How to Combat “Inspiration Overload” After a Conference

information overload

Fun fact about yours truly: I have the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors for my local chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD – formerly ASTD). Last week, I was able to attend the organization’s annual Chapter Leaders Conference (ALC), where I was also able to present a session. The conference, in a word, was fantastic. Our team walked away with so many ideas and plans to grow and progress our chapter…so many ideas, in fact, that it’s a bit overwhelming now that I’ve been back home for a few days.

Have you ever been to a conference, workshop or other event like that?

How do you harness that positive energy when you return to the hustle-bustle of the routines and responsibilities in the real world?

Well, here are three strategies to try:

1. Follow the backchannel.

Most conferences and events have a dedicated hashtag to categorize tweets and tweeters. This is a valuable resource to not only engage in the online conversation that is running in tandem throughout the live event, but you can favorite, retweet and curate your favorite ideas and resources to review and access afterward.

2. Connect with attendees.

Nowadays, it’s not just about collecting business cards to stuff in your Rolodex and forget about. Use the business cards to connect with like-minded people, session presenters and other interesting people via LinkedIn, Twitter, email and other channels. Follow up with questions. Continue conversations. Share resources. Hop on a Skype call to share ideas over a cup of coffee. If you’re lucky enough to be geographically close, actually meet up in person for that cup of coffee!

3. Put your notes and ideas in an obvious, accessible place.

For me, it’s my Moleskine notebook. If it’s in my notebook, then it goes with me just about everywhere. For you, whether it’s a Moleskine or Evernote (or whatever your notetaking tool/app of choice might be), use it when inspiration strikes. Make a to-do list with your action items – I typically don’t take a lot of notes in the conference-provided booklet/agenda, because I don’t always have that handy after the event. If it’s something I want to explore post-conference, I need to put it in a place I know I’ll look at it.

Several months ago, I wrote a somewhat tongue-in-cheek post about how to have a bad time at a conference. After last week’s ATD event, I can say the same ideas hold true. You get what you put into it, folks. If you are fortunate enough to be able to attend conferences – even every once in awhile – then take advantage of the opportunity to learn, grow professionally and connect with others in your industry. What a privilege that is!

Your turn: How do you get the most out of conferences and workshops? How do you apply what you’ve learned (and keep the inspiration alive!) after the event? Share your ideas in the comments below!

 

Know of someone who would appreciate this post? Be kind and share it!

 

Are you located in or near Indiana? Join CIASTD (ATD – Central Indiana) for our annual Learning Summit on Friday, November 7!

Learn more about the chapter’s premier event of the year, check out the impressive presenter lineup and REGISTER on the chapter website!

 

Stay tuned for a BIG announcement from phase(two)learning!

Don’t miss it! Click the button below to subscribe for email updates from phase(two)learning…you’ll be glad you did!

Subscribe to receive email updates from phase(two)learning

 

Tech Tools for Training

TD-Magazine-July-2014

Here’s an exciting little nugget: I was thrilled to contribute an article for this month’s issue of T+D magazine.

The topic? “Tech Tools for Training”. As a longtime supporter of using cell phones and other devices in training sessions, this was a fun topic to explore. The article includes 8 easy-to-use apps and tools, as well as suggestions for surviving a technical malfunction or other disaster.

I’m not going to quote the article in this post, but I did want to share it for you here on phase(two)learning!

You can access the online version here.

If you are not an ATD (formerly ASTD) member and would like to see a PDF of the actual magazine article, you can access it by clicking on the image below:

T+D-Magazine-July-2014-Tech-Tools-for-Training-Michelle-Baker

I’ve also added it to the Free Resources tab here on the blog. Enjoy!

 

Your turn: What are your go-to tech tools to use in the training class? How do you leverage cell phones and other devices to engage learners? Share your favorites in the comments below!

 

Know of someone who could benefit from this post? Be kind and share it!

 

Bring phase(two)learning to your organization and take advantage of a July T+D special!

Now scheduling workshop dates for Fall 2014 and beyond! Contact us before July 31 – mention the T+D article to receive 15% off your workshop pricing!

Current topics can be found on the phase(two)learning official website, or just ask about a specific topic that is relevant for your team or event.

 

Learning Professional = Change Agent

learning-professionals-are-change-agents

Did you happen to catch the big announcement from ASTD yesterday?

ASTD, the American Society for Training & Development, is getting a new name and logo! The organization will now be known as Association for Talent Development (ATD). You can learn all about the change here.

One of the hats I wear is sitting on my local ASTD (umm, ATD…that’s going to take some getting used to!) board as Director of Social Media, so I was tuned into the live stream of the announcement so I could share the big news on our chapter’s social channels. As I soaked in the news and followed the stream of reactions through the #ASTD2014 and #ASTDnews, it made me think about change.

This new name, the new logo and branding, it really confirms something we already knew: It’s not just about the training. The organization is remaining true to its roots, recognizing that training is still an important part of developing people…but there’s so much more to it than that. We are in the business of developing people. Of communicating. Of collaborating. Of learning.

(By the way…what a privilege, amiright?)

ASTD – the American Society of Training & Development – was founded over 70 years ago. Think of how many changes our industry has seen in that time, how businesses have changed, how communication has changed – heck, how the WORLD has changed. Naturally, our largest association (and each of us) must embrace those changes and evolve as well.

This timely change is a great opportunity for each of us to pause and reflect upon our roles with the organizations we support. How are we acting as change agents for the businesses we support? How can we immerse ourselves to truly understand organizational change and use our platform to influence others?

Take a moment and think about how you can embrace change and support progress within your organization – whether progress at the organizational level, with your team or even personally. Be the change, friends!

Your turn: I’m curious about your thoughts about ASTD/ATD’s name change…please take a moment and answer the poll below, and then share your thoughts about this change and the evolution of workplace learning in the comments below!

 

Want to get your network thinking about change? Be kind and share this post!

Have you subscribed yet?

To receive phase(two)learning goodness delivered to your inbox each week, simply add your email address in the upper-right corner of this page. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Breaking the Rules: Innovation and Interaction for Leadership Development Programs

breaking-the-rules-innovation-and-interaction-for-leadership-development-programs

Note: This past Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending the fall conference for the Central Indiana chapter of the American Society for Training & Development (CIASTD). Not only was I able to attend, but I also had the honor of presenting.  This post is a recap of that session. If you attended this – my sincere thanks for spending a little time with me!

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that my style isn’t exactly conventional when it comes to learning. My career has been largely shaped by the opportunity of bringing learning experiences to the workplace, and I refuse to believe that those learning experiences have to “look” a certain way. As I began preparing the content for this session, my intent was to “represent myself” with phase(two)learning, rather than presenting on behalf of the day job.

You know, building brand awareness and all. :)

But I quickly realized my examples and talking points were coming directly from the new Leadership Development initiatives we have been implementing at the day job, and I was excited to share those, soooo…I just pulled double-duty on the representation.

The session title was “Breaking the Rules: Innovation & Interaction in Leadership Development Programs”. I was thrilled to see standing room only for the session! Conference attendees had several terrific topics to choose from during that time slot, so the fact that so many made the decision to spend a few minutes talking about Leadership Development was awesome.

Speaking of time slots…I was given the dreaded “right-after-lunch” time slot. When I saw the schedule a few weeks ago, this pretty much sums up my reaction:

pouting-because-training-right-after-lunch-is-rough

(Okay, maybe I just wanted an excuse to share a pic of my adorable nephew, Logan.)

Despite the less-than-ideal time slot, I am proud to report that noticeable yawning was minimal, and no one fell asleep.

Did you know that U.S. businesses spend over $170 billion-with-a-B per year on leadership-based curriculum? Much of this is spent on leadership training.

Those of us in the learning biz know that training, education, learning and development are all different things. But from this statistic, it’s clear that many, many people don’t realize the distinction.

We don’t always need to be training our leaders, but we do need to be developing them.

Training often focuses on best practices. Development should focus on next practices. What’s next for me? What’s next for our team? What’s next for our organization? What’s next for our customer? What’s next for our industry?

You get the idea.

Leadership development programs will vary, depending on culture, people, needs, etc. Regardless of the myriad of differences, successful leadership programs often share 3 qualities:

Learner Motivation – Participants WANT to be involved. They take ownership of their development and are motivated to discover what might be “next” in their career paths.

Program Quality – A well-planned program and engaging content is a must. There must be a long-term strategy, not an ad-hoc hodgepodge (yes, that’s the technical term. Hodgepodge.).

Manager Support – A participant’s direct manager needs to be involved in the process, from providing ongoing feedback, to coaching, to helping his/her emerging leader to build relationships up, down and across the organization. This also goes for upper-level managers and executives: They need to be engaged in the program, endorsing its value and simply getting involved.

During the session, I challenged attendees to brainstorm in teams how they could facilitate leaderhsip/learning with methods they were provided. Here are a few photos from flip charts they used to record their discussions:

getting-employees-involved-in-the-onboarding-process

facilitate-learning-and-leadership-with-book-clubs-and-discussion-groups

leverage-user-generated-content-in-leadership-development-programs

The slide deck from this session can be found here:

CIASTD session – Breaking the Rules

In the deck, you’ll find a number of other progressive ideas that we have recently implemented at the day job in our new leadership development program. If you have questions or would like to chat further about the, drop me a note or leave a comment below!

Did you know?! This session can be tailored and delivered for your organization, conference or retreat! Check out phasetwolearning.com for more information, or drop an email with your questions!

Like it? Share it!