Archive for December, 2009

by Dawn Francis, Ed.D.

One of my last blog entries prompted a reader to ask how my research on transformative learning can apply to organizational transformation. She specifically wondered how it can apply to organizational transformation that occurs through the merger and acquisition of companies. What a great question! When two organizations become one through a merger or acquisition, this creates an intense change in culture. The way you used to work…well, it’s different now. The people you used to work with…well, they’re different now. The assumptions governing your performance on the job…well, you’ll need to change them now. It’s hard to fathom a more disorienting dilemma. Suddenly, you have to unlearn old behaviors, and relearn new behaviors. That’s a recipe for transformative learning, to be sure.

How do you survive cultural change and transform your perspective on the change in the process? Here are a few key tips:

  • First Things First: Reflect – Changing the way you perform on the job is never easy. Gain strength and clarity by examining your own beliefs and assumptions about the organizational transformation. Ask yourself why you might be resisting change. Consider the opportunities inherent in the change—both for yourself and your team.
  • Dialogue with Others – Listen to others’ reasons for resistance. Share your own concerns. Collectively consider the possibilities for personal and professional growth that lie ahead throughout the change process. Create a shared vision of the future that’s in alignment with the strategy being set by leaders within the organization.
  • Gain New Skills and Knowledge – New ways of work often require different skills and knowledge. Take account of the revised business goals for your organization. Work with your manager to determine how your performance needs to align with these goals. Proactively identify gaps in your skills and knowledge that will likely inhibit your ability to perform according to these new expectations. Secure the skills and knowledge necessary to change your behavior. In turn, you’ll feel more invested in the change and more empowered to change.
  • Build Competence and Take Action – As you apply your new behaviors on the job, request the support you need to perform to expectations. This support might be in the form of performance support tools, coaching/mentoring, and process improvements. Ask for feedback and engage in continuous learning.

As these tips illustrate, your survival through personal and organizational transformation depends on your willingness to embrace new perspectives, your desire to gain new skills and knowledge, and your ability exhibit new behaviors.


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by Rich Mesch

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of delivering a session on Virtual Worlds at the eLearning Guild’s Online Forums with Susan Hendrich of AstraZeneca. The title of the session was “10,000 Reasons Virtual Worlds Won’t Work for Your Organization…And 10 Good Reasons They Will.” I titled the presentation that way because the more I talked to organizations, the more I heard, “Yeah, we looked at Virtual Worlds, and we realized it wouldn’t work for us.” Now, that’s not too surprising—in a recent post, I talked about Gartner’s Hype Cycle, and how Virtual Worlds were in the Trough of Disillusionment. And the reality is, like any new approach and new technology, there are significant barriers to success. So my thought was, let’s be upfront and honest; let’s talk about all the good reasons why organizations feel they can’t implement Virtual Worlds, and then let’s talk about some things you can do to help drive success.

 I wanted to talk a little bit more on the blog about what those 10 good reasons were. So let’s start in the middle, with #5.

 Reason #5: Virtual Worlds encourage human interaction, instead of replacing it.

Once upon at time we primarily used classes to teach. Experts had information, and they gave it to others. The model looked like this:


That worked for about ten thousand years. About thirty years ago, we started using computers. Except, instead of creating something new, we just allowed the computers to replace the expert. The model looked like this:


Pretty familiar, right? Information was still one-way.

 Just a few years ago, the concept of Web 2.0 came along. The biggest difference with Web 2.0 was that technology was now encouraging participation. The truth is, everybody in an organization has valuable information. And that information needs to flow between everybody, not just from experts outward. And the technology needs to support that and provide the conduit for the communication, not replace it. Whether it’s social networks, mobile applications, or immersive learning, technology needs to keep information flowing from people to people. The model looks more like this:


One of the great things about virtual worlds is they can create the same kind of one-to-one or group-to-group interaction that works so well in real life; the benefit, of course, is that virtual teams that can’t necessarily be in the same room can communicate more effectively. Sure, they could jump on a conference call or a WebEx, but that would eliminate the a lot of the visual and emotional cues that create effective communication… and we’ll talk about that more in my next post!

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by Sherry Engel

I recently read an article titled Talent Intelligence: Cut Through the Chaos. So much of this article resonated with me. As learning professionals, we have started to talk about measuring the impact of learning.  However, as performance consultants, have we considered the overarching value of talent? This article discusses how to develop a strategy that answers two questions.

1.  What are we trying to impact and improve?

2.  What talent levers can be triggered to affect the desired outcome?

The article examines a Talent Intelligence Framework which when implemented helps organizations more strategically align their talent for business results. 

So how does a company begin implementing this framework? The article outlines the following five steps:

1.   Identify client stakeholders with talent decisions to make.

2.  Beg, borrow, and steal people with sufficient analytic and performance consulting competencies.

3.  Keep HR and non-HR stakeholder’s engagement through the talent intelligence life cycle.

4.  Standardize metrics and analytics definitions.

5.  Pick the most cost-effective tools to deliver metrics and analytics to stakeholders that need them.

Check out the full article! http://tiny.cc/YCd27

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