The Official ASTD Blog
Learning Industry News and Opinion

Will a Government Re-Org Work? That Depends.

January 13, 2012 15:24 by Kristen Fyfe

News today that President Obama asked Congress to grant him the power to streamline parts of the federal government may sound familiar to those familiar with The Public Manager, a quarterly journal ASTD publishes that focuses on federal government leadership that works. The very topic was addressed in the Summer 2011 issue that featured a 28-page Forum focused on government reorganization.

"Whatever structure eventually emerges, President Obama will want affected employees to change their past behavior to achieve the new goals and objectives," wrote Robert Tobias, in his article titled "Leading Differently: Can Reorganization Change Things?"

Sounds like learning professionals in the federal government might have their work cut out for them.

You can read more of Tobias's article here. It follows an introductory piece by Alan Balutis.



Tags: , ,

Categories: Government

Categories: Government
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

You Can Learn Something from the Car Guys

December 30, 2011 15:14 by Kristen Fyfe

What can two different car maintenance companies teach the rest of us about workplace learning? This year, a lot. In 2011 ASTD presented an Excellence in Practice Award to Midas International (you know, the muffler folks) and a BEST Award to Jiffy Lube International. What impressed the judges in both of these cases was the commitment to L&D that these companies showed in rolling out programs that positively impacted the franchise operators both organizations rely on for overall success.

Read on and see if what Midas and Jiffy Lube are doing might have some relevance to your own organization's L&D efforts.

Read about Jiffy Lube in the October issue of T+D

You'll find a brief write up about Midas International's practice on page 9 of the Excellence in Practice Awards booklet.


Categories: Learning & Development

Get some best practice inspiration for 2012.

December 29, 2011 16:26 by Kristen Fyfe

Every year #ASTD presents the Excellence in Practice Awards to deserving organizations for the work they are doing in L&D. We complile a brief write up about these winning practices in the ASTD Awards Book. As you plan your learning initiatives for the new year, maybe you'll find some inspiration in these pages.

Here's one example from Booz Allen Hamiliton's New Hire Onboarding practice:

To accommodate a rapidly growing workforce, Booz Allen Hamilton transformed its legacy orientation program into a comprehensive, year-long onboarding model that ensures
a consistent, high-quality experience that increases new hires’ affiliation with the organization, reduces redundancies, and drives accountability.

The firm developed its comprehensive approach through a collaborative process that considered internal ideas and external best practices while evaluating opportunities for technology and operational improvements that would allow program scalability. Key program enhancements included

• a pre-boarding phase and online portal that automates data collection and engages new hires with critical information and resources– even before their first day on the job
• onboarding program elements that are interspersed throughout the new hire’s first year; are tailored to specific audience needs (e.g., executive hires); and feature cutting-edge simulation activities, such as self-paced learning modules, career and personal development support, and increased frontline manager accountability
• use of an internal social networking and knowledge management tool to help new employees build their personal networks within the organization, increase their levels
of affiliation and connectedness, and allow best practices sharing between offices and teams.

Characterized by a systematic approach, Booz Allen’s onboarding program creates value for participants and the firm, while still maintaining the firm’s unique history and culture.


Categories: Learning & Development

Employee Learning Week Recognized in Congressional Record

December 9, 2011 16:08 by Kristen Fyfe

Thanks to Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia, ASTD and Employee Learning Week are recognized in the Congressional Record this week.

Part of the proclamation reads:

"...ASTD has declared December 5th through December 9th, 2011 as 'Employee Learning Week' and designated time for organizations to recognize teh strategic value of employee learning. I applaud ASTD and its members for their dedication to developing knowledgeable and skilled employees during Employee Learning Week. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting policies that commit to maintaining a highly skilled workforce."



Categories: ASTD in the News | Public Policy

Why Employee Learning Week?

December 9, 2011 11:30 by Kristen Fyfe

ASTD's Employee Learning Week was created as an initiative to raise awareness about the value of employee learning and development and the important role L&D professionals play in organizations.

Today marks the last day of Employee Learning Week 2011, but we know it's not the last day of employee learning!

Employee learning is something that happens every day in big ways and small ways. It happens in formal settings and office hallways. It happens via desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices. It happens whenever someone has a question that needs to be answered.

Employee learning and development helps create the highly skilled workforce that is critical to driving growth for organizations.

Tony Bingham, ASTD's President and CEO recently said this to a gathering of learning professionals in Brazil:

"It is our people who will create and implement innovative ideas, and form sustainable enterprises throughout the world. In today’s knowledge economy, people are the key differentiator. The best and most strategic leaders make sure they have the right people with the right skills in the right place. And they also make sure they have smart learning and development professionals on board aligning talent to meet the organization’s goals. These are challenging and exciting times for our profession!"

To all the learning professionals out there - Happy Employee Learning Week! And thank you for your commitment to creating a world that works better!


Categories: ASTD in the News | Learning & Development

Entrepreneur Touts ASTD, Value of Training

November 14, 2011 15:02 by Kristen Fyfe

Learning and development is critical to business success. We all know that. It's nice when a major media outlet like Entrepreneur makes the case too. Check out this feature article, How to Make Employee Training a Winning Investment, which includes a nice mention of ASTD and quotes executive editor, Pat Galagan.


Categories: ASTD in the News | Learning & Development

New Research from ASTD: Learning is Critical to Innovation

October 4, 2011 16:27 by Kristen Fyfe

Organizations of any size and industry need to innovate to remain successful. Whether it’s an iPhone-like breakthrough or a new spin on a traditional idea, if companies want to foster innovation they must have systems and strategies in place to encourage, develop, and sustain new thinking in every role in the organization.

In a new research study Learning to Innovate: Exploring Learning’s Critical Role in Fostering Innovation ASTD and i4cp (the Institute for Corporate productivity) examine the importance of innovation in business success and the ways learning influences it. Companies cannot hope innovation will happen organically. The learning function can and should play a critical role in developing and sustaining the innovative culture that is the hallmark of successful organizations. This report includes a synopsis of interviews with learning leaders who have successfully fostered and sustained innovative practices at high performing companies.

The study contains recommendations on fostering innovation. They include

• Have the learning function take a prominent role in innovation. Make sure any functions dedicated to innovation are solidly integrated with learning. Learning departments can also develop programs that foster innovation.
• Incorporate innovation as a competency in the performance management process.
• Don’t punish a well-thought out failure. Learn from the positive steps in the process.
• Job rotations and stretch assignments can allow people to think innovatively.

ASTD members can download a free whitepaper on the study. The full report Learning to Innovate: Exploring Learning’s Critical Role in Fostering Innovation is available on the ASTD store.

Tags: , ,

Categories: ASTD in the News | Research

Social Learning Competencies: A Call to Action for Learning Professionals

August 10, 2011 10:24 by Kristen Fyfe

The use of social media tools is revolutionizing the learning and development profession and practitioners need to develop skills in this important area. ASTD announces an update to the ASTD Competency Model that identifies competencies in social learning. This update will also be reflected in the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification exams beginning in September, 2011.

A feature article titled “Social Learning: A Call to Action for Learning Professionals,” in the August issue of T+D magazine, contains information about the new social learning competencies and the update to the ASTD Competency Model.

The research-backed competency model is strategically important to the profession because it answers the question, “What do learning professionals need to know and do to be successful in the learning and performance field?” The model includes nine areas of expertise (AOE) and identifies what knowledge and skills are important to have and develop. ASTD published the latest major ASTD Competency Study in 2004 as a means to define and advance the profession, and to provide a roadmap for professional development for learning practitioners. 

Information about the ASTD Competency Model and social learning update can be found at Information about the CPLP certification exam changes related to social learning competencies can be found at

Tags: , ,

Categories: ASTD in the News | Next-Gen Learning | Learning Technologies | Membership | Research | T+D

You're Invited to Join in a Unique Learning Opportunity

June 24, 2011 16:12 by Kristen Fyfe

On June 29th, the ASTD Forum is celebrating its 20th anniversary by hosting a virtual panel discussion featuring industry veterans Ed Betof, Jeanette Harrison, and George Wolfe. The ASTD Forum is a consortium of senior practitioners and their vPanel discussions are usually closed to the general public.

This is your chance to hear from some of our profession’s most experienced leaders as they discuss what their experience has taught them about the learning field and what they think learning professionals ought to know.

 Use this link to register for the session:

Tags: , , ,

Categories: ASTD in the News

Tips for Effective Cross Cultural Emails

June 10, 2011 10:35 by Kristen Fyfe

Here's an interesting post from Maureen Rabotin, author of the ASTD book, Culture Savvy. As business becomes more global, the need for effective communication becomes critical. Maureen's got some great tips on how to make sure that thing we all take for granted - email - is used to its best advantage when communicating with international colleagues.

Tags: , ,

Categories: Books

Categories: Books
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed