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Leading Learning - The Learning Business Podcast

Leading Learning is the show for people who serve the global market for adult continuing education, professional development, and lifelong learning.
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Leading Learning - The Learning Business Podcast
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Oct 20, 2020

Seth Kahan is founder of the consulting firm, Visionary Leadership and author of  the business bestsellers, Getting Change Right, Getting Innovation Right, and, most recently, Visionary Leadership: How Association Leaders Embrace Disruption in the 21st Century .

He's worked with leaders of large multinational organizations and over a hundred association CEOs. Some of his most exciting work with those CEOs involves Grand Challenges—big, bold goals that organizations take on, partnering with others to make a difference with problems that society has thus far not been able to resolve.

And learning how to navigate the major disruptors we’ve seen unfold in 2020 related to the pandemic, politics, social issues, and our economic situation, have certainly created a new set of related challenges for organizations, particularly for those of us in the learning business.

In this second episode in our seven-episode series on the learning business in disruptive times, Jeff talks to Seth about how organizations have responded and evolved due to recent circumstances surrounding not only the coronavirus pandemic, but to other major disruptors such as climate change and racial injustice. They also discuss Seth’s 100 CEOs and 100 Days initiative, the various resources he’s created to help organizations in this time of crisis, and the lasting – and in some cases, positive – impact that all of this will potentially have on society.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode252.

Oct 13, 2020

It’s been a couple months since we released episode 250 of the Leading Learning Podcast and we're excited to be back with a new, revamped series approach to the podcast (rather than single, independent episodes as we’ve done in the past).

With our new approach, over the course of several episodes—seven in this case—we’ll explore a topic from a variety of viewpoints, drawing on multiple interviews as well as offering our own thoughts and providing context for the conversations with others.

And the first topic we’re going to explore is that of the learning business in disruptive times. In other words, what’s going on in the world right now in 2020.

We are all experiencing unprecedented levels of uncertainty and change and, of course, a major reason for that is the coronavirus pandemic. But there are also major social, political, and economic issues deeply impacting how we live and work.

In this first episode of the very first series of the Leading Learning Podcast, we explore these key areas of disruption and their implications on learning businesses. We also preview the interviewees we will feature in the series and the varied perspectives they will bring to the topic of leading learning in times of disruption.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode251

Aug 4, 2020

In yet another exciting milestone for Leading Learning, we are thrilled to have officially reached episode 250 of the podcast.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been doing this for roughly five years at this point and have grown from zero listeners to more than 7,000 downloads a month!

In this turning-point episode, we express our tremendous gratitude to everyone who has made the podcast possible. We also focus on input received from listeners that we think would be valuable to all learning businesses and the entire Leading Learning community.

Finally, we share some recent reviews of the show submitted through Apple Podcasts as well as touch on our plans for the podcast going forward.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode250

Jul 28, 2020

As Vice President of Learning at Udemy, Shelley Osborne is a true learning leader who is passionate about building cultures of learning that enable the continuous upskilling of employees.

She is also author of an upcoming book titled, The Upskilling Imperative: Five Ways to Make Learning Core to the Way We Work. And Shelley is even a Udemy instructor herself with seven courses currently available, ranging from topics such as fostering psychological safety, to best practices for working remotely.

In this episode of Leading Learning, Jeff talks with Shelley about Udemy’s model as a global learning provider and why continuous upskilling is so critical to the success of individuals and organizations.  They also delve into the “five ways” outlined in her book including: developing agile learners, the important role of feedback in learning cultures, thinking like a marketer to drive learning, learning in the flow of work, and signaling the value of learning.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode249

Jul 21, 2020

Blake Boles is the founder and director of Unschool Adventures, a company that gives self-directed teens and young adults—mostly unschoolers—an opportunity to explore cities all over the world.

Well-known for questioning our traditional approaches to schooling, Blake is a thought-provoking speaker, host of the Off-Trail Learning podcast, and author. His books include The Art of Self-Directed Learning, Better Than College, College Without High School, and the recently published, Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?.

In this episode of Leading Learning, Jeff talks with Blake about key concepts from his latest book related to alternative paths of education in K-12, a particularly relevant topic given the current disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. They also discuss the importance of engagement, self-directed learning, and connection in young learners and how they inevitably impact adult learners.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode248

Jul 14, 2020

Micène Fontaine is the executive director at Design Arts Seminars (DAS), an accredited provider of continuing education for design professionals that aims to inspire their clients to become catalysts of change and to design a world in which all of us can thrive.

With two decades of experience designing high-quality learning experiences, he is passionate about their call to action as a provider of continuing education to move beyond the transactional relationship, to a truly transformative one.

In this episode, Celisa talks with Micène about what has – and hasn’t – changed in the decades he’s been at DAS, how he came to realize his interest in learning experience design (LXD), and what he sees as the major opportunities and threats for learning businesses. They also talk about the origin and purpose of DAS's Change by Design initiative, which aligns their educational offerings to match with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode247

Jul 7, 2020

Learner engagement is one of the holy grails of learning businesses—if the learner isn’t engaged, learning is unlikely to happen. So what are the necessary circumstances that need to exist in order for engagement in learning to happen?

In this episode of the Leading Learning podcast, we delve into three conditions that have to be met to foster learner engagement: meaning, safety, and availability.

We also discuss some examples and ideas of how you might support those conditions in the products and services you create and deliver, and why your learning business should care.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode246

Jun 30, 2020

Feverbee founder and return podcast guest, Richard Millington has spent over a decade helping hundreds of companies around the world develop successful, indispensable communities.

He is also an international speaker and author of Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities and The Indispensable Community: Why Some Brand Communities Thrive When Others Perish.

In this episode of the Leading Learning podcast, Jeff talks with Rich about the evolution of online communities and ways the current pandemic is impacting them. They also discuss the relationship between virtual events and online community and Rich shares specific and practical tips about how to successfully launch and grow a community.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode245

 

Jun 23, 2020

Diane Elkins is co-founder of Artisan E-Learning, a custom e-learning development company, and E-Learning Uncovered, a company specializing in training services, books, and resources for e-learning development using the major rapid e-learning authoring tools.

She frequently speaks at events (in fact she led a session at Learning • Technology • Design 2019), and she’s co-author of E-Learning Fundamentals: A Practical Guide and the E-Learning Uncovered book series.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, Celisa talks with Diane about all things e-learning including common mistakes and keys to success with e-learning design and development. They also discuss ways to foster learner motivation and engagement in the context of e-learning as well as her view on designing effective microlearning.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode244

Jun 16, 2020

The current coronavirus crisis is necessitating major changes in how many learning businesses meet existing needs. For example, a change like investing in expanding and improving your online learning portfolio as so many organizations are currently considering.

But before making any major changes or investments, it’s important to first have a solid understanding of where you are as a learning business.

That’s why in this episode, we are revisiting the Learning Business Maturity Model, a simple yet powerful tool we created to provide a framework for helping organizations assess the maturity of their learning and education businesses. And in case you aren’t already familiar with it, we explain what the Learning Business Maturity Model is and why we created it. We also discuss how you can get value from using it, particularly amid current circumstances surrounding COVID-19.  

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode243

Jun 9, 2020

Future-of-work strategist and return podcast guest, Heather McGowan is an in-demand, internationally known thought leader and speaker. She helps leaders prepare their people and organizations with human-centric approaches to continuously learn and adapt in order to meet the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

She is also the co-author, along with Chris Shipley, of the recently released The Adaptation Advantage: Let Go, Learn Fast, and Thrive in the Future of Work.

In this episode, Jeff talks with Heather about key messages in her book related to adaptation and how it relates to learning, unlearning, and identity. They also discuss what it takes to lead in the age of adaptation, why we need to elevate the role of human over technology, and the fundamental shifts  in how we work and learn—now and in the future—due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode242

Jun 2, 2020

As president at The Thiagi Group, Matthew Richter is a recognized expert and thought leader in the areas of management, leadership, and performance technology. He wears many hats including that of speaker, facilitator, game designer, instructional designer, management consultant, and author of The Leadership Story: A New Model of Leadership. He’s also the co-host of the Truth in Learning podcast, along with previous podcast guest, Will Thalheimer.

In this episode, Celisa talks with Matt about motivation and self-determination theory in the context of learning. They also talk about the elements of effective learning games, why lazy trainers are a good thing, and the importance of activities in learning and in designing faster, cheaper, better training. Lastly, they delve into the topic of leadership and Matt’s view that most leadership training is pretty worthless and what he recommends to focus on instead.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode241

May 26, 2020

Is e-learning effective? It’s a seemingly age-old question but a rather important one to address now when—due to COVID-19—many traditional forms of face-to-face education simply aren’t viable.

And even though there’s a massive rush to move learning online, many—maybe even most—people still hold the view that e-learning is a second-rate or lesser form of learning when compared to face-to-face.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, we examine whether e-learning is in fact, an effective form of learning, particularly when compared with traditional face-to-face instruction. We address this specifically in the context of the learning business and as it relates to what we have defined as the three major goals of learning businesses: reach, revenue, and impact.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode240

May 19, 2020

Arianna Rehak is co-founder and CEO of Matchbox Virtual Media, a firm that helps organizations produce virtual events that foster meaningful conversations. As the former coordinator of a highly successful virtual event series—a topic we interviewed her about in episode 111—Arianna became passionate about how to effectively cultivate high levels of engagement while making meaning of collective knowledge in the online space.

And since we are currently in the midst of a huge surge in the demand for virtual events due to the coronavirus pandemic, she has been tirelessly working with a wide range of organizations to take their events online.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, Jeff talks with Arianna about what it takes to successfully transition events to virtual, the related benefits of doing so, and why (contrary to what many organizations think), you may actually gain much more than you lose.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode239

May 12, 2020

Dr. George Siemens is professor at the University of Texas at Arlington and director of the Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L) at the University of South Australia. He’s an internationally known author and speaker who has delivered keynote addresses in more than 35 countries. He’s also a researcher and theorist in the field of learning, knowledge management, and technology.

George is recognized for developing the learning theory of connectivism as well as for his pioneering work in learning analytics and the development of massive open online courses (MOOCs). And he’s continued to develop and deliver MOOCs, including one now on helping instructors new to online make the pivot necessitated by COVID-19.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, Celisa talks with George about connectivism—the theoretical framework he developed for understanding learning in a digital age. They also discuss the strengths and limitations of MOOCs as well as the potential positive and negative impacts of learning analytics with practical insight on how to begin using them in your organization.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode238

May 5, 2020

Trying to figure out how to effectively price educational offerings is something many learning businesses struggle with, even under normal circumstances. But now that we are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic—putting us in far from normal circumstances—it makes decisions related to pricing even that much more complex.

From how to price conferences or seminars that have been abruptly shifted from face-to-face to online delivery, to whether your organization should lower prices given the existing challenges people are facing, there are naturally a lot of questions related to pricing.

That’s why in this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast we’re offering insight and resources to address questions related to pricing educational products during the pandemic. We discuss key questions learning businesses need to ask themselves and consider, the various alternatives for pricing, and how to ensure sustainability, regardless of your approach.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode237

Apr 28, 2020

The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) is an organization that serves more than 200,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. With a history deeply rooted in learning and education, ASHA is a leader among professional societies in the learning business and at the forefront of embracing new approaches to learning.

And leading the charge behind all of this since 2004 is ASHA CEO, Arlene Pietranton. With 25 years at the association, she’s nationally recognized for her exceptional leadership and commitment to voluntary membership organizations.

 In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, Jeff talks with Arlene, first and foremost, about their response to the COVID-19 crisis and how they’ve been able to adapt to meet both staff and member needs. They also discuss ASHA’s historical vision for learning, why they are now heavily focused on the future of learning, and the critical role of associations in supporting adult lifelong learning.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode236

Apr 21, 2020

As a management consultant, executive coach, and facilitator, Liz Kislik has three decades of experience helping organizations break through barriers to develop high performing leaders and workforces. She is also a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review and Forbes, as well as a TEDx speaker on Why There’s So Much Conflict at Work and What You Can Do to Fix It.

In this episode of Leading Learning – recorded in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis – Celisa talks with Liz about the idea of conflict—good and bad conflict and how to encourage the good while limiting the bad. They also discuss ways to improve the customer (or learner) experience and learner engagement, what to consider when selling and marketing in times of crisis, and suggestions for reducing stress through self-care.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode235

Apr 14, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting life as we know it, including how we learn. Limits to travel and social distancing have created a resurgence of interest in online learning, and many organizations are rushing to launch or expand their e-learning efforts.

But—and this “but” is critical—learner expectations are higher than in the past. Also, competition from direct competitors has increased as well as competition for people’s time and attention, especially as many are working and learning from home.

And it’s important for learning businesses to take some time to think about what this moment—the pandemic, social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and so on—might mean for the future of online learning.  That’s why in this episode of the Leading Learning podcast, we reflect on the situation to discuss implications of the current moment for the future of online learning, including the related benefits, challenges, and opportunities.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode234

Apr 7, 2020

Robbie Kellman Baxter, founder of Peninsula Strategies, is a strategy and marketing expert with more than two decades of experience and an extensive list of blue chip clients. She is also a sought after keynote speaker and author of the bestselling book, The Membership Economy (which we interviewed her about in a previous podcast episode), as well as the recently released, The Forever Transaction: How to Build a Subscription Model So Compelling, Your Customers Will Never Want to Leave.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, Robbie is back to discuss what has changed since her last book related to the membership economy and key concepts behind her new book related to building forever transactions. She and Jeff explore ideas related to launching, scaling, and leading a membership-oriented business over time, as well as her thoughts on pricing and the powerful relationship between community and subscription.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode233

Mar 31, 2020

Jim Fong, chief research officer at the University Professional and Continuing Education Association and founding director of UPCEA’s Center for Research and Strategy, has combined his extensive expertise in the areas of marketing, research, and analytics to focus on making an impact in higher education. The self-professed trend watcher also has a particular interest in exploring generational differences and how they are impacting education and the new economy.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, Celisa talks with Jim about the value of looking at these generational differences, the idea that newer generations find it "creepy" when asked too much information too soon, and what you can do to lower your level of "creepiness" with prospects. They also discuss what Jim sees on the horizon for learning including a growing need for higher ed institutions to unbundle the traditional degree to offer alternative credentials.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode232

We are grateful to our sponsor for this quarter, Web Courseworks:

**

Web Courseworks is a leading learning technologies and consulting company that is forging a path of innovation in the eLearning industry. The company’s experiences and expertise guide its partners to become the leading providers of education in their fields.

Web Courseworks channels organization learning efforts to deliver on the promise of revolutionary performance improvement.

CourseStage, the learning management system (LMS) from Web Courseworks, is built for organizations and professional development initiatives. It enables organizations to customize learning experiences, track users’ success, and make data-driven decisions. CourseStage LMS is designed specifically to handle continuing education and professional development activities for organizations who want to grow their learning business.

Mar 24, 2020

Social learning. It’s a topic that most of us have been hearing about for well over a decade at this point. But it has recently been making a resurgence in the learning landscape, only this time, it’s for different reasons.  

With the growing emphasis on learning in the flow of work as well as new and emerging technologies, social learning has been steadily gaining traction again as a rising trend. But with what is now happening with COVID-19, the focus on it is likely to intensify dramatically as we look for ways to adapt to a (previously unimaginable) new era of social interaction.

In this episode of Leading Learning, we further discuss the reasons social learning is particularly relevant right now and offer our definition of it, including its four dimensions. We also share four simple steps to help your learning business design for it.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode231

We are grateful to our sponsor for this quarter, Web Courseworks:

**

Web Courseworks is a leading learning technologies and consulting company that is forging a path of innovation in the eLearning industry. The company’s experiences and expertise guide its partners to become the leading providers of education in their fields.

Web Courseworks channels organization learning efforts to deliver on the promise of revolutionary performance improvement.

CourseStage, the learning management system (LMS) from Web Courseworks, is built for organizations and professional development initiatives. It enables organizations to customize learning experiences, track users’ success, and make data-driven decisions. CourseStage LMS is designed specifically to handle continuing education and professional development activities for organizations who want to grow their learning business.

Mar 17, 2020

Design thinking is a human-centered, flexible approach to solving big problems. And Carol Hamilton, principal and founder of Grace Social Sector Consulting, uses her background in organization development combined with her expertise in design thinking, to help nonprofits and associations solve those big problems to become more strategic, effective, and innovative.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, Celisa talks with Carol about the topic of design thinking, including what it is and how it can be used in the context of a learning business (drawing on Jeanne Liedtka’s four-question formulation: what is, what if, what wows, and what works).

They also discuss areas adjacent to design thinking, such as journey mapping and innovation, as well as what could be considered the opposite of design thinking—the sunsetting of products and services.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode230

We are grateful to our sponsor for this quarter, Web Courseworks:

**

Web Courseworks is a leading learning technologies and consulting company that is forging a path of innovation in the eLearning industry. The company’s experiences and expertise guide its partners to become the leading providers of education in their fields.

Web Courseworks channels organization learning efforts to deliver on the promise of revolutionary performance improvement.

CourseStage, the learning management system (LMS) from Web Courseworks, is built for organizations and professional development initiatives. It enables organizations to customize learning experiences, track users’ success, and make data-driven decisions. CourseStage LMS is designed specifically to handle continuing education and professional development activities for organizations who want to grow their learning business.

Mar 10, 2020

Which learning trends are going to have the most impact on your learning business, and how do you know if they are here to stay? Being able to track how each of these trends actually evolve over time, while separating their related hype from true potential value, can provide answers to these often difficult questions.

This is why Web Courseworks, in an effort led by Andy Hicken, Vice President of Technology Solutions, now publishes an annual eLearning Hype Curve (based on the Gartner Hype Cycle theory) to create a visualization of what’s “trending” in eLearning. By analyzing data from over 60 influencers on Twitter, they have been able to gain valuable insights related to how learning technologies are likely to evolve this year, and in the future.Web Courseworks Logo

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, Jeff talks with Andy about the Hype Cycle model including its various stages, how they’ve adapted it to create their eLearning Hype Curve, and the specific predictions that have emerged for 2020.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode229

We are grateful to our sponsor for this quarter, Web Courseworks:

**

Web Courseworks is a leading learning technologies and consulting company that is forging a path of innovation in the eLearning industry. The company’s experiences and expertise guide its partners to become the leading providers of education in their fields.

Web Courseworks channels organization learning efforts to deliver on the promise of revolutionary performance improvement.

CourseStage, the learning management system (LMS) from Web Courseworks, is built for organizations and professional development initiatives. It enables organizations to customize learning experiences, track users’ success, and make data-driven decisions. CourseStage LMS is designed specifically to handle continuing education and professional development activities for organizations who want to grow their learning business.

Mar 3, 2020

Virtual conferences are something we’ve been deeply immersed in for years—both because we’ve done a lot of research and writing about them, such as with  The Virtual Events Report—and also because we’ve been practitioners of them with our annual Learning • Technology • DesignTM (LTD) virtual conference, which we recently wrapped up for 2020.

In this episode, we discuss the many compelling reasons of why more learning businesses need to seriously consider making virtual events a serious part of their portfolio of offerings including their related benefits for both organizations and learners.

Full show notes available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode228.

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