Sunday, March 30, 2008

Small Things by Alvin Toffel

Do you ever think about your “big picture” goal? Are your small daily tasks helping you get there? It is important to know what you want to accomplish and to periodically check to make sure that your daily actions are helping you reach success. Goal setting is an important part of being a great leader. You must learn how to set a long-term goal and break it down into medium and short-term goals. Once you start breaking things down into manageable daily actions, your big goal becomes easier to achieve.

This quote reminds us of the importance of consistency. Although you might feel like you never get a chance to do something “big,” don’t doubt the power of doing small things consistently. The SparkPeople System tells us that it is very important to have a strong foundation and consistency is one way to continuously improve this. Think about your life, do you avoid the small projects because you want to wait for the BIG one? If you do, try to stop avoiding the small things in life. If you put BIG energy into a SMALL task, you can have a HUGE reward!

We should approach life as a learning experience. We can continuously learn and improve ourselves. If we stop leading dynamic lives, we will become bored and goal setting may take a back burner to your routine. As you do the small things consistently, your foundation becomes stronger and it's a lot easier to keep balance in the rest of your life.

Strategy of Giving by Miikka Leinonen

I received an email from the author of "Strategy of Giving". He is giving away his digital book for free. Please go to the following site to download the book. I personally thank the author for his generosity.

HRD/Training/Learning and Development should avail ourselves in Corporate Social Responsibility. This book justify the reasons for corporate involvement. In Carsem, we initiate apprentice program with Ministry of Human Resource and HRDC to sponsor needy school leavers ( for technician program. We are going to take school leavers from different ethnic groups especially aboriginal.

I have involved in SIPI (School Industry Partnership Program) in Penang for six years ( It is sad that the state government pull the plug and provide no funding such a meaningful activities later).

of GIVING is a brilliantly simple theory that explains why companies need to give more to get more. The theory is packed in a simple easy-to-read format with informative graphics. It takes only an hour to read and two hours to master.

Thank you Miikka Leinonen

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mobile Learning

When I was working with Pfizer Malaysia, the IT Director, Tan You Hoe, implemented MOBILE LEARNING. Each of the Medical Sales Personnel is given a PDA for their business transaction as well as mobile learning for medical knowledge and medical training test (Evaluation Level Two).

Maxis Demo

Good Magazine: Nano Learning

Nano Learning is learning in a small bite size. Good Magazine provides a series of video demonstrates the power of Nano Learning. The video is fast paced and impactful. Such video can use for Orientation program and theory acquisition.

UN Millumeum Declaration



Advertisement: Paying For Your Attention

New York Party Launch

Good Magazine: Hillary Clinton

Asia HR Conference 2008 on Talent Management

Conference DetailsWorkshop DetailsProgrammeDownloadsPhotos
Downloads: Manuals & Workbooks
1. Building An Elite Performance Team.pdf 9. Strategic Talent Management.pdf
2. Strategic Workforce Planning & Forecasting Human Capital Needs.pdf 10. Building a Strong Employment Brand to Attract Talent.pdf
3. Linking Competency Management to Talent Development.pdf 11. Exploring Assessment and Development Technologies used in Strategic Talent Management .pdf
4. Global Trends In Talent Acquisition Management.doc 12. Turning Great Strategy into Great Performance.pdf
5. GE Growth cycle Growth As a Process.pdf 13. Effective Coaching and Mentoring Programmes To Grow & Retain Talent.pdf
6. Key Strategies in Identifying and Recruiting Talents.pdf 14. Best Practices In Leading & Managing Employees In Modern Workplace.pdf
7. Talent Management - Don't Forget The B Players.doc 15. What Are Local Organisations Doing About Global Talent Pool.pdf
8. Effective Managing & Developing of Hi-Po In Your Organisation.pdf

Archieve of Asia HR Confress 2007

Downloads: Speakers' Presentation Files
1. A. Subramanian - Competency Development Models 18. Emotional Intellligence.pdf
2. 2b. Octa Melia Jalal - Competency Development Models.pdf 19. Know First - Be First - Profit First.pdf
3. Balanced Scorecard & Implementation & Challenges.pdf 20. Demonstrating the Value of Training Through a Compelling Chain of Evidence.pdf
4. Leadership Development & Strategic Focus and Imperatives for HR.pdf 21. The Convergence of Education & Training (Third Age).pdf
5. Measuring HR Effectiveness.pdf 22. 21st Century Leadership.pdf
6. Creating Your Own Rainbow.pdf 23. Good Boss - Bad Boss.pdf
7. FUN Learning Tools.pdf 24. Talent Management - Don't Forget the B Players.pdf
8. Lateral Thingking.pdf 25. Developing Organisational Capability.pdf
9. The Need for Creative Thinking.pdf 26. Health Risk Prevention Solutions.pdf
10. The Talent War.pdf 27. Marketing And Branding HRD In Your Organisation - The Way Forward.pdf
11. Assessment Centers - Do they really work.pdf 28. Learning in All Contexts.pdf
12. Competency In The World of Today.pdf 29. Leadership and Self Deception.pdf
13. Value Recreation.pdf 30. Learning Beyond the Class.pdf
14. Outsourcing L&D - New Strategies.pdf 31. Its all about ME!!! and Breaking down Challenges.pdf
15. Conscious Organisations Require Conscious Leaders.pdf 32. Leadership Assessment Development.pdf
16. Magic of Conflict - The Psychology of Conflict Management.pdf 33. Leadership Without Borders.pdf
17. The Power of Ren.pdf 34. Tech Based Learning.pdf

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Facilitator as Designer: Smoothing the Way

Free Training Films - Improve Influence Using Language

HRD Profession and The World Is Flat

The World is really flat now. Technology has granted us the power to shape the world, even from individual standpoint. The clear example is Steve Jobs reinvented Apple Mac, Jeff Ooi, Brothe Rocky and other blogger in shaping the public opinion in Malaysia.

In 21st Century, with such technology and communication, the role of human resource development, training and learning at workplace becoming more critical in engineering corporate future. With internet, knowledge is no longer confine to experts in far away land. On the contrary, it is liberated through Web 2.0 like Wikis, web, Blog, Facebook, Webinar and many online tools.

If the profession of Chief Learning Officer plays their cards well, or if the CEO of the organization granted the CLO the power to change, then HRD is the department helping shaping the present and future performance of the organization via performance consulting, training needs, informal learning channels, onlien support, organization development initiation and etc.

So, the world is flat, whether you like it or not.

For you to prerpare for this new landscape, I suggest you read the following topics:

a. Beyond Training
b. Advance Facilitation Skills
c. Internet research
d. Organization development
e. Visit ASTD, CLO Media
f. Join TREV-L
g. Use Facebook to talk to other people
h. Join Webinar by Better, ASTD, CLO< HUman Capital Institutes

Do visit my site at to see my deaprtmental planning from 2005 till 2008

Please think beyond training department boundaries - training and administration. Think profit, performance, business needs, change management. Out HRD in the map of board of director.

Internet: (Management training)

Internet: Newsmap

Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap's objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe.
Newsmap does not pretend to replace the googlenews aggregator. Its objective is to simply demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in news media. It is not thought to display an unbiased view of the news; on the contrary, it is thought to ironically accentuate the bias of it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gallup Press: Book Recommendation

2008 Releases

Who Speaks for Islam?
Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think
By John L. Esposito, Ph.D., and Dalia Mogahed
(Hardcover, March 2008)
Order Now Through or Barnes&

Based on the largest and most in-depth study of its kind, this book presents the remarkable findings of the Gallup Poll of the Muslim World, the first ever data-based analysis of the points of view of more than 90% of the global Muslim community, spanning nearly 40 countries.

John L. Esposito, one of the leading experts on the Muslim world, and Dalia Mogahed, Gallup's executive director of Muslim studies, offer readers an evidence-based understanding of extremism, the role of women in Muslim societies, Islam, and democracy, and what more than a billion Muslims really think about the West.

2007 Releases

Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter
Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter
By John H. Fleming, Ph.D., and Jim Asplund
(Hardcover, October 2007)

In the past, companies have not applied rigor and precision to measuring and managing the "softer," human side of business. That is about to change. Human Sigma reveals that there are right and wrong ways to assess and manage the health of a company's employee and customer relationships. This rigorous new approach -- HumanSigma -- offers a new perspective on organizational performance that hinges on five core principles all great companies must embrace.

The Best of the Gallup Management Journal 2001-2007
The Best of the Gallup Management Journal 2001-2007
Edited by Geoffrey Brewer and Barb Sanford
(Hardcover, December 2007)

Featuring highlights from the first seven years of the Gallup Management Journal, the articles and interviews in this volume cover topics such as winning fickle customers for life, why customer satisfaction is the wrong measure, the best way to get meaningful employee feedback, the 12 elements of great managing, why most advertising doesn't work, and the impact of positive leadership.

The volume includes a range of voices from within and outside of Gallup: a Ritz-Carlton® executive tells how his company is reinventing its world-class brand, while a leader at Ann Taylor® describes how the retailer invests in talent; Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman probes how customers think, while one of the inventors of the Internet, Vinton Cerf, speculates on the future of his creation. To learn more about the Gallup Management Journal, go to

Strengths Finder 2.0
StrengthsFinder 2.0
By Tom Rath
(Hardcover, February 2007)

To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in the 2001 management book Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book spent more than five years on the bestseller lists and ignited a global conversation, while StrengthsFinder helped millions to discover their Top 5 talents.

In StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes, and much more. Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself - and the world around you - forever.

Growing an Engaged Church
Growing an Engaged Church
By Albert L. Winseman
(Hardcover, May 2007)
Order Now Through or Barnes&

For discounted bulk orders of 10 or more copies, or for more information, contact Cinda Hicks at

Church leaders are never going to inspire more people to be actively and passionately involved in their congregations by doing the same things over and over. Pastors and lay leaders need fresh, innovative approaches. The last thing they need is "just another program" or to set up a laundry list of new activities for members.

This compelling and insightful book explores how churches and parishes can dramatically increase members' participation, service to the community, giving, and even life satisfaction. But the solutions it offers are not the "magic pill" many leaders have come to expect. Rather, the book shows pastors how to reach and inspire the hearts, minds, and imaginations of the people they lead.

2006 Releases

12: The Elements of Great Managing
12: The Elements of Great Managing
By Rodd Wagner & James K. Harter
(Hardcover, December 2006)

12: The Elements of Great Managing is the long-awaited sequel to the 1999 runaway bestseller First, Break All the Rules. Grounded in Gallup's 10 million employee and manager interviews spanning 114 countries, 12 follows great managers as they harness employee engagement to turn around a failing call center, save a struggling hotel, improve patient care in a hospital, maintain production through power outages, and successfully face a host of other challenges in settings around the world.

Authors Rodd Wagner and James K. Harter weave the latest Gallup insights with recent discoveries in the fields of neuroscience, game theory, psychology, sociology, and economics. Written for managers and employees of companies large and small, 12 explains what every company needs to know about creating and sustaining employee engagement.

Building Engaged Schools
BUILDING ENGAGED SCHOOLS: Getting the Most Out of America's Classrooms
By Gary Gordon, with Steve Crabtree
(Hardcover, October 2006)
For discounted bulk orders of 10 or more copies, or for more information, contact Gary Evans at

Leaders of American schools are approaching a crossroads. They can continue to struggle with outdated assumptions and increasingly demoralizing workplaces, or they can step back and reexamine what students must take away from schools to fulfill their potential in life -- and what teachers need to help them get it. Building Engaged Schools makes the case that it's time for students, teachers, and schools to reorient the learning process around better understanding -- and use -- of the strengths of individuals.

Vital Friends
VITAL FRIENDS: The People You Can't Afford To Live Without
By Tom Rath
(Hardcover, August 2006)

For years, employers have discouraged close friendships at work, when in fact they should do the exact opposite. From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller How Full Is Your Bucket? and based on a new "Vital Friends Assessment," Vital Friends helps readers identify the friendships that make their work and home life more positive and productive.

2005 Releases

Teach With Your Strengths
TEACH WITH YOUR STRENGTHS: How Great Teachers Inspire Their Students
By Rosanne Liesveld and Jo Ann Miller, with Jennifer Robison
(Hardcover, October 2005)

For discounted bulk orders of 10 or more copies, or for more information, contact Gary Evans at

What do great teachers do differently? They make the most of their natural talents and don't strive to be well-rounded. In the award-winning Teach With Your Strengths, you'll hear from great teachers, many of whom reveal their unorthodox -- and sure-to-be-controversial -- approaches. You'll gain key insights gleaned from 40 years of research into great teaching. And, you'll take an online assessment that reveals your Signature Themes of talent.

Married To The Brand
MARRIED TO THE BRAND: Why Consumers Bond With Some Brands for Life
By William J. McEwen
(Hardcover, November 2005)

Order Now

Married to the Brand tells the story of what makes profitable brand relationships work -- through the eyes of the consumer, not the marketer. Packed with stories and compelling discoveries from a worldwide consumer database, this book explores why people form deep emotional connections with some brands and not others.

2004 Release

How Full Is Your Bucket?
HOW FULL IS YOUR BUCKET?: Positive Strategies for Work and Life
By Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D.
(Hardcover, fall 2004)

The #1 New York Times Bestseller: Order Now

Order the Educator's Edition

Organized around a simple metaphor of a dipper and a bucket, How Full Is Your Bucket? shows how even the smallest interactions we have with others every day profoundly affect our relationships, productivity, health, and longevity.

2003 Release

Living Your Strengths
LIVING YOUR STRENGTHS: Discover Your God-Given Talents and Inspire Your Community
By Albert L. Winseman, D. Min., Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., and Curt Liesveld, M.Div.
(Hardcover, fall 2004)
Order Now Through or Barnes&

For discounted bulk orders of 10 or more copies, or for more information, contact Cinda Hicks at

Even in a country as religious as the United States, many people feel disengaged from their faith communities. More than half report that they don't get the opportunity to do what they do best in their congregation. Living Your Strengths shows people how to identify and affirm their talents, use them for growth and service, and discover their true calling.

Inchone's Achievement in Carsem on LMS Implementation

Customer: Carsem Manufacturing, China

The Requirement

Carsem needs a new training system that allows users online access to training content related to different parts of the manufacturing process. Carsem realized that its existing computer-based training system was insufficient to address the needs of their workers.

To achieve better and more effective training results, Carsem required a standards compliant, web-based Learning Management System for online learning, which is highly flexible, expandable and provides ease of use for over thousands of employees. Further, the new system must carry over the records and information contained within the earlier dated system.

The Solution

Through the deployment of the Inchone i3Corporate Learning Management System, the disadvantages of the current system were removed and Carsem now had the power and flexibility of learning over the Internet/Intranet without losing its past records.

The system not only provides for powerful support to human resource management with scheduled generation of complex and detailed reports such as Training Statistics and Learning Status Reports but also empowered Carsem employees to take command of their own learning development.

More Testimonies

LMS Comparison Table

Summary of Features:


i3corporate i3campus

Course Management

Content Creation

Create, edit and manage courses and assessments easily and accurately through an easy to learn interface.

Yes Yes Yes

Coursework Creation

Increase learning retention by supplementing course-wares with assignments such as written essays and report writing.

- Yes Yes

Grade Set Management

Create grade sets that can be used to assess the level of a student’s competency at a particular task.

- Yes Yes

Learning Object Repository

Share learning objects between trainers and instructors to improve the quality of learning programs.

- Yes -

Question Bank

Create whole new assessments from a list of questions shared amongst trainers and instructors.

- Yes -

User Management

Manage Users

Create, edit and delete user accounts.

Yes Yes Yes

Manage Classes

Easily locate and extend the learning durations of students in different courses.

Yes Yes Yes

Manage User Groups

Organize your students by categorizing them into appropriate user groups.

- Yes Yes

Create Sub-Administrators

Custom-made sub-administrator roles with access rights specific to your needs.

- Yes Yes

For a complete comparison table, please click here.

Post Your Digital Portfolio

Digital Portfolio of Laurence Yap

Great Support from Singapore LMS Vendor: Inchone Pte Ltd

Our company has been embarking LMS for Operator training since 2007. The earlier work is focus on certification training for 8000 frontline employees in Malaysia and China. During this phase of development, we are happy with the commitment of anny and Yap from Inchone Pte Ltd of Singapore. The cost they are charging us is reasonably competitive to local market.

We are entering 2nd phase of development for technicians and engineers.In this phase, morwe work need to be done as we would like to look into TNA, 3rd level evaluation, e-Learning, succession planning and etc.

They won an awayd from Microsoft as Microsoft ISV Partner of the Year 2007.

The ISV Partner of the Year Award 2007 seeks to recognize the ISV that has achieved early adoption for emerging technologies, provided strong project pipeline and a proven track record of collaboration and achieving wins on Microsoft platform

Technology adoption, Revenue & advocates are the key criteria in selecting this year winner


Founded in the year 2000, Inchone Pte Ltd initiated its operations as an e-Learning solutions provider. Today, we are recognized as a well-established vendor providing advanced e-Learning and IT solutions to organizations and serving as a technology partner to institutions where they can concentrate on their core business.


Appreciative Inquiry and Strength-Based Systems

Appreciative Inquiry

Tim Sanders
Is love really all you need? Tim Sanders, director of Yahoo's in-house think tank, believes love is the crucial element in the search for personal and professional success. In Love Is the Killer App he explains why. Sander's advice is to be a "lovecat," which despite the cutesy moniker is his sincere and surprisingly practical prescription for advancement both inside and outside the office. It starts with amassing as much usable knowledge as possible, which he explains can be done by religiously carving out time to read and then poring through as many cutting-edge books in your field as possible. It follows with an emphasis on networking to the extreme. Sanders offers concrete suggestions, from compiling a super list of contacts to ensuring all are regularly stored in an always-accessible format. And he concludes by advocating a true mindset of compassion, which he says involves sharing this knowledge with those contacts and ultimately helping anyone who in one way or another may ultimately help you. Through identifiable anecdotes and specific recommendations, the book promotes an undeniably feasible yet decidedly offbeat program that has worked for the author and could prove equally favorable for others who apply it. --Howard Rothman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly
Remember when the online biz was the playground of the business world? Yahoo! exec Sanders does, and with a vengeful nostalgia. In his almost dementedly excited book on how to get ahead in business by being loveable and smart, Sanders beats the drum of the New Economy louder and more happily than just about anyone out there. The "Big Statement" here Sanders is a proponent of reading as much as possible and boiling it down to an essential Big Statement is that a kill-or-be-killed mentality won't get you far in today's business environment. Better to spread love, by connecting with people, giving out advice, using every available moment to increase your knowledge and being a "lovecat." It's hard not to get swept up by the rose-colored glow of this gleaming "bizlove" philosophy, where people are excited to come to work and where they give out hugs and encouragement to everyone they come across. But being a lovecat, Sanders emphasizes, does not mean being a sucker. Naturally, as with most hype, the relentlessly upbeat narrative leads to some ridiculous overgeneralizations, like "during the Depression people worried about survival. Today the affluent worry about whether or not they are going to have a good experience." Sanders also vastly overestimates the availability of choice in today's job market, saying that if your boss isn't reciprocating your love, just get a new job ("A fresh start is a mouse click away"). These lapses aside, he is convincing. Cynics will argue that a sheep in a pack of wolves will simply be eaten, but a sheep armed with Sanders's brand of intelligent enthusiasm will more likely charm the wolves into submission.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 69 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars Add Value to Your Work Life, March 19, 2002
By David E. Rogers (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Somewhere along the line, I decided I didn't want to be a big shot. I didn't want to bulldoze coworkers and employees. I didn't want to climb the corporate ladder at the expense of others. I didn't want to abuse people the way I'd been ill-treated by certain employers. Human values seemed more important. I wanted to treat my customers, employees, coworkers and bosses with respect and--dare I say it?--love.

I'll forever be grateful to whoever steered me in this direction--for I soon found that work was much more fulfilling and fruitful when I cared for those with whom I worked.

According to Tim Sanders, author of Love is the Kller App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends, that makes me a "lovecat." And you can be one too.

That's the thrust of this delightful little book by Sanders, Chief Solutions officer at Yahoo!. Pointing to the great social changes of our time, Sanders sees love as the killer way to add value to our business and personal lives.

Happily for his readers, Sanders sees "business love" in clear, behaviorial terms. No fuzzy-wuzzy, feel-good exhortations here. Sanders gets right down to business: Bizlove, he says, is "the act of intelligently and sensibly sharing your intangibles with your bizpartners."

And what are those intangibles? I'm glad you asked, my friend:

Our KNOWLEDGE, everything we've learned and everything we continue to learn. Sanders says we learn most from books--and he advocates reading as many as possible. (Amazon must love him!) But it's not just reading. We're encouraged to mark up our books in ways that help us grab their "Big Thoughts" so we can add value to our work and that of others. To Sanders, information is meant to be shared with as many people as possible.

Our NETWORK, our incredible web of relationships, biz and personal. It's not just what we know that adds value to our lives and the lives of others, it's who we know. And, like information, relationships bring value to everyone when they are shared. Sanders boldly advocates being something like a flesh-and-blood "home page" with links to all kinds of value-adding relationships.

Our COMPASSION, the ability to reach out to others with warmth and regard--to go beyond the safety of biz-as-usual interactions.

By sharing these three things with our bizpartners, says Sanders we not only add value to the lives of others but to our own.

What's best about Love is the Killer App? First, it's Sanders' unabashed enthusiasm and energy. His excitement at learning how love can transform biz life is infectious and genuine. The text bubbles with his desire for us to experience its power for ourselves. I found it endearing and sincere when taken in small doses. This is not a book to rush through! It's exercise more for the heart than the head.

Second, Sanders is eminently practical throughout the book. He doesn't leave us with "teddy bear" admonitions to love. Nope--his focus is on application. Here's HOW you share your knowledge, here's HOW you build and share your network, here's HOW you show compassion to others. You'll find yourself nodding in agreement every time--"Yep, I can do that." Or something like that, for Sanders readily admits that, say, the way he "cliffs-and-tags" books may not work for everyone.

In the interest of full-disclosure, I must admit that I was primed for this book because of my own experience and perspective. And Sanders and I have conversed by e-mail a few times. (The guy practices what he preaches!) So this may not be the most objective review you'll find!

If you're interested in more on the subject of love in the bizworld, I can suggest these outstanding books, all available here at Amazon: Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness by Robert Greenleaf (a classic), Leadership Is an Art, movingly written by the legendary Max Depree of Herman Miller and Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership by James Autry.

Performance Communication Skills

Beyond the Classroom: How to Use Informal Learning

Executive Briefings

Published January 2008

Beyond the Classroom: How to Use Informal Learning

Lindsay Edmonds Wickman

With the advent of Web 2.0, the accessibility of the Internet and increasing globalization, informal learning is becoming more of the norm in the corporate environment. As a result, corporate educators need to embrace learning that’s happening beyond the classroom and incorporate it into their training initiatives.

In the 1990s, corporate learners were sitting in a classroom listening to an instructor lecture. Now these same learners are taking control of their own education.

“The Internet is obviously a big driver,” said Dennis Kilian, vice president and a learning specialist at Safari Books Online, an electronic reference library with expert content. “Fifteen years ago, you certainly went out and did [research], but you would have to go to the library, look something up, [or] talk to one of your associates. Today, anybody who has access to a terminal PC [or] to the Internet via a mobile device has immediate access.”

Another reason companies are resorting to informal learning programs is because their employees are scattered across the nation or even the globe, leading to the need for a more accessible, universal training initiative.

“You talk about forcing jobs overseas, for instance, and you have people then who are managing these diversified departments, not just from a competency perspective, but also from a geographic perspective,” Kilian said. “It’s becoming more and more difficult to put together a structured program, where you can just bring people together and run them through a curriculum. Instead, what you’re talking about is people who work across the world — different time zones, different cultures, different languages — and you have to provide more of a ubiquitous resource.”

Formal learning typically happens within a classroom and has a defined curriculum, whereas informal learning can happen anywhere at anytime in any location and is initiated by the learner.

“When you talk about adult learning, [or informal learning], you’re talking about internally motivated learning,” Kilian said. “I’m trying to either progress personally or professionally, and as a need arises, I will go find the information I need because I’m motivated to do that. I’m not going to wait for somebody to put a course or some form of instructor-led training in front of me.”

The caveat to informal learning is making sure employees are going to reliable sites on the Internet. The best way to ensure this is to subscribe to an online reference library or create a database on the company’s intranet, where employees can obtain pertinent information via trusted Web sources.

The advantages of informal learning include the timeliness of it, the productivity of it and the immediate career development that occurs. However, companies need to think creatively about assessment tools for informal learning. The answer may be aligning courseware or training materials with informal learning sources, so that employees can visit Web sites, read them and then take tests that capture their understanding. Another possibility is to have employees learn an idea informally, but then test that knowledge through a practical application such as a lab.

“The issue that you might have with informal learning is how you measure that,” Kilian said. “What’s the assessment at the end of the day? When you talk about corporate learning, typically what we want to know is, are people learning what we want them to learn in order to develop the competencies within the organization that we need to differentiate ourselves. Is there some sort of a certification process? Is there a test they take at the end? How do we capture that in our learning management system? There’s a gap there.”

As always, a varied and diversified learning strategy with both informal and formal learning is always best. It can’t be all informal learning, and it can’t be all formal learning.

“I think you’re always going to have that blended learning environment,” Kilian said. “The key there is how do they [different methodologies] work together and what’s optimal in any particular organization.”

Lindsay Edmonds Wickman is an associate editor for Chief Learning Officer magazine. She can be reached at


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