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  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019 11:08 AM | Anonymous

    ATD-MAC 2019 Programming: A Whole New Approach and a Focus On You
    By Andrea Meade

    2019 has rolled into focus, and we’re already into February.  Does anyone else feel like the years are flying by faster and faster? I’ve started to look back at the last month and wonder where all my time went – has anyone else done that? I know I spend so much of my time at work, or at home with my family, and that when I finally feel like I have a moment to myself – for personal time, development/learning time or to just binge watch something on Netflix, I end up doing other projects I’ve put off.  The house needs to be clean, the blog has to be written, the kids need help with their homework, the dog needs a walk. It never ends.  Where is the time for you?  When will you be able to spend time focusing on you? Developing you? Helping you become a better you?

    That’s why we’re so excited about the 2019 ATD-MAC Program schedule. It’s ALL. ABOUT. YOU.

    This year we are working on a theme of “Focus on You.” And while we can’t offer massages or TV time, we can offer you time to better yourself both personally and professionally

    How are we doing that you might ask? ATD-MAC’s 2019 Programming is varying the types of programs we offer and really attempting totailor offerings to be for anyone in the training and development, human resources, or truly business field. 

    We are offering a new exciting program each month that we hope will engage you in a way that you’ll come join us and help us keep the conversation going ever further using our social media channels.  

    We are ramping up innovating program offers like pod casts, videos, Facebook events, LinkedIn discussionsand so many more options. We’re going to try some things at different times of days to engage those who can’t get away for the end of workday events we offer.

    We are using a new variety of venues too, hoping to get the group all over the city. 

    We are releasing our entire 2019 calendar of events at once to allow you to plan ahead and hold your calendars. I’m really hoping that even if one month doesn’t sound exciting to you, you’ll see other month’s events that look exciting! I’m also excited, that even if you can’t make that month’s event, you can still engage in the conversations using our social media channels.  

    Trust me, no one understands better how busy we all get – so let’s make it easier for us to focus on you!

    What will be doing this year? Take a look at our calendar below. Interested in learning more about a particular event? Let us know by connecting via email or through social media. Reminder, members will save on events, including our free summer savings events (June, July and August are free for members <- that pays for itself in membership!).

    (Click the image above to download.)

    Andrea Meade is the Co-VP Professional Development for ATD-MAC. Andrea has been working in the talent development field for over 10 years. She currently works as a training specialist for Shopbop (a subsidiary of Amazon) supporting their customer contact centers world-wide.  She also recently undertook the development of their customer service quality assurance program. Andrea has previously earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. In 2014, she obtained her Certified Professional in Learning and Performance from ATD. 

    ATD-MAC is proud to have a blog that features local ATD-MAC members as authors and contributors. We’d like you to know that the views and opinions expressed in this article or by any author/contributor in publications outside of this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ATD or ATD-MAC.
  • Sunday, December 30, 2018 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    By Ryan Panzer

    In the previous three blog post in this series, we explored the importance of coaching to organizational effectiveness. We sat down for a conversation with Madison-area coach Brandi Davis, and explored the basics of executive (manager) coaching. In this fourth and final post of the series, we will take a quick look at an integrated model of coaching - which, though time intensive to implement, has been shown to be the most impactful coaching model to an organization’s productivity and bottom line. 

    We might define integrated coaching as the capacity for individuals within an organization to have a meaningful feedback-driven conversation in the moment. Integrated coaching conversations address real behaviors as they happen, providing the opportunity for instant improvement or continuous high performance. 

    Integrated, or job-embedded coaching, is perhaps the inverse of that which is traditionally offered to managers or executives. Instead of 1:1, formal sessions that are somewhat contractual and often part of an official development plan, integrated coaching is entirely informal. Though it still occurs on a 1:1 basis, integrated coaching is rarely scheduled, seldom official, and never contractual. Because of its innate flexibility, integrated coaching has the capability of benefiting every single employee within an organization - not just the people leaders deemed worthy to receive the investment from a human resources department. A 2014 CEB (now Gartner) study identified that integrated coaching drives a 12.2% uplift in the performance of customer-facing teams. The same study suggested a neutral to slightly net-negative impact from formal coaching initiatives, likely a consequence of significant time away from customer-facing responsibilities. 

    Perhaps the most appealing part of integrated coaching is in how easy it is to staff up a team of coaches. Rather than outsourcing to a pricey coaching firm, you can draw on the fleet of coaching talent already in the door of your organization: your front-line managers. Integrated coaching gives front-line managers the training and the reinforcement they need to have a feedback conversation in the moment!

    What do these managers need to be trained to do in order to have an integrated coaching conversation? It comes down to the skill of asking the right questions. In his book The Coaching Habit (an instant classic on organizational coaching), Wall Street Journal bestselling author Michael Stanier suggests that there are seven questions that effective practitioners of coaching can ask their employees. By repeatedly asking these questions, coaching becomes a habit - and therefore ingrained into the culture of an organization. From Stanier’s perspective, effective coaches can call to order an integrated conversation with the simple question “What’s on your mind?” From there, coaches seek to uncover the needs and wants of the individual - and how they as people leaders can be supportive. Coaching at the integrated level then lacks the connection to long term individual development, to SMART goals, or to performance improvement plans. But these punctiliar engagements are flexible enough to accommodate all workplace challenges, frustrations, and needs - to provide support when and where it is needed the most. 

    So how do you get started with the integrated coaching model? Front-line managers need two things to establish integrated coaching. First, they need training. They need to be upskilled to ask coaching questions that help their teams to uncover insights and feedback on their performance. A secondary training need, by the way, might be to “tame” what Stanier refers to as the “advice monster.” Coaching, remember, is about asking the questions that lead to insight - and not about giving advice or directives.

    But training alone is not enough to implement integrated coaching. Managers need to be re-trained, incentivized, and re-incentivized to ask coaching questions within the course of the workday. Whether this is done through manager meetups, standup meetings, or regular motivational huddles, your integrated coaching program will flop without some commitment to reinforcement and continual coaching skill development! 

    The training and motivational needs of integrated coaching are highly variable depending on one’s organization. For this reason, many practitioners of integrated coaching hire an outside partner to provide an integrated coaching framework, and to provide L&D staff with "train the trainer" support. A partner can also consult on the ideal blend of coaching within your department. Integrated coaching does not need to be a substitute for formal, goal-directed coaching engagements. In their 2014 study, CEB, now Gartner, recommends striking a balance between the two, where approximately 75% of coaching time is spent in an integrated setting; 25% in a formal coaching session. 

    So while integrated coaching is not the panacea to all organizational challenges, it may just be the key to driving performance improvement at the most important levels of your company. 

    Ryan Panzer is a trainer and instructional designer at Zendesk's Madison office where he is currently working to launch a coaching program. Prior to working for Zendesk Ryan trained sales and customer support teams at Google's Ann Arbor office. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently working on ATD's CPLP certification. He is passionate about Badger football and building cultures of learning. 

    Disclaimer: ATD-MAC is proud to have a blog that features local ATD-MAC members as authors and contributors. We’d like you to know that the views and opinions expressed in this article or by any author/contributor in publications outside of this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ATD or ATD-MAC.  

  • Monday, November 26, 2018 9:43 AM | Anonymous

    by Ryan Panzer

    Thanks for joining us for our Live Facebook Event for All Things: Coaching. If you missed it, you can still see the posts here

    So far in this blog series, we’ve focused on Internal Coaching and External CoachingPart 3 focuses on Executive Coaching.

    If there is a “traditional” model of  in the business world, it would be that of the executive (or, manager) coach. Executive coaching is widely utilized in North America - which is part of the reason that business coaching is now a ten billion dollar industry in the United States. The International Coach Federation, the industry group for professional coaches responsible for issuing one of coaching’s highest accreditations, had 17,500 certified coaches in the US as of 2016. Some 95,000 professionals across the United States work on business coaching in some capacity.

    If your organization is looking to get started with coaching, executive coaching may be the place to begin. While integrated coaching conversations (which we will review in an upcoming blog post) have the power to unlock broad cultural transformation at all levels of the organization, executive coaching offers the benefit of simplicity - one coach, for one promising leader, at one time. Moreover, providing your leaders with a high-quality coach can provide your organization with a model for effective coaching conversations that work at all levels of the company.

    But before you sign on the dotted line with a coaching provider, consider this checklist of a successful Executive Coaching Program.

    CHECKLIST ITEM 1: EXECUTIVE COACHING MUST BE SUPPORTED AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF THE ORGANIZATION. Coaching is an intentional commitment towards goal attainment. In order for coaching to have impact, the leadership of your organization ought to have a clear sense of goal direction and shared agreement on the prioritization of these goals - as well as an honest awareness of what might be blocking goal attainment. Moreover, coaching-ready organizations are willing to explore alternative ways to achieving their goals.

    CHECKLIST ITEM 2: DECIDE ON THE COACH EXPERIENCE YOU REQUIRE. The executive coach is an appropriately skilled and qualified professional who engages business leaders for 7-12 months of goal-directed conversation. According to a 2009 Harvard Business Review study, executive coaches are most often hired (most are hired/brought in externally) to “develop high potential or facilitate transitions, act as as sounding board, or address derailing behavior.” 

    Not every organization has the same coaching needs. Some organizations need coaches who are adept at helping leaders to work through interpersonal conflict or communication challenges, while other organizations need coaches who can play the role of counselor, or even therapist, at times of transition or ambiguity. Some organizations need a coach with industry experience and demonstrable industry results - while other organizations might prefer a coach who can quickly pivot a conversation for all lines of work. Get clear on your goals and outcomes in order to determine what you need in a coach. 

    CHECKLIST ITEM 3: DECIDE BETWEEN OUTSOURCING OR INSOURCING. Once coaching experience and needs are determined, many organizations decide to outsource their executive coaches, bringing in external resources who have been trained in consulting and psychology and accredited in business coaching. External coaches have the ability to remain neutral, perhaps even more objective than in-house employees. Still, many organizations lack the cash to hire an executive coach at $250-400 an hour for each of their leaders. The cost of an external partner is not a dead-end to executive coaching, but an internal tact does require the pursuit, development, and maintenance of business coaching skills within your organization. 

    Executive coaching is perhaps the first tablestake of a coaching culture. Organizations certainly should support coaching for their leaders - but leaders are not the only ones who need the support of a coach. In the next blog post, we’ll turn to coaching as an integrated practice, and how coaching conversations can permeate all levels of your organization.

    Ryan Panzer is a trainer and instructional designer at Zendesk's Madison office where he is currently working to launch a coaching program. Prior to working for Zendesk Ryan trained sales and customer support teams at Google's Ann Arbor office. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently working on ATD's CPLP certification. He is passionate about Badger football and building cultures of learning. 

  • Friday, November 16, 2018 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    by Ryan Panzer

    In out first post of the ATD-MAC All things Coaching Series we looked at the effectiveness of coaching and how all organizations can benefit from some level of coaching engagement. In the next few posts we will take a look at different models of coaching programs, highlighting a free programs right here in the Madison area!

    Brandi Davis, a member of ATD-MAC, is the owner of B. Davis Directions, a consulting firm focused on employee performance, retention, and development. As part of her consulting practice, Brandi frequently serves as an external coach to leaders in Wisconsin's assisted living sector. 

    As a coaching consultant, Brandi is brought in to coach emerging leaders, and to provide one to one coaching and guidance to leaders who may be struggling or looking to become higher performers. Typically, Brandi finds that engagements last between four to six months. 

    When identifying candidates for coaching, Brandi says it is as much about the employer's buy-in as it is the employee's motivation and self-awareness. Davis says, "Coaching is helping someone discover the path they want to go on, then creating opportunities and resources to help people get there."

    Not every employee, and not every organization, will benefit from working with a coach. Employees have to be willing to make the first step down the path, and employees must be dedicated to promising the necessary opportunities and resources that their leaders need to accomplish their goals. 

    When Brandi works one to one with her clients, she starts with a two to three-hour interview that assess the coachee's leadership style, as well as their view of their organization. then, Brandi brings in the perspectives of others in the organization. 

    "I ask other members of the team, do you have the training and resources you need, what do you think is going well in the organization, and what are the opportunities? Do you feel valued, and do you feel recognized for the work you do?"

    Typically, these conversations are quire open-ended, giving the staff time to think and process, then take the information and synthesize it into a series of finding on the coachee's skill for teamwork, education, and communication - and how these skills fit with organizational realities."

    Once Brandi has completed her research on the coaches and their place within the organization, she is ready to work directly with her clients to create an action plan with specific, attainable goals. 

    When the action plan is set, Brandi and her clients break down a category into a series of steps to drive goal accomplishment. Brandi ensures her clients - both the coaches and the organization leadership - are brought into the action plan and willing toward towards it s completion. As Brandi and her coaches work on the action plan, they hold a series of regular phone check-ins, usually over the course of four to six months. 

    "There's always this partnership in coaching, with an end-goal that is attainable and engaging for the coaches and can be supported by myself. We celebrate the small successes along the way together." 

    Throughout Brandi's engagement with her clients, question and conversation are always prioritized over advice and direction Davis says that "coaching is constant question asking. It's not me giving advice. It's me trying to engage the client's critical thing. It's their own performance that is on the radar." 

    Brandi views coaching as beneficial to all organizations, provided the organization is willing to invest in coaching on a regularly and routine basis. 

    "The big thing to think about is the consistency of the model. For this reason, I would recommend that organizations start with an executive coaching program, then a middle management program. It's important to remember that coaching is not a one-off, six-hour session. the biggest thing about coaching is the consistency and the routine of it. If your executives don't have time to participate, then what are you really looking to get out if it?"

    Even without a formal coaching program in place, leaders can start to promote coaching behaviors simply throughout heir interactions in the workplace. Brandi encourages TD professionals to start speaking the language of coaching. Just get comfortable with three to four questions starting out. You can use those questions in the workplace - and then you do, you start to develop a coaching culture. My go-to question are about seeking to understand in issue firsts, and that starts with 'help me understand.' Or, 'what is the goal you are hoping to achieve?"

    Similar to working with a client in a one-to-one setting, it takes time an an resources to build a program. But getting started is as simple as asking ehe right questions, setting a course, and celebrating successes along the way.

    Brandi Davis has worked in the health and human services industry in a variety of files such as AODA clinics, PT/OT, hospitals, hospice and the assisted living industry for over 15 years. Brandi has over ten year' experience in recruiting, orienting, training , and supervising both volunteers and paid staff. During this time, Brandi has discovered one thing: She truly believes in the power of people. Brandi understand that people can and do excel in environments that allow them to reach their full potential through engaging training and proper coaching. Brandi is committed to building long-term relationships with her clients and providing top-notch customer service.  

    Ryan Panzer is a trainer and instructional designer at Zendesk's Madison office where he is currently working to launch a coaching program. Prior to working for Zendesk Ryan trained sales and customer support teams at Google's Ann Arbor office. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently working on ATD's CPLP certification. He is passionate about Badger football and building cultures of learning. 

  • Friday, November 09, 2018 9:17 AM | Anonymous

    I am so excited to announce ATD-MAC's newest offering - All Things. All Things is a chance to take a piece of our field and dive deep for an entire month into "All Things" related to that topic. Throughout November, we are diving into All Things Coaching. 

    All Things Coaching will feature a 4-part blog series by Ryan Panzer, ATD-MAC member, blogger, and training and instructional designer at Zendesk's Madison office. Ryan's series will tackle internal coaching programs, establishing a coaching business, executive coaching, and integrative coaching as he dives into the research and best practices in the industry. We'll release one blog per week as we dive into All Things Coaching. 

    In the middle of the blog series, we'll also offer our first ever Live Facebook Event: All Things Coaching. Put on your jammies and grab a glass of wine when you join us for free, online November 20th from 8:00-8:45 pm. You'll have a chance to win great prizes, learn more about coaching, connect with the coaching community in Madison, and we'll cap it all of with a question and answer session with Ryan Panzer live on Facebook. Register today and receive an early entry into our price drawings. 

    We look forward to seeing you online throughout November as were try something totally new in bringing you the All Things Coaching Blog Series and Facebook Live Event. This is part of ATD-MAC's commitment to bringing you the best and most innovative ways to continue your professional development. 

    Thanks! And keep reading for our first post!
    Erin Lavery
    Vice President of Marketing, ATD-MAC

    Is Your Organization Ready for a Coaching Program?
    Ryan Panzer

    When is the "right" time to start a coaching program?

    Recently, I moved into a Learning and Development role at a company with no formal training or coaching program. as we have built out employee onboarding, ongoing product training, and a professional development curriculum, we have tried to assess the ideal timing for launching a coaching initiative. When would we start training managers to have a coaching conversation with their team? When would we begin to provide coaching support to our organization's leadership? Amidst the demand of so many other programs, our inevitable answer to the aforementioned questions is "later."

    Given the competing projects and priorities that are intrinsic to many Learning and Development teams who work in a rapid/agile environment, is it inevitable that the cultural transformation necessary for an effective coaching program will take a permanent seat on the "to-do" list? So maybe asking about the "right" time for coaching is not the right question to ask!

    Perhaps the right question, at first, is: "how might I intentionally cultivate a culture of coaching within my organization?"

    This is an easier question, as you can justify moving coaching initiatives up from the backlog by considering the core characteristics of coaching. 

    The ATD Competency Model defines coaching as the ability to "apply a systematic process to improve others' ability to set goals, take action, and maximize strengths." Because coaching is process-oriented and results-focused, it has the ability to improve all types of performance issues - including performance issues related to motivation, knowledge/skills, or organizational structures. Training, by the way, is usually only effective where performance issues stem from a deficiency in knowledge or skills. Perhaps this is why organizations who practice both coaching and training see faster results and an easier transfer for learning from coaching!

    With these characteristics as the bedrock of coaching it is unsurprising that coaching is hardly theoretical. 

    The Human Capital Institute identified that organizations with a strong coaching culture report 7% higher "revenues above that of their industry peer group" with 8% higher employee engagement. Similarly, Gartner found that customer contact organizations that utilize coaching experience a 12.2% average increase in agent performance (2014 Coaching Fundamentals Guide). Perhaps the innate effectiveness of coaching is part of the reason why 31 sessions at ATD ICE 208 had a coaching focus, while the expo hall was packed with 35 coaching exhibitors.

    Given its intrinsic versatility and potential, the question that TD professionals should ask next is: "What type of coaching program is my organization ready for?"

    There are a few different modalities to emulate in a coaching program - executive coaching, integrated coaching, and coaching as a habit, to name a few. The intended audience and expected benefit of each modality vary considerably. There is rarely a universal approach to coaching, which why it is so scalable, and why it needs to be shaped with analysis and intentionality. 

    In the coming weeks, the ATD-MAC Blog will explore coaching from multiple perspectives. We will interview coaching practitioners here in the Madison area, and we will review the current literature on coaching to see what is working. Along the way, we hope you gain a few insights to continues to shape the cultures of coaching in your organization. 

    Ryan Panzer
    Ryan Panzer is a trainer and instructional designer at Zendesk's Madison office where he is currently working to launch a coaching program. Prior to working for Zendesk, Ryan trained sales and customer support teams at Google's Ann Arbor office. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently working on ATD's CPLP certification. He is passionate about Badger football and building cultures of learning. 

  • Wednesday, August 08, 2018 9:38 AM | Anonymous

    by Jenn Stangl

    ATD-MAC’s August is all about you. It’s about you, about your brand, about your power. Our August session features Courtney Davidson in a powerful session on your personal brand. At “Making Your Mark” , you’ll learn how to get noticed by recruiters, and you’ll also learn how to build your brand in your current role. So, this August, dive into you. Head into September empowered and emboldened to meet your most important and pressing needs. 

    I recently took an online course called Building Personal Power. The course is focused on understanding ways of analyzing power dynamics in organizationsas well as thinking about how to build your own skills in exercising power and influence.  

    Throughout the course, we read pieces of Power: Why Some People Have It – and Others Don’t by Jeffery Pfeffer. If you are interested in the idea of power and learning more, it is an interesting read.  In chapter two, Jeffery discusses personal qualities that create power. As I read this chapter, I found myself reflecting on my personal qualities – strengths, areas of development and what I felt was important for me regarding power.  

    To give you an opportunity to reflect as well, here are Pfeffer’s 7 Qualities for Creating Personal Power:  

    1. AMBITION “Success requires effort and hard work as well as persistence.” 

    Do It! Be goal-oriented. If you have your sights set on a goal, you have an easier time overlooking the general frustrations or daily annoyances that could otherwise distract you.

    2. ENERGY “Energy, like many emotional states such as anger or happiness, is contagious.”
    Do It! Leverage your energy and provide inspiration to others, demonstrate your commitment to the organization, and be willing to put the time into achieving goals.

    3. FOCUS “… evidence suggests that you are more likely to acquire power by narrowing focus and applying your energies … to limited range of activities in a smaller number of domains.”
    Do it! Specialize when you can. Specialization provides a depth of understanding and substantial web of focused relationships.  

    4. SELF-KNOWLEDGE “There is no learning and personal development without reflection.”
    Do It! Reflect on your interactions and learn from what went well and identify what you’d do differently next time. 

    5. CONFIDENCE “Because power is likely to cause people to behave in a more confident fashion, observers will associate condiment behavior with actually having power.”
    Do It! Your title can demonstrate power, but when you are working with those who don’t know your background, you need to use your behavior to demonstrate power.

    6. EMPATHY WITH OTHERS “What sometimes gets in the way of putting ourselves in the shoes of others is too much focus on the end goal and our own objectives.” 
    Do It! In order to succeed with negotiations, you need to recognize where the other individual is coming from.

    7. CAPACITY TO TOLERATE CONFLICT “If you can handle difficult conflict- and stress-filled situations effectively, you have an advantage over most people.”
    Do it! Build your skill in addressing conflict as most people are conflict-averse and avoid situations where they need to engage others in a difficult conversation. 

    Throughout the course, I’m been reflecting on a series of questions that I want to share with you. I would be curious for you to share your thoughts using #ATDMACPersonalPower on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

    • What does power mean to me?  
    • Is there one qualityI feel is more important than any others to obtaining power? 
    • Are there any qualities I feel are astrength for me?  
    • What are the qualities I’d like to develop?
    • Is power important for me to have?

    Jennifer Stangl is the Director of Professional Development at CUES. She also serves as the Past President of ATD-MAC.

  • Tuesday, July 24, 2018 10:13 AM | Anonymous

    Summer Social: Kicking Off the ATD-MAC Summer Savings Series
    by Jenn Stangl

    Our annual ATD-MAC Summer Social was held on July 19th. This year we took part in a private Betty Lou Cruise full of spectacular views of Madison and never-ending food and drink! Captain Steve shared details about our beautiful city, pointing out some landmarks and even let some drive the boat. 

    Although we encountered a few rain showers, we enjoyed time on the deck, enjoying the fresh air, wonderful views and engaging conversation with one another. As talent development professionals, we spend so much time supporting the development of others, it is wonderful to have an opportunity to build our own networks. Whether you are an ATD-MAC member or a guest, thank you for joining us. We hope to see you at a future event and encourage you to check out our events page to learn more about our upcoming events.   

    A reminder to members, our Summer Savings Series is in full swing, so August and September events will be free to members. If you are not a member, there is still time to join and get the benefits of the Summer Savings Series. Come join us to engage in discussion with your peers and build your professional network. 

    If you have ideas for future social, networking or professional development events, we’d love to hear them.  You can email us at admin@atdmac.org to share your thoughts!

    Jennifer Stangl is the Director of Professional Development at CUES. She also serves as the Past-President of ATD-MAC.

  • Tuesday, May 15, 2018 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    Bringing the Learning to You: 2018 ATD ICE Review
    by Jenn Stangl

    I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 ATD International Conference and Exposition in San
    Diego in early May. I was personally excited to go, and not just because the climate was a bit more stable than Madison this time of year.  As ATD celebrates 75 years, this year’s event was designed to celebrate the importance of this milestone. 

    The first event was Chapter Leader Day, during which I had the chance to interact with other chapter leaders from around the country. We discussed ideas to build strategic partnerships to support our chapters and shared ideas for programming events within our chapters. I came back with ideas to share with our board and see what we can to do support our members! 

    Mixed throughout the week were multiple other sessions and I’ll share a few points from some of the sessions I attended:


    General sessions

    Learning as a Competitive Advantage - focused on the news to reframe how we think about the phases of our career. 4 out of 6 drivers of employee engagement deal with career or skill development. We need to make learning accessible in a way that matches how people learn, help them make sense and manage all the available resources.  Ask individuals to share — how do you learn?  Use this information to guide the resources you provide.

    Women: Ignite Your Personal Brand- looked at how you market your brand.  If you want people to know who you are, it’s up to you to share it.  People pay attention to the way you walk, talk, meet and treat people.  Create primary and secondary advocates (your unofficial sales team). Expand your skills and knowledge by being courageous; take risks and be willing to let go of something in the past to move forward; get involved strategically in your company, industry and community. Identify what you have expertise in and share it with others.

    Neuroscience of Behavior - Behavioral changes occur when individuals have the capability (psychological and physical ability), opportunity (physical and social environment) that enables behavior change and motivation (reflective and automatic mechanisms that activate or inhibit behavior). Many times, we assume that behavior didn’t change as a result of capability and therefore training is the answer. 

    Evidence-based themes for new leader mentoring program - The average age an individual moves into their first leadership position is 30 years old. The average age an individual receives their first focused leadership development opportunities is 42 years old. Mentors offer career-related and emotional/psychological support. Focus mentoring programs on helping leaders to focus their mindset, skill set, relationships, ‘do-it-all’ attitude, perspective and focus.

    I walked away from the conference with ideas to implement in my organization, ideas for our chapter, new connections with other talent development and chapter leaders, and actions I want to take for my own personal development.

    It was a great experience and I recommend looking at the event in the years to come and consider attending. Use it as an opportunity to connect with others in the field, learn new perspectives, find new ways to do something and bring it back to your own network. If you have questions about the conference or want to hear more about any of the sessions I mentioned above, please reach out to me. I'd love to share with you!

    Jennifer Stangl is the Director of Professional Development at CUES. She also serves as the President of ATD-MAC.

  • Wednesday, May 02, 2018 9:10 AM | Anonymous

    Member Spotlight

    We would like to welcome all of our new members and thank all of our returning members from Q1 of 2018 – see our Q1 Member Report below. We are more than thrilled to announce a 7% increase in our Power Membership in the month of April. Thank you to everyone who renewed as a local and national member (and for locking in the great savings!). Don’t forget to claim your free State of the Industry Reportas a Power Member.

    Part of growing the profession together is having a chance to connect and brainstorm with professionals who are influencing the development field. Member Spotlight is one way that we introduce you to top influencers in the Madison learning community. In this quarter’s spotlight, we are honored to feature Dani Olsen. Dani is a frequent participant in ATD-MAC’s monthly sessions and has also steadily volunteered with the board. She is the Talent Development Administrator for Park Bank in Madison, and is doing amazing work to build leader development and staff engagement through her work.

    Meet Dani Olsen

    Hello, friends of ATD! I’m Dani Olsen, and I’ve been a member since May of 2013. I have been with Park Bank here in the Madison areas for eight and a half years now, with all but nine months of that time in the training function. In my current role, my projects include the development of a new training program for new associates; training Crucial Conversations; assisting with the facilitation of programs such as Sales training, Sales Management Training, and multiple management & leadership courses; coordinating training for new bank-wide systems, and, as they say in the infomercials, “much, much more!” 

    As the sole dedicated trainer at the bank, having ATD has proven to be an important resource to my own development. The opportunity to improve my understanding of the role of L&D professionals in the workplace, expand my skillset as a facilitator of learning, and network with highly talented colleagues in the community has proven to be invaluable. 

    My interest in coaching and helping others improve does not end with the workday. I help coach a U16 tournament softball team with my former college teammate. I also enjoy staying active however I can – softball and volleyball leagues, hiking and camping with my fiancé, and playing with our three dogs outside. Bring on spring! 

  • Wednesday, April 18, 2018 2:58 PM | Anonymous

    Whether you’re dreaming about attending I.C.E.or ready to up your Rapid Development game here in Madison in May, we’ve got you covered. @Andrea Meade is letting you in on her secrets to getting paid for your development. We’ve taken her advice, too, and provided you with the ROI for ATD-MACmembership based on Andrea’s strategy. 

    5 Steps to Convince Your Company to Reimburse your Development
    By Andrea Meade

    I am often asked, “How did you convince your employer to help reimburse your expenses related to your professional certifications and development?” For instance, my CPLP was paid for in full by a previous employer. Conference attendance as well as professional memberships (including ATD) also have costs associated with them that my employers usually pay for. 

    1)    Research your company’s policies regarding professional development and employee expense reimbursement. Many companies already have policies in place allowing for full reimbursement, while others will compensate a percentage of the cost, or may have policies contingent on performance or frequency of sessions. If you’re unsure what the policy is, reach out to your HR department or manager.  

    2)    Once you have a clear understanding of the policiesresearch what it is you want to do and the costs associated for it. I recommend breaking it down into a spreadsheet to help outline your expenses and do the math for you. 

    How to Calculate Cost:

    • Use www.gsa.gov when calculating cost for meals, lodging and incidentals.  
    • There are perks to staying in hotels arranged by conferences, such as additional networking opportunities, free shuttles, and typically a negotiated rate that is better than the GSA per diem rate.
    • Check plane fares often – the pricing does change periodically.  Remember to include parking if you’re leaving your car at the airport or consider a ride sharing service.
    • Don’t factor in just the cost of a class or certification.  Remember to include things like learning materials, extra online classes, etc.
    3)    Now that you have your breakdown of the financial implications, you need to sell the opportunity and experience to your company or manager by conveying the benefits they will reap from your attendance. Depending on the subject of the training, you might find additional support on the website for the conference or the hosting organization. Make them understand the ROI for your entire team. 
    In your pitch, answer the questions:
    • What are the benefits of physically attending an event versus a virtual seminar?
    • Why is this the best event/conference for you to attend compared to a similar event/conference?
    • What will you bring back to your company as a benefit? Be ready with statements. 

    4)    Document everything in writing. This is often times already a policy in place with your employer, but if not, it’s a great best practice. Specifically, written approvals should always be maintained should you need to submit expense reports, change managers, etc.

    5)    Once you receive approval, be sure to save the receipts if you pay for anything out of pocket.Remember to follow your company’s policies regarding expense reimbursement and record retention. If you have to use a company credit card. Be sure to also save those receipts.

    It’s important to remember, you can’t complain about not going to an event, or not having a membership if you never ask for the opportunity. Also hearing a, “No,” to one thing doesn’t mean it will always be a, “No,” to everything. Keep trying and show your value and what you need to continue to bring additional value to your workplace. 

    Don’t be surprised to have a bit of back and forth when trying to obtain approval for higher cost items. The company and your manager want to ensure that money from their budget is going to something that benefits the whole and provides rewards everyone can use. Expect some resistance, but know that with persistence and the right justification, you may find yourself going to a conference, having your membership dues paid, or having more resources at your disposal!

    Andrea has been working in the talent development field for over 10 years and obtained her Certified Professional in Learning and Performance from ATD in 2014. She started training because she simply had a knack for it. Since then, she has continued to grow as a trainer and develop her skills and experience in facilitation, instructional design and coaching.

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