Sunday, June 5, 2011

"New Learning Architect" wrap up

Thanks to @MarkBritz for leading the latest book chat on Clive Shepherd's New Learning Architect! See the recaps below for details.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Closing the Book

I want to thank everyone for their contributions to this Lrnbk effort. Attention waned a bit towards the end which is likely due to several factors that a few of you have agreed with me on. Success of a book chat is really up to the individual and although I was hoping for more participation I found that this virtual book club mimicked a physical one in many ways and thus is an interesting study of online vs. offline organization. Some of the reasons presented, which can serve to benefit others are:

Book choice: The New Learning Architect was more of a hands on type read rather than a conceptual, interpretive book like the Power of Pull.

Questions volume: Less may be more. Although one shouldn't feel compelled to answer all questions presented, the thought of 20 at a time might be a wee bit overwhelming.

Question type: This relates somewhat to the book choice as the question may not solicit differences of opinion or other be of a nature that lends to continued dialog.

Dialog: Nothing inspires one to contribute when they feel they are being heard. In the absence of deeper conversation the desire to continue may fade.

Summaries: One suggestion is to have a summary writer ready and willing to tie up the conversation and bridge to the next section.

Finally, Life happens. Work, family, learning all have their place and priorities. Like many who expressed the same sentiment, I too got pulled away due to other demands periodically.

Harold Jarche's Blog title reads - Life in Perpetual Beta and from this I'm reminded that we learn, we adapt, we move forward. Many thanks to Jane Bozarth for sharing her space and I hope all learned a little something more by being present.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Learning Architect: Section 4

Thanks to Mark Sheppard (@elearningguy) & Barbara Smith (@MimiBarbara) for your contributions to this final segment!

On-demand Learning

Q1) Shepherd re-states the argument that on-demand learning isn't learning at all. Do you agree with this assertion. Why, or why not?

Q2) Where do you see this trend going in the next 5 years? 10 years?

Q3) What kinds of assessment or evaluation practices could or should be in place to measure the impact of on-demand learning?

Q4) Does your org have separate resources for L&D and for (technical) Documentation? Do these groups collaborate? Should they?

Q4a) Are documentation specialists really L&D professionals without knowing it?

Q5) Shepherd quotes Jay Cross on the social nature of learning. How can we make on-demand learning more "social"?

Plight of the Knowledge Worker

Q6) Jay Cross we spend as much as one-third of our time looking for answers or helping colleagues do the same. Is this true for you? How could you reduce the time needed to search for answers or help colleagues?

Q7) Jennings says that L&D isn't 'getting the message' about this rising tide of over-information. Do you support this premise? The Argument for On-demand Learning

Q8) Rossett & Schafer talk to the situations where on-demand learning is desirable. Are there situations where on-demand learning should NOT be practiced?

Q9) Should on-demand learning be implemented in a top-down fashion? Is that even possible or preferable?

Q10) What kind of "sidekicks" do you use? Are they self-supplied or are you leveraging work tools for an unintended purpose?

Q11) What role should L&D play in the provision of "tailored support"?

Q12) What bottom-up solutions or services exist in your workplace? What would you change or improve?

Conditions for Success

Q13) Share your best example of on-demand learning (as a consumer or the designer/implementer). What lessons did you learn?

Q14) Share your worst example of on-demand learning (as a consumer or the designer/implementer). What lessons did you learn?

Q15) Does your workplace have the necessary conditions to support effective on-demand learning? If so, please share. If not, what could/should you be changing to provide these conditions?

Profile: Darren Owen

Q16) Owen refers to "door stops" as those old, hard copy manuals or related documentation that seem to clutter our workplaces. What door stops do you have that you still rely on? Should they be made available another way?

Q17) He also talks about getting reference material from a supplier. Do you find vendor/supplier reference content to be suitable as-is for your learners? Q17a) Do you bother to change this material to suit the organization or just deploy it as-is? Tell us what approach you take, and why?

Q18) If you were asked to create a job description for the role of an Organizational Learning Architect what skills, knowledge, experience would you list?

Experiential Learning

Q19) Experiential learning is literally learning from our experiences. It is a very valuable feedback loop into our everyday work. It is “doing” plus “reflection”. How does your organization support your employees’ ability to reflect on what they learn during the work day?

Q20) James Zull says that there must be a conscious effort to build understanding from our experiences. What methods do you use, personally, to reflect on your learning experiences?

Q21) Some top-down approaches to experiential learning include benchmarking, project reviews, and job rotation. What top-down experiential approaches have you been a part of? What success/es have you had from these experiences?

Q22) Employees can also take the initiative to drive experiential learning using bottom-up approaches. One of the main ways this is done is through blogging. What experiences have you had with blogging? How has it supported your learning?

Q23) What role does the organization’s culture play in supporting experiential learning? What are some conditions for success?

Profile: Charles Jennings

Q24) Jennings joined Reuters, in 2001 as a consultant, to develop a new L&D strategy. He was able to help Reuters make the shift to collaborative learning approaches that allow the employees to reuse and leverage intellectual capital. What steps are you taking to move your organization to a more collaborative learning environment?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Learning Architect: Section 3

New Learning Architect Section 3 questions - Thanks to @KristiBroom and @MimiBarbara for your contributions this week!

When formal learning does the job

Q1) Shepherd lists six advantages with formal learning. Do you agree with all? Are there more?

Q2) Shepherd distinguishes education from training in this section. Why do you think the two terms are often confused? What should L&D do about that issue, if anything?

Q3) Shepherd says that “In their 1992 book Transfer of Training, Mary Broad and John Newstrom estimated that ‘...merely 10% of the training dollars spent result in actual and lasting behavioural change.’” Do you think that number has changed in the last 2 decades? Why or why not?

Q3a) What can we do about it?

Q4) There is discussion among L&D about e-learning’s place on the formal/non-formal spectrum. Where do you think L&D fits? Why?

Q5) What conclusions do you draw from the table on different parties impact on transfer of learning (loc 1346)? Can this be changed?

Q6) Of the four different training strategies suggested by Clark and Wittrock, which is the most common in your formal trainings? and why?

Q7) If you have every used the exploration setup, how was it setup? and what was the result?

Profile: Julie Wedgwood

Q8) Julie’s plan to transform her L&D department was based on a 3-year strategy. Is this timeframe typical? What do we do to make change happen more quickly? Do those actions benefit us in the long-term?

Non-formal learning

Q9) Shepherd says non-formal learning is “‘learning to’ with a future perspective...not ‘learning from’ what we have done in the past, nor ‘learning to’ do something right now to address an immediate need.” What examples can you share that fit this definition?

Q10) Peter Honey explains what’s wrong with courses: we know that spaced practice is effective, yet courses are delivered in a large, single dose; we learn by doing, but most courses are skewed toward knowledge; learning is about long-term memory, but most courses focus on short-term memory and assessment; we know about cognitive overload, but abuse it in courses. Why do we do this? What can you, individually, do about it?

Q11) What is L&D’s role in preparing learners, and their coaches/mentors, for non-formal learning?

Q12) What is the best example of non-formal learning you’ve experienced as a learner? What made it good? How can you replicate the experience?

Q13) What is the best example of non-formal learning you’ve implemented? What made it good?

Q14) Shepherd discusses communities of practice as a type of non-formal learning. What makes a community successful as a participant? as a manager?

Q15) How are communities of practice used in your organization? What makes them successful? What holds them back?

Profile: Tiina Paju-Pomfret

Q16) Tiina’s group creates personas of their key target groups, from which they develop user stories which form the foundation of the course. Do you use personas? If yes, how have they contributed to your design? If not, what do you use instead?

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Learning Architect: Section Two

Thanks to Mattias Kareld (@mattiaskareld) for his question contributions this week!

Top-Down Learning

Q1) What is the best example of top-down learning you’ve ever implemented? Why?

Q2) What is the worst example of top-down learning you’ve ever implemented? Why?

Q3) Shepherd says “to many l&d professionals, top-down learning will be their only concern and the only form of learning that they recognize or even acknowledge.” What are the implications for this?

Q4) “Top-down learning is needed to control risk.” Is that its only purpose? If not, what other purposes does it serve?

Q5) Shepherd asks “How many of the training interventions in your organization are clearly aligned to current business needs, rather than fulfilling requirements articulated sometime in the distant past?”

Q6) Shepherd says “no organisation ever set up an l&d department so this department could then determine the appropriate direction for the organization.” What actions do l&d departments do that support/refute this statement?

Profile: Dick Moore

Q7) Dick believes that "if you can give people an experience that makes them feel good about themselves, they'll feel good about you!" What ways do you address self-esteem in your formal solutions?

Q8) Shepherd states "Technology should be architected to deliver a service not a solution" (loc 978) How do you differentiate between the two?

Bottom-Up Learning

Q9) What is the best example of bottom-up learning you’ve ever implemented? Why?

Q10) What is the worst example of bottom-up learning you’ve ever implemented? Why?

Q11) “While top-down learning is needed to control risk, bottom-up learning is needed to provide responsiveness.” Do you agree/disagree? Why?

Q12) Shepherd says that most people will seek out information they need rather than waiting to be told. Do you find that l&d departments believe that statement? How do we operate in ways that support/refute it?

Q13) Shepherd says organizations must give employees discretionary time for bottom-up learning. Is this time allocation prevalent in your organization? Your role?

Q14) Shepherd talks about policies that restrict bottom-up learning. What policies do you see in l&d that restrict bottom-up learning? What policies support it?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Section One

And we're off!

Just a reminder - be sure to join us on . Again, most look to be using Kindles (or Kindle apps :) ) we will try to go with location numbers and provide enough detail to support folks with paper /PDF copies.

Thanks to Kristi Broom (@KristiBroom) for her question contributions! We have a lot of questions so feel free to answer all, order or just bounce around. Remember to place the question number in your response so we know the question you're refering to.


Q1) Shepherd says “As none of these [learning methods, learning media, the science of learning] is intuitive and obvious, the client cannot be expected to have this expertise. And for this reason, it is neither sufficient nor excusable for the learning architect to act as order taker.” What are some ways you avoid being an order taker?

Q2) “Learning may or may not be the reason we go to work, but it is an inevitable consequence.” What are examples of when you have found this to be true?

Time for a Rethink

Q3) Siemens says “‘knowing where’ and ‘knowing who’ are more important today than knowing when and how.” What are examples that support this? Refute it?

Q4) Location 218, Shepherd describes learning face-offs (e.g., off-job v on-job learning). How do you handle these face-offs effectively?

Q5) Shepherd talks of skepticism that change will be brought about by the L&D profession, which he refers to as dinosaurs. What are some steps we need to take to fuel the change?

Q5a) What changes are you seeing happening in your organization?

Profile: Nick Shackleton-Jones

Q6) BBC turned away from courses and toward resources. Are their organizations where this would not be effective?

Q6a) If you are working towards this vision, what steps are you taking?

One More Time, How Do People Learn?

Q7) Shepherd says “We go to work to do things, not to learn.” Do you agree with this statement? Do your leaders?

Q8) Shepherd suggests that people don’t resist change, but do resist being changed. What strategies do you employ to help people buy into/embrace changes?

A Contextual Model for Learning

Q9) “L&D professionals could do worse in future than to regard bottom-up learning as the default solution.” Does your organization support this statement? Why or why not?

Q9a) If Bottom-up learning moves to the default solution, what will be the learning professional's role?

Q10) In Loc 681 Shepherd recalls a statement made by George Siemens: "The more choice we have, the more likely we are to choose the familiar option." How do you fight the urge to stay in "familiar waters"

Profile: Sebastian Graeb-Konneker

Q11) Shell has a knowledge management strategy based on the requirement to “ask, learn, share.” What strategies do you use?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NEW Book Chat - The New Learning Architect by Clive Shepherd

This time around we'll be reading The New Learning Architect by Clive Shepherd. It's available on Lulu and for Kindle. Outside of the book choice, the dates, and the hashtag, much is the same as the last chat.

  • We'll use HootCourse. You can sign in with your Twitter account at . You can choose to publish your comments to the Twitter stream or not.

  • The Hashtag is #lrntect. HootCourse will automatically add this to your tweets.

  • The chat will be asynchronous again to meet the needs of people in different time zones

  • Questions will be posted here (each Wednesday starting March 9th) and people can join in conversation via the HootCourse link

  • The book has several sections (not identified as chapters). Last time around the group did well with about 60+ pages per week

All questions will be posted HERE at 8:00am EST on 4 consecutive Wednesdays starting March 9th

Thx to @mattiaskareld & @KristiBroom for suggesting the following reading assignments:

For Week 1 - March 9th: Introduction/ Time for a rethink/ Profile: Nick Shackleton-Jones/ One more time, how do people learn?/ Profile: Rob Bartlett / A contextual model for learning/ Profile: Sebastian Graeb-Konneker

For Week 2 - March 16th: Top-down learning/ Profile: Dick Moore/ Bottom-up learning/ Profile: Peter Butler

For Week 3 - March 23rd: Formal learning/ Profile: Julie Wedgwood/ Non-formal learning/ Profile: Tiina Paju-Pomfret

For Week 4 - March 30th: On-demand learning/ Profile: Darren Owen / Experiential learning/ Profile: Charles Jennings/ Putting the model to use/ Profile: Bill Sawyer

Looking forward to learning with you all!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Power of Pull" Ch 7 and Wrap-Up

Thanks again to Don Bolen and Steve Maul for the questions, and to everyone who participated in this book chat. I thought we had a volunteer to lead the next one but appear to have been wrong about that. These tend to pop up in serendipitous ways when we have a confluence of facilitator and book interest, so stay tuned for news of future chats.  

Remember to visit to participate. Click the 'hoots' tab to see all the questions.

Q19  (Chapter 7) How do you address the "not invented here" mindset? How can you "foster a learning disposition?" loc 3749

QWrap1 (let's abbreviate QW1) We've heard few dissenting voices in this chat. Any criticisms/concerns about the ideas we've seen? 

QWrap2 (QW2) What elements of push in your world do you find hardest to overcome? Has book given you any ideas? (ex: continuing investment in knowledge stocks = constrains agility)

QWrap3  (QW3) What will you do do differently now? How can you live "Power of Pull" in your life/work? 

QWrap4 (QW4) Access/attraction/achievement: What skills do you/we need to build? 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Power Of Pull Chapters 5 & 6 = Part 2

Here are additional questions on Chapter 6. Thanks to Don Bolen .

Remember to join us at . See more information about HootCourse in previous posts. 

Q18 How do you facilitate, nurture and support the collaboration mindset over the control mindset?

Q17 How do you find the cross pollinators? How would you move talent development from a push to pull program?

Questions on Chapter 7 and discussion wrap-up will be available Wednesday, 8 am ET. Please contribute any closing questions you might have.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Power Of Pull Chapters 5 & 6

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a happy, healthy holiday break.  This week we'll discuss Chapters 5 & 6. Reminder: We are discussing via HootCourse, which keeps us from flooding the Twitter feeds of those not participating, but you can choose to publish your own comments to Twitter.

 If you are enrolled in the course, anything Tweeted with the hashtag #lrnbkpull, including quotes from your Kindle, will appear in the HootCourse feed.  HootCourse doesn't yet have an app but can be accessed via a mobile device browser at

Chapter 5 questions, thanks to Don Bolen (@dbolen): 

Q14 How are you pursuing your passion?

Q15 How do you deal with those in the org that want to go back to an earlier era? ref. Clay Shirky - Loc 2591

Q16 How can you use deep listening in a L&D context?

Chapter 6 questions this weekend.