Archive for February, 2013

Why start now on the Training Top 125 award?

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Why, indeed, start on an award that’s not due until September?

Well, if you’ve never before applied to the T125, you may well want to wait until the 2014 application is released in May.

But if you just found out your 2013 ranking a week ago, and got your scoring today, now is the perfect time.


  1. It’s top of mind. You’re either thrilled with where you placed and raring to go to improve yet more next year, or you’re not so thrilled with where you placed and raring to go to improve next year.
  2. You know how you scored. The nice folks at Training magazine are kind enough to rate you numerically AND tell you how they did it. And now, as ever, knowledge is power.
  3. You’ve got time to change reality. If you don’t start until August to work on the 2014 application, you’re pretty much stuck with whatever reality presents in August. But if you start now, you have six months to potentially move the needle in areas where you didn’t score so well.

An additional motivation: my Training Top 125 award resources are available this week only at last year’s prices, a savings of up to $500.

If you want to be in it to win it, here’s my advice: be in it to win it.



Award Titles Last…and Last

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Winning awards sets you apart. For a long time.

My very first award client was the inimitable, indefatigable Karie Willyerd, now VP of Learning and Social Adoption at SuccessFactors.

She has many, many achievements to her name, but continues to include important award wins from when I worked on Sun’s applications.


Because they were powerful then, and they’re powerful now.

Exhibit A: Here’s the bio accompanying her March 28 Training Magazine Webinar, The 3.5 Million Year Daily Talent Cliff (for which I  have already registered).

About Karie Willyerd

Karie is the Vice President of Learning and Social Adoption at SuccessFactors. Prior to that she was the cofounder and CEO of Jambok, the industry’s first informal social learning platform, which was acquired by SuccessFactors in March, 2011. Karie was formerly Chief Learning Officer for Sun Microsystems, and prior to that, was the Chief Talent Officer for a Fortune 200 company. During the last 24 months at Sun, Karie and her team won over 30 awards for excellence in creating an innovative learning & development function for Sun Microsystems. In October 2009, ASTD named Sun the #1 BEST learning function in the world. In February of 2010, Sun was named #11 by Training 125.

Karie is the coauthor of the bestselling book The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today (Harper Business May, 2010). Along with Jeanne Meister, she is a regular blogger for Harvard Business, and their article on Mentoring Millennials was a feature article in the May, 2010 issue of Harvard Business Review.


Welcome to sunny Florida

Sunday, February 17th, 2013



Sunny, yes. Warm, nope.

I’m in Orlando – yes, at the Magic Kingdom – for Training 2013, a mega learning industry event sponsored by Training Magazine. Excited to pick up new tips and insights on measuring learning program success – the key to winning awards.

I just want to know one thing: is it ALLOWED to be this cold in Florida?

While I’M here?

Never mind. Bring it on!

Hope to see folks at:

Thanks and stay warm, Florida!


Be Succinct: Before and After

Monday, February 4th, 2013

More winning materials for you.

My blog series, 7 Tips on How to Win Awards*, is now a colorful, engaging guide, available SOON for digital download.

Creating this guide, and preparing to speak about it at the 2013 Training Conference in Orlando, has inspired me to revisit it here.

One topic near and dear to me is Tip #6: Be succinct.

A great way to understand this maxim is by way of example, so here’s a favorite. These are annual goals for a corporate learning organization:


  • Develop learning and performance support interventions to drive towards $2 billion goal
  • Align service line and industry learning strategies with related revenue goals
  • Determine business opportunities, in collaboration with service lines, to deliver learning solutions to external market place for profit

Let’s see how we can say the same thing in fewer words, with less business jargon and more plain English.


  • Drive towards $2 billion goal with innovative sales training
  • Help service line and industry groups meet revenue goals
  • Generate revenue through external learning solutions

In my experience, corporate environments do not invite simplicity. In fact, back when I worked at a large marketing agency with Microsoft as a client, it was noted that Microsoft employees seemed to feel that the more white space they had on a PowerPoint slide, the less intelligent they would look.

But award judges want you to get to the point, quickly, clearly and compellingly.

Be succinct, my friends.

* Be a rebel. Start with Tip #7 and work backwards from the links at the bottom of the page.

Learning Program and Team Awards 2009-2014


ASTD Excellence in Practice

Technical Training Award
Training Management Citation (for new programs)
Learning Technology Citation
Workplace Learning & Collaboration–Leadership Development (x2) Award, Citation
Workplace Learning & Collaboration–Onboarding Citation
Sales Enablement Citation

Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning

Best Custom Content Gold
Best in Learning Strategy and Governance Gold
Best Leadership Development Program Gold
Best Innovation in Learning Technology Silver
Best Leadership Sales Training Silver
Best Integration of Learning and Talent Management Bronze
Best Use of Games for Learning Bronze

Brandon Hall Technology Excellence

Best Advance in Social Learning Technology Gold

CLO Magazine Learning in Practice

Technology Innovation Gold, Division 1
Innovation Gold, Division 1
Business Impact Gold, Division 2
Business Impact Bronze, Division 2


Learning Organization Ranking Awards


American Society for Training & Development

ASTD BEST #1 (up from #32 in one year)
#2 (up from #37 in two years)

ELearning! Media Group

Learning! 100 #1 (first year on list)

Chief Learning Officer Magazine

LearningElite #1, #4

Training Magazine

 Training Top 125 #1, #2 (up from #41 in one year)