and community events.

I had the opportunity to be a guest blogger on the SharePoint Community blog. Click here to read the full post.

The Actors in Training Development: Learning Manager

Article: The Actors in Training Development: Learning Manager

When looking at a clock, it is easy to become mesmerized by the gears turning. When marveling at the precision and beauty of the meshing of gears, it can be easy to overlook the box that the gears are in. Yes, the gears drive the hands of a clock, but they can’t do it without the structure provided by their case. The learning manager provides the structure for a learning delivery team. When things are running smoothly, no one really notices the value he or she brings.

What Is a Learning Manager?

One part firefighter and one part strategist, the learning manager steps in when needed and works to see that stepping in isn’t needed. The role of learning managers is first and foremost to keep the learning creation and delivery engine running. Once the engine is running, they can focus on optimization, including ensuring that the engine will continue to run by offering development opportunities for their team and implementing technologies that will make the process easier.

Part of the series, The Actors of Training Development. Read more…

The Actors in Training Development: Monitoring Specialist

Article: The Actors in Training Development: Monitoring Specialist

The course has been created and delivered. Now is the time to assess what did and didn’t work in the process through the lens of learner outcomes, which is the ultimate measure of success or failure. How does the monitoring specialist report on what happened?

What Is a Monitoring Specialist?

We live in a world of analytics, where we try to capture data from users and draw meaningful results out of the seemingly random noise in the signals that we have. The monitoring specialist sits in the center of the data analysis tools and log files, providing meaningful information to the stakeholders, who look to see what worked – and what didn’t work – in the training.

What Is Expected of the Monitoring Specialist?

Monitoring specialists are, first and foremost, data people. They look at the reporting coming out of the system and convert it into insights about instructors, courses and learners. While they may be called upon to help develop a new survey instrument or connect a survey tool to the learning management platform, their core competencies are around extracting meaning out of the data.

Part of the series, The Actors in Training Development. Read more…

The Actors in Training Development: Quality Control Coordinator

Article: The Actors in Training Development: Quality Control Coordinator

Throughout the training development process, the goal is the development and implementation of a course that facilitates learning. Since that process is built on humans, we know that it can never be perfect. It’s the role of the quality control coordinator to shepherd the course through the process and ensure the highest practical levels of quality.

What Is a Quality Control Coordinator?

During the development of the course materials, the quality control coordinator ensures that proper reviews are happening to maintain the accuracy of the materials, and they work with the authors to ensure that their message is as easy as possible for students to learn.

This role is challenging because, unlike manufacturing, where there’s a predictable failure model, it’s possible for authors to be strong in one area of the content and weak in another area. That means they must be vigilant against the possibility that there will be weaknesses in the course.

Part of the series, The Actors in Training Development. Read more…

The Actors in Training Development: Distribution Specialists

Article: The Actors in Training Development: Distribution Specialists

The dull murmur of instructors and students casually chatting before a class begins has been replaced by the hum of server fans and air conditioning in computer rooms. The instructor standing in front of a class has been replaced by the flow of packets from faraway servers to the student’s computer. It’s the distribution specialists who keep these connections flowing and the servers humming along.

What Is a Distribution Specialist?

Distribution specialists are the professionals who keep the learning platform running so that students can access the materials. While this role is dramatically different than a frontline, in-the-trenches role, it has the important goal of distributing content. Distribution specialists have a radically different skill set than instructors. Where instructors are skilled in instruction and facilitation, distribution specialists may not be comfortable when placed in front of a class.

Part of the series, the Actors in Training Development. Read more…

The Actors in Training Development: Instructors

Article: The Actors in Training Development: Instructors

If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, did it really make a sound? This question is at the heart of the need for people who help training reach students. It’s only by helping students through the course that it has had any impact or value. There’s no good in a course that sits on the shelves, never to be used. Distribution staff, of which instructors are a part, are the bridge from the completed training to the impactful implementation.

The instructor is probably the most recognizable part of an instructor-led training process; it’s in the name. The instructor is the powerful person who takes the development work and helps it reach the students.

What Is an Instructor?

For instructor-led training, the instructors are the front-line workers who are in the trenches every day helping students learn. Even in computer-based training where live assistance is needed, they’re supporting actors who may not hold the lead role but are nonetheless essential to the delivery of the content.

Part of the series, the Actors in Training Development. Read more…

The Actors in Training Development: Author

Article: The Actors in Training Development: Author

The phrase most likely to describe the author in the training and development process is “and then the magic happens.” The author is at the core of the content development process. He or she takes the input from the SMEs and the coaching from the learning designer and makes it happen.

What Is an Author?

The author of a course creates the bulk of the content and works with SMEs and learning designers to develop the most effective ways to teach it. He or she may be adept at creating instructor-led materials, computer-based training, productivity aids or supporting materials. The author will have his or her fingers on the keys pounding out the prose that students will absorb in the form of learning.

What Is Expected of the Author?

Authors are expected to have a basic command of their chosen tools. Certainly, a word processor and a presentation program top the list of tools in which they’ll need to be proficient. They may also be skilled in one or more of the content authoring tools and design programs necessary for creating visuals or productivity aids to appropriately communicate the material.

Part of the series, the Actors in Training Development. Read more…