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ASTD Chapter Newsletter
    November 2012 Issue
President's Message

What do I wish for Christmas this year? How about not seeing holiday decorations in the middle of October? How about saying no to another bad holiday comedy coming soon to a theater near you? How about something other than Black Friday?

I wish for a happier world and for us to be happy in our lives. Not too big of a wish I think. One of my favorite things to do is to bestow praise on my fellow employees and the people who report to me. I am so glad ASTD chooses December to recognize employees in the Employee Learning Week. It gives us a chance to wish for better things and to celebrate our successes.

Employee Learning Week is an awareness campaign highlighting the important connection between learning and achieving organizational results. Employee Learning Week takes place in December each year, but learning is a year-round event!

Training is more important now than ever before. The growing skills gap and the increased need to compete in today's economy require organizations to develop a knowledgeable and highly skilled workforce. Employee Learning Week is the perfect opportunity for your organization to get involved and highlight their commitment to learning and development.

This year we are planning a weeks' worth of events and sponsored by the City of Seattle. For the week of December 3-7, 2012, we have a lineup of learning topics presented by top professionals!

Following is a sampling of what is coming:

  • "The World IS Your Classroom Training" by Chris Pirie, Microsoft's General Manager of Field Readiness.
  • CEO panel focusing on Employee Learning by Sam Herring of Intrepid and Kevin Oakes from i4cp
  • "ROI of Coaching" by Lisa Ann Edwards of Bloom Coaching Institute
  • "Innovation" by Bud Wurtz of the AK Group

Check out the website for more details! I hope you take the opportunity to give back this holiday season. We have a tremendous gift to give each other.

Keep Learning!

Darren Nerland
ASTD Puget Sound President

Upcoming Chapter Meeting
 ASTDps: November 2012 Chapter Meeting

What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How to Dramatically (and Measurably) Improve Your Leadership Coaching Skills
As leaders, because we get positive reinforcement from our past successes, we think that they are predictive of great things to come in our future. However, many times the very behaviors that made us successful to date are the ones that hold us back from taking it to the next level. During the presentation, you will identify key behaviors that are holding you and your team back, and you will learn to apply proven coaching techniques to help you and your team achieve bigger and better results.
This presentation is hands-on and highly interactive. We will use the following teaching formats: lecture, self-reflection, role playing, small group discussions and short impromptu presentations by participants. 
You will walk away from this presentation with tools and techniques you can put in place immediately to help you become a better, more effective coach and leader.

About the Presenter:

Urs Koenig, PhD, MBA
Redpoint Succession and Leadership Coaching

Urs combines professional executive coaching and facilitation skills with a successful track record as a leader in business, academia and competitive sports to help people lead more effectively. Over the last 10 years, Urs has worked with over 100 leaders from businesses large and small.  His leadership coaching style is results driven and no-nonsense. One of the key differentiators of Urs' coaching is that he offers a 100% money back guarantee.  If in the eyes of key stakeholders, the client does not achieve positive change in target leadership behaviors, no fee is charged.  Urs believes in involving key organizational stakeholders in the process to effectively turn them into internal coaches. His presentation style is highly energetic and interactive. Urs also serves as a Group Chair for Vistage International, a professional organization dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and enhancing the lives of chief executives.

Urs holds a MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management in Sydney and a PhD from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He is a master certified coach and certified Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder-Centered Coach.

Please note the date change
When: November 15, 2012 | 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Location: 2100 Building, 2100 – 24th Ave South - Seattle, WA 98144

Online registration closes on the Tuesday prior to the chapter meeting. At that time we are no longer able to accept pre-registrations.

Please note that once the online registration is closed, we encourage and welcome you to attend and pay at the door.

The meeting fees at the door are: Members - $20, Non Members $30.

The Research Corner

Research and Learning Science: The Research Corner
by Rob McGowan (robmcgowan@msn.com)

Each month, we'll speak to learning professionals and students in the Puget Sound area to hear about the work they do, how they use learning research, and where research and learning science could help them.

Bridging the Student and Professional Experience in Research and Learning Science
This month, I spoke with Victoria Wentz, who recently completed the e-Learning certificate program at UW. Victoria enrolled in the program during a career transition, in order to supplement and add technical expertise her previous work experience in training and development.

I asked Victoria about the challenges in putting educational theory to use in the workplace, and where learning professionals and learning science professors can address gaps in the transition from study to work. Victoria offered the following insights:

  • University programs put a strong focus on theory and concepts, and they often consciously avoid training on particular software tools. However, most employers are looking for hands-on experience with their tools of choice, which leaves the students needed to self-teach or find additional training on their own.
  • Once students enter (or re-enter) the workplace, they're likely to encounter experiences where project teams lose sight of good design in the heat of rapid development. In order to be advocates for the profession, we often need to draw people back to learning objectives and good instructional design principles.
  • There is a growing community of learning professionals with interest in and need for deep-dive training in complex learning technology. While there is a plethora of fantastic soft-skill training and high-level technology overview training available, there seems to be a gap in the area of learning software.

Do Victoria's concerns resonate with you? Share your thoughts with me or on our LinkedIn group.

Innovation in the Learning Marketplace: ZebraZapps
After hearing about ZebraZapps during the ASTD e-Learning Certificate Program in Kirkland, I contacted the company to find out a little more about the software program. In October, I spoke with Christopher Allen, Product Marketing Manager for Allen Interactions, the makers of Zebra Zapps.

  • I asked Christopher to talk about how ZebraZapps is different from the other big players on the market. He points out that ZebraZapps:
  • Promotes high-fidelity learner engagement (other tools have built in features encourage the development of a less realistic engagement experience)
  • Enables rapid prototyping with shapes that can easily be replaced with custom graphics, without having to recreate elements around the environment
  • Allows recording the order in which learners choose to accomplish tasks, providing delayed and specialized contextual feedback to enhance the learning experience.

The pricing model for ZebraZapps is also unique. Recognizing that costs add up quickly for instructional designers, who often have several thousand dollars invested in tools for editing graphics and building learning experiences, ZebraZapps is a cloud-based application offered via subscription. After a 60-day free trial period, subscribers pay about $9.00 per month to use the software. In addition to the pricing advantage, subscribers are always using the latest version of the software, and it is available on several different platforms.

Future Features on Research and Learning Science
In upcoming newsletters, look for these features:

  • Industry trends
  • Reviews on new books and articles
  • Links to useful research resources and tools
  • Q&A from the research team
  • Retrospectives on published texts with enduring value
  • More interviews with practitioners and students

Let us know what else you'd like to see from us!

Register for ASTDps Employee Learning Week!

Join the ASTD Puget Sound chapter Employee Learning Week that connects learning to performance.  For workplace learning professionals, Employee Learning Week goals are to:

  • Give you an opportunity to focus on your own learning and skills development
  • Showcase your skills and connect you with a highly skilled workforce

For the week of December 3-7, 2012, we have a lineup of learning topics presented by top professionals! Following is a sampling of what is coming:

  • "The World IS Your Classroom Training" by Chris Pirie, Microsoft's General Manager of Field Readiness.
  • "CEO panel focusing on Employee Learning" by Sam Herring of Intrepid and Kevin Oakes from i4cp and Susan Scott from Fierce Conversations
  • "Measuring Return on Investment of Coaching and Three Things You Can Do Today" by Lisa Ann Edwards of Bloom Coaching Institute
  • "A New Model for Innovating Organizational Innovation" by Bud Wurtz from Coaching for Creativity

Employee Learning Week topics will focus on the key roles of workplace learning professionals:

  • Learning Strategist – strategies to shift our thinking about blended learning and online technologies
  • Business Partner – inform about current trends and research to advance the role of learning to drive business results
  • Project Manager – practical, how-to guides and tips on new ways to use learning collaboration vehicles

Check out more information and updates on the full week agenda here...

If you would like to promote Employee Learning Week in your organization, check out the Employee Learning Week Campaign Playbook at:

If you have any questions on this, please contact Sandra Wong at 206.684.7608 or at Sandra.wong@seattle.gov

Innovation Initiative 2013 Planning Meeting

The Chapter's Innovation Initiative got off to a great start in this our inaugural year, 2012.  Let's build on these successes by developing a plan to make even greater strides in the coming year toward our goal of making the Puget Sound the world's most innovative region on the globe.

Join us for ...

Innovation Initiative 2013 Planning Meeting
Thursday, November 8th; 8:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Jitters Coffee House - 2200 148th Ave NE, Redmond, WA 98052

Please RSVP to Bud Wurtz at governmentaffairs@astdps.org.

Member Spotlight
Member Spotlight on Sandra Wong
by Kathy Englert

An important ASTD event is on the horizon. Do you know what it is? It's Employee Learning Week (or ELW) – ASTD's national awareness campaign to highlight the important connection between learning and achieving organizational results. This month's member spotlight features the person responsible for making this event happen here in the Puget Sound area: Sandra Wong. 
Sandra has been a member of ASTD national for decades and, more recently, became involved with our local chapter. She jumped in with both feet by signing up as Director of ELW. In this volunteer position, Sandra's goal is to help raise the profile of the Workplace Learning and Performance (WLP) profession in our region. She accomplishes this goal by leading the development and execution of plans to deliver high quality programming and activities that reflect the accomplishments, goals, and aspirations of the WLP profession. She also works in concert with the VP of Research and Learning Sciences to focus attention on our chapter's public policy agenda.

As if directing ELW isn't enough, Sandra has also worked this year to get local government agencies to sign off on proclamations to show their support of employee learning. In addition, she has started a local governmental training agency consortium – a group of around ten members (there's room for more!) who meet for breakfast every other month to share resources and provide a forum for discussing learning issues. The group has also created a web site for sharing resources and communicating with one another. But wait, there's more! Sandra is also a board member for the Seattle Management Association, whose mission is to provide managers and other leaders with practical learning experiences, access to essential resources, and opportunities to explore new ideas and build relationships with peers throughout government.

As you may have noticed, Sandra is quite knowledgeable about the workings of government – and there's a reason! She's worked for the City of Seattle for over 30 years, with her last few decades being focused on training and development. Her current position is Strategic Training Advisor with the City of Seattle Personnel Department.

Sandra says, "I love working in the learning and development field to help people have those light bulb moments." She has found her membership in ASTDps a valuable addition to her career and life, as it provides "the forum for me to connect with local learning profession peers." Sandra loves that she's able to connect faces with names already familiar to her. She's also able to expand her network of trainers that she can call on for help. Finally, she says that ASTDps "keeps me current on training trends" and "is very supportive in my goals of doing outreach."

Sandra was born and raised in South Seattle, holds a degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Washington, and now lives in Issaquah with her husband and two teenage boys.

In closing, Sandra wants to encourage you to register and participate in the upcoming Employee Learning Week events. Also, if you're interested in joining the Governmental Training Consortium, you can email Sandra at Sandra.wong@seattle.gov or give her a call at 206-684-7608.

Thank you, Sandra, for your hard work in making Employee Learning Week happen here in the Puget Sound!
Volunteer Opportunities


The Social Media Manager is in charge of the ASTD Puget Sound Chapter's social media presence. This role is responsible for the day-to-day activities associated with the chapter's LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts including posting relevant news, events, multimedia elements, links and other messages on a regular basis; monitoring the accounts and postings to ensure that only appropriate use of these tools is occurring; and recommending new  tools for the chapter to use to support communication and collaboration and that add value to our chapter and our members. 

Time commitment:  Approximately 6-10 hours per month with early establishing months requiring a heavier time commitment.
Term: 15 months from January through following March

If you're interested please respond to communications@astd.org.


Be one of the first smiling faces people see in the morning! Help welcome and check attendees in to the monthly chapter meetings. Responsibilities include set-up at about 7:15 am and put-away after 9:30am. There are two or three evening meetings a year as well. Contact Judi Jones at jjones1@msn.com to express your interest.


If you have joined our Chapter in the last few months, plan on staying an extra half hour after the Chapter meeting on the morning of Thursday, November 15th.  From 9:30 to 10:00am, meet other new members, Board Members and Mentors and learn more about your Chapter.  Go to www.astdps.org to register for this free meeting after the meeting.
Thank you Sponsors!!
2012 Ignite Your Mojo Workplace Learning Conference, held Friday, Oct. 5.

The conference was presented by Intrepid Learning and Learning Developer. Major sponsorships provided by BeaconLive, Invista Performance Solutions and Vigilant. Luncheon sponsors were MediaDesigns, Inc, Oxygen Learning and WGU Westerm Governor's University.

Special thank you to the ASTDps members whose volunteer efforts helped make the 2012 Ignite Your Mojo Conference a huge success! Loree Bell, Tracy Davison, Tammy Esteves, June Jordan, Jeff Tillett. Check out www.astdps.org for photos and more from the Oct 5th event!

CPLP and You! Are you looking for support for CPLP Preparation? New CPLP Study Group meetings are scheduled. The Certified Professional in Learning and PerformanceTM (CPLPTM) offered through the ASTD Certification Institute gives workplace learning and performance professionals an opportunity to enhance credibility and improve value in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The CPLP Study Group meets virtually on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday evening of each month to study the nine Areas of Expertise in order, and the Work Product submission guidelines as they apply to each, in preparation for earning the CPLP credential. See the ASTDps website www.astdps.org or contact Rita Carson, ASTDps Director of CPLP Certification, at ritacars@comcast.net for more information.
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