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What's Happening in ATD Atlanta - Blog

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  • 31 Aug 2018 3:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Want to hear the worst kept secret in town? It’s back to school time in Atlanta! It’s time for the kids to go back to class, and time for them to learn. But what about us? We never stop learning, right? So this is a good time to refocus on your own professional development, and here’s what ATD has up our sleeve to help you.
    • The Neuroscience of Engagement. This afternoon webinar will introduce you to key neuroscience techniques that can be applied to shift your and your team’s mind set with remarkable results. Set aside an hour to dive in with us.
    • Behavioral Interviewing Workshop. Robb Bingham will lead an interactive session to help you demonstrate in interviews how results-oriented you are. When that next career opportunity comes your way, this session will really pay off.

    Plus, we have a few other events that are still in the works, but they are such great opportunities, I couldn’t wait to give you a peek:

    • Leadership Blind Spots Workshop. Recently, Dale Carnegie has compiled research on areas where leaders fall short, the impact on their organizations, and ways to overcome these issues to drive employee retention and satisfaction. And now they are offering this as a professional development event. This workshop will be offered at Carnegie’s Atlanta location on September 28.
    • E-learning Workshop. Who isn’t familiar with Allen Interactions—an icon of our industry who appeared on the Top 20 Content Development Companies List for 2017?!? We all know they do great work. How would you like an opportunity to learn directly from their team? We are in the process of putting this workshop together in partnership with Allen Interactions to help you grow your e-learning skillset.

    Details on both of these events will follow soon.

    OK, how about the other worst kept secret in town—ACE 2018 was a huge success! We had approximately 200 people in attendance, which included 23 speakers, 27 sponsors and exhibitors, and dozens of non-members who joined us for our premiere event. Special thanks to Mary Kay Willcox for leading the army of 30 volunteers that it took to pull this event off. What a great way to cap off the summer together!

    For the rest of what’s coming up this year, take a look the event calendar. Our team works hard to put together events and resources throughout the year to help you further your professional development. But you know, there is an even better way to boost your own PD: consider sharing your knowledge with your peers! We have such a depth of talent in our chapter—chances are good that YOU have a specialty, an expertise, and an idea that would benefit us all if you would share it. This would be a great professional development opportunity for you. Would you consider presenting at an upcoming chapter or Community of Practice meeting? To look into this, check out the speaker’s information page. It’s a chance to enhance your career, yourself, your peers, and our chapter.

    Julie Padgett
    Chapter President

  • 14 Aug 2018 3:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join Leigh Ann at ACE to get even more ideas!

    Are you looking for some new activities to engage your learners? 

    Neuroscience is now proving what many L&D professionals have intuitively known for years: it is imperative to activate learners in meaningful ways for learning to occur and be retained.  At ATD ACE 2018 I’ll be sharing “7 Clever Ways to Energize Learners & Improve Retention.” Meanwhile, here are three more engagement activities that you can adapt and use in your workshops.

    • The Forced Choice activity can be facilitated during training and working meetings to better understand the viewpoints of your group about a topic. It gets everyone up, moving and talking about the topic of your course.

    Click here for instructions: https://better-teams.com/2018/05/19/forced-choice/

    • People Mapping is a fun, energizing icebreaker that can be used to emphasize the value of having different perspectives in the group. This is an active way to break the ice and get to know who is in the room.

    Click here for instructions: https://better-teams.com/2018/04/15/people-mapping/

    • 9 Dimensions is a powerful activity designed to build relationships and trust among team members. There are 2 variations of this icebreaker. The first version is for teams who want to get to know each other better. The second version is for teams who want to explore how they are working together as a team.

    Click here for instructions: https://better-teams.com/2017/02/03/9-dimensions-team-building-activity/

    Looking for more ideas? Please join us at ATD ACE 2018 in Atlanta!

    Leigh Ann Rodgers, M. Ed. Is a certified IAF Professional Facilitator with over 20 years of training, instructional design and meeting facilitation experience. She has designed numerous courses including Facilitation Secrets to Energize & Engage, a course specifically for trainers who are seeking new, adaptable engagements. Leigh Ann also coaches and trains both L&D and meeting facilitators. Leigh Ann is the founder of Better Teams, which focuses on offering team activities, assessments, and services that build high-performing and happy teams.

  • 10 Aug 2018 5:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join us at ACE to see  keynote speaker Britt Andreatta live.

    Think about how much the communication demands of tools like email and instant messaging have changed your workday in even just the last few years. In the business world, most of us have everything we need to work in our pockets, 24/7. Technology has likewise completely transformed all aspects of the talent industry, including learning. New tools have made learning faster, more effective, and affordable than ever. At the same time, new discoveries in neuroscience are changing how we see and measure success. But around the world organizations continue to deliver training using outdated models and methods—wasting significant time, energy, and money instead of developing talent. To close the gap it’s important to follow the latest trends in learning that will help your organization create strategic opportunities that develop your talent and anticipate challenges rather than responding late or not at all.

    In these fast-moving times our understanding of learning could transform again at any moment but for now these three parallel evolutions are currently driving massive changes in talent development across industries:

    1)      Learning Is No Longer Confined to a Classroom

    Evolution has taught us that learning can happen anywhere, at any time. Organizations are discovering how learning can help them meet the needs of a diverse, mobile, and demanding workforce. Once, education just socialized people for work. It was the ticket to the middle class (not the crushing debt it represents today). Education then evolved into training, in which organizations taught professional skills, improved performance, and developed leaders. Now, with the influx of technology, learning is taking place through a variety of sources and devices. People are embracing digital tools to access content that helps them learn on the job and on the go, such as interactive video to demonstrate ideal customer interactions and realistic practice environments that give learners authentic assessment and coaching. Regular, ongoing, lifelong learning in any environment or time of life is the new norm.

    2)       The Power Has Shifted to Employees

    Today, organizations are thinking of employees as valuable talent rather than “human resources.” Originally, workers were just an asset that organizations could use as they wanted without much concern about replacing those that left. But the age of unions, workers’ rights, and employee satisfaction changed the conversation, laying the groundwork for the new workforce that demands engagement, inclusion, purpose, and wellness. Competition for workers has increased and sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor have helped them become more informed and discerning. Organizations that design learning programs see an increase in employee engagement and retain their best people because they help ensure people feel they have what they need to thrive and grow.

    3)      Neuroscience Changes Everything

    In management we used to focus on management science, which was very transactional, relying on objectives (MBOs) or key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure effectiveness and success. Then we looked at management in terms of social science, such as emotional intelligence and transformational leadership. Now, medical technology has allowed researchers from a wide range of disciplines—neurology, biology, and psychology are just a few—to explore the inner workings of the human body in ways never seen before. It’s clear we are experiencing a renaissance of sorts, coming to know ourselves on an entirely new level. In neuroscience, research has shown how we are biologically wired to learn and adapt to change. It's the key to our survival and the path to fulfilling our capacity to become our best selves. The more we apply the principles of neuroscience when developing our learning programs, the more we work with our biology, rather than against it. And the more we understand how people think, feel, and act, the more we can help them reach their full potential in the workplace.

    My work focuses on solving workplace challenges by synthesizing the latest neuroscience research into practical models and actionable takeaways that we can use today. My book Wired to Grow  looks at the simple, straightforward secrets of our own brain power to unlock our full potentialWired to Resist is about how to harness the power of our brains to thrive through any change. And Wired to Connect  explores what creates and destroys peak-performing teams.


    Join us at ACE to see  keynote speaker Britt Andreatta live.


    Britt Andreatta is a thought leader, author, and speaker on neuroscience and leadership. Learn more about her books and other work, including her new training solution the Change Quest Model™, at www.BrittAndreatta.com.

  • 10 Aug 2018 12:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dr. Schempp will be giving a special presentation the  evening before the ACE conference. Click here for  more details. 

    You and a colleague are sitting together in a meeting.  Your colleague notices the dress, writing instruments, and accents of those seated across the table from you. You overlook those extraneous factors because they won’t influence the outcome of the meeting.  Instead, you locate the prime decision maker on the other side of the table and observe the keen interest that individual takes in the numbers and bottom line with seemingly little regard for hypothetical discussions or speculation.  During the break, a few casual questions might lead you to the unsurprising discovery that she attended a well-regarded college and majored in accounting. Your astute perception of several important details has now provided you with valuable insight on the type of information necessary to secure a future with this client while your colleague is left hoping things went well and wondering where they might find an outfit like the one the decision-maker was wearing.   

    The advantages in distinguishing the important from the unimportant factors in a situation should be obvious.  Such a skill allows you to zero in on those things that will lead to decisions and actions that will influence outcomes in your favor.  But how do you learn to separate the useful from the useless?  The simple answer is that your extensive work experience and broad knowledge of the factors impacting workplace events are key elements in developing this skill.  But research has given us two helpful insights into how those will higher levels of expertise distinguish the important from the unimportant: a) utility and b) principles. 

    A study of coaches with varying levels of expertise revealed no differences in the quantity of cues detected in the instructional environment.  Put another way, there was no difference in how much information was gathered from their observations.  There were, however, substantial differences in how they interpreted what they saw.  Those with less expertise identified a range of factors from what participants wore to where cars were parked.  Those with greater expertise saw a different set of factors in the same environment.  The experts perceptions focused on factors that led to performance assessments and subsequently to appropriate actions to improve performance.  In other words, the experts located factors that would help them assess the present situation and then plan strategies for appropriate action.  The difference between important and unimportant information for the experts was found in the usefulness of the information when taking action.  Experts know what is important and what is unimportant, and devote their full attention to identifying and then using the information that will improve performance.

    Here is how to identify what is important and use it to you advantage:

    First, identify the factors that will determine the results or outcome of the event.

    Second, among those factors, recognize those that are under your control.  Give your attention to those factors and discount the things you cannot control.

    Finally, determine which changes to the factors under your control and influencing outcomes will make the biggest difference in your success.  That is what is important.

    Register for An Evening with Dr Paul Schempp.

    Register for the ACE Conference

    © 2017 Dr. Paul Schempp is an award-winning researcher, keynote speaker, author, consultant and recognized authority on developing expertise and performance improvement. To have Paul speak at your next event, call 706.202.0516, DM him at @DrSchempp or visit his website www.PerformanceMattersInc.com

  • 07 Aug 2018 8:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Register for ACE 2018  and join Ajay for his session "Gaining Internal Buy-In for Learning" 

    “What does it take to get your leaders to support an elearning effort? By building a business case and not trying to sell them using a fancy learning evaluation methodology!”

    In Canada there’s a saying, “wait a minute and the weather will change’. The same can be said about learning experts and elearning. Wait a minute and you know someone will publish an article proposing another ‘miracle’ solution guaranteeing leadership support. While there may be elements of truth to some pitches most experts fail to provide a credible method to ensure sustainable leadership support.

    If you’re looking for a quick fix or magic formula with fancy learning jargon that’s more fad than a proven process then stop reading! You won’t find it here because gaining leadership support is more than a quick fix. 

    But here’s the deal. Would it be a surprise that the answer to getting leadership endorsement is right in front of you? Seriously. No magic formula. No fancy talk. No re-invented, revolutionary, biased methodologies. Just a straight up, no frills, undisputed method that will get any business leader to listen and take you seriously.

    You’re probably sarcastically saying, “Ya, right! Nothing is that simple…the answer is never obvious”. Your scepticism is justified. But it’s about presenting, supporting, and clearly communicating a financially sound business case. As you can see, the answer is obvious but certainly not simple.

    Surprisingly, practitioners ignore the business component at their own peril. It’s never acknowledged but learning is a business within the business. Ultimately, leaders didn’t hire you for your business acumen. But simply ignoring this fact won't get leaders to take you seriously. Since L&D is a business function they do expect you to be business literate.

    This article is not ‘our’ or ‘a’ methodology. It’s not even a methodology. It’s understanding how to apply widely accepted business principles and financial guidelines to your elearning efforts. Trust us, you’ll never convince leaders with fancy L&D evaluation methodologies. Rather, the first step is to make friends with someone in your organization’s finance department. 

    How Leaders See Elearning

    Let’s first define how leaders see elearning internally. This is tricky because instinctively leaders see elearning as two components: the “E” component and the “Learning” component.

    First, leaders consider the “E” as long-term tangible item, specifically the technology infrastructure that supports learning. This is what leaders typically refer to as the learning investment. For the purpose of this article technology are tools (e.g. LMS, mobile devices, software, tech hardware) used to deploy and deliver learning.

    Second, leaders consider the “learning” component as primarily intangible. As such, it’s not an investment but rather a period expense. Many of you are now screaming, “Yes! Learning is an investment!” Don’t take offence. A period expense is how leaders financially treat learning to account for it properly. Learning’s an expense since leaders place value on how it improves performance and not solely on financial accountability.

    Two Worlds of Accountability

    Leaders must consider and weigh two elements in their business decisions: 1) quantitative (financial) and, 2) qualitative (non-financial).

    Practitioners fail to respect the financial implications of their learning investment proposal. When the financial topic comes up many LD people say, “Yup, this is where it all falls apart!” It’s not that your leaders don’t want to give money but more about how you present a business case.

    First, lets address the financial aspect. Practitioners quickly interchange training investment with expense and this is where they get into trouble. If you start throwing the ‘investment’ term around then it has to mean the same to your leaders. Their capital investment decision is about how your elearning infrastructure (tangible items) and its operational support requirements contribute to long-term organizational growth.

    The second element is to measure the non-financial aspect of the elearning capital investment. Leaders expect you to leverage the investment (e.g. technology and equipment) to improve the organizations overall performance. Essentially, the learning employees acquire through the infrastructure must demonstrate improving business performance that will indirectly lead to positive financial results. This is the purpose of an expense.

    Naturally, one article will not turn anyone into a business expert. But one article will help you to realize the business relevance for elearning. Learning can never be assessed in a vacuum especially when leaders must make critical resource allocation decision.

    Rather than convincing your leaders about the learning benefits for an elearning investment speak to them about the business case. Show them evidence, both quantitatively and qualitatively in terms they recognize, and to gain their attention. Learning bores; business excites. So, start being exciting.

    Last But Not Least

    If you enjoyed this article, please visit our recent LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com) Gaining Internal Buy-in For eLearning course or our Train-the-Trainer course designed for both recent and seasoned trainers.

    When it comes to what leaders expect, don’t always believe what you hear. Recognize how leaders perceive training’s role within the organization and what they expect. They know training is essential, but it’s up to you to prove them right. This is your time to shine. #alwaysbelearning

    Ajay M. Pangarkar CTDP, CPA, CMA,  

    Teresa Kirkwood CTDP

    Register for ACE 2018

  • 01 Feb 2016 6:38 AM | Anonymous

    Many enthusiastic ATD volunteers came together on Saturday to plan classes and update content for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. We discussed how to best modify the content so the homeowners can get the most out of it and use what they learn in their everyday lives. Special thanks to Carl Ware for all the work he does to make the classes a success!

    We are excited about all of the opportunities to help others this year through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity. There are opportunities to be a Tech Partner or help facilitate at the Computer Basics and Computer Lab classes we have every month. And there's also an opportunity to update a video that's an overview of what Habitat for Humanity has to offer. In addition, Habitat for Humanity is partnering with TAG-Ed and may need some volunteers to help develop the technology skills of some high school students.

    To find out more about these volunteer opportunities, please contact Danielle Slatinsky.

    Here's a picture of the wonderful group that came together to help out!

  • 22 Dec 2015 8:29 AM | Anonymous

    Monday night I had the pleasure of attending the Holiday Toast event at Atlanta Habitat for Humanity (AHfH)! The company and food were great, but even better was getting to hear from the President and CEO, Lisa Y. Gordon, about how Atlanta Habitat is expanding their mission to not just build new houses, but also critical repairs to existing homes.

    Another highlight were the Volunteer Awards. Atlanta ATD's own Carl Ware, who manages the Homeowner Computer Training Program was awarded for his many hours of service! Congratulations Carl! Due to your dedication of time and energy, so many families now know how to use their new computers to stay connected to the world. Great work! You make the Atlanta Chapter proud!

    There are a lot of exciting things happening with our partnership with Atlanta Habitat and many opportunities for you to get involved! If you'd like to get involved in this good work, contact Danielle Slatinsky or Carl Ware.

  • 30 Nov 2015 7:56 AM | Anonymous
    On Sunday, March 15, 2015, thousands of people came together to raise awareness and funds to help fight hunger in our community. Our Atlanta ATD team was well represented. Thank you for your support! At last count, we raised about $700 dollars, exceeding our ambitious goal of $500. You guys rock!

    Hunger Walk/Run is one of the most important hunger relief efforts of the year. The money we raised will feed hope for the 1 in 5 people who face hunger in our community. The goal is to make sure that a child in our community doesn’t go to bed hungry, and offer a glimmer of hope to struggling parents desperately trying to make ends meet for their family.

    ATD Greater Atlanta has a long tradition of community involvement. As learning professionals, it’s in our wiring that we want to give back to our community. Thank you so much for your support. We hope to see you at the next Hunger Walk/Run! Or other community event.

  • 30 Nov 2015 7:49 AM | Anonymous

    On Saturday, November 14th, ATD Atlanta volunteers facilitated a Computer Lab class that taught Habitat for Humanity homeowners how to use Microsoft Word and Excel. The participants had the opportunity to practice formatting a document in Word and creating a budget in Excel. Many of them were unfamiliar with those valuable tools, so they were very excited to acquire new skills they could use at work and at home.

    If you are interested in making a difference by facilitating one of these courses or the Computer Basics course at the Habitat for Humanity Education Building, please contact Carl Ware or Danielle Slatinsky.

  • 02 Nov 2015 12:47 PM | Anonymous
    The ATD Atlanta chapter has been partnering with the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) to help support local communities and ensure that Atlanta's children and families don't go to bed hungry. Local ATD chapter members volunteer quarterly at ACFB's Product Recovery Center, sorting and packing food to be shipped out to local families in need. Volunteer nights are a fun way to get to know other ATD Atlanta chapter members, and the energy that everyone brings to the event makes the time fly by! At our most recent volunteer night, we helped sort and box up 6,522 pounds of food - the equivalent of 5,435 meals!

    In addition to volunteer nights, ATD Atlanta supports ACFB by participating in the annual Hunger Walk in March. This 5K is a great opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise while supporting a great local cause, and you'll get a chance to bond with fellow chapter members as we conquer the 5K as a team!
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