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ASTD Expertise, Content Used for Sales Certificate Program at 2010 Print Solutions Conference & Exposition

May 13, 2010 13:43 by Kristen Fyfe

The ASTD Press title 10 Steps to Successful Sales will be used as a core element in a sales training certificate program offered to sales professionals at the 2010 Print Solutions Conference & EXPO, held May 24-25 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Print Solutions Conference & Expo is the only national trade show focused on supporting printing professionals who buy print and print services for resale or distribution to an end-user customer.

The Sales Certificate Program is designed to train new and existing sales representatives on the techniques, approaches, and skills required to become a trusted advisor and top seller. The certificate program is built on the principles contained in the book 10 Steps to Successful Sales, written by Brian Lambert, PhD., director of ASTD’s Sales Training Drivers program. It will be facilitated by Lambert and Dan Seidman, President of Sales Autopsy, Inc.

Companies or conference organizers interested in offering a sales training certificate program should contact Brian Lambert at

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New Book from ASTD: Former Disney Insiders Provide Roadmap to Organizational Excellence

May 5, 2010 10:31 by Kristen Fyfe

Want to create organizational excellence? Decades of experience at Disney and other Fortune 500 organizations are brought to bear in Lead with Your Customer, a book that goes beyond buzzwords and business theory and provides a practical roadmap to achieving excellence in an organization. This is not an academic book about business theories, but is a book about people—both external (customers) and internal (employees) — what makes them tick, and how truly understanding them can give a company the competitive edge.

Lead with Your Customer: Transform Culture and Brand into World-Class Excellence spells out a clear method for focusing on the right things to achieve world-class results and bottom-line success. This proven process of improvement knits together four key concepts to create a strategic foundation:

•Leadership excellence—how to use the groundbreaking World-Class Excellence Model to transform your business.
•Employee engagement—the importance of passion and providing products and services that motivate your internal customers.
•Customer satisfaction—creating a service experience that strengthens your long-term customer relationships and loyalty.
•Loyalty and long-term success—the importance of integrated integrity on real-world results.

From leadership self-assessment to the examination of core customer qualities, Lead with Your Customer explores how to understand people's motivations and leverage this insight to create an experience that serves internal and external customers. Examples from legendary organizations like Apple, Google, General Electric, IKEA—and of course the Walt Disney Company— provide excellent support for the World-Class Excellence Model developed by the authors.

Lead with Your Customer is written by Mark David Jones and J. Jeff Kober, who have decades of experience at Disney and other Fortune 500 organizations. Out of their proven success they developed their World-Class Excellence Model. Lead with Your Customer offers the opportunity to get an insider's angle on the great business successes of our time.

Lead with Your Customer: Transform Culture and Brand into World-Class Excellence can be found on the ASTD Store at

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Categories: ASTD in the News | Books

New Book from ASTD Debunks Training Myths & Fads

April 15, 2010 13:10 by Kristen Fyfe

According to Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark, a renowned specialist in instructional design and workplace learning, workplace learning and development professionals are wasting their time and money focusing on fads and myths like learning styles and relying on course satisfaction surveys as evidence of training effectiveness.

Colvin Clark has written a new book, Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals, that helps learning practitioners professionalize their work by using research and evidence to validate their methods. Bridging the gap between instructional research and workplace practice, Colvin Clark tackles popular training myths and makes a strong business case for dropping fads that don’t work and investing resources in proven methods.

Instructors, training managers, and instructional designers will find this book insightful and practical as it guides practitioners to incorporate evidence and learning psychology into program design, development, and delivery decisions.

Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals is published by ASTD Press. You can order it by visiting

Ruth Colvin Clark will be speaking on Sunday, May 16th at the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition in Chicago, IL, where she will also have a book signing.

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Categories: ASTD in the News | Books | Conferences

Will the Macmillan/Amazon dustup be a boon for the new Apple iPad?

February 2, 2010 11:50 by Tora Estep

Last week, schoolyard bully Amazon pounded on plucky Macmillan Publishers by disabling the buy buttons on nearly all editions of all its books, thus cutting off access to one of the publisher’s and its authors’ biggest markets. Why? Because Macmillan had the temerity to tell Amazon that it would provide access to its ebooks only if it switched to an agency model in which Amazon would make 30 percent of the proceeds of ebooks and Macmillan would set the prices (up to $15 per title). (Amazon wants to cap the price of ebooks at $9.99 and stick with its current model of buying at 50 percent of publisher cost and setting its own price.)

The media reaction to this event was generally to cast Amazon in the role of bully (for a sample, see this article from Fast Company) and thus Amazon was forced to back down.

The entire event set off a lot of talk about a prominent issue in the book industry: what is a fair price for ebooks? They are still pretty new, so no one really knows for sure what makes sense. The assumption has been that they don't really cost much to make, but that's not completely accurate (for a discussion of the costs of making books, check out Tobias Buckell's thorough discussion on his blog.). Amazon has been willing to operate its ebook business at a loss for a few years in order to dominate the market, but now all of a sudden here comes Apple’s iPad and iBooks and all bets are off. The entry of the iPad and iBooks suggests the potential for a fairer share of ebook proceeds for publishers and for authors, although at first glance it may seem to come at a loss for consumers. But does it? Cheaper isn't always better if you want to create the conditions that allow authors and publishers to thrive and publish books that matter. Clearly the Author's Guild thinks this is an important fight for the future quality of the publishing industry. To read their take on it, check out this article.

At any rate, the verdict on the pricing structure for ebooks is still out. I'll be interested to see how things shake out.

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New Book Release: 10 Steps to Successful Customer Service

January 21, 2010 11:03 by Kristen Fyfe
Providing great customer service is critical for the success of any business. So why do some companies think that "customer service" = pushing buttons and listening to recorded messages? Those companies need to get a copy of the latest book from ASTD Press: 10 Steps to Successful Customer Service. It provides a quick and effective check up to ensure that customer service professionals at all levels focus on key practices that keep and create satisfied customers.

This book examines the challenge of creating spectacular customer service, and provides a complete outline for developing customer-oriented practices within an organization. Written for customer service professionals from frontline providers to executives, these Ten Steps can help jump-start a successful customer service program. 

In 10 Steps to Successful Customer Service author Maxine Kamin provides a thorough background in the philosophy of customer service and includes tools like worksheets, checklists, tips, and exercises. Kamin, an expert in customer service, has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, universities, governments, and other organizations. She facilitates customer service training programs nationwide.

To find out more about 10 Steps to Successful Customer Service, visit

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Categories: ASTD in the News | Books

Nine steps for choosing technology for social networking

January 20, 2010 15:08 by Tora Estep

So I am working on editing Darin Hartley's forthcoming book 10 Steps to Social Networking for Business, and I feel like I could use a break so I thought I would write a little about his book. It has a lot of good information for getting into social networking as a business, but so far his nine-step process for selecting social networking technology has struck me as one of the more useful (now I am only up to step 4, so don't assume that I am giving everything away!).

  1. Identify needs based on critical business initiatives. In other words, don't just jump into social networking because it's cool. You really need to know why you are doing it.
  2. Estabish a core decision-making team. When you are trying to decide whether or not to use off-the-shelf social networking technologies (such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so forth) or to build a custom system, make sure that you've got the right people involved. Hint: One of those people should be someone from your IT department!
  3. Develop core functional requirements. Determine what your current systems look like so that whatever you choose to go with is compatible.
  4. Develop a criteria matrix. Decide what you need (and maybe a little something you want?).
  5. Establish a list of potential solution candidates.  Make a (short-ish) list of technologies that may fit your needs.
  6. Review potential solutions against criteria and rank them. Well, you've got a list of possible solutions: Now look at them, figure out which ones have the most of the stuff you need and want, and then put them in order.
  7. Participate in product demos with company-specific use cases. This step applies if you are seriously considering a custom system.
  8. Choose the networking solution. You've got all the data you need. Now, pick something!
  9. Implement your organization's social networking solution. In other words, come up with a plan for using off-the-shelf technology, or buy, modify, or build something specifically made for your organization.

So there it is. A simple process for deciding whether to get involved with social networking and deciding what technology to use. To learn more about Darin, his book, and social networking in general, check out the social network he has created over at Ning: Social Networking for Business. And go ahead and join it, why don't you? He had a contest a while back where the person who brought the greatest number of new members got a prize. Let him know I sent you. I could use a prize!



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10 Tips for Establishing a Talent-Driven Culture

January 15, 2010 16:11 by Tora Estep

In Talent Management, contributor Nigel Paine paints a portrait of an exciting new world of work: “Most industrial economies will have extraordinary numbers of people working in areas that involve breakthroughs, are breathtaking, and are astonishing. Hundreds of thousands of employees will be working on projects that have no precedent and that, in their own small way, will change the world. And the only way that this will be possible will be to mobilize the brainpower employed and to understand talent, thoroughly and completely.” Wow, I can feel the heady rush of history as I type this quote.

But, there’s a problem…. Organizations that fail to shift to a talent-driven culture are not likely to experience the exciting breakthroughs that such a culture can bring and are likely to fall behind their competitors. But Paine provides 10 tips for moving toward a talent-driven culture:

  • Take a holistic approach to talent in your organization. All employees should be working toward the same organizational goals, and some individual goals should overlap.
  • Interpret the term “talent” widely. All staff has potential.
  • Think of talent as a companywide asset, not the prerequisite of a single manager.
  • Review your organization’s overall HR strategy and goals systematically.
  • Check your processes. Do they align with purpose for which they were created?
  • Get your organization’s board or senior management directly involved.
  • Encourage knowledge sharing as an ethos in your organization.
  • Explore social networking in your organization, but make sure to establish some ground rules around these tools.
  • Make sure your leaders—all your leaders—know how to listen as well as talk, ask questions as well as give answers, and are willing to admit mistakes.
  • Leverage the data you gather about the organization, and be willing to act on painful results.

Learn more about Talent Management and get a free sample chapter here.

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New Book Alert! Talent Management: Strategies for Success from Six Leading Companies

January 12, 2010 11:14 by Kristen Fyfe

ASTD Press is launching a new book that is just what business leaders need for challenging economic times! 

Tough economic times demand more, not less attention to talent management. The expertise and trend-setting practices of six industry giants are contained in the new book, Talent Management: Strategies for Success from Six Leading Companies.

Edited by Larry Israelite, vice president and manager of human resource development at Liberty Mutual Group, Talent Management is a road map to cultivating a highly responsive, high-performance, sustainable organization that meets its business targets. This resource-rich book features the expertise and successful strategies of prominent industry leaders: Cisco, McDonalds, Avon, Liberty Mutual Group, Ciena, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Chapters focus on management’s role, the impact on processes and practices, links to business results, the impact on company strategy, current research on the topic, and software selection.

Talent Management also:
• describes a key shift in the dynamic between employer and employee and explains how a focus on talent can enable organizations to achieve remarkable things.
• lists 10 tips for moving toward a talent-driven culture.
• provides insight into different ways that organizations define talent management and implement talent management initiatives, allowing readers to draw lessons that are applicable to their own companies.

Talent Management: Strategies for Success from Six Leading Companies is endorsed by  several leaders in the learning and development field, including Eliot Masie who says, “The best part about this book is the fact that it humbles those of us who have ‘grown up’ in this industry thinking we ‘know it all’ … many of the best practices shared in this book emulate true innovation and current trends in talent management not seen or heard before … [the book] provides real and practical examples that you can implement right away to help drive talent management strategies in your organization.”

For more information about Talent Management: Strategies for Success from Six Leading Companies, visit To schedule an interview with Larry Israelite, call 703.683.8192.

Other ASTD resources in talent management include: The Talent Management Playbook, and the ASTD research report Talent Management Practices and Opportunities. All of these resources can be found in the ASTD store at

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Categories: ASTD in the News

Top Companies That Value Talent Management

January 12, 2010 06:00 by Tora Estep

In Larry Israelite’s book Talent Management, case studies from six leading companies—Cisco, McDonald’s, Avon, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Ciena, and Liberty Mutual—offer compelling evidence that talent management matters:

  • At Cisco, talent management plays an important role in the strategy for transforming both the organization and the business.
  • A corporate turnaround strategy and a series of tragedies reinforced McDonald’s need for an intense focus on talent, resulting in a strong leadership pipeline and strong business performance.
  • The Avon strategy for managing talent has become a key lever in implementing the most radical restructuring process in the company’s 122-year history, resulting in significant improvement in effectiveness.
  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is meeting the challenge of record-breaking growth in the pediatric population through an integrated people strategy.
  • Ciena Corporation demonstrates the value of a structured approach to talent management and the importance of thought leadership about learning for companies of all sizes.
  • Comprehensive talent management practices have played a strategic role in the continued success Liberty Mutual Group has enjoyed for more than a decade.

For more, get chapter 1 from Talent Management.

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Hear Don Kirkpatrick talk about the 50th anniversary of the four levels!

December 23, 2009 11:49 by Tora Estep

One of the big projects that I have been working on lately is the ASTD Handbook of Measuring and Evaluating Training, edited by Patti Phillips and forthcoming in 2010. A sub-project of the book is a series of interviews conducted by Rebecca Ray, an award-winning chief learning officer, with some of the legends of the field of training evaluation. These include Robert Brinkerhoff, Jac Fitz-enz, Donald Kirkpatrick, Jack Phillips, Dana Gaines Robinson, and William Rothwell. This morning we completed recording all the interviews, and they will be made available at the ASTD Handbook of Measuring and Evaluating Training webpage early in the new year. (The website will be continually updated with new content, so check back often!)

But, as an early Christmas present, we've got the interview with Donald Kirkpatrick up there now, talking about the 50th anniversary of his four levels of evaluation and many other topics. To listen, click here.

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