Learning Paths International Blog
How to Get Your Employees Up-to-Speed in Record Time
Comments Off on Creating & Implementing Learning Paths Webinar
Category: Learning Paths



Date: Wednesday, September 17th

Time: 10:00 to 11:00 am Central Time

Presenter: Steve Rosenbaum, President Learning Paths International

Registration: Learningpaths.com


Learning Paths is the fastest and most effective way to reduce time to performance. Hundreds of companies in more than eight countries have used the Learning Paths approach for onboarding new employees, improving performance of current employees as well as leadership development.


This webinar is presented by Steve Rosenbaum, the author of the book Learning Paths: Increase profits by reducing the time it takes to get employees up-to-speed (Pfeiffer and ASTD Press).  In this webinar, you will how Learning Paths initiatives lead to speeding up design and development, improving measurability and overall results.


In this webinar learn about:


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


To Register Go To:  Learningpaths.com


Tags: learning, learning paths, performance, proficiency, time to performance, webinar
Comments Off on Reducing Time to Proficiency: Big vs. Small Company?
Category: Instructional Design, Learning Paths

"learn" written on blackboard with apple, books

Reducing time to proficiency is an important and highly effective way to improve results while driving down the cost of training. I’ve done this type of project in companies with more than 500,000 employees and less than 5. Both size companies can benefit greatly, but the projects are different. Large companies have a lot of stuff and a lot of infrastructure. There is often a lot of measurement and historical data to work with. Having enough training is not usually the problem.


These projects are more of a process of getting things in the right order, getting rid of what doesn’t add value and structuring the informal coaching and mentoring. Because there is so much stuff to work with the low hanging fruit is everywhere.


Small companies usually have little or nothing to work with. It’s more of a blank slate. The approach is usually not to start building a lot of training, but rather to look for what might exist in places like colleges, associations or online. This training is then arranged and structured with all the informal on-the-job training and coaching required.


The trick with large companies is to get them to accept a change in focus and approach from curriculums and competencies toward Learning Paths and proficiencies. The trick with small companies is to give them enough support when they lack internal expertise or resources. Keep in mind that these projects are about improvement and not problem solving. This means you can start with a baseline and drive to the next level and then when done drive to a higher level.

Tags: curriculum, design, instruction, learning, learning path, proficiency, training
Comments Off on The Secret to Rapid Instructional Design
Category: Instructional Design

MatchesI’ve been doing instructional design for more than 30 years, I will tell you with certainty that there is no technology or design model that will speed things up faster than avoiding those things that slow it down. When an executive says, we are going to move that new training program to 2nd quarter next year, that’s a lot of wasted time to make up. While there are a lot of things that slow down development, I want to give you my top 3.

1. Starting at the Bottom

Fast development requires the active support and participation of a high level project champion who can write a check if needed and dedicate people’s time to a project. When a designer asks a subject matter expert to participate in an interview, the SME might not get back for three weeks.  If the president merely makes a suggestion if the SME would be willing to participate, that SME is on your doorstep the next day. This is the difference between development in a few weeks versus development sometime this year.

2. Staring at the Blank Page

Blank page development takes forever. There are a lot of decisions that can be made in advance to get things going in the right direction. Just a few include: selecting and using a design model, developing a template for every deliverable in that model, creating style sheets including those for writing styles, creating libraries of activities that can be reused. For example, if you start every instructor-led training session with a unit called Welcome and Introduction, 90% of that unit is the same. Even if you change up how students introduce themselves, this takes less than 20 minutes. There are standard ways to do role plays, case studies, and team presentation. I know about 6 good ways to do role plays.  I can simply drop one in. If it seems like you’re having the same discussions every time you do a project, you’re probably wasting time.

3. Stuffing the Goose

I didn’t make this term up, but I like it. You have to know how much training you can actually do in an hour, a day and a week. When you overstuff training, you end up having to remove it later, or rework it, or retrain it. If someone gives you 100 PowerPoint slides to make into a two hour webinar, what’s the likelihood that’s going to work. I really doesn’t take a lot of experience to know how long things take.  I mean is it reasonable to do three role plays with a debrief in 20 minutes? That’s an hours worth of training if you do it right. So it’s a lot faster not to do three days of classroom training when you only have a day.

Here’s the challenge for most instructional designers, do you think you can convince others that what they are doing is slowing things down to a crawl?


Tags: design, learning, model, repaid, training
Comments Off on Quotes for Training
Category: Learning Principles

TwainI always like having a few good quotes when speaking or delivering training.  Mark Twain had a great gift for stating what a lot of us have experienced.  Here are a couple of my favorites that you might like to use.

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”

“All generalizations are false, including this one.”

“Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.”

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.”

“It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others–and less trouble.”



Tags: education, expereince, learning, Twain
Comments Off on Learning Path or Learning Highway?
Category: Learning Paths

Traffic through Los Angelesby Cees Nieboer, Learning Paths Europe

Sometimes I wonder if the name is still reflecting what we actually do. I’m not saying that I don’t like the name, on the contrary, I think it’s very recognizable and strong. But I feel that given the activities we do a name Learning Highway would reflect the results in a better way. A path can, sometimes, be quite unstructured, narrow, and often has obstacles preventing you from going, very fast. Learning Paths as we implement them are fast, allow you to overtake (competition) and are clearly marked. Being in the fast lane on a clearly marked route to known destinations gives a sense of power, accomplishment and satisfaction. Others, on the other lanes, often wonder why they are in a traffic jam and how come some ‘privileged people’ are allowed in the fast lane.

Well, it might seem unfair to some, but it isn’t. Nobody is prevented from joining the fast lane. Making the Learning Paths methodology accessible to everybody out there, gives people a free choice to be part of it, or to keep wondering why everybody else is succeeding faster and with better tangible results. We can only offer the opportunity we can’t force you to change. If companies and individuals would set their fear of change aside and decide actually doing something about it results will definitely improve. Don’t think you’re a guinea pig. There have been many companies and individuals going through the process successfully. You’re not alone, qualified Learning Paths  consultants are there to support you implementing the change. Join us in the fast lane but make sure to fasten your seatbelt!

Tags: learning, learning highway, learning path
Comments Off on Lessons from Travel Agent Training
Category: Instructional Design

JFK-terminal-mapI’ve spent a lot of the last year building training for new travel agents.  Most people when they start a program like this start to think about an outline what they think travel agents need to know.  They need to know geography, their computer system, airlines, hotels, sales, etc.  Then they arrange them in nice neat little boxes like a typical school curriculum.  Usually there are lots and lot of tests.

We decided that this is totally the wrong approach.  What we looked at was what makes a travel agent valuable to the travel agency owner.  What they really value is for a new travel agent to be able to generate more in commissions and fees than they pay to have the travel agent work for them.  We were then able to define the proficiency statements that lead to this outcome.  For example, most leisure agents book a lot of Disney vacations.  So it makes sense to devote a lot of time to teach and practice how to book and sell Disney.  We identified each of the other destinations or types of travel that make up the vast majority of what travel agents handle.

We also built in a lot of practice in a lot of different ways.  You can’t role play who Disney trip and think you’ve got it mastered.  It’s more like 20 to 50.  Maybe more.  Also the real test is not getting 75% on a multiple choice test.  It’s listening to and observing students to see how they use their skills and knowledge in actual sales situations.  This program is multiple weeks of training and it’s one of the most interesting that I’ve ever worked on.

Tags: instructional design, learning, training, travel
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

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