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Learning Industry News and Opinion

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

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

ASTD 2011 Begins!

May 22, 2011 12:38 by Kristen Fyfe

The energy in the Orange County Convention Center has been building at a steady pace all morning. It is so great to be in the halls and see people greeting colleagues that they haven't seen since last year's conference! So far I've met people from the U.S., Korea, China, Denmark, Germany, England, Thailand, Taiwan, The Netherlands, Brazil, Portugal, Mongolia, ... I think that's all, so far! The networking opportunities that the ASTD International Conference & Exposition provide are rich and rewarding.

And the learning is awesome!

As I type this I'm seeing a steady stream of tweets from people who are sharing what their learning in sessions with Marshall Goldsmith, the MilSpace community, and more. If you're on Twitter and are interested in the backchannel, be sure to search #ASTD2011 for conference related posts.

@BenjaminMcCall - the guy who is organizing the #ASTD Tweetup on Monday night was just in the Press Room (my home for the conference) to pick up his materials. It was like a little mini Tweetup - putting a real person to the Twitter Avatar!

Of course today is just a warm-up. Vendors are putting the finishing touches on their booths so they'll be ready when the EXPO doors open Monday morning.

A shout-out to my ASTD colleagues. One of the best parts of the conference, for us, is seeing how much a year's (or more) worth of hard work pays off in the faces of conference attendees. This is the time of year when it all comes together. The days are long, but the rewards are immeasurable!

So Kudos to the ASTD staff and volunteers that make it all possible and make it all happen.

And to our ASTD 2011 attendees -- Enjoy the learning! 

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Categories: Conferences | Membership

ASTD Loves Our Volunteers!

April 11, 2011 13:13 by Kristen Fyfe

It's National Volunteer Week which made me think it's a good time to offer a heartfelt "THANK YOU!!" to all of the volunteers who give their time and energy to ASTD. From our Board of Directors, to those who serve on advisory committees, to the people who help us at our conferences, and with special initiatives like reviewing award applications, ASTD is fortunate to benefit from the passion, commitment, and talent of so many people.

Here's  a list of all of ASTD national's volunteer committees:

ASTD Board of Directors
ASTD Certification Institute Board of Directors
ASTD Forum Advisory Group
Awards Strategy Committee
BEST Awards Advisory Committee
Chapter-focused committees:
Chapter Leaders Conference Program Advisory Committee
Chapter Recognition Committee
Editorial Board
International Conference Program Advisory Committee
National Advisors for Chapters
Public Policy Council
Sales Training Advisory Committee
Selection Committee
Talent Management Advisory Committee
TechKnowledge® Program Advisory Committee

In addition there are thousands of volunteers who give of their time at the local level by serving their ASTD chapter.

Thanks to all of you who give so generously and help ASTD fulfill its vision to "create a world that works better."

Happy Volunteer Week! 



Categories: ASTD in the News | International | Membership

ASTD Member workshop in China - Use Learning to Lead

April 4, 2011 14:24 by Wei Wang

“Learning to lead” is the theme for the ASTD 2011 International Conference and Exposition. In 2011, how are YOU going to use learning to lead professional and organizational development?

I just recently returned from the trip to Beijing, China, where more than 70 ASTD members and L&D professionals joined me to discuss how we use learning to lead in our organizations. I shared with participants the latest ASTD State of the Industry Report, how to apply for ASTD Awards, and preview of the ASTD 2011 International Conference and Exposition. The guest speaker, Professor Feng Wu from Peking University, also shared their latest research on corporate university evaluation system.

The workshop was supported by the Enterprise Education Center at Peking University, one of the leading universities in China. It was a great networking and sharing session. I look forward to our next reunion in the near future!



Categories: Conferences | International | Membership | News

Students Get Super Savings on ASTD 2011 Conference

March 29, 2011 15:21 by Kristen Fyfe

Students enrolled in programs and courses that focus on human resources and workplace learning and development have the opportunity to attend the ASTD 2011 international conference at a steeply discounted rate and enjoy special programming on May 24 – Student Day.

The ASTD 2011 International Conference & Exposition is the premier event for thousands of workplace learning and development professionals who come from more than 70 countries. It will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, from May 22-25.

For the second year the ASTD is hosting Student Day and offering students an affordable way to network with learning and development professionals, attend educations sessions, and interact with more than 300 leading vendors. There are several registration options from which to choose.

• Student Day half-day registration: $30
• Student Day full-day registration: $120
• Student member rate full conference registration: $350; Student non-members: $450

Student Day activities include a networking coffee and welcome; attendance at the General Session featuring Campbell Soup Company CEO Doug Conant; a student-focused information session; tour of the EXPO; and a networking lunch with keynote speaker and strategic leadership expert Mette Norgaard. Full-day attendees will have access to educational sessions in the afternoon.

To qualify for a student registration, one must maintain an active ASTD chapter student membership or be taking a minimum of 12 hours per year at an accredited college or university.

More details can be found at


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Categories: ASTD in the News | Membership

The Learning Decade

March 22, 2011 13:20 by Kristen Fyfe

Sam Herring, co-founder and executive VP of Intrepid Learning Solutions AND the chair of ASTD's board of directors, has a great article on Fast Company titled "Moving Toward 2020: The Learning Decade" in which he states, "To be sure, not every company is a learning company; but more and more organizations recognize that learning can help solve the most vexing economic and financial problems of the day. As a result, we predict that the years leading up to 2020 will be known as 'The Learning Decade.'"

He goes on to say, "There are many reasons why corporations have decided to make significant investments in learning, even in these budget-constrained times, but here are what we believe to be the main drivers." His list includes: top line innovations, disruptive technology, competitive pressures, increasing speed, beyond commodity, virtuous circle, emerging markets, industry change, industry consolidation, brain drain, failing grade, return to growth, future jobs, knowledge workers, leadership vacuum, culture change, and unanticipated conditions.

It's an impressive list of drivers - and one you should read in full for yourself.

 An additional thought from Sam to close with: "Achieving prosperity in 'The Learning Decade' will present companies with many challenges. The good news is that learning and its derivative, enhanced performance, can help us innovate, grow the top line and emerge from the recent economic downturn stronger than we were before."

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Categories: ASTD in the News | Membership

NEW STUDY: Integrated Talent Management Remains Elusive to Many Companies

March 14, 2011 10:21 by Kristen Fyfe

Our latest research shows that implementing and sustaining integrated talent management practices are significant challenges for many organizations. ASTD's partner on this research was the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).

Growing interest in managing talent effectively coupled with business mandates to leverage available resources and align both to organizational goals mean the findings of this study have real-world practicality for business leaders and workplace learning professionals. The report, Learning’s Critical Role in Integrated Talent Management, is based on responses from 1,690 business and learning professionals and includes interviews and case studies of organizations using integrated talent management effectively.

Key findings from the research include:
• High performing organizations tend to integrate talent management components more than low performing organizations.
• Learning executives play critical roles in major integrated talent management components.
• Many of the most effective integrated talent management practices are not widely used.
• Impediments to effective integrated talent management efforts include conflicting priorities, limited resources, non-supportive corporate cultures, incompatible organizational processes, and senior leaders who undervalue integrated talent management.

Learning’s Critical Role in Integrated Talent Management identifies several strategies for effective talent management like:
• Use tools such as employee surveys and discussions to gain insights into organizational culture. Focus on aspects of the culture that most affect talent programs and take action.
• Schedule regular reviews of organizational processes and policies that affect talent management to ensure responsiveness and support for integration efforts.

A free copy of the executive summary of the research is available. The full report can be purchased on the ASTD Store.

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Categories: ASTD in the News | Membership | Research

Is Learning Transfer Important to You? It Should Be.

February 17, 2011 08:48 by Kristen Fyfe

Learning transfer is a key to improving the business impact of training. In an era of increased accountability and the drive for measurable results, learning and development professionals need to have tools that move them from order taker to strategic business partner.

ASTD has been studying the issue of learning transfer for quite some time. We know it's our responsibility to provide learning and development professionals with practical and actionable resources to help them make significant impact in their organizations. So we're pleased to let you know about a new conference offering centered on this critical subject: The Learning Transfer Conference. We've partnered with the Fort Hill Company to bring this opportunity to you.

The Learning Transfer Conference is an interactive 1½ day workshop that kicks off a 10-week learning program. During the program, attendees will learn to apply the Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning to dramatically improve the business impact of training and development efforts, and will interact with the authors of this best-selling and widely-adopted approach to enhancing training’s impact. They will also benefit from online coaching and interaction with the facilitators and other participants for two months after the workshop itself. 

Attendees will:
• learn to implement the six critical practices needed to earn the greatest return on training investments
• come away with practical tools and ideas to implement based on real-world best practices and examples from leading companies 
• learn to design, deliver, and evaluate programs that have real business impact.

The Learning Transfer Conference will take place April 7-8 in Chicago and in November near Washington, D.C., on a date to be announced shortly.

You can find more information or register for The Learning Transfer Conference, visit

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Categories: ASTD in the News | Conferences | Membership

Change the Way You Think About Change

February 15, 2011 11:28 by Kristen Fyfe

Change is hard, but learning more about it doesn’t have to be boring. ASTD's newest title, The Change Book, helps you get smart on change management without the pain. It also happens to be one of the most unique LOOKING books we've every published. When I first saw it I thought of The Very Hungry Catepillar, which if you think about it, is a book about change too.

The Change Book, addresses framing your change, leadership, resistance, culture, communication and more. Flip it open to any page - literally -  and you’ll find powerful, concise and easy advice from battle-tested practitioners. Authors Tricia Emerson and Mary Stewart make learning about change fun while asking important questions and providing sage advice.

  • Why aren’t your communication efforts working? The book addresses common pitfalls, like waiting too long, delivering “bad” news and hitting people with the wrong kinds of information.
  • How many people should you involve in your new effort? There’s advice on engaging the masses and there are real stories of organizations who harnessed the power of their people.
  • What should you do about those who resist? Do you have to turn all of them into supporters? Read about finding the people in your “sweet spot” and focusing on them. 
  • How will you keep people excited and engaged? The book offers tips for getting buy-in and maintaining momentum.

Each short chapter holds a nugget of wisdom on subjects like these. A great resource for seasoned change management professionals or the newly initiated, The Change Book provides tips, tools and bits of wisdom from those who have been there, helping to transform some of the most widely recognized organizations in the country.

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Categories: ASTD in the News | Books | International | Membership

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