Tag Archives: learning

Boston – but not for the Tea!



Following on from my last blog post, Saba People 2010 will soon be here – I am really looking forward to this one!
I am involved in 2 sessions during the conference – my main presentation is on 3rd November entitled:

“Legal & General: Making Learning the Foundation for Enterprise Business Networking”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 | 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

“Most organizations already have social tools, but they don’t connect people inside the firewall on issues of importance to the company or the people that work there. Companies will need to change behavior and reward knowledge sharing to maximize the value of enterprise social networking. It’s a people challenge, not an IT or communications problem, and Human Capital Management is the key to success for knowledge sharing and collaboration projects. This session looks at why HCM applications are the natural home for collaboration and social technologies.”

I’m also pleased to be part of a panel discussion on the previous day: 

“Collaborating in Your Enterprise — Managing Change: A Conversation With Thought Leaders”
Facilitated by Jim Lundy, Vice President, General Manager, Collaboration, Saba with Nick Howe, Vice President, HDS Academy, Hitachi Data Systems, Janice Watrous-McCabe, Sr. Business Analyst, Allina Hospitals
& Clinics, Alice Harkin, Sr. Director, Customer Marketing, Saba plus myself.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | 4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

“Collaboration is a hot topic in the enterprise and so is the topic of getting people to use the tools you provide. Change management is never easy, particularly in an era of empowered users who often know as much about collaboration as the IT department. Attend this session and participate in a lively discussion about best practices in managing
collaboration in your enterprise.”

I am also very much looking forward to meeting the man responsible for my being in the world of eLearning – Mike Fitzgerald, former Global Head of Learning at RSA, is in Boston whilst the conference is on. I will always be grateful to Mike for introducing me to what has been the most rewarding part of my career.


I first got interested in the links between Knowledge Management and Learning as part of my MBA studies with the Open University 10 years ago. However, for me, this is as current now as it was then!

In the last few weeks, I have been putting together a number presentations and also contributing to an article to be published in the November edition of KM World, all of which suggest there has been renewed interest in how KM, Learning and Social Networking/Learning are becoming a big part of how we learn today.

One area I feel strongly about is the use of Collaboration technologies and Social Networking tools to enable our people to actively share information. Unfortunately, all too often, these tools are not accessible within the firewall. I also believe that the best “home” for such technologies lies within the area of Human Capital Managament rather than IT or Corporate Communications.  And the reason for this? Context. eLearning people used to say “Content is King” – not any more! “Context is the new King!”

With the tools we have already, we have the ability to create “Communities of Practice” on the fly, based on information we already hold such as location, job, attendance of a training course or a shared competency/skill requirment. You cannot set up a group to for an abstract purpose – people need a context and a motive to share so give them the technology that enables this in the same way many of them do outside of the workplace. And remember that if you hire me, you are also hiring my network!


I’ll be presenting on this at the following events over the next month or so and hope to meet at least one person who read about it here!:

“Wake up to Learning” Morning Seminar, 19th October, The Mayfair Hotel, London




Learning & Organisation Devleopment Directors Strategy Meeting, , London,November

Saba People 2010

In additon to a presentation slot, I have now also been confirmed as a panelist at Saba People 2010 for:

Collaborating in Your Enterprise:  Managing Change:  A Conversation with Thought Leaders

Collaboration is a hot topic in the enterprise and so is the topic of getting people to use the tools you provide. Change Management is never easy, particularly in an era of empowered users who often know as much about collaboration as the IT department.  Attend this session and participate in a lively discussion about best practices in managing collaboration in your enterprise.

Looking forward also to a few glasses of Boston’s finest!

Saba EMEA RUG Conference reflections

The user community in EMEA and in particular, the UK, has always been a real community that likes to work together outside of the formal user group which means the RUG meetings become a meeting of friends, not just of fellow users. I have known some of these guys for 10 years now!

Due the the Volcano driven change of date, I was only able to attend the first day of this event – but it was well worth it.

First up was Thomas Otter of Gartner – some key takeaways from his slot were:

  • Big shift to SAAS (Software as a service)
  • Shift away from best of breed towards “suites”
  • Formalised learning is NOT going away!
  • Huge growth in volunteered data from users (does Linked in contain better data than your HRMS?)
  • Anchor your HCM Strategy with 2-3 key vendors
  • Think of Platforms, not just functionality
  • Work in your strategy for Social Software into your HCM strategy NOW!

These views were consistent with the experiences that Phil Richardson of Saba mentioned in his opening welcome.

Next up was Jeff Carr of Saba. His opening video was one of the now familiar “Shift happens” series:



He had a lot of content which I didn’t get time to write down:

  • “Innovation & Creativity are the building blocks of the new economy”
  • Centralise your people data – integration is NOT unification!

Centrica were the first customer presentation of the day who shared their success and challenges with us and Media Saturn then talked about their rapid progress from being a failry new customer last time around – impressive!

Yvette Cameron then talked about the upcoming product enhancements in version 5.5. The new Saba Impressions product hits the spot for me with the ability to gain feedback on your performance instantly. I also liked the Dynamic Network  Analysis tool she showed which shows the connections around your network.

It was a shame to miss day 2 but a musical engagement at the South of England show got in the way of that. Next up: working out how to get to Saba people 2010 in Boston!

Learning Technologies 2010

Another great event from Don Taylor and the team – there are plenty of other blog reviews about this event, I will restrict mine to a few key things I heard.

From Lord Puttnam’s keynote:

  • ‘good teachers should be able to walk into your head and turn on the lights’
  • I wonder just how many trainers in our work life are considered in that way!

  • The difference between Hughie Green (Opportunity Knocks) and Simon Cowell’s success is audience participation.
  • Mark Oehlert – Defense Acquisition University on Social Media

    For me, the best session of the whole conference and worth the fee alone!

    • “The illterati of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write but those cannot learn, un-learn and re-learn.”
    • “Incremental change is ok until you hit the big **** wall!”
    • It’s not “I think therefore I am”, it should “We think therefore We are”
    • People don’t hate change, they hate how YOU are trying to change them!” – we all voluntarily undergo major changes in our lives – jobs, marriage, kids so clearly it’s not change itself that we hate.
    • Put yourself in the shoes of your learner – our metric isn’t always the same as theirs”
    • L&D Produces products, Knowledge Management produces activities
    • “The US Airforce will give a pilot a £30m aircraft full of deadly tools – so why not trust them with Facebook at work?” (They do btw)- If you have email and telephones, you already have a trust problem!

    The Defence Acquisition University make a lot of their content public via iTunes! Search for DAU in iTunesU. (I found some content on Six Sigma for example)

    • Would you like less email?

    Wiki’s aren’t just about an online encyclopaedia! – I often use this video from CommonCraft to show the use of Wiki’s as a project tool.

    If you are a twitter user, follow Mark and a lof of like minded people by searching for LRNCHAT – takes place weekly but you can view any time of course.  I diod this after the event and boy, is there a lot of useful content tucked into these chats!

    To make this all happen: THINK BIG, START SMALL, MOVE FAST

    I have always been a great advocate of the use of knowledge management thinking in the learning world and the use of Social Networking tools is making this a reality.

    Tales from the e-Learning Classroom

    I love running e-learning creation courses – it’s a chance to play! More seriously, it’s also a chance to keep my own Lectora skills up to scratch as I discover the answers to the students latest tricky question!  It’s also a reminder that many of us came into Corporate Training from within the business itself without having followed any formal development to become a trainer. Introducing (or reminding about!) people like Bloom, Keller et all BEFORE the computer is even switched on to ensure the training isn’t just about the tool is proving to be important.

    Speaking of content creation, here’s an interesting video from those clever people at CommonCraft which tells us a little more about how they create those really engaging vidoes we all love.

    Sick but still learning!

    I’ve been off for 2 days with a bug – but that hasn’t stopped me learning!
    I am a great fan of many “Web 2.0” tools and in particular, Twitter. So, when Neil Lasher posted a link to the DevLearn 09 “Twitter Book”, it showed yet another way in which Twitter can be used as a learning and knowledge sharing tool.

    Check it out for yourself here: http://bit.ly/5QOYBM – the concept of compiling the combined tweet traffic for a major conference is genius and whilst I guess you needed to be there to understand the context of some of them, there will no doubt be many gems awaiting your discovery.

    The second item to come my way was the regular email from the Rapid eLearning Blog – this time on the effective use of Powerpoint. I have been saying for many years that Powerpoint CAN be an effective tool in our eLearning toolbox if only it was used beyond the templated, bullet point approach of the stand-up presentation. I won’t reproduce the whole article – see it for yourself here:  The Rapid eLearning Blog.

    Finally, today’s recommended read:  Jim Collins “Good to Great