Recently in training logistics Category

What's in a name? Apparently motivation, interest, application, and all sorts of other good things.

How do you "sell" your workshops to internal staff? A lot of it has to do with the name of the training. Is it a dry descriptor (Email Basics), or a snappy eye-catcher (Collaborating with Others using Microsoft Word)?

It is not just the title that matters, if they continue reading, potential participants want to know that the workshop contains useful application, relevance, and is content-rich. Staff will want to sign up for a session that sounds interesting, engaging, perhaps even (gasp!) fun.

I know this isn't rocket science (is rocket science even rocket science?), and, at the same time, I feel like a need a major algorithm to attract people to our workshops.

What a tangled web we weave...

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Staff Education & Development (SED), "my" department, has a responsibility to develop Libraries employees in a way that supports the overall strategic direction of the organization.  One problem of maintaining this programming element is, once I back up to the 30,000 foot view of the organization from above, things get complicated. From that height, I can see that everything is connected. Everything.

In that context, determining departmental priorities and taking action becomes more difficult. Touch one part of the web, and the whole thing trembles in response. While that isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can create "analysis paralysis." To overcome this, at some point, we just need to do something. We might not intersect the web in the exact correct place, but we can recover when we fail, and continue moving in the right direction, finding or creating the right path.

SED has several paths to tread (or create!) right now:

  • Finishing and Implementing the New Employee Orientation Program

  • Creating a new and vastly more usable departmental wiki,which will be a living resource for staff

  • Ongoing creation and identification of e-modules for just-in-time staff learning

  • Defining the deeper connection of partnership between SED and IT

  • Packaging our training modules together in ways that help employees decide what learning activities will help them achieve their goals

  • Ongoing support of time sensitive requested training and consultation

  • Much, much more

None of this situation is unique to SED, or even Human Resource Development programs in general. In any case, how do we do all of these at once? The answer is, we can't. We leverage partnerships and get input where we are able. We learn as we go, and we make mistakes.

We do the best we can, dancing along the surface of the web.

And now, for my next trick...

My colleague, let's call her "Intrepid Skills Trainer," and I worked on the 2010 workshop schedule yesterday. It will be a busy year. Here is a partial list of what we plan on offering:

  • Windows 7
  • Project Management - Fundamentals (2 day); Advanced (2 day)(new)
  • Google Apps, gmail, etc. - in concert with Office of Information Technology
  • File Management
  • Thunderbird - possibly, depending on google rollout dates
  • UMCal
  • Excel 2007 - multiple offerings including: Overview (new); Tables; Pivot Tables; Charts (new);
  • Word 2007 - multiple including: Overview; Collaborating; Mail Merges (new)
  • PowerPoint 2007 - Overview, and Punching Up PowerPoint Presentations (new)
  • (tentative title... probably needs more "P"s in it)
  • Wiki - Beginning and Intermediate
  • Effective Email Communication
  • Power of Positive Feedback
  • Risk Taking: Using Data and Intuition (formerly "How to Fail")
  • Effective Meetings
  • Managing Change
  • Training Others: One-on-One
  • Additional Office of Human Resources (OHR) workshops
  • Libraries Communications (tentative, in partnership with Communications Dept.)
  • More, more, more that I just haven't thought of or haven't yet witten down!

I guess I'd better get a move on....

Step Right Up, Folks!

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I'm working with a small group on creating an "Emerging Tech Expo" for the UMN Libraries. It is scheduled for November 18th. So many cool things out there to show and talk about. If I could figure out how to enable my comments, I would ask all of you (e.g. all 2 of you? and that includes me), to give suggestions for capturing people's impressions during the event.

Apparently, checking each check box that says "Accept Comments?" is not sufficient.

pfft.

Future Shock

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From a Web 2.0 presentation by Mary Meeker ..this quotation jumped out at me...
The next wave of corporate productivity gains should be paced by Web 2.0 driven collaboration tools that use the network as the platform to enable users to connect ‘any device to any content over any combination of networks’
(John Chambers, CEO, Cisco Systems)

Every day there is something new...today it was Joost...my brain is developing stretch marks.