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December, 1998 
 
Welcome to the premiere issue of The Human Equation Online NewsBriefs!  On the T&D/OD beat this month, our editors browsed nearly 50 sites to round up a baker's dozen of the latest articles, papers, resources and downloadable tools on the worldwide Web. 

The independently-written capsule summaries below are designed to give you the information to decide which articles you need to read now, and which ones might be helpful later.  To the right of each NewsBrief summary is a table of check boxes, which provides a key to the professional levels most likely to benefit from reading the full article.  These "target audience" levels, which should be taken as general guidelines only, are: 

 
1, Entry level to 2 years experience in Training and Development, primarily in instructor or coordinator role, with or without development responsibilities. 
 
2. 2-3 years experience in T&D, without advanced degree in the field; or entry level to 18 months experience, with advanced degree in T&D or OD. 
 
3.   . At least  3 years experience in T&D or OD, with design, analysis/consulting or management responsibility, without advanced degree in either field; or at least 18 months experience, with advanced degree in T&D or OD. 
 
4. At least 3 years experience in T&D or OD with substantial responsibility for intervention design, analysis/consulting or management, with advanced degree or equivalent in T&D or OD. 
 
5. At least 5 years experience in senior T&D/OD consulting role, with responsibility for design, analysis and management of major interventions, and advanced degree or equivalent in T&D or OD.
 
  
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Each NewsBrief summary is hotlinked directly to the full text article (or to a direct download link) on the originating publication's site. Simply click the "Go There" link immediately beneath the summary's checkbox, and the article will be loaded into a new browser window.  To return to Online NewsBriefs, either minimize or close the second window. 

At the top of each NewsBrief summary, you'll find a hotlink to the home page of the originating site or online publication.  When the target audience for a specific article is broader, narrower -- or in some cases -- different than the readership normally addressed by that publication, that information is noted in boldface..  


Several excellent new tools in the TZ's Trainer Development Toolkit are free for the downloading, courtesy of this top-notch UK site.  Check out these downloads from 'Toolkit for Trainers' (2nd edition), Pavilion Publishing, 1999.   
 
     
 
The Role of the Trainer -- an exploration of the trainer's role in running and managing different forms of events. 
Meeting Training Needs -- a categorization of various ways in which training and learning needs can be met - beyond standard training courses.
Assessing Risk Taking --  ideas for assessing the level of risk which training groups are willing to take.
 

Primary Audience Level

1 2 3 4 5
   Go There!  

What's Wrong with Pay for Performance? 

Training's online cover article looks at why pay for performance so often backfires.  Although the slant is more directly applicable to HR professionals than to Training's core readership, this article makes an interesting case for measuring the right things and ensuring adequate performance management training for supervisors. 

The folks at Lakeland Publishing only publish a few of their articles online.  That's too bad because an article in the December print edition of Training , "Maslow for a New Millenium" might have induced a few online readers to subscribe to the print edition.  If Training is delivered to your office in hardcopy,  try to find the time to read this article. 

Primary Audience Level

1 2 3 4 5
 
  Go There! 

    NewsBriefs from APQC  
    The American Productivity and Quality Council   
     
From APQC's Knowledge Management Center  
Steve Denning of World Bank has written a superb white paper on one of today's hottest (and most difficult to pin down) topics. If your organization or client is getting on the KM bandwagon,  What is Knowledge Management?  is a "must read."  It can be downloaded (in .pdf format) from APQC's site.   

Primary Audience Level

1 2 3 4 5
 
 
Go There!
 
 
Customer Value Measurement 
Customer satisfaction measurement examines how a company's customers perceive its product/service quality. Customer value measurement moves the focus from customers' perception to their real-world behavior --  tracking a company's performance vis-a-vis its competitors on the factors that drive customers' purchase decisions.   

APQC has joined forces with Dr. Bradley T. Gale, the author of the seminal text, Managing Customer Value, to conduct a major benchmarking study of "how leading companies meet the challenges of providing value to customers while rising above marketplace competition."  The proposal printed here contains more serious food for thought than you'll find in the results of many studies of similar topics. 

If your organization is concerned about customer retention, be sure to read the content-rich proposal for this study, which will be completed in February of 1999. Customer Value is a core area of concentration here at Major Media Learning Resources, so we're eagerly awaiting the study results.    

Primary Audience Level

1 2 3 4 5
 
 
  Go There!

Tacit Knowledge in Organizations 
This month's lead article from ASTD's flagship publication gives a trendy new label to the issue of identifying and transferring the skills and thought processes that makes top performers so effective, and the question of whether it is even possible to do so.  

Despite the new name (Tacit Knowledge), it's an old quandary and, as this article tacitly implies, one that has yet to be resolved. There's little meat in this article for T&D or OD pro's, while newcomers to either field are unlikely to find much they can translate into action.  Unless "Tacit Knowledge" is your organization's latest buzz-word, or your professor wants a paper on the subject, this is probably an article you can safely skip. 

 

Primary Audience Level

1 2 3 4 5
 
 
  Go There! 

What Makes a Great Tech Trainer? 
What are the most important skills for tech trainers to have now, and what will become more--or less--valuable in training as technologies continue to advance?   Do the ASTD training competencies really relate to the real world of technical training? As the debate goes on,  A Trainer's Guide to Skill Building provides technical trainers and their managers with some answers to these critical questions. 
 

Primary Audience Level

1 2 3 4 5
 
 
  Go There!
How Will The Face of Training Change in the Next 2 Years?  

Although this round-up of views from eight members of Technical Training's Review Board is ostensibly targeted to technical training professionals, the thoughtful opinions expressed are highly relevant to anyone in the larger T&D community.  The wide-ranging perspectives of this group of experts provide a fuller (and more balanced) discussion of the changes we all face than we have seen in other articles on this subject. 

 

Primary Audience Level

1 2 3 4 5
 
 
 Go There!
Where Technology and Training Meet 
Another excellent article that's not just for technical trainers, this provocative piece examines how trainers will be affected by the rapid convergence of training and technology, "from Web-based instruction and distance learning to virtual reality and online peer communities."  Though it may not convince you to "lay down your flip charts," as author Richard Koonce suggests, the points he presents are highly relevant to most training and instructional design professionals. 
 
 Primary Audience Level
 
1 2 3 4 5
 
 
  Go There!

Baldrige Award Winners Announced Two large manufacturers of aircraft and industrial gas turbines and a small manufacturer of identification and information labels were announced as the 1998 Baldrige winners on November 17.  If you missed it, here's the link to the press release. 
 
Go There

Is OD Meant to Be Relevant?  
In this thought provoking (and provocative) essay, Dave Nicoll, Ph.D. (the editor of OD Practitioner) wonders if the traditional field of Organizational Development, with its emphasis on the role of human values and feelings in the workplace, is directly relevant to managers in today's "rational," value-neutral workplace.  His viewpoint turns the question on its ear, as he makes a case for the proposition that perhaps OD isn't meant to directly increase profits and productivity.  

Will  this article be relevant to you? Unless you have a strong background in OD theory and practice, the answer is "probably not."  But if you're an experienced OD consultant, we think it's a must read that's likely to make you question some of your own unconcious assumptions whether or not you agree with the author's conclusions.  In fact, that's probably his intent.  

 

Primary Audience Level

1 2 3 4 5
 
 
 Go There

Toward a Knowledge Ecology for Organizational White-Waters 
Yogesh Malhotra, Ph.D.'s key note presentation, at Knowledge Ecology Fair 98: Beyond Knowledge Management, focuses on the limitations of off-the-shelf knowledge management technology for dealing with a "dynamically changing" discontinuous business environment.   

Arguing that hardware and software solutions "may be adequate for stable and predictable organizational environments," the author looks beyond most IT solutions to consider Knowledge Management as a "live process" that may need to be more precognitive than predictive. 

Note: Although this paper is clearly not for the KM neophyte, the Knowledge Network home page provides an array of information of  if you need to get up to speed on the subject quickly.

 

Primary Audience Level

1 2 3 4 5
 
 
 Go There

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Major Media Learning Resources publishes The Human Equation Online NewsBriefs free of charge to give back to the worldwide T&D and OD communities.  It's our goal to make this monthly online publication as useful to you as possible, so please let us hear from you.  Your comments and feedback are always welcome -- and will always be taken seriously.  

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