Tip #529: Brushes With Greatness: Elaine Biech

Get around people who have something of value to share with you. Their impact will continue to have a significant effect on your life long they have departed. ” Jim Rohn

There are many people who have had an impact on my life as a trainer and consultant. I thought it might be fun to talk about well-known educators or trainers who have also published books that I’ve found very useful. I’m going to begin with Elaine Biech.

Elaine Biech is president and managing principal of ebb associates inc, [she doesn’t use capital letters], an organizational and leadership development firm that helps organizations work through large-scale change. See ebbassociates.com

Elaine is actually from my neck of the woods. I met her years ago at a picnic for the South Central Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). I still remember her saying at that time that she planned to write a book. She has now written or edited 81 books- and counting!!

Elaine has had a profound impact on my career. After she designed the three-day Training Certificate Program for national ASTD, she recommended that I become one of the four initial trainers, along with Sharon Bowman, who I’ll discuss later.

Learning how to facilitate this program introduced me to creative learning activities that I still use, such as the relay race, verbal relay, and an art introductory icebreaker. I spent a number of years traveling all over the country to conduct the program. This enabled me to meet many people, some of whom became both clients and friends.

When she became the editor of the Pfeiffer Annuals, Elaine invited me to submit a learning activity or article for publication. I now have material published in the 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Pfeiffer Annuals

Thanks to Elaine, I am a contributing author for The Leadership Challenge Activities Book, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. I may also end up being a contributing author to 101 Ways to Make Training Active, which Elaine is editing.

Finally, I think that Elaine was the one who either inspired or encouraged me to contact ASTD about authoring Info-Lines. I have two under my belt: “Conducting a Classroom Learning Audit” (July 2007) and “Jump-Start Your Learning Objectives” (April 2008).

So, it is really due to Elaine that I am in print anywhere!

Some of her books that you may find useful:

  • A Coach’s Guide to Exemplary Leaders
  • ASTD’s Ultimate Train the Trainer
  • 10 Steps to Successful Training
  • ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals
  • The Pfeiffer Annual for Consultants and The Pfeiffer Annual for Trainers

May your learning be sweet.


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