Learning Paths International Blog
How to Get Your Employees Up-to-Speed in Record Time
Comments Off on New Learning Paths Partners in South Africa
Category: Learning Paths

I like to welcome Lydia Cille Schmidt and her team at the Talent Hub as new Learning Paths Partners in South Africa.  They are getting ready to do their first certification workshop on November 27 and 28th.  If you’d like to attend, send Lydia an email at lydiacs@yebo.co.za.  This is a start of a series of posts where I will introduce you to all the new consultants.  We also have 3 new consultants in Europe and I will post them as well.  We are also looking for partners in South and Central America as well as the Philipines.


Comments Off on How to Get Employees Up-to-Speed in Record Time – Webinar
Category: Learning Paths

Date: 2/2/2012

Time: 11:00 to 12:00 CST


Every minute employees aren’t fully productive and up-to-speed has a significant financial effect on any organization. In this webinar, you will learn about the secrets of speeding up  time to full productivity by 30 to 50% or more through the proven Learning Paths methodology.

The Learning Path methodology combines the best of accelerated learning, change management and quality improvement to the learning process to dramatically reduce time, waste, variability and cost.

The Learning Paths methodology  is based on the book Learning  Paths by  Steve Rosenbaum (Pfeiffer and ASTD Press).

In this webinar learn about:

1. How to define and measure proficiency
2. Map, improve and accelerate the learning process
3. Transform the way your organization looks at training

Who Should Attend
This webinar is for any one involved in training, human resources and employee development.  In addition, this webinar will be of special interest to sales and operations managers who want to address issues of improving performance and reducing turnover.  This webinar also provides an overview of Learning Paths for anyone considering attend the Learning Paths Certification Workshop.


Tags: learning, performance, proficiency, steve rosenbaum, training, up-to-speed, webinar
Comments Off on Is America Outsourcing Its Best Paying Jobs?
Category: Proficiency

I set out to take a quick look at this and it’s interesting what I found.  The best place to find this information is either the U.S. Census or the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  These are large agencies that have a mandate to capture this type of information and it’s usually just the numbers without the bias.  That allows writers like me to put a spin on it.

First, I found a nice list of the top 15 jobs by average annual salary.  That means some are paid more and some less but it’s a reasonable way to do a comparison.

15. Physicist
14. General/Operations Manager
13. Industrial/Organizational Psychologists
12. Sales Manager
11. Airline Pilot
10. Financial Manager
9. Marketing Manager
8. Computer Information Systems Manager
7. Architectural/Engineering Manager
6. Petroleum Engineer
5. Natural Science Engineer
4. Lawyers
3. Dentists
2. Chief Executive Officer
1. Doctors and Surgeons

On the low end Physicists were paid $112,000 while Doctors and Surgeons were paid $220,000.  I guess maybe it’s not all hedge fund managers.  The one’s that make a lot of money are averaged out by those who don’t do as well.  I found it interesting that there were 1.7 million general and operations managers and 275,000 CEOs.

Now to the original question, are these jobs leaving the country.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the term location fixed to describe those job that must be done at or near where the work is required.  For example, if you’re paving a road, you have to do that where the road is.  Jobs such as Nurses, Construction Workers, Police, Fire, Mayor, and Janitor all are location fixed.

So let’s look at the top 15.  While it is possible to fly to another country for an operation, most medical procedures are location fixed.  Most legal work requires a license in the state it’s done.  I don’t think we’re outsourcing lawyers any time soon.  CEOs can live anywhere but unless the company is bought or leaves the country, there are staying her.  Airline pilots are obvious.  You won’t have to go to India any time soon to catch a flight from Dallas to New York.

A lot of the engineering professions could move but would still have to do a lot of their work here.  If you’re a petroleum engineer, you probably have to go where the oil is.  I think a lot of the jobs require very strong language skills and cultural awareness.  This includes jobs like Marketing Manager.

So I will leave this up to you to decide?  Is America Outsourcing Its Best Paying Jobs?

Tags: development, Jobs, learning, outsourcing, Pay
Comments Off on What’s the value of paper and pencil tests?
Category: Instructional Design

Some people do well on a test and poorly on the job while others do poorly on a test and out perform others on the job. It may be that we are testing knowledge and not testing performance. I often think we use multiple choice, true and false, fill in the blanks and matching questions because they are easy to score especially for a large group. These types of question is built into a lot of Elearning.  It often matches up with a series of PowerPoint slides.

Along with this, there is always the question about what is a passing score.  Is it 70%, 80%, 90%?  I’d ask the question a little different way. What percentage of what your testing isn’t important to get right?  When a customer calls with a question and they get someone who got 85% right on the test, what happens?  Is it okay to give the customer a wrong answer 15% of the time.  Hopefully customers will only call about the 85%.

Tags: learning, learning paths, percentages, questions, testing, training
Comments Off on Is Speed a Good Measure of Learning?
Category: Learning Principles

As learners become more proficient and more confident they will pick-up speed. In this short video, you will see a high performer. He’s moving quickly but he’s not rushing. You also see that speeding up doesn’t mean making more errors. Proficiency really means speed and accuracy.

Speed should be part of your measurement scheme for training as well as how you design and use practice. The question is how to you build in both speed and accuracy? Let’s take a couple of examples. First, if you looked at two assemblers on a production line. The first is assembling 5 parts per hour and another is assembling 8 parts per hour. Both have less than a 1% error rate. So what’s the difference? The faster assembler:

  • Gets everything organized and laid out before starting.
  • Follows a disciplined best practice process
  • Maintains a clean and organized work area
  • Knows what to do when there is a problem
  • Does things right the first time

Second, let’s look at two agents in a call center.  One has an average handle time of 5:15 and the other 3:45. Assuming they have similar customer satisfaction scores, here’s what the faster agent might be doing:

  • Speaking in a confident and fluid manner
  • Asking good questions and listening before taking action
  • Navigating to the right screen in the most efficient manner
  • Using all shortcut keystrokes
  • Knowing when to escalate a call or get help

Once you know what makes one person faster than another, you can measure it and begin to work on it in training. Often the key to speed is getting enough practice repetition. Try pouring a liquid from one paper cup to another.  The first time is slow with a lot of spilling. After 100 tries, it’s faster and more accurate.

Speed is one of those observable things that indicate a higher level of skill.  If someone is fast and still makes a lot of errors, it’s a sign that more training and practice is needed.  The same with someone who is slow but accurate.

Join us for more discussion on Learning in the Linkedin Learning Paths group. http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Learning-Paths-713007?gid=713007&trk=hb_side_g


Tags: assembler, call center, learning, learning paths, proficiency, speed, training
Comments Off on Mastering On-the-Job Training
Category: Instructional Design

I’ve been working this week on building an exercise or demonstration of how to do on-the-job training.  What I came up with, is using the example of how to teach someone to make the perfect fried egg.  There are a number of reasons why I think this example works well. First, there actually is a standard for how to fry an egg.  If you went to any Michelin star restaurant, they all would describe the standard in the same way.  There is a certain way a perfect fried egg looks, tastes and feels.  There is also an absolute safety standard for a fried egg.  You can’t serve raw or partially cooked eggs.

Second, this is something that has a lot of technique and takes practice.  Learning how to properly crack and drop an egg, getting the temperature of the pan right, gas versus electric stoves, etc. are all things that take practice.  For example, if the temperature in the pan isn’t right the egg will burn or cook unevenly.

With this background, you have a lot of choices of how you are going to teach cooking the perfect fried egg.  I don’t think giving out a written description or an SOP is going to be enough.  Let’s test this assumption.  Here are the directions for 1 fried egg sunny side up.

  1. Use an 8″ Tephlon or cast iron pan.
  2. Heat the pan on a medium heat.
  3. Heat 1/3 tsp of butter or oil until it just starts to bubble.
  4. Crack one egg into the center of the pan.
  5. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the white is fully cooked.
  7. Season to taste.
  8. Remove with a spatula and put on a plate.

Okay, now go try that and see how you’ve done.  I would bet on anyone’s first try, we are going to get a lot of broken yokes, burnt edges, and uncooked whites.  Some will have given up and made their eggs over easy. (flip them over to cook the whites).

What’s missing is being able to see what a perfect egg looks like, watching how it’s done and getting practice with coaching.  It’s even missing a demonstration of what a perfect egg should taste like a feel like.  I’m not sure how many times you need to practice frying an egg to get it right, but I’m sure it’s more than 1.

I’ve assessed a lot of classroom training over the years for things like sales training.  It’s rather common for someone to teach a sales skill and then practice it with one or two role plays.  Then they wonder why no one can use that skill on the job.

How about a nice video.  Now that you’re hungry.  Let’s cook a steak.  After watching Gordon Ramsay show you how, do you think you can duplicate what he’s showing you?

Easy right?

Well I think this can make an interesting demo and get the point across about on-the-job training.



Tags: demo, fried eggs, learning, learning path, on-the-job, training
Comments Off on Learning Path Certification Workshop – January 11 & 12 – Minneapolis
Category: Certification


This 2-Day Workshop is designed for organizations that want to train their staffs on how to lead Learning Paths projects. In this session, participants learn how to build Proficiency Definitions and Learning Paths for all of their major job functions. This Workshop is also for organizations who are already working on Learning Paths initiatives that want to train more Learning Paths Project Leaders and take advantage of the latest Learning Paths technology and materials.


This Workshop covers how to set up and run a Learning Paths initiative and be ready to start a Learning Path project when participants return to work. As a result of this Workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Present the business case for Learning Paths
  • Form Learning Paths teams and recruit a project champion
  • Use all of the Learning Paths tools and templates
  • Develop a project plan and schedule
  • Build a proficiency definition and measure time to proficiency
  • Map a consolidated Learning Path
  • Find quick hits that reduce time, waste and variability at a minimal cos
  • Structure a Learning Path so it fits how people really learn
  • Create an implementation plan to launch a new and upgraded Learning Path
  • Measure and report results to management

What’s Included

This Workshop includes templates for creating all the documents and reports needed for a successful Learning Paths project. We encourage participants to bring their laptops to the Workshop so they can work with these tools and templates to begin to build their own proficiency definition and Learning Path.


Even though this session is Minneapolis in January, we will be right near Mall of America so there is no need to go outside.  We will be at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel which has free shuttle service to the airport and the mall.

For more information

Click to Register


Tags: Certification, learning, learning paths, learning paths certification, workshop
Comments Off on Challenges of Training in China
Category: Learning Paths

There are a lot of companies that are planning to do training in China including bringing their content and traning to their Chinese operations.  I had an opportunity to discuss this issue with Jeff Chai of Learning Paths China.  Here’s what he thought was important.

From business and strategic perspectives:

1. Aligning training to business priority

  • China businesses may have very different management priorities than those in matured markets.  Those challenges could vary from industry to industry and company to company depending on
  • Development stage (whether it is in the process of localizing production, expanding global sourcing, tapping local market, setting up R&D center, developing wider distribution network, or doing M&A…),
  • Business structure (solely owned, JV, or representative office through distributors,etc.

2. Leader Sponsorship

  • Poorly developed leadership pipeline and lack of fully competent top management are not uncommon
  • HQ’s high, sometimes unrealistic, expectation on business growth puts pressure on local business leaders and pushes them act short-term to survive tomorrow, rather pay attention to business sustainability and employee development

3. Communication

  • Often it is not easy to clearly explain and convince leadership of training needs and compelling them to act.

Implementation challenges:

4. Standardization vs customization:

  • Arguments from HQ: local country shall follow HQ standard process, contents and system; it is a way to manage the global business and ensure the ‘one company’ culture;
  • Arguments from China: different market situation; different development and sophistication level of management practice and staff skill; language and cultural difference issue;

5. Language and cultural factors

  • Not every staff is fluent in English, for some training participants materials and delivery needs to be in Mandarin
  • Need to take into consideration of cultural factors when develop and deliver the training, so that staff would find the training realistic when they apply it in the workplace

6. Local training support

  • Lack of training professionals competent in ISD, project management, change and other skills means well-designed training program may not get the same level of in-house support

7. Follow up and coaching:

  • Lack of qualified coach and coaching culture
  • Connection with other HR functions: if other HR functions are not performing, it will affect training (such as high turnover rate, low employee engagement and etc)

8. Cost issues:

  • Cost of flying-in trainers would be high

To see more about Learning Paths in China, go to lpi-china.com


Tags: China, instructional design, learning, learning paths, outsourcing, traning
Comments Off on Busy Learning Paths Booth
Category: Learning Paths








While many of the other booths had little traffic, the Learning Paths booth was jammed.  The book you can see is the Chinese version of the Learning Paths book.









Tags: China, CSTD, development, learning, learning paths, steve rosenbaum, training
Comments Off on Pictures and Autographs
Category: Learning Paths






I spent most of a day signing Learning Paths books and taking pictures with attendees.  I signed several hundred books and posed for countless pictures.  Everywhere I went someone wanted to get there picture taken with me.  I felt like Santa at the mall the day before Christmas.  I guess we have a lot of fans in China.

Tags: China, CSTD, development, learning, learning paths, steve rosenbaum, training

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