Changing Role, Same Focus


Changes are something we talk about a lot on this blog. Sometimes it’s how generational changes are affecting associations, or how changing your mindset can help your organization find a new solution to an old problem.

Changes often make people nervous. Unsure. Maybe it breaks them out of a comfortable routine.

Change to me means opportunity. A chance to re-evaluate and reinvigorate. That’s exactly how I feel about this change: The change in responsibility that comes with my new role as Director of Training and Publications.

Playing a new role in this organization is nothing new to me. Over the 29 years that I’ve been a part of this company, I’ve been involved in just about every part of the business. While the role I play may have changed over the years, my commitment to helping our customers create better course materials for their learners and print, pack and ship their publications has remained.

From the point of view of our customers, it’ll be business as usual. But, behind the scenes, know that we are working hard to continually do what is necessary to remain the partner you turn to as a collaborative resource.

Focus on making our customers successful

All of our efforts really focus on one thing: Day in, day out, how can we help make our customers successful. That’s what we’re here to do. Knowing what associations do to better our community is a great motivator. We’re invested in seeing our customers remain competitive in their markets. That’s why we are always reviewing the solutions we offer and making recommendations that will help our customers reach their goals.

Focus on technology through integrations

One of the things we pride ourselves on is making our customers’ lives easier when it comes to system integrations. Associations are continually embracing new technology to help manage their financials and processes. This means opportunities for integrations between new systems are emerging all the time. We’ll continue to be proactive with recommendations that provide insight into your data and make your staff more efficient.

Focus on finding efficiencies

Developing efficient processes isn’t just important for us as a company, but is something that we pass on to our customers, as well. For example, we recently re-organized our warehouse to shorten the turn time it takes for an incoming order to be packed and prepped for delivery to your customer. Improvements like these help us ensure that our high-level of expectations translate into world-class service for our customers.

So what’s the bottom line to you? In my role as Director of Training and Publications, I’ll make sure we continue to stay focused on what really matters: Supporting our customers and making sure we offer them the solutions that support their mission and make them successful.

Training and Development Talk: Microlearning 101

The way people learn is changing, which means that the way continuing education programs approach their courses should be, too. A lengthy lecture followed by homework, with little opportunity for student interaction and discussion, is no longer considered to be the best choice for deep, lasting training and development to take place.

Our attention spans are shorter than they used to be, especially (but not exclusively) among Millennials. Also known as Generation Y, these young professionals (born approximately 1982-2004) grew up alongside the internet. Answers were readily available online and their patience for information is notoriously thin.

To adapt to this change, a new approach to teaching and learning has sprung up. Microlearning breaks down lessons and concepts into bite-sized pieces of four minutes or less. Hallmarks of this technique include very narrow learning objectives (only one per “chunk” of content) and frequent, mini-quizzes to test retention.

Printed course books can accompany classes that make use of microlearning practices, but supplemental online resources are another option. Blended learning enhances microlearning—instructors can take complex concepts they learn through a standard lecture or reading in a textbook and break it up into smaller components online. Video is also a particularly good format to use in this type of training and development situation.

Many associations offer face-to-face, instructor-led training, though some are also exploring online delivery of content and self-study. No matter how you offer training to your learners, microlearning can be incorporated.

Are you ready to try microlearning to supplement your training and development programs? Start by bouncing your ideas off of someone with an outside perspective who can offer suggestions for content delivery. Reach out to me or leave a comment below to get the conversation started!

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