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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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Leading Learning Podcast
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Now displaying: 2024
Jun 11, 2024

For learning businesses that want to thrive in the evolving lifelong learning market, identifying metatrends and unpacking what they might mean in terms of risks and opportunities is crucial.

In episode 413 of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele offer ten metatrends they see when looking at how lifelong learning is shifting to keep pace with change.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode413.

Jun 4, 2024

What does a world that learns better look like? It’s an intriguing question for learning businesses to consider because learning businesses have an opportunity and a responsibility to build a world that learns better, and it’s that question that Leading Learning Podcast co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele explore in episode 412.

The question has a philosophical bent, but trying to answer it can have very practical implications for learning businesses in what they choose to do operationally and offer in their portfolios. It’s the kind of question that can move you beyond the usual approaches and constraints and free you to imagine and envision different possibilities.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode412.

May 28, 2024

We’ve reached a point in history where it’s essentially a given that learning products will make use of technology to deliver, support, or deepen learning.

Geoff Stead has dedicated his career to building learning tools that sit in what he calls the messy middle between the power of new technologies and real human learning needs. He’s currently chief product officer at MyTutor, and he’s co-author of Engines of Engagement: A Curious Book About Generative AI.

In this episode, number 411, Leading Learning Podcast co-host Celisa Steele talks with Geoff about the changes he’s seen in how technology supports learning. The discussion encompasses mobile learning, the seismic shift that is generative AI, just-in-time learning, his optimistic view of the future of learning, the potency of low ego and high curiosity in collaborations, how he thinks about innovation, and common barriers to and accelerators of innovation.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode411.

May 21, 2024

Capacity deals with the people and the technology a learning business has in place, and capacity has a quantitative and a qualitative aspect. How well can the people and the technology do the work, and how much can the people and the technology do?

Artificial intelligence has the potential to change both the quality and the quantity of work that a learning business does, and so, in this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, number 410, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele focus on barriers to the adoption of AI and the potential accelerators.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode410.

May 14, 2024

There are many ways to look at data. Two views that can be clarifying for learning businesses are the performance view and the potential view. You can use data to understand how you’re doing currently. How is your learning business performing? You can and should also use data to understand possibilities. How could you be doing? What products and services might you add or sunset or change?

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, number 409, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele discuss using data in decision-making.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://leadinglearning.com/episode409.

May 7, 2024

Effective marketing is integral to a learning business’s success. But doing marketing well requires care and thought.

In this episode, number 408, Leading Learning Podcast co-host Celisa Steele talks with Michelle Brien, vice president of marketing at Matchbox, who approaches her work with care and thought and authenticity.

Celisa and Michelle talk about how Michelle defines marketing, the central role value plays in marketing, the rise of digital and content marketing, the potential for generative AI in marketing, and the fundamental importance of understanding your audience.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode408.

Apr 30, 2024

The third sector of education can be difficult for learners to navigate, and pathways can help learners. Having guides along the pathways can help even more.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, number 407, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele draw on a recent guided trekking experience to offer six takeaways about the value of guides that learning businesses might apply as they work to better serve their learners.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode407.

Apr 23, 2024

In the Tagoras Learning Business Maturity Model, strategy is one of the five fundamental domains learning businesses need to work on and in to mature and be successful.

To help with your essential strategy work, in this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, number 406, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele talk about “Part Two: How to Realize Nondisruptive Creation” of Beyond Disruption: Innovate and Achieve Growth Without Displacing Industries, Companies, or Jobs by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode406.

Apr 16, 2024

We often hear learning businesses say they want to better engage their learners. But what is engagement, and how does it work?

In this episode, Leading Learning Podcast co-host Jeff Cobb digs into those questions with Clark Quinn, executive director of Quinnovation and author of Make It Meaningful: Taking Learning Design from Instructional to Transformational.

Jeff and Clark talk about engagement and motivation; learners’ cognitive, affective, and conative involvement; and how the cognitive aspect gets more than its fair share of emphasis. They also talk about the role of emotion in learning, about practice and feedback, and about how the ability to make better decisions is ultimately the desired outcome of most learning experiences.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode405.

Apr 9, 2024

Strategy is one of the five fundamental domains in the Learning Business Maturity Model. And most learning business leaders know that strategy is important. But truly understanding strategy and formulating intelligent strategy? That’s trickier.

To help with that understanding and formulation, in this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, number 404, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele offer an audio book report on Beyond Disruption: Innovate and Achieve Growth Without Displacing Industries, Companies, or Jobs by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne of blue ocean fame.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode404.

Apr 2, 2024

You can think of this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast as an origin story. Co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele talk about the relationship between Leading Learning and Tagoras, about what Tagoras is and does, and about the start of Leading Learning. Along the way they touch on the kinds of things that learning businesses need to be able to do, whether through the skills and knowledge of their internal team or by looking for outside support.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode403.

Mar 26, 2024

If anything, we should all be able to agree that generative artificial intelligence is a curious thing, worthy of reflection and exploration.

Julian Stodd is a researcher, an artist, an explorer, a writer, and captain and founder of Sea Salt Learning, which helps organizations set strategy and change direction. He is also a firm believer in working out loud and a previous Leading Learning Podcast guest.

In this episode, co-host Celisa Steele talks with Julian about ideas from Engines of Engagement: A Curious Book About Generative AI, which he co-wrote with Sae Schatz and Geoff Stead. Julian’s perspective on AI is both technical and philosophical, specific and expansive, and, of course, curious.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode402.

Mar 19, 2024

Many skills are needed to create and sustain a successful learning business: financial know-how, marketing acumen, instructional design, to name just a few. But one area that often isn’t invested in—or invested in adequately—is business development.

Leading Learning Podcast co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele discuss what a business development professional should be able to do for your learning business and how having a skilled professional leading business development means the chance to improve your reach, revenue, and impact.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode401.

Mar 12, 2024

We’re at an important point in time for lifelong learning. Much is shifting and unsettled in how humans live and work. That unsettledness means opportunity if your learning business is willing to grapple with the uncertainty and shape a vision for its role in the lifelong learning market.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele look at the current lifelong learning landscape, near-future trends, and the implications—and opportunities—for learning businesses.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode400.

Mar 5, 2024

To realize their fundamental mission of developing and delivering learning products and services, learning businesses need revenue. Along with direct-to-learner fees for enrollments and registrations, sponsorship dollars are often a key part of that revenue equation.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-host Jeff Cobb talks with Bruce Rosenthal. Bruce helps organizations create sponsorships and partnerships that increase revenue and value for all stakeholders.

Jeff and Bruce talk about sponsorship versus partnership; the importance of thinking of “partner” as both noun and verb; why logos, visibility, and recognition are no longer a compelling value proposition; the growing emphasis on ROI and other trends in sponsorship; and COVID’s longtail impact on how sponsors engage.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode399.

Feb 27, 2024

Learning businesses care about creating effective learning. Doing so is at the heart of why learning businesses exist. But what happens when effective learning practices clash with what learners want or what they believe is effective?

That clash is precisely what Leading Learning Podcast co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele explore in this episode, which looks at desirable difficulties and the specific difficulty desirable difficulties pose for learning businesses.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode398.

Feb 20, 2024

Learning, education, and professional development are not the same. Similar, yes, interrelated even, but fundamentally and importantly different. If learning businesses take the parochial view of learning as merely education, they unnecessarily limit their impact and their possibilities.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele explore the strategic importance of recognizing the differences between learning, education, and professional development. Learning encompasses informal experiences in addition to formal education and professional development, making it the broadest, more encompassing term.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode397.

Feb 14, 2024

Everybody loves a good story. It’s what draws us to good books, good movies, good podcasts. And we know that good stories can draw prospective learners to us and the learning experiences we offer. But telling a good story is harder than it looks, particularly in the realm of business, where often too much emphasis is put on numbers, data, and building a case rather than appealing to emotions, human connection, familiar patterns, and satisfying hooks. If you listen to this episode, you’ll get a mini class in how to tell a good story for your learning business.

Park Howell is the founder of the Business of Story. Park comes from the marketing world, where he ran his own advertising agency for 20 years. One of his big a-has is the and-but-therefore (ABT) agile narrative framework. Leading Learning Podcast co-host Celisa Steele talks with Park about the power of storytelling, its connection to how the human brain works, and how the ABT framework works at a conceptual and a practical level.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode396.

Feb 6, 2024

Digital credentials aren’t as valuable on their own as they are in an ecosystem that uses open standards to connect learners and employers and where relevant data about skills achieved, pathways to new roles, and the needs of the job market intersect.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa talk about standards-based digital credentials being at tipping point and the need for learning businesses to adopt them in order to adapt to what learners are coming to expect when receiving a credential.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode395.

Jan 30, 2024

Learning businesses rely on the revenue that comes from their educational offerings. That means learning business professionals have to know how to determine the best pricing—the best pricing for attracting and converting prospective customers, the best pricing for maintaining and maximizing revenue levels, and the best pricing for achieving strategic goals.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele touch on three principles of pricing that can help: Prices prime perception, prices drive profit, and pricing is strategic.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode394.

Jan 23, 2024

With the release of ChatGPT in November 2022, artificial intelligence broke into the mainstream and became a more practical rather than theoretical topic than ever before. AI has the potential to lighten the existing load and to enable new activities for learning businesses, particularly in the realms of marketing and personalization.

Erica Salm Rench is the chief operating officer at rasa.io, which uses AI to send personalized newsletters to every recipient on an e-mail list. Before joining rasa, Erica worked in digital media and advertising at an agency, leading a team of content marketers, SEO specialists, Web developers, and online advertisers. She also worked at Tulane University in undergraduate admissions. Erica is passionate about designing effective marketing strategies, and she’s an avid student of AI.

In episode 393 of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-host Celisa Steele talks with Erica about the state of artificial intelligence, what’s on the horizon for AI, e-mail marketing, personalization, the importance of data, and the interaction and interplay of humans and AI to get work done well.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode393.

Jan 16, 2024

Just as taking time to look back and reflect is a good practice, so too is taking time to look ahead and plan.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele share survey data about what learning businesses plan to focus on in 2024. You can use the data for quick benchmarking and to help you get clearer about your learning business’s priorities for the year ahead.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode392.

Jan 9, 2024

Reflection is a good practice, in life and in learning, especially for those working in and for learning businesses. But it’s all too easy to skip because taking time to reflect often isn’t as pressing and urgent as other things on the to-do list.

In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-hosts Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele act as avatars and model doing the behavior they encourage others to engage in periodically as they reflect back on 2023.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode391.

Jan 2, 2024

Strategy and collaboration in open, loosely connected, complex networks require a different approach than the top-down planning that has long dominated organizational strategy-setting.

In this redux episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, co-host Celisa Steele talks with Ed Morrison, who pioneered Strategic Doing, an approach to strategy and collaboration in open, loosely connected, complex networks, and who co-authored Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership. Celisa and Ed talk about what Strategic Doing is, some of the practical skills needed to do it well, and how learning businesses might apply it.

Show notes and a downloadable transcript are available at https://www.leadinglearning.com/episode390.

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