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    Entries in learning (6)


    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 297 - Enterprise Learning and Development in 2017

    HR Happy Hour 297 - Enterprise Learning and Development in 2017

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Jenny Dearborn, SVP and CLO, SAP

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Jenny Dearborn, SVP and Chief Learning Officer of SAP to talk about enterprise learning and development, the role of technology, and how companies and individuals can best prepare themselves for the world of work ahead.

    With all the changes, dynamism, and challenges facing organizations as well as employees with respect to ongoing learning, skills development, and the need to prepare both our organizations and ourselves for the future world of work, the role of the learning leader and its importance have changed over time.

    From the era of 'formal' training, to design focused approaches, to the modern world of mobile and social learning, the need for organizations, and HR and learning leaders to continuously adapt and change has never been more important.

    Jenny shared insights from her perspective as the CLO of a large, global organization, as well as her years advising both individuals and organizations as they contend with important learning and development challenges in 2017 and beyond.

    Additionally, Jenny and Steve talked about their mutual love and admiration for super heroes and comic books, and geeked out about Wonder Woman.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    Jenny's upcoming book, The Data Driven Leader: A Powerful Approach to Leading with Analytics, Driving Decisions, and Delivering Breakthrough Business Results can be pre-ordered here.

    Thanks to HR Happy Hour Show sponsor Virgin Pulsewww.virginpulse.com.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.


    WEBINAR: Five Ways to Make Learning Matter at Your Company

    Never stop learning.

    The day we stop learning is the day we head out to pasture.

    It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts.

    <insert your favorite 'learning' cliche here>

    You get the idea...

    But I'm not breaking any new ground here when I remind you that in modern life and business, the shelf life of acquired knowledge is now pretty short, and getting shorter all the time. Technologies come and go, popular services rise fast until suddenly a 12-person app company is worth billions, and then six months later they're dust - replaced in the public's imagination by the next hot thing.

    Learning, the constant, repeatable kind, is your only chance to prep yourself and your organization at least somewhat from becoming the next victims in a 'blink and you will miss your opportunity' world.

    That's why the good folks over at Fistful of Talent, (where I am a contibutor), are back with their FREE April Webinar focusing on Learning & Development. Join us on Thursday, April 23rd at 2pm EDT for Bootstrap Your Training Function: 5 Ways To Make Learning Matter In Your Company (sponsored by the L&D experts at Meridian).  We're going to give you a roadmap to build your training function from scratch, including the following goodies:

    What the modern Learning & Development function looks like across core job skill training, leadership development and more.  You don't have to focus on everything to have an effective L&D function.  We'll walk you through how leaders in the space prioritize tough choices in this space

    How smart HR and Talent leaders are building their approach to L&D with a mix of company provided training, outsourced training and self-paced activities tied to competencies of the most critical positions in their company.  It's 2015.  The classroom matters, but there's this thing called Google...

    Why you need an LMS/technology solution to bootstrap and make learning matter.  There's only one of you, right?  Then you're going to need to use technology to make your L&D initiatives look bigger than they really are and deliver the way the end user wants---just in time, on the device your employee is using.  You don't have to break the bank... we'll show you what to look for.

    5 ways to effectively market your L&D/training function to look fabulous as a Talent Leader.  You could build the best L&D machine in the world and there's a good chance nobody would notice.  We'll show you the 5 biggest lessons you can learn from marketing and how to put them into play as you build your training function.

    A roadmap for how to effectively optimize your training strategy to positively influence turnover and retention in your workforce.  This just in: Some people aren't going to leave---ever. That means you've got choices to make related to how you spend the limited L&D budget you have.  We'll show you how to do that

    You know ramping up your Learning & Development function has been on your "to-do" list for too long.  Join us on Thursday, April 23rd at 2pm EDT for Bootstrap Your Training Function: 5 Ways To Make Learning Matter In Your Company, and we'll jump start your planning process and help you get things done in 2015!


    The half-life of technical knowledge

    That thing you just learned about or acquired mastery of - it could be a piece of electronics or a programming language or a new HR or Talent Management system, or anything really - about how long would you estimate is the useful life of that newly acquired knowledge or expertise?

    One estimate,published in 1997, from the mathematician and engineer Richard Hamming suggests the half-life of technical knowledge is about 15 years. Since Hamming's conclusion was reached more than 15 years ago, the theory itself, as well as our own practical experience with the modern world, seems to indicate the 15 year useful life of specific technical knowledge is probably even shorter. It could be 10 years, it could be even fewer. You still (mostly) remember things, but as time passes the value of what you remember continues to diminish.

    Think about the device that passed for what you called a smartphone in 2005. Remember how that thing worked? And even if you do, does that specific knowledge help you much today? Or how about the expertise you developed to help you navigate through that archaic HR and Payroll system your company used a decade ago. Any of that training and learning paying off these days?

    While it is no great bit of insight to conclude that technology is progressing more rapidly than even in the recent past, the question that results from that conclusion, just how can you attempt to stay relevant and knowledgeable in such a fast-moving environment is the important matter. How can or should you go about becoming more accustomed to learning all of the time, since as much as half of the knowledge we have already acquired becomes obsolete, in a kind of continuous cycle of degradation?

    Well, our pal Hamming had some really good ideas about that, and they have been synthesized and summarized in this excellent piece Ten Simple Rules for Lifelong Learning, According to Hamming, on the PLOS Computational Biology site. (Please don't ask me what I was doing on a Computational Biology site).

    You should really read the entire piece, it is not that long, you have time, but since I know you won't I will highlight the one 'rule' that stood out for me the most, especially since it sort of contradicts a currently popular idea that we should be open to and embrace failure.

    Take a look at an excerpt Rule 6, Learn From the Successes of Others:

    As Hamming says, because “there are so many ways of being wrong and so few of being right, studying successes is more efficient, and furthermore, when your turn comes you will know how to succeed rather than how to fail.” In addition, he notes that “vicarious learning from the experiences of others saves making errors yourself.

    The best part of that observation is just recognizing the almost infinite number of ways to fail and the extremely rare ways to succeed or to be 'right'. Maybe we have gotten too caught up in the 'embrace failure' cult since it is just easier to spot and experience failure in ourselves and in others than it is to attain success. Learning from success, even other's success, might get you where you want to be faster than always trying to extrude the value from your own failures.

    There are plenty of other great nuggets in the piece, (especially Rule 8. No Matter How Much Advice You Get and How Much Talent You Possess, It Is Still You Who Must Do the Learning and Put in the Time), so like I mentioned above if you are someone that needs to be concerned and able to keep current and proficient in today's complex world of technology the entire article is worth your time.

    Have a great weekend - try to learn something new!


    ADVICE: Read more, write less

    Super interesting piece on the Savage Minds anthropology blog the other day titled Read More, Write Less, an essay by Ruth Behar about her conversations with the Cuban author and poet Dulce Maria Loynaz.

    I must confess to having no familiarity with Ms. Loynaz, but in the piece she offers some really excellent advice for writers, bloggers, really communicators of any kind.

    From the Savage Minds piece:

    Inspired by her meditative Poemas sin nombre (Poems With No Name), I had written a few poems of my own, and Dulce María had the largeness of heart to ask me to read them aloud to her in the grand salon of her dilapidated mansion. She nodded kindly after each poem and when I finished I thought to ask her, “What advice would you give a writer?”

    I will always remember her answer. It came without a moment’s hesitation and could not have been more succinct: Lee más, escribe menos, “Read more, write less.”

    That might seem like old-fashioned advice in our world today, where so many of us aspire to write more. But having pondered Dulce María’s words, I think I now understand the significance of what she was saying.

    It comes down to this: you can only write as well as what you read.

    Awesome advice, and so good that I don't really need to add anything more to it. I try and read as much as I can in order to have new ideas, fresh perspectives, and just interesting things to share. But there is so much more out there.  I know I probably should read more, and different things instead of trying to push out posts all the time.

    Read more, write less. Great advice. 

    Have a great Thursday.


    Learning by watching, something else at which the robots are superior

    This story, Robots can now learn to cook just like you do: by watching YouTube videos, made the rounds over the past weekend. The basics of the story are these: researchers at the University of Maryland and an Australian research center have managed to create a system by which robots can 'learn' to cook, (how to recognize cooking tools, how to grasp and manipulate objects, how to process unfamiliar inputs into cohesive sets of instructiokns, etc), with the raw learning material consisting of a set of 88 YouTube videos of cooking demonstrations.

    The entire paper, Robot Learning Manipulation Action Plans by 'Watching' Unconstrained Videos from the World Wide Web is here, but I will grab the most interesting and telling bit from the abstract, and then shoot a few comments after the excerpt.

    From the paper:

    In order to advance action generation and creation in robots beyond simple learned schemas we need computational tools that allow us to automatically interpret and represent human actions. This paper presents a system that learns manipulation action plans by processing unconstrained videos from the World Wide Web. Its goal is to robustly generate the sequence of atomic actions of seen longer actions in video in order to acquire knowledge for robots.

    Experiments conducted on a publicly available unconstrained video dataset show that the system is able to learn manipulation actions by “watching” unconstrained videos with high accuracy.

    There is a lot to unpack even in that short snippet from the research, but the implications of this research suggests a future state of even more powerful automation technologies - the kinds of technologies that can learn simply by watching. And unlike us puny humans, they won't get tired of watching the same stupid 'life hack' kinds of YouTube videos 73,000 times before getting frustrated that we can't 'get it' and then just giving up.

    Some time back I posted about robot technology replacing or at least augmenting human staff in retail big box stores. In that post I posited that the real advantage, or at least one of the most important (and I think really overlooked for the most part), advantages that robots and technology have over human labor are the robot's incredible ability to learn, store, and share information with other robots.

    When the robot solves, or learns how to solve maybe just by watching a human colleague, a customer's problem, it can instantly share that knowledge with every other robot, who will all then have learned to solve that problem. Information, learned knowledge then becomes an asset for all. Immediately.

    Think about the power of that ability the next time you have to roll out some kind of training program to your entire workforce. How many times do you have to explain the same thing to another person? How long does it take everyone to 'get it?'

    How many never do?