Monday, November 24, 2008

THE HARD FACTS About Soft Skills

THE HARD FACTS About Soft Skills

  • A survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council found that although MBA’s were strong in analytical aptitude, quantitative expertise, and information-gathering ability, they were sorely lacking in other critical areas that employers find equally attractive: strategic thinking, written and oral communication, leadership, and adaptability.

  • Research at DePaul University concluded that recruiters want business schools to pay more attention to people-oriented skills like leadership and communication. Students, however, frequently complain that those "soft skills" won't get them jobs, and they're pressuring their business schools to focus instead on functional or technical content, the researchers say.

  • One study found that among 358 randomly selected Johnson and Johnson managers, the best performing ones possessed significantly higher levels of self-awareness, self-management capability, social skills, and organizational savvy.

  • Research on more than 200,000 managers and workers at multiple companies during a 10-year period links employee recognition with financial performance. According to the data, companies that effectively recognized personal excellence had triple the profitability—as measured by return on equity (ROE)—in comparison with firms that didn't.

  • In a survey of 100 human resources executives conducted by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the outplacement firm, nearly half said that entry workers lacked writing skills and 27 percent said that they were deficient in critical thinking. “It appears that young employees are writing company e-mails as if they were texting cellphone messages with their thumbs,” noted the New York Times (Phyllis Korkki), adding, “in response employers a sending a message of their own: When you’re in the office, put on those dress shoes and start spelling your words correctly, and in full.”

'The Hard Truth About Soft Skills' by PEGGY KLAUS

'The Hard Truth About Soft Skills'

Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They'd Learned Sooner


The Hard Truth About Soft Skills'

Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They'd Learned Sooner


Why didn't someone tell me . . . and if they did, why didn't I listen?

This, as they used to say when I was growing up, is the $64,000 question. It's the one that comes up over and over again when the thousands of business professionals I coach and train each year tell me their tales from the trenches. Whether young or old, experienced or inexperienced, what strikes me most about their stories of missed opportunities and derailed careers is this: The source of their anxiety and frustration is rarely a shortfall in technical or professional expertise. Instead, it invariably stems from a shortcoming in their soft skills repertoire--the non-technical traits and behaviors needed for successful career navigation.

But if these soft skills are really that important, why do so many people learn them the hard way? Because for the most part, people think soft skills don't really matter and are confused over exactly what they are.


When it comes to soft skills, most people think they are all about those warm-and-fuzzy people skills. Yes, it’s true people skills are a part of the equation, but that’s just for starters. While hard skills refer to the technical ability and the factual knowledge needed to do the job, soft skills allow you to more effectively use your technical abilities and knowledge. Soft skills encompass personal, social, communication, and self-management behaviors. They cover a wide spectrum of abilities and traits: being self-aware, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability, critical thinking, attitude, initiative, empathy, confidence, integrity, self-control, organizational awareness, likability, influence, risk taking, problem solving, leadership, time management, and then some. Quite a mouthful, eh? These so-called soft skills complement the hard ones and are essential for success in the rough-and-tumble workplace. You can have all the technical expertise in the world, but if you can’t sell your ideas, get along with others, or turn your work in on time, you’ll be going nowhere fast.


However you define them, soft skills still suffer from a fundamental lack of respect. After all, how could anything described as soft be valued in the hard-charging, results-driven business world or impact the bottom line? Soft skills are generally viewed as “nice to have”—maybe even something you are just born with—but not critical for success. This attitude always makes me chuckle. It’s like saying that Yo-Yo Ma has a brilliant career as a cellist solely because of his genes. While no doubt some of his musicianship and subsequent greatness may be linked to DNA, it belies all of the other elements that have contributed to his phenomenal success: disciplined study and practice, collaboration with ensembles, making sound career decisions, taking risks, developing and promoting his brand, dealing with conductors, and connecting with his audience. In Yo- Yo Ma’s case, as in most situations, the soft skills are as important, if not more so, than the hard ones and deserve our respect. In other words, there’s nothing soft about soft skills.

In fact, companies are finally starting to respect their value, linking competency in the soft skills arena to positive performance appraisals and salary increases. Soft skills have also become a significant consideration for firms in their recruitment efforts. Recent research underscores their importance in the workplace, showing that soft skills competency can be as reliable an indicator of job performance as more traditional qualifications of technical mastery or experience. One study found that the best performing managers at a Fortune 100 corporation had significantly higher levels of self-awareness, social skills, self-management, and organizational savvy. Additional research on more than 200,000 managers and workers links employee recognition with financial performance. According to the data, companies that effectively recognized personal excellence had triple the profitability—as measured by return on equity (ROE)—in comparison with firms that didn't. A simple "thank-you" from the manager can have a dramatic impact on the company's bottom line!

Even though companies today are placing more value on soft skills, most of us are still out on our own when it comes to developing our personal repertoire. Despite collectively spending more than $50 billion on training programs for employees, many corporations fail to offer soft skills programs at all. And when they do provide them, the programs are often exclusively reserved for “high-potential” employees or senior executives. A comprehensive analysis of U.S. employer-sponsored training confirmed that the most frequently provided instruction consists of new employee orientation, computer applications for end users, technical skills or knowledge, and customer education. Soft skills training—which typically focused on communication and leadership—was provided “as needed,” primarily for top executives. Unfortunately, college and university curriculums—even for advanced business degrees—are doing little more than the corporations when it comes to teaching soft skills. And it shows. A survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council found that although MBAs were strong in analytical aptitude, quantitative expertise, and information-gathering ability, they were sorely lacking in other critical areas that employers find equally attractive: strategic thinking, written and oral communication, leadership, and adaptability. Increasing workplace and customer diversity across age, gender, racial, and ethnic lines—along with business globalization and virtual offices—have only heightened the need for strengthening soft skills competency.


Throughout the years, I've collected stories about struggles and triumphs in the workplace based on thousands of hours training, coaching, and interviewing people at all levels on the corporate ladder. From these experiences, I've distilled fifty-four important workplace lessons that will increase your understanding and awareness of soft skills by showing you how they are woven throughout your career. Within these lessons, you'll also find practical insights, strategies, tools, and techniques for learning or improving a particular soft skills area. The lessons are organized into eight chapters, each covering particular aspects of your career in which soft skills play especially significant roles: career management, getting the job done, communication, handling critics, office politics, self-promotion, dealing with differences, and leadership.

In chapter 1, we'll dive into the most critical aspect of your career: managing it. Beginning with self-assessment and self-management, we'll explore a variety of soft skills topics, including lessons about decision making, risk taking, integrating work with your life goals, and maintaining high ethical standards.

Career survival depends on meeting your supervisor's agenda-- not necessarily yours. In chapter 2, I shift the focus onto getting your job done. We'll cover the entire gamut of mission-critical soft skills lessons--from managing the details to managing your time, from being viewed as a problem solver with a can-do attitude to not letting the use of common sense fall through the cracks.

When it comes to communication, the whole shebang can do you in. That's why you need to be on high alert when it comes to everything from minding your words to minding your manners. And although technology has revolutionized communication, you'll find out in chapter 3 why the basics matter more than ever in a world that's filled with increasingly distracted people. I'll zero in on soft skills under the communication umbrella, such as opening your ears and adjusting your communication accordingly, asking the right questions, and displaying confidence and authenticity when presenting--even when your nerves are trying to get the best of you.

Chapter 4 brings you face-to-face with the realization that you are always being judged, so you better get used to it. From making a good impression the first time (and every time!) around to drawing on conflict-resolution techniques when confronted with heated situations, the lessons in this chapter will bring to life a variety of soft skills needed for handling criticism and your critics.

Are you apolitical and proud of it? Like the air we breathe, politics is everywhere, including at work. Yet when it comes to office politics, most people fall into three camps: those in denial, those who think they are above the fray, and those who claim playing politics at work simply isn't that important. Chapter 5 focuses on how misperceptions like these can send a career into the danger zone and why it's critically important to learn the unspoken rules of your workplace. I'll highlight some of the essential soft skills of office politics: organizational awareness, spreading your influence, having a mentor, managing up, deflecting gossip, and handling office romance.

Chapter 6 starts off with a simple question: "Do you think branding is just for cows and that brag is a four-letter word?" If so, think again. In this chapter, I'll be covering some of the key soft skills associated with self-promotion, from personal branding so you stand out in the crowd to learning how to toot your own horn--especially when surrounded by people with sharp elbows.

As the forces of technology and globalization merge, our workplaces are becoming increasingly diverse. The lessons in chapter 7 highlight the factors that can bring about friction, while offering a whole slew of soft skills for dealing with issues that rise from generational, gender, and cultural differences: emotional self-control, motivating those who operate from a different competitive mind-set, finding the best in every person, and keeping ourselves in check when it comes to stereotyping.

Do you have an assistant? Surprise! You're a manager. While for many the holy grail is a position in management, not everyone is cut out for the job--and those who do advance into management roles often struggle with their leadership skills. From recognizing your strengths and weaknesses so you can address shortcomings to influencing people to think and act the way you want, in chapter 8 I'll uncover some of the most important soft skills just beneath the surface of good leadership. I'll end with some final thoughts on the benefits of having enough humility to know when it's time to go back to the drawing board.

So keep reading, and you'll find out more about how soft skills have a tremendous effect on nearly everything you need to do to get ahead at work. And that's the hard truth.

Copyright © 2007 by Peggy Klaus. Posted with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dan McCarthy: How to measure ther impact of soft skills


Monday, September 1, 2008 by Dan McCarthy

How to Measure the Impact of “Soft Skills”

Here’s a recent reader question:

"A question on talent pools. We have a talent pool comprising executives of different ranks. After putting them through a development phase (different soft skills), the question is how do we evaluate the impact of all these soft skills. As you know it is really hard to do that. How would you approach this situation? Any ideas welcome."

First of you, good for you for establishing a “talent pool”, instead of lists of replacements for specific positions. Other than a few critical positions (i.e., CEO, CFO, CTO), I think that’s the way to go. Although I’d advise not mixing levels in the same pool.

I do have to take issue with the term “soft skills”. I hate the term. I know it’s a commonly used term with line managers, and I’m all for using simple terms that managers can relate to (like ROI, P&L). However, I think we owe it to ourselves to educate ourselves and our managers about what’s important when assessing, hiring, and developing senior leaders. “Soft skills” sounds like fluff, while “hard skills” must be more important.

Here’s a typical success profile for a senior manager:
- Creates strategic advantage
- Promotes a global perspective
- Uses sound judgment
- Uses financial acumen
- Manages and improves processes
- Leads change
- Coaches and develops people
- Inspire trust

So OK, which of these are “soft” and which are “hard”? Or are they all just critical skills needed to be effective as a senior leader?

Most companies – or leaders – don’t fail because of a lack of technical skills. It’s almost always due to what many would call a lack of a critical “soft” capability.

Back to your question – if you’re trying to improve these skills, how to you know if you have or haven’t? And if you have, what’s the impact?

That’s a question the training industry has been struggling with since the early cavemen were teaching fire-starting and wooly mammoth hunting techniques. There have been stacks of books and research that address that topic, and quite frankly, I think it’s something we in the training industry obsess about too much. I suspect a lot of training measurement activity is self-serving, and if we were doing a good job, line executives wouldn’t really care. Think about it – does the finance and accounting

Given that, it is important to have some sense of if what you’re doing is working. I’ve written a previous post called “Six Ways to Measure the Impact of Leadership Development” that provides some guidance on high-level measures.

Here’s a few ways to measure the impact of a specific program:

1. Ask the members of your talent pool. Either through interviews, surveys, or focus groups, you can ask them:
- How satisfied they were with the development
- Their perception of their skill improvement
- Their perception of their behavior change
- Their perception of the business results achieved as a result of the development. Even better if they can put an estimated dollar amount on the ROI.

2. You could also ask, using the same methods, their employees, managers, peers, or customers.
The time to think about measurement is really BEFORE you design a development program, that way you can get a baseline of current skill level. That way you can compare before and after. Again, you can use surveys or self-assessment, you can even administer before and after 360 degree assessments (make sure you allow 3-6 months for the change in behaviors to become noticeable).

3. If you really want to get academic, you can even use “control” groups – that is, do the same assessment with a group of managers that didn’t get development. But again, to me, this is time-wasting activity that could better be spent developing managers.

4. Ask those high level executives that are responding to surveys saying they are or aren’t satisfied with their company’s leadership development efforts. After all, at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.

Leadership log by Dan McCarthy

           Dan McCarthy
I’ve been a practitioner in the field of leadership development for over 20 years. I’m currently the Manager of Leadership and Management Development at a Fortune "Great Place to Work", "Training Top 125", and "High Impact Learning" (HILO 80)company. The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and don’t represent the views of my current or former employers. I’m married, have two daughters, and had an old lab named Annie.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Webinar of Chief Learning Officer Magazine (June 2008 - November 2008)

 Chief  Learning Officer Magazine: Webinar June - November 2008

Profit-Driven Training Programs for Partners and Customers
October 2nd, 2008 1:00 pm Central

Extended enterprise training solutions is a fastest-growing segment of the learning industry, increasing at an annual pace of more than 25 percent. Many companies are turning external training initiatives into profit centers using a learning management platform and e-commerce technology. 
Sustaining a Culture of Excellence in Continuous Learning
September 18th, 2008 1:00 pm Central

Organizations recognize that the talent crisis is here now. But how do they create and execute learning solutions to engage and retain their critical talent and drive performance for enhanced business results? 
Customer Training: 5 Ways to Fast-Track Your Programs in a Slow Economy
September 4th, 2008 1:00 pm Central

In this Chief Learning Officer magazine webinar, sponsored by Expertus, learn how to align customer learning with your business goals and create powerful marketing strategies that fill classrooms and increase training revenues.
Elliott Masie: Learning Strategies - A Fresh Look!
August 21st, 2008 1:00 pm Central

As learning options, approaches and expectations change, it is vital that organizations take a fresh look at their learning strategies. 
Better Business Results With Performance-Based Learning
August 7th, 2008 1:00 pm Central

Optimize Your Investments: Ensure the Life of Your Enterprise System After Go-Live
July 15th, 2008 11:00 am Central

RWD will discuss sustainment strategies to optimize your investments and continually recognize the value that was initially planned.
"Simplicate and Add Lightness:" Driving Change in the Organization
June 19th, 2008 1:00 pm Central

In this Chief Learning Officer magazine Webinar, sponsored by SkillSoft, learn how to redefine yourself as the chief executive changer in your organization; then, armed with that new self-image, design agility into your operations.
Immersive 3-D, Multi-User Virtual Environments and Simulation-Based Learning
May 22nd, 2008 1:00 pm Central

In this Chief Learning Officer Webinar, Anne-Marie Sutch-Stabio and Roger Wright of RWD will discuss these immersive learning technologies and explore their practical applications to meet your corporate goals.
Capability Transfer: Leveraging Licensing as a Business and Learning Strategy
May 1st, 2008 1:00 pm Central

Successful organizations understand that getting and staying on top means developing the capabilities of their employees, not just for a handful of high achievers or underperformers, but for those at all levels.
Influencing With a Global Mindset
April 17th, 2008 1:00 pm Central

One of the greatest challenges in today�s business environment is leading diverse, multicultural, globally situated teams of employees, partners, suppliers, agents and subcontractors.
Making All Learners Successful! Learning Styles and the Synchronous Classroom
April 9th, 2008 1:00 pm Central

Using a series of sample designs, this Chief Learning Officer magazine Webinar, sponsored by WebEx, will demonstrate how to create rich and engaging programs designed to make your learners successful.
Future of Learning: Everything You Wanted to Know About Web 2.0
April 3rd, 2008 1:00 pm Central

The Department of Labor reported that informal learning accounts for 70 percent of learning on the job, yet many organizations have yet to harness its value.
Speed Up Software Implementations and Improve End-User Training
March 6th, 2008 1:00 pm Central

Join Kaplan IT Learning, in this Chief Learning Officer magazine Webinar, as it presents the importance of end-user training, common pitfalls to avoid and tool selection tips.
A Practical Approach to Introducing Innovative Learning Programs in Your Organization
February 21st, 2008 1:00 pm Central

Learn how to strike a practical balance between cutting-edge approaches and meeting your employees� learning needs.
Competencies: Gateway to Integrated Talent Management
February 7th, 2008 1:00 pm Central

Competencies play a significant and foundational role for all aspects of talent management. In fact, Bersin & Associates research shows that the identification and implementation of key competencies delivers the highest levels of business value. 
Learning 2.0: Using Web 2.0 to Create Effective Informal Learning
December 19th, 2007 1:00 pm Central

The Increasing Speed of Change and Its Impact on Business
November 7th, 2007 1:00 pm Central

Employees are leading the revolution to take control of their environment through social networking.
The Latest Approach to End-User Learning Development and Collaboration
October 24th, 2007 1:00 pm Central

Are you faced with knowledge-retention problems, training a diverse workforce or deploying enterprise business applications?
The Future of Learning Content
October 10th, 2007 1:00 pm Central

Learn about the important trends that are shaping the development, deployment and management of learning content.
Sustainable Leadership Development: Leadership Programs that Deliver Real Business Impact
September 19th, 2007 1:00 pm Central

Although employees might like attending the training, all too often, the real objective is not achieved.
The Learning Organization Meets the Long Tail: New Challenges and Opportunities for Knowledge Management Professionals
September 6th, 2007 3:00 pm Central

How can knowledge management professionals ensure the right information is getting through?
Creating an Epic Learning Experience at Harley- Davidson
August 22nd, 2007 1:00 pm Central

Explore how Harley-Davidson created an engaging, energetic learning event to help newly onboarded human resource professionals excel in their new positions.
Redefining the Role of the Learning Organization: Collaborative and Informal Learning Models and Technologies
August 8th, 2007 1:00 pm Central

Business is changing, and so is the learning organization. CLOs and other learning leaders are facing myriad challenges.
Making the Most of Leadership Development: Preserving the Investment and Keeping the Knowledge Fresh
June 20th, 2007 1:00 pm Central


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Soft Skills andf ROI - Bennet Simonton

Concerning soft skills, there are two measurements involved just as there are with quality.

First, there is measurement of the manager's compliance with using soft skills. This requires precisely defining those skills just as one would define quality standards.

Second, there is measuring the effect of the result of the use of soft skills or the use of quality standards. This would mean measuring productivity for soft skills or increased sales and consumer satisfaction for quality.

I think that we know how to make the second measurements, but that we don't have a defined set of measurable soft skills. As a starting point, I would recommend the following test.

This is a simple test of 10 questions. Rank a manager on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best or almost always, 1 being the worst or almost never. Add up the points for each question.

If the score is close to 100, I would expect that employees will be over 3 times more productive than if the score was 30 or less. In addition, with a score close to 100 employees will unleash their full potential creativity and innovation, love to come to work and have very high morale. :)


-provide regular and frequent opportunities for employees to voice complaints, suggestions and questions, provide reasonable and timely responses, and give employees what they say they need to do a better job? (At least weekly?)

-elicit answers/responses from the team and get them to use their brainpower to solve problems?

-listen to employees with 100% attention without distraction, without trying to figure out a response and with the use of follow-up questions to obtain missing details and suggested fixes?

-refrain from giving orders since by their nature they demeaning and disrespectful and destroy innovation and commitment?

-treat members better in terms of humility, respect, timely and high quality responses, forthrightness, trust, admission of error, etc than they are expected to treat customers and each other?

-publicly recognize employees for their contributions and high performance and never take credit him/herself?

-openly provide all company info to employees to the extent they need/desire?

-use values and high standards of them in order to explain why certain actions are better than others?

-use smiles and good humor with subordinates, not frowns or a blank face?

-generate in employees a sense of ownership?

Hope this helps, Ben
Author "Leading People to be Highly Motivated and Committed" 
Bennet Simonton Bennet Simonton


Does Your Company's Hiring Process Measure Up?

Does Your Company's
Hiring Process Measure Up?

J.T. Taylor, M.A.
In Jim Collin's excellent book Good to Great his research team documents a powerful practice which top performing companies consistently practice - they only hire top talent. The hiring process these companies use results in the best people getting on the bus. Once they are on then they figure out where the bus should go and what roles each person should play. Most companies don't hire this way - and it shows.
The normal hiring process for most companies is to focus on a candidate's past work experience and skill set. The job interview might include a 15 - 30 minute initial screening, a follow up 30 - 45 minute interview with a representative from HR as well as the candidate's would be supervising manager and the obligatory reference check. This hiring process consistently produces a hit and miss track record. Most often the focus of these job interviews is on the skill set required for the current position. That can lead to problems.
For the vast majority of positions the talent is out there. However, the "skill set" criteria used in most job interviews eliminates many would be top performers. Let's face it, the skills for most jobs can be learned over time. And most people in most positions evidence a decent level of competence in the skill set required for their jobs. Skills can be learned. However the most important competency is much more difficult to amass on the job - character. And over the long haul character has more to do with top performance than skill.
Think about your most difficult employees. How is their attitude? Good? Positive? Probably not. How is their work ethic? Disciplined? Honest? How do they get along with others? Probably not so well. They may be great at what they do (skills) but it is everything else that makes them a poor employee.
Top talent can be driven away by these kinds of employees. So part of the mix to recruiting and retaining top performers is to get the right people on the bus in the first place and get the wrong people off the bus. Focusing on character with your job interview questions will increase your hit to miss ratio and load your company with positive, dedicated, team-oriented workers.
One approach our company has used to help our clients hire top performers is behavioral interviewing. This approach delineates the core competencies for the position and translates those into character measures. The candidate then is asked job interview questions which assess past performance across a wide range of their experiences (not just the jobs which fit with the open position). The candidate is scored in each area and a recommendation with projected strengths and challenges is made to the supervising manager. The supervising manager then takes over and hires the candidate he or she is most comfortable with. This job interview hiring process focuses primarily on character and secondarily on skill and produces measurably better results.
You can find more team building articles at Team Building USA. Team Building USA guarantees ourcorporate team building clients a 150% return on investment. You may reprint this article by requesting permission from: or by calling (619) 445-0500.

Measuring Return On Investment

Measuring Return On Investment
For Soft Skills Training

J.T. Taylor, M.A.

Senior management is demanding cost justification for training more than ever

In our current business climate senior management is demanding cost justification more than ever. Human resource directors want to comply, but they are faced with two unpopular choices: invest time and energy into learning how to scientifically analyze training return on investment (a daunting task involving mathematical calculations, gathering significant amounts of data and statistical analysis) or hiring an outside firm to generate ROI reports. However, there is an alternative. If you are willing to live with a decrease in scientific reliability, there is a way to effectively measure "soft skill" training. This article will show you a simple way to link soft skill training to measurable business results.

Translating soft skill training into measurable results

My company does team building - definitely a soft skill. Our training includes many of the classic soft skill modules: communication, conflict resolution, decision making, leadership, etc. Here is how we translate soft skills training into measurable business results.

Setting SMART goals

Each training session ends with a goal setting workshop. I briefly explain how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, recorded and time-bound) and have participants write a goal based on one insight they gained from the training. Next I walk them through a process which translates those goals into bottom line measurements. I call it B.I.T.E. (benefits, impact, tasks, encouragement-support).

Moving goals into action

Participants list several personal benefits they will receive once they hit their goal. This provides the key ingredient in goal accomplishment - motivation.
Impact - Next we calculate the financial impact achieving their goal will have on the organization. Every goal can be translated into hard numbers. Use questions like: how much time will this save?, how much inventory will be reduced?, by streamlining this area what additional projects will there be time to accomplish? and how much more efficient will I be? There are many ways to turn these questions into hard line numbers, but the easiest is employee compensation. Your company has already determined a return on investment value for it's employees - it is their hourly wage. (For salaried employees divide your annual salary by 2 to get your hourly wage, i.e. $50,000/2 = $25.00 hr). For every hour saved because of hitting that goal (based on the employee's training session) the employee is that much more productive, thus more valued to the company. Project the savings over a 12 month period to get a grand total.

Next, I have participants break goals into specific tasks. This becomes their daily action plan for achieving the goal.
And finally, I encourage them to share the goal with their supervising manager. The manager can then review the projected cost savings or increased productivity estimates for validation as well as offer ways to support the direct report in his/her goal. Incidentally, if the supervising manager agrees the goal will have a concrete bottom line impact of X amount it strengthens the employee's negotiating stance when review/raise time comes up. This approach also gives supervising managers (i.e. HR Directors) concrete financial projections they can relate to senior management regarding training return on investment.

Note: The industry standard for measuring training effectiveness was formulated by Donald Kirkpatrick. He explains four levels of training effectiveness in his book, Evaluating Training Programs - The Four Levels (1959). The four levels are: reaction (learner satisfaction), learning (retention), behavior (skill translation to job), results (business impact). Jack Phillips has added a fifth level in, Return on Investment in Training and Performance Improvement Programs (1997). He offers a fully integrated, statistically accurate guideline to measuring return on investment. If you want to go deep into measuring ROI scientifically I recommend Phillips approach.
You can find more team building articles at Team Building USA guarantees clients a 150% return on investment. You may reprint this article by requesting permission from: or by calling (866) 351-TEAM (8326).

Saturday, November 15, 2008



We are 252 organizations seeking a few new colleagues. We include the learning leaders of some of the largest companies in the world (e.g., Wal-Mart, Home Depot, British Airways, Wendy's International, Ericsson Inc. and American Express). Every day throughout the year, Learning CONSORTIUM members turn to each other and the staff of The MASIE Center for benchmarking, networking, research and collaborative projects in the Learning and Training field.

Here are a few examples of how our CONSORTIUM benefits from collaboration on a daily basis:

  • A member contacts the CONSORTIUM office to identify 2 members using a specific Learning Management System to get references, context and experiences.
  • Six members work together on a working group considering alternative models for employee Orientation and On-Boarding.
  • Elliott Masie conducts 1-to-1 coaching sessions with learning executives from two member organizations.
  • Members participate in a rapid fire "poll" to benchmark spending per employee on Compliance issues.
  • MASIE staff member attends a conference and sends a PodCast and text summary to all CONSORTIUM members.
  • Members provide Microsoft with input on how their new operating system could support content sharing for learning.
  • A member brings several of its business leaders to The MASIE Center Lab in Saratoga for a strategy session on the futures of learning and collaboration.

More than 1,000 people in 252 organizations worldwide collaborate and learn together on the issues and challenges you face. Together, we are evaluating, inventing, revising and improving the exciting field of learning! This is a community of trust, appropriate confidentiality and syndicated efforts to enhance the effectiveness of our efforts on learning and training.

The Learning CONSORTIUM is a small and very focused organization. The charge is only $5,000 per entire company for a year of service, collaboration and events. Our model is to be a long-term trusted collaborative of learning professionals that is vendor-neutral and ethically based.

We invite you to join us!
Join Today!

Learning CONSORTIUM Resources:

The Learning CONSORTIUM is a non-stop source of learning resources, invitations to benchmark, common work projects and exclusive access to Elliott Masie's research and development activity.
Here are just some of the resources that your organization can access:

  • LifeLines: Member-to-member requests for specific information, experience and resources (e.g., "How are organizations changing their leadership development programs for international employees?).

  • CONSORTIUM Staff for Support & Coaching: Elliott Masie, Ria Christian and Brooke Thomas (member requests and research), and Chryseis Hunt (sales).

  • Benchmarking for Learning: Periodic surveys and scans on key industry topics, which gather information to help you find organizations for member-to-member dialogues and industry trend analysis.

  • Events, Meetings & Classes:

    Learning 2008: Each member organization receives two complimentary seats to our annual fall Learning conference.
    Semi-Annual and Regional Roundtables:
    Regional CONSORTIUM-only meetings on key industry topics.
    MASIE Center Events: Discounts on the wide range of Elliott Masie's classes and briefings.

  • Learning Briefings with Elliott Masie: Receive personalized briefings twice a year by Elliott Masie. These are 30-minute, live telephone briefings for your team, focused on changing trends in Learning or on key learning issues selected by your organization. The briefings are often scheduled as part of a staff meeting, team retreat or as part of an internal global learning conference. The briefings can also be scheduled with senior executives in your organization and digitally captured for later use by a wider audience within your organization.

  • LifeLines and Mutual Support: Information and resource sharing among members about your questions through out on-line discussion board tool.

  • CONSORTIUM Projects: Opportunities to participate in active projects and receive updates. Current topics include 3-D Learning, Mobile Learning and Learning Polls.

  • Representation: The Learning CONSORTIUM will represent your organization on national and international committees, including SCORM, AICC and LETSI.

  • Content Focus:
    Learning Strategy and Management
    Classroom Learning
    Learning Systems
    3-D Virtual Learning
    Leadership Development
    Globalizing Learning
    Shared Learning Services
    Human Capital
    Talent Management

  • Monthly Calls: Telephone conference calls about key industry initiatives related to your business, technology and learning decisions.

  • Learning Reports: Just-in-time reports on the learning priorities and issues raised by CONSORTIUM members.

  • Video/PodCast Perspectives: Brief updates from Elliott on key learning priorities and issues raised by CONSORTIUM members.

Annual Membership Fee:

The fee is $5,000 for one year from your date of acceptance into the CONSORTIUM .

Member Ethics:

The Learning CONSORTIUM is an active community of practice and learning. We expect our members to:

  • Participate in on-going benchmarking, networking, and dialogues

  • To refrain from "selling" CONSORTIUM Members at group events

  • To participate in a fashion that builds trust and openness within the group and honors diverse perspectives and also the confidentiality and competitive roles of members

Application Process:

Join Today!

The CONSORTIUM is looking for a few additional members, primarily large organizations implementing Learning across the enterprise and a few larger vendor/suppliers.

The MASIE Center staff reviews all applications for membership in the Learning CONSORTIUM. We ask that each organization applying complete the on-line form and submit to our office. We will then schedule a telephone interview to process this application.

(If you have any additional questions, please send an email to consortium@masie.comThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it )

Corporate Training Materials and Articles Search Engine

Corporate Training Materials and Articles Search Engine
Training-specific search engine for research, articles and materials selected by independent trainers, to help trainers find spam-free noncommercial training and learning resources such as reports, benchmarking studies, news, industry surveys, and resource libraries.

This week's most popular searches:
1_ coaching 2_ icebreakers 3_ leadership 4_ motivation _ more searches

Welcome! All the results are from non-commercial resource, information and training material websites that I and my colleagues have personally chosen. You are very welcome to contact me with any feedback and comments at alex - at - tjtaylor - dot - net.
Learn more about us. Have a great day, Alex Taylor

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Global Learning Summit 2009 (24-27 Feb 2009) Singapore

Global Learning Summit 2009 (24-27 Feb 2009) Singapore

Global Learning Summit 2009
24-27 February 2009
The Marriott Hotel, Singapore

BOOK NOW! Save $1000 for Summit + Workshops!
IMPORTANT: Seats are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis, we advise that you reserve your place at your earliest convenience. To do so, kindly complete the registration form found on the last page on the brochure (attached in this email), email it or fax it to +65 6336 1716
For priority booking, please quote priority code VH1221

Various streams are available for selection by delegates!

Exclusive sponsorshipopportunities are available to leverage on this regional conference to heighten the profiles of your Company, kindly contact Vivian for more information.
Tel:  +65 6297 8545
Fax: +65 6336 1716

Upcoming Conference:
16th – 18th February 2009, Singapore

Dear Laurence,
2nd Annual Global Learning Summit
24 – 27 February 2009,
The Marriott Hotel, Singapore
“Harnessing the power of learning and aligning learning initiatives with business objectives to boost bottom-line performance in light of the current global economy”
I would be delighted if you could participate on 24th – 27th February 2009 for our Second Annual Global Learning Summit. Salvo’s Global Learning Summit 2009 is a unique platform to learn, network, discuss and debate fresh and innovative learning ideas with our esteemed faculty of speakers. Only the best speakers will be featured in this programme!
Featuring presentations from world class organisations:
• Accenture
• Agilent Technologies
• Defence Intelligence Agency
• Deutsche Bank AG
• General Physics Corporation
• Goldman Sachs
• Johnson & Johnson
• Oracle
• SAFTI Military Institute, Singapore Armed Forces
• Schenker
• Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications International AB
• StatsChip PAC Ltd
• Swiss Re
• Telstra Learning Academy
• The Walt Disney Company
• Volvo Trucks
Find out more about the Energiser by Team Building
Hear cutting edge presentations on:
• Aligning Corporate Learning to Your Overall Business Objectives
• Unleashing the Power of Strategic Learning and Development
  Through Organisational Learning and Cultural Change
• Achieve maximum return on your learning investment through   effective partnering with learning institutions
• Develop your future leaders quickly by implementing effective   leadership programmes
• How to Tackle Knowledge Transfer: Capturing the intellectual   capital of the aging workforce
• Expanding the Skill pool of your Existing Workforce through the   Implementation of learning and development programmes
• Web 2.0 and Its Impact on Workplace Learning
• Transforming Frontline Performance with Podcasting, Vodcasting   and M-learning and more...
Should you have any questions, I will be glad to be of help.I hope to see you in February 2009 and look forward to your participation. Please do let me know whether you are available.
Best regardsVivian Ho
Salvo Global
Tel: +65 6297 8545
DID: +65 6305 1389
Fax: +65 6336 1716
Gold Sponsor:
General Physics Corporation
Official Endorsers: Official Journal:
Institute of Management of Sri Lanka (IMSL)
Association for Human Resource Professionals (AHRP)
The Journal of eWorking (JOE)
Official Media Partners:
Training Press Releases
Image and Data Manager Online
Gurteen Knowledge
HRD Gateway


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