Monthly Archives: April 2012

What my network expects from ASTD2012 ICE

ASTD ICE 2012 promises to be THE event for the learning community. Over 4 days, with hundreds of educational sessions, the International Conference and Exhibition is a fine opportunity to get up-to-speed on the learning world.

Having seen the agenda, I know what’s on offer.But what do people want? What is MY network looking for? What are the hot topics?

Over the past few weeks, I asked that question within my network and got replies from 45 professionals from the L+D world, ranging from Learning Managers in international corporations to freelance one-man-consultants like myself. Answers came in via Twitter, LinkedIn (including ASTDs virtual global village), email and face-to-face.

With a little help from my world-cloud generator, I was able to identify the most common answers, which I have summarised in this stand-alone sentence:


Let’s break it down….

Global and mobile learning
We live in a global marketplace. Even if we don’t do business globally, we can pull in learning from anywhere and push it out just as easily. The ability to do this “at the speed of business” (@charlesjennings) and on-the-move increases performance and efficiency. From a wandering salesman to a home-working consultant, the need to get learning on-the-go is becoming more and more important.

Performance solutions
As said enough already, learning does not equal training and training does not equal learning. Learning professionals must create performance enhancement solutions. Learning happens in rooms, on the web, in and out of the work flow and we need to be the “guide-on-the-side” (@C4LPT) that recognises, facilitates and supports the real-time need for enhanced performance results. More than ever, learning must be practically geared towards business results and actually get things done.

Social workplace
There is a lot of buzz in the learning world about the “New World of Work” in which we live. In part, this is the fruit of the global and mobile world I already mentioned. And it implies a cultural shift that is affecting learning. Traditional top-down learning solutions are still good in many moments, but other learning approaches may be more in tune with our working preferences. In the Kluwer Indicator 2011, we saw that employees learn most from their colleagues. The social workplace learns quicker than its non-social predecessor. It learns together. Examples like BT’s Dare-to-Share program that incorporate social media platforms to make peer-learning and quick and easy solution are becoming day-to-day.

2.0 signifies the process of “upgrade”. Regardless of what level the people in my network at currently operating at, everyone is conscious of the need to upgrade their working methods and approaches to learning. Continually. 2.0 is not seen as simply “the next version” but as the “upgrade mentality”. Learning professionals do want to know what the new hot topics are and what is trendy, but they also want to know how to always stay on top of their game, creating flexible changeable learning solutions that can deal with every tomorrow.

The community mentality is again linked to the social workplace and it’s mentality. It’s also linked to functions, needs, platforms. A community can be defined as a wide group of people with similar needs, functions and missions. They may or may not be working in the same company, but they share a common motivation. They may work in proximity. They might just get together from time-to-time like the HRMeetUp guys to create personal learning networks, share best practices and ask questions to other community members. Learning professionals can help to build the community spirit, bring people together, provide community tools and learning opportunities.

At the ASTD 2012 ICE, I will be checking out the following sessions amongst others to look for real stories, examples and approaches to global and mobile learning performance solutions for social workplace 2.0 communities:

  • ROE: The Ultimate Demonstration of Training Value, with James Kirkpatrick
  • …and the US Federal Government Best Practices Session on ROE
  • The Evolution of the Learning Model at BVBA, with CLO Ignacio de la Vega
  • Transformative HR: Creating Evidence-Based Change, with University SoCal Professor John Boudreau
  • Great Leaders GROW, with Ken Blanchard
  • Global HRD Trends, with the VOV and NVO2
  • Effectively Onboarding GenY professionals, with Alexia Vernon
  • Planning, Implementing and Measuring Social Learning, with the people from McDonalds
  • Developing Talent Outside the Classroom, with TalentGrow President Halelly Azulay
  • Follow me and my sponsor Kluwer for an update and I’ll see you there!

    6 more cool SWOT questions to identify opportunities

    I’ve already written 2 posts about SWOT questions and SWOT process. Read them first. This post delivers a few more cool questions for discovering opportunities. I heard these at the Innovation Cocktails meeting organised by @karpusj last year in Brussels….

    4 commercial questions

  • Where are your (potential) customers blocked?
  • What else are my (potential) customers buying, from whom and why?
  • What are the alternatives to my product and why do people buy them?
  • My product delivers [X]. What is [X] a substitute for [Y] ? How else can we deliver [Y] ?
  • 2 other questions for any process

  • Where are we wasting resources?
  • How do other industries tackle similar issues? What can I copy?
  • Voila! Simple, to the point…
    Good luck!

    Using video to invite people to training

    At a recent Kluwer Trainer’s Evening, we discussed lots of things that could be done using #SoMe before, during and after training to improve its effectiveness.

    I decided I would try using video to invite people to training, giving a little information about myself and the content prior to arrival. I thought this might simply help to create some rapport prior to an event and maybe align expectations. I also think the medium is nicer than a simple email.


    In preparation for a conference at the Federal Government last week on the New World of Work and how we need a New Way of Learning, I published this film…




    • This film was made in my office at home using a flip-cam. I decided to pay real preparation attention to the content of what I wanted to share, but the film itself was done in 1 take –> I don’t think people expect you to be a perfect presenter on such a film.
    • I uploaded it to my own YouTube channel (
    • The film was referenced in an email to all participants – 70 people in total.


    It was watched by 60 people so far.


    If you, as a traine, have questions about such simple add-ons to yor approach, mail me!


    Thanks for reading,




    Thank you @tallpaulnorman for teaching me what counts

    Copy of the email I just sent my first real boss…. Freelance business skills, attitude and approaches that count


    I was discussing today with my beautiful wife in my beautiful home much of a good start I got in business….

    Today, I run my own business successfully and love the entrepreneurial spirit. I first got that from you. Your 21yr-old start-up story impressed me from the outset.

    From Nomen UK, I learnt what a good, bad and absent manager was …you were one of those 🙂

    I learnt the importance of marketing in general, but more specifically the impact of brand. Today, my brand is clear, my internet presence is consistent and I’m managing (non-employees) well.

    I learnt consultancy skills by your side. I learnt how to ask questions, listen and get a feeling for client situation and values in order to create something commercially viable.

    I got my first taste of presentation skills – I now speak at conferences for Belgian learning networks, government and other…

    I learnt independence and creativity. I learnt project management skills. I learnt to work with different people from different cultures, different backgrounds, ages and preferences.

    I learnt how to facilitate brainstorming sessions (admittedly by being thrown in at the deep end) and the all important power of WhatIf?! questions that serve me just as well today.

    I saw you do regular SWOT moments, integrating them into your business planning and our performance reviews to create real strategic action.

    …. and by the way, as I said at the start: I discussed all this wife my beautiful wife in my beautiful home. I met her in Rotterdam, sent by you. We “developed our collaboration” in Brussels and you allowed me to leave early Friday and come late Monday at a time when flexi-time was not a standard ….and don’t forget your flexibility with the office phonebill 😉

    And so, my friend: Thank you!

    If you are not crying yet, let me know and I’ll send you pictures of Etoile’s kittens when they are born next week 😉


    Diversity Rap

    Listen to the podcast live version here (MP3, works directly on iPad iPhone Mac and on PC with VLC)


    I need diversity in my personal network
    To get creativity in my learning brain
    I’ve been on Twitter this morning and Yammer as well
    And all the chatter is exactly the same

    If I hear 1 more time that #TellingAintTraining
    Or get any more spam from some blow-job queen
    I’m gonna trade my new iPAD for a Commodore 64
    Turn off the WIFI or smash up the screen

    I wrote a blog post last month on the Obama effect
    And how true networking power has incredible reach
    But seeing the same old faces saying the same old things
    It’s well past time for me to practice what I preach

    So, thank you Harold for a pertinent tip
    In your Personal Knowledge Management webinar with Jane
    It’s time for some unfollows and to widen my horizons
    To ensure this repetition doesn’t rear it’s head again

    So if you’re on the goodbye list, please don’t be offended
    It’s not that I don’t like you and my interest hasn’t ended
    I just want to bring some freshness to my daily Twitter stream
    So I can get some new ideas and keep alive the learning dream