Standing out from the crowd

By Steve George

Flyer for the Learning Lounge eventRemember that scene in Jurassic Park where the T-Rex escapes?  It’s raining heavily, it’s dark and the children are in the car, shaking with fear, too scared to even breathe. The T-Rex (who we’ve recently witnessed swallow a live goat) stamps around for a bit in the mud, sniffs the air, makes a few terrifying noises, and then looks through the window, teeth dripping, the hard scales on its skin emphasised by the rain…then the girl shines a torch in its eye…and…

…the pupil shrinks. It actually reacts to the light!

When I saw that at the cinema there was an audible gasp from the audience. This was a lifelike dinosaur like we’d never seen before. And the film was full of them. Running around eating each other!

Running around eating people!

And all totally convincing too! Suddenly CGI was good. And CGI allowed film-makers to become God and to create whole new worlds.


But the sad fact is, it was overused.

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Clive Shepherd: ten things I know about learning

By John Helmer

Clive ShepherdWe’re very pleased to have Clive Shepherd, Founding Director at The More Than Blended Learning Company, and a thought leader in our industry, as a guest on this blog. Clive has contributed this piece to The Curve Magazine – packed with useful tips and insights – which you can pick up at our Learning Lounge event on 3 February 2016.

  1. We will not learn without paying close attention. We will only do that if we regard what’s going on as relevant to us.
  1. Novices are easily overloaded with new information. Paying close attention is tiring.
  1. Five minutes is probably as much time as most of us want to spend attending to new information. On the other hand, we are happy to spend hours engaged with stories or solving challenging problems.

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All employees are equal – but are some more equal than others?

By Harriet Croxton

Women in Leadership06_side-by_sideMany organisations don’t offer any gender specific training and often women don’t welcome being singled out: men should be invited to debate on women’s issues and all employees should be offered training and a flexible working environment that is relevant to them.  These were just some of the valuable insights that came out of our Think Tank Dinner held recently in London.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, has put the topic of Women in Leadership firmly back on the mainstream agenda. Her brand of feminism is much debated, but essentially she suggests that women, driven by gender stereotypes to be submissive, are missing out on workplace success due to misplaced insecurity, passivity and docility.

We hosted a Think Tank Dinner where we bought together female leaders working in the area of HR and Learning and Development to discuss the role of Women in Leadership. We aimed to understand the issues they face and how we, as HR and L&D professionals, can better support them.

The dinner was hosted under Chatham House rules and as such, does not reveal the participating individuals or organisations specifically. Contributing to the debate were representatives from the Banking and Finance, Leisure, Food and Beverage, Defence and Professional Services sectors.

This is what they had to say:

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Five tips for effective storytelling in learning

By Steve George

pair of feet on grass lettered 'What's your story?'‘You wouldn’t believe what Gina did at the weekend. Seriously! You would not! Totally OMG!’ — That’s what the woman on my train is telling her friend, anyway.

And it got me thinking … Not so much about what Gina did or didn’t do at the weekend – but about stories.

So let me tell you a story …

A few years ago I interviewed a candidate for a Learning Design position. As part of the interview she explained that the reason she had ended up working in learning was because she liked telling stories. Throughout her working life this was the common thread through all her positions, through all her roles – roles which, on the face of it, may have seemed unconnected, but which nonetheless had this common thread of storytelling running through them.

Why do I remember this interview so vividly? Because the candidate told me a story about herself (of course), and stories work for learning and recall … in fact I’d even argue that the best learning is often based on a story. There are many reasons why storytelling is important in learning, not the least of which being that our brains are actually wired to respond to stories differently from how they respond to straight information dumps.

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