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Leading Learning Podcast

The Leading Learning Podcast is the show for people in the business of adult continuing education, professional development, and lifelong learning.
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Now displaying: 2023
Dec 26, 2023

Giving and receiving feedback is harder than most people think. Learning business professionals need to take the time to study the art and science of feedback because of the critical role feedback plays in learning.

In this redux episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele discuss how to give and receive feedback effectively, common misconceptions about feedback, and the tremendous impact feedback can have on learning.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode389.

Dec 19, 2023

Trust is fundamental in marketing. Without trustworthy marketing, products and services, no matter how excellent, will languish because today, by default, audiences doubt what marketers say. What this means is learning businesses need to do the work to collect and use evidence to back up their marketing claims.

In episode 388 of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-host Jeff Cobb talks with Melanie Deziel about exactly how to do that. Melanie is co-author of Prove It: Exactly How Modern Marketers Earn Trust.

Drawing on an elegant and simplifying framework from Prove It, Melanie and Jeff discuss five types of claims businesses often make—claims about convenience, comparability, commitment, connection, and competence—and three types of evidence that can back up those claims—corroboration, demonstration, and education.

The conversation is both thought-provoking and highly practical. If you’re looking to make sure your learners see you as a trustworthy source of content—and you should be looking to do that—then this episode is for you.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode388.

Dec 12, 2023

Marketing has arguably undergone more change in the last decade than any other field, which means learning businesses have to stay on top of their marketing game to make sure they reach the right learners and bring in the critical revenue that keeps them humming along.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, number 387, co-host Celisa Steele talks with Greg Stuart. Having spent over three decades in the field, Greg has contributed majorly to the transformation of marketing and media. He has served as CMO, CRO, or CEO at companies across the media landscape, and he currently is CEO of MMA Global, an international trade association for marketers focused on architecting the future of marketing. Greg also co-wrote the hugely influential book What Sticks: Why Most Advertising Fails and How to Guarantee Yours Succeeds.

Celisa and Greg talk about the shift from brand-based marketing to a focus on customer experience, the lack of clarity about what marketers do and the difficulty that creates in setting a strategy, the only three go-to-market strategies, multi-touch attribution, optimizing budget allocation, personalization, and the potential impact of generative AI on marketing.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode387.

Dec 5, 2023

What is capacity? The dictionary defines capacity as “the facility or power to produce, perform, or deploy.” But we dig deeper to look at what capacity means for learning businesses.

We explore three key facets of capacity (people, technology, and processes), look at capacity both as an assessment of current reality and a way to think about an ideal future state, and touch on how capacity plays out at three levels (individual, organization, and community).

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode386.

Nov 28, 2023

You’ve heard it said that culture eats strategy for lunch, and getting culture right is arguably even more important for learning businesses than for other types of organizations because the creation of a culture that truly embraces learning is so integrally tied to both what a learning business does internally and what it offers externally. This means learning business leaders need to give time and energy to fostering an awakened culture.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, number 385, co-host Jeff Cobb talks with Catherine Bell. Catherine is the founder and author of The Awakened Company, and she’s passionate about being of service to humanity and the planet. Catherine believes that, if we’re going to solve the problems that we face, we have to organize differently, and healthy culture will allow us to do that.

Catherine and Jeff talk about organizational culture, thriving relationships, viewing everyone as a leader, hiring and retention, the impact of events like the rise of generative AI and COVID on culture, the four I’s of transformational leadership, and more.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode385.

Nov 21, 2023

On average, we make 35,000 decisions a day. The sheer quantity means a process for making effective, successful decisions is a foundational aspect of leadership. But decision-making isn't often taught in school or on the job.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, number 384, co-host Celisa Steele talks with Jack Flaherty, author of The Decision Switch: 7 Principles of Successful Decision-Making, about his decision-making framework, decision-making as a process (not an event), the importance of self-reflection in getting better at decision-making, the role of empathy in decision-making, and the benefits of incorporating an effective decision-making process into an organization's culture.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode384.

Nov 14, 2023

Learning styles are a pernicious myth, but learner preferences are a reality that learning businesses disregard at their own risk. Learning businesses need to balance using effective learning strategies and approaches with giving learners want they want.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode383.

Nov 7, 2023

Learning businesses that look for results strive to change behavior. They want to develop and deliver learning experiences that support learners in doing something new or doing something better. But designing for behavior change requires a specific focus and understanding of how learning works. Luckily, Leading Learning Podcast co-host Jeff Cobb gets to talk with an expert in designing learning for behavior change in this episode, number 382.

Julie Dirksen is a learning strategist who has spent much of her career helping people with domain expertise understand and apply core principles of instructional design so they can deliver better learning. Julie is the author of Design for How People Learn and, more recently, Talk to the Elephant: Design Learning for Behavior Change. Julie and Jeff talk about behavioral science, brain evolution, interrupting automatic patterns, conscious and automatic motivation, implementation intentions, and more.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode382.

Oct 31, 2023

This episode will take 30+ minutes to listen to—or less if you like to speed up the audio. But, however long it takes you to get through the episode, we hope you’ll take away at least three things you can use in your learning business. Find a sheet of paper or open a note-taking app, and write down the numbers 1, 2, and 3. As you listen to this conversation with Dr. Brian McGowan, fill in a takeaway beside each number.

Brian has studied clinician learning for the last 20 years, and, for the last 14, he has specifically focused on the intersection of behavioral science and learning science. Brian and Leading Learning Podcast co-host Celisa Steele talk about what Malcolm Knowles got wrong about adult learners, practical ways to work with less than perfect learners and less than perfect learning designers, working out loud, what the long-term impact of COVID might be on learning, the uses of generative AI to support learning businesses, podcasting as an efficient way to share research and ideas, and more.

As you listen, remember to go back to your sheet of paper or app and take note of at least three takeaways.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode381.

Oct 24, 2023

The average learning business does a lot. Add what a learning business could or should do to what it already does, and the list of possibilities is overwhelming. This episode of the Leading Learning Podcast focuses on four often-overlooked areas where we think investing more time and energy will pay off for learning businesses: supporting subject matter experts, providing practice opportunities, evaluating impact, and telling a coherent value story.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode380.

Oct 17, 2023

Developing effective learning products should be a central goal of all learning businesses, and one way to gauge effectiveness and then refine learning products is with learner surveys. In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-host Jeff Cobb talks with a true expert in the domains of learner surveys and learning effectiveness: Dr. Will Thalheimer. Will is a consultant, speaker, researcher, and author of Performance-Focused Learner Surveys: Using Distinctive Questioning to Get Actionable Data and Guide Learning Effectiveness.

Jeff and Will talk about four pillars of training effectiveness, learner surveys and smile sheets, Will’s Learning Transfer Evaluation Model (LTEM), distinctive questioning for evaluations, the role of evaluation in making learning products more effective, ways to get more learners to respond to surveys, and the important role of translating research into practical recommendations.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode379.

Oct 10, 2023

Learning businesses should base their design choices on evidence-based practices. But keeping up with the latest research takes time and energy that many learning business professionals simply don’t have. Luckily, people like Jane Bozarth exist to help bridge the gap between academic research and the implications for the design and delivery of learning experiences.

Jane Bozarth has spent many years as a trainer, a facilitator, and an e-learning designer, and she currently serves as the director of research at the Learning Guild, where she puts out monthly reports.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, Jane talks with co-host Celisa Steele about learning styles and other myths, evidence-based alternatives to popular misconceptions, the growth mindset and whether learning businesses can help alter learners’ perceptions, and what artificial intelligence does well and where it falls short.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode378.

Oct 3, 2023

Practice is a powerful tool for learning, and, when you stop to look at what you do on a daily or weekly basis, you’ll see how common and natural practice is in so many realms. But too often learning businesses don’t incorporate practice into their portfolio of offerings.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, we focus on practice, but, rather than take a learning science-backed view, we take a look at a specific, real-world example of practice. Co-host Celisa Steele interviews co-host Jeff Cobb about a practice project he's working on.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode377.

Sep 26, 2023

Soft skills training is a different beast than technical training, and Manny Avramidis, president and CEO of the American Management Association, knows this well. AMA provides management development and educational services to individuals and organizations in over 100 countries, with a primary focus on soft skills.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, Manny talks with co-host Jeff Cobb about how the market for professional development and education has changed and matured during his quarter century working at AMA, how AMA places emphasis on the application of the skills and knowledge it teaches, and how it can say that a very impressive 98 percent of people who have taken AMA training confirm that they apply what they've learned.

Manny also touches on his belief that a leader's success should be measured by the intelligence of their team, the value of leveraging partnerships, and why AMA and Tagoras (the parent company of Leading Learning) formed a partnership to allow membership organizations to get their learners access to AMAs library of 70 plus e-learning modules. For leaders of learning businesses and aspiring leaders, there's lots to glean from this conversation.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode376.

Sep 19, 2023

Social learning is a fundamental, age-old method of learning. But it got somewhat lost in the broader adoption of digital learning, especially self-paced e-learning, that happened in the last 20 years, and social learning suffered again during COVID. But, done right, social learning is a highly effective and efficient way to learn.

Our guest in this episode is Nellie Wartoft, founder and CEO of Tigerhall, a social learning platform that’s trying to change how professionals learn from one another in the real world. Nellie talks with Leading Learning Podcast co-host Jeff Cobb about what’s wrong with the current approach to education and how social learning can help, five key aspects of social learning, how to tackle measuring the effectiveness of social learning, and how artificial intelligence can be used to support social learning.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode375.

Sep 12, 2023

The Leading Learning Podcast is just one part of what we do at Leading Learning. In this episode, we reintroduce Leading Learning and the range of resources, education, and insights Learning Learning provides to learning business professionals.

In brief, Leading Learning provides resources, education, and insights to learning business professionals, and we provide those resources, education, and insights via several avenues, of which the Leading Learning Podcast is just one.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode374.

Sep 5, 2023

On the Leading Learning Podcast, sometimes we get to talk with someone whose thinking and research have deeply influenced our work and lives. Such is the case with Ellen J. Langer, AKA the mother of mindfulness.

Dr. Langer was the first woman to be tenured in psychology at Harvard, where she is still professor of psychology. The recipient of three Distinguished Scientists awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Liberty Science Genius Award, Dr. Langer wrote the international bestseller Mindfulness, as well as The Power of Mindful Learning, Counterclockwise, On Becoming an Artist, and, most recently, The Mindful Body.

In this episode, co-host Celisa Steele talks with return guest Dr. Langer about what mindfulness is (hint—it’s not meditation), the ubiquity of uncertainty, mind-body unity, and attention to variability. They also discuss mindful contagion and how our perception (of time, of ability) changes what we’re capable of. 

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode373.

Aug 29, 2023

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are important goals for any business, including learning businesses. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, DEI gained ground, but many initiatives, unfortunately, have faltered or been cut completely in the years since.

Our guest in this episode is Miranda McKie, founder and CEO of McKie Consultants, a strategic consulting firm focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion and inclusive product design. Miranda believes in the need for evidence-based, long-term-goal-oriented DEI initiatives.

She talks with Leading Learning Podcast co-host Jeff Cobb about the role of data in DEI, how some familiarity with data analytics is increasingly becoming a prerequisite for many jobs, and why we need to think about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the same way we approach climate change.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode372.

We are grateful to our sponsor for this episode, WBT Systems.

***

TopClass LMS provides the tools for you to become the preferred provider in your market, delivering value to learners at every stage of their working life. WBT Systems’ award-winning learning system enables delivery of impactful continuing education, professional development, and certification programs.

The TopClass LMS team supports learning businesses in using integrated learning technology to gain greater understanding of learners’ needs and behaviors, to enhance engagement, to aid recruitment and retention, and to create and grow non-dues revenue streams.

WBT Systems will work with you to truly understand your preferences, needs, and challenges to ensure that your experience with TopClass LMS is as easy and problem-free as possible. Visit leadinglearning.com/topclass to learn how to generate value and growth for your learning business and to request a demo.

TopClass LMS by WBT Systems logo

Aug 22, 2023

Business models are a key part of the strategy of any business. But, in our experience, learning businesses often take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to business models.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, we make the argument for why you should regularly revisit your business model. We also discuss the four key facets that are part of any business model: those are who you charge, what you charge for, how much you charge, and who you share costs or profits with.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode371.

We are grateful to our sponsor for this episode, WBT Systems.

***

TopClass LMS provides the tools for you to become the preferred provider in your market, delivering value to learners at every stage of their working life. WBT Systems’ award-winning learning system enables delivery of impactful continuing education, professional development, and certification programs.

The TopClass LMS team supports learning businesses in using integrated learning technology to gain greater understanding of learners’ needs and behaviors, to enhance engagement, to aid recruitment and retention, and to create and grow non-dues revenue streams.

WBT Systems will work with you to truly understand your preferences, needs, and challenges to ensure that your experience with TopClass LMS is as easy and problem-free as possible. Visit leadinglearning.com/topclass to learn how to generate value and growth for your learning business and to request a demo.

TopClass LMS by WBT Systems logo

Aug 15, 2023

There are three goals at the heart of almost all learning businesses: reach, revenue, and impact. Generating revenue is essential in helping learning businesses reach the right audience and make an impact.

In this episode, co-host Celisa Steele delves into the topic of revenue with Brent Keltner. Brent began his career as a PhD social scientist and spent 10 years conducting qualitative research interviews at Stanford University and the RAND Corporation. He’s now president of Winaltyics, a go-to-market and sales acceleration consultancy, and author of The Revenue Acceleration Playbook

Brent and Celisa delve into what it means to design an authentic buyer journey, the importance of aligning and organizing content around value, personalizing buyer value, capturing the customer voice, and how to get effective social proof and testimonials, all with the ultimate goal of accelerating revenue for your learning business.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode370.

We are grateful to our sponsor for this episode, WBT Systems.

***

TopClass LMS provides the tools for you to become the preferred provider in your market, delivering value to learners at every stage of their working life. WBT Systems’ award-winning learning system enables delivery of impactful continuing education, professional development, and certification programs.

The TopClass LMS team supports learning businesses in using integrated learning technology to gain greater understanding of learners’ needs and behaviors, to enhance engagement, to aid recruitment and retention, and to create and grow non-dues revenue streams.

WBT Systems will work with you to truly understand your preferences, needs, and challenges to ensure that your experience with TopClass LMS is as easy and problem-free as possible. Visit leadinglearning.com/topclass to learn how to generate value and growth for your learning business and to request a demo.

TopClass LMS by WBT Systems logo

Aug 8, 2023

Learning ecosystems, learning engineering, learning in the flow of life and work—these could be a list of top buzzwords. But each has gained attention for a reason. Each is important in the design and delivery of effective lifelong learning, continuing education, and professional development, and each gets its due in this episode, which features a conversation with Sae Schatz.

Sae formerly served as director of the U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, and she was there when she first came on the Leading Learning Podcast. Though she no longer directs ADL, she continues to work at the intersection of human cognition and learning, technology, and data and is founder and CEO of the Knowledge Forge, which helps advance organizations through human performance and learning.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-host Celisa Steele and return guest Sae Schatz talk about learning in the flow of life and work, with Sae sharing insights from her work in Ukraine. Sae also shares her vision of how learning experience design, learning ecosystems, and learning engineering fit together to help organizations create and deliver effective products. Along the way, they touch on data analytics, competency-based learning, verifiable credentials, distributed identities, integration, privacy, artificial intelligence, and more.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode369.

We are grateful to our sponsor for this episode, WBT Systems.

***

TopClass LMS provides the tools for you to become the preferred provider in your market, delivering value to learners at every stage of their working life. WBT Systems’ award-winning learning system enables delivery of impactful continuing education, professional development, and certification programs.

The TopClass LMS team supports learning businesses in using integrated learning technology to gain greater understanding of learners’ needs and behaviors, to enhance engagement, to aid recruitment and retention, and to create and grow non-dues revenue streams.

WBT Systems will work with you to truly understand your preferences, needs, and challenges to ensure that your experience with TopClass LMS is as easy and problem-free as possible. Visit leadinglearning.com/topclass to learn how to generate value and growth for your learning business and to request a demo.

TopClass LMS by WBT Systems logo

Aug 1, 2023

Innovation is crucial to the continued success of any organization, and that’s arguably truer for learning businesses than it is for many other types of organizations because of their focus on external learners and the field, industry, or profession those learners serve.

In this episode, we unpack that assertion while also breaking innovation down. Innovation isn’t monolithic and uniform. Rather innovation is variable and nuanced, and that’s what we want look at, with an eye specifically to external innovation in the context of learning businesses.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode368.

Jul 25, 2023

Managing content well and communicating effectively with audiences are two key competencies needed by a learning business that wants to thrive, and taxonomies and metadata can play an important role in both.

Stephanie Lemieux is an information management consultant specializing in taxonomies and metadata. Educated as a librarian, Stephanie is now president and principal consultant at Dovecot Studio, which helps organizations optimize the way they structure and manage their mission-critical content.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-host Jeff Cobb talks with Stephanie about what taxonomies are and the negotiation that has to take place between an organization and its audience to create an effective taxonomy. They also discuss the role of taxonomy in search, findability, integration, analytics, and personalization, and they talk about how content has gotten more targeted and more granular in Stephanie’s years of work. They also touch on artificial intelligence and how AI and machine learning can both benefit from and contribute to tagging and taxonomies.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode367.

Jul 18, 2023

Empathy is essential to both learner-centered design and effective leadership, and empathy with doubly disadvantaged individuals, like Black women, can be that much more important—and rare.

L. Michelle Smith is a certified executive and personal coach whose work is informed by positive psychology and neuroscience. She’s the author of three books, including Yes Please! 7 Ways to Say I’m Entitled to the C-Suite. L. Michelle’s specialty is moving women and women of color to the C suite and E suite. She focuses on both professional and personal success, working with women so they can lead organizations they love while also living the lives they want.

In this episode, co-host Celisa Steele and L. Michelle Smith talk about the difficulty women of color and women in general face in the workplace because of microaggressive behaviors and gender biases. They also touch on intrinsic motivation, positive emotions like gratitude and amusement, demographic changes to the workforce, the importance of sponsorship and mentorship, and the role of empathy both when leading and when designing learning.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode366.

Jul 11, 2023

Travel can serve as a field laboratory for learning. Whether a trip is short or long, near or far, done alone or with others, travel offers an opportunity to learn.

In this episode, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele discuss the pre, during, and post phases that make up both travel and learning experiences; feelings of belonging and othering that can arise; and the value of learning business professionals reflecting on their own experiences to help them design better and more empathetically for others.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode365.

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