Learning While Working Podcast

Sprout Labs

Listen to the Learning While Working podcast to hear how learning and development is transforming. The episodes are interviews with leading thinkers in learning. Common themes on the podcast include trends in eLearning and digital learning, performance driven instructional and learning design and learning data. Each podcast is packed with ideas, tips and insights about how to make learning at work succeed.

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Training Frontline Leaders as Learning Accelerators with Ray Jimenez
Sep 9 2022
Training Frontline Leaders as Learning Accelerators with Ray Jimenez
About Ray Jimenez Ray Jimenez Ph.D. is the Chief Learning Architect at Vignettes Learning, trainingmagnetwork.com and situationexpert.com. He has worked with the American Bankers Association, Neiman Marcus, the US Air Force, NASA, Blue Cross, Goodwill Industries, Pixar Studios, Edison Missing Group, Dendreon, Netafim, Progressive Insurance, Bridgepoint Education, and the California Institute of Technology among others.  Ray's expertise is in microlearning, story-based learning design, scenario-based learning design and creative problem solving. Key takeaways:The frontline leader is someone who coaches and troubleshoots on the job. Ray explains that workers need to focus on developing their skills in troubleshooting and thinking on the spot. Frontline workers day-to-day experience unpredictable environments and unique problems, so we need to empower them to think more.The most important tool is to have a dynamic thinking process for every worker – it’s not about having all the answers. This redefines what we mean by working, which is about facing constant trial and error and discovering solutions. By applying tools like consequence thinking, learning becomes a natural byproduct.The role of assessments. Ray questions why there needs to be formal assessments alongside the learning process. It’s natural to assess and recalibrate all the time, so assessment becomes a built-in process. It’s not about proving your knowledge to anyone, it’s there to demonstrate if something is working or not working.Segmented time stamps:(02:46) What is a frontline leader and how they can become learning accelerators(07:58) Why Ray is focusing on the frontline worker(11:56) Some tools to help frontline managers become learning accelerators(16:58) Informal versus formal learning(18:56) The role of L&D in this new way of workplace learning(22:05) Rethinking the role of assessmentLinks from the podcast:Visit Ray’s WebsiteConnect with Ray on TwitterCheck out Situation ExpertRead ‘25 Thinking Tools’Listen to our previous interview with Ray Jimenez Sign up to Training Frontline Leaders as Learning Accelerators
Training Frontline Leaders as Learning Accelerators with Ray Jimenez
Sep 9 2022
Training Frontline Leaders as Learning Accelerators with Ray Jimenez
About Ray Jimenez Ray Jimenez Ph.D. is the Chief Learning Architect at Vignettes Learning, trainingmagnetwork.com and situationexpert.com. He has worked with the American Bankers Association, Neiman Marcus, the US Air Force, NASA, Blue Cross, Goodwill Industries, Pixar Studios, Edison Missing Group, Dendreon, Netafim, Progressive Insurance, Bridgepoint Education, and the California Institute of Technology among others.  Ray's expertise is in microlearning, story-based learning design, scenario-based learning design and creative problem solving. Key takeaways:The frontline leader is someone who coaches and troubleshoots on the job. Ray explains that workers need to focus on developing their skills in troubleshooting and thinking on the spot. Frontline workers day-to-day experience unpredictable environments and unique problems, so we need to empower them to think more.The most important tool is to have a dynamic thinking process for every worker – it’s not about having all the answers. This redefines what we mean by working, which is about facing constant trial and error and discovering solutions. By applying tools like consequence thinking, learning becomes a natural byproduct.The role of assessments. Ray questions why there needs to be formal assessments alongside the learning process. It’s natural to assess and recalibrate all the time, so assessment becomes a built-in process. It’s not about proving your knowledge to anyone, it’s there to demonstrate if something is working or not working.Segmented time stamps:(02:46) What is a frontline leader and how they can become learning accelerators(07:58) Why Ray is focusing on the frontline worker(11:56) Some tools to help frontline managers become learning accelerators(16:58) Informal versus formal learning(18:56) The role of L&D in this new way of workplace learning(22:05) Rethinking the role of assessmentLinks from the podcast:Visit Ray’s WebsiteConnect with Ray on TwitterCheck out Situation ExpertRead ‘25 Thinking Tools’Listen to our previous interview with Ray Jimenez Sign up to Training Frontline Leaders as Learning Accelerators
Drawing as a learning while working activity with Jeff Kortenbosch
Aug 29 2022
Drawing as a learning while working activity with Jeff Kortenbosch
About Jeff KortenboschJeff is the author of the acclaimed book ‘20 Questions Learning and Development should ask before talking about training’, in which he advocates measurable performance and business outcomes and relevant solutions that go beyond training. He is also an illustrator of digital explainer visuals. Since he started visualising ideas, his work has been seen by millions of people online.Key takeaways:Drawing and producing graphics is a great way to learn. It has been a great creative outlet for Jeff as it has helped him visualise ideas through simple graphics – ranging from graphs to icons. Investing in courses has helped him develop some foundational skills in drawing. Jeff’s best advice is to be minimal with your design, and see what you can draw from quotes, thoughts or visual metaphors.Sticking to a daily habit of drawing has helped Jeff develop his drawing style. He started off with a target of drawing for 100 days, and kept a notepad to hand for whenever he got inspiration. The daily habit ensured he wasn’t fixated on perfection but simplicity: “create fast and publish fast”. The key is to start small, whether this is through length of time to draw or finding a good time slot that you can stick to daily.The power of visuals: as the adage goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words", so being able to harness your visual skills is powerful as a learning designer. From presentations to your own personal learning process, visual design is a powerful method. It can also give you a great reach online, as visuals help draw people into your blog posts, newsletters, courses, etc.Drawing teaches you additional skills: Jeff found that by drawing regularly, he also learnt more about publishing, social media marketing, ideation and finding new ways to keep ideas flowing.Segmented time stamps:(02:44) Regularly publishing graphics(06:17) Some of the most well-received graphics Jeff has designed(07:32) How to stick to a daily habit(09:48) Why drawing diagrams is a great way to learn(14:22) Using drawing as a micro-learning strategy(16:30) What to incorporate in a visual email marketing course(19:16) How to build a regular habit of drawingLinks from the podcast:Visit Jeff’s WebsiteConnect with Jeff on LinkedInRead ‘Atomic Habits’ by James ClearCheck out FigmaCheck out Blair Rorani’s workRead ‘20 Questions Learning and Development should ask before talking about training’Listen to our previous interview with Jeff Kortenbosch
Board game design with Joshua Gillingham
Aug 5 2022
Board game design with Joshua Gillingham
About Joshua GillinghamJoshua Gillingham is an author, game designer, and editor from Vancouver Island, Canada. His fantasy trilogy ‘The Saga of Torin Ten-Trees’ is an adventure inspired by the Norse myths and the Icelandic Sagas. Joshua is also the co-author of ‘Old Norse for Modern Times’ alongside Ian Stuart Sharpe and Dr. Arngrimur Vidalin.In partnership with Outland Entertainment, Joshua is the founding Worldsmith of the trans-media Outland 'Althingi' World set in Viking Age Iceland, featuring his original card game Althingi: One Will Rise and the groundbreaking anthology Althingi: The Crescent & the Northern Star.Key takeaways:Give learners/ players agency: Learning is an internal process, so figure out how learners can take the information you’re providing, and make it a part of their lives. Learners need flexibility and relevant information so that what they learn can be applied for the long-term. To understand different perspectives within the company, consider conducting small group discussions. Prompts and reflective questions are a great way to give agency.The role of ‘randomness’ in games has the advantage of surprise and chance. It frustrates the stronger skilled player, whilst the less-skilled player can see an opening and a chance. In learning design, this could be done through suprise questions. Strategically, make sure you give learners a bounded space, e.g. a physical game, to keep them on task, but provide enough agency so they are engaged.Leveraging physical space on game boards: Learning Designers can build a physical space for people to learn from. For game designers, every piece on a board has a cost attached to it, so ask yourself “is this enhancing the experience?”. Be clever with using the most from as little as possible. Segmented time stamps:(02:13) What do we mean by ‘space’ in game design?(04:39) How Learning Designers can give players first-level agency(07:52) The notion of ‘roles’, and why Learning Designers need to consider this more in their strategy(09:50) Strategies for building ‘randomness’ in game design(13:07) Learning from the rule books of the most popular games(16:10) On the space of physical boards(20:29) Multiple pathway learningLinks from the podcast:Visit Joshua’s WebsiteConnect with Joshua on TwitterListen to the Learning While Working Podcast interview with Warren KennardCheck out Magic: The GatheringCheck out BoardGameGeek
Capabilities of aspirational L&D teams with Michelle Ockers
Jul 9 2022
Capabilities of aspirational L&D teams with Michelle Ockers
Michelle Ockers is an organisational learning strategist and modern workplace learning practitioner. She helps organisations build high-impact L&D functions by developing and implementing their learning strategy, mindset and skills – and helping L&D professionals become business partners that create value. In this episode, we reflect on what are some of the critical skills for L&D teams, being mindful of our blindspots, how L&D experts are ‘impact explorers’, and some key insights from her podcast, Learning Uncut. About Michelle OckersMichelle spent close to three decades in learning and development. After 16 years in the Royal Australian Air Force, she brought her training and project management experience into the corporate sector. In 2018, she started her popular podcast, Learning Uncut, helping L&D professionals share real stories about their work. The podcast became a global go-to source for examples of leading edge industry practice, matching her vision for the industry’s potential – and how we can achieve that together. She then made Learning Uncut into a network to offer L&D leaders everywhere the opportunity to thrive, with the support of leading experts.Key takeaways:There are some critical skills needed for L&D teams to be relevant. Michelle highlights some ‘human skills’’ like leadership, critical thinking and communication, as key skills to develop within your L&D team. We can’t master every skill ourselves, but if we ensure some of the most critical skills across our team are covered, we are able to watch out for any blindspots.Performance consulting is a must-have skill in particular. A successful L&D team is able to demonstrate business impact, not just learning impact. Michelle best describes this skill from the Learning and Performance Institute definition: “it’s about partnering with customers and clients, to analyse performance gaps, recommend appropriate interventions and measure the outcomes.”Consider some mindset shifts for your L&D team. If we do a good job with our learning programs, we don’t need to be there the whole time. L&D teams are very supportive, but they need to know when to let go. Review how we can partner and equip with the rest of the organisation – and how we can effectively support learning.Segmented time stamps:(02:45) What are the key capabilities that L&D professionals need to demonstrate?(07:46) What we mean by ‘soft skills’ - Rethinking these as ‘Human skills’     (12:21) On speculative learning(13:18) What is ‘performance consulting’?(19:11) Not being tied to one learning technology(20:52) Some key mindset shifts for L&D professionals (25:39) Michelle’s Gap finder tool(28:25) The art of role modellingLinks from the podcast:Connect with Michelle on LinkedInListen to the Learning Uncut podcastDownload Michelle's Gap Finder Tool  Capability Gap Finder resourceFind more about Learning UncutCheck out The Future of Jobs Report 2020Listen to the Learning While Working Podcast interview with Jeff Kortenbosch Check out The Learning and Performance Institute MapCheck out Emerging StrongerCheck out RedThread’s Research on Learning Technology EcosystemsListen to the Learning While Working Podcast interview with with Dani Johnson
How Do You Become a Better Learning Designer with Ant Pugh
Jun 25 2022
How Do You Become a Better Learning Designer with Ant Pugh
About Ant PughAnt is a self-employed learning design consultant and instructional designer, with a career in learning and development spanning twenty years, with experience working in several continents, and global clients including ANZ, Westpac, Link Group, Microsoft and Carnival. He is renowned for using a performance-based approach to design training, passionate about implementing human-centred solutions to change behaviour, improve performance and deliver measurable business results.Key takeaways:The vast majority of learning is ineffective. Ant unpacks how a great learning designer questions everything and trusts their instincts. It’s very easy to just copy what others are doing, but if you ‘break out’ of the L&D world and review how else you learn in your day-to-day life, it’s easier to think outside of the box.Writing is a great way of teaching (and learning). From writing a daily email to his mailing list, Ant has become a better writer and has learnt a lot more about learning design. Find your medium where you can capture – or report – daily on what you have learnt or thought about to a community, no matter how small.Some of the biggest blockers for writing are not knowing who you are writing to and your mindset around writing. Ant has reframed what writing is to him – it’s about documenting, not creating content. This has been a powerful way to beat overwhelm for Ant, which enables him to write so frequently in a flow state. Focus on being a reporter rather than a leader or teacher, and simply share with others what has worked for you so far.Segmented time stamps:(02:26) How to become a better learning designer(04:34) Ant’s strategy to seeing things differently(07:10) How to move forward in new ways of thinking(13:57) Why learning designers should write more(17:41) Making the time to write daily and Ant’s writing process(21:20) Some of the biggest blockers for writing – and how to overcome themLinks from the podcast:Subscribe to Ant’s daily newsletterConnect with Ant on LinkedInFind more about Ant PughCheck out GaryVee’s YouTube channel,Watch GaryVee’s ‘Document, Don’t Create’ video on youtubeWatch recording of Sprout Labs webinar ‘Creative thinking for learning designers’
RedThread's Next-gen Learning Method Report with Dani Johnson
Jun 11 2022
RedThread's Next-gen Learning Method Report with Dani Johnson
About Dani JohnsonDani is the Co-founder and Principal Analyst for RedThread Research. Before starting RedThread, Dani led the Learning and Career research practice at Bersin, Deloitte. Her ideas can be found in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, CLO Magazine, HR Magazine, and Employment Relations. Dani holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University.Key TakeawaysRedThread's Next-gen Learning Method Report demonstrates that the ways people work are changing – and that the methods companies use to learn must keep pace with those changes. Their research shows that there are more than 60 methods that enable employee L&D, from the way employees consume information to how they can learn from one another.When it comes to analysing data, it’s important to be able to ‘sift through’ and identify actionable information. Dani gives a great example of benchmarking, and that it shouldn’t be a primary influence for an organisation, but a consideration. She also stresses the importance of being tech-agnostic.Dani also shares how skills development is important as L&D roles are becoming more central to organisations. The need for durable skills such as critical thinking, communication and leadership will be needed for such roles.Segmented time stamps:(01:50) Why RedThread produced the next generation learning report(03:20) The RedThread Employee Development framework(04:46) On how they conducted their research and what surprised them most from their findings(07:54) Some key takeaways for L&D professionals(11:56) Why L&D experts are making use of what they already have in organisations(15:25) On the need for skills development(17:10) The need for mindset shifts for L&D professionalsLinks from the podcast:Connect with Dani on LinkedInFind more about RedThread ResearchCheck out RedThread’s Learning Methods Infographic
Six Lenses Evaluation Model with Geoff Rip
May 28 2022
Six Lenses Evaluation Model with Geoff Rip
About Geoff RipGeoff Rip is the Founder and Principal Designer at Training That Works. He is a highly experienced and passionate learning professional with rich and diverse knowledge. He specialises in quality production of end to end learning, utilising social learning and technology, with a dedicated focus on increasing capability resulting in performance uplift.Key takeaways:Geoff’s methodology is 'performance first', meaning it is applicable if there is a performance need that requires a learning solution that is best met with a training program. It also starts with a clear picture of successful on-the-job performance. Two key models that are part of the methodology are the Training Effectiveness Equation (Formation x Transformation = Results) and the Ready-Set-Go-Show Model.Geoff shares his Six Lenses Evaluation Model:LENS 1 is Participation, which includes Attendance and Activity and is common to many other approaches to training evaluation.LENS 2 is Perceptions, i.e. participant reactions to the learning process in the READY and SET Phases, e.g. perceptions of psychological safety.LENS 3 is Realistic Performance. If we don't move people as closely as possible to workplace performance, the chances of them actually using their new knowledge and skills is significantly diminished.LENS 4 is Recall Performance. It relates to Imperative 1 in the GO Phase and is based on research into retrieval practice. Training designs that don't incorporate retrieval practice will inevitably be followed by a steep forgetting curve.LENS 5 is Real-world Performance. This relates to Imperative 2 in the GO Phase. There are three components (or levels): Perceptions, Process and Competence or Proficiency.LENS 6 is Performance Outcomes. This includes productivity measures and financial measures/metrics. It also includes ROI (as a financial measure).Geoff recommended a storytelling technique as participants find it easy to tell stories about application. A practical guide for storytelling is SHOW - Situation, How, Outcomes, and Wisdom. We need to evaluate real-world performance, even if it's only at the level of perception, and we need to treat this performance as a learning process.Segmented time stamps:(01:37) What most learning evaluation activities miss – and how Geoff designed a model to measure competency(06:32) The three phases to Geoff’s evaluation model: Ready, Set, Go, Show(11:00) Geoff’s approach to learning flow over using templates(14:25) The Six Lenses Evaluation Model(34:55) Measuring ROI on select parts of a learning process, as opposed to the entire process(36:44) How to evaluate learning effectiveness by telling a story through the SHOW acronym(38:12) Geoff’s key advice to improving your evaluation processLinks from the podcast  Connect with Geoff on LinkedInRead Geoff’s LinkedIn article on the Ready-Set-Go-Show for Effective TrainingRead Geoff’s LinkedIn article based on the podcast: Six Lenses Evaluation ModelBrowse the Learning Scientists websiteDownload Geoff's Six Lenses Evaluation Model
20 questions you should ask before talking about training with Jeff Kortenbosch
May 14 2022
20 questions you should ask before talking about training with Jeff Kortenbosch
About Jeff KortenboshJeff has over 20 years of experience in Learning and Development, working for global organisations like Philips, AkzoNobel, and IKEA. He is currently working at de Volksbank. Jeff is the author of the acclaimed book ‘20 questions Learning and Development should ask before talking about training’, where he unpacks measurable performance and business outcomes and relevant solutions that go beyond training. He is also an illustrator of digital explainer visuals.Key takeaways:See if your client already has a solution in mind, to help identify what they really want. As the learning designer, give them space to articulate ideas and get a sense for how committed they are to those ideas.Consider reverse engineering exercises to help identify the bigger picture, and the tangible steps needed to get there. Jeff suggests asking questions such as ‘What does success look like?’.  And it’s okay if you clients don’t know what good looks like yet – just focus on getting the team together to work it out for themselves.It’s important to find the key learners to work with from the beginning of the training process, as it helps prevent potential pushback from employees. Jeff’s advice is to start small, for example seek the five key learners that you can begin working with, then build up from there.Segmented time stamps:(02:03) How Jeff’s 20 Questions training works(05:59) The Parking Lot question(09:11) Getting to the route answer by defining success(13:06) Getting access to the right learners(16:12) Jeff’s learning process of co-creation(22:58) Jeff’s strategy for potential pushback from employeesLinks from the podcast:Connect with Jeff on LinkedInRead the book  20 Questions Learning & Development should ask before talking about training!
New ways university and workplaces are working the together with Warren Kennard
Apr 23 2022
New ways university and workplaces are working the together with Warren Kennard
About Warren Kennard    Warren Kennard is a globally connected higher education professional and reformer with extensive leadership experience across EdTech, strategy, marketing, business development and partnerships, principally in last-mile learning institutions positioned to scale.  He is currently Principal Consultant of Digital at Melbourne Business School.  Key takeaways:We are undergoing a rapid pace of change in society that demands certain skills. Transformation needs to happen within Higher Education to ensure that there isn’t  a broadening gap with market requirements. Higher Education needs to also review its own business models to keep up with the pace.The ‘disruptors’ of the traditional education model, such as tech boot camps, are offering training that is more practical and project-based. Consider ways to work together with these boot camps that provide such technical skills.Organisations and universities can leverage the future skills in workplaces by working together. Even though they operate very differently, hence the rise of third-parties like boot camps, it’s important to be patient, clear on each other’s expectations and establish a partnership of learning.Segmented time stamps:(01:56) Why Higher Education is rethinking the way its working with industries(04:30) Working with the ‘disruptors’ of Higher Education(07:27) Bootcamps versus university short courses(15:00) Advice for organisations who are considering working with universities(17:54) Innovation labs at universities(20:15) Exploring the different learning styles across programs(23:01) How would Warren like to see the development of future skills in workplacesLinks from the podcast  Connect with Warren Kennard on LinkedIn
Reimagining Learning with Aman Eid
Apr 9 2022
Reimagining Learning with Aman Eid
About Aman Ed    Aman Eid is a social neuroscientist of learning and an organisational designer concerned with how organisations transform via learning efforts. Coming from an interdisciplinary colourful background enabled Aman to have a unique approach to tackling the challenges facing organisations. In the last 14 years, Aman led and contributed to designing and redesigning 100s of learning journeys of agile teams, leadership communities, and organisational landscapes. For organisational reinventing to work, we need to reinvent the ways we learn together in organisations, and for organisational learning to work we need to reinvent the intentions of leading the learning efforts.Key takeaways:As many of us are reimagining the world of work, we also need to reimagine how we learn. Many of us have been caught up in the traditional way of working which focuses more on task mastery, neglecting the human side of work. Aman highlights that organisations are essentially “you and me” – a place where humans work together.We can learn from big tech companies when it comes to reimagining the future of work. As they are growing at an accelerated pace, we can quickly see what their success and failures are, and apply where needed to our workplace. A common weakness of big tech companies is their lack of hiring diverse talent, often due to their pace of hiring, so this helps us stick to the path of maintaining a diverse culture.L&D experts can help organisations reimagine learning by ensuring all employees have a platform to share their voices. By nurturing the “invisible leaders”, the key decision makers can then listen and be open to change.Segmented time stamps:(01:50) Why we need to reimagine organisational learning(04:25) Redefining work relationships(06:14) What we can learn from Big Tech companies, including their struggles(12:44) Bringing diverse talent to the organisational level(15:31) How an L&D expert can help facilitate the “invisible leaders”(20:32) Aman’s key advice with reimagining workplace learningLinks from the podcast:Connect with Aman Eid on LinkedInMore about Aman Eid
Fostering life long learners with Eva Keiffenheim
Mar 5 2022
Fostering life long learners with Eva Keiffenheim
About Eva KeiffenheimEva Keiffenheim left teaching in Summer 2020 to become an EDUpreneur. Her life’s mission is to make education fairer and better for as many learners as possible. She is a writer, and helps research, consult, and implement education projects. She also co-founded Speed Up, Buddy!, an NGO to support first-gen students. She shares in her weekly newsletter of +3K subscribers, Learn Letter, where she shares useful tools and resources.Key takeaways:Eva shares the three things that organisations can do to help their employees become lifelong learners:Provide opportunities for continuous learning. This might be a formal learning pathway that is made up of courses or collections of resources. It could be structured stretch projects, peer groups or suggested workplace learning activities.Leverage from powerful technologies. Studies have shown low completion rates come from limited engagement, e.g. just watching videos, and there are plenty of EdTech solutions that help provide more active learning, for example Maven, a cohort-based course (CBC) platform. Ultimately, adopt technologies that can help facilitate ways of engagement, e.g. testing, leaderboards and immediate feedback.Make space and time to learn and practice. It helps learners get into the flow of absorbing information, and gets them out of the ‘content consumption’ trap. The main thing is to make sure that learners have enough time to repeatedly practice what they’re learning.The human brain’s ability to recall information diminishes, and it’s no flaw of human memory, so include this fact in your corporate learning designs. E.g. revisit the topics, don't just lecture!Good grades alone don't reflect acquired learning. Having just a visual dashboard and tracking time spent are not enough. Consider accountability systems and ways to embed motivation within your learning platform.Encourage learning exchange and the concept of learning in public through feedback and connections. For example, share your notes or internal blogging.Segmented time stamps:(02:50) The three things organisations can do to help their employees become lifelong learners(05:41) Why it’s important to schedule in time for learning(07:47) Key strategies to practise new skills in the corporate environment(09:12) Leveraging technology to acquire new skills(13:36) The role of dashboards and measuring real progress(20:28) How to make the most out of note taking(22:27) Applying cognitive science to your learning design(27:22) Eva’s key advice to L&D expertsLinks from the podcast:Connect with Eva on LinkedInEva’s WebsiteFollow Eva on MediumFind more about Roam Research  Read the book Make It StickRead the book Atomic HabitsDo a course on MavenDo the course Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects with Barbara Oakley
The link between learning design and habit design with Britt Andreatta
Feb 21 2022
The link between learning design and habit design with Britt Andreatta
About Britt AndreattaBritt Andreatta is a thought leader who creates brain science-based solutions for today's challenges. As CEO of 7th Mind, Inc., Britt draws on her unique background in leadership, neuroscience, psychology, and learning to unlock the best in people and organizations.Former Chief Learning Officer for Lynda.com and Senior Learning Consultant for Global Leadership and Talent Development at LinkedIn, Britt is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of experience.Key takeaways:The basal ganglia is a group of structures found deep within your brain. They are activated when you perform habits. This is “autopilot” mode, which helps enable you to do tasks quickly, accurately and without conscious thought.  A useful mindset as a learning designer is to think about design habits.The brain’s reward system is a powerful motivation for humans to complete tasks. As learning designers, it’s important to leverage this concept and implement cues within your learning design.Ensure you are fully analysing what needs to be done and how effective your learning material is. Don’t take clients' analysis at face value, so go back to square one and be clear on what the best solution is.You can apply brain-based strategies to both in-person and online environments. The main thing is giving the learners enough space and time to practise. Britt recommends simulations, role plays and virtual reality for this.Segmented time stamps:(01:50) The link between habits and workplace learning(05:04) Integrating cues and rewards in learning design(08:08) Brain-based strategies used for building habits(11:10) The importance of analysing the full learning experience(13:24) Strategies for digital learning(16:25) When to consider using VR for learning(21:16) Why learning designers don’t apply enough brain-based strategiesLinks from the podcast:Connect with Britt on LinkedInBritt’s WebsiteRead the book ‘Wired To Grow’ by Britt AndreattaBooks and resources Brit recommended‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg‘Make it Stick’ by Henry Roediger III, Mark McDaniel and Peter BrownNature Scientific American
Design Thinking in Practise with Kuva Jacobs
Feb 7 2022
Design Thinking in Practise with Kuva Jacobs
About Kuva JacobsKuva is a Learning Design Strategist, Instructional Designer, and the Founding Director of Redpoint Consulting. Her passion for learning design seeded from a PhD in mathematics when she created visual, interactive, flash based modules that brought complex mathematical equations to life.Kuva’s focus is on improving the experience of the learner through interactivity, engagement and creative use of multimedia. She creates highly technical training materials right from the analysis phase through to design and delivery.Key takeaways:Constructivism is a theory that learners construct new understandings and knowledge – integrating with what they already know. Constructivism is the ‘Grandfather’ of human centred design. Constructivism and human centred design helped shift the learner to the centre of the learning experience.It’s important that learners design something for themselves for the product to work effectively. The use of virtual design sprints can help ensure the clients are engaged and involved along the process.Online whiteboards such as Miro enable online remote design sessions. Miro allows users to be all in one space, and you can organise and structure the information really well.Design thinking  gives you a closer connection to your learners. Be open to innovating in ways that suit your audience through working with key learners and identifying what people want to know.Segmented time stamps:(01:35) How Kuva came to use design thinking in her learning design practice(08:06) A process for using virtual design sprints(12:34) How Miro succeeds a lot more when used virtually than in-person(15:00) Using a survey to gather opinions for the prototype(16:48) Shifting to design thinking in learning projects – and learning from epic fails(22:19) The importance of understanding your audience and identifying how they want to learn(23:05) Advice to people about using design thinkingLinks from the podcast:Connect with Kuva Jacobs on LinkedInRedpoint ConsultingRead Kuva's article on How I Applied Human Centred Design principles to Learning DesignMiro
Straightforward Learning Analytics with Trish Uhl
Dec 29 2021
Straightforward Learning Analytics with Trish Uhl
About Trish UhlTrish works with learning & talent development professionals, people leaders, and other businesses executives on engineering dynamic ecosystems to equip and empower their people with data, analytics, and tech to enable the cultural transcendence necessary to power this kind of strategic change.Key TakeawaysOne thing L&D people get wrong when it comes to data is starting by looking at data. Instead, it should be more about starting with a business challenge or opportunity in mind—and then sourcing the data we need, whether it’s already available or needs to be generated or a combination thereof.It’s not about the learning function as much as it is about using data to generate the insights to drive the outcomes that allow others in the organisation to make better decisions.Data should be used to improve our processes. Data should allow us to expand our understanding and the context in which we’re using data to help us make more quality decisions.The whole point of evidence-based practice is to use the best quality data we have available, and this can include:DataOur judgment and expertiseStakeholder’s expertise, experience, and perspectiveScientific literature and academic researchThere are so many other data sources that we can use in addition to learning data, for example, Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation or smile sheets. We can line those pieces up to be able to have a journey that actually helps us over time to drive outcomes.While financial performance has been a critical indicator of organisational success in capitalist countries, the performance metrics are changing as we move into a more sustainable business world.“Even though profit is important, it can’t be the sole focus anymore – it’s about people, the planet, and prosperity for all” – TrishUsing existing logic frameworks and measurement scales that have been academically vetted and rigorously tested in the field can help us collect data and reach conclusions faster.We should use existing logic frameworks to answer the big questions - there are proven ways to measure qualitative data such as employee engagement, culture, safety, leadership, and much more. We just need to become aware of what tools already exist and take advantage of their reliability.“It’s not just about the analyses, and it’s not just about playing with data. It’s also about being able to compel action. We need to take that analytical insight and actually compel action with that” – TrishLinks from the podcast:Connect with Trish Uhl on LinkedInTrish Uhl on LinktreeLearn more about Owl’s LedgeUtrecht Work Engagement Scale -  for reliable, validated instrument for measuring, monitoring, managing employee engagement
Increasing Learners’ Motivation with Austin Welch
Dec 11 2021
Increasing Learners’ Motivation with Austin Welch
About Austin WelchAustin is the co-founder of Sage Media, a company focused on producing training and development content that is captivating and engaging for the learner audience. He combines research from behavioral psychology, cognitive science, and adult learning theory to create educational films that resonate with the audience and drive behavioral change. Through a combination of learning strategy, story design, and video production, Austin is revolutionizing the way that companies train and connect with their employees. Key Takeaways“We must create environments in which learners can find their own intrinsic motivation.” - AustinThe three key nutrients for intrinsic motivation include:Sense of autonomy: allowing free will to guide your decision makingSense of mastery: feeling good about your skills and what you doSense of relatedness: how we relate to the world and the people in oursWhen creating a mandatory course for employees, you can still create a sense of autonomy by giving them options such as what order they flow through the course or being able to choose when to take the course.A sense of mastery can be encouraged when you ask them to bring their own life experiences and lessons into the course.To boost relatedness, you can create message boards and forums where learners can bounce ideas off each other and connect around the content they’re learningDeductive learning is the traditional approach where you’re provided information, examples to reinforce it and are quizzed on it later. Inductive learning is where a learner is provided with examples and then they’re asked what they can infer from it, really tapping into the critical thinking element. This taps into their autonomy, mastery, and relatedness.Research supports that using traditional pen and paper workbooks while learning helps commit the information to memory and behavior.  Workbooks provide an opportunity for exploration while reinforcing learning concepts and ideas. They help leverage the mastery/competence and autonomy factors.We should shift our mindset from checking if employees are completing the training just to check a box to whether they’re demonstrating the results of the training. This will tell us more about whether an employee is a good fit, whether the training is effective, and if adjustments need to be made.When creating a training on sensitive topis such as anti-harassment, language like “don’t do this or this will happen” tends to feel accusatory and divisive but rather, find ways to create a sense of relatedness between the learner and the content. For example, asking “As a leader, how can you step in to create a culture that feels safe for your staff?” focuses more on building relationships and fostering a healthy company culture than the laws and regulations of harassment.To learn more about learning motivation, Austin recommends reading research on intrinsic motivation and self determination theory. Links from the podcastConnect with Austin WelchLearn more about Sage MediaRead Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-BeingLearning tools for increasing Learners’ MotivationExplore The Learner Engagement Summit resources
Does L&D really need to be using design thinking with Arun Pradhan
Nov 29 2021
Does L&D really need to be using design thinking with Arun Pradhan
About Arun PradhanArun is a leading innovator in the field of learning and development with over two decades in the field. He’s the co-founder of ModelThinkers.com, a platform that aims to provide solutions that empower people to be smarter and faster by cataloging a playbook of the world’s most powerful ideas. These ideas can be used to make better decisions, interrupt bias, and solve complex problems.He’s passionate and ever curious about topics such as cognitive psychology, behavioural economics, marketing, and anything that provides insights into how people think, behave and change.With his understanding of consumer behaviour and experience in learning and development, he brings an interesting perspective to the table regarding the role of design thinking in L&D.What is Design Thinking?Design thinking, or co-design, is the process of understanding the user, challenging assumptions, and redefining problems in order to identify alternative solutions that may not always be evident at first glance. This process involves several steps, including empathizing with and understanding the user, defining their needs or problem, creating an innovative solution, designing a prototype, and testing.Key Takeaways:Design thinking is still relevant and useful in L&D; however, it tends to be overused.Co-design is overused because people tend to think of it as a way to convince others to buy into their idea or solution, be it the consumer or the executives of a company. People tend to associate it with getting sponsorship.The overuse of design thinking can prove redundant for your audience. When done too often, an audience that’s already overwhelmed and busy will view the experience as just another project to add to their plate and won’t feel enthused about participating.Design thinking is still useful when there’s a level of complexity to the problem you’re aiming to solve.When you’re engaging with your audience, the primary goal should be to understand their context, needs, and pain points, not for them to help you come up with a solution, per se. That happens behind closed doors once the data is being reviewed.Sometimes clients just want a solution delivered to them. In some cases, it’s best to lean on previous experience and expertise to develop a viable solution rather than going through a design exercise.Segmented Time Stamps:(2:25) How is design thinking being overused?(4:10) When is design thinking useful, and how can it be used more effectively?(9:09) The role the audience plays in co-design(15:09) What’s the best approach for the prototype phase?(23:18) What’s next for using design thinking in L&D?(25:17) How can L&D teams become more dynamic with the way they use design thinking tools?Links from the podcast:Connect with Arun Pradhan on LinkedInLearn more about Model Thinkers, and be sure to sign up for the newsletterRead Arun Pradhan’s Linked post on rethinking Design thinking  in L&D
How leaders can foster a learning culture with Sumit Gupta
Nov 8 2021
How leaders can foster a learning culture with Sumit Gupta
About Sumit GuptaSumit, now a leadership coach, comes from 16 years of working in tech companies. He's now moved away from the technical side of things and slowly transitioned his passion for tech to management and leadership. Today he works with leaders from various tech and social organizations to overcome some of the biggest challenges they face in their individual leadership or with managing their teams."Learning is the foundation which helps your team to adapt to whatever is coming next. Learning is the foundational element of any team and of any kind of leadership" - SumitKey TakeawaysA one-on-one between a manager and employee is a foundational tool to ensure that there is space to learn and perform. Additionally, a one-on-one should be a place for a manager to listen to the people's concerns and work to provide solutions to their needs.A great one-on-one happens at regular intervals, once a week or every two weeks. The manager and employee are both present in a safe, private space to discuss not only status updates, but also to build the relationship. It should feel like a place where staff can disclose what's bothering them so they can work alongside their manager to develop the appropriate support they need to meet their objectives.When working with an employee who isn't meeting expectations, instead of using critical language like “underperforming,” consider reminding them of the expectations they signed up for, discussing where they're currently hitting the mark, and ask them what's missing for them to reach the level you need them to reach.  And then work to offer a solution to help them hit their objectives.As leaders, if you see that your staff may be lacking certain soft skills, it's your responsibility to help develop them through coaching or mentoring.One of the best ways to prepare a new leader or manager is through on-the-job practice - not just learning in a classroom setting. And also having a dedicated coach who can listen to what's happening and offer that one-on-one support and feedback."Everything which is difficult, or where you are not hitting the mark is an invitation to practice" – SumitRatings can be useful in measuring performance metrics, but managers shouldn't identify their employees by these numbers. There has to be that human connection and relatability still."If you measure a fish by its ability to climb a tree, you will always be called a poor performer" – SumitListen to your people to understand what they're good at, bad at, and what they want to learn. This can allow you to see if certain employees would be better suited for different roles based on their strengths and interests.To build a stronger learning culture, managers should set aside dedicated time for learning, thus creating a rhythm of learning each week or month.Segmented time stamps:(2:06) An introduction to Sumit Gupta(3:00) How leaders can foster a learning culture in tech companies(4:01) The opportunities and challenges tech companies face with learning at work(5:16) How to use staff/manager one-on-ones for fostering a learning culture(12:42) How to prepare leaders and managers in directing the one-on-one conversations(15:00) The effects of using labels such as “underperformer” or numbered rating systems to evaluate employees.(19:12) How to provide feedback to an employee without using a rating system or label(21:53) The key to making sure employees have dedicated time for learning(23:43) The importance of building trust with employees and structure around learning at workLinks from the podcastConnect with Sumit Gupta on LinkedInLearn more about Deploy YourselfRead "How to Have Career Development Conversations With Your Employees? Or How to Care for Your People?"
Onboarding Developers with Panos Siozos
Oct 23 2021
Onboarding Developers with Panos Siozos
In this episode, Robin chats with Panos Siozos, co-founder and CEO of LearnWorlds, an e-learning platform allowing companies and individuals to create their own online training school. He shares how the platform is used to onboard their own developers/technical staff, ways to encourage continued learning in a remote environment, and ways to streamline the creation of learning content for your courses.  “Success is not being defined by all the things we know, or how excellent we are at what we do today, but I guess it’s more determined by how fast we learn and how fast we adapt to the new ways of doing things” – PanosAbout Panos SiozosPanos Siozos has a Ph.D. in Educational Technology, with a specialization in Computer Assisted Assessment. He’s a co-founder and CEO of LearnWorlds; an e-learning company focused on transforming self-paced online learning. He has extensive work experience as a computer science educator and as a software engineer and IT manager.About LearnWorldsLearnWorld offers professional trainers, training organizations, and businesses a hassle-free way to create their own, personally branded online school where they can offer courses directly to the public as individual courses, bundles, or subscriptions.Key Takeaways:All employees hired at LearnWorlds go through training by taking courses designed for their job role directly through the LearningWorlds platform. This helps them not only learn about the job, but also gives them firsthand experience of how the platform works and what it’s like to use it.Companies that use an online platform for their onboarding program should focus on repurposing existing content that can be shared across the organization. Course content can be created through many channels, such as through recorded internal meetings or webinars created for a specific customer or audience. You can take existing content and reframe it into the context you want to teach it without reinventing the wheel. Learning content doesn’t always need to be polished as long as it’s relevant. Sometimes growth happens too fast to keep up with training content, so repurposing can be sufficient.If you provide employees with a place and the infrastructure to exchange ideas and teach each other, growth and continued learning tend to happen organically. People actually like to share what they know and to help other people in turn, helping to create learner and user generated content through discussions and open forums.“It’s an environment of constant challenges and problem solving this is what drives us forward” – Panos Even when working remotely, you can engage staff in a culture of learning. You can do this by giving them interesting problems to solve, by communicating expectations and company direction clearly, and by continuing to foster and build personal connections with your team members.You can encourage learning and growth with some of your most senior team members by giving them opportunities to teach or mentor more junior staff on the team; thus, giving them a new challenge to keep them engaged. Segmented Time Stamps:(1:25) An introduction to Panos Siozos(2:35) How LearnWorlds is using their own e-learning platform to onboard new talent(5:31) Is polished course content as important as relevant content?(9:14) How do you get people and teams engaged with generating content?(12:11) How to embed a culture of continuous learning during the onboarding process(17:06) The key to maintaining a learning culture in a fully remote work setting(19:50) What opportunities are there for more senior employees to learn and grow?(24:44) Advice for businesses thinking of transforming their onboarding programLinks from the podcast:Connect with Panos Siozos on LinkedInLearn more about LearnWorlds
Talent Pipelines in Tech with John Danner
Oct 4 2021
Talent Pipelines in Tech with John Danner
Join us for a new episode of Learning While Working as Robin chats with John Danner from Dunce Capital – a company focused on investing in the future of learning and work. In this episode, John shares his insights as to why tech companies need to be focused on developing their own talent pipeline as opposed to continuing to bid from a dwindling supply of senior engineers.About John Danner:In the 90’s John co-founded Net Gravity, which was one of the first online survey companies. He then sold it and pursued a Master of Education to become a high school teacher. Then, in 2006 John co-founded Rocketship Education, a not-for-profit charter school network focused on providing equal learning opportunities to low-income and minority students. He now runs Dunce Capital, where the focus is on investing in the future of learning at work. Through his varied professional experience, he’s gained a deep expertise that crosses over technology, learning, and business.What should a talent pipeline for a tech company look like?Ten years ago, there weren’t nearly as many tech companies with a need for senior engineers and the more prominent companies like Apple and Netflix were able to pay the salaries to scoop up the available ones for hire. But now, we live in a time where the demand for senior engineers is higher than ever before, but there isn’t a pool of candidates big enough to fill the need.We'll see companies bring in young engineers, and then either internally or through external partnerships, train those engineers for the first couple of years so that they're not a liability. So that would be my prediction about what's going to happen in the tech industry over the next few years, and I think it’ll be a big advantage  – John DannerKey takeawaysThe demand for senior engineers has far surpassed the available demand meaning that the future of hiring and training of engineers will need to change.Tech companies are going to advantage themselves by figuring out how to bring in much younger engineers and train them in their own culture and how to be an engineer.When companies invest in developing their employees and create clear career paths for them to work toward, they’re likely to get better retention.It can be a challenge for both small and large companies to train from within - each size company has its own set of problems.“An earlier stage startup doesn't have the capacity to do great training because the number of senior folks they have that would be capable of mentorship is just not strong enough yet. And you have the more mature companies, which until today have just been able to use the market to get the scarce resources that they need” – John DannerIn neither case are companies really focusing on how to develop people from within.“A lot of the companies, I think look at it as somebody else's problem still, and they wish that they could just find people that were ready to hit the ground running, and I think that's been true up to maybe five to 10 years ago in tech, but it's fairly clearly not true anymore. There is not a large enough supply of hit the ground ready folks anymore.” – John DannerThe focus should also be put on bringing diversity into tech so that there can be a representative group of people that mirrors the population. Companies can’t wait for the elite schools to become broadly representative and deliver them with diverse grads. And that’s why some of these post-grad accelerated Computer Science programs are so important; they help promote the diversity that elite schools and companies aren’t yet focusing on.The sooner companies get onboard with internal training and development programs, the better positioned they’ll be. The time of bidding up senior engineers is over.Segment time stamps(00:16) Introduction to John Danner(1:51) What should a talent pipeline for a tech company look like?(6:37) Investing in employee development as a means of retention(8:13) Can smaller companies compete with the professional development larger companies can provide?(10:41) Achieving the proper ratio of junior to senior employees(12:07) Focusing on building diversity in tech(13:53) Should accelerated tech schools have a role in helping people once they start in an organisation?(16:24) John’s advice for developing a talent pipelineLinks from the podcastConnect with John DannerLearning more about Dunce CapitalFollow John Danner on MediumRead Johh's post on Tech needs to stop whining about talent
Why Having a Learning Engine Is Important with Zachary Minott
Aug 28 2021
Why Having a Learning Engine Is Important with Zachary Minott
About Zachary MinottZachary Minott has a background in computer science, game and augmented reality programming and web and salesforce development. Beyond software engineering, Zach is an avid reader and learner. He’s also a talented writer on Medium where he’s amassed quite the following. Zach is passionate about expanding his knowledge, exchanging ideas with others, and finding new ways not only to create but to innovate. What is a learning engine?“What a learning engine is to me, is how many components are you going to put into your mind, that will allow you to move forward and be better than yesterday? How many ideas can you fill your head with, positive and negative, to optimize those things to your advantage” – Zachary MinottA learning engine is essentially the driving force that pushes us to continue learning and absorbing new information so that we can expand our knowledge and skillset. In developer terms, you can be a good developer if you know coding language but, what makes a great developer stand apart from the good ones is their ability to problem solve creatively. So, it’s not just about the core skills, it’s about adopting skills outside of what is traditionally expected for your work to stand out as exceptional.  KEY TAKEAWAYSThe importance of creative thinking: Sometimes looking out of your own profession, and your own discipline can trigger different ways of looking at things as well.The more you learn, the more angles you explore, the broader your view. And now, you can find connections between concepts like art, psychology and coding and combine them to create a more elegantly and intuitively designed code.Where a lot of developers are missing the mark is going beyond their technical coding skills when rather, they could be diving further into the problems they’re seeking to solve and the experience they’re trying to create for the customer. It takes a certain level of intuitive and creative thinking to go beyond what the technical aspect of programming can do.“Because when you're creative, but you're not exactly a master at the technicalities, you're able to figure things out on a similar level, just because you're able to see those things in ways that they can't see them.” – Zachary MinottThe best way to develop your learning engine is to just start small. Think of what knowledge can bring you the most value, or is of most interest to you, and then, pick up a book and commit to reading 10 pages a day. Watch videos, listen to podcasts, read newsletters even 10-30 minutes each day. Over time, the knowledge compounds and you easily become an expert in that field.SEGMENTED TIME STAMPS(00:25) Introduction of Zachary Minott(00:29) The importance of connecting pieces of knowledge to creatively perfect your craft(10:00) Strategies to build upon your knowledge and tips for building new habits(17:45) What is a learning engine?(20:41) Writing as a means to share knowledge and exchange ideas with others (26:45) Zachary’s advice for someone developing their own learning engineLinks from the podcastConnect with Zachary MinottRead his articles on Medium