Monday, January 5, 2015

If it can be measured, it can be valued

Training is often viewed as a cost by companies and therefore is on the chopping block when costs need to be cut. Much like the arts in K12 education, training is seen as a "nice to have," but not a core function of the organization.

Why is training viewed as a cost and not a strategic investment? Because learning professionals don't measure the impact of training on the performance of the organization.

Think about the last time you delivered a training program in an organization. Or the last time you participated in training, if you aren't an L&D professional. How was the success of the training measured? 

How many completed the training?
A passing score on an assessment? 
A subjective "smile sheet" ranking where learners reported how valuable they thought the training was?

Do these training programs measure improvements in employee performance? Decreased time to market/increased productivity? Customer satisfaction ratings? Increased revenue? Reduction in costs? Increased employee retention?


If training is a strategic investment, then it is absolutely critical that we show the value of the investment. Attendance is not value; increased sales is. Assessment scores are meaningless if people don't perform their jobs better. 

If our role in an organization is to improve performance, then shouldn't we be measuring performance? 

Only when we start measuring the right things will training be valued. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The annual resolution post, 2015 edition

Every year I try to set some goals for myself, usually to pretty good success (except for picking yoga back up in failure on that one).

I've been struggling with resolutions for this year, and as I've been reflecting on the past year, I think I know why: my life and time right now is not wholly my own. Being a part of a large family, and one of only two people in that family who drive, means that much of what I spend my time doing is doing for others. I don't think people talk much about that side of being in a big family, but it is the truth. You can't be selfish. You can't put yourself first. You can't only think about what you want, or what you need. You are part of something bigger than yourself, and when a big family is at its best is when everyone is working together and looking out for each other.

This is not to say that you shouldn't make time for yourself. This isn't to say that there are times when some members of the family do more than others. As one of the parents in our big family, it means my attention is often focused on keeping the family machine running smoothly. Meal planning. Laundry. Cleaning. Cooking. If I'm not doing it myself, I'm usually coordinating who is.

So this year, as co-founder of our big crazy bunch with another full time job (that pays me!) to boot, I'm cutting myself a break on my 2015 resolutions. No pressure, no guilt. I'm putting things on my list that inspire me and that I'm passionate about. Here they are...let's see how I do.

  • Get that second book done. 
  • Get isanno off and running. I know you probably don't know what I'm talking about here. I'm hoping by the end of 2015 you do. 
  • Use my AMAZING new camera every day...I've already started a 365 day challenge for myself, maybe I'll share with you. 
  • Draw something every day. Use that dusty sketchbook.
  • Learn Illustrator and Photoshop and Lightroom. 
  • Learn a few songs on my ukelele. I really miss playing music.
  • Take care of myself. I'm not getting any younger. OK, this one is a necessity, not a passion...but I'm trying to make it a passion :)
  • Do some real work with those cool Nevermind folks. Maybe that's related to isanno. Figure that out. 
And that's it. Yep, it's a long list, but it's the kind of list that's a little art, a little science and a lot of learning. It's the kind of list that I'll make time for, or that I can pretty easily squeeze in time for. It's a list that inspires me right now, to do more of the things I love and am passionate about. 

What inspires you? Are they your resolutions?

2014 in review

Facebook tried to prompt me to share their version of my 2014, but after taking a look at it, they missed so much. As I've made a habit of doing every year, I wanted to take my own look back and forward. 2014 was a tumultuous year, lots of highs with some lows thrown in there for perspective. One thing I'm learning is that being a mom, especially with 6 kiddos, means that my highs and lows are often wrapped up in theirs. Yet one of the things I'm most proud of is that I have a whole life, a whole identity outside of "mom," and many people are surprised to find out what a big, crazy family we have. I'm fiercely protective of both of those sides of my life and 2014 was a test of balance and preservation. I suspect that until these kiddos start leaving the nest, this is what life will be like.

I thought taking care of them when they were little was hard. I clearly had no idea...

So here it is, my 2014 in review, skewed toward things I did/accomplished, not the kids :)

  • We spent New Year's Day at my first Rose Bowl Parade (my MSU Spartans were in the Rose Bowl!).
  • My first book, Immersive Learning, was published in January. I did my first book signing in Las Vegas.
  • Also in January, John and I took a belated honeymoon trip to Sonoma and drove along the Pacific Coast Highway on our way home. I highly recommend it.
  • In February, we all traveled back to NJ and got to all of the Paganos and lots of snow. 
  • In April, I turned 40. We took a trip to San Francisco to celebrate, including a trip to Tiffany's and Alcatraz.
  • In June, we made another trip to Pennsylvania and stopped by Philly ComicCon. 
  • July I got to spend with Zevon and my parents here. I miss them terribly. 
  • John and I celebrated our 1st anniversary in July. 
  • We went on a proper family vacation to Yosemite in August and stayed at the Bison Creek Ranch. I can't say enough about what that vacation did for my soul.
  • I also completed the 21 Day Drawing Challenge in August. I really loved it. 
  • AND we went to Scare LA in August. Also really loved it. (August was a great month!)
  • In September we spent a weekend camping at deBenneville Pines. 
  • Our honorary family member Keara was married in October and John officiated. 
  • I keynoted my first conference in October. 
  • We fostered Darwin in October, our big oafy pit bull. 
  • October ended with DevLearn and Halloween. Enough said. 
  • John turned 40 in November and we did Santa Barbara Startup Weekend as his birthday present. 
  • We officially adopted Darwin in December (which no one was surprised about...).
  • I celebrated my 1 year anniversary of becoming a vegetarian at the end of December.
It was a pretty awesome year, upon reflection. True, I didn't mention some of the big (BIG) challenges we had with the kids or I had with work, or how I spent the better part of November and December sick. I didn't mention my frustration with myself that I didn't learn to play my ukelele, or blog as much as I want to, or to really dig into this big idea that I've been struggling to get off the ground. I didn't mention my car accident and physical therapy. I also didn't mention just all of the "stuff" we celebrated with the kids...concerts, Math Super Bowl medals, plays, talent shows, birthdays. I didn't mention John's four improv shows.

2014 was just really, really busy.

Here's to 2015, to more adventures and more love and more learning.