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  • Sat, May 26, 2018 9:46 AM | Anonymous member

    So - anyone seen Starbucks in the new of late? Probably everyone. And most people know they will shut down their stores  soon for a day long "training" regarding cultural diversity and unconscious bias training. Those of us that work in corporate L&D do not find that surprising. A veiled attempt at CYA? Perhaps. And perhaps company leadership takes the problem very seriously and will continue to offer opportunities for its employees to learn and change. But this latest corporate PR nightmare brings a few key points to light.

    First, training cannot change culture. Both our larger societal culture as well as an individual organization's culture. Read enough Leadership, Org Development, and Business books and you can easily find dozens of thought leaders that point out how the culture at the top sets the tone for the rest of the company. That doesn't mean Starbucks' leadership suffers from unconscious racial bias more or less then the general public. Nor should it imply that they condone racist or other judgmental behavior. But the situation demonstrates that like so many other large corporations, senior leaders probably find themselves too far removed from the "business", i.e. making coffee, others drinks, and food. They probably spend most of their time analyzing reports, crafting social media and marketing campaigns, making financial decisions to make quarterly and yearly projections, and tweaking their product(s) in test labs. And it also shows that they probably lack open and honest communication with the "field" who see the day-to-day operational problems and who find themselves putting corporate policy into practice. No one wants to walk into a smelly, unclean restroom. And every business owner maintains the right to refuse service to non-patrons. Their bathrooms exist for customers. But as the situation in Philadelphia shows, the company's push to position itself as a "gathering place" in local communities was not accompanied by a change in policy nor operations that gave employees a clear understanding of how their existing policy meshed with the "vibe" they so eagerly tried to build. Training alone cannot fix that issue. Training in any business should and can only focus on teaching employees the behaviors and skills they need to perform their jobs. The training team cannot and should not be relied upon to fix issues caused by the business.

    In addition, training cannot change larger issues that stem from our society. Yes, we all suffer from one form of unconscious bias or another to some lesser or greater degree. And any company that tries to assist employees at any level of the organization to discover and address such an issue will only benefit from their investment in the long run. But, one could argue a situation like this would arise at some point because of the unconscious bias most Americans carry regarding race and socioeconomic status as well as the lack of public services that would present an alternative to using business "facilities". A company's training team cannot address those issues. That's not our purpose. 

    More importantly, though, the situation clearly demonstrates a larger problem in corporate America. And one that I think that is growing. What's the problem? It's the lack of integrating training into the business' operations. Now...some companies - WaWa comes to mind (and I'm sure many others exist) train new employees (including managers) very well. They "bite the bullet" when it comes to assuming the cost of on-boarding staff and making sure they can perform the tasks needed to get their jobs done. But most companies don't do that very well. And the more "advanced" a company/industry is - the worse it is, at least in my experience. That said, even companies that integrate new hire training into their operations often fail to keep it integrated throughout the life of an employee. You hit that mark - 3 weeks, 3 months, and boom - suddenly you're expected to simply perform and rarely find yourself in a setting where you can learn. It goes against what we know about human development - that we continue to learn, grow, and change throughout life, it stifles employee motivation, and it hampers businesses from quickly and easily introducing new tools, new processes, or changes in these b/c employees must complete "training" (often poorly designed) while facing the pressure to perform. Think about it. You train someone to do a job, perhaps investing in trainers, equipment, maybe even designated training centers to teach them how to do x,y, and z. They get told - go out and do your job. But then something changes - x goes to y. Y becomes R. Z goes to B. And then back to Z. And winds up at C. If an employee needs to learn a new piece of equipment or a new piece of software, they don't get the time to learn (and most importantly practice). Imagine a company that paid employees for an extra 15 to 30 minutes of work every day, and that time was fully integrated into their operations? Store open at 7am? Then instead of starting at 6 to get it open, they start at 530 and then from 630 to 7 they learn. Novel idea, but as the skill gap continues to increase and people find themselves moving from industry to industry, career to career, the organizations that train well will probably find themselves ahead of the curve and more successful in the long run.

  • Thu, May 24, 2018 10:34 AM | Anonymous member

    Summer might include travel plans, backyard BBQ's, and lazy days on the beach or by the pool. But taking a break from work doesn't mean you need to take a break from your own personal development. Join us as we host our first CLO Panel on July 25th, with four locally based, and national learning/people leaders to discuss how they're tackling today's biggest talent issues. Hosted by Gus Prestera - you'll get an opportunity to listen and engage with leaders who find solutions to organizational problems in order to drive results. . Information and registration on our website at Breakfast included. Discounted parking available. Plus, great views from the top of the Pyramid Club.

  • Sun, May 06, 2018 4:28 PM | Anonymous member

    So who's free on Saturday June 9th and wants to see the most dynamic, engaging, and thought provoking training leader in the Greater Philadelphia area? I know I do. Do you? If so, join us & the Philly chapter of ATD for a partnership on "Make Training a Want to, Not a Have to" with local guru and international leader Joe Urbanski, COO of Total Solutions Group. Joe's session will leave you rethinking everything you do in training and motivate you to understand learning from the learners' perspective. Not to mention, he could just be the most dynamic training facilitator you've ever seen. Information & registration at 

    Want a sneak peak? Then check out this clip from Joe at ATD's international conference in 2017! Show less

  • Thu, April 26, 2018 10:34 AM | Anonymous member

    Hey Folks....

    Can you believe it - in a few short days 2018 will be 1/3 over! Where did the time go? I wonder how those New Year's resolutions panned out for all of us. Hmm....Well when we kick-started this year at L&D Philly our message was simple - come out to a workshop or two and make an investment in your own professional development in 2018. Plenty of you listened to that advice. We've packed them in for great monthly workshops on Sales Enablement, two great sessions on Articulate Storyline, Micro-learning, and Design Thinking. And, a great all day bootcamp for beginners on Storyline. And we're about to do our 1-2 punch as part of Philly tech Week 2018.

    Oh - but we're not done. Not by a long shot... What else will flow from the tap in 2018? How about two great monthly workshops in the summer time, a fall dedicated to career management topics, a CLO Round-table with the cream of the crop, a Fall Networking Extravaganza, additional Professional Series Seminars and more. But don't just take our word for it. Check in with colleagues past and present, one of our Steering Committee Members or someone else active in the group to see how we're bringing the value and the learning for L&D people in Philly. And if you still don't believe us - go to the Publishing arm of ATD International. Look at the names of the best-sellers. Then peruse our website to see how many industry thought leaders we bring in. Boom-Chicka-Pop!

  • Thu, April 19, 2018 11:15 AM | Anonymous member

    Josh & John were lucky enough to represent L&D Philadelphia at the recent Mid New Jersey ATD Tech Showcase on April 17th. The annual event put on by the small, but fiercely independent chapter proves that a small group of committed individuals can accomplish a lot. Hosted by DeVry University, the even featured sessions with local leaders blazing new trails with technology, a host of vendors demonstrating their own tools and technology, and a peak into the future at DeVry's VR lab. Strengthening our group's bond with other local HR, Talent Management, Career Development, and L&D Group continues to provide great benefits to our members and we pledge to continue to do so.

    If you missed it in your inbox or spam folder, we highlighted the majority of our great events scheduled for the rest of 2018 as well as a plethora of upcoming events from our partner organization. Remember, as a member of L&D Philadelphia you get special access to events, discounted tickets, and a host of other great perks and benefits. Members should always log-in to the website to see information exclusive to them. IF you didn't receive our newsletter this week please reach out to us at or become a member today!

  • Sat, April 14, 2018 10:06 AM | Anonymous member

    We are proudly participating in Philly Tech Week for the 3rd consecutive year. For 2018, we have 2 great learning tech events:

    Event 1 - Saturday April 28th - 9am to 12pm - @TPM - Malvern PA

    "Designing Experiential Learning for Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality"

    In this highly interactive workshop, you will have an opportunity to learn about and experience today’s leading Virtual Reality (Oculus Riff and HTC Vive), Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality (Microsoft HoloLens) technologies. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each, as well as potential use-cases that can achieve real business results.

    Using a real-life case study, we will break down the process of designing for virtual reality, from analysis through implementation.

    Event 2 - Wednesday May 2nd - 6pm to 830pm @Harrisburg University - 1500 Spring Garden Street

    Exploring the Possibilities of Real-Time Collaboration in a Virtual Landscape

    This interactive workshop will explore the possibilities of connecting learners from all over the world in a collaborative virtual reality (VR) landscape using devices like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. We’ll demonstrate the technology, discuss design considerations and how to create engaging interactions, and allow time for a hands-on experience within the VR collaborative space.

  • Sun, April 08, 2018 2:52 PM | Anonymous member

    I wish I could say "Spring is in the Air". Mother Nature, though, seems like she doesn't want to stop her annual three to four month fling with Old Man Winter. Yet even as a chill lingers in the air a lot of great events run by our Partner Organizations will heat things up in the coming weeks. That includes:

    • Mid New Jersey ATD - Annual Technology Showcase on April 17th
      • 1pm to 6pm in North Brunswick NJ @ DeVry University
      • Sessions include Augmented Reality, Adaptive Learning, Integrating Mobile and more!
    • Also on April 17, the Leadership & OD SIG from ATD Philadelphia will host it's quarterly meeting - with this quarter's topic of "Talent Development's Role in Creating a 'Best Place to Work' Organization"
    • April 20th, the Philadelphia chapter of NSA will host "Fix Your Business Presentation Description" a in Plymouth Meeting
    • April 25th - Adobe will be holding it's east coast session of it's annual e-Learning conference in Washington DC.
    • Jump Start Your Job Search will hold it's spring event on April 28th in Wayne PA
    • Philly SHRM, Greater Valley Forge SHRM, and Delaware SHRM all have great events coming up from "Linking a Strong Organizational Culture to Strategic Outcomes" to "Painless Surveys: From Asking the Questions to Attacking the Issues".
    • Visuals for Change will host one of it's annual two-day visual design workshops on May 21st and 22nd.
    • Theresa Hummel-Krallinger's Meet the Author Series continues on the 2nd Thursday of each month with a special second session in May.
    Check out these events and more under our "Partner Events" section at
  • Thu, April 05, 2018 10:39 AM | Anonymous member

    Are you a founding member of L&D Philly that signed up when we launched this platform 16 months ago and since then let your membership lapse? Or are you a causal attendee of events that's not sure about the ROI of your membership?

    Well - instead of gushing on an on about the quality of our programs and the many perks of membership - let's give you some cold hard facts:

    • 15 - That's the number of published authors and leaders (through ATD press, Wiley, or other top publishers) we've had facilitate monthly workshops or or Professional Series Seminars in the past 2.5 years, in addition to local experts on topics such as storytelling, using humor in training, emotional intelligence, experiential training, and more!
    • $100s of dollars in a year. That's how much your membership can save you! From discounts on our monthly workshops and Professional Series Seminars, to discounted rates for events (some exclusive) with our partner organization. In fact, in three of our first four monthly workshops this year, discounted opportunities or giveaways were available at each single event worth at least $25. And in case you were wondering who some of our partner organizations are - here's a list:
      • ATD Chapters - Philadelphia, Mid-New Jersey, Eastern PA, Central PA
      • SHRM CHapters - Philadelphia, Delaware, Greater Valley Forge
      • PSPS
      • Philadelphia Chapters of:
        • National Speakers' Assocation
        • Society for Technical Communication
        • Association of Career Professionals
      • Philadelphia Area New Media Assoc. (Panma) 
      • Visuals for Change
      • The Millennial Summit
      • Philadelphia Articulate Storyline User Group
      • Jump Start Your Career
    • $1,000s of dollars you could save over multiple years. That's right - L&D Philly members get discounts on (and exclusive) access to non-accredited courses, workshops, forums, and events from both Drexel University's Goodwin College of Professional Studies as well as Harrisburg University and discounts on technical training classes from locally based Brookwood Media Arts.

    We could drone on and one about more reasons to join/renew today. But we figure, hit them in the wallet and see what happens!
  • Thu, March 29, 2018 11:58 AM | Anonymous member

    If you’re looking to refresh your strategies for supporting L&D, design thinking may provide just the infusion of energy that you need. Design thinking is what we DO as designers and strategists; and there are practices honed in the design thinking movement that can reenergize your creativity and enable you to craft novel solutions.

    In this fast-paced, interactive workshop, you’ll get a chance to play with the tools and techniques of design thinking and experience how they can invigorate your work. You’ll see how design thinking is more than a toolkit, though – it’s a mindset that can transform how you design and facilitate, and it’s an approach that improves the quality of your outputs. The workshop will help you to rediscover the joy of design.

    Through this workshop, you’ll be able to:

    • Transform your approach to assessment with empathizing
    • Generate and play with ideas to produce unique recommendations
    • Use rapid prototyping and iterating to hone your solutions
    • More deeply integrate design thinking into your standard processes

    Join locally based, but internationally recognize Catherine Lombardozzi - Founder of Learning 4 Learning Professionals as she leads the group down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City - better training!

  • Sun, March 25, 2018 4:30 PM | Anonymous member

    John admits that as personalities go, calling him a "planner" would hit the nail in the head. His colleagues call him the project manager of project managers. His girlfriend calls him skippy, but that's not important here.

    The rest of 2018 will deliver a boatload of great programming on top of what we already delivered in just three short months. Now that's news you can use.

    Topics include:

    A whole series of events around career management in the Fall:

    • Blowout Networking Event!
    • Resume & Profile Writing
    • The Job Search & Interview Process
    • Starting/Running Your Own Business - learn from the pros
    • Free/Lost Cost Resources

    Workshops on:
    • Design Thinking
    • VR/AR Development
    • Real-time Collaboration
    • Change Management

    A CLO Roundtable!

    Professional Series Events:
    • Storyline Bootcamp
    • Employee Engagement - Techniques & Strategies
    • Needs Analysis & Project Fundamentals
    And great partner events with:
    • ATD
    • Beacon
    • Association of Career (Management) Professionals
    • Meet the Author
    So stay tuned and be on the look out as we add events to the website. And as always, if you have questions, suggestions, ideas, or feedback - email us at

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