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September 29, 2009

Welcome Dianne!

A great big PRU welcome to Dianne Sivald, Extension's new Grants Manager!

Dianne has many years of experience finding, writing, and managing grants, most recently with Minnesota Public Radio. She has many exciting ideas for making this new position useful and efficient, and is very enthusiastic about the work we do in Extension. Dianne will be a valuable resource for all Extension staff. If you run into her around campus or at Program Conference next week, please introduce yourself and help us welcome Dianne!

September 17, 2009

Informal Learning

OK, raise your hand if you've heard of informal learning.

I just went to a seminar on this, and I had no idea what it was. In fact, I wonder what made me sign up for it in the first place? Anyway. It was a good idea. Although honestly, don't you hate it when something they could have said in an hour takes all day? Geez.

The gist of it was that you can do formal education/training, and people forget 91% of the information within 7 days. Or something like that. I forgot to bring pen and paper. So I forgot 91% of his info. But if you give someone informal learning, which it turns out is usually a JOB AID that you use as a cheat sheet, people remember better. Well DUH! But I say DUH but do I have any job aids for you? Um. Not really.

So the presenter shared a lot of really nice, successful job aids and I am inspired to create them as the need arises in the PRU. I figure the next one we'll probably need is for grants (from the new grants manager). But are there any other ideas?

He also had an example of a successful online training--it used all kinds of little tricks (I mean that in a good way) to help you remember the info. Graphics, tag lines, stuff like that. It was neat.

Perhaps the best part of the seminar was sitting next to a woman from General Mills who does a lot of staff training. She told me about her super cool idea of giving every new employee in her unit (which is humongous) an iPod pre-loaded with podcasts by her and other key people, as well as a grocery store walk-through on there too. I told you it was super cool! And with the Pillsbury Doughboy just walking around and the free yogurt parfaits and granola bars, I have three words for you. Employer. Of. Choice.

September 2, 2009

New Grants Manager Position

Just an update--we are busy in the PR Unit working on filling our new position: Grants Manager. We have several good candidates and are interviewing them now. This new position is better described by people other than me, but a dumbed-down description is that he or she will be working with the overall process and strategy of pulling grants into the organization. It should be very helpful, since that process is a bit muddled right now.

I'll be glad when these interviews are over. I am having to be on my best behavior since I don't want to scare anyone off from working here. Really, we're normal and fun! Just ignore the insane redhead talking into the zucchini!

I could get a lot more work done if this zucchini would stop ringing