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  • May 20, 2021 11:21 AM | Scott Rencher (Administrator)

    Post written by ATDChi member Lisa Erlich. This article is part of a series of member written content on Career Development in Talent Development.

    DE&I. Hybrid teams. Wellness. You may have noticed that the white-hot spotlight of success is focusing on these three initiatives.  I’m guessing you’ve noticed.

    Yes, many companies already have substantial DE&I and Wellness programs that were created prior to the pandemic. And no one can predict what teams and offices will look like in the short- and long-term.

    While overwork, healthy lifestyles and burnout concepts are not new, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that wellness needs to be front-and-center for employees, and organizations, to flourish.

    So what are we talking about exactly?

    According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, workplace wellness programs tend to focus on 5 key pillars: Physical Wellness (nutrition and exercise), Emotional Health (feelings and coping with challenges) Intellectual Wellness (learning from past experiences & seeking growth), Occupational (personal satisfaction and healthy balance) and Social (interactions with others).

    Programs can run the gamut from covering the cost of gym memberships, offering in-office or online weekly yoga sessions, initiating team exercise challenges, or partnering with mental wellness apps like Thrive Global or Calm.

    And these offerings aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to Grand View Research’s Corporate Wellness Market Size & Share Report, 2021-2028, the global corporate wellness market size was valued at 52.8 billing (USD) in 2020 and is expanded to grow 7% (CAGR) by 2028.

    Learning & Development and Wellness

    Learning & Development strategy, by definition, should be driven by both employee needs and organizational goals. For Wellness programs to succeed, they too, need to be strategic and tied to business goals and employee practice. So how can Learning & Development teams support a Wellness strategy?

    Like any other corporate objective, no Wellness program will succeed without a singular, yet two-pronged, approach.

    1.       Holistic Transparency: It has to be visible in the company commitment, culture norms, manager support and individual engagement.

    2.       Multi-level Leadership Support: From the C-Suite to line managers to team leads, leaders must lead by example – participate, give permission, and discuss Wellness.

    Maximize Impact

    Let’s look at some of the simple, yet impactful, actions your Learning & Development team can implement to support your existing, or upcoming wellness program.

    Onboarding: Set expectations early by presenting your wellness offering from the beginning. When both HR and managers are discussing it with new hires (what it is, who should participate, what does that look like on individual team) it becomes an integrated cultural norm.

    For individuals: Employees need to identify their feelings, why and what they can do about them – as well as the skills to communicate those needs. L&D can provide in-person or online courses or on-demand resources that support:

    ·       Self-Assessment (burnout, stress, financial wellbeing, peer/work engagement) and what to do with those results.

    ·       Self-Leadership/Empowerment/Growth Mindset: Give employees the language and resources to ask for help (stress, re-prioritizing projects, meeting times, flexible work hours)

    For Leaders: As mentioned above -- and it bears repeating --  the experience and communication has to come from the top down.  Leaders must “give” employees permission to participate -- talk about it at an all-hand meeting, mention their own participation in an upcoming yoga class, reiterate where resources can be found online.

    In a 2016 study by HealthFitness, where they surveyed 465 employees from companies offering health, wellness and fitness programs, 41% of employees didn’t participate at all. When asked why, 53% of these nonparticipants cited cultural barriers such as lacking employer’s support to take part.  

    While the role of Leadership is to bring visibility to and normalization the Wellness program, the role of the Manager is to support and help individuals engage in it. Many don’t know how. L&D can help.

    For Managers: Consider this multi-layered development structure.

    • Add Wellness to Management Development:
      • Identifying burnout/stress/disengagement/zoom fatigue and strategies to address it.
      • Coaching to help employees re-prioritizing projects, identify ongoing productivity needs (how do they work best/when do they to set aside time to focus on work vs meetings vs personal priorities)
      • Encouraging employees to plan vacation and take off.
    • Double-down on Empathy training & practice in Management Development.
    • Link Wellness & Empathy as part of Team-Building workshops.
      • Leverage existing meetings to take time to share wins and kudos, do pulse checks, have show and tell.
    • Help managers define their own expectations:
      • Do they have an open-door policy?
      • What is their and their employee’s preferred method of communication?
      • When/how quickly should employees respond to emails? And vice versa.
      • Can employees block out time to work (i.e. no-meeting zones)? Will they, as a team, determine what that looks like?

    Bring It Home

    As companies turn the focus toward health, gaining new voices and living in a new work culture, People are at the heart of what it takes to succeed. Learning & Development professionals have always known this. Our job continues to be empowering individuals, leaders, and organizations by giving them the personal and professional resources to do what’s right to succeed on all levels.

    Lisa Erlich has been an innovator and thought leader in the Learning & Development space for more than a decade.  She lives in the suburbs north of Chicago with her husband, 2 boys and dog. Reach out to Lisa at

    Are you a member with something to share about developing your Career in L&D? Send an email to

  • May 13, 2021 12:02 PM | Scott Rencher (Administrator)

    Post written by ATDChi member Steve Matre. This article is part of a series of member written content on Career Development in Talent Development.

    Some normalcy is making its way back into our lives as training professionals. I was able to deliver a session in person during April to the annual conference of the Texas Apartment Association in San Antonio. This meant my first flights and in-person gatherings in over a year. The session was called “Coaxing Great Customer Service Out of Already Burned Out Employees.” While the session was warmly received and it was terrific to be with industry friends and colleagues again, the topic seemed to raise many questions about on-going team motivation, effective training delivery, and the long-term outlook for employee moods and retention in general.

    …meanwhile, back in my real world at work, two themes continue to creep into my mind: employees’ desire for more learning juxtaposed with their internal voice telling them to make a job or career change . In the runup to the pandemic (2018-2019), quit rates were high. People were leaving their jobs. However, in LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report findings, 94 percent of employees said that they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn.

    Fast forward to 2021 and the latest trend is to embrace YOLO; shout out to the New York Times for a terrific article, “Welcome to the YOLO Economy”. The pandemic provided a lot of time for reflection but limited opportunities to socialize and spend. Although some part of this is anecdotal evidence, it seems that many American professionals are comfortable enough with their bank accounts and frustrated enough with their daily grind to take a risk and make a career move to, well, sometimes no job at all. This trend in the making is challenging training professionals to seriously consider the role they play and the value they add to workplaces.

    As the amateur sociologist that I am, I don’t want to dig too deep into the data, but this is a moment to reflect on what these trends mean to someone in corporate learning and development.

    I find myself in a company swirling with change. In an environment of fast and constant change, anxiety and nervous energy can run high. There is a forced learning of new systems and forced implementation of them in order to succeed. At the end of each day, however, you ask yourself, “did I have any control at all over what I learned, and am I growing in a way that offers any real personal enrichment?”

    In the interest of keeping it simple, here are three tips I embraced to balance these trends in a meaningful way:

    1. Remember that listening opportunities are important even though curation is tough.
    As training professionals, we know that curating and assembling the perfect training program is not possible; it will never be perfect. It is fluid, ever changing. You can go beyond the basics, however, by assembling small clusters of people from various departments, inclusion and diversity are key. Meet with these team members and do a simple vision exercise. Ask them, “Ideally, what additional skills would you like to have in your arsenal 2 years from now?” You may need to provide some conversation starters. People want to learn, but they tend to stick to job responsibilities. Two or 3 of these short brainstorming discussions should get you started on your way to an enriching program that you had not envisioned.

    2. Provide deeper dives for those who want to truly master a variety of skill sets.
    Internal company training programs tend to be delivered on a set schedule. You know the drill, webinar Wednesdays and on-boarding every Thursday at 9 am. A terrific 1-year goal is to pair some of your line skills training with deeper dives, for example, a few days after. If you do a basic sales class on Wednesday, offer an optional bonus session early on Friday morning to teach “From Manager to Sales Coach,” or “Deeper Dive into Strategy Around Your Sales KPI’s.” The bottom line is just…give….more so that those team members who want to master their skill sets can get that craving satisfied. Of course, sales is just one example.

    3. Vary your delivery methods to enhance engagement and enrich the learning experience.
    An overwhelming majority of employees want quality training opportunities that teach, engage, and enrich. The goal is to provide training that trumps the desire to make a career move. Making this investment in employee retention requires creative ways to engage and inspire. Try to provide a variety of training delivery methods. You might facilitate collaboration on real projects over Zoom if your company has not returned to work in person. You might teach new procedures through virtual work groups that not only demonstrate new methods but also get the work done. As more people are vaccinated, you may return to additional in-person learning and role play, brainstorming, and group discussions. There is not an exact answer but the key is to provide variety. Pandemic fog, Zoom fatigue, and restlessness are real. No one should dread a training session.

    Over the past year, I’ve heard a few times that, “that certainly did not seem like a 2-hour session, it went so fast and we learned so much.” That’s music to my ears as my team and I have tried our best to make the virtual learning space active and engaging.

    This past year has been a challenge on many fronts. The virtual world continues to require training professionals to flex their creative muscles. It’s up to us to engage, enrich, and diligently strive to help our companies retain the teams around us. This requires the acceptance that, while many employees are not truly happy in their current roles, they will stay if we provide quality learning and development opportunities. It’s a major challenge but, wow, what an opportunity to add value and make a difference as the world of work evolves. These are big trends. Make sure that you listen to what your teams want. Follow that up with a robust response that demonstrates that their voices were heard. Good luck!

    Steve Matre is Vice President of training, marketing, and strategic support for the Mandel Group, a real estate developer and owner in the Midwest. He’s also been in accounting, operations, HR, and revenue management. Steve gives back through committees and boards for the National Apartment Association and Institute of Real Estate Management, and as a writer and speaker. A graduate in Finance and English from the University of Wisconsin, Steve is a CPA, Certified Property Manager, and Professional in Human Resources. Obsessions include books, podcasts, coffee, running, and college football. Reach out to Steve at

    Are you a member with something to share about developing your Career in L&D? Send an email to

  • February 22, 2021 11:35 AM | Anonymous
    Luveta Hill - 2020 Volunteer of the Year

    COVID-19 forced ATDChi, along with the rest of the world, to shut down our face-to-face meeting schedule.  We had to migrate everything over to the online environment - not something we had done much of up until the pandemic struck.

    As we were trying to sort things out, Luveta Hill stepped up and volunteered to learn Zoom and to produce our webinars.

    Over the course of the year she ran 10 webinars, 2 panels, and was a key part of the team that put together ATDChi’s first ever online conference in November.  She finished the year by managing all details of our final two webinars. 

    One sign of the success of our webinar program was that our rate of conversion from registrations to actual attendance topped 75% for two of our last sessions (general average runs in the neighborhood of 45%). 

    For stepping up and leading a successful transition of our programming to the online environment has been named ATDChi’s Volunteer-of-the-Year.  

    Luveta works at DePaul University as the Learning Technology Specialist in the HR Department.

    She says she joined ATDChi “to further enrich my education in the area of learning & development.”  Asked what she appreciates the most about being a member of ATDChi, she responded, “having access to a network of peers who came into the talent development space and the learning & development space from different backgrounds. I am connected to a group of people who approach the same problem from different perspectives to find a resolution that works for all.”

  • September 16, 2020 11:05 AM | Leslie Scarpace

    2020 Annual Chicagoland Talent Development Community Survey Initial Results

    From June 16 to June 30, we conducted the annual survey of our membership, former members, and for the first time, we included talent development professionals who have never been a member of ATDChi. A comprehensive report of the survey results will be made available to ATDChi members in a few weeks, but here are a few highlights.


    On June 16, we sent invitations to participate by email to 4208 talent development professionals throughout Chicagoland and Illinois. On June 23 we sent a reminder to the same group. 122 professionals clicked through the email and started the survey - one participant was disqualified (it was discovered they had answered with nonsense answers and over rode survey navigation) – so we have 121 respondents: 60 members, 28 former members, and 33 never members. The 121 respondents is the second highest for the annual survey given the records available. 141 in 2017 remains the high-water mark for participant.

    Invitation to Participate

    On June 16, the survey was launched with 4,208 email invitations to participate sent out. A reminder to participate was sent to the same lists on June 23.  The survey was closed on June 30.  The 121 responses represent a 2.9% participation rate which is down substantially from 2019 (11.3%).  Much of the difference has to do with the larger population sample this year (2020 average = 4179.5 per round, 746 per round.) Only 19.1% of all invited to participate actually opened the email.

    Value of Member Benefits

    Question 15 asked respondents to evaluate (on a scale of 1 to 100) to what extent do they feel they are getting value for their dues.

    As was the case last year as well, a significant number of respondents said they were getting the value for their dues.  64.0% (32 of 50) gave a score of 70 or higher. 12 scored the value at 100.

    We’ve always asked a question regarding what people think of each of the member benefits individually, but this year we changed up how we asked. In the past, we’ve asked a series of Likert Scale questions for each.  Then we’d compare the averages to each other.  Unfortunately, that usually resulted in all the benefits scoring between 4.2 and 4.5. Which really doesn’t tell us a lot.

    Question 13 asked respondents to indicate which 5 benefits from a list of them they would rate as “Must Have”.  They then were asked to rate which 3 benefits they would rate as “Not Necessary”.

    When we scored the “Must Have’s” with 1 point and the “Not Necessary” with -1 point and then added it all up, the result was a very articulated list of benefits ranked 1 to 15 in accordance with respondents’ preferences.  NOTE: while a ranking like this is helpful in planning, it is not the only factor used in determining which benefits the Board of Directors chooses to keep or how well to fund each.

    Programming: What Are You Working On?

    Finally, for several years now, we’ve asked a question about what respondents are planning on focusing on in their professional development so that we can direct our programming to meet their development needs. In the past, we’ve listed the 13 areas from the ATD Competency Model and asked respondents to indicate which areas they planned to work on in the next year. A bit unwieldy, but it worked.

    This year, ATD has introduced their new Capabilities Model which has 23 capabilities divided into 3 domains. Now a multiple choice question with 23 options was way too much for us to expect we’d get quality answers. So we came up with a new approach.

    So in Questions 22 & 42 (due to branching we had to ask the question twice to capture all respondents) we asked participants to prioritize up to 3 capabilities in each of the domains.  The capabilities for each domain were listed in a drop-down menu from which the participants could choose their answers.

    The results were amazing. We scored 1st priorities with 3 points, 2nd with 2, and 3rd with 1. The result was a highly articulated ranked listing of all 23 capabilities. You can see them with their overall scores listed by the three domains to the right.

    These are just a few of the examples of the data we’re gleaning from this year’s member survey. The full report of the survey’s findings will be available to ATDChi members only in early October. If you’d like to be included and aren’t currently a member, please renew your membership or join ATDChi by going to

  • June 18, 2020 10:35 AM | Leslie Scarpace

    Five Best Practices for Rapidly Transforming Instructor Led Training to Virtual Instructor Led Training

    By Sue Deisinger, Learning Strategy Consultant, The CARA Group

    In today’s COVID-19 environment, learning professionals are being asked to quickly transform Instructor Led Training (ILT) to Virtual-Instructor Led Training (V-ILT). The good news is that most Instructional Designers have the transformation skills needed, and companies have the technologies needed, to support V-ILT. The challenge is the volume of work and the speed at which it must be accomplished.

    The CARA Group has identified Five Best Practices to help accelerate the transformation process.

    1 – Align with Business Strategy

    Start with defining a set of criteria to ensure that the work is aligned with the business strategy to separate the “wants” from the “needs”. Once the true needs are determined, create a prioritized Action Plan. Communicate the results back to the Program Sponsors to manage their expectations. If a program was not prioritized, perhaps the respective Program Sponsor can conduct a simple web-meeting or webinar as an alternative.

    2 – Manage Scope

    Using the prioritized Action Plan, review the program with the Program Sponsor and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Explain the difference between ILT, V-ILT and a Webinar (a webinar requires no activities). Determine whether this will be a simple transformation with no content or learning objective changes or a complex conversion with some content and/or learning objective changes, which will take more time and effort. Agree on a protocol for managing scope, as there is a strong tendency for SMEs to want to change or update content during the conversion process.

    (Continue from Newsletter Here)

    3 – Optimize the Learner Experience: Rich Interactive Training Anytime, Anywhere

    Before jumping into the actual transformation work, it is important to educate the Program Sponsor and the SMEs on the power of V-ILT technologies and how they can be used to create effective learning experiences.

    V-ILT, designed correctly, offers many of the same learner experiences as traditional ILT. Instructors can present mini-lectures, facilitate activities and discussions. Participants can work individually and in small groups, raise their hand to ask questions and use resource material.

    Video projection of both the Instructor and Participants help keep the Participants engaged and accountable, creating “virtual eye contact,” allowing everyone to read facial expressions and body language. Video also brings a personal element to the program, as the members share and view each other’s virtual work environment.

    Content and activity designs can leverage screen-sharing, whiteboards, polling, chat, small group breakouts, games and quizzes. Many V-ILT systems also allow the Instructor to gauge individual and overall group attentiveness at any point with a visual attention indicator.

    Instructional Designers work with the SME’s create a design to ensure that the learners remain engaged during class and help them retain the knowledge and skills afterward.

    4 – Deploying V-ILT: Practical Matters

    Deploying V-ILT requires different types of logistical planning than traditional ILT. Instructor and Participant job-aids are very helpful in guiding them in the use of these unique tools.

    Instructors need to be comfortable and proficient delivering the V-ILT version of the program. Train-the-Trainer programs should include the business reason for converting from ILT to V-ILT, an overview of the new program, a system test, how to use the system features, how to trouble-shoot and an opportunity to practice. On the day of the program, the Instructor should login to the system 15-30 minutes prior to ensure that everything is ready to go. Someone from the learning team should be assigned to support the Instructor during the V-ILT with classroom management, at least for the first few sessions. Participant login issues, late arrivals and technical issues can really distract and rattle a new V-ILT Instructor.

    Participants should be required to do a system test a few days prior to the program. Engage the IT department to support this activity so that they will be ready to quickly answer participant questions. In addition, Participants should find a quiet, dedicated space and login 15 minutes prior to the start of the V-ILT to ensure they are ready for class.

    When scheduling multi-hour programs, plan 30-60 minute breaks for both the Instructors and Participants to allow them to attend to both business and personal matters. Note that Instructors often have follow-up participant questions after the end of the formal session and then need to get ready for the next program.

    5 – Include a Change Management Strategy and Plan

    Managing leaders’, Instructors’ and learners’ expectations is essential for successful transformation to V-ILT. Resistance may show up in limited registrations, no-shows and other non-productive behaviors. A well-executed Change Management strategy can proactively avoid these types of issues. A key element is a robust communication plan for everyone involved, describing the business case for change, the new V-ILT programs, who is impacted, expectations, timelines and contact information. In addition, the strategy should include a plan to measure and report adoption on a routine basis.

    Please connect with us if you could use help with transforming ILT to V-ILT or simply want to talk about your current situation as you ponder next steps. We’re here to help!

  • June 18, 2020 10:02 AM | Leslie Scarpace

    “What can I do?”

    I love that question.

    Over the past few weeks “my girl” and I have heard that question multiple times from our non-African American friends and colleagues who are deeply concerned about racism and want us to know Black Lives Matter. The question has come from successful people with high degrees of empathy. They understand to effect real change, it is not enough to see racism as a problem or feel the pain of others, they must do something.

    Racism in all of its vile, trauma-inducing shapes and forms limits potential and promise at best and destroys livelihoods and lives at its worse. To penalize others based on race is ethically wrong, socially destructive, and morally reprehensible. Racism is also a crime.

    “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”

    - Albert Einstein

    The significance of our racial divide has never been more apparent however, our opportunity to reconstruct the rip in our “social fabric” may never be greater. Talent developers, as usual, are in an optimal position to elevate thinking and influence change.

    World Changing

    Talent developers are world-changing agents who can create an atmosphere of unbridled enthusiasm for social change based on trust, shared values, and mutual accountability. We exert our influence through our vast coaching, training, facilitation, design, and development efforts. Our success as change agents is efficacious.

    Our talent development capabilities and collaboration efforts extend to executives, employees, and entrepreneurs. This provides us with a unique opportunity to build “collective efficacy” by having impactful conversations, and doing meaningful work while taking a trauma-informed approach to ”rebuilding the village”. (Bandura, 1993) (Bell, 2007)

    Ensure Success

    Risk factors are not predictive factors because of protective factors” 

    - Carl C. Bell M.D

    To ensure enduring success we have to reduce racial trauma risk and decrease predictive factors by increasing protective factors in our large systems; child welfare, corrections, criminal justice, education, employment, and healthcare, etc. However, we can strengthen resilience and reduce racial trauma risk factors immediately by modeling these community (village) level protective factor behaviors. 

    • Welcoming “otherness”, by acknowledging, celebrating, and valuing differences in people. 
    • Staying socially connected and bonded with others; being self-aware of our implicit biases, and asking for feedback.
    • Empathizing with others at all three levels; mental (thinking) emotional (feeling), and physical (doing). (Bell, 2000) (Goleman, 2007)

    Ten things we can do today to “Rebuild Our Village”

    1. Hire racially diverse people as employees and contractors.
    2. Coach and train staff on implicit bias, diversity, and inclusion.
    3. Patronize minority businesses and donate to cause supportive organizations.
    4. Demand and advocate for large systems change.
    5. Listen to African Americans and “others” discuss their experiences, feelings, and ideas.
    6. Talk with your family and friends about racism the same in private as in public.
    7. Speak up when you see injustice.
    8. Publicly communicate your support.
    9. Ask how you can help.
    10. Model the behaviors you want to see in others.

    Ten things we can do today to “Rebuild Our Village”

    Finally, if you know there are moments where you could have been better or done better, welcome to the club. As one person puts it, the room for improvement is the biggest room in the house. Apologize sincerely, and focus on how you want people to “feel” going forward.

     “I've learned that people will forget what you said, what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou.

    You may be amazed by how you can make people feel by empathizing and asking What can I do?

    I love that question.

    Let’s continue to build our capabilities and do that world-changing talent development work,



    1. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier Science," Cultivating Resiliency In Youth," Carl Bell, MD, Journal of Adolescent Health, Vol 29, No5, 2001, pp 375-81 by The Society for Adolescent Medicine. Retrieved from 

    2.    Griffin, G., McEwen, E., Samuels, B. H., Suggs, H., Redd, J. L., & McClelland, G. M. (2011). Infusing protective factors for children in foster care. Psychiatric Clinics34(1), 185-203.

    3.    Donohoo, J., Hattie, J. & Eells, R. (2018). The Power of collective efficacy. Educational Leadership. Retrieved from

    4.    Goleman, D. (2007). Emotional intelligence, social intelligence. Retrieved from

  • December 29, 2019 6:01 PM | Anonymous

    By Susan Camberis

    Editor, Training Today

    Most Talent Development (TD) professionals are experts at developing others, but they may not always take the time needed to develop themselves.

    ATDChi’s Winter Conference centered around building personal capabilities, regardless of where participants were at in their careers.  Filled with opportunities to network and connect with others, the hands-on session provided real-time actions that could be implemented immediately.  

    As you prepare to take your career to new heights in 2020, here are 7 stellar take-aways for your consideration:

    1.      Make meaningful connections.  Erich Kurschat, Owner & Connection Coach with Harmony Insights LLC, founder of HRHotSeat, and a self-described introvert, suggested that if connecting is a challenge, consider re-framing connection through a lens of service.  “If you help enough other people, you will get your needs met,” said Kurschat.  The next time you are re faced with the decision “to connect, or not to connect,” choose to connect – and consider how you can be of service to others.   

    2.      Build a network of friends, not just connections.  Callista Gould, Certified Etiquette Instructor and founder of the Culture and Manners Institute, shared tips for building a network of friends, not just connections.  According to Gould, what we look for in our business relationships should mirror what we look for in our friendships. We can evaluate by asking questions like:  Can I count on you?  Are you interested in what I have to say?  Will you put aside your phone and not text or check messages, when you’re with me?

    3.      Own your power and expertise.  In his session called, “How to Master your Value Proposition,” Hayward Suggs, ATDChi President-Elect and Managing Principal of Commonquest Consulting, reminded conference attendees that, “It’s what you say and how you say it.”  Suggs walked participants through an interactive exercise to test out three key aspects of their value propositions: 1. Who you are (Name & Role), 2. What you do (Outcomes vs. Activities), and 3. Why it matters (the WIIFM for the person you’re meeting).

    4.      Coach yourself to higher levels of success.  Dan Johnson, CPC, CNTC, ATDChi Director, Prospective & New Members Experience, and Owner of Performance Mastery, discussed how to use coaching to accelerate your career goals.  Career coaching involves looking inward, looking outward, and looking forward.  “When you’re coaching, everything is possible,” according to Johnson.  Making your career goal a reality requires spending time in both “default mode network” and “task positive network”, which means spending time dreaming, envisioning, and being introspective, as well as planning, focusing on tasks, and working with sensory information.

    5.      Have a plan for networking.  Networks play a critical role in both our personal and professional lives. In their workshop entitled, “The Power of Networking”, Rose Pagliari & Kris Felstehausen shared a four-step approach for building and maintaining your network:  1. Analyze your network and the types of people in it – identify strengths and weaknesses; 2.  Eliminate energy sappers – identify energy-sapping relationships and make plans to minimize these wherever and whenever possible; 3. Build new connections by adding diversity, influencers, and other types of people you might be missing; and 4. Capitalize – make sure you are using your contacts as effectively as you can.

    6.      Always negotiate.  Negotiating a higher compensation package can be an uncomfortable part of the hiring process, and yet, “Companies expect you to ask for more.  They expect you to negotiate.  They don’t expect you to take the first offer,” said Dr. Gia Suggs, ATDChi’s Director, Professional Development Network and owner of Dr. Gia Consulting.  In her session called, “Pay Me (Please…)” Dr. Gia said not negotiating can indicate a lack of sophistication.  Dr. Gia shared research from and techniques based on her own experiences with negotiating salary as both a full-time employee and a consultant.  “In real life, we fear rejection,” according to Dr. Gia.  Until the hiring manager or organization has said “no”, the negotiation is not over.

    7.      Embrace the gig economy.  At some point you may either need or want to join the gig economy.  In her session called, “The Good, the Bad, and the Meh of Working in the Gig Economy”, Gretchen Hartke, owner of Hartke Designs and author of So, you want to join the gig economy… now what?, shared her lessons learned, (sometimes) hard won wisdom, and perspective on how to thrive as an independent learning consultant.  Gretchen cited 2016 research by McKinsey Global Institute that found that most people choose independent work by choice vs. necessity, and that 1 in 6 workers in traditional jobs would like to become independents.

    The end of the year is a natural time for reflection and planning, and we hope the tips and ideas above may be helpful to you as you prepare for the year ahead. 

    For session descriptions and more details on any of the winter conference speakers click here

  • December 29, 2019 5:29 PM | Anonymous

    By Susan Camberis

    Editor, Training Today

    Talent Development (TD) professionals work hard to create training that matters. 

    Gaining insights on how to do this more effectively was the focus of ATDChi’s November webinar with Andy Jefferson, J.D.  Jefferson is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of The 6Ds® Company in Wilmington, Delaware.  An author and frequent and popular global speaker on the subject of turning talent development into competitive advantage, Jefferson is a co-creator of The 6Ds model and author of the bestselling books The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training and Development into Business Results (San Francisco: Pfeiffer, 2006, Second Edition Pfeiffer 2010, Third Edition Wiley 2015). 

    The 6Ds model includes steps that will be familiar to most TD professionals:  Define, Design, Deliver, Drive, Deploy, and Document.  Accounting for all of these in your instruction is one way to achieve breakthrough learning.   

    If you are looking to enhance your learning offerings in 2020, here are 6 bright take-aways to consider:

    1.      Define business outcomes and learning objectives.  Jefferson recommends using learning objectives to communicate with instructional designers, and using business objectives to communicate with sponsors and participants.  To define the goals, behaviors, measures, and results for training, ask four questions:  1.  What business needs will be met? 2. What will participants do differently and better?  3.  What or who could confirm these changes? 4.  What are all the specific criteria of success? 

    2.      Design a complete experience that expands beyond the training itself.  Quality guru and process design expert W. Edwards Deming once said, “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you probably don’t know what you are doing.”  According to Jefferson, reaching higher levels of performance requires looking at learning as a complete experience – one that incorporates preparing, learning, transfer, and achieving results.

    3.      Deliver training in a way that makes learned concepts easy to apply.  As Jefferson astutely points out, “The ‘Knowing/Doing Gap’ is a real issue, when it comes to balancing content and practice.”  Most corporate training has too much content and not enough practice.  Active learning with practice and feedback are essential.  Jefferson recommends looking at your ratio of active practice to passive content.  Adjust so that active learning is 50% or more of training time.

    4.      Drive learning transfer by planning and managing it, rather than leaving it to chance.  Managers can make or break the success of any program.  Equip managers to drive learning transfer by ensuring that they show interest in the training and have a brief conversation with learners before and after training. 

    5.      Deploy performance support to facilitate transfer and application.  Performance support is critical to close the gap between content delivered and content applied, reducing the load on working memory.  For best results, Jefferson suggests combining performance support and accountability.  You can start by reviewing a critical program.  Does your program include performance support?  Provide managers with short, practical guides. 

    6.      Document results, not just activity, and continuously improve training.  Managers want to know:  So what?  And, now what?  Measure what matters to the business!  Did you get impact? is the key question.  To get started, Jefferson recommends discussing a critical program with a business sponsor.  What are their criteria for success? 

    The 6Ds are a set of processes and tools you can apply to create breakthrough learning in your organization. 

    To learn more about how you can apply these concepts to your critical programs in 2020, visit

  • November 03, 2019 12:29 PM | Anonymous

    with Sue McMahon
    November 6 @ 11 am  * Webinar (via Zoom)

    Open to ALL ATDChi members and guests

    TO REGISTER:  Visit

    Bring your own "sticky situations" and coaching ethics questions to this session!

    Many who work in the Talent Development field remain unaware of the importance of ethics when it comes to coaching or using coaching skills to support those they serve. Whether you align with a code of ethics or not, there remains consequences to both the coach and the client when unethical behavior seeps in. Ethical conduct is not just a set of rules, but more importantly an understanding, and a conscious awareness for showing up in all relationships the same way you would with the most important people in your life. 

    After participating in this session, you will be able to:

    • enhance awareness of ethical behavior as a professional who coaches others
    • recognize potential "blind spots" and "pitfalls"
    • describe the value that ethical conduct offers your coaching relationships
    • be aware of the impact unethical behavior has on both you and your coaching clients
    • discover the most common ethical breaches by coaches
    • get answers and guidance on your own sticky situations in coaching others

    This session is brought to you by ATDChi’s Executive, Team, & Group Coaching Professional Development Network (PDN).  ALL ATDChi members AND guests are welcome to attend. 


    Sue has been a professional coach for more than sixteen years working with individuals and organizations.  She has recently been selected for the Circle of Distinction Award given by the International Coach Federation.  Since 2003, Sue has been actively involved with International Coach Federation (ICF) Ethics, devoting a tremendous amount of time and energy to the promotion of professional integrity and ethical coaching practices.  She has served in many different leadership roles including her current role as the Chair of the ICF Ethics Independent Review Board (IRB). Sue remains highly motivated to support the integrity and professionalism of coaching though continued education and promotion of ethical awareness.  Sue is a Professional Board Certified Coach and founder of Living From the Heart LLC based in Northwestern Ohio.  

    TO REGISTER:  Visit    Registration is $10 for all ATDChi members and $20 for guests. 

  • November 03, 2019 11:59 AM | Anonymous

    By Susan Camberis

    Editor, Training Today

    Most Talent Development (TD) professionals are familiar with the concept of scrap learning – the idea that too frequently a high percentage of learning is lost between delivery and application. 

    ATDChi’s October full-day workshop featured Ken Phillips, CPLP, an expert in the area of learning measurement and evaluation.  Familiar to many TD professionals, Phillips is the Founder and CEO of Phillips Associates, a consulting and publishing company that specializes in Predictive Learning Analytics (PLA). 

    According to Phillips, “PLA is a methodology for pinpointing the underlying causes of scrap learning associated with a learning program, using predictive analytics and data, so that targeted corrective actions can be taken to maximize learning transfer.”  It involves three phases: data collection and analysis, solution implementation, and reporting results.  Each phase involves multiple steps all directed at the end goal of reducing scrap learning. 

    Scrap learning, the opposite of training transfer, is a significant business issue because of the amount of wasted participant and Learning & Development (L&D) department dollars it represents.  Research by Brinkerhoff and CEB (now Gartner) suggests that scrap-learning rates typically range from 45% to 85%.  Brinkerhoff also found that typically 15% of any training population would try to apply new learning, regardless of what we do (or don’t do) as TD professionals. 

    PLA “bridges the gap” between training delivery an application by connecting Kirkpatrick’s five levels of learning evaluation.  As shared by Phillips, more than 80% of organizations conduct Level 1 (Reaction, Satisfaction, and Intention) and Level 2 (Knowledge and Retention) evaluations.  About 60% measure Level 3 (Application & Implementation) and about 35% measure Level 4 (Business Impact).  Only 15% attempt to measure Level 5 (Return on Investment).  

    “The beautiful part of PLA is having the opportunity to determine what is driving scrap learning,” according to Phillips.  The methodology can be applied to training, conferences, eLearning, and other types of formal training. 

    If you are interested in reducing scrap learning in your organization, here are 5 smart ideas to consider:

    1. Focus on high-visibility programs. PLA is not needed or appropriate for every program or learning event. Consider events that are planned (not informal), high profile (either costly or strategically important), and will be delivered to a large number of participants (ideally 40 – 60; minimum 20-25).  You will need enough data for initial data calibration.
    2. Take a baseline.  The PLA methodology starts with calculating the organizational cost of scrap learning, including wasted participant and L&D department dollars.  The baseline includes factors such as number of programs delivered per year, average number of participants attending, and estimated percentage of scrap learning.  Phillips has found that most organizations experience scrap-learning rates close to 60%.  If you are applying PLA to an existing program, you can ask learners and managers what percentage of training they believe is actually being used on the job, as a way to more closely estimate up front.
    3. Understand what contributes to learning application.  The PLA methodology creates a Learner Application Index (LAI) for each learner based on 12 factors that center around learning program design, learning attributes, and the learner work environment (i.e., manager support).  By understanding which factors impede and which ones support training transfer for a given program, you can begin to prioritize which factors to focus on to make improvements. 
    4. Remember Ebbinghaus.  The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve suggests that up to 90% of what people have learned is forgotten after 31 days.  When you have LAI data available, you can develop targeted learning reinforcement based on each learner’s needs.    
    5. Determine how you will measure scrap learning.  According to Phillips, there are generally two methods to estimate scrap learning.  The first method and the most popular is simply called “Estimation.”  The ROI Institute purports that estimation can be done using random sample focus groups, interviews, or surveys.  After reminding people what was covered in the training, you ask people to estimate the percentage of program material applied back on the job (0 to 100%), the confidence level of their estimate (0 to 100%), and what obstacles got in the way of applying what they learned.  The second method is to use Level 3 evaluation data (Application & Implementation), however, these results are not always available, and, if the data is not numeric, will not be usable. 

    If your organization is not actively addressing scrap learning, consider learning more about PLA so you can help lead the way.

    To learn more about Ken Phillips and the PLA method visit:  

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