The Official ASTD Blog
Learning Industry News and Opinion

Putting 21st Century Skills to Action

June 2, 2011 11:29 by jllorens

(From What do educators mean when they talk about 21st century skills? If they’re referring to things like collaboration, resourcefulness, smart use of technology, and problem-solving, here’s strong evidence showing how these skills are becoming a natural part of students’ daily lives. Sharon Noguchi writes in the San Jose Mercury News about the changes student activists in the Bay Area are making in their own schools.

Exhibit A: An eighth-grade class at Renaissance Academy that’s on a mission to bring updated technology to its school. They tested all different kinds of gadgets to figure out what they need, sent out newsletters, applied and received a grant, wrote to elected officials, and created a site on Donors Choose to raise enough money to buy tech tools for the class. They’ve still got $1,700 to go, but they’re making progress — and they’ll keep the effort going despite the fact that they’re graduating this year.

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Categories: News

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UAE: Securing the right talent is one of the biggest challenges

March 15, 2011 13:30 by Ann Pace

(From BusinessIntelligence Middle East) -- Finance Business Partnering is the way ahead to gain competitive advantage, according to a new report from ACCA and KPMG.

The training, development and retention of the finance function is crucial to the success of an organisation, especially in the current economic climate, asserts a new report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and KPMG called Maximising People Power: Effective talent management in finance.

The report emphasises that securing the right talent is one of the biggest challenges faced by Chief Finance Officers (CFOs), adding that the finance function must now take the opportunity to make a difference to their organisations’ success – whether in the public or private sector, whether in a listed multinational or small and medium sized enterprise.

Ian Lithgow, partner, KPMG says: “The next decade presents a critical opportunity for finance professionals to help create and sustain long term value for organisations. But the challenge lies with employers to realise and leverage talent within their finance function.”

Read more.

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Categories: International | News

Learning Executives End 2010 with a Surge of Optimism

January 26, 2011 12:06 by Kristen Fyfe

Learning executives ended 2010 confident about the outlook and expectations for the learning function for the first half of 2011, according to the latest measurement by ASTD. The Learning Executives Confidence Index (LXCI) for the fourth quarter of 2010 grew to its highest score on record. The current LXCI surveyed 235 learning executives about their expectations in four areas: impact on corporate performance; ability to meet learning needs; status as a key strategic component; and availability of resources. It is modeled on the CEO Confidence Indices reported by Chief Executive Magazine and The Conference Board.

The ASTD LXCI for the fourth quarter of 2010 was 62.9, an increase of 3.3 points from the third quarter score of 59.6. The third quarter score reflected a slight drop from the upward trend of the index over the course of 2010. The last quarter escalation shows that learning executives (LXs) collectively expect their learning functions to remain the same or improve over the next six months.  After drops at the end of 2008, executive confidence rebounded in the second and third quarters of 2009, plateauing in the fourth quarter and rebounding through 2010. The previous high score of 62.0 for the LXCI was achieved in the second quarter of 2010. The LXCI is measured on a 100-point scale.

Highlights from the LXCI for the fourth quarter of 2010 include:

• The number of LXs who expect increased funding for outsourced or external services continues to increase.
• LXs believe economic conditions will place a stronger emphasis on learning, greater re-use of existing content, and greater reliance on informal learning.
• Nearly 80 percent of LXs anticipate increase in funding for learning and development.
• 86.8 percent of LXs report their industry will remain the same or improve over the next six months, up from 83.2 percent in the third quarter.
• 90.2 percent of LXs anticipate organizational profit will remain the same or improve.

ASTD’s Learning Executives Confidence Index was launched in August 2008 and is designed to assess the outlooks and expectations of learning executives for the next six months.  You can read the full report, on the ASTD Research page:

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Categories: ASTD in the News | Membership | Research

New Survey and Study Point to Need, Value of Employee Training

August 19, 2010 13:39 by Kristen Fyfe

A new survey from OfficeTeam found 45 percent of HR managers say their biggest staffing concern is employee training and devlelopment. Retaining top performing employees was the second biggest concern at 27 percent.

This is good news for the learning and devleopment profession.

More good news is found in a survey released by Rober Half, which showed that of all the benefits employees value most, subsidized training and education ranks high. In the study when asked what reduced or cut benefits employees wanted back most, subsidized training and education ranked #3 behind bonuses and a 401K matching program. 

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Categories: News

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ASTD Announces 39 Winners in its Seventh Annual “BEST Awards”

October 2, 2009 08:14 by Kristen Fyfe

ASTD announces that 39 organizations from Canada, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, and the United States are winners in the 2009 ASTD BEST Awards competition. Sun Microsystems, of Santa Clara, California, holds the first place ranking. The 2009 ASTD BEST Award winners are recognized in a special section of the October issue of Training + Development (T+D), ASTD’s monthly magazine, and were honored during a reception on October 1 in Washington, D.C. Many of the winners participated in the “Learn from the BEST” event on October 2 to share best practices during roundtable presentations and networking time.

The BEST Awards recognize organizations that demonstrate enterprise‐wide success through employee learning and development. According to Tony Bingham, ASTD’s president and CEO, “The ASTD BEST Award winners set the standard of excellence for exceptional learning practices, and demonstrate that a skilled workforce is vital to
achieving results. They use learning as a strategic tool and have the support of senior leaders who champion a learning culture.”

Through an online application, the 2009 BEST Awards received entries from 93 organizations in 10 countries. These organizations submitted quantitative and qualitative information to ASTD about their learning and development practices and programs. Their applications were assessed by members of the BEST Awards advisory committee, a group of experts in the learning and development field.

More information about the 2009 ASTD BEST Award winners may be found in the October 2009 issue of T+D magazine and online: ASTD would like to thank the following sponsors of the 2009 BEST Awards: Platinum Sponsor: Booz Allen Hamilton; Silver Sponsors: General Physics Corporation, , and SkillSoft.

The 2009 ASTD BEST Award winners and rankings:

1. Sun Microsystems, Santa Clara, California
2. MTR Corporation, Hong Kong, SAR, China
3. SCC Soft Computer, Clearwater, Florida
4. DPR Construction, Inc., Redwood City, California
5. BB&T, Winston‐Salem, North Carolina
6. VF Asia Limited, Hong Kong, SAR, China
7. Highmark (an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
8. BJC HealthCare, St. Louis, Missouri
9. Datatel, Fairfax, Virginia
10. Trust Company of the West, Los Angeles, California
11. Luxottica Retail North America, Mason, Ohio
12. La Quinta, Irving, Texas
13. Robert W. Baird & Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
14. Gables Residential, Atlanta, Georgia
15. Wipro Limited, Bangalore, India
16. T. Rowe Price, Baltimore, Maryland
17. LarsonAllen, Minneapolis, Minnesota
18. University Health System, San Antonio, Texas
19. CSC, Falls Church, Virginia
20. Reliance Industries Limited, Jamnagar Refinery Division, Mumbai, India
21. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, New York, New York
22. Infosys Technologies Limited, Bangalore, India
23. Reliance Industries Limited, Dahej Manufacturing Division, Mumbai, India
24. CIGNA Corporation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
25. Suzlon Energy, Ltd., Pune, India
26. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mumbai, India
27. Prescription Solutions, Irvine, California
28. Whirlpool Corporation, Saint Joseph, Michigan
29. Barilla America, Inc., Bannockburn, Illinois
30. Fallon Clinic, Worcester, Massachusetts
31. InterContinental Hotels Group, Atlanta, Georgia
32. Mayer Electric Supply Company Inc., Birmingham, Alabama
33. TELUS, Vancouver, British Columbia
34. G4S Wackenhut, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
35. sanofi‐aventis U.S., Bridgewater, New Jersey
36. Brown‐Forman Corporation, Louisville, Kentucky
37. United Overseas Bank, Singapore
38. Grant Thornton LLP, Chicago, Illinois
39. Cbeyond, Atlanta, Georgia

In addition, nine companies on this list have been BEST ASTD Award winners for three years or more. They are: BB&T, CSC, Gables Residential, Infosys Technologies, MTR Corporation, Reliance Industries, sanofi‐aventis U.S., TELUS, and Wipro Limited.

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Categories: ASTD in the News | Membership

Amgen on Training and Development

July 21, 2009 16:00 by Ann Pace

Amgen CEO interview with Fortune says cutting training and development is not an option.

Watch the interview.

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Categories: The Economy

Categories: The Economy
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