A Colleague Liveblogs at ASTD

I just saw that a colleague (whom I have still not met F2F though we have been trying to meet) here at ASTD 2008, Tony Karrer, seems to also be liveblogging today. He blogged about Tony Bingham’s introduction and Malcolm Gladwell’s presentation as well.

I look forward to debriefing the Gladwell presentation with him when we finally do chat in person!

Malcolm Gladwell in ASTD General Session Keynote

He lives in New York (in my neighborhood, by the way), and joked about how small apartments are there.

Outliers is a new book of his that will be coming out in November, and he is planning to speak about some of the ideas that derive from his book.

He wants to speak about art, primarily Picasso and Cezanne. He wants to speak about how the two of them are quite different (really? who knew?!).

There are two styles in creativity, according to some theorist he mentioned briefly. Experimental Innovators (people who never have big breakthrough ideas but who work through trial and error and who slowly go over the same territory until they become a master, like late bloomers), such as Cezanne. and Conceptual Innovators (people have big ideas that transform the ideas in their fields, precocious), such as Picasso.

He said he weighs 110 pounds. Those silly statements become the things we remember. That is all he weighs? What is he, a supermodel want-to-be?

Interesting how now he is speaking about Mark Twain and Herman Melville. Now Orson Wells and Alfred Hitchcock. Now speaking about their novels and movies. I am getting so confused. What is his point again? Perhaps it would work better on paper, but in a speaking way, I am getting lost. Maybe some slides for the visual learners (me) to try to follow where he is going with all this.

Very engaging voice and tone.

Ah, back to the point–we have fallen in love with conceptual creative sorts rather than with experimental innovators and those who work again and again.

Now he is speaking about rock music, with Fleetwood Mack (not sure about the spelling, as I have never written their name before). Their greatest album was their 16th album. Huh? What areas of humanities and art and culture will he discuss next? Now he is doing the history of that group, with all the names of the various musicians in the band.

Help! Anybody want to play checkers or Monopoly?

Ahh, Fleetwood Mack wore berets at one period. Another useless fact I will remember about them and about this session.

This is painful. I wonder if I am the only one who is wondering what he is doing. I am sure Gladwell is leading in a direction. He writes so well and is a dynamic speaker, but still, glad I am sitting by the exit. I really hope he ties this all together to make the cultural exploration worth the time at a training and development conference.

I recall when he spoke at the ASTD San Diego convention I attended a few years back. He spoke about The Tipping Point, which I bought and which he signed and which I then left in the seat pocket on a Continental flight on the way home. More useless stories, perhaps?

I am wondering about the informal learning that is happening within this keynote. I wonder what other people are thinking this very minute?

Good god, he is now speaking about sports.

Looked at the schedule for today. It says he still has 25 more minutes.

Did he just say “I could go on?” Then he does! Some people are starting to leave. He is talking about 7 quarterbacks who have done something or another.

Ahh, something about talent. Oh, still speaking about quarterbacks. and Picasso. Cezanne and quarterback qualities. How can I spell out a groan?

I have liveblogged for a number of years, and often censor myself (without consciously doing it, now that I am thinking about it–need to do some reflection here . . .) by not saying much that I think is critical of the experience or the person who is speaking (hey, he or she has prepared and is on the bill, I am not). However, I am having trouble sitting here without discussing this frustration.

I like using Windows Live Writer, and think it works really well with WordPress.

Have been reading the schedule and sessions for today, and forgot for the time that Gladwell is still speaking.

Now another author reference that is beyond me (or perhaps I misheard him?).

Ahh, our job is to support the training and assistance of those who take 15 years to write their masterpiece. I think this relates back to Cezanne.

It is now over.

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Tony Bingham and Talent Management (ASTD General Session)

Here I am in the back of the opening session, and they just told us to take our seats. Then they turned off the lights. Nobody can see, except by the bight light of my screen.

Tony Bingham, ASTD President and CEO was just introduced. He is a rather engaging speaker. “There has never been a better time to be in learning.” Sounds positive. Hopeful. Yet also with its own challenge by being involved in a field that is the first to be cut as non-revenue generating. Of course, the possibilities are also limitless for demonstrating strategic value.

Tony is speaking about the BEST winners.

Tony stated that Talent Management is now the hottest area in organizational workplace learning and performance. People are the strategic advantage.

Evident that there is not a unified vision of talent management. Talent management was not even easily defined, so they defined it in a five-line definition. I wonder if it is really that complicated that it can not be simpler. Talent management, as a definition, looks like it was developed via committee.

There were just a few short videos on people discussing talent management and development. Senior executives seem, in those firms, to identify those with high potential and then track / support / engage them.

Tony asked two questions, “How many know your organization’s key strategies?” “How many people know your organization’s key metrics?” He then spoke about linking the two. Link learning with what is most important with our organizations. Sounds like good advice to me. How can budgets get cut

Tony’s recommendations:

  1. Create a learning brand. A culture of learning. Leverage it to help recruit, develop, and retain staff
  2. Leverage learning to manage talent.
  3. Take action on the skills gap. There will always be a skills gap. Fill it with training that follows #4.
  4. Be a business partner. We must deserve to be at the leadership table.

There are tremendous prospects in learning, as training effects the greatest resource in organizations–their people.

Keeping Interactivity at the Center of Rapid Development

Bryan Chapman is about to do what appears to be an interesting session, one that is very much needed at one of my organizations (VNSNY) that I represent here. The main project on which I am working is Clinical Orientation Redesign Project, and we are planning to move a lot of our training into rapid eLearning development.

Bryan started his session with a Family Feud interactive game, listing a number of reasons why people do not use interactivity during rapid development (cost, skill set, technology, time, etc.).

He then explained how much time his research (though I am not sure if it is via his own company or through Brandon Hall, where he said he used to work. BTW, another use and set of references for research without any explanation of sample size, methods, etc.) demonstrated it takes to create various sorts of learning.

Did I hear him correctly? He just said:

  • It takes 34 hours to create every one hour of instructor-led training
  • It takes 33 hours to create every one hour of PowerPoint to rapid-developed eLearning
  • It takes 220 hours to create every one hour of standard eLearning (simulation, etc.)

I wish Bryan would have discussed his research around this. He did list some of the references on his handout, but the reference was to the Brandon Hall materials, and not the research process or methodology by which the process was created.

The IBM Learning Model is an interesting concept–60% of the learning is basic content, and can be done individually with eLearning. The next 20% is scenario-based eLearning, and the final 20% is instructor-led and reinforcement. In this model, the 60% would take 33 hours for each content-based eLearning, while the next 20% would take 220 hours each, and the final 20% would take 34 hours for each 1 hour.

Bryan is a really engaging speaker.

He just linked Bloom’s Taxonomy with the IBM Model-knowledge and comprehension are the out layer of eLearning content; application is the simulation component; and analysis (the why), synthesis (new and better improved methods), and evaluation (is this a good way to do this?) are all in the instructor-led components.

Bryan finally offered some software demonstrations of some tools, from the pricey but interesting Raptivity (full interactive version is over 8k, to the free Hot Potatoes and Quandry. Lots of great programs, and I can just hear the same initial objections during the Family Feud still being loud and present in the reasons for why these programs should not be used.

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Identifying Solutions for Effective Individual and Team Onboarding

I am looking forward to seeing Maude DiVittis present at this session. I have known and studied with Maude while at Columbia, but have never seen her present in this sort of forum. It will be nice to see what she has been doing with her work, now that she is an independent consultant.

The session is scheduled to begin now, but neither of them are here right now. Not a good sign.

I just spoke with a fellow behind me, and he said the last session in this room was the same thing–nobody showed up and somebody came and announced the session was canceled.

OK, now we are 5 minutes into the session, and still nobody is here / no laptop. Definitely not a good sign.

Somebody just announced the speakers are a little lost and the volunteer office is looking for the speaker. I am concluding they are not showing up; people are leaving. Too bad.