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Category Learning & Development

Meet Sue Brown, Maher’s Newest Instructional Design Talent

Susan (Sue) Brown joins Maher as a Senior Instructional Designer in our Private Sector Practice. She works directly with our Chief Learning Officer and Learning Strategist to assess client needs and craft innovative and effective learning solutions for our clients. She also works with our Project Managers to ensure design workflows are effective and timely to produce high-quality learning deliverables.

Sue comes to Maher after serving as a Lead Instructional Designer and Project Manager at Optimized Learning Solutions. Prior to that she was Manager of Multimedia Training at U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP).

Bringing 20 years of experience in a mix of learning roles from sales trainer, systems training design and facilitation, eLearning producer, lead designer, and Project Manager, Sue is a versatile new asset for the Firm. She is not only knowledgeable in adult learning theory, she excels in technology-enabled learning, with a passion for visual… Read more →

How Do You Learn?

As Chief Learning Officer at Maher, I get asked, “How do I develop myself professionally? What do I do to learn and advance my knowledge base and skills?”

While I’ve always wanted to pursue my PhD and I’d like to say I’m actively engaged in some formal advanced education, I don’t have that personal bandwidth to do so at this point in my life. However, I DO believe, and always have believed, we must continue to grow as professionals. We need to own that and be accountable for it. The world continues to change; we must keep up. One thing I know from working in the Talent Development field for more than 20 years is that a key trait of top performers at any organization is that they are continuous learners.

So, what does a busy… Read more →

Why and Who of Storytelling

One of my favorite TV shows out right now is This is Us. This show is such a mega hit because there are several different storylines running concurrently throughout the season, and there is literally something in each show that anyone, from all walks of life, can relate to. It touches the viewers on an emotional and realistic level. Plus, it draws us in week after week, wondering how the story is going to develop.

As an Instructional Designer, I’m of the mindset that my role is equivalent to that of the Director of a show like This is Us (except, my pay check might have a few less digits!). Instructional Designers are the best people to make learning come to life through storytelling because we can connect the needs of our clients and the expertise of the subject matter experts (SMEs) with the talents… Read more →

Personalized Learning – the Future of Talent Development

We’ve known it for years; we’ve experienced it personally. “One size fits all” is dead. In his essay Death to the Mass, Jeff Jarvis develops an argument he has been making for years. Treating the public as “a mass” is no longer appropriate or effective. Google allows us to organize the entire web to answer a specific question or find a product. We choose what news we want to see, what programs, movies, or sports we watch when, and who appears first and frequently in our Facebook timeline.

Put simply – if the “mass media” is moving to “me media”– we wonder why corporate training too often seems to be clinging to a “one size fits all” learning model?

What if we could transform corporate training the way Jeff… Read more →

Maher Attends LTEN Conference in Nashville

On Monday, June 5th, I started day one of the 46th Annual LTEN Conference in Nashville, Tennessee at the Gaylord Opryland.  LTEN is the Life Sciences Trainers and Educators Network, previously known as the Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers (SPBT) and prior to that, for us older alumni, the National Society of Pharmaceutical Sales Trainers (NSPST). 

I’ve attended this conference almost every year for nearly 20 years.  After all, my foray into Learning and Development after graduate school was in this market, working on product training for market leading brands like Pfizer’s Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium).  

The LTEN conference offers a unique inside view of the Life Sciences industry and how the Learning and Development functions within these organizations are challenged to drive efficiencies, compliance, and performance improvements to ultimately result in better business outcomes, whether that… Read more →

ETA Awards Maher 5-Year, $20M BPA: Opening the Door to Continued & New Consulting & TA Opportunities

Maher & Maher is pleased to announce a new 5-year, $20M blanket purchase agreement (BPA) award from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to provide the agency with consulting and management services in support of its new online communication and learning platform – WorkforceGPS.org. The BPA also opens tremendous opportunity for any office within ETA to engage Maher’s services in a broad array of technical assistance initiatives, including everything from developing and delivering online blended learning and e-learning training opportunities, to identifying and promoting innovative best practices, and creating online content-like blog posts, discussion threads, newsletters, and the like.

The BPA is advantageous for federal staff because it allows access to Maher services directly – without the need for competitive proposals. This will save ETA staff time and money by expediting the procurement process and tapping needed technical assistance… Read more →

Maher & Maher Makes a Difference for Kids with LTEN and the Pajama Program

This year I was so pleased to return to the annual Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network (LTEN) Annual Conference at the Gaylord National Harbor in Maryland. The conference is the nation’s largest and is dedicated to life sciences trainers & educators. I’ve been attending the conference almost annually since the early years when it was referred to as NSPST and it has been interesting to see how it has evolved over time. This year’s conference was a rewarding experience providing the networking, benchmarking, and learning experience I had hoped. And, I was pleased to see so many in attendance.

Each year the LTEN choses a philanthropy to support at the conference. This year was no different. The organization of choice was the Pajama Program out of the Maryland and DC area.  The mission… Read more →

Change Leadership MOOC Premieres Today!

Today we are launching “Leading Change While Implementing Innovation” – ETA’s First Massive Open Online Classroom (MOOC) offering! I’m so pleased to be able to work with a selected group of ETA grantees as the instructor and look forward to some great learning over the five-week course.

The MOOC format – a 100% online learning format where content is available to learners 24x7, whenever schedules allow – uses a new learning format called a “flipped classroom.” This format has participants learn as much from interacting with each other as they do from the instructor. Each week will begin with a short lecture and will then continue through self-assessments, online discussions with peers and an occasional article, video or self-check quiz.

In this MOOC format (actually it's a SPOC – “Small Private Online Classroom” for this… Read more →

Maher’s New “Mini-MOOC” Pioneers New Learning Technology: USDOL/ETA’s First Trial Starts in April!

As the nation’s workforce development system strives to change to meet the needs of a dynamically shifting US economy and the requirements of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Maher & Maher has been working with our clients at the Employment and Training Administration’s (ETA) Office of Workforce Investment to keep pace with the change. The result? The agency’s first-ever Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will premier this month – inviting select workforce professionals to engage with this exciting new learning format for the first time.

A MOOC is an online, interactive learning platform designed to “flip the classroom” and foster learning that is powered by the learning community itself and guided by (but not controlled by) an instructor. Learning is delivered online, 24x7, so it fits with today’s busy work schedules, and allows diverse… Read more →

Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Are work simplification and continuous improvement on your organization’s radar?  They should be. 

According to the 2015 Human Capital Trends Report produced by Deloitte University Press, “Organizations are simplifying work in response to employees becoming overwhelmed by increasing organizational complexity, growing information overload, and a stressful 24/7 work environment.”  Deloitte goes on to note that, “More than 7 out of 10 surveyed organizations rated the need to simplify work as an “important problem,” with more than 25 percent citing it as “very important.”[1]

Organizations are striving to perform, innovate, and compete, all while providing work-life balance for employees. Add to that advances in technology, a globalized economy, and compliance needs, and we realize a vast complexity in our world of work. Left unaddressed, the challenges of a  highly demanding environment result in a workforce that is disengaged,… Read more →

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