Chapter Blog

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  • Wed, July 18, 2012 3:00 PM | Grace Judson

    After my post a few weeks ago promoting the Independent Consultants' SIG, I'm now writing - regretfully - to say that I'm closing the ICSIG down.

    In observing what's happened over the last year, and in talking with several past attendees, it's clear that for many reasons we're just not getting the traction we need - primarily consistent attendance at the meetings - to make the kind of difference and offer the sorts of support that I had hoped.

    Everyone is very busy (yay!), and San Diego is a very large county, both factors that make travelling to meetings challenging.

    So the SIG as such will not be meeting any more.

    HOWEVER, I do plan to work with different resources to present a varied selection of webinars and teleclasses - such as the September "Inspired Time Management" teleclass - that I hope will be of benefit to ASTD-San Diego's Consultant membership as well as to the membership as a whole.

    Please let me know (just post in the comments here) what sorts of topics you'd like to learn more about, and we'll get them on the calendar if at all possible. 

    And of course show your support by signing up for the teleclasses/webinars as we offer them ... and then (ahem!) coming to them as well!

  • Tue, July 03, 2012 4:19 PM | Grace Judson

    The other day, I heard a small business owner who's also an ASTD-SD member say, "But I already do enough ASTD stuff.  I don't need to attend another ASTD meeting!"

    She was referring to my question about why she doesn't come to the ASTD Independent Consultants' Special Interest Group (ICSIG) meetings.

    I can only conclude that I haven't done a very good job explaining what the ICSIG is about, because it's not "just" another ASTD event.

    It's about growing your business.  It's about talking with other experienced business owners about the challenges we all face in being in business - especially those of us who are sole practitioners, handling all aspects of our businesses from marketing to bookkeeping to actually delivering our product or service.

    It's about collaborating with colleagues who understand the challenges we all face, helping each other find resources and answers to questions, and in some cases just saying, Yes - we understand - we get it - we've been there, dealt with that.

    And of course it's about celebrating each others' victories and successes as well!

    Up till now, the meetings have been informal, structured so that each person attending has an opportunity to describe a current question or challenge they're working on and receive the group's help.

    At the request of the members, things are changing a little bit, and as the founder and facilitator of the group, I'm excited about the new direction.

    Here's an outline of our approach, principles, and guidelines.

    1.  We are a group of ASTD-SD members who are experienced business owners, and we enjoy helping each other with the challenges that arise after we've been in business for a few years (not just a few weeks or months). We enjoy going deep into the questions of how to take our businesses to the next level. 

    2.  We agree to maintain confidentiality about each others' business goals, challenges, and practices.

    3.  We welcome new business owners and people exploring whether they want to go into business to attend our meetings and listen to what we're working on, but we respectfully request that they seek other avenues for answering their start-up questions.  Options include the Small Business Development Center (http://www.sandiegosmallbiz.com/) and SCORE (http://www.score.org/).

    4.  We meet monthly, on the third Tuesday of the month, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at a member company, CRM Learning, 2218 Faraday Avenue, Suite 110, Carlsbad.  (With many thanks for their sponsorship!)

    5.  Our meetings are not networking or referral meetings; they're working mastermind/problemsolving meetings.

    5.  At one meeting each quarter, we have a speaker on a topic relevant to small business (not training & development; we get that information through other Chapter events).  Topics may include business formats (sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.); taxes; organization and follow-up techniques; social media; etc. 

    6.  At the quarterly meeting-with-speaker, we also open the floor to new business owners and those exploring whether being in business is right for them, for Q&A sessions.

    Please check the ASTD-SD Calendar for information about meetings with speakers (which meeting, what speaker).  Because of the challenges inherent in scheduling an outside speaker, these meetings may not be consistently the same month of each quarter.

    I welcome your questions, comments, and feedback, especially if you have suggestions about speakers, speaker topics, and other ideas for us.

    And if you're a business owner - please come join us!

  • Tue, June 12, 2012 4:32 AM | Deleted user

    A large national company will conduct a conference in 2013 in San Diego.  This conference is both a  recognition and leadership development process for top leaders within the organization.  

    During a 4-hour segment of the two-day program, participants will engage in a large group (400 people) leadership development/team building activity.  The company is looking for individuals or companies who are capable of creating an activity for the conference that is:

    • Tied directly to very familiar aspects of the San Diego community and culture
    • High-value and high-energy
    • Focused on one of these topics: leadership, service excellence, team building
    • Easily accessible from downtown San Diego

    For more information, contact Alan Landers at alan_landers@att.net.

  • Mon, June 11, 2012 5:14 AM | Deleted user
    The ASTD-San Diego PEAK Awards committee is busy this month generating interest in the prestigious PEAK Award. The deadline for applications is July 31.  

    Learn more about the PEAK -Performance Excellence in Applied Knowledge - award here

    PEAK Performance Awards promote innovation and excellence within the San Diego Training and Development community by highlighting outstanding learning and performance initiatives. Many of us join ASTD-San Diego to share best practices and learn from others, and the PEAK Performance Awards program is a terrific opportunity to do just that.

    There are so types of learning initiatives that can demonstrate the essence of PEAK.  We've been impressed by the types of initiatives members have used to apply for the award in recent past years. We can’t wait to see what is in store for the 2012 process. Ready to apply?  Follow these links to the award application and scoring rubric and a short assessment tool to help you determine if your training and development initiatives are PEAK-worthy.

    This is the fourth time I've worked on the PEAK awards committee and it is really rewarding. Learning about notable training and development initiatives in San Diegois a privilege and helps me grow as learning professional.  I also love the people aspect of this committee - we have a great line up of volunteers working on Peak this year!

    Want to learn more?  Contact Karin Riggs at kriggs@deltadental.com. 

    Karin Riggs is the Training & Development Manager and an HR Business Partner at Cohu, Inc.  Her company was a recipient of the 2009 PEAK award and she decided to give back by volunteering on the committee in 2010, 2011 as well as this year.  Currently, she is a Co-Chairperson for this year’s PEAK committee.


  • Tue, May 22, 2012 6:50 PM | Anonymous
    As an ASTD-San Diego member, you probably value networking and building professional profile.  Posting to the ASTD-San Diego Blog is a great way to become known in the training and development community and to learn from and share your share your own experiences and perspective with your peers.  

    And it's fun and easy!  Here's how: 
    • Keep it short.  Optimal length is 300 – 800 words. If you have more to say, consider breaking it up into a few posts that we can post on a weekly basis.  For instance, if you find your post on about “3 pieces of advice for new grads” running long, consider splitting it into three posts, with one piece of advice in each.
    • set a timer for 20 minutes. and imagine your chatting with a colleague at a networking event.  Keep the tone casual. 
    • The best posts are passionate and include a point of view. 
    • Share some news - we'd love to hear about happenings in the San Diego T&D community, your experiences with the PEAK and Mentor programs, volunteering experiences, how you got a job through your ASTD-San Diego member connections. 
    • Want to write but note sure what to write about?  Some ideas:
      • Share your perspective on an article – or a book, chapter meeting presentation, conference session, piece of advice  you’ve been given – and share why you agree or disagree with (include a link to the article/post, if you can).   Share your personal experiences, how it applies or doesn’t apply to your work life.
      • Choose an audience or anchor your post in a specific time of year:  “advice for new grads” in May, New Year’s career planning in December, work life balance in the summer, how you've handled a specific milestone in your career (e.g., going internal to external).  
    • Speakers: *I'd like to be able to post Speaker blog posts about 2 weeks before the event*
      • Use the blog to build interest in your session, build rapport with your audience. 
      • Take a few minutes and go beyond your session description to preview what you're going to be sharing during your session, throw out a provocative question, or tell us something relevant about yourself and your experiences. You may even get some comments that will help you learn more about your audience. 
        • What sparked your interest in this topic? 
        • What is something surprising or practical about the topic?  
        • Why are you passionate about sharing it with the audience?  
    Look at other blog posts for the standard format – e.g., how to post your short bio.  

     Send your post to rebecca_gibson@yahoo.com.  Make sure you include (1) a title, (2) the text of the blog post, and (3) a 2-3 sentence bio. I'll send you a confirmation that I received it. 
     
    Here's a sample:  Rebecca Gibson is a proud member of ASTD-San Diego, a former Board Member, and the current ASTD-San Diego Blog volunteer. During the day, she's a Contact Center Solutions Consultant with Interactive Intelligence. Reach her at rebecca_gibson@yahoo.com or 443.254.3750.  
  • Mon, May 21, 2012 5:39 PM | Anonymous
    "Don't do for the team what they need to do for themselves, for example, transcribing the flipcharts from a session, etc.  Sometimes facilitators are too helpful and build a dependency on them. If it's the team's work they need to ‘own’ it and take care of it.”  Sharon Lieder

    I recently facilitated a series of experiential activities with a group of leaders. It was designed as a mini-orienteering, and at the beginning of the exercise, we divided them into two teams and asked them to select a team lead.  We then gave each team lead a map and asked him or her to assign roles (timekeeper, navigator etc.) The two teams then took off, meeting challenges along the way to their final goal.  

    Over time, we gave the teams more and more responsibility.  So, beyond a solid design, a lot of upfront planning and preparation, and getting things started, the facilitators stayed in the background.  In addition, we noticed that the more the participants did for themselves, the higher they rated the value of the experience.

    So adding to the statement by my colleague Sharon Lieder, "Don't do for the team what they ‘can’ and need to do for themselves…”

    Cathy Bolger is a San Diego-based coach and trainer specializing in Presentation Skills and Conflict Management Skills.  More information at: www.cathybolger.com and she can be reached at cathy@cathybolger.com

    Thanks so much to contributor and ASTD-San Diego Member Cathy Bolger.  Want to make a contribution to the ASTD-SD Blog?  Send me (rebecca_gibson@yahoo.com) your 300-800 word post (Cathy's post above is 200 words), a two sentence bio and I'd love to post it for your fellow ASTD-SD Members to see and comment on. 

  • Thu, April 19, 2012 9:06 AM | Mary Jane Riccardi (Administrator)

    I’ll take Culture Change for 100 Alex… the answer is E-learning Culture.

     

    What do you get when you bring together an LMS, a business need, targeted e-learning courses, and over 1600 talented engineers, scientists, and architects?

     

    I just returned from our 26th Annual Professional Development and Technical Training Seminar. This incredible event brings together over 800 of the companies top talent for 1.5 days of technical and business presentations highlighting new technologies, systems, and projects. I can remember when my team and I would present at this event to help sell people on the idea of e-learning. But last week, what I kept hearing was, “Do we have that on Learning Zone?” Wow… what a difference a few years can make.

     

    When we started this effort back in 2008, the idea of providing training on-line was completely foreign. I remember putting together a short 10 minute program for our CEO so he could experience the possibility. I did this using only PowerPoint, a free audio recording program, and a topic I found on the intranet. I had no other software, so needless to say it was pretty basic. Did it help? Yes, but the prevalent opinion at the time was that training needed to be done face-to-face.

     

    Four years later, we have over 450 courses available to our employees on our LMS we have branded as Learning Zone. Most of these come from a few select vendors, but we also create our own programs for Kleinfelder specific content.

     

    OK, I agree, it is one thing to make courses available, but do they get used? Do employees find them valuable? Yes and yes.

     

    True, some courses are compliance courses, so that helped us get started. But we have done other things to help spread the word. For example, over 95% of our courses are available to all employees 24/7. We utilize some of these courses in our instructor-led programs. For the past two years, we have marketed a featured course every month. Many of these are focused on specific business activities happening at the time or issues that have been identified. Performance planning, performance reviews, delegating, and project management are just a few examples.

     

    Also, as a professional services firm, our employees need to meet their goals of being billable. So having the flexibility to take training when it fits their schedule is important.

     

    We have started providing a short course evaluation after completion of each course. To date, 95.8% of those who completed the evaluation said they strongly agree or mostly agree that taking the course was time well spent. 98.3% would recommend the course to others. And we have had a 55% response rate to the survey. We must be doing something right.
  • Fri, April 13, 2012 9:16 AM | Alan Landers

    We want to create a place where our members can easily exchange ideas, ask questions, and share knowledge.  We’d like this blog to be that place.  We have many, many members who have over 15 years of diverse experience and we have members who are new to our profession eager to learn.

     

    One of the characteristics of trainers in general, is their desire to share.  I see it all the time.  When I started 30 some years ago, people like Bill Pfeiffer, John Jones, Tony Alessandra, Carl Albrecht, and even Ken Blanchard, the One Minute Manager himself, were members of our chapter and actively shared their ideas.  Today, Marshall Goldsmith, Allison Rosette, and others are doing the same. But you don’t have to be an industry guru to share.  Everyone has something they know that can help others.

     

    So to begin this blog, I have a simple question... In your opinion, what are the three most important factors or traits that contribute to the success of a professional trainer or consultant?

     

    Alan Landers, ASTD San Diego President 2012

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