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  • Thursday, April 09, 2020 3:45 PM | Angela Dawson (Administrator)

    By Todd Davis

    Todd Davis is FranklinCovey’s Chief People Officer and the author and co-author, respectively, of The Wall Street Journal bestsellers Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work and Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team

    Develop a Leaders Mindset

    Do you want to be a great leader, or do you want your team led by a great leader? Is there a difference? If my goal is to be a great leader, I’m probably going to do a lot of good and valuable things. But, if my goal is making sure my team is led by a great leader, then my energy and focus is entirely on the team! “What does Matt need to reach his full potential?” “How can I help Madison really knock it out of the park with the project she’s working on?”

    Developing a leader’s mindset is foundational to providing great leadership, and makes all the difference in how you approach everything in your leadership role.

    What we see and how we think, our mindset, determines everything we do. And of course, what we do drives the results we get. But it all begins with our mindset.

    For example, if I’m a micro-manager, what is the mindset I have about my team? (they’re incompetent, incapable, maybe idiots!) So, if I see my team as incompetent, what kinds of things do I do? (triple-check everything they’ve touched, continually hover over them and criticize their work). And if that’s what I do, what kind of results does this team get? (poor, mediocre at best). And THEN what do I say to myself as the micro-manager? “See…. they ARE incompetent!” “Can you imagine how bad our results would have been had I NOT micromanaged them?” “I’ve got to micromanage them even more to try and improve our results.” And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy all driven by my mindset of my team being incompetent.

    A leader’s mindset influences everything the leader does. Let me share a few other examples showing the importance of developing a leader’s mindset.

    Many managers I’ve worked with see holding 1-on-1’s as a time to check up on the progress a team member is making relating to their areas of responsibility. Seems logical and even helpful. However, highly effective leaders, great leaders have a different mindset. They understand that regular 1 on 1’s are the optimal time to really connect with their team members, finding out what’s working for them and what’s not working for them, making the meeting all about them, the employees. When done right, great leaders use this time to significantly raise the employees’ level of engagement and therefore improve their results.

    Another example is when a leader sees giving feedback only to help fix a team member’s problem or area of poor performance. Again, sounds well intended and even logical, just not very effective. Conversely, those leaders who have a different mindset about feedback, who see giving and seeking feedback as an opportunity to elevate the performance of the entire team, lead teams who are in a state of continuous improvement and who therefore deliver great results for the organization. And notice I said seeking feedback as well as giving it. Great leaders understand that they too are always learning. They ask their team members on a regular basis to share sincere, candid feedback on what they, the leader, can do to improve. Modeling this type of humility is a core competency of great leaders.

    One final example – Setting up your team to get results. An “efficient” leader’s mindset is to tell their team members what to do and how to do it. Clear, concise, and quick. And they may get some “good” results in the short-term. But not for the long-term and certainly not the best results they could achieve.  Alternatively, the highly effective leader focuses on the why, the what, and the how when setting up their team to get results. They understand the importance of clearly communicating to their team members about why the organization is doing what it’s doing, and what it is that their specific team needs to do in conjunction with that why. When team members understand how the work they do ties to the goals of the larger organization, they are much more engaged and passionate about their work. Once the leader has helped their team truly understand the why and the what, great leaders involve their team members in the how. Instead of telling team members how the work should be done, they solicit those ideas from the team. Their mindset is that their team members are a group of talented and skilled individuals who are capable of doing great work. They understand that the more involved the team is with deciding on the how, the more excited and engaged they will be.

    Developing a leader’s mindset doesn’t happen overnight. It is an ongoing process. Even those who have been in leadership roles for many years need to continually be reminding themselves of the difference between wanting to be a great leader and wanting to make sure their team is led by a great leader.

  • Thursday, March 19, 2020 10:42 AM | Angela Dawson (Administrator)

    Discussions around mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can overlook the work after a deal is closed, but the right brand training can help a company successfully merge brands and return on their M&A investment. Check out March's Spotlight, written by Nick Thacker at AllenComm, to learn more about how to increase success in mergers and acquisitions.

    Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are a daily element of modern business. Closing M&A deals might seem like the culmination of months or years of work, but it’s only getting started, and the right brand training can mean the difference between success and failure post-M&A.

    Since 1990, over 75% of US industries have become more consolidated, resulting in higher market concentrations and profits. So, the question is how to ensure a merger and acquisition is successful when it happens, not if it happens. But even though it’s almost inevitable, successfully merging two brands is proving difficult.

    What Leads to M&A Failure?

    A Deloitte report found that $10 trillion was spent on M&A in the previous 7 years, but 46% of respondents said less than half of the deals from the previous two years generated expected return on investment (ROI).

    In addition, voluntary turnover increased by about 12% before or after M&A. In PwC’s 2017 M&A Integration Survey, it was found that 42% of organizations failed to fully integrate the involved companies, and 58% reported it was difficult to integrate.

    The conversation around M&A is almost all financial or data-driven, but organizational change is required in order to accommodate all the differences in two companies merging together. One of the areas for the most improvement is in brand training.

    Identify Crisis and Merging Brands

    In the internet and social media age, it’s more important than ever to be able to distill a company’s identity down to its simplest form. But brand also extends to the types of employees attracted to the company or the culture within offices. Things get complicated when the compatible aspects of two companies contend with the incompatible ones.

    For instance, The Walt Disney Company recently acquired 21st Century Fox for almost $72 billion. Everyone in the world could probably articulate the Disney brand. We’d talk about Mickey Mouse, Disneyland, animated films, or princesses. But 21st Century Fox, with a long and varied film history, had obvious brand compatibility issues. Could the Simpsons exist alongside Mickey and Minnie? Could the Alien franchise find a home in Cinderella’s castle? Fox’s sub-brands like Fox Searchlight were known for independent cinema, a far cry from Disney’s box office giants and four-quadrant crowd-pleasers.

    Disney set about swallowing up the 21st Century Fox brand and discarding what didn’t fit. It also meant job loss and a more homogenized box office. Disney, with the stronger brand, found ways to successfully communicate the changes privately and publicly like the 2019 launch of streaming service Disney Plus. After only 3 months, Disney Plus had 28.6 million subscribers, all of whom can log into the service and see Homer Simpson and his family right alongside Mickey Mouse and friends. But, while a branding home run for Disney, many of the unique aspects of 21st Century Fox have fallen away.

    Successful Brand Training Post-M&A

    So much time, energy, and research is spent on the due diligence to vet both companies’ finances and legal issues that it’s understandable why business leaders would want a break once the deal is done. But complacency after M&A sets your company up for immediate failure. Once the deal is closed, the work is just getting started.

    Here are some lessons we can learn from successful brand mergers:

    • Transparent communication that is early, often, and detailed will go a long way toward easing employees’ fears. Without the context of why changes are happening, employees will probably assume the worst by default. Some employees might start looking for new jobs rather than stay and risk negative changes.
    • Developing a framework to identify and measure the indicators of successful integration will show how your company is responding to the transition. Consider an extensive needs analysis to determine the training your company needs and how to implement it.
    • Reshaping business processes that match between the involved companies won’t happen without buy-in from the bottom up. Brand training can help employees understand why the change is necessary and beneficial to them in their specific role. When training is not specific, it’s not effective. It’s also important that successful ideas from both companies are integrated into training. If one company simply cannibalizes the other, the cost is often human, and employee morale will decline.
    • Roll out training in phases so employees don’t get overwhelmed. Mergers and acquisitions can lead to moving offices, downsizing, or a host of other practical problems, and employees will have enough on their plate. Clear direction can be supported by changing assets in training to reflect new company names, logo, or language.

    Considering these ideas will be a great start to developing a plan to navigate brand training after M&A.

    Investing in Change

    The stakes are high in today’s increasingly-consolidated market. When billions of dollars are invested in M&A, billions of dollars have to be earned. Otherwise, the narrative can easily turn into failure. Because of this pressure, it’s easy to overlook the human aspects of M&A that can lead to success.

    Brand training that’s specific and personal to the employees involved is an investment in the people behind the change. When communication and training combine, employees will be invested in the change, too. The fear of the unknown is replaced with excitement to tackle the new challenges post-M&A.

  • Monday, February 10, 2020 5:51 PM | Anonymous

    Todd Davis is FranklinCovey’s Chief People Officer and the author and co-author, respectively, of The Wall Street Journal bestsellers Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work and Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team

    “Have you got a few minutes? I’ve got some feedback for you.” The words we all dread to hear…right?

    And why is that? The origin of the word “feed” means to nourish, sustain, and foster. And “back” means to support. So if that is what feedback really means, who wouldn’t want that?

    Not only have we forgotten the definition of the word, but many have completely misunderstood the intent, whether they are giving the feedback or receiving it. A very common mindset with managers and leaders is “I give feedback so I can fix people’s problems.” Makes sense. Sounds logical, and even helpful. But the truly great managers’ mindset is “I give and I seek feedback to elevate the entire team".

    Creating a culture of feedback, where giving and receiving feedback, even proactively seeking it out, is commonplace. It is one of the most effective things great managers focus on. And it all hinges on our intent.

    Am I giving you feedback because I want you to know how smart I am or that I know more than you do? Or maybe I’m feeling threatened and so I find comfort in making someone else feel threatened? Or, do I really see a behavior that I believe is hindering you or holding you back from realizing your full potential. And my sole intent is to help.

    And when I seek feedback, am I only looking for compliments or validation, or, do I really care and want to know where others think I can improve. Do I have the humility to not only hear what they might have to say, but to evaluate it and then if needed, act on it?

    Giving feedback is hard. And intent is everything. If our intent is right, if we really want to help, while the perfect words might not come through, our intent will.

    Great managers don’t think about giving negative or positive feedback in these discussions. And not because they are trying to dance around those words. But because they want to emphasize the real intent behind the feedback. They refer to redirecting feedback or reinforcing feedback.

    Redirecting Feedback – I love this phrase. I love it because to me, in the context of feedback, the word “redirecting” indicates that someone is doing a lot of things right, that they have talents and capabilities, but that they just need to adjust or tweak some of the things they’re doing. Redirecting conveys hope. It conveys that “I believe in you”. That you can do it. I will often began a redirecting conversation by saying something like “Sam, I want you to know how much I value you and the contributions you have made to our team. You are very talented and I’m glad you’re here. There are a couple of things I’d like to share with you and I want you to know that my only intent in sharing these with you is because I care deeply about your success and I believe if you can adjust these things, you will become even more accomplished than you are today.”

    Reinforcing Feedback - For anyone who has helped raise a small child, you remember the first time “Johnny” tied his own shoes. And you said “Johnny, that was wonderful that you were able to tie your shoes all by yourself!” And Johnny felt quite a rush when you called him out on that behavior. He was anxious to do it again and again. Well guess what? That sense of pride and accomplishment doesn’t go away as we get older. As adults, we are all still “Johnny” or “Jane” and we crave that feeling when someone sincerely notices something we’ve done well. This is reinforcing feedback and because many tend to think of feedback as a time to “fix problems”, they frequently miss this invaluable opportunity to recognize the effective behaviors that certain team members are demonstrating. “Sam, I want you to know that in the meeting yesterday, the data you had so carefully prepared made all the difference in conversation. Your attention to detail is something I’ve always appreciated and I wanted to thank you for being so prepared.” Sam is going to remember those words and you can bet that she will be the data expert if she isn’t already.” Great managers don’t miss the opportunity to provide reinforcing feedback. They are constantly on the lookout for it.

    Seeking feedback is equally as important as giving it, especially for managers. And again, your intent is everything. Realize that your title alone makes it a little (or a lot) unsafe for others to give you feedback….to tell you the truth. Great managers make it safe.

    If I’m the boss and after the team meeting I show up in Stan’s office and say “Hey Stan, how do you think the meeting went?” What do you think Stan is going to say? “Uh, great…it went great Todd.” Put on the spot, especially by our manager, most of us are going to say exactly what we think they want to hear. It’s human nature. And I suspect we’ve all experienced it when put in a position like this.

    But let’s say I’m Stan’s boss and my real intent is to improve. So I go to Stan the day BEFORE the meeting and I say “Hey Stan, I know you’ll be at the team meeting tomorrow and I’d like to ask you a favor. I’m really trying to improve the effectiveness of our meetings. Would you please note down those things you observe that you believe I could do better in conducting the meeting? Sure I’d love to know what you think is going well, but I’m really focused on where I can improve. And then maybe later this week we can meet and you can share with me your observations. Would that be okay?"

    I suspect by asking Stan this way, by making it safe, I’m going to get a lot more than “Uh, great…it went great Todd.” And then I’ll have an opportunity to practice a little humility as I try and improve.

    Great managers understand the huge value in creating a culture of feedback. By giving redirecting feedback when needed, and by looking for opportunities for giving reinforcing feedback. And they model proactively seeking feedback as well. Sincerely asking for suggestions on where they can improve. When this type of giving and receiving feedback is just part of how a team operates, you can bet they will be one of the highest performing teams in the organization.

  • Thursday, January 09, 2020 3:24 PM | Anonymous

    by Todd Davis 

    Todd Davis is FranklinCovey’s Chief People Officer and the author and co-author, respectively, of The Wall Street Journal bestsellers Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work and Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team

    Imagine you are at the airport waiting to board a plane. Your group number is finally called. You walk down the jetway and go into the plane (pass first class because you never get upgraded), back to row 46 in coach. You hoist your carryon luggage into the overhead bin, sit down in your seat, buckle your seatbelt, and lean back and think “Finally, I can relax for a few minutes.”

    As the plane taxis out onto the runway, a voice comes over the speaker system and says “Thanks for flying with us today. I will be your pilot, and while I don’t have any actual pilot training, I do have an interest in flying and so we’ll just learn as we go. Welcome to GOOD LUCK AIRLINES!”

    Hearing this, what is your first inclination? You’ve got to get off that plane…right? 

    In a recent Harvard Business Review article it was noted that on average, people are put into their first management role around age 30 and yet don’t receive any type of management training until around age 42……if ever! So that’s basically 12 years of “Welcome to Good Luck Leadership.”

    More often than not, those placed in a leadership role are put there because they were a superstar in their old role. And yet, the skills that made them so successful as an individual contributor are not what they need to be the great manager their team deserves.

    In The Wall Street Journal’s bestselling book, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager – The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team, we have identified the fundamental yet vital skills that anyone in a management or leadership role needs to be using.

    These six practices make all the difference between having at team who excels and is passionate about the work they are doing to those who just show up until something better comes along.

    The six critical practices are:

    1 – Develop a Leaders Mindset. Do you want to be a great leader, or do you want your team led by a great leader? Think about that as it is a subtle but critical difference. If I wake up in the morning thinking “I want to be a great leader”, I’m probably going to do a lot of really good things that day. But if I wake up in the morning thinking “I want my team led by a great leader”, then the focus is on them, the team! “What does Matt need to reach his full potential?” How can I help Madison really knock it out of the park with the project she’s working on?” Having the mindset of a leader is foundational and makes all the difference in how you approach everything in your management role.

    2 – Hold Regular 1-on-1s. While this may seem obvious, I am amazed at how many people in management roles don’t meet on a regular basis with their team members. The most important thing a leader can do is create the circumstances for employee engagement. The more engaged an employee is, the more productive they are. An effective 1-on-1 is the optimal time for really understanding what’s important to the employee. What’s working for them and what’s not working? What would they like to do next? This regular meeting (weekly, bi-weekly, or even just once a month) can make all the difference of whether or not an employee feels truly valued.

    3 – Set Up Your Team to Get Results. Do you know the top three goals of your organization? Does your team? Setting up your team to get results is all about alignment. Alignment that as a leader you can make happen. WHY is our organization focused on whatever it is we do? WHAT role does our team play in that purpose and goal? And HOW should our team go about accomplishing that? Leaders who help their teams understand these three questions, WHY, WHAT, and HOW, are well on their way to helping their team get stellar results.

    4 – Create a Culture of Feedback. “Hey Joe, have you got a minute? I’ve got some feedback for you!” And Joe is thinking, “Great, what have I done now?” Feedback is meant to help nourish, sustain, and support people, not stress them out or tear them down. Creating a culture where giving AND RECEIVING reinforcing and/or redirecting feedback is a regular occurrence can truly help a team perform at their very best. And don’t forget the receiving part. Great leaders proactively seek out ways they, as the leader, can improve.

    5 – Lead Your Team Through Change. We’ve all learned the one thing we can count on is change. And great leaders understand that leading your team through change doesn’t mean you shield them from it, you have all the answers, or you join them in their protests against it. Great leaders take the time to understand the reasons for the change so that they can get on board with it and then help their team navigate through the various stages of change, coaching and encouraging them along the way.

    6 – Manage Your Time and Energy. It is predicted that within 20 years, 40% of jobs currently performed by human beings will be replaced by artificial intelligence. We owe it to ourselves and to those we lead to stay relevant, continually investing in ourselves so that we can add value and make significant contributions. Certainly, that starts with taking care of ourselves physically, eating right and getting enough exercise. Not burning out. And it also means we are continually learning and investing in our minds. What the leader values (and models) gets valued.

    Just as we all deserve a trained, skilled, competent pilot to get us safely from point A to point B, everyone deserves a great manager to lead them in the important work they do every day. Implementing these six practices will do just that.  

    For more information on how to become the leader that everyone on your team deserves, please download our guide: http://pages.franklincovey.com/crucial-insights-first-level-leaders-guide-pr.html

  • Tuesday, December 10, 2019 11:20 AM | Anonymous

    Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a relevant skill for all talent development professionals and leaders, regardless of industry. This month, Utah ATD Chapter Sponsor, Accel5, shared a book summary from Travis Bradberry's, "6 Hallmarks of a High EQ Leader." 

    According to Travis Bradberry, what are the "6 Hallmarks of a High EQ Leader?"

    1. You're curious about people.
    2. You embrace change. 
    3. You know your strengths and weaknesses.
    4. You're a good judge of character. 
    5. You're difficult to offend.
    6. You let go of mistakes. 

    Watch the full video summary here

    About Accel5

    Accel5 is a microlearning solution for employees looking to improve critical soft skills like leadership, teamwork, communication, innovation and many others. It offers best practices from world-class business authors and executives in three formats: videos, summaries of business books and articles. The content is concise and actionable, making it an ideal solution for busy professionals.

  • Tuesday, November 12, 2019 8:45 AM | Anonymous

    As talent development professionals, we share a desire to make an impact by helping people grow in their careers and at our companies. We are constantly preparing and adapting to what people need to be successful, which is why it is critical that we understand our different audiences.

    This month, Lindsay Bragg, a content marketing manager at InsideOut Development was willing to share research with our Utah ATD Chapter about the next generation to hit the workforce: Generation Z.

    3 Traits of Generation Z—Backed By Research

    Who is classified as Generation Z?

    Generation Z—AKA Post-Millennials, AKA Gen Z, AKA the iGeneration, AKA the Digital-Native Generation—typically contains those born between 1996-2010. Gen Z started entering the workforce in 2017, so it’s already past time to start thinking about how to accommodate this new generation.

    Why should we be paying attention?

    Research shows that Gen Z will make up almost a quarter of the global workforce by 2020, making them the fastest-growing generation in the workforce. The internet, smart phones, September 11th, the Great Recession, and equality movements have all shaped the Gen Z viewpoint. They see and react to the world differently and have developed some unique attributes. Once organizations understand the events that influence Gen Z’s worldview, they are better equipped to empathize with the priorities many members of Gen Z share.

    What can your expert research tell us?

    We surveyed more than 1,000 members of Generation Z (Gen Z for short) to get their thoughts and expectations for a workplace and researched hundreds of articles to compile an Ultimate Guide to Gen Z in the Workplace.

    Here are 3 key traits we discovered about Generation Z:

    1.     Gen Z are socially responsible.

    Gen Z’s familiarity with diversity and the fight for fairness pressures them to drive society forward, making them one of the most stressed generations yet.

    2.     Gen Z are well-educated

    It is estimated that by 2020, two-thirds of all U.S. jobs will require education beyond a high school diploma.

    We asked Gen Z if they felt a need to gain additional education to combat this trend. We found that nearly 70 percent believe they need at least a bachelor’s degree in order to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. Nearly 80 percent fear they won’t be able to get their dream job without at least a bachelor’s degree.

    3.     Gen Z are entrepreneurs.

    Gen Zers anticipate being just as likely to work for multiple companies throughout their career as Millennials, but they are much more entrepreneurially-minded.

    In the Huffington Post, TEDx speaker and organizational development consultant Crystal Kadakia wrote, “72 percent of high school students want to start their own business someday. 61 percent expect to start a business right out of college.” This means that Gen Zers are 55 percent more likely to want to start a business than their Millennial counterparts. Kadakia continued, “little do employers know, but Corporate America is quickly becoming the ‘backup’ option—what do to if all else fails.”

    What do you want talent development professionals to take away from your research?

    As much as we talk about “generations” and all the ways each new generation will revolutionize the workplace, the changes we need to make to accommodate them don’t really need to be all that drastic. As we analyzed our research, we boiled Gen Z’s workplace needs into 4 places to start—and they aren’t all that shocking.

    1.     Gen Zers want feedback and open communication.

    2.     Gen Zers want a good relationship with their boss

    3.     Gen Zers want a safe place for failure.

    4.     Gen Zers want help building confidence.

    Adapting your workplace and your managers’ leadership techniques to accommodate these four Gen Z workplace wants will ensure your workplace is ready to recruit, retain, and magnify the talented individuals of Generation Z—and any generation for that matter.

  • Tuesday, October 01, 2019 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    by Shannon Herrera, Senior Instructional Designer

    We often think about learning as what happens in the classroom, through e-learning, or with tangible just-in-time resources available on the job. However, we don’t always consider the social aspects of learning on the job—particularly mentoring. A good mentoring program can help employees become productive quicker, but more importantly, it can help individuals feel supported and cared for in their jobs. According to research conducted by the Association for Talent Development, mentoring programs can impact things like engagement, retention, growth, relationships, and collaboration. When I look back at my career, official or unofficial mentors were typically the difference between feeling supported in a job or feeling like I was floundering. These mentors are the people who, years later, I still consider my friends.

    The biggest role a mentor can play for their mentee is an ear to listen and someone to throw around ideas with. A strong mentor can be key to helping new employees find their place in a company and feel like they have a voice. 

    Here are some tips to keep in mind while creating a mentoring program:

    1. Know employees as individuals. Understanding your employees will help you establish a tailored program that works.

    2. Know your mentors. Not everyone is a natural mentor, but most people can be taught the skills to mentor. Consider implementing a mentoring schedule that has key items to go over, giving your mentors guidelines and goals. In some cases, a “mentor-the-mentor” program may help those who are interested in mentoring but may not have the leadership skills.

    3. What behaviors are you aiming for? Mentors are supposed to guide mentees but having some set behaviors for mentors to focus on can help them lead mentees to be more successful in their role.

    4. Respect the relationship. Unlike other relationships at a company, the mentor/mentee relationship should be considered sacred and confidential. Unless there is a significant issue that the mentor feels they must address with management, conversations should be kept private.

    “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” 

    — Denzel Washington

  • Tuesday, September 03, 2019 12:13 PM | Anonymous

    September Spotlight

    by Lisa Jastremsky, Past Utah ATD Chapter President, CPLP, PHR, SHRM-CP

    Lisa’s Journey to CPLP

    “You down with CPLP? Yeah you know me!

    When I was a kid, I wanted to be a rapper, as I loved to memorize lyrics of songs. I liked to rap songs as fast as I could. Then, I found I could write my own lyrics and that sparked my creativity. I know now that I was not meant to be a rapper. Today, I am a training and development professional. The talent development field may not be as glamorous as the music industry, but it does fuel the same things that motivated me as a kid. Learning and creativity are my biggest drivers and motivators in life, and I’m glad I discovered it early in life.  

    As I continued to enjoy my work in the field, I found a need to enhance my skill set, which is when I stumbled upon ATD and started attending meetings. It’s in those meetings that I discovered the CPLP (Certified Professional in Learning and Performance) credential. This really caught my attention and I had to do it. That was more than five years ago, and there is not a day that goes by that I’m not happy I did it and feel proud about my accomplishment. This credential was a challenge, and that’s how I know I grew as an individual from achieving it.”

    CPLP Testimonials

    "Here are what some fellow homies in the training game have to say about the credential."

    "For about five years I was interested in the CPLP certification yet felt overwhelmed with the idea of the studying without a study group and time was limited for me. When I saw the APTD come available, I knew this was my time to commit and take that leap. I now feel as if the pursuit of my CPLP is achievable therefore I have set my sights on that as a next step.”

    —Yolanda Brown, APTD

    “I was fortunate to be in one of the first cohorts for the CPLP certification way back in 2008! I've re-certified every three years since and am currently certified through November 2020. The certification opened a number of professional opportunities for me that have expanded my horizons and provided deeper immersion into the Workplace Learning and Performance industry. In the last 12 years I have been contacted by half a dozen learning and development teams through the ATD Job Bank (seeking CPLPs) who have been seeking instructional design consulting expertise on many exciting initiatives. It's been great to make new connections as I've worked with them to create behavior-changing learning experiences. Over the last couple of years, I've had the experience of working with ATD CI (Certification Institute) on new certification assessments for the international learning community, and it's been amazing to rub shoulders with other CPLPs as we've collaborated to craft new and innovative tools! I also love the social connections in several online groups that have resulted in new friends and different ways of thinking.”

    —Richard Vass, CPLP  

    Helpful CPLP Tips and Resources

    “Since I earned my CPLP credential there has been a lot of changes, such as the way the CPLP requirements have changed and they have launched the entry certificate the APTD, which is a steppingstone to reach the CPLP. 

    This year ATD announced that they plan to, once again, change the criteria for earning the CPLP. This year’s cohorts will be the last ones to be considered under the current certificate requirements. So, if you have been thinking about earning yours, I would recommend looking into it now. 
    Here are some links to the current information on CPLP and APTD testing and prep: 

    Also, the Utah ATD Chapter partners with the Rocky Mountain Chapter based in Denver, that provides a virtual study group. As a sister chapter, our members can sign up for the same $50 fee offered to their chapter members.  Please see the information here: Please visit the page to register: https://www.atdrmc.org/CPLP-Study-Group. The fee will be $50.

    So now you know what’s up with the current credential process, there is no reason why you shouldn’t go out there and do what I know so many of you are motivated by, and that is to keep on learning.”

  • Monday, July 01, 2019 7:19 PM | Anonymous


    My name is Jason Sturges, and I have the pleasure of serving the talent development community, here in the great state of Utah, as President-Elect of the Utah ATD Chapter.  There are many hands that help run a smooth chapter, and the role of the President-Elect is to support the President in strategic planning & innovation, all things chapter operations, and all collaborations & partnerships.  In terms of short introductions, I have been in the talent development industry for 15 years – having worked for franchising, biotech, non-profit/associations, and academia – and this is my 5th year on the Utah ATD Board of Directors.  I have a personal mission statement of “using what I have to make the lives others better,” so when it comes to the areas of expertise that I like to focus on, they include management, leadership and organizational development; trainer development; and orientation & onboarding (my master’s thesis topic). 

    The majority of my experience has been working for organizations here in Utah.  But prior to my return in 2018, I had the opportunity to work for four years at ATD National – back east, out in the northern Virginia/DC area – as a senior instructional design project manager in their Education department.  You might be familiar with that group, as they develop and deliver the Certificate, Masters and Essentials classes popular among many ATD members worldwide.  The reason I bring this up is because, during my time at ATD National, I learned that many people don’t know the resources available to them when they join a professional group like ATD.

    With that said, having been on the inside at ATD National, I could easily present you a laundry list – longer than necessary for this newsletter – of items to look into; with a worry that it would come off only as a blatant sales pitch for ATD.  So, I don’t want to do that.  But what I would like to do is focus on three overarching resources – content, connection and certification – that you can follow-up on and I hope brings you value.

    CONTENT.  ATD National is an amazing, and continuous, content curation machine.  Their team works tirelessly to bring to market new information on 14 different topics relevant to talent development professions, covering over 8 different roles in the industry, and even some deep dives into specific niche sub-industries (like health care and government, etc).  Whether you are looking for a class, a book, a topical/current magazine article, a new research/trend report, a webinar series, some speakers for your next event, or even some industry data and best practices – you can find all of it and more through ATD National.  And though there’s no such thing as a free lunch – depending on your membership status – a lot of the content can be found for low- or no-cost.  

    CONNECTION.  Though I very much appreciate (and utilize) the content wing of ATD National, one of the resources that I truly love the most is their dedication to connection … or we could even say community.  I am a firm believer that you can only learn so much from “things” – but that you can accelerate your learning and development when you partner with someone else (formally or informally).  If you have ever been to an ATD conference, you know what a great job they do in bringing together people from all over the globe to share thought leadership and best practices.  (And if you haven’t been, then we need to see how we can get you to it next year – as it’s in our backyard of Denver!). Additionally, the infrastructure they’ve setup for local chapters (nationally and internationally) is another great resource they offer us – giving us leadership development opportunities along with a large network to reach out to for support, feedback, collaboration, brainstorming, other assorted resources, and more!  

    CERTIFICATION.  The final asset that I think is a great resource from ATD National is their certification institute.  ATDCI is the managing body for both the CPLP and APTD credentials.  I held off from seeking certification, for many years, thinking that a master’s degree in adult education would be sufficient.  And though my academic training was amazing, and has done great things for me professionally, pursuing (and achieving) my CPLP was transformational.  Reviewing the Learning System (aka ‘body of knowledge’) that they recommend you study, along with the study guides, study tools, and practice tests were a great assessment of all of my graduate school content.  And the final tests and projects were great ‘refining fires’ that proved I had what it took to be recognized as a professional.  The CPLP & APTD programs are great tools to help us in talent development more easily get a seat at that proverbial table, by having an outside group validate our skillset and require us to maintain it over time.

    As I mentioned earlier, I have a mission to “use what I have to make the lives of others better,” so I get really excited (aka lengthy) when talking about resources.  Those that work with me, or have collaborated with me in the past, know that I have a “small library” when it comes to the topics I am passionate about.  (I may or may not have moved 30 boxes of books to and from DC!)  With that said, before I go too long in this piece, I will bring it to a close here.  I am always happy, willing and excited to “talk training” with anyone, so please feel free to reach out.  Connect with me on LinkedIn, drop me a line through the chapter at presidentelect@utahatd.org or you can learn more about what I have done and what I am doing at www.jasondsturges.com.

    Thank you for all that you do to develop the talent – and develop those that develop talent – in your organizations.  All of us continuing to do that every day, will most certainly – as the ATD vision states – “create a world that works better.”



    President-Elect, ATD Utah Board of Directors,

    Employee Development & Engagement Manager, BioFire Diagnostics

  • Saturday, June 01, 2019 4:53 PM | Anonymous

    Four Key Takeaways from the ATD National ICE Conference

    I was looking forward to attending this year's ATD National Conference, and once again, I was not disappointed. I always leave full of new ideas for how to improve my training skills, ready to implement innovative solutions to our training problems, and excited about great new friendships. One thing I learned from attending previous conferences is to prepare beforehand and arrive with a plan for which sessions to attend. There are so many choices, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you are not focused.

    My Main Takeaways from the 2019 Conference

    1. Sharing quality time with other Utah Chapter members. Thank you to all event sponsors!

    2. Chapter Sessions

    My three favorite sessions were…

    “Solutions to Help with Member Engagement” (Chapter Leader Day)

    This session focused on…

    • Focusing on what matters most to members
    • Building a relationship of trust
    • Maintaining a well-informed website
    • Setting clear chapter goals
    • Providing meaningful content at monthly events

    “Organizational Culture”

    This session focused on…

    • How to recognize problems
    • How to conduct a gap analysis
    • How to develop a leadership brand

    “Time Management” (Becoming Your Best Global Leadership)

    This session focused on the following equation: Mindset + Skills = Becoming Your Best

    “Good, Better, Best
     Never let it rest 
    'Til the Good is better
    and the Better is best."

    3. Keynote Speakers

    All three keynote speakers were wonderful—especially Oprah. During her talk, she talked about clearing our minds and waiting until we are ready to do what we have to do. In other words: Be patient. Another great insight was when she said, "Live in the moment so that you can make the next right decision." This touched me personally as I am dealing with some challenges of my own.

    4. Leadership sessions

    During these sessions, I strengthened my knowledge and skills to prepare our future leaders.

    Overall, I loved the conference. The speakers were outstanding and the sessions were full of useful information. After attending the conference, I feel equipped to find solutions to our organization's challenges. I encourage anyone to attend this conference in the future (and be sure to wear comfortable shoes).

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