Featured Presenters:
Anne Marie Laures, CPT
Will Thalheimer, PhD

"Is Your Learning Organization Healthy?"

May 27, 2009
1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT (60 Minute Session)

Is Your Learning Organization Healthy?
How to Audit Your Learning Function and Create a Plan for Improvement

Anne Marie Laures, CPT, Director, Learning Services, Walgreens Company and
Will Thalheimer, PhD, President, Work-Learning Research

session will describe how a large, geographically-dispersed organization
conducted a learning audit to determine the state of their learning function,
the recommendations based on the audit, and the plan for changes.

a result of this session, participants will:

  • Gain ideas and
    tips for conducting a learning audit
  • Gain new ideas
    for using field expertise to support learning and career development
  • Learn to blend
    formal learning strategies to informal learning opportunities

Anne Marie Laures, CPT, is
Director of Learning Services, which has been a repeated winner of ISPI's
outstanding instructional and non-instructional awards. She has been
responsible for supporting Walgreens' learning function within the company's
corporate and operating divisions for over 30 years. She was a member of the
group that designed the Certified Performance Technology (CPT) certification.
She has presented at the annual conference 3 times and was invited to do an
Encore Presentation at ISPI's 2005 conference in Vancouver. 

Thalheimer, PhD is a learning-and-performance consultant and researcher who
specializes in helping clients build world-class learning interventions. Dr.
Thalheimer has worked in the field since 1985 as an instructional designer,
simulation architect, project manager, trainer, and consultant. He founded
Work-Learning Research in 1998 to provide research-based consulting services,
workshops, and learning audits. Will speaks regularly, often receiving
"best session of the conference" evaluations. His
research-to-practice papers lead the industry with information backed by
research and vetted with practical wisdom. Will Thalheimer has been invited
twice to do Encore Presentations at ISPI's annual conference.

Register Today by clicking here!!

Designed to enhance the skills and
knowledge of the Performance Improvement Professional, each month ISPI will
feature the latest thinking from the experts you rely on for your continued
professional development. In just one hour, you'll come away with new ideas,
perspectives, and tools that you can put to work immediately. Put your focus
on your own results, for a change, and join a SkillCast!

  • ISPI Members:  $29 per SkillCast
  • Non-Members:  $69 per SkillCast

Back in the early 1990's I was involved in a project which we ended up calling the Classroom, Inc. project. It was a joint venture between Teachers College, Columbia University (where I was a doctoral student); Morgan Stanley, the Mariposa Foundation led by Morgan Stanley's COO Lewis Bernard, and the New York City Public Schools. The project was designed to help at-risk kids in Brooklyn learn about business and to empower them to think like business leaders. It was a great project and has blossomed into a full not-for-profit organization that continues to do great work—taking it way beyond what we were able to do.

I was the project leader on the learning-development simulation-development side of the project. We built two computer-based simulations and accompanying learning materials. The programming wizard and educational technology guru on the project was Hilary Wilder, who played many other roles as well. It has been a pleasure to see her career unfold over the years since then.

Recently Hilary won a Fulbright scholarship to do educational technology work in Namibia, where she has been involved for years.

WP Perspective, a publication of William Paterson University, where Dr. Wilder is an Associate Professor, published the following article about Hilary's Fulbright. I couldn't be more proud. Congratulations Hilary!!

Hilary Wilder, associate professor in the educational leadership
and professional studies department, has been named a Fulbright Scholar for the
spring 2010 semester. She will be lecturing and conducting research at the
University of Namibia (UNAM). The university, with an enrollment of 10,000 students,
is the sparsely populated, African country’s only comprehensive four-year
institution of higher education.

Wilder will also be establishing Namibia’s first and only
master’s program in educational technology, her area of expertise.

“The people of Namibia are very open to new ideas,” Wilder
says. “I’m really excited about the opportunity to develop an educational
technology master’s degree program, in a country which so desperately needs it.
I’m hoping this program will help create a solid cadre of local expertise in educational

Her work dovetails with a national development plan established
by the Namibian government called Vision 2030, which calls for a shift to a
knowledge-based economy by 2030. “Before independence in 1990, Namibia’s
education system was based on apartheid practices and the majority of its children
were taught through low-level rote-learning, often in rural bush schools with
no resources. Today they are eager to move forward and ensure that their
children will be successful and productive twenty-first century global
citizens. The government, private sector, non-governmental organizations and
international organizations such as the World Bank are all committed to making
this happen“ she says.

Wilder will be working with teachers who will go on to become
educational technology experts in their schools— helping their peers integrate
technology literacy into the curriculum and their teaching. “There will be a
trickle-down effect,” Wilder says. “My students will learn the technology
integration skills, and take that back to their fellow teachers. The idea is
that by 2030 the students who are then taught by those teachers will have acquired
the technological literacy skills necessary to be a part of the knowledge-based

WP Perspectives, Vol.7 No. 1 April 2009, p. 7

One of the things that sets Hilary apart is that she is able to bring together a background in learning and educational theory and research (as a graduate of both Teachers College Columbia AND Harvard schools of education) WHILE at the same time bringing practical wisdom to her work (with her real-world experience as programmer, instructional designer, and educational technology specialist). The ability to bridge the theory/research side and the practice side is fundamental to making on-the-ground improvement in the learning field. We can all aspire to follow Hilary's path.

It has been my pleasure and privilege to co-teach several learning measurement workshops with Dr. Roy Pollock, and to follow the important work that he and his colleagues have done at The Fort Hill Company over the years. I acknowledged their work by awarding Cal Wick, Fort Hill's Founding Father, the Neon Elephant Award back in 2006. I've also reviewed their ground-breaking book, The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning, and have recently reviewed their new book, Getting Your Money's Worth from Training and Development.

Now, I have captured Roy in a video interview, that I think you'll enjoy and learn from.

You can purchase the book by clicking on the link below:

Again, I highly recommend the book. Read my book review to see how much.

Here are some purchasing support tools you can use:

Buying wine imported to the US? Slate Magazine Guide
Read accompanying article: Slate Magazine Article

Buying cosmetics and want to avoid toxins: Environmental Working Group Cosmetics

Buying vegetables and want to avoid pesticides: Environmental Working Group Pesticides
Also download an iPhone App: Environmental Working Group Pesticide iPhone

Anybody know of others?

I was at a conference recently and somebody gave me a job aid the size of an employee security card. Too detailed, but potentially a great idea.

What other workplace performance job aids and performance supports have you seen?

Another tool in our toolbox.

Just came across this presentation by John Karlin, who worked at Bell Labs back in the mid 1900's, and found it fascinating.

This was the guy who created the "Karlin dot" on rotary phones and helped people dial the phone. The dot gave dialers a spot to aim their finger at, increasing dialing speed (which if you remember rotary phones, was very important, especially if the number had lots of 7's, 8's, and 9's).

Interestingly, now the behavioral economists with their etched flies in urinals think they invented this idea.

Check out John Karlin's speech from 2003. On paper he's an engaging fellow.