February 2024 Newsletter

How's Your Learning Ecosystem?

You’ve probably heard the famous Peter Drucker quotation, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” I’ve always interpreted that to mean that an organization’s leaders shouldn’t expect a well-defined strategy to deliver results unless they’ve also paid attention to the shared values, norms, and beliefs that influence how people communicate, collaborate, and make decisions. The existing culture can either support or hinder the execution of a clear strategy.

Let me give you an example: Two years before the pandemic, we were asked to train a group of ten trainers who were expected to begin delivering their courses virtually. These were a seasoned group of trainers who had been delivering their courses in the face-to-face classroom for many years. They were comfortable with the content and the in-person delivery method. However, the organization’s training director had been tasked with reducing the cost of training new hires, employees in the field, and teams in different geographical regions. He decided that most of their existing courses would be converted to virtual, instructor-led training (VILT) and that he would upskill the team to make the shift.

As we introduced this training team to new virtual delivery methods, we were met with fierce resistance. They didn’t want to be on camera. They didn’t want to use the interaction tools in the web platform. They didn’t want to deliver training from their desktops. They just wanted to keep doing what they had done for decades. We were watching “culture eats strategy for breakfast” in real time. Ultimately, the training director abandoned the plan to deliver virtual training using the selected web conference platform. Instead, the organization set up a studio space. There the trainers could continue to deliver training the way they’d always done it while their “performance” was streamed to groups in the various training locations. When the pandemic hit, of course, that delivery approach was no longer sustainable.

Your organization has a learning ecosystem whether it was built intentionally or accidentally. Strategy and culture are just two of the elements that need to be considered when assessing whether a learning ecosystem is strong and robust or needs focused attention.

Join us in our next NetSpeed Nuggets session, Building a Robust and Inclusive Learning Ecosystem, to explore five elements of a robust learning ecosystem and four keys to learning engagement, on Wednesday, March 6, at 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT. Registration is required.

Cynthia Clay

Virtual Trainer Tips: What's Your Intention in 2024?

Recently, I co-led a workshop where we explored our intentions for 2024. We started by explaining the difference between intentions and goals. An intention would be a clear statement about the quality of the year you intend to have.

I might set a goal to drive from my home in Bellingham to Portland, Oregon in six and a half hours. That’s a measurable target. An intention, on the other hand, would describe the quality of the journey. My intention for that trip might be to have a peaceful, stress-free drive that allows me to arrive relaxed and energized.

You can set an intention before you deliver a web workshop, write an article, or prepare a presentation. I set an intention before writing this newsletter: I easily write my newsletter, enjoying the process of expressing and sharing my thoughts.

Here’s my intention for this year: In 2024, I live life to the fullest with courage and joy.

I invite you to test this technique out on small tasks or goals (like delivering a virtual training) and larger goals (like what kind of year you intend to have). I have found setting my intentions to be a transformational act. After all, the quality of our journeys is up to us, isn’t it?

NetSpeed Nuggets

Join us at the next NetSpeed Nuggets virtual session. This 30-minute, rapid learning session will introduce strategies and tactics that increase your effectiveness in the virtual workplace.

Building a Robust and Inclusive Learning Ecosystem

The learning space continues to evolve. With the advent of AI, designers and curators have new digital partners in developing learning assets. No matter what happens with AI in the future, building a learning ecosystem requires skilled curation of information, resources, and experiences. And skilled curation falls to intelligent, creative humans.

Join Cynthia Clay to explore the elements of a learning ecosystem (whether it was intentional or accidental) and how to build learner engagement and commitment. Take away a Learning Ecosystem checklist and a summary infographic.

Wednesday, March 6th

1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT


Learn More and Register

Become a Certified Online Learning Facilitator

Now is the time to build stronger virtual facilitation skills!

The March/April Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification (VFTC) course is now open for enrollment.

This popular course has received rave reviews from participants as it provides a deep dive into best practices for virtual facilitation and design.

Now it's your turn to rock the virtual classroom! The March/April Course opens on Friday, March 15th with the first webinar on Friday, March 22nd.

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One Final Thought

Download our ebook, Create Great Hybrid and Virtual Training for tips and practical techniques for hybrid training.

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