Archive for the ‘Coaching’ Category

Two Ways to Curate Your Life

December 30, 2012

This year, the term “curate” came up a few times. Basically, it is the concept of pulling the quality content, or content that is useful, out of the mass of data the world presents us with on a daily basis.

I was doing a little research over the last few days and identified two really good ways to curate information, so I thought I would share them with you all.

One is related to bringing industry information to you and the other is related to what you see on Facebook.

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Book Review – Great By Choice

September 17, 2012

I was listening to an audio book that really caught my attention. It is a book about some basic strategies and thought processes that go into being a leader that makes a difference. The book is called Great by Choice. It was written by Jim Collins and Morton Hansen.

The book is basically a study they performed on a series of companies during the time periods of the late 70’s to right around 2001. One set of companies (which they call 10X’ers) were compared to a comparable company during that time. 10X’ers are companies that surpassed the market by 10 times. Only 7 companies out of over 20,000 companies passed the test. So, the 10X’er company would be Microsoft and the comparable would be Apple (which was a 10X’er, fell without Steve Jobs, and became a 10X’er again when he came back). Another was Intel, compared to AMD. Yet one last example was Southwest Air compared to PS Air (which isn’t even around anymore).

The question laid out was “in a time of uncertainty, turmoil, and chaos, how come some companies thrive and yet others in the same market with a lot of the same capabilities fail?”.

They found some interesting patterns.

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Webinars – Are we Due for a Redesign of Webinars?

September 9, 2012

We all have sat in or run a webinar. It might be WebEx, GoTo Meeting, LiveMeeting, or some other web conference tool. I bet you can describe the experience off the top of your head.

The event will last between 45 minutes and one hour. Half the registered attendees will show. Of those that participate, a large percentage of them will split their attention between what is being said, checking e-mail, working on a document, or surfing the internet. Much of the content will be a dry PowerPoint presentation. You might get lucky and have a poll or whiteboard involved.

  • Your organization probably uses webinars in one of these areas:
  • Compliance training – The goal is exposure to content
  • Blended Learning – This is usually a follow-up to a live or eLearning event
  • Corporate Communications – This usually allows opportunities for executives to interact with the workforce. This typically takes the form of a strategy change or a way to share more of the corporate culture.

As the economy has become worse, corporations looked for ways to cut travel costs. Today, in a distributed workforce, hosting and attending webinars is just a part of “how we do business”.

Here’s a novel idea…maybe we should consider redesigning how webinars work.

Let’s talk about a few ideas.

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Florida Economy – Are You Aware of the Florida High Tech Corridor?

August 26, 2012

When you say “Central Florida” to many people – even people that live in Florida – they think of theme parks, beaches, and Kennedy Space Center. They might even think of the University of Central Florida (UCF). What they are not thinking of is the fact that this area is a high tech hub in the US.

When you say “research and technology” most people think Silicon Valley, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, or Dallas. You need to add Orlando and Central Florida to that list.

The area that spans Florida – from just north of Daytona Beach to the area around Sarasota, with Orlando in the middle – is coined the Florida High Tech Corridor (FHTC). This covers 23 counties, within the Central Florida region. It has been in place since 1996.

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From Idea to Print: Getting Your First Book Started

August 4, 2012

©copyright by Robert W. Lucas

In previous articles in this blog series, I have addressed how you get started as a book author and made some suggestions related to where to start your research about the publishing industry and in determining whether to pursue a major publisher or self-publish your work. As you may have started to realize, there is more to being an author than just writing words on a computer.

GETTING STARTED

Successful authors have a vision or goal related to where they want to see themselves and their work once the writing is done. They also typically have something they want to say. This might be professional advice or a story they want to tell. No matter what your purpose, you have to gather together information and develop a plan before you attempt to find a publisher or write your book. Anything less will likely result in wasted effort and frustration and the possible extinction of your creative writing vision forever.

If you feel that you have the ability to communicate your message to others through printed or electronic means, then go for it. If you have the ideas or a tale you want to share and do not feel competent at writing it or simply do not have the time or patience, there are people who will do that for you. They are called ghost writers. Many professionals and celebrities use them to craft their story. You can find these people through an Internet search or through professional networking with a writers group.

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Getting Connected – Leveraging Your Personal Learning Network (PLN)

August 2, 2012

If you have ever relied on our families, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to grow your knowledge about the world, you have taken advantage of a Personal Learning Network (PLN). You have also used a PLN if you have used reference books, textbooks, television (CNN or MSN, for example) and radio stations (National Public Radio or BBC) , and professional and personal-interest magazines. And, more recently, we have been connecting with people and information through the digital realm via social media sites. The good news is that there is an ever-growing repertoire of applications that have taken content from the printed page, and have given voice to the ideas of people we have never had access to before. This enabling us to redesign our information experiences to suit our needs.

Part of our role as facilitators of learning is helping our learners learn to teach themselves. That is why modeling a learning lifestyle is one of the best things that we can offer our learners.

Harnessing these new technologies to create and grow our own PLNs is imperative for educators who want to stay connected to the changing world we are charged with introducing to our students.

PLNs provide access to sources of information that were not even available a few years ago. This now creates an information overload, which we are seeing every day. To our rescue come continually evolving technologies. They make it easier to capture and tame this overload.

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Author – Getting Your First Non-Fiction Book Published

July 9, 2012

©copyright Robert W. Lucas

As you might have read in my previous blog article, writing comes from within you and can start simply by sharing nuggets from your knowledge and experience. We often forget that others do not know everything that we know. In many cases, people are struggling to solve problems or deal with personal and professional issues that you have already solved or dealt with during your life or career. They are often willing to pay for your knowledge, but first you have to put it into a meaningful format and then deliver it to them conveniently. Luckily, in addition to all the traditional print media, there are a number of electronic reading devices or eReaders like the Apple iPad, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Amazon’s Kindle, Sony Reader and other less expensive models where consumers can download and read electronic copies of books and other publications, typically at less cost than printed versions.

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Presentation Skills – Present Like Steve Jobs

July 5, 2012

This is one skill we all need to have! We all need to be better at giving a presentation. So, if we are going to model someone’s style, learn from than the master himself – the late Steve Jobs.

This video speaks about wowing your audience, limiting images and text, adding a little flair, and the dramatic close.

It isn’t very long, so maybe you will find a tip or two to add to your personal presentation style.

Coaching – Do You Want to Be a Little Smarter?

June 28, 2012

Content for this article came from Talk that Talk, Brandon Hall, Chief Learning Officer Magazine, July 2012.

Who doesn’t want to be a little smarter than the average bear? With the internet at your fingertips, you have ready access lots of smart people. Many great speakers and authors have stated that if you surround yourself with smart people, you become a smart person. Incredibly, this happens almost by osmosis. You absorb the thoughts and actions of those who you are around on a regular basis. So, the number one thing you can do, if you need to change some things in your life, is to make a change and hang around different people.

Where do you find these people? Let your fingers and your mouse do the walking.

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Author – Writing for Personal and Professional Expression

June 15, 2012

Many trainers want to write articles and a book but don’t know where to start. This is the first in a series on getting started in publishing by internationally-known author and consultant and Past President of the Central Florida Chapter of ASTD, Bob Lucas, who shares his experiences on the writing profession.

Writing for Personal and Professional Expression
©copyright, Robert W. Lucas

My first article was printed in a real publication (Police and Security News) in the mid-1980s. I was so excited. Although I had not been paid for the piece, my words were right there in a newspaper-type publication for the world to read. That shot of adrenaline encouraged me to continue  my literary efforts. I wrote other short articles for the publication and then decided to test the waters elsewhere. I created a monthly column of training tips for the Metro DC chapter of ASTD’s member newsletter.  From there, other small pieces followed in local publications and in The National Rifleman for the National Rifle Association, where I worked at the time. In all these instances, I did nothing more than share my experience and knowledge on training and development related topics.  Ultimately, the articles that I had written led me to my first book contract where the publisher asked for samples of my writing to gauge my style and to see if I could effectively put two sentences together to make a thought.

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