Posts Tagged ‘training’

Ready to Try Something Different?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012


From the archives…

My husband Jed is not a vegetarian but he does eat tofu on occasion. I’ve never developed a taste for it and the first few times he cooked it I questioned his taste. He often seeks low-fat, low-cholesterol alternatives to meat products as a small step towards keeping his cholesterol under control. I’ve loved some of the tofu-based items he’s brought home, and hated others.

When sitting down to write this week’s blog, I thought about last night’s tofu dinner and realized tofu and learning design actually share a number of characteristics. 

Tofu is often overlooked and misunderstood when people see it in the grocery store. If they even know what it is, they may assume that it’s not right for them, that it’s for “those people” — the vegetarians — and has no place in their diet.

Learning design and development is often viewed that way. Many people assume they’re natural communicators. They know their issues, topic content, products and services so well that they think putting together a PowerPoint, a workbook and some notes can turn their ideas into any classroom course, a conference presentation or a seminar. That may work occasionally, but it takes more if you are trying to create a sophisticated program or presentation that optimizes your subject matter expertise,

Learning design is really a misunderstood skill.

Tofu takes on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked with. The same goes, generally, for learning design. Many people ask me if I’ve ever created courses for this industry or that industry or ask if I’m subject matter expert on one topic or another. I’ve worked in sales training, customer service, healthcare, financial services, and with marketing/public relations agencies and professional service firms, to name a few.

The great thing about smart learning design and development, as well as a competent designer, is that we incorporate design methodologies that are versatile and can be applied to any industry, topic or process. Knowing how to use the methodologies combined with the right materials preparation, skills and subject matter expertise makes it possible to create an instructionally sound program, presentation or initiative for any organization and any level of talent.

If you’ve never considered using a consulting partner like WOW! transformations, why not? We can help you optimize the return on your talent investment using our strategic approach to employee and organizational growth and development.

Do what you will with tofu, but isn’t it time to give WOW! transformations a try?

Global Management Curriculum Has Executive Buy-in

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011


WOW! transformations gets results. Here’s a case study that shows how we worked with a global chemical company to leverage the millions it spends on the personal and professional development of company managers. This nine-month global training initiative, which includes 11 classroom days, is the core of that investment.

Client: Global Chemical Company

Assignment: A specialty chemicals company partnered with WOW! transformations to create a first-level people manager, management-development curriculum that would enhance its reputation as an innovative organization and attract and retain the right talent.

Strategy Used: WOW! transformations divided this project into four segments:

  1. Identify the skills and competencies required to achieve the stated objectives.
  2. Create the curriculum-flow documents and templates while selecting and managing the vendor-partners involved in the project.
  3. Evaluate the results of the pilot and launch the finished curricula.
  4. Revisit the content as additional countries are rolled-out and adjust the content to adapt to the learning styles and needs of the target audiences, as well as the changes happening within the organization.

Initiative Goals:

  • Increase the manager’s awareness regarding role and responsibilities
  • Enhance management skills and competencies
  • Develop people who develop others
  • Improve levels of employee satisfaction regarding professional and career development
  • Influence the culture of engagement, collaboration and clarity
  • Clarify management processes, policies, and procedures
  • Develop consistent behaviors (coaching, development planning, PIP, etc.) that link specific organizational processes, such as Performance Management

Tactics: Working with partner-vendors as subject matter experts (SME’s) and curricula designers, WOW! transformations managed the creation of a nine-month, global management development initiative that takes a blended learning approach: Classroom training, e-learning, peer coaching and self-study. The curriculum focused on developing critical management skill, behaviors and competencies.

The Results: The global learning curriculum was successfully created, tested and launched. The organization is reaping the benefits of consistent management skills, tools and competencies across the organization.

To date the following statistics are available:

  • The program has launched in North America, Europe and Asia.
  • Ten trainers world-wide are facilitating the series.
  • More than 230 managers have successfully completed the program since 2008.
  • More than 160 additional managers are scheduled to complete the program in 2012.
  • The program is now mandatory for all new managers.
  • The organization is seeing common management practices and language across all lines of business.

To optimize the return on your talent development get results contact WOW! transformations.

Training Outsourcing is on the rise

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011


If you’re in the training business like we are, that’s really good news.

A recent Chief Learning Officer article by Cushing Anderson, program director of learning services at IDC, he uses  findings from a January 2011 Human Capital Media Advisory Group survey to make the case for outsourcing training:

  • There has been a small increase in the number of enterprises that plan to outsource, as well as the amount companies spend on outsourcing.
  • Companies that outsource are satisfied with the results and expect to increase or maintain levels of spending with external training providers.
  • Companies are outsourcing primarily to supplement internal resources on an as-needed basis and because they believe training outsourcing is a more cost-effective way to create or deliver training.
  • Most companies who outsource choose activities that do not require the transfer of management control to an external provider.
  • Those who outsource appear satisfied with their providers.
  • The most important qualities CLOs consider when looking for a training outsourcer are training expertise and subject-matter expertise.
  • It’s increasingly important for vendor to act as business partners, reflects an increased understanding of CLOs on the fluid nature of training objectives and the flexibility required for successful training outsourcing.

According to the survey, companies that don’t outsource typically are satisfied with internal training operations, think it is too expensive or believe the subject matter too complex for outside providers.

As enterprises continue to emerge from the economic crisis, will the increased use of external providers hold true? We think so. Allowing a company like WOW! transformations to focus on our expertise — talent development — lets your company focus on its own expertise. It’s a smart way to do business.


Vineyards Realize The Power Of Training Customers

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010


In a recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article “Vineyard Tours Take From Grape To Glass” ( by Michelle Locke, Clay Mauritson, winemaker at Mauritson Winery, says, “I just see a huge benefit to getting people in the vineyard and showing them how the wine is made.” The article goes on to explain that vineyard managers are realizing it takes more to sell wine – there is an entire process that needs to happen to educate the end-user. 

Mauriston Winery has developed walking tours that put the consumer in the field to see firsthand how the wine-making process works, feels and smells.  From a learning perspective, the winery has incorporated a variety of training approaches to appeal to its customers. “It’s a passive education,” says Mauritson. “When they notice those things, what they’re really doing is the essence of viticulture. You’re not shoving it down their throat with hoity-toity wine talk, you’re really letting them find out.”

Other vinters are using similar approaches to connect to and educate customers. They say great wine is made in the vineyard. Now some vintners are inviting guests to check that out through walking tours aimed at giving the real dirt on winemaking.