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25 minutes | Aug 5, 2013
Association Mavens & the Learning Revolution
After a long pause, I am back with a new episode of the Learning Revolution podcast. In this one, the tables are turned, and instead of me interviewing someone, I get interviewed by Bryan Kelly of Association Mavens. We talk about how the Learning Revolution is impacting trade and professional associations, and in the process, highlight many of the key points from the book. While associations are the focus of this episode, I’ll stress that the topics covered really apply to any of the audiences for the Leading the Learning Revolution – speakers, trainers, consultants, businesses interested in educational content marketing. Finally, I’ll note that this is the final episode of the podcast. Having started it primarily as a way to publish the interviews I did for the book, I’ve decided that it has pretty much run its course. If you have not listened to earlier episodes, I certainly encourage you to do that. I also encourage you to subscribe (or stay subscribed), as I plan to announce a new podcast via this platform at some point in the not too distant future. In the meantime, pop in those earbuds or slap on those head phones and listen in to the interview with Bryan Kelly. Listen to the Podcast Listen in below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes | Stitcher Radio Get the Show Notes 04:42 – Kick-off of Association Mavens and introduction of yours truly – Jeff Cobb – author of Leading the Learning Revolution and founder of Tagoras. 06:10 – Bryan asks a question based on Jeff’s presentation at the American Society of Association Executive’s (ASAE) Great Ideas conference. What are some of the key trends driving a shift in the lifelong learning market? 06:50 – Jeff highlights 3 out of the 5 trends covers in the book beginning with the massive shift in technology that has occurred over the past several years and what that now makes possible. 07:31 – A second factor is that work has changed dramatically. The average baby boomer between the ages of 18 and 42 has switched jobs 11.3 times – and that number is going up. Additionally, a third of workers in the U.S. – 42 million people – are now freelancers. These people – along with most of the millions who work in small businesses – are own their own when it comes to ongoing professional development. They don’t have corporate training departments. 08:20 – And then, finally, the nature of education has changed. The rise of MOOCs has been one key symptom of this shift. Khan Academy has been another one. Deloitte reports that the shelf life of the average college degree is now only about 5 years. 09:00 – All of these – technology changing, work changing, education changing – are converging to create a massive shift in the demand for and need for lifelong education. And wherever there is tremendous demand, wherever there is a tremendous shift, there is an opportunity for leadership. 09:30 – Bryan points out that so many associations are searching for ways to create more value, especially for rising generations. Seems like there is a whole new game as to how organizations can go about doing that. 10:05 – Jeff notes that expectations are shifting. Online education options are now an expectation. New ideas about what it means to learn are emerging. Traditional providers have to rethink how they are providing education both online and off. 10:50 – Why does the Learning Revolution matter – and, more specifically, what does it matter to associations? 11:00 – Any shift like this threatens existing structures while also creating tremendous opportunities. We’re at a point of inflection right now. 11:50 – If you are a traditional provider in “the other 50 years” doing the standard seminars and conferences – the stand and deliver presentations – suddenly you are finding a lot of competition, both from big brands and from small entrepreneurs. Membership models are already under pressure, so if you can’t figure out how you are going to deliver new value, you are going to start seeing yourself slip. 12:55 – Bryan notes that what’s out there is amazing. He highlights Derek Halpern’s efforts at Social Triggers (for free!) and asks, “Why isn’t the American Marketing Association doing this?” 13:35 – Jeff highlights the example of Social Media Examiner in a similar light – and the whole virtual conference business model. 14:12 – Jeff notes that most of the entrepreneurs – like Stelzner and Halpern – are probably not thinking of themselves as lifelong learning providers, but they are. 14:22 – Bryan notes again that, in the end, it’s all about the value. Getting stuff that it is hard to find anywhere else. He see this as a tremendous opportunity for associations. 15:15 – Three things have to change for associations to take full advantage of the opportunity – (1) they have to become more entrepreneurial, (2) they have to get into the “talent game” and learn to really cultivate their bench and develop new/better relationships with subject matter experts, and (3) they are going to have to get better about creating and demonstrating actual impact from the education they are delivering. (Listen in for greater detail on each of these points.) 17:45 – Bryan highlights how the intersection of a number of factors/skill sets play into the Learning Revolution: instructional design, how people learn best in a particular context, presentation skills, entrepreneurial thinking. 18:50 – Bryan asks for some association example. Jeff provides a simple example – Ned Campbell at the Florida Institute of CPAs listening to his market – and a more complex example – the efforts of the American Chemical Society with Sci-Mind. 22:20 – So, bottom line – says Bryan – is that if you are interested in being a Revolutionary, you need to get an HD cam, screen recording software, Webinar software, and a copy of Leading the Learning Revolution. (Along these lines, be sure to check out the free Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox.) 23:03 – Episode wrap-up. Thanks for listening. I encourage you to subscribe (or stay subscribed). And be sure to visit Bryan over at Association Mavens. *** As always, if you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I’d be sincerely grateful if you would do a rating and/or brief review on iTunes. (Once you reach the iTunes Web page, click “View in iTunes” and then select the “Ratings and Reviews” tab.) I encourage you to browse past Learning Revolution episodes. And please tell others about the Learning Revolution. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes | Stitcher Radio The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post Association Mavens & the Learning Revolution appeared first on Learning Revolution.
31 minutes | May 9, 2013
Building Buzzing Communities with Richard Millington
What if you could build a thriving community of people passionate about your area of expertise? Many Learning Revolutionaries are interested in doing just that, but don’t know where to start or how to go about it. In this episode, community expert Richard Millington offers the insights and tips you need to start making your community vision a reality. Rich is the founder of Feverbee, a consulting firm that focuses specifically on helping organizations build and manage successful communities. His clients have included the United Nations, The Global Fund, Novartis, Oracle, OECD, BAE Systems, and AMD. He’s also the author of Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities and architect of Feverbee’s Community Management Courses. Bottom line: Rich knows community, and he’s here to share that knowledge with you here in the 2oth episode of Learning Revolution. So, put your cell phone in silent mode, put a do not disturb sign on the door, and get ready to learn. (And, as always, be sure to share the good word about Learning Revolution.) Listen to the Podcast Listen in below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes | Stitcher Radio Get the Show Notes 00:15 – This is episode 20. Wow! Ideas for Episode 25? Let me know. 00:55 – “Community” will be the focus of this episode. Past guest who have talked about the important role of community include Alan Weiss and Leo Babauta. 01:25 – Introduction of new “tools and tips”segment. Thanks to Michael Stelzner for the idea. Mike does a great job of this in the Social Media Marketing Podcast. 01:57 – The tool/tip for this episode is CCtoMany, a simple, low-cost e-mail list application that can be used for putting together a community. Shout our to Seth Kahan for turning me on to CCtoMany. 03:38 – Introduction of Rich Millington, founder of Feverbee and author of Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities. 04:45 – Rich talks about how online gaming – and the communities around them – led him to his passion for community. 07:02 – Rich had the chance to work directly with Seth Godin as part of building his knowledge and skills. 08:30 – What does Rich mean when he says “community?” How is it fundamentally different from a group of people communicating together? Definition: A community is a (1) group of people who have (2) developed relationships (3) around a strong common interest. All three elements have to be there. 10:20 – If you are an expert – consultant, trainer, speaker, etc. – what are some key principles for developing a community around your expertise. First, of all – start small. To have a big online community, you have to begin with a small online community. Focus on who the first 50 to 100 members while be. (Listen in for more detail from Rich.) 12:25 – Listen in for common problems, common ambitions to come up with initial questions to engage people. And then reach out to specific people to engage them around questions related to these problems and ambitions. 13:20 – Discussion of the concept that “The best content for a community is content about the community.” The best content for a community is content about the community.Richard Millington, Feverbee 16:20 – What are some of the big mistakes people or organizations make in launching a community? “Big launch syndrome” is one problem. We are accustomed to the idea of big marketing launches, but this doesn’t really work for communities. 17:18 – Community organizers also often make the mistake of making the community about themselves. It needs to be about the benefit or goal that will be achieved through the community. 18:30 – People also tend to be way too reactive. They wait for things to happen in the community rather than having a plan of action and driving the community. 19:10 – People also tend to give up too soon. Often a community looks like a complete failure moments before it is a great success. 20:00 – Rich’s perspective on money and communities – i.e., charging for membership and/or selling products within the community. Rich thinks there is a lot to be said for charging, particularly for a “community of practice.” Having a fee helps to focus the community. On the other hand, people do expect more. 22:26 – On the topic of selling products to a community, Rich quotes Seth Godin: “It’s harder to find people for your products than products for you your people.” In a good community, you can actually ask people what they need. (A point that Alan Weiss also makes – and practices.) 23:20 – “Tremendous value exchange” concept – if you expect someone to buy something from you, you need to do a lot to provide them with value first. 25:10 – Technology should not come first in developing a community, but Rich does suggest a number of tools, including: Enterprise/Premium level: Khoros (formerly Lithium) | Yammer | Telligent | JiveOpen Source: Drupal (with vBulletin or Advanced Forum)Just vBulletin or LinkedIn Groups 28:00 – Find Rich at feverbee.com If you have questions you’d like me to address on the show or guest you would like to see on the show, be sure to drop me an e-mail or leave me a voice mail (look over to your right). See also: How to Build a Learning Community *** As always, if you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I’d be sincerely grateful if you would do a rating and/or brief review on iTunes. (Once you reach the iTunes Web page, click “View in iTunes” and then select the “Ratings and Reviews” tab.) I encourage you to browse past Learning Revolution episodes. And please tell others about the Learning Revolution. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes | Stitcher Radio The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post Building Buzzing Communities with Richard Millington appeared first on Learning Revolution.
23 minutes | Apr 25, 2013
Breaking the Mold – and Thriving – with Jason Blumer
Do you work in a field in a field or industry that seems completely set in its ways? Where change seems impossible? Would you like to shake things up with with new perspectives and new business models – and, of course, generate significant income while doing it? Then you won’t want to miss this episode of the Learning Revolution. Visit the Web site for BlumerCPAs and you will know immediately that you are not in the world of traditional accounting. Several years ago Jason Blumer started to transform the CPA firm he took over from his father into a thriving niche business with coaching and education as a key component of its strategy. Jason also founded the Thriveal Network, a membership site for forward thinking accountants, and has seen that effort, well, thrive. I got connected with Jason through Paul Johnson from Pathwright, who I interviewed back in Episode 15. Jason uses the Pathwright platform for the high-end coaching courses he offers in both live online and on-demand versions. In short, like most of the people I have interviewed on the show, Jason Blumer is a dyed-in-the-wool learning revolutionary who is using education to transform and grow his business. So, listen in for a mega-dose of inspiration. (And, of course, be sure to share the good word about Learning Revolution.) Listen to the Podcast Listen in below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes | Stitcher Radio Get the Show Notes 01:46 – Intro of Jason Blumer, principal of BlumerCPAs and founder of the Thriveal Network and the Businessology show. 02:39 – Jason gives an overview of the firm he took over from his father. BlumerCPAs has transitioned to a completely virtual, cloud-based model with a very niche focus on the creative industry. That focus has been key to building brand and being in the position to charge premium prices. 04:05 – How the Thriveal CPA Network came about. In the process of building the firm, Jason came across others with similar goals and interests. He started the network in 2010. Education and coaching are a core part of both Thriveal and the CPA firm. 04:57 – How did Jason overcome resistance to the new model? He figured out early on that if they were going to do what they hoped to do, BlumerCPAs would have to serve a very specific type of client. It took about 3 years to warn clients – and keep warning them – that the firm was going to go virtual. Even so, they ended up selling off part of the client base that just wasn’t a fit for the new model. Not everyone is excited about business model innovation! 6:25 – The importance of building a brand. Jason talks about the process. A “journey of messing stuff up.” You have to be willing to experiment and mess things up. He focused on serving people he enjoyed serving – basically being who he is, even if people told him that wasn’t the way it was done. He did the opposite, was contrarian, because that’s what worked for him. 09:05 – Seems like paid membership is on the decline – at least in the world of traditional membership organizations – and continuing education is a commodity in many markets – certainly in the accounting market. How is Jason managing to charge a premium for both membership and education? 09:50 – Jason gives an overview of the “Pioneering the New Firm” 12-part coaching coursehe offers in both a live online and a self-study version. He doesn’t even offer “CPE” – the continuing education credit that accountants have to earn. “Here’s the thing: we don’t even offer CPE. The CPAs who take it have nothing to gain but new learning.” The people who take it take it purely for the learning. The courses covers concepts like pricing, strategic client selection, business model innovation. Here’s the thing: we don’t even offer CPE. The CPAs who take it have nothing to gain but new learning. 11:15 – “When you sell things like this, you have to remember you will probably shrink your market very tightly, but when you do that, you’re selling to believers.” Concept of creating a “tribe.” 12:15 – The Thriveal Network – a membership organization – was free for a while. But then the members started wanting more, and this required charging. Moving to a paid model shrunk the membership to about half, but the people who stayed are the ones who are really serious about doing things differently. 13:00 – Is there money to be made in the membership and coaching/teaching side of what Jason does? Business coaching is actually one of the main things Jason does as part of his role in the CPA firm – and the coaching is the most profitable offering they have. More so than tax, payroll, etc. The same thing is true in Thriveal. The membership fees can create decent income, but it’s the coaching and education that drives the revenue. If you are really helping create change, you can charge well for it. 15:00 – Jason talks about how he creates and delivers the coaching and education offerings. They use Pathwright for both the live and self-study versions. Uses videos to replace the live component int the on-demand. Uses GoToMeeting / GoToWebinar to deliver live sessions. Also fond of Prezi as presentation tool. And they put a lot of their written content into Scribd to embed into the Pathwirght course. (For more tools, check out the tools section of Learning Revolution.) 17:44 – What is Jason excited about for the future? Listen in to find out. (“Integration” will play a big part.) 20:23 – Find Jason on Twitter @JasonMBlumer or e-mail info @ blumerCPAs or info @ thriveal.com. Also be sure to check out: The Businessology Show Pioneering the New Firm Coaching Course If you have questions you’d like me to address on the show or guest you would like to see on the show, be sure to drop me an e-mail or leave me a voice mail (look over to your right). *** As always, if you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I’d be sincerely grateful if you would do a rating and/or brief review on iTunes. (Once you reach the iTunes Web page, click “View in iTunes” and then select the “Ratings and Reviews” tab.) I encourage you to browse past Learning Revolution episodes. And please tell others about the Learning Revolution. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes | Stitcher Radio The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post Breaking the Mold – and Thriving – with Jason Blumer appeared first on Learning Revolution.
25 minutes | Apr 11, 2013
Getting an Edge with Virtual Events – A Conversation with Michael Doyle
What if you could deliver not just the occasional video, Webinar, or online course to your audience, but a bona fide virtual event? Turns out you can even if you are a small organization or a solopreneur. And – here’s a bonus – it can be highly profitable part of your business model. In this episode of Learning Revolution, you’ll learn all about what’s going on in the world of virtual events from one of the true experts in the field: Michael Doyle of the Virtual Edge Institute (now the PCMA Digital Experience Institute). One of the reasons I wanted to be sure to have Michael on the show is that I feel like he makes virtual events feel doable. They don’t have to be expensive, high production value extravangzas to get the job done. I’m bettin’ you’re gonna feel that way too by the time you are done with this episode – and you may also feel ready to start planning an event of your own. So, kick back, set the volume just right, and listen in. (And, of course, be sure to tell the world you are listening to Learning Revolution.) Listen to the Podcast Listen in below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 00:35 – Shout out to the folks at the Community Learning Network. 01:48 – Introduction of Michael Doyle, Executive Director of the Virtual Edge Institute. 02:20 – To start with, what’s the definition of a virtual event? Michael uses a broad definition – runs the range from conference calls to 2D and 3D virtual environments to Webcasting and 2-Way video conferencing. 03:30 – Has there been a lot of growth? 2008 was an inflection point, driven by the economic crisis. That’s when people really started looking for solutions to replace travel. That’s when the hockey stick growth curve hit – though growth has stabilized since. 04:45 – There are obvious reasons for organizations to embrace virtual events – to save costs, reach more people, etc – but do participants like them or do they just put up with them? Michael says that virtual doesn’t seem likely to replace face-to-face, but they have become a valued alternative. 06:00 – He stresses that, in contrast to traditional events, it is much more about the content, since you just don’t have as much of the face-to-face networking value. He finds that’s still true even given the tools that are available. If it’s good content that people want and they can’t get to the event otherwise, then participants tend to be very satisfied. The vast majority of people still prefer face-to-face, but when they can’t do face-to-face, they appreciate the fact that they have another good option. 07:45 – Michael says he stresses that “good enough” is often all you need. It doesn’t have to be super high production value. 08:05 – Do you have to think about the content in a different way? Shorter content tends to be better – but that is true in face-to-face meetings as well. There is much more emphasis in general these days on “chunking” content to align with how people actually process information. 09:25 – Most of the major virtual events seem to be put on by big organizations – large associations or companies like Cisco, for example. Is this within the reach of smaller organizations? Michael stresses again that “good enough” often works and also that people are appreciative of having the option – you just have to manage expectations. 10:50 – Streaming technologies like UStream and LiveStream are within the reach of even the smallest organizations. The Logitec Broadcaster camera for UStream is great tool that can be used with smaller meetings and conferences. The cost is low, though obviously there is a big do-it-yourself aspect to this approach and not the kind of safety net you get with a professional event support provider. Still, even large organization like Cisco have smaller groups within them that take advantage of low or no budget options like Skype and Google Hangouts. [Listen in for further discussion on low budget options.] 14:20 – What about individual subject mater experts – trainers, speakers, etc? How should they be thinking about virtual events? Michael says its great practice and will help sol experts’ understanding of virtual events if they get out there and do some of their own. And he stresses that you have the content available afterwards for on-demand access (e.g., for marketing or as a training product). 15:50 – At the very least, you want to be well versed in how to present and how to engage an audience when you are doing a virtual event. 16:15 – And are people actually making money off of virtual events at this point? Michael says its all over the board – some are monetizing directly – i.e., through charging fees – others are using them more for promoting other products or services. But people are definitely making money. 17:30 – The advertising and exhibitor approach does not have quite as much traction, though it depends on the organization – some organizations do quite well with this model. Still, Michael recommends starting with selling the content directly first, and then look at options like sponsorships. 18:50 – What’s Michael see coming in the future? Listen in to hear his thoughts. In his comments he mentions tools like Poll Everywhere – a great audience feedback app that let you use mobile devices to easily poll attendees at an event. Some of the things the Virtual Edge Institute has planned include its Digital Events Strategist education program and certification. They are also seeing early success with their Digital Events Center Program through which they provide training for convention centers and also provide fixed-price virtual events packages for meeting planners. 23:05 – Find Michael and the Virtual Edge Institute at virtualedgeinstitute.com (now the PCMA Digital Experience Institute). If you have questions you’d like me to address on the show or guest you would like to see on the show, be sure to drop me an e-mail or leave me a voice mail (look over to your right). *** As always, if you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I’d be sincerely grateful if you would do a rating and/or brief review on iTunes. (Once you reach the iTunes Web page, click “View in iTunes” and then select the “Ratings and Reviews” tab.) I encourage you to browse past Learning Revolution episodes. And please tell others about the Learning Revolution. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post Getting an Edge with Virtual Events – A Conversation with Michael Doyle appeared first on Learning Revolution.
25 minutes | Mar 28, 2013
Social Leading, Social Learning with SocialFish’s Maddie Grant
Interested in launching a dynamic social learning experience for your audience? Want to make the leap from social media not just as a tool for communication, but as a platform for leadership? Then you will definitely want to tune into this episode of Learning Revolution with Maddie Grant. In it we discuss the new Private Community Management Certificate Program launched by Maddie’s firm SocialFish and dig into social as an approach to both learning and leading. We also talk about how Maddie made the leap from being an association employee with a blog on the side to being a successful social media entrepreneur, teacher, and leader. Get those earphones in a comfortable position, turn up the volume, and listen in! (And don’t forget to share this episode with your tweeps.) Listen to the Podcast Listen in below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 01:58 – Introduction of Maddie Grant, Chief Social Strategist of SocialFish and co-author, along with Jamie Notter, of Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World. 02:33 – Brief overview of SocialFish, which Maddie co-founded with Lindy Dryer. SocialFish helps organizations build long term capacity for social media management and governance. 04:15 – Maddie talks about making the leap from Diary of a Reluctant Blogger and building her current business along with Lindy. 06:10 – How important has social media been in building SocialFish’s business? Maddie says it was crucial that both she and Lindy were early adopters. You have to have to “early adopter curiosity.” These days, she’s the one who focuses more on using and being present on social media – she manages 30 writers for the SocialFish blog! – while Lindy does a lot of the deeper client work. 08:25 – Discussion of connection between teaching, leading, and learning. 09:55 – Maddie points to the discussion of learning as a skill in Humanize. Learning has to be encouraged in ways that are different from how it has traditionally been approached. You have to embed collaborative learning in the way an organization is managed. 10:50 – Importance of experimentation – the focus of an entire chapter in Humanize. You have to be willing to “work out loud.” There is innate experimentation in doing social media. There are no “best practices,” no set in stone rules, even though there may be better and worse ways to do it. Interview with Maddie on Big Think Live 11:50 – Instead of being closed and linear, learning now has to be something that we do all the time. 12:00 – How does this apply to trade and professional associations, training firms, or anyone serving a market for lifelong learning? How does it impact learning and leading? 12:45 – Social learning is a conversation. It’s not just about broadcasting. You have to be open to listening. It’s not just about being the authority, but about curating, giving space for the voices of other people. It’s more and more about peer-to-peer discussion. There are so many more avenues for opening up conversations and learning channels. 14:10 – Specific discussion of Webinars . We have to move beyond the standard model of a subject matter expert presenting for 45 minutes followed by Q&A. Use Twitter chat as a back channel. Engage people throughout with polls, etc. (See also How to Deliver Great Webinars with Wayne Turmel.) 15:01 – Discussion of Socialfish’s educational efforts, including the recently launched Private Community Management Certificate Program. 15:40 – Maddie discusses details of the 8-week program. It guides participants in deciding on the purpose of the community, options for moderating, how to track metrics, measuring success. Designed to be peer-to-peer. Two discussion leaders each week who are association community managers. The whole program is hosted inside a Google Plus community. Use of short videos in a model similar to Khan Academy. (Listen in for more details!) 17:58 – Any tips, lessons learned for putting together this type of learning experience? Maddie says key tip one is that someone definitely has to manage it. Also, you can only wing it to a certain extent. Experimentation is great, but there has to be a certain amount of structure for it to work well. There needs to be a place where all of the resources are collected, needs to be a regular schedule, etc – “buckets of structure.” (I have a conversation along similar lines with Dave Will in Lifetime CLEs for $799! Commodity vs. Community with Dave Will.) 21:24 – One additional lesson: some people are distracted by using multiple learning tools at once , e.g., chat and audio at the same time. You have to make it clear that people should do what works best for them. An archive for chat can be posted afterwards, for example. Not everyone is “a social media person who is used to having 57 windows open.” The ultimate goal is the learning. 22:30 – You can find Maddie on Twitter at @maddiegrant and on the SocialFish site at www.socialfish.org. Be sure also to check out the Private Community Management Certificate Program as well as Maddie and Jamie Notter’s book, Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World. *** As always, if you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I’d be sincerely grateful if you would do a rating and/or brief review on iTunes. (Once you reach the iTunes Web page, click “View in iTunes” and then select the “Ratings and Reviews” tab.) I encourage you to browse past Learning Revolution episodes. And please tell others about the Learning Revolution. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post Social Leading, Social Learning with SocialFish’s Maddie Grant appeared first on Learning Revolution.
28 minutes | Mar 21, 2013
Entering the Shift Age with David Houle
Want to know what the future holds? A driving force of the Learning Revolution is the fact that change is happening with greater speed, scale, and scope than ever before. As a result, those with clear insights into where the world is headed next are bound to have an edge. Fortunately, the guest for this episode of Learning Revolution is someone who can help listeners get a bead on the future. David Houle is a futurist, thinker, speaker, and author of the new bestseller Entering the Shift Age. In addition, he is an old friend and colleague, co-author of one of my previous books (Shift Ed), and the person I look to for insights into “what’s next.” But wait! There’s more – David is also the son of Cy Houle, one of the true luminaries in the adult lifelong learning field. In the interview, we talk about David’s father, about how David pursues his craft, and of course, about his vision of the future as we enter the Shift Age. You won’t want to miss this one, folks. Listen in, and don’t forget to share this episode with your tweeps. Listen to the Podcast Listen in below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 01:58 – Introduction of David Houle, futurist, thinker, speaker, and author of Entering the Shift Age. 02:40 – How did David end up being a futurist and how does he go about figuring out what the future holds? 3:18 – David sees being a futurist as “being a catalyst to get people, businesses, institutions, and the world to think about the future and then to facilitate a conversation about it.‘ 03:35 – David talks about living life slightly ahead of the curve, e.g. living in a VW van, backpacking around the world, leaving CBS to start up MTV, Nickolodean, CNN Headline News, being on the cutting edge of online learning. 04:40 – David offers a quote that has gotten him through the parts of life where people “shot arrows in my back.” In the revelation of any truth there are three stages. In the first it is ridiculed. In the second it is resisted. In the third it is considered self-evident. – Arthur Schopenhauer 05:10 – As far as how he does it, he focuses any place he sees resistance. The resistance he was seeing to healthcare change, for example, led him to write The New Health Age. 05:40 – When younger he read the works of all the great futurists. Ones he particularly values are Alvin Toffler, Marshall McLuhan, and Buckminster Fuller. He feels he stands on their shoulders to peer into a new century. 06:00 – David describes himself as an “intellectual grazer.” He reads widely and voraciously. Looks for patterns, develops awareness. 07:05 – Discussion of the turning point in human evolution. David highlights and discusses the three fundamental forces of the Shift Age: Flow to Global, Flow to Individual, Accelerating Electronic Connectedness. 09:05 – “Global stage of human evolution” is in many ways the simplest, shortest description of the Shift Age 10:25 – David sees a whole new “consciousness” emerging over the next 10 to 15 years. David discusses the concept of “Flows” at TEDx Pittsburgh 10:30 – How does he see the roles of education and lifelong learning? Who will the winners and losers be in the Shift Age? 11:30 – David notes that his father, Cy Houle, wrote in 1972 that lifelong learning would be the central concept of education going forward. That seems obvious now, but it wasn’t at all then. (Ah, so dad was a futurist too!) 12:15 – David talks about how much has changed – and yet how little has changed in universities and other educational institutions. 13:10 – David thinks higher education is the next big bubble in the U.S. economy. The winners in the new age of lifelong learning will be older institutions that adapt quickly and newer, more dynamic organizations and individuals who are starting out without the baggage (aka Learning Revolutionaries!) 14:40 – Discussion of moving from a knowledge society to a learning society. If you are not continually engaging in learning, you are falling behind. 15:50 – How has his father’s thinking and work influenced David? David talks specifically about The Inquiring Mind, and the idea of creating structures to help adults apply their innate curiosity. 17:20 – David feels there has been an innate lack of curiosity about the future until recently. 18:18 – David quotes Bob Dylan” “Those not busy being born are busy dying.” That’s the essence of lifelong learning. 18:40 – David offers his predictions for the future. Some of the areas David covers are the ways in which governments, as they are currently structured, are creating barriers and also the ascendancy of women (a topic he also covers in one of the eBooks generated from Entering the Shift Age). He also discuses a “new consciousness.” Listen in for more. 24:37 – Where to find David? Just Google “David Houle” or search for him on Amazon or: www.davidhoule.com www.evolutionshift.com (David’s blog) Entering the Shift Age (full book and chapter eBooks) I also encourage you to check out my post on the agile publishing model that David used to write and publish Entering the Shift Age. As always, if you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I’d be sincerely grateful if you would a rating and/or brief review on iTunes and tell others about the podcast. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post Entering the Shift Age with David Houle appeared first on Learning Revolution.
23 minutes | Mar 14, 2013
Easily Publish and Sell Online Courses – An Interview with Pathwright’s Paul Johnson
Got a great workshop, speech, book or other intellectual property you would like to turn into an online course that you can sell? Listen in to this episode of the Learning Revolution podcast to find out how. One of the key catalyst in transforming the lifelong learning landscape has been the incredible new potential for small organizations and individual subject matter experts to easily create, publish, and sell content online. These days, that includes sophisticated online courses with a learning management system behind them. In this episode (#15) of the podcast, I talk with Paul Johnson, co-founder of Pathwright, about his company’s platform for easily authoring and selling online courses as well as about the overall market for online education. If you are eager to get your educational content out to the world, you won’t want to miss this one. Listen in, and don’t forget to share this episode with your tweeps. Listen to the Podcast Listen in below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 01:45 – Introduction of Paul Johnson, co-founder of Pathwright. 02:40 – Overview of Pathwright. The platform enables you to publish courses under your own name and brand. Could be one person with a lot of knowledge – there are many “pathwrights” teaching this way – or it could be an actual school or organization. 03:55 – What’s changed in the past few years that driving more options for individuals and small organizations to get into the online course game? Paul offers his perspective. One factor is that traditional education is not fulfilling the promise that it once did. Students re losing their trust in the value of traditional education. 06:00 – Experts and professionals are able to step in because they know not only the content but also how to make it work in the real world. 06:40 – Paul talks about his own experience of learning by doing and relying on online resources. 07:15 – Paul and his twin brother Mark, his co-founder of Pathwright, started writing software when they were 13 and paid their way through college writing software. Once of their first experiences with learning platforms was with an early version of Moodle. the highly popular open source learning management system. 08:50 – In one of their early jobs, Paul and Mark were looking for a solution for providing art training online. They didn’t find it. Eventually this led to developing Pathwright, through funding from a large customer that had been using Moodle, but needed an easier solution. 10:35 – Moodle and similar solutions are meant to supplement on-campus education. Marketplaces like Udemy, and Skillshare, and iTunesU, on the other hand, basically sell one-off courses, Paul says. Paul and Mark were looking for a way that their customer could publish its own catalog of courses, under its own brand. 11:40 – Paul walks through the process of publishing in Pathwright. Check out the free Pathwright 101 course for a more detailed (but still brief) overview. It’s completely free to get started with Pathwright. (The company makes money off of taking a percentage of sales once you do start selling.) 15:10 – Discussion of marketing of courses once they are published. What are the characteristics of people or organizations that tend to be successful? Paul notes (as others have on Learning Revolution) that those who have an existing audience tend to do best. Or, those who partner with someone who has a large audience. Paul offers the example of “Jason the CPA” who has made more than $60K so far selling on the side – largely because he invests in building his audience thought a blog and podcast and through teaming up with others. Listen in for another success example. 17:45 – Of course, the quality of the teaching is also a big driver of success! 18:15 – Paul offers his vision for the future and where the market for education is going. There is a little bit of a goldrush going on right now for getting the THE course published in specific, popular topics. This is happening in higher education, but it will also start happening in specific industries. 20:45 – Find Paul and Pathwright online at www.pathwright.com. As always, if you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I’d be sincerely grateful if you would a rating and/or brief review on iTunes and tell others about the podcast. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post Easily Publish and Sell Online Courses – An Interview with Pathwright’s Paul Johnson appeared first on Learning Revolution.
26 minutes | Feb 28, 2013
How to Deliver Great Webinars with Wayne Turmel
Love ’em or hate ’em, Webinars are a fact of life these days, and they are an essential part of the Learning Revolutionary’s toolbox. So, wouldn’t you like to ensure the Webinars you deliver are as good as possible? In this episode, Webinar expert Wayne Turmel discusses what tends to make Webinars less than successful in many instances, and what you can do to ensure you rise above the fray. You’ll get some great tips and also find out what the heck the “hrair limit” is! Listen in, and don’t forget to share this episode with your tweeps. Listen to the Podcast Listen in below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 01:45 – Introduction of Wayne Turmel, expert in communication skills and management, principal of Great WebMeetings.com. Wayne is also the author, among other works, of the American Society for Training and Development’s (ASTD) 10 Steps to Successful Virtual Presentations and of 6 Weeks to a Great Webinar. 02:25 – Addressing the “elephant in the room” – a lot of Webinars are just plain bad. Wayne discusses a survey he did in which the word participants used most commonly to describe Webinars was “suck.”(To be fair, these were marketing Webinars, not training/education Webinars. Of course – in my experience – there’s a good chance most training/education Webinars wouldn’t fair much better.) 03:45 – What tends to make Webinars be perceived as so bad? Wayne notes that fewer than 20% of people receive any training on using Webinar tools effectively before presenting to “innocent victims.” 04:40 – Wayne recently polled audience at an ASTD meeting. These were training professionals and well over half said they were charged with delivering Webinars before they themselves had ever participated in a Webinar they thought was good! 05:50 – Most of the people who are doing some form of training like being in front of a room. It’s often the part of the job they like best, but then they have to drop the part they like best in order to deliver in a virtual environment. This transition makes us “consciously incompetent,” basically incapable of being at our very best. 08:00 – Well delivered Webinars tend to look just like what successful training in the classroom looks like. In effective classroom education, people don’t just sit st still and listen for 45 minutes, watch the PowerPoint passively, and hold all questions until the end. There’s no reason to think this would somehow work magically in a Webinar when it doesn’t work in the classroom. 09:00 – Getting comfortable and preparing well absolutely essential. (Like so many things, just doing this part of the work conscientiously will stand you out from the crowd!) Presenters tend to be so focused on just getting through it that they deliver not very effective, not very satisfying experiences. Wayne notes that more than 80% of people use fewer than 25% of the features of Webinar platforms. Learn to use the chat, the whiteboard. Keep groups smaller and keep the phone lines open – remember you do a lot of “showing” and people talk spontaneously in traditional, classroom-based education sessions. Practice is essential for being able to do all of this fluidly. Presenters had to develop the “muscle memory.” They have to get comfortable enough to be able to do the sort of higher level things that make them successful in the classroom. 13:20 – When you are online, you get different types of feedback than you would in the class. Have to learn what that feels like. (More on this below) 13:33 – I ask Wayne for a few “must dos.” (1) You must keep your audience in mind. This sound obvious, but doing it is hard and – again – require practice and preparation. People reach their “hrair limit” – basically, the point at which their brain is full – more quickly in virtual environments. You have to break information into small chunks. Intersperse activities , questions. Understand the constraints your audience is under. (The term “hrair,” by the way, comes from the book Watership Down, which is a truly excellent read. If you have never read it, or read it only when you were a kid, I highly recommend it.) 16:00 – (2) You have to go after the “incidental” information – it’s not going to be obvious like it is in a face-to-face setting. Check in with your audience. Presenters often say “I asleep for questions and I never get any.” That happens when you let people sit passively for too long. You have to involve participants early – use polling, use chat, take questions along the way. And tune into the “attention” meter that many platforms now have. Can tell if people are starting to fade out. 17:40 – (3) Remember all of this does not happen naturally: it has to be built in. Wayne discusses the “Leader’s Guide” he uses with clients. This is a relatively detailed document that clearly indicates actions like “stop and ask for questions,” or “ask for a show of hands.” Create a similar document for your Webinars. Some Quick Tips from Wayne on Working from a Webinar Script 18:46 – The development of a Leader’s Guide type document is one of Wayne’s main pieces of advice to trade and professional association, training firms, and other organizations that may be managing subject matter experts. But don’t feel like you have to have everything scripted – this will make it feel artificial and will trip people up. Wayne often just uses the PPT note pages to capture simple directions like “Make sure you say these three things” – and – very important – “Pause.” He prints this out and has it beside him as he speaks. 20:15 – The single biggest thing you can do is, once you have built your presentation, go back through and build in the moments for interaction. Where are the good times for questions, good times for polls, good times for pauses . This doesn’t happen organically, at least until you have had a lot of practice. 20:55 – Wayne also notes that with subject matter experts (SMEs), it can help a lot to do the presentation as an interview. This gives you have more control over the pauses, interactions, etc. It take the pressure off of SMEs, and it makes it easier for audience to follow because the presentation is naturally broken up by the back and forth. It also makes it easier for audience to focus: we involuntarily reconnect whenever we hear a new voice. 21:55 – You can find Wayne at www.GreatWebMeetings.com. There you will find videos, whitepapers, and a variety of downloads. Wayne also offers monthly Web Presentations Basics workshops. 23:00 – Wayne closes by saying that “we’ve all been tossed in the deep end ,” but there is a way to take it logically, calm down, and catch your breath. Everyone listening is already an expert in what they do – it’s just a matter of learning to use a new tool to share that expertise. One final note from me: Wayne, like most of the people who I have interview here on the podcast – from Leo Babauta, to Alan Weiss, to Michael Stelzner – is someone who I consider to be a practicing Learning Revolutionary. He’s not just offering theory – he’s actually using the tools he talks about to deliver educational experiences to a global audience, generate income from it, and create a real impact. Everyone listening here can do the same. As always, if you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I’d be forever grateful if you would do a brief review on iTunes and tell others about the podcast. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post How to Deliver Great Webinars with Wayne Turmel appeared first on Learning Revolution.
29 minutes | Feb 21, 2013
How to Assess Your Market with Search
Assess market – it’s one of the top checklist items for business success, but many subject matter entrepreneurs think it is too complicated and/or expensive to do. In this episode of the Learning Revolution podcast, I take a look at an assessment tool you most likely have right at your finger tips but may not fully appreciate: good ol’ search. You’ll learn the three things to look for when running basic searches, get a high-level look at Google’s powerful (and free!) Keyword Planner, and also get some ideas for places to search besides just the standard search engines. All in all, this is a great starting point for better understanding the market for your educational content and experiences. Listen to the Podcast Listen in below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 00:38 – Brief discussion of the future if the podcast: continuing with expert interviews, but also doing some deeper dive solo shows. Also continuing to work on the audio quality and structure of the show. 01:52 – Beginning of discussion of search as a market assessment tool – a way to find evidence that there is a market for your education and training content. 02:32 – Search is a record of customer/market behavior in the aggregate. You can leverage the visibility that the search engines are gaining through day to day activity. 03:20 – Think like your customers and prospects. What would that customer actually do when searching? Be a detective – a Sherlock Holmes – and build upon the clues that the search engines offer. 03:50 – I start walking through searching on an actual term from my business so that look over my shoulder. 04:28 – Be sure to turn off personal results in Google first. You don’t want searches to reflect your personal searching. 05:25 – I use “choose learning management system” as an initial search. (A slice of my work is in helping client select learning technologies like learning management systems. I’m trying to think like a customer who may be looking for help with choosing a learning management system.) Assess Market: Search Factor 1 06:35 – Look for three major things. The first is the general nature of the results. I’m actual able to tell quite a bit from this. Here’s an excerpt from Leading the Learning Revolution where I discuss looking at the general results of a search: What is the nature of the results? For general searching in Google, I find this to be by far the most helpful piece of information. Take a look at the types of results that come up in the first few pages, and particularly page one. How do they align with what you propose to offer? How well do they seem to align with the assumptions you have made about your market and the profiles you have established for your learners? Do they suggest needs that are similar to those you propose to serve? Do you see anything that might be direct competition or a substitute for what you want to offer? As you view the types of results that are coming up— including the ads that appear—you may want to adjust your search by removing words that don’t really relate to the topic you have in mind. In the case of “small business cash flow,” [Note: this is the search example I use in the book] for example, a lot of results that have to do with getting loans or using specialized software come up. Assuming that I don’t feel these are relevant to my product, I could remove at least some of these results by telling Google to ignore certain words. Just add any word to your search terms, but put a hyphen (“-”) (which serves as a minus sign) in front of it. In this case, based on words that appear in some of the results I don’t consider relevant, I might add the following: -loan -software -factoring -financing. As I do this, my results update in real time, and even the ads over at the right side of the page change. Assess Market: Search Factor 2 09:00 – Next thing to look for is the presence of ads. Are there ads over to the right of the page? At the top of the page? The fact that people are bidding to advertise on the search results pages can actually be a good thing – it provides evidence that there is enough demand in the broader market for to be worth investing in promotional efforts. Assess Market: Search Factor 3 10:40 – Finally, look for video results. With educational and training content, in particular, video – which can also include recorded Webinars uploaded to the Web – is a very popular medium. Click the “More” option at the top of the Google search results page and then select “Videos.” 12:15 – Summing up: just based on this initial search, I can tell quite a lot about what might be of value in this market. And this starts to give me some theories to test out in my additional efforts. 13:05 – Try variations on the initial phrase. Look for clues about other potential searches at the bottom of the search results page. To run through a variety of phrases typically only takes 15-20 minutes. 13:55 – Consider adding format-specific phrases – like “workshop,” or “course” – as well as words that suggest the searcher may want to learn something – like “how to,” “learn to,” or “101.” Assess Market: Google Keyword Planner 15:05 – Take a look at the Google Keyword Planner. This will also give you insight into the phrases people might be search on as well as search volume and the level of competition. You can access through your AdWords account under Tools. If you don’t have an AdWords account, go set one up through: https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner Note: I refer to the “External” version the Google Keyword tool in the podcast. This no longer exists – you have to have an AdWords account to access Keyword Planner. 19:15 – Some other places to search include Amazon.com and Slideshare.net. (Listen in for other places to search!) 23:08 – Search in social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) and forums (like Quora). I will cover this one in more detail in the future when I discuss the concept of “listening.” 24:38 – Sum up of what’s possible with a browser, standard search tools, a customer mind set, and a dose of Sherlock Holmes – assess market, it’s elementary! As always, if you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I’d be forever grateful if you would do a brief review on iTunes and tell others about the podcast. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. See also: 15 Ways to Validate Your Online Course Idea Using SEO to Sell Online Courses The post How to Assess Your Market with Search appeared first on Learning Revolution.
27 minutes | Feb 7, 2013
Build Your Digital Empire with Chad Barr
Do you want to build a Web presence that will really convey the value you have to offer? That will build your brand and keep customers coming back over time? Are you struggling with how to tame the “content beast” while still creating Web content that will have an impact? We cover those questions and more in this episode of the Learning Revolution podcast with Chad Barr. Chad is an internet and business strategist and co-author, along with Alan Weiss, of Million Dollar Web Presence. He also specializes in helping experts and organizations create what he describes as a “digital empire.” You will get some great insights and tips in this show for how he does that and how, in general, you can build a much more consistent and high value presence across the Web. Drawing on listener feedback, I also comment briefly in this show on why Learning Revolution does not tend to feature the “usual suspects” when it comes to talking about education and the education business. So, click “Play” below, grab the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher Radio, or subscribe to the RSS feed. Whatever you do, don’t miss this interview with Chad Barr! Play the Podcast Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Shownotes 00:50 – Comments on feedback from Michael in Australia – it’s not just about the “usual suspects” here on Learning Revolution. I’d love to hear from you too. Just use the contact form to send me an e-mail. 03:20 – Introduction of Chad Barr, c0-author of Million Dollar Web Presence and architect of digital empires. 04:05 – Chad discusses the top four mistakes that experts and organizations make with their Web presence. 04:24 – #1 Stagnation: they get started and then go silent. 04:48 – #2: Unremarkable content that gets a “so what” reaction. 05:30 – #3 Not leveraging content once it is created: an article, for example, can be used in many places 05:50 – #4 Lack of “evolution” – one small piece of content like a Tweet can grow into something much bigger. 07:30 – What makes for a $1M Web presence – and what’s the difference in the first place between a Web site and a Web presence? Chad provides his insights on this question. 07:471 – When Chad hears “Web site” he feels the thinking is already wrong. Don’t’ think “site,” think “ultimate repository of remarkable, provocative content.” A Web site is only one vehicle for driving your overall presence. 08:30 – Focus first on your overall strategy. Too often people focus on tactics and technology first. 09:00 – Ask “what is the remarkable content I/we can provide and what is the “wow” factor”- i.e., the look and feel of the Web site – that will attract people and encourage engagement. It’s all about leveraging content, building a platform. 09:19 – Chad discusses six elements that help with leveraging the Web site and creating a million dollar Web presence. #1 is the database/e-mail list. Chad Barr on Leveraging Your Content 11:23 – Are there other keys to taming the content beast? How do we create effective content without driving ourselves crazy? 12:10 – The content has to be pragmatic – tips, how to’s, actionable advice. And it has to actually align with the customer’s/client’s best interests. 13:25 – Chad offers a wealth of advice on how to actually get content created. Interviewing thought leaders -as in this podcast – is part of the mix. Partnering with someone – a colleague, trusted adviser, or a professional service to get help “extracting” the content in a natural way is also a powerful approach. (Listen to the interview for others.) 17:50 – What about monetization? With so much content out there, is it getting harder to monetize content? 18:27 – Chad notes that most of the content out there is “blah.” If you are creating remarkable content in multiple formats and you do it constantly over time, then the monetization opportunities will be there. Focus on growing and strengthening your brand, and then the magic will happen. 21:38 – Chad discusses some of the tech trends he is most excited about right now. He still feels one of the most exciting things the Web offers is the ability to forge connections and build relationships. The ability to connect, form relationships, and get questions answered quickly through a global network makes “the learning experience, the developmental experience superior, therefore making it a better world for everyone.” 24:10 You can find Chad at www.chadbarr.com and by e-mail at chad @ cbsoftware.com. Be sure to also check out Million Dollar Web Presence and Digital Empire Creation. As always, if you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I’d be forever grateful if you would do a brief review on iTunes and tell others about the podcast. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post Build Your Digital Empire with Chad Barr appeared first on Learning Revolution.
31 minutes | Jan 31, 2013
Telling Ain’t Training with Harold Stolovitch
Do you want to create educational experiences that result in actual learning? That bring customers back for more because you have truly had an impact? Then listen in to this episode of the Learning Revolution podcast. Harold Stolovitch, co-author of the best-selling, award winning book Telling Ain’t Training is here to help you create great training and education. In this interview, we talk about why it’s often so hard for experts to translate their deep experiences and knowledge into effective training. Better yet, we walk through a five-step model for creating terrific training sessions. If you are serious about delivering value to your customers and prospects, it would be hard to come up with a better way for you to spend the next 30 minutes. So, click play below, subscribe on iTunes, or use an app like Instacast, but don’t miss this chance to tune into Harold Stolovitch. Listen to the Podcast Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 01:17 Introduction of Harold Stolovitch, co-author of the best selling, award-winning book Telling Ain’t Training and one of the most widely recognized authorities on developing effective training and performance improvement experiences. 02:45 – A workshop I participated in with Harold way back in 2001 actually had an impact on me. I learned, I remembered. But that’s not always – or perhaps even often – the case when we attend training or continuing education events. Why is it difficult for experts to share their expertise effectively? 03:35 – The formation of expertise takes place over so many years, and usually in a pretty messy ways. Experts tend to leave out a great deal of what is now not important to them doing what they do – the basic stuff that novices need. Think about trying to tell someone the directions to your home – there is a lot you just know, but don’t really remember to tell someone else. 05:05 – And experts and novices simply don’t process things in the same way. Think of what driving is like for you now versus when you started. 05:55 – Finally, our brain has many different memory systems. Declarative memory – what we can talk about – is different from procedural memory – the stuff we can actually do. There is only one way to really learn to make a chocolate cake, _______ (you fill in that blank!) 07:15 – If you ask experts how they best learned, they will usually tell you about experiences that are almost the opposite of what they end up doing when you stand them up in front of a room. 08:25 – Introduction of the five-step model: Rationale, objectives, activities, evaluation, and feedback. 09:13 – Discussion of “rationale.” Adults need to know why. 11:45 – Discussion of “objectives.” They have to be verifiable. 14:38 – Discussion of “activities.” The means by which the objectives are achieved. 17:25 – Reference to the “cornucopia” of training activities included in Telling Ain’t Training. 17:50 – Discussion of “evaluation” and “feedback. When the expert steps aside, can the learner actually demonstrate competence? The whole purpose is to lead learners toward success – and help them adjust as necessary to get there. 21:55 – What about in a Webinar or other large, less personal situations? Harold discusses the evaluation and feedback options in these settings. 24:50 – “Teach, prompt, release” vs. “Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.” 25:58 – Focus on mental engagement. The more we are mentally engaged, the more we are going to be able to learn, retain, and actually execute. 26:50 – What has Harold most excited right now? Discussion of neuroscience. 28:27 – Our job is to be a mirror to what goes on inside the mind of the learner. We have to put ourselves in the learner’s shoes. We’re still primitive in doing this. 29:25 – Find Harold at http://www.hsa-lps.com/. You will also find lots of free resources there to help you create better training and education experiences. You can find Telling Ain’t Training and Harold’s other books by visiting his Amazon.com page. Note also that American Society for Human Resource Developemnt (ASTD) offers a series of Telling Ain’t Training conferences featuring Harold. 30:17 – Sign off from interview As always, if you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I’d be forever grateful if you would do a brief review on iTunes and tell others about the podcast. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. P.S. – Sign up for updates and get my eBook The Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox and Chapter 1 from Leading the Learning Revolution! The post Telling Ain’t Training with Harold Stolovitch appeared first on Learning Revolution.
23 minutes | Jan 24, 2013
Getting Change and Innovation Right with Seth Kahan
Have you noticed how much and how fast the market for education and lifelong learning has changed over the past several years? Would you welcome practical insights to help you not only keep up, but innovate and provide new value to your audience? In this episode of the podcast, change and innovation expert Seth Kahan offers valuable advice on how to get change and innovation right. This is knowledge the successful Learning Revolutionary most definitely needs. This episode also marks a turning point in the podcast. The interview with Seth is the last of those I conducted while writing the Leading the Learning Revolution. The podcast will go on, though. For starters, I’ve got Harold Stolovitch, author of the perennial best-seller Telling Ain’t Training lined up for the next episode. I’ve got plenty more interviews in mind, but I’d also really like to get you input. If you have questions, issues, or people you would like to have featured on the Learning Revolution podcast, please e-mail me. In the meantime, enjoy the session with Seth Kahan. Play the Podcast Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 03:20 – Introduction of Seth Kahan. Seth is a well-known thought leader, consultant, and author of the best-selling book Getting Change Right. He also has new book on the way soon Getting Innovation Right: How Leaders Create Inflection Points that Drive Success in the Marketplace. 3:55 – A lot of the most interesting change is coming from solo entrepreneurs or educators who are leaving their institutions behind. What is it about institutions that just doesn’t like change? 04:25 – Seth discusses two kinds of culture: operations culture and innovation culture. In some organizations it is clear which is which, even within a single organization 05:55 – How can a solo expert or small organization manage to cultivate both types of culture, given that both are necessary? 06:15 – Has to be a conscious decision. The leader in smaller organization tends to have a proclivity for one or the other. You have to find people who can step into the vacant role. 06:40 – Whether innovation is coming from a leader or someone else, where do concepts like testing and experimentation fit in? Is constant experimentation a necessity or a distraction? 06:55 – Seth argues that it all comes down to value generation and you do have to experiment to figure out what increases value. “Value is really the holy grail when it comes to organizational success.” 07:20 – When it comes to proving value, where does “free” fit in? Many organizations in the educational space seem fearful of giving too much – if anything – away for free. 08:00 – Seth stresses that there is a lot of fear in general out there. Not just in the education business. Set discusses three ways to generate value – and how “free” fits in. 09:18 – Discussion of filling the “gaps” over time – between actual financial transactions. You have to provide value even in the times when customers are between transactions or you risk becoming a commodity. 10:25 – Is there any room for price innovation on the low end at this point? Or does the focus need to be on higher value and potentially higher prices? Seth says if you are only focusing on the lower end, you are headed toward commoditization. You have to focus on value. 11:10 – What are some of the biggest opportunities for creating value? Seth talks through four opportunities for creating value. 15:20 – People sometimes miss out on value opportunities that are right in front of them. Seth discusses some of his tips for identifying and exploiting value opportunities. Pros and cons of bringing in a consultants versus hiring. Either way, you need to bring in an expert. 16:25 Also, conduct competitive business intelligence. But some organizations remain stuck even with an expert’s help – what is Seth’s number one tip for getting unstuck? 17:20 – The leaders have to become adept at re-framing strategy – shift their orientation inside the organization. Seth discusses four ways to re-frame. 19:30 – Final words of wisdom from Seth – focused on the opportunities in the education space. Getting innovation right in the education space is extremely important. 20:30 – End of interview with Seth. You can find Seth on the Web at http://www.visionaryleadership.com. Be sure to check out the wealth of free resources Seth makes available there. Also, I highly recommend his series of interviews with seasoned, successful consultants posted on his Freelance Fortune site. Finally, as promised, here is some information about getting preview goodies for Seth’s soon-to-be-released book Getting Innovation Right: How Leaders Create Inflection Points that Drive Success in the Marketplace. These will include invitations to participate in 2 teleseminars on innovation and links to the recordings, as well as a special PDF workbook based upon the material in the book. The content will be new, original, and not available in the book. To get your preview materials, first pre-order the book. Then, send proof of your purchase to GIRadvance @ gmail.com. Seth will then make sure you get your preview goodies. That’s it for the interview with Seth Kahan. If you like the Learning Revolution podcast, I would be eternally grateful if you would consider giving it a brief review on iTunes and sharing it with others. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. P.S. – Sign up for updates and get my eBook The Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox and Chapter 1 from Leading the Learning Revolution! The post Getting Change and Innovation Right with Seth Kahan appeared first on Learning Revolution.
35 minutes | Jan 17, 2013
Talking Rapid E-learning with the Articulate Tom Kuhlmann
What if you could leverage a tool you probably already have on your computer and already know how to use as the basis for creating first-rate online education? As many readers may already know, you can. That tool is PowerPoint, and using it to create online education is one of the most popular forms of what usually gets referred to as “rapid e-learning.” My guest for this episode has probably done more than any other single individual to make rapid e-learning a household term in the training industry. Tom Kuhlmann is the Vice President of Community for Articulate, makers of the popular Rapid E-learning Studio and Storyline products, and author of the wildly popular Rapid E-learning Blog. When I say “wildly popular,” I don’t just mean wildly popular for a training blog: I mean wildly popular for any blog. Tom has built a base of more than 100,000 highly engaged subscribers over the past several years and has played a key role in driving the company’s growth. In this interview you’ll find out more from Tom about the blog – like how on earth he got 100,000 subscribers for an e-learning blog! – and about his perspectives on e-learning and learning in general. One of the things I ask Tom about – and this is something I quote him on in the book Leading the Learning Revolution – is his tips for how your average subject matter expert can create a decent piece of online education. Most experts, after all, don’t tend to be professional instructional designers or an e-learning developer. Listen in for Tom’s advice. Play the Podcast Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 03:18 – Intro of Tom Kuhlmann, Vice President of Community for Articulate. 03:40 – What on earth made the Rapid E-learning Blog take off like it did?! Tom himself was surprised – he thought maybe 15,000 would be a home run. 05:15 – Tom feels one of the things that worked for him was that he had actual background in building e-learning courses and could really speak to a broad range of needs. (Hmm…an expert sharing his knowledge.) He keeps it practical and simple. 06:35 – In the world of rapid e-learning, you have a lot of people who don’t come from a programming or e-learning background who suddenly have to build e-learning courses. No graphic background, no background in Web technology – the blog helps them make the leap. 07:25 – Does Tom think of himself as a teacher, as someone providing continuing education? Tom notes that Articulate is rarely mentioned on the blog, but he wants to make sure that people get as much value as possible out of the software they have purchased, and also to contribute in a meaningful way to the e-learning community. He does see the blog and the extended community as informal continuing education. 09:05 – How has rapid e-learning transformed the training and education landscape?You used to have whole teams building courses – it took a lot longer. The rapid tools take away the need to program. If you know PowerPoint you can get it into Flash. Most of the critics of rapid tend to be vendors who were selling e-learning course production (Note: I was one of these people once upon a time, dear readers.) These people have been displaced to a large degree. 11:55 – Rapid has democratized the market (I smell a revolution!). It used to be that if you didn’t have money, you didn’t build e-learning. No longer. 13:00 – You go to conferences now, and the conversation isn’t so much about programming – like it used to be – it’s about how to build better learning experiences. 13:20 – What about people who are not instructional designer now having the ability to use PowerPoint to make a course. You can end up with some pretty bad stuff. What are Tom’s tips for creating a decent online education experience if you are not a designer? Excerpt from Leading the Learning Revolution: Let’s say that you’re a subject matter expert and you’re thinking, “I’ve got all this great knowledge. I can take it online. I can build a business around this. I’m going to make some e-learning courses.” What are the key skills or knowledge you need to make a good course? I asked this question of Tom Kuhlmann, author of the wildly successful Rapid E-learning Blog. The first step, Tom suggested, is to understand whether or not it really needs to be a “course.”“If you’re just having them read screens of information,” he noted, “then maybe a PDF is a better solution than authoring a course.” While arguably there is not really much difference between reading text on a PDF and reading text in a course, people bring different expectations to a course. Once you have determined that a course is really the right approach, Tom sees visual design as perhaps the most necessary skill for developing courses that stand out. He emphasized that, while instruction is an important part of visual design—the visuals need to support the other content in an appropriate way—emotion is equally important. “E-learning is mostly a visual medium,” he said, “and people are drawn to those things that look good and make them feel good. There’s an emotional connection to what they’re doing. They like to click things. They like to roll their mouse over buttons and move things around. That’s an important part.” Finally, Tom noted that simply making the effort to be consistent visually, to “make your buttons look like buttons” and make every- thing “look like it all belongs to the same course” can go a long way toward creating a polished, effective learning experience. 15:30 – Tom mentions the value of being able to review the entries for the Articulate Guru Awards. 17:05 – Tom says one of the main questions he asks when developing e-learning is how to get the learner to “touch the screen” – i.e., do things on the screen with the content, to practice doing the things you teach them. Storyline, Tom says, makes building this kind of interactivity about as easy as working in PowerPoint. Tom talks about Storyline and the future of e-learning 17:50 – Articulate Presenter and similar products provide for fairly structured learning experiences. How does Tom see these types of experiences intersecting with less formal learning? Tom talks about the ability for anyone to create a YouTube video or screencast. “Money shot” for the interview: Essentially anybody at this point is an expert. Everybody knows something. They have something they can teach other people. Years ago there was no way to capture this easily. Now there is a vehicle to let anybody share their learning and share what they know. 20:00 – Have to have aggregators, curators to help you make sense of the flood of information. Otherwise you feel overwhelmed with the volume of content that comes at you. You have to have authorities and experts who serve essentially as teachers in being good curators. [Notable that Justin Bieber gets mentioned in this segment – the second time in the series of interviews I conducted for the book! See my interview with marketing and branding expert Dorie Clark.] 21:10 – Tom sees himself as a curator in writing the Rapid E-learning Blog (Who are your curators?) 21:40 – Can be challenging for organizations that rely on outside experts. Makes the process of curation challenging. 22:20 – Many organizations fall back on Webinars as the main thing they are able to do online. What’s Tom’s perspective? What he likes about Webinars is that no one sees him – he can look at his notes when delivering one. And that they can be recorded – made available, potentially tied to communities. Some of the negatives are that it may be hard to make up for “presenting deficiencies” when you are not in the same room with people. You aren’t able to see their faces and body language. It’s hard to create real conversation in a Webinar (See my “How We Learn” interview with Prof. Monisha Pasupathi for additional perspectives on Webinars.) 25:10 – Tom also thinks most Webinars may be too long. Shorter form learning content may actually be more effective and more valuable. 15-20 minute “quick hit” sessions. 26:50 – A significant issue with Webinars is the need to associate continuing education credit with them – which tends to require 1-hour units. 27:25 – What does Tom see coming down the pipe that has him excited? Tom discusses his experience home schooling his kids. References a book by John Holt on educational reform – 10M people going through basically the exact same educational “gulag.” No company would actually sell a product like this – there is competition, people can choose what they want to choose. This has not been the case so much in education – but the home school market is an example of that changing. 29:30 – When you look at the convergence of easy authoring and distribution, the ability for anybody to share their expertise – look at the success of approaches like the Khan Academy, for example – this opens the door to education, to letting people think about different ways to teach and learn. 30:35 – Draws comparison to the impact that blogging has had on newspapers and the complaints from traditional newspaper people that blogging fragments the market. But the market is already fragmented – it’s just that a handful of large organizations controlled the market before. A similar situation exists in education – but that is changing rapidly. The shift creates incredible opportunities – think, for example of less developed countries where people can now get access to education they would not have had access to before. 32:50 – Wrap-up of interview. Find Tom at The Rapid E-learning Blog. While you are there, check out great resources like Rapid E-learning 101 and be sure to subscribe to get the 46-page eBook The Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-learning Pro. If you like the podcast, please consider giving it a brief review on iTunes and share it with others. Thanks! Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. P.S. – Sign up for updates and get my eBook The Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox and Chapter 1 from Leading the Learning Revolution! The post Talking Rapid E-learning with the Articulate Tom Kuhlmann appeared first on Learning Revolution.
38 minutes | Jan 10, 2013
Knowing and Growing Your Market with Adwords – Howie Jacobson and Kristie McDonald
Do want to use (or better use) Google Adwords to drive traffic to your products and services? Did you know that Adwords is also one of the most powerful tools there is for testing your market and figuring out whether you are even offering the right products ans services – and who is likely to buy them? Those are the kinds of topics covered in this episode of the Learning Revolution podcast. I’m joined this time around by Howie Jacobson and Kristie McDonald, two people who literally wrote the book on Adwords: Google Adwords for Dummies, 3rd Edition. AdWords, of course, are those text based ads that appear to the right and top of Google search results. They can be very powerful not just for driving traffic to your offerings, but as Howie and Kristie will make clear, for really assessing and understanding your market. Listen in for some insights and tips that will really help your grow your business. Also, pay attention for an offer I make to get a free copy of Leading the Learning Revolution: The Expert’s Guide to Capitalizing on the Exploding Lifelong Education Market. Play the Podcast Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 01:22 – Listen in for a special announcement and offer on the book Leading the Learning Revolution. 03:55 – Introduction of Howie Jacobson and Kristie McDonald, co-authors of Google Adwords for Dummies, 3rd Edition and principals of the digital marketing agency Vitruvian Way. 04:33 – How the Internet has changed everything. Here’s a quote we discuss from white paper Howie wrote: The Internet does more than just make it easy to go online and read and leave reviews. It fundamentally changes the mathematical and statistical models of human crowd behavior. Because choice increases exponentially while attention remains constant, aggregate human behavior shifts to follow what are known as “power laws.” (Get the white paper: The Hidden Power of Paid Search) 05:25 – The Internet allows us to analyze what people want by looking at what they do. Adwords is not just a way to get sales: it is a way to test and tune human behavior. 06:45 – Traditional marketing is based on a fairly static “village” model in which everyone gets their piece of the pie. Because there is such an aggregation of the crowd through the Internet, there is almost an infinite number of choices and an infinite number of people looking to satisfy their needs. Loyalty is not a given; the fundamentals of market share shift, and someone who is just slightly better can claim the vast majority of the market. The idea of the “slight advantage.” 09:05 – Doing something (even something small) that no one else is doing can tilt the weight of the entire market into your corner. 09:20 – A lot of traditional membership organizations act as villages – and are suddenly finding themselves disrupted. 11:10 – Starting out with good reviews (e.g., for a product) can make all the difference. Someone who starts out with a few good reviews can create a big advantage because of the impact it has on Google searchers – which leads to more good reviews). A slight advantage can snowball. 12:00 – People don’t tend to recognize how Adwords can be used as a market assessment tool. Discussion of using Adwords from the standpoint of an entrenched player vs. a newcomer. Should they assess their markets in the same way? 13:00 – Whether entrenched or new, the key is how you are going to stand out. The entrenched really have to keep an eye on who is coming onto the playing field, what they are saying that is new, and how it is changing the dynamic. New players tend to pay more attention to this, entrenched players forget. 15:30 – Howie’s “though experiment” – is it better to be the entrenched player or the scrappy newcomer? The minute you are successful, start worrying about market blindness or complacency. 16:50 – But at least in theory the entrenched player has a better connection to the market – you can talk to your customers, whereas as new comer will just be viewed as trolling for sales. The entrenched player needs at least some people on staff who are “brainwashed” to think like an upstart – and then use what they see to inform conversations with existing customers. 18:18 – Adwords-driven assessment is crucial, but also superficial when compared to actual customer conversations. Use Adwords to point you in the right direction so you can go have dinner with people. 18:50 – What if you are solo, or work for a small organization and don’t have a lot of budget or time to put into Adwords? What are the two or three things you should absolutely do? 18:37 – You have to analyze the market for your bullseye, your “Dorothy Boyd.” Howie and Kristie talk about how to approach Adwords if your resources are tight (quote used in Leading the Learning Revolution): Kristie: When somebody doesn’t have a lot of budget to work with, and they’re looking to run a PPC campaign that is small and tight, what we tell them to do is analyze their market for their bull’s-eye. What are the bull’s-eye terms in your market—the terms that, if somebody types them in, their intent absolutely is to buy what you have? They are looking for you. They are looking for what you have. For example, if somebody is looking to be certified by the Proj- ect Management Institute, and they type in “PMI Online Courses,” they’re clearly looking for you if you sell PMI courses. And you need to be there when they’re looking, because otherwise your competi- tors will get them instead. If you have a small budget, you just need to look at your core terms. Don’t try to experiment with other ones. Just use the core ones. What would somebody ask for if they were looking exactly for me? Then run that campaign. Howie: One of the functions of AdWords, or any sort of pay-per-click, is to test the rest of your sales funnel. It may be that AdWords is not the place where you’re going to “kill it.” There may not be a lot of traffic, or people may not be searching for it. It may be an impulse buy or your competition has a business model that just makes it too expensive for you to advertise successfully for long. But if you have an online business these days, the website is the nexus for whether people end up interested in you or not. And that’s how I would initially use PPC—to do what Kristie says. To fig- ure out, “Who’s my bull’s-eye?” Who are the people that I call the “Dorothy Boyd prospects”? Remember? That was Renée Zellweger’s character in Jerry Maguire—the one he “had at hello.” With your Dorothy Boyd prospects, you say “This is what I do,” and they say, “That’s exactly what I want.” If you can’t sell to those people, why bother with anybody else? 21:20 – Social media and SEO are only “guessing” at who your market is and where you are going to find them. Pay per click – if it is done right – may involve an initial guess, but then it is testing – it gives you clear data to back up your efforts. 23:20 – Selling is selling, but the training industry has some specific challenges online. One of these is that the Internet has evolved into a medium of selling through education. But if what you are selling is education, it can be a slippery slope. You have to “tease with integrity.” 24:40 – Discussion of the Vitruvian Way Cafe – which will become a paid membership learning community. Discussion of what/how much it makes sense to give so much away for free, and when it makes sense to charge. Creating Keyword Buckets: A Freebie from Virtuvian Way 27:30 – Even with all of the information they have given away in Adwords for Dummies, people still reach out to them for more. It often happens that the more information people get about a topic they more they appreciate the difference between themselves and the true experts – and they are willing to pay for access to deep expertise. They key is to provide value each step of the way as you interact with your prospects and customers. 29:12 – The content is often less important than the way it is delivered and your emotional connection to the person who is delivering it and their ability to customize it to you. 29:45 – What made the membership site model for Vitruvian Way Cafe attractive? Why not just set up a catalog of courses? Was it a way to build emotional connection as apposed to a more transactional model. 30:45 – Yes, there is more of a connection when people are in a community – and there is the social aspect of connecting with others who are wrestling with the same questions you are. It not only connects you with customers, it makes them never want to leave. 33:30 -Parting words of wisdom. Really have to move from a transactional to a relationship model if you are in a market that is at all competitive – but you have to be open with people about how you make money. Money changes the dynamics of relationships. Your business model is synonymous with building mutually beneficial relationships. The hard numbers of Adwords can point you to how you do this. 36:15 – Interview wrap up. Be sure to visit: Visit Vitruvian Way Visit Howie’s Site Get Adwords for Dummies 37:44 – Sign off Thanks so much for tuning into the Learning Revolution. If you find the podcast valuable, please consider sharing it with others by clicking https://www.learningrevolution.net/share to send out a tweet. I’d also be really grateful if you would consider doing a brief review or giving the podcast a rating on iTunes. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. P.S. – I’ll be releasing The Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox next week. To receive a free copy, be sure to sign up to get update e-mails! – Jeff The post Knowing and Growing Your Market with Adwords – Howie Jacobson and Kristie McDonald appeared first on Learning Revolution.
20 minutes | Jan 3, 2013
How to Architect a Million-Dollar Community with Alan Weiss
Interested in building a global base of loyal fans who tell you the educational offerings they want and help you design them? Then you definitely want to listen in to this interview with Alan Weiss, the Million Dollar Consultant®. I’ve counted myself among Alan’s fan base for many years now and was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk with him as I was writing Leading the Learning Revolution. In this podcast, Alan discusses his approach to building successful professional communities, the keys to developing high-value, high-price point offerings, and how on earth he manages to produce as much as he does. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is just for consultants: the advice and perspectives Alan offers in this episode apply to any entrepreneurial individual or organization that wants to take their education business to a whole new level this year. Enjoy it, and please also spread the word with a Tweet or by using the social links at the end of this post. Play the Podcast Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 02:05 – Introduction of Alan Weiss, the Million Dollar Consultant®. 02:30 – Discussion of the moniker “Architect of Professional Communities®” and what it means to Alan. Alan believes communities are the future of professional groups and that traditional trade and professional associations are going to disappear. Interview quote used in Leading the Learning Revolution: I think a true community, such as I have with Alan’s Forums, is one where people interact. They’re drawn together by the quality of the people there. They act as peers. They help each other, and in helping each other they help the overall profession. It’s not dissimilar, by analogy, to the iPhone and apps. The more apps that are created, the more the people buy them, the more people are attracted, the more apps are created. Apple then creates an even better iPhone and the cycle repeats itself. So, that’s what I mean by community. Not anyone can create a community. You have to have a strong brand, thought leadership, and intellectual property. And so, in boutique consulting, I’ve been able to do that. – Alan Weiss 03:30 Alan says you have to have strong brand, thought leadership, and intellectual property to create a successful community. You have to constantly provide excitement and value. New ideas, new intellectual property – and be fearless in spreading these. When people find value and excitement in being with you, they tend to congregate – and good people bring other good people with them. 04:40 – Discussion of “free” – Alan notes that he gives away everything that he has in his books. Organizations and individuals are afraid of giving so much away, but Alan argues that the more you share, the more you benefit. The more you give, the more you get. 05:50 – How does Alan manage to do so much as a solo entrepreneur? One key is never self-censoring, never re-writing. When Alan comes across something of interest, he notes it. If it remains of interest, he schedules time to address it. Listen in for an example of how he leveraged an idea that came up during a discussion on Alan’s Forums. 07:50 – How do you know when you have a successful offering, when the time is right to take a chance? Alan notes that he does fail and says that if you are not failing you are not trying, not taking sufficient prudent risk. You can’t live in fear of failure. But he does have a very strong batting average because he listens to his communities. His communities ask for and help him design his products. 10:00 – Alan notes that he also tends to do things only once in the U.S. So, there is a scarcity aspect to his offerings that helps to support a higher price point. 10:20 – Are scarcity and community the keys to maintaining price points? Anything else? Alan says for physical workshops, its a combination of three elements: perceived value, brand, and venue. Need to hit on at least two of the three – and preferably all three – to command a strong price. 11:50 – Discussion of “ROI” in the continuing education/professional development market. ROI is often not measured at all. Will there be more pressure to provide ROI for training? Alan feels ROI in training, development, learning has been “fought forever” and he doesn’t see much evidence of this situation changing – at least within the corporate context. Training is a $60 billion dollar industry, and he estimates less than 5% is done on the basis of a clear ROI. 14:40 – Is Alan in the business of helping people be better learners? He’s in the business of helping people to think better and differently. He can’t make people learn – motivation for learning is intrinsic. Once you are within his communities, though, he can be a change agent. 15:50 – What’s Alan’s advice for creating a high impact, high revenue education business? You have to work backwards. Find out what the improved client condition will be and then work backwards to create it. Discussion of the difference between true expertise and over-reliance on methodology. 17:40 – Sign off. Be sure to visit: Alan Weiss’s main Web site. While there, check out: The Million Dollar Consulting CollegeThe rest of Alan’s Workshops and SeminarsAlan’s Books Contrarian Consulting (Alan’s Blog)How to Build a Learning Community Thanks so much for tuning into the Learning Revolution. If you find the podcast valuable, please consider sharing it with others by clicking https://www.learningrevolution.net/share to send out a tweet. I’d also be really grateful if you would consider doing a brief review or giving the podcast a rating on iTunes. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post How to Architect a Million-Dollar Community with Alan Weiss appeared first on Learning Revolution.
31 minutes | Dec 18, 2012
Are you ready to MOOC? A conversation with George Siemens
In this episode of the Learning Revolution podcast I talk with George Siemens, one of the leading thinkers on how technology is impacting learning and education. One of the areas the areas that George has become known for, along with his collaborator Stephen Downes, is massive open online courses, or MOOCs. You may have noticed that MOOCs have become quite trendy lately. MIT and Harvard are among the very well-known institutions that have gotten into the MOOC game. Start-ups like Udacity and Coursera are also grabbing a lot of attention. And The New York Times has even called this the year of the MOOC. I actually conducted this interview (like all of the other initial interviews on the podcast) several months ago as I was writing Leading the Learning Revolution. I knew MOOCs were an emerging phenomenon that I wanted to be sure to cover in the book, but I had no idea how popular they were about to become. In any case, in this interview I talk with George about the massive online course phenomenon – including what kind of business models might emerge for them. We also discuss the challenges of learning, in general, in our high speed, hyper connected world and highlight some of the trends that George finds most exciting. Click play, and enjoy. (And if you like what you hear, I’d be really grateful for a tweet!) Listen to the Podcast Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Show Notes 00:44 – MOOCs are all the rage these days. MIT and Harvard are doing it, as are start-ups like Udacity and Coursera. 01:49 – Get the show notes at https://www.learningrevolution.net/episode6. 02:07 – Intro of George Siemens, a well-known thought leader in higher education circles on how technology is impacting learning and education. Siemens is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Distance Education and a researcher and strategist with the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada 03:10 – Discussion of comment George made in a 2010 TEDx talk: “When we learn transparently, we become teachers.” Here’s the TEDx talk: 06:41 – Uncertainty and ambiguity now defines a growing number of fields. Knowledge that used to be stable is now much more fluid. The best way to make sense of the changes is to stay connected to others. 07:18 – In 2008 George, along with Stephen Downes, launched the Connectivism and Connected Knowledge (CCK) MOOC (see the 2011 version here). What made it seem like the stars were aligned for success at that time? 09:36 – The CCK MOOC was modeled on online conferences George had done in the past. There were discussion sessions in Moodle, Elluminate (now part of Blackboard) was used for live sessions, a daily e-mail was sent out. They had to find ways to tie it together – it was fragmented, distributed rather than organized like a traditional university class. 10:55 – There was a sense that something novel was happening, but really it was the way that things that had been going on for a decade could now be pulled together. 12:35 – What were some of the key strategies for bringing things together cohesively – addressing the “fragmentation?” It’s a question that is much broader than education, George says. Usually, a teacher or expert will be “frugal” in trying to structure the knowledge that is conveyed in a course, but the problem with this is that students may come from widely varying backgrounds and levels of experience. 15:20 – We have to develop both technical and social systems to make sense of such an “explosion” of knowledge. Socially, we have known how to do this for a long time. Technology – and our use of it – is still trying to catch up. 16:25 – The CCK MOOC emphasized that students needed to “own their own filtering” – basically, figure it out and learn in the process, form smaller groups “sub networks” within the larger MOOC. 17:30 – Today the systems for tying together distributed conversations are getting better and better – for example LMS systems with import functions for blogs, application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow for data flowing from one system to another. 18:29 – A lot of the burden is on the learner. Are learners ready? (See also Preparing Adults for Lifelong Learning.) How well prepared is the average adult to filter the massive flow of information? 19:30 – Human beings are naturally “meaning makers.” George cites Pirolli on information foraging. We categorize, we connect. That’s not new. But now the flow of information is at a pace that we can’t cognitively handle anymore – and probably haven’t been able to for a century or more. Past methods simply don’t work. 21:00 – Students are often completely overwhelmed in an open online course because they treat it like a regular course and try to read everything. You can’t track, read, and comment on everything. You have to find what is relevant to you. These are skills that not everyone has. The learners develop competence by going through the process. 23:00 – The technical tools are still not at a very developed level yet. There are various “recommenders” out there- i.e., Google, Amazon – but still not enough possibilities for control by individual learners. 24:05 – Are there good revenue models for MOOCs? George has no doubt they will develop and talks about a few possibilities. (See also How Will MOOCs Make Money?) 26:45 – What’s George really excited about right now? Data and analytics are one big area. These will alter how teaching and learning occurs, how organizations function. Mobile, gamification, and badges/alternative credentialing are also topics George touches on. 29:08 – The start-up ecosystem around education is also one of the more promising innovation points. 29:58 – Wrap up and sign-off. Be sure to visit George at http://www.elearnspace.org as well as at http://www.learninganalytics.net/ and http://www.connectivism.ca/. Also check out his book Knowing Knowledge (also available as a free pdf download). Thanks so much for tuning into the Learning Revolution podcast. Please consider sharing with others by clicking https://www.learningrevolution.net/share to send out a tweet. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post Are you ready to MOOC? A conversation with George Siemens appeared first on Learning Revolution.
25 minutes | Dec 6, 2012
Boost Your Brand and Rocket Your Reputation with Dorie Clark
Wondering how to really stand out and create long-term customer loyalty in the competitive market for lifelong learning, continuing education, and training? Building brand and developing a rock-solid, trustworthy reputation have never been more important, and few people know more about how to do these things than my guest on this episode of the Learning Revolution Podcast: Dorie Clark. Dorie is a branding and marketing expert who shares her insights regularly in well-traveled channels like the Harvard Business Review blog network and Forbes. Her new book, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future – the focus of this podcast – was published by Harvard Business Press Books. Her most recent book – definitely relevant for anyone visiting this is site – is Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It. I knew Dorie was just the person to talk to when it came to exploring how education businesses – from training firms, to associations, to individual subject matter experts – can better manage their presence and impact in the market place. Listen in for some great insights and practical tips on how you can boost your brand and rocket your reputation. Listen to the Podcast Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Show Notes 00:42 – Get the podcast on the free Instacast or Stitcher Radio apps to download or stream it to you mobile phone or tablet without having to connect to your computer to sync. 02:05 – Introduction of Dorie Clark, author of the forthcoming Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future and a regular in mainstay business destinations like the Harvard Business Review blog network and Forbes. 02:40 – How does reputation tie into classic concepts like branding and positioning and why is it so important now? 03:05 – Reputation has become even more important as the number of competitors has grown, along with the playing field – which is now global. 3:28 – You need to have a reputation that draws people into you, makes then say “You are the person I want to work with” – and a strong reputation helps make price less of an issue. 04:22 – Have to stay on top of what is being said about you online, and perhaps more importantly, what’s not being said. Don’t let other people control the dialogue. 05:00 – What’s the role of listening to the market? 05:29 – In the past, you would have had to pay thousands of dollars for focus groups and other approaches. Now, it is possible to find out a tremendous amount by listening in on social channels. 06:40 – Have to recognize that people’s expectations have risen . They do expect higher levels of responsiveness and customer service. But social media also gives you the ability to reach out to people proactively, surprise them, go above and beyond. 07:48 – How important is content marketing as part of establishing and maintaining a reputation and building and brand? 09:00 – In the past, no matter how good your ideas were, if you didn’t have capital, you were often stuck. That’s changed. 10:00 – In many cases, mass media isn’t the answer anyway. You want to get to your specific audience, and social media and other tools now make that possible. 10:47 – Have to keep in mind that, when you put content out there, you are reaching and influencing people even if you never hear from them directly. You have the potential to become a thought leader. 11:53 – The idea of building a platform and context over time. How do reputation and branding fit into longer term branding and strategy. Dorie references her HBR blog post It’s Not a Job Search, It’s a Permanent Campaign. Dorie discusses why personal branding is the ultimate career weapon DD13:18 – You can’t just say I want a job (or a customer) and one magically appears because your resume (or advertising) is so great. You have to build up a reputation and trust over time in the marketplace. 14:38 – There is a built in advantage, if you are targeting a niche audience, for really going deep with the type of content you provide and this leads to loyalty over time. 15:18 – Examples of companies and individuals that are really getting it right. 15:55 – Discussion of Klout and the move toward measuring reputation and influence. Justin Beeber is a poster child for reputation management – his efforts point to how powerful behind the scenes, intimate type communication can be – a move away from the standard corporate press release approach. Customers and members want a human connection. People are loyal to people, not institutions. 17:50 – Example of venture capitalist Fred Wilson from Dorie’ s HBR blog post Transparency is the New Leadership Imperative. Fred has used blogging as a key tool to connecting with his audience and building his reputation in the venture capital community. He has been rewarded for being transparent in an industry known for not being transparent. 19:18 – What are the one or two first steps a small firm, individual subject matter expert, or association should take to start building their brand? 20:04 – Start with a basic Google search on yourself or your organization to see what is already out there. What’s being said, how easy is it to find and contact you. Something like a LinkedIn profile is very basic, but even just doing that means people will have a better chance of finding you. 20:10 – Blogging is also a powerful tool for building brand. A lot of people who have dabbled with blogging are abandoning it. This opens up a big opportunity for people willing to make the commitment and put in the time to establish themselves as a thought leader. 23:34 – Wrapping up. Be sure to visit Dorie’s Web site. 24:10 – I’d be truly grateful if you would give the podcast a brief review and/or rating on iTunes – https://www.learningrevolution.net/itunes. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. P.S. – See what readers are saying about Leading the Learning Revolution: The Expert’s Guide to Capitalizing on the Exploding Lifelong Education Market. – Jeff The post Boost Your Brand and Rocket Your Reputation with Dorie Clark appeared first on Learning Revolution.
24 minutes | Nov 29, 2012
How to Build a Passionate Community of Learners – A Conversation with Leo Babauta
Note: This is one of a series of interviews I conducted as part of writing the book Leading the Learning Revolution. – JTC Leo Babauta has been an inspiration to so many people – myself among them – so I was thrilled to have the chance to interview him while writing Leading the Learning Revolution. While he is best known for Zen Habits, a blog that now has more than a quarter million readers (!), Leo has also put his stamp on numerous other projects. He is the author of The Power of Less as well as numerous eBooks, founder of the popular Write to Done blog, and creator of The Habit Course. And that’s just scratching the surface. Part of what prompted me to contact Leo about Leading the Learning Revolution was his work with Mary Jaksch of Good Life Zen in launching and building A-List Blogging Bootcamps. I was an early participant in the program as well as in the A-List Blogger Club that grew out of it. It was, and still is, a great example of what I describe as PassionxPurpose, or P2, learning community in the book. We talk about A-List Blogging in the podcast, but also about Leo’s perspective on blogging, membership learning sites, and education in general. You are going to really enjoy this one. Click below to listen or subscribe on iTunes. And don’t forget to check out the show notes. Play the Podcast Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Show Notes 00:40 >> Find out about Leading the Learning Revolution and get show notes at https://www.learningrevolution.net/leo-babauta-zen-habits/ 01:50 >> Introduction Leo Babauta, founder of Zen Habits (250K+ readers!) and author of The Power of Less 02:20 >> After building Zen Habits, Leo started Write to Done and then was convinced by Mary Jaksch of GoodLifeZen to collaborate on A-List Blogging Bootcamps. (Leo is no longer involved, but A-List is still going strong and Mary will soon introduce a new A-List Blogging Masterclass. Go to the site to sign up to be notified.) [04:51 Yikes – a bit of static on my mic – though not Leo’s – for this question and the next] 0510 >> Leo notes that as a blogger you do often think of yourself as a teacher – but people may not necessarily do what you talk about. Moving into training and learning experiences gives you the chance to be more hands on and really help people implement what they learn from you and make change happen – a focus in The Habit Course (referred to by its former name, Sea Change, in the interview) 06:44 >> Is there a particular type of learner of audience that does well in Web-based learning communities? Leo thinks community-based learning is almost always better than, say, a book, no matter who is involved. The people involved inspire each other and help each other out. 08:17 >> What if you don’t have a Zen Habits size audience to start with? How can you build enough of an audience. Leo argues that it can work even on a small scale – even 10 people working together and making a change together can be a big deal – and you can charge more for more hands-on experiences. 09:55 >> A blog is an amazing way to demonstrate your value, to show that you really know what you are tallying about about an build up trust. It’s not about amazing landing pages. The marketing strategy is “Get them to trust you.” 11:08 >> Is the approach to The Habit Course (formerly Sea Change) any different that it was in A-List? Leo says he is focused on helping people go through habit changes – going through a single change all at once. A lot of mutual accountability. 12:40 >> Are we really preparing people well to do the kind of learning they need to do throughout their lives? Leo believes we are being taught to be passive learners. It’s not some kind of conspiracy – just a legacy of the industrial age we have yet to move past. It doesn’t jibe with today’s environment. People today need to be self-motivated and able to seize the initiative. No one is going to tell you exactly what to learn – but school is all about being told what to learn and how to learn it. All the information we need [Leo’s kids are upstairs being “unschooled” as we speak.] 16:22 >> Unschooling isn’t the only way to go. Even kids who go through traditional school can be guided – especially by parents – towards being self-directed learners. Don’t discourage passion! 18:05 >> It’s inspiring to see the passion that comes through in Leo’s learning communities and other entrepreneurial learning communities. Don’t see this so much in the average “boxed” training event. 19:01 >> What’s Leo’s main tip building a passionate audience? Be passionate yourself, do things that excite you, and then show people how you did it! Show the passion, show the accomplishments. 21:25 Be sure to visit out Zen Habits. While you are there, be sure to check out: The Effortless Life: A Concise Manual for Contentment, Mindfulness, & Flow focus : a simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction The Habit Course Also be sure to check out A-List Blogging Bootcamps and find out about the new masterclass that will launch soon. If you like the podcast, I’d be really grateful for a brief review on iTunes. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. P.S. – The book is coming soon, be sure to sign up to get update e-mails and other free goodies! – Jeff The post How to Build a Passionate Community of Learners – A Conversation with Leo Babauta appeared first on Learning Revolution.
28 minutes | Nov 15, 2012
Exploring How We Learn with Monisha Pasupathi
For this episode of the Learning Revolution podcast I am very excited to talk with Dr. Monisha Pasupathi, a psychology professor at the University of Utah and star of the Teaching Company course How We Learn. In our conversation we cover some common myths about learning, talk about how well prepared we are (or aren’t) to deal with a hyper-connected, information-flooded world, and consider the role of the lecture as a form of learning delivery. For anyone who has listened to the previous episodes with Mike Stelzner and Dave Will, this one will definitely feel more toward the learning than the business side of the learning business equation, but it covers topics that are essential for differentiating your offerings from the competition. Play the Podcast Listen in below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Get the Show Notes 00:30: Hope you caught the last two episodes, focused on the marketing side of the equation. 1:37: Introduction of Dr. Monisha Pasupathi of the University of Utah. 2:08 – Props to Monisha’s Teaching Company course How We Learn. Was this a natural path for her, or did the Teaching Company scout her out and convince her? 3:46 – Myths about learning and how adults learn. What are some of the fundamental misunderstandings? 5:27 – How does living in such a highly-connected world impact learning? How well prepared are most people to learn effectively? 6:50 – Two things make assessing the flood of information difficult. 7:53 – We’re not as good at verifying and remembering the sources of information as we are at learning content 10:00 – Lectures, in spite of all the criticism they get these days, are actually efficient ways of helping people learn. 13:00 – We may have lost the capacity to experience lectures as interactive. Book Excerpt Here’s a quote from Monisha that I used in Leading the Learning Revolution: Good lectures can take people through an expert’s thought process in a way that doesn’t happen when you’re very interactive. They are really organized, really structured, and really digestible ways to get quite a bit of information in a relatively short time. To acquire the same level of learning from interactive models often will require considerably more time. It often takes considerably more expertise on the part of the teacher or the instructor, because you have to know how to get a group of non-expert people from Point A to Point B. You have to know where they typically hit a wall in their understanding; what kinds of misconceptions they bring to the table. The other thought I always have when people talk about being more interactive is that we may have lost the capacity to experience lectures as interactive. I remember a really interesting experience I had in Germany where I went to a talk, and it was given in German. And my German wasn’t terrific at the time, so I had a hard time pro- cessing this lecture, but what I noticed about it was that it was a very old-fashioned lecture. It was given by a professor who had been there before the wall had come down in the former Eastern Bloc, and he spoke in fully articulated sentences for something like forty minutes in beautiful, erudite German. What I think we don’t experience anymore is that kind of lengthy oration. I suspect there was a time when we used to have better skills for this type of experience and for feeling engaged with lectures. We may be going too far into interactivity in such a way that it is actually undermining people’s skill at listening to lectures. Because it is, to some extent, something that we learn how to do, and I’d hate to see us unlearn that in favor of new instructional methods that have their own value, but also have their own flaws. 15:10 – BUT, there are certainly many boring lectures out there! What can subject matter experts do to deliver more engaging, effective lectures? 18:40 – And what about webinars? Any way to make those better? What about bringing a “storytelling” approach to it? 22:30 – What are some emerging developments Dr. Pasupathi finds really exciting in the world of learning right now? 25:56 – The attraction of being able to learn so much post-career 26:50 – Sign off Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post Exploring How We Learn with Monisha Pasupathi appeared first on Learning Revolution.
30 minutes | Nov 8, 2012
Lifetime CLEs for $799! Commodity vs. Community with Dave Will
One of the business models I focus on in Leading the Learning Revolution is what I call the P2 Community – membership learning communities driven by a combination of passion and purpose. In the book, I highlight some of the successful learning communities I have participated in – like the A-List Blogger Club (which has since closed its doors to new members) and Alan’s Forums. But given that I do so much work in the association world, I was also eager to find some signs of life for community learning models in the context of membership organizations. My search led me to Dave Will, Chief Executive Peach of Peach New Media. I’ve known Dave for several years and already had an appreciation for his views on trends in the lifelong learning business. In this podcast interview, we talk trends in the market for lifelong learning and what it takes to create successful learning experiences. Enjoy – and be sure to subscribe on iTunes to get all past and future episodes. Play the Podcast Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes Show notes 00:21 – Be sure to catch the previous episode with Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner 01:38 – Introduction to Dave Will of Peach New Media 02:53 – Dave’s perspective on the biggest shifts in the past few years in online learning. Dave feels it may be less about what has changed and more about what has been recognized about online learning – and this has less to do with technology and more to do with our understanding of learning. As Dave puts it, “Learning is about associating your personal experiences with the information you are taking in.” 06:12 What are you selling? Are you selling credit, or are you selling a learning program? The buyers for these things are different. 06:54 Deeper discussion of credit vs. learning and the “commoditized” CE (CME, CPE, CLE, etc) market and the bigger business model potential of “learning.” Lifetime CLEs for $799! 09:25 Most association are not out there just to make a buck – they are out there to change the world 10:12 Have new, interesting business models emerged around “learning?” What does it take to create meaningful learning experiences? In most cases, it’s going to cost more – for both consumer and producer, Dave says. You have to deliver a higher quality product. 11:47 – Incorporating social learning as opposed to just social media 12:30 Dave starts talking about “virtual study groups” – Peach’s approach to community-based learning. The aim is to increase value by providing community/social components: on-demand content + asynchronous community + live discussion. If you take these and don’t think about them as a single event, but as an ongoing group interaction…. 14:47 – Some clients are getting good attendance at a high ticket price on virtual study groups. 15:10 – There has to be an element of structure to a learning community, though – not just a free-for-all. Dave says this is critical. It has to be pretty buttoned up – and Dave explains “where the buttons go.” Dave give as shout out to the online community consultancy FeverBee. 16:55 – Importance of “facilitation” as opposed to lecturing, preaching. 18:11 – Dave explains how Peach “buttons it up” – i.e., provides some structure and process to help ensure the success of the community. 20:00 – Discussion of purpose and passion in social/collaborative learning. Not everyone is going to show up “all fired up.” So, how do you maintain a certain level of passion? Tends to be a a core group of highly involved, passionate learners – 80/20 rule (or, maybe more like 80/15/5). 22:50 – How to build the “pull” into a community – especially in the world of free. How do you leverage free? How important is “free” as a marketing and relationship tool? 24:20 – Dave notes that profit oriented businesses have been using content marketing forever – it’s second nature. Look at the pharmaceutical market, for example. You have to be doing it to build the brand and get the word out. Associations should be looking at the same model. Dave wonders if this isn’t just a “mentality” – tied up in the whole “associations need to be more like businesses” discussion 25:48 – Seeing more CEO than Executive Director titles lately 26:15 – Dave’s advice to the budding edupreneur. Basically, start with “why?” Podcast: Play in new window | Download | iTunes The theme music for Learning Revolution is The Information Age by Anthony Fiumano, available on the Podsafe Music Network. The post Lifetime CLEs for $799! Commodity vs. Community with Dave Will appeared first on Learning Revolution.
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