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  • February 22, 2018 11:51 PM | Anonymous

    By Susan Camberis
    Editor, Training Today

    ATDChi’s January kick-off event on January 18, 2018 featured a compelling discussion about global communication with ATDChi Presidential Advisor and long-time Board Member, Stephanie (Leese) Emrich. 

    Stephanie’s organization, Service Speaks Solutions, infuses the sought-after language of hospitality to non-hotel organizations.  During her talk with ATDChi, Stephanie shared stories from a lifetime spent in the service industry.  The main question she posed for attendees was:  How do we connect with each other universally?

    • 1.     Know your audience.  Stephanie has worked extensively with teams in Saudi Arabia, developing 180 hours of content for a project she was leading.  She shared the importance of understanding how to present content that will resonate with your particular global audience.  Through her project, Stephanie learned that listening was more valued than reading, reading was more highly valued than writing, and that her audience was highly visual and very hands on.  This information allowed Stephanie to tailor her content in a way that would be most impactful. 

    • 2.     Know the culture.  In her extensive work with the University of the Bahamas, Stephanie learned about the strong influence of tradition on the Bahamian people.  Almost 8 in 10 jobs in the Caribbean are related to tourism, and employees are eager to learn, according to Leese.  Stephanie shared how she found empathy and being genuine as two qualities that come very naturally to employees there.

    • 3.     Understand where you’re coming from.  Stephanie’s global experiences have given her a unique “outside in” perspective on the U.S.  She described that our focus on demographics and the pressure from numerous angels to succeed, don’t seem to exist in the same way in other places.  Those from the U.S. tend to be more perfectionistic and frequently demonstrate “unrelenting enthusiasm” when a particular topic strikes a chord. 

    • 4.     Know when accreditations matter.  Stephanie is the only service professional in our area who is “China Ready & Accredited”, a special designation given to select product and service providers that Chinese consumers can trust.  She shared that Chinese customers tend to value quality and unique experiences over quantity.  It is one of the reasons that China Disney has a more significant focus on interactive character experiences than Disney’s other parks.  Chinese customers want to “take the selfie,” according to Leese. 

    • 5.     Speak clearly…and use less industry-specific jargon and colloquialisms.  Americans tend to speak very fast and use a lot of jargon, which often makes for more challenging communication when working globally.  Be aware and use less when you can.

    Ultimately, according to Leese, “We are people wherever we are.”  An important question to always ask is:  How are you connecting in a deeper way to everyone you are serving? 

    When you stay present and focus on moments that matter to customers, you will be a more effective global communicator. 

  • January 30, 2018 4:41 PM | Anonymous

    As the next session of ATDChi's Workplace Learning & Performance Institute is approaching, we have an interview with a recent graduate here on the blog. Ben Cardenas, Leadership Development Specialist at Lexington Health Network,  completed the program in 2016. Ben and has shared his experience with us. Thank you, Ben!

    Q: Please tell us a bit about your experience and why you decided to pursue WLPI.

    A: At the time when I decided to pursue WLPI, I had recently transitioned back into learning and development. I spent most of my career in the banking industry and have held various positions such as retail banking manager, banking operations, and learning and development. I wanted to expand my knowledge in the field mainly to understand training and learning theories further.


    Attending WLPI was such a precious and rewarding experience. I learned a great deal of new industry specific information but also discovered how to continue to stay current with trends in adult learning. During WLPI I learned more about human performance improvement, I discovered different methodologies and approaches to learning design and incorporated new techniques into my facilitation style. WLPI was more than just a seven-week program; it was an experience that has served me and will continue to help me to grow in our field.

    Q: What was your biggest "aha" moment in the program?

    A: During WLPI my biggest “aha” moment was realizing that a trainer is more than just a trainer. We are consultants and designers; I learned how to shift my mindset and my approach from a facilitator/trainer to the mentality of a consultant that can facilitate but also discover and recommend learning solutions.

    Q: It's been over a year since your WLPI graduation, how has this experience influenced your work/career/professional trajectory?

    A: WLPI influences me on a daily basis. Having the opportunity to spend seven weeks with learning professionals gave me the chance to build a reliable network that I can tap into for advice. WLPI has also given me the tools to continue to grow in my career; Since then, I have transitioned into a role that focuses on the development of leaders in my organizations. I have the tools and confidence, thanks to WLPI, to identify training solutions and influence leaders to continue to learn and develop. Since my WLPI graduation, I have also been pursuing other opportunities to continue to learn and grow professionally. I am now working on my APTD certification.

    Q: Were there any other benefits of the program not directly related to what you learned/skills your acquired?

    A:  An opportunity to join the ATDChi Board!

    Q: Any advice you would give to those who are considering WLPI?

    A: Have an open mind, have fun, and participate. Anyone who attends WLPI regardless of their background, has so much to contribute that can help other attendees learn and grow. Take advantage of this rewarding experience. Even if it’s only a refresher for you, it will give you a chance to meet many talented and wonderful professionals.

    I am a believer that learning never stops; regardless of our roles in the professional industry we always have the opportunity to learn and continue to develop our skills.

    Learn more about WLPI and register here.

  • January 14, 2018 4:05 PM | Anonymous

    As we kick off 2018, our first blog post of the year is a welcome message from this year's Chapter President Anthony Dudek. Thank you, Anthony!

    We’re looking at a great year filled with events and learning and I invite you to join us for what will surely be one of our best years yet.  I personally am very grateful for the chance to lead such a dynamic team for such a great Chapter! Our compass is Advance, Build, Connect, and Engage and this is how we’ll be living that in the coming year. Our goal is to be the Chicago area’s one-stop shop for all things talent development. How can we help you achieve your dreams?

    We will continue our work in advancing the science and the art of talent development in the Chicago area. That’s really at the core of what we do. Ensuring that ATD’s Competency Model and its Areas of Expertise is widely understood and used in the Chicago area is a multi-year mission of our Chapter.

    We reach out to the larger community in the Chicago area building relationships with companies, our sponsors, our fellow associations through the Chicago Alliance, and of course the universities that we partner with to bring the message home to Chicago’s students.

    We connect on a personal level with our members through a variety of methods. If you come out to one of our events this year make sure that you meet our very active Board Members who want to hear about your ideas and needs for our Chapter and for our profession.

    We will engage with our membership and with the larger Talent Development Community by our activities we promote: our Mentoring program, the Events that we design, and the Workplace Learning and Performance Institute.

    All the best,
    Anthony Dudek, MS, CPLP
    President 2018
    Chicagoland Chapter ATD

  • November 08, 2017 11:33 AM | Anonymous

    Experienced and trusted. Two words that apply to the benefits of the ATDChi Mentoring Program. This is where talent grows.

    The ATDChi mentoring program is looking to expand services by adding another dimension to the mentoring program. It's called peer mentoring. And we need your help.

    Peer Mentoring brings together peers with similar learning interests or needs. It takes responsibility for  crafting its own agenda and for managing the learning process. So that each member's mentoring needs are met and everyone derives maximum benefit from each other's knowledge, expertise, and experience.

    If you are an expert in forming and administering social media groups (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Basecamp), we'd like your help in making ATDChi Peer Mentoring begin to soar.

    Email us at atdchimentor@gmail.com. You will receive a response in 2 to 3 days.

    Thank you for your future participation.

    ATDChi Mentoring Committee

  • August 08, 2017 3:36 PM | Anonymous

    Online, advance registration closes soon for the 2017 Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase. Don't miss your chance to attend this year's event!

    The full-day conference will begin with a keynote session by Connie Malamed, the eLearning Coach. Then, you can choose from 22 breakout sessions presented by 38 speakers in 4 time slots. You'll return to work with inspiration and new skills to make your eLearning projects more effective.

    You're also invited to a special after-party to help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Showcase. After the conference, stay to network with other industry professionals, play trivia hosted by ComedySportz, and enter a special prize drawing. Appetizers are included, and a cash bar is available.

    Learn More

    Registration Deadlines

    ·  Tuesday, August 8: Deadline for registering to have your specific lunch order guaranteedif you have any special dietary requirements, please register by August 8.

    ·  Sunday, August 13: Deadline for advance, online registration

    ·  Tuesday, August 15: Onsite registration for a limited number of people available at the event; onsite registrants cannot be guaranteed a lunch.

    If you register onsite, you may need to purchase a lunch from the café at the conference center.

    Reserve your seat today for the conference, the after-party, or both.Register now!

    We can't wait to see you on August 15 at the NIU Naperville Conference Center.

  • July 11, 2017 10:17 AM | Thomas West (Administrator)

    It’s summer, time to gain new skills!

     If you are looking to elevate your organizational change management skills ChangeFit 360 can help!

    We offer expert training solutions that build the critical behavior, the muscle, that you need to fuel organizational change.

    We are offering a 10% discount to ATDChi members for our ChangeFit Boot Camp course if you register by September 30, 2017!  Please note, we require a minimum of 8 attendees for each class.

    This course was recently awarded the professional designation of ACMP QEP™ Course  that satisfies the educational requirement for the Certified Change Management Professional ( CCMP™) designation and also  provides 2, one hour coaching sessions after the class to reinforce your learning!

    For more information on the course check out  https://changefit360.com/change-fit-boot-camp and contact Michelle Yanahan at michelle@changefit360.com or 630.251.1755.

    About ChangeFit360

    Looking to grow your organizational change management skills?  Let ChangeFit 360 help!

    We offer expert training solutions that build the critical behavior, the muscle, that you need to fuel organizational change. Instructor led and web based solutions that fit all time and budgetary needs.

    Contact Michelle Yanahan today to learn more at michelle@changefit360.com or 630.251.1755

    [A benefit of membership in ATDChi, members who offers ATDChi members discounts may advertise them at ATDChi in our Chatter Newsletter and the ATDChi.org website free of charge.]

  • July 11, 2017 12:25 AM | Thomas West (Administrator)

    New President-Elect Anthony Dudek, CPLP

    I am happy to announce that at the July 6, 2017 ATDChi board meeting, we unanimously elected Anthony Dudek, CPLP to fill the vacant position pf 2016 President-Elect. Anthony will serve as ATDChi’s 2017 President. Anthony had been serving as ATDChi’s Representative to the Alliance of HR Organizations.

    Watch for the next Chatter newsletter to learn more information about Anthony.

    Is an ATDChi Board of Directors position right for you?

    ATDChi is approaching its annual elections. A nominations committee is forming to identify and recruit members to serve in the positions of President-Elect, VP of Membership, VP of Programming, VP of Marketing and VP of Finance to lead the 2018 Board of Directors.

    ATDChi is only able to operate through the efforts of a dedicated member volunteers. ATDChi members give back to the TD profession with many different commitments. Some of you give time to support single events; others work on teams and task forces working on a single project. A small number commit to give their time to the chapter for a whole year as directors in charge of various functions. The elected board makes the greatest commitment of time and effort. I hope you will think about being part of the ATDChi team at one of these levels.

    I have served in all these capacities at first working on a task force to have ATDChi perform community service and now serving as president

    What’s in it for you? I can report that you get to meeting and working with a wide range of TD professionals who serve in many different roles in our industry. I have worked with volunteers who are full-time employees and as independent consultants. I have served with TD managers, instructional designers, instructors, e-learning developers and others cover the full range of the ATD Areas of Expertise. Working with these people served as a super-networking opportunity.

    I also gained skills beyond my current role. I had the opportunity join teams of TD professionals who assisted me to gain skills in many different areas and who served as coaches and mentors. I also met and worked with TD professionals serving on ATD chapters throughout the US.

    However, the greatest payback has been the knowledge that I was advancing, building and connecting the TD profession and community in Chicagoland.

    I hope you will consider joining us in a small or large capacity, including considering running for n elected position. If you are interested, you should come to an ATDChi event; come to our mega-networking event on July 20th at one of our four locations. You can meet and ask your fellow members about their experiences serving ATDChi.

    Of course you can contact me or any of the other board members; you will find their contact information at atdchi.org on the Board of Director’s Page.

  • June 20, 2017 9:17 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to ATDChi's Gold Sponsor,The CARA Group, Inc., a human performance consulting firm specializing in custom learning, organizational change management, and technical communication solutions, which announced it has been named to the Top 20 2017 Content Development Companies Watch List from TrainingIndustry.com

    Training Industry has announced its 2017 Top 20 Content Development Companies Watch LIst, as part of its mission to continually monitor the training marketplace for the best providers of training services and technologies.

    Selection to the 2017 Content Development Watch List was based on the following criteria:

    • Industry visibility, innovation, and impact
    • Capability to develop and deliver multiple types of content
    • Company size and growth potential
    • Depth and breadth of subject matter expertise
    • Quality of clients
    • Geographic reach

    “This year’s Watch List includes an exciting group of companies pushing the development of new programs to deliver impactful improvements in employee performance. Each of these organizations has impressive capabilities that can improve employee learning in corporations around the world.” – TrainingIndustry.com

    “CARA is thrilled to maintain our leadership role in the category of content development and demonstrate our long term sustainability in this category.   With the fast changing training market and evolving needs of the adult learner, CARA will continue to invest in development of effective and progressive training content development,” shared Tina Jandris, CARA’s COO.

    This is the fourth year CARA has been recognized on the Content Development Top 20 and Watch List including 2014, 2015, and 2016.  CARA also has been a Top 20 company winner for the Workforce Development list for four years.

    TrainingIndustry.com is focused on helping dedicated business and training professionals get the information, insight and tools needed to more effectively manage the business of learning.

     About CARA

    CARA helps employees adapt to changes, learn new skills and abilities, and align on expectations.  In short, CARA consulting solutions help people perform.  We are thought partners, strategists, designers, developers, technologists, trainers and technical writers, with deep expertise in the human side of business performance.

    Because the best way to develop the business is to develop the people who make it work.

    To learn more about CARA, please contact Martha Watt at 630.869.1951 or contact us at 866.401.2272 or online at www.caracorp.com.

  • June 06, 2017 9:18 AM | Thomas West (Administrator)

    ATD has produced another successful International Conference and Exposition: ATD 2017 in Atlanta, May 22 through May 25,. The major topic of the conference, as presented in the opening speech by Tony Bingham, ATD's President & CEO, was Microlearning. Modern learners do not want long training sessions presenting large blocks of content in ways controlled by the instructional designer. Wherever possible, instructional designers should breaking content into "bite-sized" chunks requiring at most 10 minutes--4 to 6 minutes is best--and then providing the learner with a learning path suggesting the order the learner might follow through them; but the learner is allowed to control their own flow through the content. 

    Video should be used to the greatest extent possible. The model is YouTube, where the viewer is able to able to find streaming videos on whatever topic they need when they need it.  This is the model established by Linda.com a leader in self-directed learning where a course of study has a recommended playlist of video modules.   

    Of course, the content must be viewable on multiple platforms, mobile phone, tablet and desktop computer.  

    My focus during the conference was on the Science of Learning track. Advances in neuroscience has allowed us to peer inside what used to be the "black box," called our brain. Research presented showed how our the areas of the brain that relate to our physical body are triggered by our emotions; for example. when we perceive unfairness, the part of the brain associated with the physical response of disgust to things like rotten food are activated.  These emotional responses are fast and dominant because the primary focus of our brain and body continues to be, like our ancient ancestors, the ability respond to threat.  The cognitive areas of our brain (the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex) acts as a brake to the emotional response.

    Therefore, instructors and instructional designers support learning by ensuring the cognitive portions of our learners brains are not constantly engaged in "applying the brakes". Among the ways TD professionals can do this is to consider the brain's (the whole brain, emotional and intellectual) preference for consistency, clarity, certainty and no change (the 4C). Of course, learning cannot really occur without disrupting at least one, and probably all of these. It is our challenge to construct instruction that disrupts these 4Cs  and still keep the learner engaged and learning.  

    It has generally believed that high stress is the enemy of our ability to learn.  In fact, high stress has been shown to cause atrophy in the pre-frontal cortex, reducing its ability to control emotional-reactive brain responses.  One of the keynote speakers, Kelly McGonigal of Stanford University, presented her work on how to make stress, even high stress become a positive contributor to learning and to life in general.  First we must change our thinking of stress as good or bad; rather it should be considered necessary and unnecessary.  Unnecessary stress is usually stress we impose on ourselves--we imagine the worst, let our egos become overly sensitive, etc. Recognizing this allows us to "let it go".  

    Then we are ready to address the necessary stress and change our view to seeing it as a challenge. We can apply resiliency, control of our physical response (applying our cognitive "brakes" to the emotional response) and getting social support to produce positive outcomes.  These can be learned and practiced.  

    There were hundreds of other educational sessions, career planning sessions available.  

    Finally, a special thanks to Caveo Learning who, for the fourth year, sponsored the ATDChi Happy Hour.  Attendees from Chicagoland and beyond had a great time.  

  • June 04, 2017 1:29 PM | Anonymous
    Prestigious list highlights ‘strongest providers of content development.’

    Congratulations to ATDChi’s Gold Sponsor, Caveo Learning, a consulting firm providing learning strategies and solutions to the Fortune 500 and other leading organizations, for being named to Training Industry Inc.’s 2017 Top 20 Content Development Companies List.

    Selection to the list is based on the following criteria:

    • Industry visibility, innovation, and impact
    • Ability to develop and deliver multiple types of content
    • Company size and growth potential
    • Depth and breadth of subject matter expertise
    • Quality of clients
    • Geographic reach

    The prestigious list is designed to help organizations search for the right learning content development partner.

    “The content development segment of the corporate training market is one of the most active and sought-after,” says Doug Hayward, CEO of Training Industry Inc. “This list highlights the strongest providers of content development, who are able to transform the learning experience on their proficiency in learning technologies and the depth of their subject matter expertise.”

    Caveo offers the full spectrum of training content solutions, from instructional design services to full creative design and development and custom learning technologies. Modalities include instructor-led training, virtual ILT, digital learning experiences (eLearning), HTML 5, video, simulations, job aids, virtual and augmented reality, and all manner of blended learning.

    To create a more engaging learner experience, Caveo has recently begun taking a fresh, immersive approach to digital training content creation. Gone is “the box”—the default eLearning frame—in favor of a frameless design that uses more of the browser window for better readability and cleaner layouts. “Traditional eLearning places too much emphasis on navigating through the course, rather than focusing on the important content...so we got rid of the Next button,” says Chris Balmes, Caveo’s creative director. “Instead, our courses use intuitive scrolling, pushing users forward as a result of their interactions. By changing our point of view to consider development from the perspective of the end user, we’re able to create an experience that is more engaging and which focuses the learner’s attention squarely where it belongs—on the content.”

    For more information about Caveo Learning, visit www.caveolearning.com.

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