Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change

I’ve been writing a series of articles here about change and how learning professionals in the 21st century must become engaged in Learning to Lead Change and then train others in the organization on how to go about it as well. They also need to understand the many forms of resistance that explain Why Change Projects Fail. In order to bypass or overcome resistance to change and be effective leaders of change, you need a decent model or framework to keep yourself on task and moving forward. Continue reading

Why Change Projects Fail

In a previous article, Learning to Lead Change, I argued that because of the increasingly rapid and complex nature of change in the lives of modern organizations, learning professionals must rise to the task of learning to lead change and then bring those skills to bear throughout the organization. Doing so, however, requires a better understanding of why change projects so often fail. Continue reading

Learning to Lead Change

Change happens. The problem is that the nature of change has itself changed in recent decades. It was in the late 1980s that leadership and change guru Peter Vaill coined the phrase “permanent white water” to capture the essence of change in modern times. In his book, Learning as a Way of Being: Strategies for Survival in a World of Permanent White Water (Jossey-Bass, 1996), that both the pace and complexity of change have increased. Continue reading

Big Data Training for Learning Professionals

As a learning professional in your organization, your days are consumed by figuring out the best ways to facilitate outstanding learning outcomes in your organization’s workforce. But when’s the last time you engaged in your own learning and development? If you’re feeling pressure from higher up in the organization to leverage big data for better learning but feel overwhelmed by that prospect, chances are good that you need to improve the analytical capabilities on your learning staff. Continue reading

Training for Analytical Skills

There’s a significant gap in analytical skills facing the global economy that holds companies back from making the most of big data in every context, including learning, training, and development efforts. In 2011, McKinsey estimated that the United States alone needed at least 1.5 million more workers capable not only of analyzing big data, but knowing how to leverage it for better decision-making. You can’t fill this gap by hoping you’ll hire more analytical employees, because the educational system is lagging way behind the need, which is both real and immediate in the 21st century. You need to be training your people for analytical skills. Continue reading

Assessing Analytical Capability

If you’ve read my previous article, Laying the Foundation for Leveraging Big Data in Learning, then you already know how important it is to assess the analytical capabilities of everyone on your learning department’s staff. It’s a foundational piece in laying the groundwork for being able to leverage big data for better learning. But how do you go about actually assessing your staff’s analytical capabilities in a meaningful way that gives you insight about how to focus big data training needs? Continue reading

Laying the Foundation for Leveraging Big Data in Learning

In a previous article, LMS Must-Have #3: Strong Analytics and Reporting, I argued that big data can help leverage better success in eLearning if you pay attention to particular metrics for both the learning side and the administrative side of your LMS. But are learning professionals ready to make use of big data? Continue reading

Injecting “Success” into Succession Planning

Once the purview of boards of directors trying to figure out who could be the next CEO of a company, succession planning has become a requisite for any organization that wants to thrive well into an uncertain future. In spite of increasing awareness as to the importance of robust succession planning, many organizations have done little more than pay lip service to the idea by creating lists of names associated with positions. And it’s more than just planning for a worst-case scenario of the top dog retiring or leaving. Succession planning needs to be applied to every key position in an organization. It’s time for more organizations to inject a little more success into their succession planning. Continue reading

Riding the Curve of Feedback

Most of what is written about giving employees feedback laments how often it is lacking. In far too many organizations, feedback is consolidated into a performance appraisal that often happens only annually or semi-annually at best. People need ongoing feedback on a regular basis if you want them to reach the peak performance levels that will result in organizational success. Many organizations have jumped onto this bandwagon wholeheartedly, and rightfully so. But is it possible to take the whole notion of feedback too far? When does too much of a good thing begin to go sour? Continue reading