The Official ASTD Blog
Learning Industry News and Opinion


February 1, 2012 17:17 by jllorens

Human Resource Executive magazine names DDI’s new online frontline leader assessment a top product
Tuesday, October 04, 2011

October 3, 2011—Human Resource Executive® (HRE) magazine recognized Manager Ready as one of the Top HR Products of 2011.  Development Dimensions International (DDI) launched Manager Ready in early 2011 to help organizations identify and develop stronger frontline leaders.  Each year, HRE selects the top 10 new HR and training products based on criteria including innovation, ease-of-use and impact on the HR industry. "Human Resource Executive® has been evaluating HR products and conducting this competition for more than 20 years," explained David Shadovitz, editor-in-chief of Human Resource Executive®.  "Our goal has always been to identify products and services that clearly offer value to the HR community while demonstrating innovation."

An online frontline leader assessment, Manager Ready combines the efficiency of a technology-driven process with insights of live assessors—leading to a realistic participant experience and in-depth insight into leadership capability and performance.  Through this real-world simulation, companies are provided with critical information on how to make decisions about an individuals’ readiness for frontline leadership roles and how they can develop in those roles to be more effective.

Manager Ready provides a day-in-the-life experience of a frontline leader for individuals by using streaming audio and video capabilities. Throughout the computer-based simulation, users respond to open-ended e-mails, video voicemails, planning activities, and problem-solving exercises.

“Frontline leaders are more critical today than ever. They make the day-to-day decisions that make or break the business,” Scott Erker, Senior Vice President of Selection Solutions at DDI said. “We hear more and more that they’re not ready for the job the organizations needs them to do.  Our goal, with this innovation, is to identify the gaps between what skills leaders have—and what skills they need to be successful.”
One element that makes Manager Ready stand out is that questions derived from the simulation allow the users to respond open-endedly rather than choosing from a list of predetermined answers. In doing so, responses more accurately reflect how a frontline leader would react in a real life scenario.  Trained assessors extract the behavior gained from Manager Ready and measure participants for leadership readiness.
“This data has some teeth, which in an organization like ours is hugely important,” said Tim Toterhi, senior director of global organizational design for Quintiles. “Part of the reason we like Manager Ready is that it gives us robust, fact-based data to help enhance the decision-making process for selecting people—either for promotions or for hiring them into the organization.”

About DDI
Founded in 1970, Development Dimensions International, a global human resources consulting firm, helps organizations close the gap between today’s talent capability and future talent needs. DDI’s expertise includes designing and implementing selection systems, and identifying and developing front-line to executive leadership talent. With more than 1,000 associates in 75 offices in 26 countries, the firm advises half of the Fortune 500. For more information about DDI visit

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February 1, 2012 17:13 by jllorens

Conflict Prevention Week Offers Ways to Create More Success and Satisfaction in Your Relationships.

Carlsbad, CA — January 26, 2012 – Just in time for Valentine's Day, Conflict Prevention Week will feature webinars and activities focused on preventing and managing conflict in your relationships. The event is sponsored by the new book Have a Nice Conflict, and will feature a number of special book offers during the week of February 6th, 2012.

Among the prominent speakers taking part in Conflict Prevention Week are globally recognized leadership expert, Michael Maccoby, internationally recognized authority on employee engagement, Beverly Kaye, and best-selling email etiquette author Mike Song. Each day will also feature a 30-minute exploration of each of the 5 Keys to Having a Nice Conflict – skills discovered by the characters in the book.

The Five Keys to Having a Nice Conflict

Poorly managed conflict takes a toll on our time, money, health, and happiness. However, we can learn to have a nice conflict—the type of conflict that consistently leads to greater productivity, stronger relationships, and leaves everyone involved feeling good about themselves.

1. Anticipate: Anticipating conflict starts with having a better understanding of the people you're dealing with and how their view of a situation might differ from your own. When you respect a person's unique vantage point, you're better equipped to steer clear of their conflict triggers.

2. Prevent: Preventing conflict is about the deliberate, appropriate use of behaviors in your relationships. If you know a person who highly values trust and fairness, you can prevent conflict with him/her by not using words or actions that threaten those values.

3. Identify: There are three basic approaches in conflict: rising to the challenge (assert), cautiously withdrawing (analyze), or wanting to keep the peace (accommodate). When you are able to spot these approaches in yourself and others, you are empowered to handle conflict situations more productively.

4. Manage: Managing conflict involves creating conditions that enable others to manage themselves out of the emotional state of conflict. But it's also important to manage yourself out. Managing yourself in conflict can be as easy as taking some time to see things differently.

5. Resolve: To create movement toward resolution, we need to show the other person a path back to feeling good and valued. When people feel good about themselves, they are less likely to feel threatened and are free to move toward resolution.

Written in the form of a novel, Have a Nice Conflict follows one man's fight to save his relationships and rescue his sinking career. Sales manager John Doyle would consider his career a success—he's his company's top salesman, and his take-charge attitude gets the job done. But when he is passed over for promotion—again—after losing two employees, who cite his abrasive style as their reason for leaving, John is forced to reassess how he approaches his relationships. With the help of Mac, an expert in the art of Relationship Awareness Theory, John learns the three stages of conflict, and how he reacts in each. Once he recognizes his own values and conflict trigger points, as well those of other people, John becomes able to better navigate terse situations, express his points in a way that resonates for other people, and even prevent conflict altogether.

Have a Nice Conflict can be found at all major bookstores and online booksellers with special offers and events available February 6 – 10, 2012 as part of Conflict Prevention Week. Visit for more details.

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Categories: ASTD Professional Partner News

DDI and LUMA Institute Partner for a Solution in Business Innovation

January 1, 2012 17:22 by jllorens

To meet the demand for innovation in organizations around the world, DDI and LUMA have designed a course to help mid-level leaders drive innovation
Monday, May 23, 2011
ORLANDO – In response to rapidly growing global demand, Development Dimensions International (DDI) and LUMA Institute have partnered to develop a leadership program to drive innovation in organizations around the world.  The program will be released in September 2011.
The hands-on, full-day course, Driving Innovation, combines the discipline of human-centered design with the necessary leadership actions required to help mid-level leaders create a culture of innovation in their own teams and organizations. The focus of the course is to help these leaders experience innovation challenges first-hand, equip them with leadership behaviors, practices, and methods they can use to replicate innovation in their own organizations.  Leaders learn to develop these essential skills in others and create a culture that fosters repeatable, sustainable innovation.
“Organizations can’t innovate without leaders who can drive a culture of innovation and who are catalysts, themselves, for innovation,” Tacy Byham, DDI’s Vice President of Executive Development said. “You can train leaders to set and model ideal conditions for innovation—and be a keeper of the culture that inspires and rewards their teams for coming up with and implementing new and differentiated solutions.”
The course combines DDI’s extensive experience in leadership development and how leaders can influence an organization's culture with LUMA’s expertise in human-centered design and how innovation can be fostered in the workplace.
“Organizations are no longer questioning whether it makes sense to invest in fostering an innovative culture. The question on every leader’s mind is and should be, ‘How do we institutionalize innovation so that we are doing it in a repeatable and sustainable way?’” says Chris Pacione, Director & CEO of LUMA Institute. “The answer lies in fostering pervasive competency in human-centered design which is the discipline of generating solutions to problems with a fanatical focus on the needs, desires and context of the people for whom we design.”
Research from DDI’s 2011 Global Leadership Forecast revealed that while innovation didn’t make the list of skills that leaders said they’ve needed over the last few years, it rocketed toward the top of the list of skills leaders said they’d need in the future.
The course tackles key barriers to innovation and equips leaders with the skills and methods needed to address those challenges.
Driving Innovation is the newest addition to DDI’s mid-level leadership development program Business Impact Leadership: Mid-Level SeriesSM, which includes nine courses that address the key challenges that mid-level leaders face.
DDI has spent the last 40 years developing leaders at every level—nearly 6.3 million worldwide—and helping organizations optimize their leadership talent and build a strong leadership pipeline at every level.
About DDI
Founded in 1970, Development Dimensions International, a global talent management expert, works with organizations worldwide to apply best practices to hiring/promotion, leadership development, performance management and succession management. With 1,000 associates in 42 offices in 26 countries, the firm advises half of the Fortune 500. For more information about DDI visit 
About LUMA Institute
LUMA Institute is an educational institute that helps leading organizations around the world enlist Human-Centered Design to drive innovation and make things better. LUMA helps leaders and teams get better at creating solutions driven by the needs, desires, and context of the people for whom they design.        Learn more at

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Element K Recognized as Official Provider of Microsoft Official E-Learning

October 1, 2011 17:36 by jllorens

ROCHESTER, NY, July 11, 2011 – Global learning solutions provider Element K has expanded its long-standing relationship with Microsoft and is now recognised as its Official Provider of Microsoft Official E-Learning.  This designation enables Element K to provide worldwide sales and distribution of the Microsoft Official E-Learning courses and virtual labs, supporting both direct and reseller channels.

Paul Krause, President and CEO of Element K, said, “We’re delighted that Microsoft has selected us as their go-to-market partner for e-learning worldwide.  As a natural evolution of our long-time relationship with Microsoft, Element K and Microsoft are positioned to provide a high quality, next generation portfolio of Microsoft E-Learning solutions that will help individuals and corporations worldwide to better deploy and use Microsoft technologies.”

As part of this relationship, Element K will be responsible for the development of Microsoft Official E-Learning courses and remote virtual labs, providing clients with a comprehensive and evergreen suite of Microsoft-related learning content.  In addition, through these offerings, combined with other learning services, Element K will support key Microsoft programmes with Microsoft E-Learning benefits, including Software Assurance, IT Academies, MSDN and TechNet.

Microsoft is committed to developing great software.  The real-world application of skills is essential for customers who create solutions, solve problems, and manage life activities using Microsoft technology.   Microsoft helps customers and partners realise their full potential through training and skills development on Microsoft technologies.

“People are eager to get the most value from their software.  With the opportunities that new web technologies make available, software customers can take e-learning training courses any time, any place, and on any device that meets their needs,” said Lutz Ziob, General Manager, Microsoft Learning. “By extending our relationship with Element K, we will be able to provide more customers with better access to Microsoft Official E-Learning than ever before.”

About Element K

With nearly 30 years in training and development, Element K provides learning solutions that enable organisations to develop employees, support partners, and educate customers.
Clients use our broad collection of e-Learning content, virtual labs, e-Reference, classroom materials, and blended solutions to align training objectives with business results.   Element K’s turnkey products include thousands of business skills, compliance, desktop productivity, web design and advanced IT learning assets.  For proprietary learning needs, Element K partners with clients to design and develop custom learning programmes.

Element K’s flexible content delivery options enable clients to use custom branded learning portals with our on-demand KnowledgeHub LMS, or play hosted Element K content via our ContentHub Integration Server on a client’s LMS.  Element K offers classroom materials fulfillment, and a range of administrative and advisory services, supporting the learning needs of the Corporate, Government, Education and Training Centre markets worldwide.

The company employs over 700 professionals and is headquartered in Rochester NY.  For more information, please visit

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The new EI assessment tool, the EQ-i 2.0, is now live.

August 25, 2011 17:55 by jllorens

You can expect the following with EQ-i 2.0 here at

• A new model of Emotional Intelligence.
• Reports that are customizable, easy to interpret and allow you to integrate your brand:
essentially, reports as unique as the people you deal with everyday. See free sample reports.
• An easy-to-use scoring platform where saving you time is paramount.
• Access to resources that will help you grow your business (including PowerPoint slides, bestpractices,
articles, research, the latest EI News and marketing materials).
• Access to a private global community of EQ-i 2.0 users. This community will give you the
opportunity to connect with other EQ-i 2.0 Practitioners, gain/share expertise and find specific
information on how the EQ-i 2.0 is being used around the world.

On behalf of everyone at MHS, we hope you enjoy your new EQ-i 2.0 Experience!

More here.

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Knoodle Announces Enhanced Interface to Power Social Learning

August 15, 2011 17:51 by jllorens

Social Features and Easy-to-Use Interface Allows Anyone in a Company to Create On-Demand Presentations and Learning Content

SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Knoodle, an innovative cloud-based social learning solution provider, announced today the third release of its social learning platform.  In this release, Knoodle has enhanced the entire presentation creation and management process, allowing anyone in a company to quickly create and deliver content to facilitate social learning.  Knoodle brings learning and knowledge sharing to the center of any social workplace with functionality that allow companies to deliver hosted, informal, self-paced, and mobile training on demand.

"The future of e-learning is just-in-time training; small sessions only 10-15 minutes long that include video and are mobile.  This is how the current generation learns, with video and short blasts of information," said Tammy Turner, Director of Training, at Fresquez Concessions. "Knoodle enables the training of tomorrow in an inexpensive product today."

Knoodle combines social features (such as chat, annotation, comments, and viewer ratings) with the capabilities of a lightweight learning management system (LMS) (such as testing, tracking, and data reporting) into a single solution where anyone can augment PowerPoint slides with audio, video, or voice-recordings to create a social learning environment.  With Knoodle, anyone in an organization can share their expertise as a teacher and leverage that knowledge as a student.  Knoodle's new release focuses on eliminating complicated design, the need for extensive course scheduling and video production expertise, and the cost of expensive learning management systems.  New functionality includes:

    Adding surveys, quizzes, video, and audio while you create a presentation: You can now add quizzes/surveys as well as record video and audio on the fly as you create your presentation, making the presentation creation process much more streamlined.
    Drag-and-drop multiple files for uploading: The new "drag-and-drop" feature lets you select and drag multiple files from your desktop into Knoodle for easy bulk uploading.
    Fine-tune slide syncing: Fine-tune your presentations by typing in the exact time you want a slide to appear in your video our audio track – perfect if you already know the specific timing for your presentation.
    Manage your presentations easily: Our new "Manage" interface provides a much improved layout that allows you to see all presentations in one viewing window, making editing and publishing your presentations even easier.

"Today's social workplace needs knowledge sharing and learning that leverages the experts across a business without slowing the company down," said Michael Rose, GM of Knoodle.  "Knoodle breaks down the barriers between silos of people where knowledge resides, and takes the complication out of training and knowledge sharing by turning every presentation and piece of content that may already be available into a quick opportunity to learn collaboratively.  Now, in a matter of minutes, they can share, grow and innovate together."


Pricing and Availability

Product Features


Knoodle provides a quick and easy cloud-based social learning solution.  With Knoodle, organizations can deliver presentations and online training in the way their social workplace operates today: socially, organically, and ubiquitously.  Knoodle places communications and training in the hands of every employee, allowing for dynamic and on-demand knowledge sharing with team members, partners, and customers.  Deliver more engaging presentations and training within minutes by using a combination of PowerPoint slides, video, audio, images, surveys or tests, multiple delivery options, and data analytics.

Founded in 2009, Knoodle is an SK Telecom Americas portfolio company. With a $12 billion market cap, SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) is South Korea's largest telecommunications company.

For more information, visit

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Half of Leaders Admit to Stagnation in Innovation

August 1, 2011 17:41 by jllorens

The Global Leadership Forecast finds that leaders are underprepared for the future drive for innovation; Gary Hamel’s measures of management innovation showed that we’re not that evolved after all
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
From un-evolved leadership practices to the decreased emphasis US organizations put on innovation, leadership has barely budged in the last decade, according to the sixth edition of the Global Leadership Forecast.
Every two years for the past decade, Development Dimensions International (DDI) conducts the Global Leadership Forecast, enlisting HR professionals and leaders representing organizations around the world. This year, the study included 1,897 HR representatives and more than 12,000 leaders from 74 countries and was the largest ever. In the US, there were 522 HR and 2,796 leader responses.
For the 2010|2011 Forecast, DDI partnered with Gary Hamel and his Management Lab to identify the key factors that identify how organizations’ management cultures have evolved.
“As businesses—and business practices—accelerate ahead, it seems that leadership is barely moving at all,” Rich Wellins, Senior Vice President at DDI said. “We looked at what leaders needed in the future, what organizations’ future leadership needs are, and how we can advance our practices around leadership and found that our work is cut out for us.”
The major findings of the report include:
Leader quality is low and hasn’t budged. Only 1 out of 4 organizations (as rated by HR representatives) rated leadership quality as very good or excellent. With leaders themselves, a little more than 1 out of 3 three gave themselves and their peers high marks. These numbers remain consistent with the study when it was done two years ago, indicated that little progress has been made on the quality of leadership, regardless of the microscope that leaders have been under.
Organizations are not confident in the future of their leaders. A mere 18% rated the bench strength for the future as strong. As baby boomer retirements loom and organizations on the precipice of recovery and growth, confidence in the next generation of leaders should be much stronger, however, the US is among the lowest (14%) with strong bench strength. One reason could be that organizations don’t rate their succession systems as highly effective. As one leader said: “We need to develop key talent for the future in a strategic way, not by default.”
It can also be explained by the fact that while ‘identifying and developing future talent’ was rated as one of the top skills needed for leaders in the future (taking a spot in the top 5), it was not rated as a top skill that was needed in the past, and a staggering 43 percent of leaders said they’re ineffective at doing this.
We’re falling down on innovation. Innovation rocketed up the list as a skill needed for the future, however, according to research from the Boston Consulting Group, the US is investing the least in innovation when compared to other countries around the world.
However, half of leaders rated themselves as ineffective at fostering creativity and innovation, the highest among all of the future necessary skills. “This is a grade we should be concerned with—the heart of future competitive advantage—half of leaders say they’re not effective at encouraging their teams to be creative and innovative,” Wellins said. One answer to this could be the high occurrence of leadership ‘derailers’ or dispositional qualities that HR identified were the most common personality shortcomings of leaders in their organization. The high occurrence of risk aversion, distrust and approval dependence, which were likely to be reinforced as a means of survival during the economic downturn, are qualities that will squash innovation.
Rigid management practices are holding organizations back. When looking at Gary Hamel’s factors for management innovation, 6 out of 10 leaders said that key business decisions were made by those in power with little discussion, and more than half said they’re in organizations that are rigid, siloed or hierarchical. Why the concern over updating management practices? “While we have been focused on innovating products, services and business models, we have lost sight of the need to innovative the way we manage,” Wellins says. Organizations with effective management cultures were more than two and a half times more likely to have highly passionate leaders
Some additional findings from the study include:
·         Only 1/3 of leaders rated the quality of their leadership development efforts highly—and that hasn’t changed over the last five years, for better or for worse.
·         Formal workshops and training, coaching from managers and special projects and assignments top the list as the most used—and effective—development methods for leaders.
·         Only 1 in 3 HR and leaders rated the organization’s process for selecting leaders as effective.
·         Less than half of organizations (44%) have a process to identifying high potential talent—and even fewer (37%) have a process for growing those individuals. Both have decreased since 2009.
About the Global Leadership Forecast
DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast 2011 is the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind. More than 2,600 organizations provided perspectives on the current state of leadership in their organizations and future talent-related needs. This is the sixth biennial Leadership Forecast DDI has conducted since 1999, and the largest: 1,897 HR professionals and 12,423 leaders from 74 countries responded. DDI created and distributed surveys to both HR professionals and leaders between June and November 2010.
About DDI
Founded in 1970, Development Dimensions International, a global talent management expert, works with organizations worldwide to apply best practices to hiring/promotion, leadership development, performance management and succession management. With 1,000 associates in 42 offices in 26 countries, the firm advises half of the Fortune 500. For more information about DDI visit

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From Learning Tree: First Online-Only Course via AnyWare

April 29, 2011 11:20 by jllorens

RESTON, VA (March 1, 2011) Learning Tree International (NASDAQ NGM: LTRE) has announced the introduction of a new course titled Time Management Essentials: Getting the Most from Every Minute. Available only online via Learning Tree AnyWare, this live, instructor-led two-day course provides participants with the strategies, tools, techniques and tips to set priorities and manage the daily pressures of meeting important and urgent commitments associated with their job.

AnyWare enables participants to fully interact with their instructors and classmates through a media-rich interface that integrates live classroom video, audio and chat features, as well as the ability to view instructor demos. In addition, participants collaborate with their peers and perform hands-on course exercises.

During the Time Management Essentials course, participants are immersed in extensive individual and group activities, empowering them to take control of their unique time management challenges. This course incorporates the following tools and technologies:

    Chat pods to maximize individual contributions
    Custom-made streamed video
    Virtual whiteboard for sharing ideas with peers
    Online audio breakout rooms for team collaboration
    Technology-based job aids
    Interactive live surveys
    Real-time instructor feedback
    Virtual time management toolkit

Learn more.

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April 26, 2011 11:10 by jllorens

RESTON, VA (March 10, 2011) Learning Tree International (NASDAQ NGM: LTRE) has announced the introduction of a new course entitled Managing Global Projects. In today's growing global workplace, managers are often called on to lead projects and teams that span multiple continents and cultures. In this course, an expert instructor will teach attendees exactly what they need to know to effectively manage a geographically dispersed project. Additionally, attendees are shown the necessary skills for addressing cultural barriers unique to global projects, and how to build and communicate with a multicultural team.

This course is structured around a dynamic style of learning created by Learning Tree called RealityPlus™—an immersive experience that engages attendees in authentic tasks within a simulated real-world context. Throughout this three-day course, an expert instructor will lead attendees through an immersive case study and individual and group activities, providing the skills to meet the demands of managing a global project. Activities include:

  •     Identifying issues specific to global projects
  •     Exploring the key skills of a global project manager
  •     Defining objectives and deliverables
  •     Analyzing stakeholders based on geography
  •     Selecting appropriate communication tools
  •     Dealing with cultural differences
  •     Critiquing the work package
  •     Creating product descriptions
  •     Motivating across boundaries and cultures
  •     Controlling global risks
  •     Assessing governance issues
  •     Analyzing the effectiveness of the project office

Learn more.

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New SDI Leadership Development Experience with Dr. Michael Maccoby

April 21, 2011 11:04 by jllorens

Carlsbad, CA - January 25, 2011  - Leadership is a relationship-one that exists in a context. Becoming a Leader We Need with Strategic Intelligence is a new program from Personal Strengths Publishing that focuses on the skills and qualities leaders need to be effective-no matter the context. This leadership development experience for senior leaders (and those who aspire to these positions) is the result of collaboration between world-renown leadership expert Dr. Michael Maccoby and Tim Scudder, President of Personal Strengths Publishing.

At the heart of this program is Strategic Intelligence, the distillation of decades of Michael Maccoby’s research and practical experience as a consultant to many of the world’s largest organizations. He identified the things that leaders do to affect sustainable change in organizations. This course condenses and communicates that wisdom while the integration of SDI helps to carry that wisdom into the relationships between leaders and followers. The synergy between the concepts of Strategic Intelligence and Relationship Awareness are rooted in a common foundation; Dr. Maccoby has written or co-authored 13 books including one with Erich Fromm, whose work was a major influence on Elias H. Porter and his development of Relationship Awareness Theory.

“Integrating the SDI and other works of Elias Porter into Michael Maccoby’s powerful leadership concepts has been a peak experience for me personally,” said Tim Scudder. “The integration of ideas was facilitated by the discovery of a remarkable common heritage.”

Becoming a Leader We Need with Strategic Intelligence takes a systems view of developing the leadership capabilities of leadership teams. Leaders are challenged to clarify and communicate their philosophy of leadership-and of life.  The course explores the fundamental relationship of the motives of leaders and followers, the four R’s of motivation and how they are colored by different Motivational Value Systems, and many more important leadership concepts.

“This is the best leadership course by far,” said Betsy Chittenden, U.S. National Park Service.  “And I think I’ve taken at least one course from every management trend over the last 20 years.”

Michael Maccoby will deliver the keynote address at the upcoming Relationship Awareness Conference in Carlsbad, CA.  Tim Scudder will present a special workshop at the ISPI (International Society for Performance Improvement) conference in April of this year.  A pre-print of a related article can be downloaded at

Learn more.

Becoming a Leader We Need with Strategic Intelligence
Free Informational Webinar February 28, 2011
For more information go to:
Or call 760-602-0086

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