Thought Provoking

ATD speakers are at the forefront of the industry. They are the trendsetters who are forging new paths; you’ll learn how today’s trends are being activated, and find out what’s on the horizon for tomorrow.

Check out some of the highlights of the concurrent sessions of the conference below!

Six Powerful Resiliency Strategies for Women to Thrive at Work

by Nourse, Kevin and Schmidt, Lynn

Every day we encounter challenges at work that test our ability to be resilient and overcome difficulties. The ability to maintain one's resiliency and thrive in the midst of adversity is an intentional choice. When women consciously make that choice, they are better equipped to be transformed by work-related challenges. During this session, the presenters will introduce the Resiliency Framework. The framework consists of six strategies that help women to thrive in the face of career challenges. While the framework is focused on women, many of the strategies can be applied across genders and used by coaches. In this session you will find out which resiliency strategy you need to strengthen to increase your satisfaction with work. You will take a brief assessment to determine your resiliency needs and you will leave with at least one action that you can use immediately to increase your resiliency.

Application on the Job:

  • Determine which resiliency strategy you need to strengthen to increase your satisfaction with work. 

  • Discover at least one action you can take immediately to increase your resiliency. 

  • Use the six resiliency strategies to create a career defined by growth, success, and satisfaction. 

The Neuroscience of Teams

by Andreatta, Britt

Much of today's work is powered by teams. In fact, nearly 90 percent of today's workers say that they spend a third to half of each day working in teams. Yet 86 percent of employees and executives cite a lack of effective teamwork and collaboration as the source of workplace failures. Add the challenge of remote teams and cross cultural communication, and it's no surprise that teams can make or break the competitive advantage of any organization. Recent discoveries in neuroscience illuminate how we can build better and more effective teams. In this session, the speaker will share the latest research about the brain, and how to harness human biology to enhance collaboration, trust, productivity, and engagement. We'll also explore why meaningful metrics of inclusion stem from working in groups. You'll leave this session with new strategies for building the professional capacity of teams across your entire organization.

Application on the Job:

  • Learn how certain brain structures are activated when we work in teams. 

  • Discover how you can help your talent work most effectively in teams, enhancing collaboration and engagement. 

  • Explore how metrics of inclusion and psychological safety are based on teams. 

  • Identify ways to intentionally increase the effectiveness of all teams in your organization.

Neuroscience and Learning: Hope or Hype? The Definitive Research Review

by Thalheimer, Will

Are you ready to revolutionize the learning field and change talent development forever? Neuroscience is one of today's most important training topics, but is it the best choice for talent developers to use? Before you decide to follow-up on the many recommendations you hear about neuroscience, it is essential that you're acting on information that is accurate and vetted by good research. In this session, you'll hear what neuroscientists and top-tier scientific journals say about the power of neuroscience and learning. You'll also learn what sources to trust, and which ones to avoid. This session will arm you with fully vetted, unbiased information, so you can make smarter choices for your organization.

Application on the Job:

  • Make well-informed decisions about neuroscience recommendations. 

  • Guide colleagues and customers to legitimate sources of learning-design knowledge. 

  • Avoid costly mistakes in using neuroscience and brain-based learning recommendations. 

Supporting Social Learning for the 21st Century

by Dishler, Inette

Social learning is how people learn today, through their colleagues, social media, and technology. Learning and development professionals need to help employees connect with other people and information within and across organizations, so they stay engaged and keep up with industry, job, and organizational changes. This session will introduce the concept of social learning and the skills for becoming a social learner. You will interact with social learning activities, and will see a demo of a learning website created for staff learning at the University of California Berkeley. After attending this session, you will be positioned to support social learning in your organization in two key areas: delivering learning content in new and relevant ways, and enabling managers and employees to learn and share with one another. Come and practice being a social learner!

Application on the Job:

  • Support social learning in your organization. 

  • Deliver learning content in new and relevant ways. 

  • Enable managers and employees to learn and share in real time. 

Bringing Boring Concepts to Life for Millennials Through Gamification and Microlearning

by Ryan, Kati

It's official: Millennials have surpassed the Baby Boomers as the largest living population in the United States. The good news? Millennials learn in a diverse and collaborative way that tends to spread across most generational neutral learning styles. As they increasingly enter and take over the workforce, it is up to instructors to adapt their way of training and capture Millennials' attention to bring traditional, boring instructional concepts to life. During this session, you will learn about the Millennial way of thinking and solid approaches to designing a training curriculum. Concepts implemented from this session will increase retention by using modern gamification aligned with learning objectives, diversify and keep learning fun through microlearning chunks, and connect employees through collaborative learning design.

Application on the Job:

  • Increase retention by using modern gamification, aligned with learning objectives. 

  • Diversify and keep learning fun through microlearning chunks. 

  • Connect through collaborative learning design. 

  • Apply best practices and an action-oriented plan to current learning objectives to spice them up!

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Using Culture Fit to Help Employees Thrive

by Margolis, Sheila

To flourish at work, employees must not only fit the job, they must fit into the culture of the organization. When employees mesh with the culture, they are more likely to find a sense of meaningfulness and harmony working there. This session offers a step-by-step process for determining if a workplace culture is a fit. You will be guided through the process of understanding yourself, understanding an organization's culture, and auditing for culture fit. After a brief introduction, you will assess your purpose and principles. Then, working in small groups, you'll use case examples to evaluate an organization's culture and audit it for culture fit. Discover a process for understanding culture fit and ensuring that you're in a workplace that's right for you. Live a life where you are a total fit.

Application on the Job:

  • Diagnose the culture of a workplace. 

  • Evaluate your fit with the culture of an organization. 

Leadership Lessons on the Value of Getting Humbled

by Treasurer, Bill

At some point, leaders are confronted with the reality that their leadership is seriously and substantially flawed. It is at this precise moment when leaders are faced with a choice: learn and grow or remain blindly loyal to ignorance. Leaders worth their salt will get a psychological kick in the rear end eventually. These moments should be the starting point during which leaders assess their strengths, clarify their values, and develop a leadership voice and style that are authentic and true. Both new and experienced leaders can learn how to grow, progress, and evolve after career mess ups. In this session, discover that your most enduring and transformative leadership lessons come not from your triumphs, but from your wipeouts. Ultimately the very things that make leadership difficult are the nutrients that make it effective and fulfilling in the long run, provided you learn how to convert your leadership mistakes into enduring lesson

Application on the Job:

  • Discover the harsh leadership realities that nearly all leaders face, which often result in a crisis of confidence. 

  • Explore the meaning of the “holy shift” and why making it is essential to becoming a good leader. 

  • Discover why embarrassing and humiliating experiences are important to the growth, development, and seasoning of leaders. 

Capturing Elusive Level 3 Data: The Secrets of Survey Design

by Phillips, Ken

What is the most common method used to conduct Level 3 evaluations? According to the 2016 ATD research report Evaluating Learning: Getting to Measurements That Matter it is administering a participant survey, with 74 percent of organizations reporting using this method. Unfortunately, many of these surveys miss the mark because of poorly written questions, faulty survey formatting, and the use of measurement scales that potentially create bias in the data collected. In this session, you will learn practical tips and techniques for overcoming these mistakes and how to create participant surveys that capture valid, scientifically sound Level 3 data. The tips and techniques presented are based on current research results in survey design methodology from the fields of education and the behavioral sciences.

Application on the Job:

  • Analyze the common mistakes made by many learning and development professionals when creating Level 3 participant surveys. 

  • Discover 12 practical tips and best practices for creating Level 3 participant surveys that address the three key survey design elements of how to write valid, scientifically sound behavioral statements; how to lay out and organize a survey to minimize response bias; and how to create a measurement scale that ensures valid data is the captured. 

Using Workforce Analytics to Navigate Organizational Change

by Joyner, Fredricka

Successful organizations are adopting change management as a fundamental skill, and viewing it as a competitive advantage. Does your organization have what it takes to achieve sustainable change? Research shows that 70 percent of all major change efforts fail to fully deliver. This is largely due to well-planned changes getting blindsided by people issues during implementation. In this session, you will learn how to leverage behavioral science and workforce analytics to support sustainable and productive change. This session is for anyone who wants to increase the effectiveness of change initiatives within their organization.

Application on the Job:

  • Learn how to identify key forces in the external environment, describe change dynamics at the organizational level, and articulate dynamics of people-related change. 

  • Discover a model that organizes variables supporting successful change initiatives into four pillars: communication and retention, culture shift, strategic workforce planning, and conflict resolution. 

  • Use a best practice model to incorporate workforce analytics into change processes. 

  • Use what you learn to build a unique business case for the use of workforce analytics in your organization, relate the implementation model to your context, list possible next steps, and access follow-up support resources.

The 3 Roles of Talent Development as a Strategic Business Partner

by Wilkinson, Michael

For talent development leaders to gain buy-in from senior executives and be accepted as strategic business partners, we must be able to confidently speak and understand strategy. Our unique position allows us three pivotal roles to facilitate change and influence strategic thinking and execution at the enterprise level. This session will help you identify essential components of your organization's strategy, including the critical difference between mission versus vision, goals versus objectives, values versus guiding principles, and critical success factors versus strategies. You will explore talent development's three influential roles in carrying out strategy. Plus, learn the 10 commonly faced pitfalls of strategy planning and how to apply a strategic planning framework to solve both business and talent management issues.

Application on the Job:

  • Identify the three influential roles HR plays when it comes to business strategy. 

  • Confidently discuss strategy and strategy components with business unit leaders. 

  • Apply a strategic planning framework to solving business and talent development issues. 

  • Avoid the common pitfalls that plague many strategic planning efforts.

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Measuring the ROI of Employee Engagement

Panel with Dávila, Norma and Kmiec, John and Phillips, Jack and Pina-Ramirez, Wanda

Learn how to measure the return on investment (ROI) of engagement. With the heavy investments in employee engagement, it is important to show executives the value the engagement process delivers, in terms that they clearly understand. Most engagement results are presented as behaviors as employees becoming more engaged. This session shows you how to connect to the impact and financial ROI with at least three complete ROI studies presented.

Application on the Job:

  • Show the return on investment of employee engagement. 

  • Enhance the value of employee engagement programs. 

  • Use at least five success factors of employee engagement programs. 

  • Develop a plan to make employee engagement more effective and results focused.

Next-Generation Gamification, Simulation, and Virtual Reality Learning

by Gronstedt, Anders

How do you develop a new generation of learners who have spent more time with video games than in school? Join us for a session packed with demos and case studies of how leading Fortune 50 companies are harnessing gamification, simulation, virtual and augmented reality, and mobile video to build organizational capabilities. The session will demonstrate how the new generation of virtual and augmented reality technology can simulate tasks that are too dangerous, expensive, or inconvenient to practice in real life. No prerequisites required.

Application on the Job:

  • Explore how to make learning engaging with gamification, simulations, transmedia storytelling, and virtual and augmented reality. 

  • Discover how leading Fortune 50 companies drive performance improvements and business results with innovative learning approaches. 

  • Discover how to develop compelling stories and gamify learning across screens, devices, and formats, ranging from mobile phones to virtual reality headsets, that inspire the audience to action. 

  • Experience how to create innovative learning experiences with virtual reality, ranging from wraparound, 360-degree video scenes to fully interactive computer generated spaces that feel almost real.

Advanced Learning Intelligence: Using Analytics to Measure and Change Your Business

by Chang, Grace and Tanner, Andy

Measuring learning effectiveness and tying learning to business impact is a challenge for many organizations. However, as data analytics has become a necessity in the business world, there has been a raised awareness of the power of analytics in learning and development (L&D). Recent surveys showed that 75 percent of organizations rate analytics as important to their learning development strategies, but only 5 percent excel at using this capability to deliver. Analytics will be a key enabler for solving the measurement and impact challenge, but organizations will need to put a strategic focus on developing the related capabilities and practices. This session will provide the foundational elements for initiating analytics as an enabler for learning measurement and an input to your business strategy. You don't need analytics skills to attend, just an open mind to new approaches for advancing L&D.

Application on the Job:

  • Apply analytics methods to connect learning and behavioral change to field impact and business metrics. 

  • Implement baseline components for establishing analytics as an integrated function within your learning department. 

  • Utilize analytics technology and techniques to transform static reports into interactive visualizations and dashboards. 

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Virtual Reality: Failing Gracefully, Engaging Seamlessly, Connecting Virtually

by Davis, David and McLinden, Daniel

Virtual reality (VR) is a rapidly evolving technology poised to significantly change how immersive content---such as simulated environments and 360-degree video of real environments---are accessed through multiple platforms, including immersive headsets, computers, and smartphones. This evolution will affect the development of talent in organizations and change the future of our profession. Of course, adaptations will be required. Instructional design will need to direct the creation of visual stories, developers will need to work with different software and hardware tools, and content experts will need to create visual environments and experiences that include skills and emotional components. The session will show you what is involved in designing, developing, and deploying a VR solution for learning using multiple technologies. You'll also learn about VR's issues of scalability, suitability, and effectiveness.

Application on the Job:

  • Learn about the talent, hardware, software required for multiple virtual reality option. 

  • Target one or two specific outcomes you need to achieve in your organization and formulate a plan to use a VR experience to engage learners and accomplish those outcomes. 

  • Understand the range of options and the means of delivery for VR programs. 

  • Explore and potentially recommend the implementation of VR in your organization.

Closing the Leadership Development Gap

by Price, Ron

In this session, the speaker will share what does and doesn't work in leadership development. He will provide relevant data regarding the growing leadership shortage and how you can apply his methodologies to analyze your organization's leadership needs and programs. He will also provide checklists and case studies to help you design and deploy leadership development that works.

Application on the Job:

  • Learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of current leadership development programs. 

  • Discover a pathway for designing and deploying effective leadership development programs. 

  • Receive checklists for developing multi-faceted strategies in leadership development. 

  • Learn about obstacles and mine fields in leadership development.

7 Crucial Factors to Make Transfer Happen

by Ouden, Laura

You want to get the best results from learning programs you design and deliver. While most experts agree that only 20 percent of learning is implemented in the workplace, business only benefits when learning influences performance. How can you make sure your learning programs have a high rate of transfer? What makes learning work? This session will share seven factors that are crucial to making transfer happen. You'll also get to try out an app that checks the rate of transfer of a learning program of your choice. It shows you the effectiveness of the seven factors and advises you on how to redesign your learning program to have more impact.

Application on the Job:

  • Learn about the seven factors take make transfer happen and how to apply them in every learning program in your organization. 

  • Use an app to discover how effective your learning programs are based on their effectiveness of the seven factors. 

  • Gain valuable benchmarks on how your company or your learning program scores compare to other organizations. 

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