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Context Can Be Everything: Will This Idea Work Here?

Let’s say that you (or someone you know or heard about) implemented a new program in an organization and it worked well. Or you found a helpful-sounding idea in a research article. So now you are considering trying that new idea in your current situation. With the drought, who needs library doors? Would this work… Continue Reading

You Want Me to Learn What? The Rhetoric of the Rationale

Adults especially, (but kids also) want a reason why they should attend to learning something new. The reason we’re learning this is over this way. We use a short rationale at the beginning of a course, a module, a lesson, a key activity, as needed, to help spark motivation for learning. Without motivation, our learners… Continue Reading

Making Friends with Sleep: Two Nighttime Alarms

Do you ever notice that multiple messages about something you should be paying attention to start showing up at the same time? A Time for Every Purpose In the past few weeks… I finished The Power of Habit, and decided to tackle my recent slide into staying up late and therefore, not getting enough sleep.… Continue Reading

The Performance Improvement Mindset

Someone told me once that her training department was “doing” human performance technology (HPT—now often called performance improvement) because they sometimes included job aids with their training. Pausing here for you to say, “No, that’s not it.” Finding a Way to Look at the Whole System Becoming a performance consultant does not happen overnight. Reading… Continue Reading

Bookshelf: The Power of Habit

Habits are simple, but not so simple. According to Charles Duhigg, habits are a) powerful forces in our lives (for good or not good) and b) changeable. Habits have three parts: A cue (like the thought I have when I’m driving somewhere that frozen yogurt might be just the thing right now) A routine (stopping for… Continue Reading

Welcome to Summer

A little summer, a little shade. Hydrangeas in bloom. Happy summer to you.

What Did I Learn from You?

My friend Beth walks through life learning from notable events. For example, if she has a less-than-satisfactory encounter with someone, she’ll pause later and say, “What I can learn from this is…” My friend Dean used to sit in meetings and pay attention to what she was observing and learning from her colleagues. One time,… Continue Reading

A Little Time | A Little Magic

Every once in a while, I write about taking breaks to be more productive. (This is probably because I sometimes forget to take breaks, and then I eventually feel like somebody glued me to my chair.) Not so long ago, I saw an article about a study where the most productive people in a particular… Continue Reading

Better Grammar | More Impact

Let’s say you are an instructional designer or a performance consultant of one kind or another. Guess what? You are, most likely, also a writer. Better Writing | Fewer Sharp Spines We end up writing a lot. For example: Proposals, project definitions, design documents Training materials, job aids Change management or communication plans Framework descriptions… Continue Reading

Tight Timeline? How to Cope

So, we had this project with a tight timeline. And then the start of it was delayed. However, the end dates did not move, so the timeline was even tighter. On top of that, because of shifting the start date, this project landed right on top of other priorities. Enter a string of long days.… Continue Reading