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Maher & Maher, an IMPAQ Company - Investment Advisors for Talent Development.
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Category Private Sector

Building Online Courses with Peer Learning

It’s been years since I completed my master’s degree in Instructional Technology from a reputable Philadelphia university. At that time, online courses were few and far between. In fact, if a course was offered online, it was delivered in the framework of blended learning because in-class sessions were still required for discussion and exams.

I’ve always been a perpetual learner.  However, I tend to focus my skill-sharpening around the development of just-in-time learning, video demonstrations, and webinars. As an e/mLearning Developer, I have to stay current with technology because tools and learning platforms are constantly updated.

As our clients continue to transition instructor-led training to online learning, or even look to revamp dated online learning, they present a growing desire to discuss topics, ideas, challenges, and perspectives with their Learning and Development peers.

While I… Read more →

Blended Virtual Learning that Works

A Little Background

Maher has worked with a mix of clients to move lengthy in-person classroom training (what we refer to as instructor-led training, or ILT) to a blended virtual instructor-led delivery format, or VILT. This allows clients to expand course offerings to a wider audience and eliminates the cost of meeting rooms and other logistics, such as travel, for both facilitators and participants. While controlling costs is an important consideration, this approach also presents significant learning benefits for participants:

A cohort model allows learners to study together over a set time period and connect in ways that extend beyond the initial learning experience. Blended formats are convenient and allow for an expanded cohort of participants. This broadens the depth of peer expertise shared during the course. Peer learning allows colleagues across the nation or around the globe to collaborate or problem-solve in new ways. … Read more →

How Do You Learn?

An Interview with Michael Colella, Information Technology Manager at Maher & Maher

As Chief Learning Officer at Maher, I like to connect with team members on how they view professional development and how they develop themselves.

Michael Colella joined Maher in March of this year as our Information Technology (IT) Manager. I wanted to get his perspective on development as a systems and technology expert.  He was ready and willing to let me pick his brain—thank you Mike!

Question: “Why do you think professional development is so important today?”

In our age of technology and connectivity the business landscape has become extremely competitive. Successful businesses aim to acquire the most talented individuals to drive innovation. Companies often expand their talent pool search by offering employees the ability to work remotely.  With an expanded talent pool for employers… Read more →

A Digital Transformation is Upon Us. What Does That Mean to the Workplace?

The digital transformation is a key business initiative at the forefront of most leading organizations. It is not a trend that is losing ground; rather, it is picking up exponential speed.  Those that plan to wait until the ground settles to find their place in the transformation will be left behind.  It is undeniable that our workplace will change significantly in the next five years, and this new way of work, more than any other in recent history, will have a profound impact on how we ready our future workforce. Job-seekers, as well as those who are currently employed, will need to upskill to adapt in the workplace.

I just spent two days at the Future Workplace Summit in Boston, Massachusetts.  The event focused on how the workplace is changing and presented best practices for leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual and Augmented Realities (VR… Read more →

Artificial Intelligence Changing the Way We Learn

When I first heard the term, Artificial Intelligence (AI), it reminded me of the 1968 iconic film, 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick. Yes, I realize many of my coworkers were likely not even born yet and might see that film as dated and old-school; but for me at eight, it was a glance into our future. As an adult, I can imagine how my father regretted his decision to take me to that movie after being bombarded with questions like, “Why is that computer talking?” Yet, here we stand, asking for guidance from voice-powered personal assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google, or Cortana. 

Many companies are exploring AI technology today.  Being in the learning and development field, I ask myself, “What effect will AI have on learning and performance improvement strategies and on the professionals that are accountable for Talent Development?”

Read more →

Microlearning as a Tool for Learning in the Digital Transformation Age

In consulting with clients on upskilling in today’s workplace, there is frequent interest in the use of short and focused videos (microlearning).  A while back one of our talented Instructional Designers, Erin Audia, shared great perspective on the value of Video as a Medium for Microlearning.  We are resharing it since it still hits the mark quite accurately.

Development of Leaders through Experiences

In this newsletter, we talked about leadership and the importance of communication, digital savvy, and agility to their roles and to the success of any organization.  Many leaders have been organically grown and therefore these traits may or may not have been as inherent in previous roles as contributors.  Gallup recently shared an article on experiential development for leaders and the importance of learning while doing.  It notes that today’s leaders must operate in a remarkably agile and ever-changing business landscape, different from any that came before it. And the demands of leadership in that environment will only grow more intense.  To learn more about experiential learning and its role in leadership development, see the Gallup article on Experience Reigns in Leadership Development.

ACTION: E-Leaders are Facilitators

This is the second in a four-part series on e-leadership and its critical influence in today’s virtual teams.

In our last E-Leadership blogpost, we considered rethinking how virtual teams can maximize time dedicated to training or work projects and suggested incorporating self-directed activities that are completed online. This approach not only continues the momentum of initiatives, it can also improve engagement and efficiency in future training or project meetings. In this post, we’ll look at types of online self-paced and real-time work and learning initiatives and how e-leaders can better move the needle to improved performance in facilitating them asynchronously.

Online team activities fall into three main categories:

Review of digital content, Collaborating on shared documents, and Topical discussions.

You are no doubt familiar with sharing digital content like presentations, links, reports, and other information via email or online.… Read more →

Candor in Continuous Improvement

As leaders we have all experienced that awkward moment when you’ve had to deliver feedback to your team, an associate or partner that their work needs improvement. Or what about those moments when you have to explain to project stakeholders that work might go over-budget or be delayed and why this has occurred.

As Talent Developers at Maher & Maher, we’ve experienced these scenarios internally and at times with our clients.  Any firm that says otherwise, well… just isn’t being honest.  We are talking about that critical point where delicate feedback must be either delivered or received in a way that doesn’t compromise the overall success of a project or worse yet damage the people involved.

These uncomfortable moments should be viewed as opportunities.  They call for us to have frank conversations that… Read more →

Fostering Agility through Servant Leadership

When we think of our organizational leaders, it’s likely that we think of the individuals in executive and senior leadership roles, the directors of our business sectors, and the managers of our teams. More simply, many of us think of the people we perceive as being "in charge" – the decision makers, task delegators, and performance appraisers who operate with superior importance. But, as Simon Sinek, TED Speaker and author of "Start With Why" and "Leaders Eat Last” stated in the above quote, that perception of leadership must be reframed.

The truth is that organizational leadership is at its most effective when it is a servant and focuses less on taking charge of our teams and more on taking care of them. In other words, leaders who prioritize their team’s development, success, and fulfillment above their own will see greater improvements to… Read more →

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