8 Principles of Risk Management: Risk Management Basics

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This is the first article in an ongoing series that will introduce the concepts of risk management. The articles and series will be based on the ISO 31000 standard for risk management (at least the initial articles will) and the discussion about risk management in these articles can be applied in any industry and for any subject–finances, supply-chain management, brand reputation, talent recruitment and retention, market share, occupational safety and health, supply-chain management, and more (this is known as enterprise risk management).

If you’re new to risk and risk management, we hope that the articles in this series will demystify the field to you and show you the opportunities that taking a risk-based approach can offer in a variety of applications.

Please let us know if you have any questions you’d like us to address in future Risk Management Basics articles, and of course do use the comments section if you’d like to chime in with your own knowledge, thoughts, and experiences.

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How to Become a Learning Organization (An Interview with Michelle Ockers)

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We’ve written before about what a learning organization is and what are some of their traits, and we’ve even talked about how to integrate safety departments into learning organization efforts (see this Safety & Learning Organizations article or this recorded Integrating Safety into Learning Organizations ASSP webinar).

But we thought we’d shoot big and talk to an expert in the field to learn what organizations can do to become learning organizations: Michelle Ockers.

Michelle very kindly shared her time and knowledge to help us get up to speed. If you’re interested in knowing what a learning organization is, or if you’re looking for some simple steps to move along the path, this is a great place to start.

The video of the discussion is immediately below. We’ve also typed it up for you if you’d rather read–just click the MORE button to read on. 

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8 Ways a Learning Management System (LMS) Serves as a Risk Management Tool

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Risk management is an important tool in many different fields: finance, safety, and more.

Risk management is also central to your workplace learning and development efforts, even if you don’t think of workforce learning in that way. But stop and think of all the different risks you’d face if it wasn’t for your workforce learning programs. You might not be able to recruit as many good new employees without one and you might not keep the ones you do recruit as long. New employees would struggle to understand their jobs and it would be harder to teach them new job roles and skills in their career path. You might quickly run afoul of compliance challenges, and without an emphasis on learning, your company might drift into inefficiency, irrelevance, and ultimately out of existence.

One tool your learning program can use to reduce these risks is a learning management system, or LMS. We’ll discuss a few of the ways an LMS can help your organization reduce risk exposure in this article.

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Deep Learning, Deliberate Practice, and Desirable Difficulties: An Interview with Patti Shank

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In this article, we’re going to investigate how to help workers develop job skills through deep learning, deliberate practice, and evidence-based training methods known as desirable difficulties.

Sounds pretty exciting, no?

Well hold on to your hat, friend, because it’s more exciting than just that.

We’re going to do this by talking with Dr. Patti Shank, one of the most informed and generous learning researchers out there, and someone from whom we’ve learned a lot about learning over time. We’ll say it below as well, but many thanks to Patti for sharing her time and knowledge with us.

You’ve got two options for taking this all in. Read the article or scroll to the bottom and watch a recorded video of our conversation.

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Tips for Small L&D Departments: An Interview with Emily Wood

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Learning and development professionals, including elearning developers, have to wear many hats. That’s kind of true by definition, since it’s a field that incorporates a lot of different skills and tasks. But it’s even more true for L&D/eLearning professionals who work in small learning development departments. Maybe it’s a 3-person department, or maybe even a 1-person department. It’s pretty amazing what these hardworking professionals get done.

This article is an interview with Emily Wood, who is her own “elearning department of one” at a non-profit based in Portland, Oregon. She’s also the author of a new book by that same title–eLearning Department of One.

In this interview, she offers some insights into how she gets it all done and offers tips and resources for L&D professionals out there in the same situation. If you’re in a small L&D department, we think you’ll find this interview especially interesting.

We’ve got a recorded video of the discussion for you immediately below, plus if you prefer reading, we’ve typed up a transcript for you too (just click the MORE button to read).

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Free Manufacturing Training Guide: 5 Tips for Better Manufacturing Training

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In today’s economy, effective manufacturing training is a necessity. If you’re not training your workers to do their jobs properly, you’re pouring money down the drain and losing your competitive advantage.

To help you out, we’ve created a free Manufacturing Training Guide you can download. It’s right at the bottom of this article.

We’ve also got the bird’s-eye view of the content covered in this guide in a recorded, on-demand webinar for you. (more…)

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Effective Safety Training: A Guide to Creating, Designing, Delivering, & Evaluating EHS Training That Works

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If you’re in EHS (or Safety), you’re probably also in EHS (or Safety) training. If so, you’re going to LOVE the free downloadable guide at the bottom of this article.

The guide is going to walk you through all the steps of having a top-notch EHS training program that follows best practices. We think it will make your job easier and your workplace a safer, healthier place.

It’s a complete guide that will help you follow best practices for integrating your EHS and EHS training efforts; managing your EHS training program; design, develop, deliver, and evaluate your EHS training; and continually improve your EHS training.

Our guide has a lot in common with the best practices put forth in ANSI Z490.1, the American national standard of “Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training.” Although our guide covers nearly everything in the standard, we do recommend you still go and get a copy of the guide (which was just updated in 2016).

Let us know if you have any questions, thoughts, or comments–there’s a comments section at the bottom of this article. And enjoy the guide!

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What Is a Learning Organization?

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In today’s economy, it’s important for organizations to support learning. Without doing so, they risk losing market share or even going out of business due to increased competition or by being disrupted in the way that streaming video services such as Netflix disrupted the brick-and-mortar videotape rental business model of companies like Blockbuster.

While all or most organizations try to learn and use the results of that learning to adapt, some organizations do this better than others. Those at the “good” end of the spectrum, who use learning well, may be known as learning organizations.

In this article, we’ll talk more about learning organization theory, learning organizations, and the characteristics of a learning organization.

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Your LMS is NOT a Learning Strategy

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A learning management system (LMS) is a great tool for compliance and workforce learning.

But it’s just that. It’s a tool. It’s not a silver bullet, it won’t address every learning challenge your organization faces.

Use it well, and you’ll get lots of benefits. We’ll review some of those for you below.

But don’t think that getting an LMS is the same as having a learning strategy. Because your organization needs to develop, implement, and maintain a learning organization–and an LMS can be a tool that helps your organization act our your learning strategy.

Continue reading to learn more about LMSs and their role in your organizational learning strategy.

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What Is a Learning Ecosystem?

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Have you heard the phrase learning ecosystem and wondered what it means? Or did you learn about it just now and is it leaving you scratching your head?

Not to worry. We’ll provide a simple and quick introduction to the concept of a learning ecosystem in this article. It’s an important idea, and even if you didn’t know the term before today, you may well find you’ve already set up a learning ecosystem at work, or at least parts of one.

Read on to learn more about learning ecosystems.

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Reaching Peak Job Performance with Deliberate Practice

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We like fun as much as the next workplace performance blog, but the truth is sometimes you’ve got to work hard to learn, excel, and become a master at something.

We touched on this recently in our blog post on desirable difficulties, a term used for a group of counter-intuitive learning strategies that make learning a little harder and slower at first but that increase long-term retention and application on the job in the long term. And we’re going to be discussing desirable difficulties and more thoughts related to how hard or fun learning should be in an upcoming interview with learning research professional Patti Shank that you’ll see here soon.

And in this article, we’re going to continue that focus on the hard work involved in learning, and in particular in evidence-based research into how exactly experts in a field become experts. Hint: if you guessed it involved hard work, you’re right.

In particular, we’re going to focus on a concept called deliberate practice, which research shows is a difficult but reliable way to attain mastery in a field. If you’re involved in learning and development at your workplace, this is important information for you to know because you can use deliberate practice to help employees at your organization more rapidly improve their performance on the path to expertise.

This article is based on the book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool.

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Desirable Difficulties: Unexpected, Evidence-Based Ways to Make Training More Effective

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Many people are looking for the simple, fast way to improve learning programs at work (and therefore improve the performance of employees, managers, and organizations as a whole). That’s understandable, but the problem is that we don’t necessarily know how to reach these goals.

When we consider the best way to improve learning programs and increase workplace performance, a whole range of considerations come to mind. In this article, we’ll only discuss two, although those two will present plenty of insights.

The first is that much of what we think we know about learning isn’t true, much of what we do isn’t conducive to long-term learning, application on the job, and performance improvement, and we’re not good judges of our own learning.

The second is that there are some proven learning techniques that we know work (because there’s evidence proving they work) and in some cases, these proven techniques are a little bit counter-intuitive. Collectively, these counter-intuitively effective learning techniques are sometimes called desirable difficulties (a term first coined by learning and memory expert Robert Bjork and made increasingly popular in the book Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter Brown, Henry Roediger III, and Mark McDaniel).

In this article, we’ll spend a little time reviewing some of our mistaken ideas about learning and then we’ll introduce to you some of those desirable difficulties.

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