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  • September 08, 2019 12:03 PM | Kandice Kidd (Administrator)

    By Susan Camberis

    Editor, Training Today

    Measuring learning impact is critically important yet knowing how to begin can be a challenge.    

    ATDChi’s August webinar featured Olga Polyakova.  Olga is the Learning Analytics lead for BCG North America and a former ATDChi Board Member.  Olga shared her experiences with measuring learning impact in professional services.   

    Within BCG, career development is handled by career advisors not line managers.  While the vast majority of training is mandatory, it can still be difficult for team members to find time to attend.  Talent rotates on and off new projects every two to four months.  Everyone is evaluated on every project, but evaluation data is not connected to learning. 

    “The best thing you can do is build proof-of-concept,” said Polyakova.  To do this, Olga initially focused her efforts on measuring the impact of a three-day off-site training that BCG offers regularly.  By combining delayed-in-time data with compelling personal narratives and factors that enhance or impede sustained impact, Olga was able to create an impactful and sustainable model. 

    Here are 5 code-cracking take-aways:

    1.      “Think, then do.”  When Olga first began enhancing learning analytics at BCG, she was also working on her Masters in Training and Organizational Development at Roosevelt University.  According to Olga, this was a “magic time” activity – an add-on to her already packed schedule, so maximizing impact was the only way to be successful.

    2.      Keep it simple.  Olga’s objectives starting out were simple:  better data (e.g., more outcomes-focused ways to measure feedback), new data (e.g., over-time quantitative and qualitative impact analysis), and better process (e.g., increased automation).  Olga helped BCG develop a two-pillar evaluation framework based on feedback and impact that she believed would resonate with the organization’s culture.  By analyzing data collected at 3-month and 6-month check-ins, the team identified the most applied learning’s as well as behaviors with lower uptake.

    3.      Focus on the value proposition. By improving the data being collected, focusing on application data, and leveraging data to improve the overall employee experience at BCG, Polyakova was able to make a compelling case for how the data could deliver benefits for the learning function and the business.

    4.      Streamline impact analysis.  Establishing impact analysis typically involves three steps: Design, Execute, and Report.  Execution is what can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.  One of the best demonstrated practices that Olga shared was to complete the Design and Report steps at the same time, so that you can show your customers what they will get the for data you are asking them to provide. 

    5.      Quantify results.  “Even for the most intangible trainings, try to quantify results and support with quotes,” shared Polyakova.  If you can quantify time or cost savings estimated by participants, you can extrapolate broader savings and impact for the organization.  In this case, personal narratives were analyzed for quotes to illustrate impact on performance.  The team also discovered that the data they were collecting provided an amazing source of ideas and suggestions for improving the wellbeing of BCG team members and included peer advice that could be shared with future program participants. 

    As with any complex project, getting started is key. 

    “You really just need to start and do more than was done before,” said Polyakova.

    Want to learn more? 

    Follow Olga Polyakova (https://www.linkedin.com/in/polyakova-olga/) and BCG

    (https://www.linkedin.com/company/boston-consulting-group/) on LinkedIn. 

    If enhancing learning analytics is one of your objectives this year, consider joining ATDChi for a full-day workshop with October 15th with Ken Phillips focused on predictive learning analytics.  To learn more, visit: https://atdchi.org/event-3276628.


  • September 08, 2019 11:16 AM | Kandice Kidd (Administrator)

    As the summer wraps up, it’s time to reengage and reflect on where you are in meeting your professional development objectives for the year. It’s not too late to create your personal individual development plan. Whether you are creating or updating your plan, are you leveraging the ATD Competency Model to incorporate other areas of expertise? As I update my development plan, I’ve added Coaching as my focus for the remainder of this year, The description for Coaching in the ATD Competency Model,  “apply a systematic process to improve other’s ability to set goals, take action, and maximize strengths”  resonates with me the value of coaching. Specifically, understanding how and when to recommend coaching as a performance intervention and how I can  leverage coaching in my own professional journey.

    From the perspective of understanding how and when to recommend coaching, I’ve had the pleasure of increasing my exposure to coaching and many of its aspects through the webinars offered as part of a professional development network (PDN). The chapter has recently partnered with a new PDN, Executive, Team & Group Coaching led by Dan Johnson. This has given me the opportunity to increase my awareness and therefore ask additional questions of myself and my colleagues in better understanding how to incorporate coaching into a learning strategy. If you haven’t participated in one of the webinars offered through the Coaching PDN, I invite you to take advantage of this opportunity. As  Talent Development Professionals, it is one of the areas of expertise identified in the ATD Competency Model.

    When I  think about coaching that I’ve received primarily from my manager reflect on the 2nd perspective and how I have experienced coaching in my own professional journey.  It was just in recent years that I began to hear from my peers about the relationship they have with their coach.  My colleagues have formal coaching relationships outside of their primary full-time job or their independent consultant work. Establishing a formal coaching relationship is the next action step that I plan to take.  More and more people are leveraging the coaching relationship for a variety of reasons. Whether seeking counsel  to determine what’s next in their careers or in starting a business, having a coach is more accessible and considered the norm for most professionals today, and no longer appears to be reserved for C Suite executives.

    The key take away I’d like you to receive from my message is that Coaching plays a role in your learning strategy recommendations and as a Talent Development Professional.  In closing reflect on your answers to the following questions:

    • What do I personally know about coaching?
    • Is there someone within my network that is a Coach?
    • Is it time for me to facilitate a formal coaching relationship outside of the manager/employee relationship?



  • August 04, 2019 5:41 PM | Kandice Kidd (Administrator)

    Transformational Presence: Conscious Leadership for a Rapidly Changing World with Alan Seale

    September 5 @ 11 am * Webinar (via Zoom)
    Open to ALL ATDChi members and guests

    Navigating complexity and rapid change in business and organizations today requires new kinds of leadership skills—skills that stretch our capacities for awareness, perspective, intuitive thinking, and resilience. We need skills and tools for cutting through multiple layers in what is happening to get to the core, and to find our next steps quickly.

    In this experiential and interactive one-hour teleconference, Alan will introduce three simple yet powerful tools for doing just that. Come with an open mind and intuitive curiosity and expand your conscious leadership skills.   

    After participating in this session, participants will be able to:

    • Use simple and practical yet powerful and effective tools and frameworks for cutting to the essence or core of complex situations.
    • Implement skills to help you expand beyond competencies to core capacities—stretching who we are and how we show up as conscious leaders.

    This session is brought to you by ATDChi’s Executive, Team, & Group Coaching Professional Development Network (PDN).  ALL ATDChi members AND guests are welcome to attend.

    ABOUT THE PRESENTER:  Alan Seale is the founder of the Center for Transformational Presence and the author of seven books, including Transformational Presence: How To Make a Difference In a Rapidly Changing world, Create A World That Works, and The Power of Your Presence. He is the creator of the Transformational Presence Leadership and Coach Training program, which now has more than 700 graduates from 33 countries.  Truly a global coach, Alan serves clients from six continents and travels extensively throughout the Americas and Europe to teach and speak. His books are published in six languages. He makes his home near Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  www.transformationalpresence.org

    TO REGISTER:  Visit  https://atdchi.org/event-3374792  Registration is $10 for all ATDChi members and $20 for guests.


  • July 26, 2019 4:10 PM | Kandice Kidd (Administrator)

    By Susan Camberis

    Editor, Training Today

    Most talent development (TD) professionals are familiar with web-based learning. 

    Organizations may choose web-based learning over face-to-face for a variety of reasons, including cost, sustainability, learning style, a remote workforce, branding, and wanting to ensure internal consistency.  But, effectively combining web-based learning with meaningful digital interactivity can be a challenge. 

    ATDChi’s July webinar featured Dr. Nicole Buras and Lauren Merrild, Learning and Development Specialists at Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC). Their focuses are in experiential and collaborative workplace learning, and digital interactivity in web-based learning, respectively.  Buras and Merrild’s session discussed an HCSC case study and included applications and learnings for TD professionals. 

    Innovations in Learning

    Buras and Merrild shared a number of recent innovations in learning including storytelling, simulations, micro-learning, scenarios, animations, interactivity, and game elements.  They emphasized the importance of 1. Choosing the best solution to address the problem you are training to solve; 2. Good instructional design; and 3. Getting leadership buy-in.  According to Buras and Merrild, “Innovations in learning are not a solution; innovations are concepts to be adapted and incorporated into learning solutions as appropriate.” 

    Merrild explained that successful execution of interactivity includes three primary elements:

    1.      Physical interactivity:  Tangible interactions such as clickables, rollovers, drag and drop’s, and other methods.

    2.      Cognitive interactivity:  Interactions and engagements that occur through the use of scenarios, games, stories, and other strategies.

    3.      Interaction enablers:  Components that provide focused and adaptive guidance within a course. 

    “Today it’s more of a reciprocal relationship between the learner and the technology,” according to Merrild.  What’s important is being conscious of each interactivity element and understanding how they work together. 

    The Case Study

    The impetus for using game-based learning at HCSC arose through continuous improvement efforts that identified that new associates lacked industry-specific terminology.  The team chose a web-based solution because it could automatically build in learning challenges and be incorporated into existing new hire training plans.  Game-based learning was also selected because it included multiple types of interactivity, which has been shown to positively impact knowledge gains.  The team used Storyline 3 for course design and Photoshop for editing.

    HCSC created their own game-based course design model to meet the needs of their learners.  Their model combines three game tenets (narrative that builds in complexity, conflict & resolution, and characters) with the two enabling features of rules & challenges and awards & feedback.  The result is “play as a learning experience,” in which knowledge gains are achieved regardless of success in a game task.

    What did HCSC learn?

    In total, HCSC collected data on 121 participants.  Qualitative and quantitative data supported findings related to high levels of engagement.  Learners expressed positive perceptions of the game-based design elements and spoke highly of the activities.  Participants not only enjoyed the course but also demonstrated knowledge gains between the pre-and post-test evaluations.  According to Buras and Merrild, “This aligns with the literature on adult learning which argues for interactivity, and more narrowly game-based elements in WBTs.” (Arnold, 2014; Chatterjee, 2010)

    HCSC found that game-based learning was a great fit with their employee-base, and they are looking for additional opportunities to further utilize game-based learning design in 2020.   

    Want to learn more? 

    Check out the article that Dr. Nicole Buras, Lauren Merrild, and their colleague, Dr. WooRi Kim, wrote earlier this year for Training Today entitled Balancing Game-Based Design and Evaluation: http://sco.lt/7N7IKu    


  • June 30, 2019 5:54 PM | Kandice Kidd (Administrator)

    Deanna recommends:

    The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age

    Co-authored by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh 

    This book is a quick read, with actionable ideas, for talent managers and leaders who are interested in creating alliances between themselves and their employees in a way that builds relationships and trust. Work relationships that follow this model create a win-win situation that will enable leaders to retain their top talent.

    Adriene recommends:

    Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow

    Scott Jeffrey Miller

    This is a great book that not only addresses some great leadership principles, but illustrates both good and bad examples of this in practice. Leadership is challenging and Scott does a great job of sharing the lessons he has learned along the way so that we can learn from his experience. It is a short read, easily accomplished in one sitting with a 30 day plan to practice the challenges.

    DJ recommends

    Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing a Job You’ll Love

    Sue Kaiden, Editor & Foreword by Dick Bolles

    This book was free with the ATD membership. It’s an easy read and a person can easily skip to specific sections, should they choose. The information is all great and, I imagine, helpful, even if you think you have found your fit already. Knowledge from a pool of people was collected to shape this book and there are a number of helpful tools at the end!


  • June 29, 2019 11:17 AM | Kandice Kidd (Administrator)

    Got Game?  Starting Gaming (Learning) in Your Organization | June 20, 2019 

    By Susan Camberis

    Editor, Training Today

    Even if you do not consider yourself a “gamer,” we all play (or have played) games at different points in our work and personal lives. 

    ATDChi’s June General Meeting hosted by Allstate in Northbrook, featured Stephanie Daul, Learning & Development Consultant and author of Game Design for Learning a TD at Work publication.  Stephanie has designed more than a dozen gamified learning experiences for global Fortune 500 clients. 

    As described in ATD’s 2014 white paper on the subject, “Gamification is the integration of game characteristics and mechanics into real-world training programs or tasks to promote change in behavior.”

    During her interactive session, Daul asked participants to play familiar games as a way of showing how foundational gaming elements such as goals, rules, reward structures, feedback, and storytelling, can be found in even the simplest games.  At the end of the night, participants had the opportunity to put their new knowledge into action by creating their own games. 

    If you want to up your game, here are five smart takeaways to consider:

    1.      Use games to build confidence and motivation.  According to Daul, while there has not been a lot of research on using games in organizations, meta-data suggests that games increase retention by 9%, declarative knowledge by 11%, and procedural knowledge by 14%.  Even more impressive is that learners report 20% greater confidence in utilizing what they just learned when games are involved and motivation and positive attitude toward learning content increases by 52% with gamification.   

    2.      Know your players.  The key to developing a good instructor-led game starts with understanding your audience.  Daul shared four player “types” to keep in mind. 

    • Hunters” are ultra-competitive; their goal is to win to the greatest degree possible.
    • Achievers” want to always be the first ones done.
    • Socializers” are focused on making sure everyone playing the game is engaged and playing well together.
    • Explorers’ want to do everything on every level before moving on.

    3.      Design First.  Develop Second.  Daul shared several examples of games she had developed, with some taking just a few hours and others taking several weeks to build.  In each case, the design document was key.  What is your business objective?  What do your learners need to learn?  Which gaming elements will best help your learners understand the content?  In this way, gamificaiton is no different than other types of learning – it starts with good design.

    4.      Use a checklist.  Daul shared the checklist she uses for game design, of which a key element is “play test” – testing out your game with different audiences.  The checklist is a useful roadmap to the key steps you need to think through to design your own games:

    • Determine business goal or objective
    • Identify the gaming strategy
    • Create a story
    • Create a prototype
    • Play test, as much as possible, anytime you have an audience
    • Adjust the prototype
    • Play test, as much as possible, anytime you have an audience
    • Launch to pilot
    • Adjust
    • Implement

    5.    If you want to design games, play games! When Daul was with Grainger, she hosted a small group gathering called “Games and Grubs,” an innovative, low-cost way for colleagues to learn about games and gamification.  Each week a different member of the group brought in a game.  The group played the game, then discussed for 20 minutes, figuring out how the game could be applied to the business.  Using games people are familiar with allows them to think about the gaming concepts, according the Daul. 

    Ultimately, gamificaiton can take many forms – in terms of investment, complexity, and technology.  What is most important is designing games that support performance improvement to move the business forward. 

    Want to learn more? 

    Daul suggests Play to Learn by Sharon Boller and Karl Kapp as an excellent starter book on gamification.  If that sparks your interest, next read Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal.  Finally, if you really want to build your knowledge base, Daul recommends The Gamificaiton of Learning and Instruction by Karl Kapp.

    Special Thanks

    A very special thank you to  Tom Gross and Nicole Afton for volunteering during this event.  We couldn't do what we do without our volunteers.



  • June 08, 2019 9:48 AM | Kandice Kidd (Administrator)

    Micro-learning has emerged as a methodology to provide just-in-time training and assessment for a specific job function. These short simulations where users must demonstrate their mastery of a completed task is rapidly becoming a required feature in corporate training.

    This session will offer five current solutions on how micro-learning can be implemented to your corporate portfolio. We will explore Augmented Reality, 3D Virtual Reality and simulated experiences ranging from very low to high-end cost.

    You will learn about:

    • Articulate Rise as a low-cost, low maintenance development platform
    • Augmented reality development for fast task mastery
    • 3D virtual reality for deep learning solutions in micro bursts

    What Advancing Tech and Microlearning: A Perfect Blend

    When:  Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 6:00-6:30 PM Networking; 6:30 – 8:15 PM Session

    Where:  Illinois Institute of Technology, Tech Central, 3424 S. State Street, Room 225, Chicago, IL 60616.

    There is parking across the street, and the building is accessible by Red and Green CTA lines.

    How Much:  No Charge

    RSVP: CorpUPDN@gmail.com

      WhoDennis Glenn, MFA is an adjunct professor at DePaul University Graduate School for New Learning where he teaches in two domains: engaging social media, and mastery learning using serious games. His instructional design and eLearning experience was honed when he joined Northwestern University as manager of the advanced media production studio. In 2001, Glenn was promoted to assistant dean for distributed education at the School of Communication where he was the Director of the Distributed Learning Center. Dennis is also president of his own consulting firm and has designed interactive virtual patients for the medical industry that assess the cognitive decision-making abilities of surgeons, doctors, and nurses. He has created learning and assessment simulations for Pearson Learning, Baxter, Abbott Labs, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and over twenty-five medical schools. 


  • June 02, 2019 7:01 PM | Kandice Kidd (Administrator)

    What is a Power Member?  A Power Member is an ATD member that holds both local chapter and national membership. Local chapters provide opportunities to connect and learn with other TD Professionals in your area. National membership provides access to information about trends in the industry, research, best practices, and design tools and templates from ATD sources. I’ve been thinking about Power Membership even more after returning from the recent 2019 ATD International Conference and Expo (ICE) and reflecting on my experience as a Power Member. Both memberships provide a multitude of resources for you to use professionally. Membership at both levels also allow human connections to develop organically.

    I had the opportunity to attend ICE with some local board members which was a great way to learn more about our roles in the talent development field. As a chapter we organized a meetup with other local ATDChi members that attended ICE this year. Our purpose was to meet and connect with other members and have ice cream together. This time together allowed us to put names with faces, have some laughs, and share our favorite conference experiences. These moments were meaningful to me not only as a local member, but also as chapter President for it provided a shared experience that will build the foundation for stronger professional relationships.

    The national membership allowed me to register for the conference using a member discounted rate, attend a variety of amazing sessions and visit with vendors to learn more about emerging technologies and a variety of platforms. I met TD professionals from different states and countries and learned more about their roles.  Discussing our key takeaways from the sessions that we attended was priceless. Meeting members from different parts of the world expanded my key takeaways as cultural influences allowed information to resonate with people differently. I was able to also learn more about sessions that I couldn’t attend from others who had participated in those sessions. This provided me with insight about potential presenters to see during my next conference, or in the interim read articles by or view recordings of those presenters. These informal learning opportunities were worth the price of registration plus held a special place in my heart because of the new people I met.  

    Each connection I made was a genuine display of curiosity, two or more people looking to learn more about each other and share our session experience.  The human connection now enhances the connection on social media platforms. I can send a message to any one of my new TD friends and continue to build on our shared conference experience.

    If you aren’t an ATD Power Member, consider adding this to your Professional Development plan. Local and national membership has a place in helping you as a Talent Development profession have impactful discussions with your business partners to identify, develop, and deliver the right solutions in addressing performance gaps in their organizations.


  • May 26, 2019 11:09 AM | Kandice Kidd (Administrator)

    Registration for the Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase will open in May.

    Deadlines for registration and lunch orders appear below:

    • Monday, July 22: Deadline for the early registration rate
    • Monday, August 5: Deadline for registering to have your specific lunch order guaranteed
    • If you have any special dietary requirements, please register by August 5.
    • If you register after August 5, the venue may not be able to accommodate your exact lunch request.
    • Sunday, August 11: Deadline for advance, online registration
    • Tuesday, August 13: Onsite registration available at the event; onsite registrants cannot be guaranteed a lunch.
    • If you register onsite, you may need to purchase a lunch from the café at the conference center.
    • Registration cost includes light breakfast, coffee and snack breaks, and lunch. 
    Group  Early Rate (by July 22)  Late Rate (July 23 or later) 

    Host organization (ATDChi & STC Chicago) members

     $125  $155
    Other Alliance Members  $155  $185
    Nonmembers  $185  $225





    For the host organization rate, you must be a member of ATDChi or STC Chicago. Membership in an affiliated national or international organization (ATD or STC) does not qualify you for the host organization rate.

    If you have questions, please contact registration@chicagoelearningshowcase.com.

  • May 25, 2019 8:57 AM | Kandice Kidd (Administrator)

    Group Coaching:
    Tools & Techniques To Get The Most From Your
    Talent Development Dollars
    with Dan Johnson, CPC, CNTC
    July 10 @ 1 pm * Webinar (via Zoom)

    Open to ALL ATDChi members and guests

    Join us as we learn about the types of group coaching, phases of group coaching, and how group coaching can be a more efficient AND effective solution for developing leaders and sustaining performance (while saving 87% or more of an organization’s training dollars).  You’ll benefit from the lessons learned shared by someone who has led group coaching for 15 years in a variety of environments.  After participating in this session, participants will be able to:

    • identify different types of group coaching
    • differentiate group coaching from team building
    • describe the advantages of group coaching vs individual coaching
    • identify the phases of a group coaching process
    • use a powerful Group Coaching tool to reduce conflict, improve workplace relationships, and enhance accountability
    • initiate a Group Coaching approach to improve the effectiveness of your training, leadership development, or talent development initiatives

    ABOUT THE PRESENTER:  Dan Johnson CPC, CNTC is the founder of Performance Mastery and Certified NeuroTransformational Coach and consultant specializing in leadership development, training, executive and team coaching, and workplace performance improvement.  Combining neuroscience with his expertise in business, performance improvement, and measurable outcomes, Dan uses neuroscience-based coaching, training, and consulting to accelerate measurable outcomes and insight for his clients in large financial institutions, manufacturing, retail, not-for-profit, government, agriculture, and healthcare industries.  

    TO REGISTER:  Visit  https://atdchi.org/event-3374695 Registration is $10 for all ATDChi members and $20 for guests.







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