Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Author Archives : Deborah

Tip #698:  Do You Portmanteau?

On November 21, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,, , With No Comments

“Don’t bogglefunk around with words.” Roald Dahl

I recently read an article in which the word satisficing was used. The word intrigued me. According to the author, satisficing is a combination of sufficing and satisfying.

This led me to investigate if there were other words that were made by combining the sounds and meanings of two existing words. I learned that such a composite word is called a portmanteau. I also discovered that there are many portmanteaus that we use on a daily basis, frequently without realizing that’s what they are.

A portmanteau is typically defined as a large trunk or suitcase that opens into two equal parts. However, Lewis Carroll gave it a new meaning in his book, Through … Read the rest

Tip #697:  Where Training Design Goes Wrong

Boring and effective are mutually exclusive attributes in learning.” Michael Allen

I’m gearing up to teach an online course on How to Design Dynamic Learning curriculum. This has led me to consider the reasons why some training design results in ineffective training programs.

I came up with 35 reasons. In no particular order of importance, here they are:

  1. Wrong reason for the training;
  2. Wrong target group;
  3. Unclear goal;
  4. Wrong content;
  5. Wrong methods;
  6. Desired level of learning not identified;
  7. Learning activities cannot achieve the desired levels of learning;
  8. Heavy reliance on lecture and PowerPoint;
  9. Places all of the training content on PowerPoint slides;
  10. Lack of specific, observable and measurable learning objectives;
  11. Disconnect between objectives and learning activities;
  12. Over reliance on
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Tip #696: Did You Know Stress Heals?

On November 7, 2017, Posted by , In brain research, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #696: Did You Know Stress Heals?

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” Hans Selye

It has been said that those who can’t do, teach. As a matter of principle, I disagree with this statement with one personal exception. People who know me well can’t believe that I teach stress management- but I do. And when I conduct a stress management class, my focus is to help the participants become conscious of the stress they have in their lives so that they can make choices to reduce their stress.

Over the years, I’ve campaigned against stress because, as everyone knows, stress is bad for us, and too much stress can affect our health, our relationships, and our very lives.

Well, … Read the rest

Tip #695: What Are Your Organization’s DREAMS?

On October 31, 2017, Posted by , In management and leadership, By ,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #695: What Are Your Organization’s DREAMS?

“Authentic Leaders are not afraid to show emotion and vulnerability as they share in the challenges with their team. Developing a solid foundation of trust with open and honest communication is critical to authentic leadership.” Farshad Asl

There are a lot of articles bemoaning the fact that employees aren’t engaged. These articles explain why employees may disengage from their organization. They don’t necessarily identify a framework to help those organizations become and remain attractive to their employees.

According to Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones in their book, Why Should Anyone Work Here?, employees today are much more focused on accountability, transparency, responsiveness, and the opportunity to grow and develop. They suggest that organizations that are authentic and have integrity will … Read the rest

Tip #694:  What is Your Learning Culture?

On October 24, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #694:  What is Your Learning Culture?

“A learning culture is a strategic tool for organizational growth and advancement.” Nikos Andriotis

Many years ago, I was helping a startup organization plan their recruitment strategy. It was clear to me that their job announcements needed to alert potential applicants to the fact that there were no systems or procedures in place. The new hire would have to be comfortable with the uncertainties (and exciting challenges) typical of a brand-new organization.

At that time, I was focused on the organizational culture of the new business. Now, it appears, we could have defined organizational culture more broadly to include its learning culture.

A learning culture is a set of organizational values, conventions, processes, and practices that encourage individuals—and the organization … Read the rest

Tip #693:  Why Did It Happen?

On October 17, 2017, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #693:  Why Did It Happen?

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”  Margaret J. Wheatley

In participative learning, it is important that each learning activity be debriefed to give the participants an opportunity to reflect on their experience and reinforce their learning.

It is just as important to have those involved in a critical work situation take time to assess whether the actions taken were effective and, if not, what should be done differently in the future.

I’ve always thought that it made sense to debrief a learning activity or management situation by asking these three questions:

  1. What went well?
  2. What didn’t go well, and why not?
  3. What did you learn?

Recently, I read … Read the rest