River Business Mentoring Software

River's Blog on Business Mentoring Programs, Software, and Services

Wednesday, 28 October 2015 12:00


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Companies spend billions of dollars on employee training each year, but to what end?

A 2008 Corporate Executive Board study called “Sales Executive Council: Introduction to Talent Development” showed that within a week of a formal training event, people forgot 70 percent of what they learned. A month after the event, people forgot 87 percent of what they learned.


Wednesday, 14 October 2015 08:00


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As I talked about in my post “SMART Goals Are Dumb,” SMART goals guide the setting of objectives, not goals. To establish developmental goals, we need REAL goals.

The REAL acronym stands for Relevant, Experimental, Aspirational, and Learning-based.


Wednesday, 30 September 2015 12:00


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Most everyone knows about SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Chances are you have used this mnemonic acronym at some point in your career to help you focus in on a performance goal or complete a complex and multifaceted project. I myself have used it and have taught others about it.

Unfortunately, the SMART process is not one-size-fits-all.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015 08:00


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Managers provide a critical link between executive leaders and lower level employees. They are often the go-between among these two groups, taking the broad strategy that leadership envisions and turning it into actionable tasks that their subordinates complete. They play an important role in bringing the greater goals of the company to life.

Yet despite the vital work they do, managers are often the first to be let go in layoffs and are the least likely to receive training.

In my opinion, managers have gotten a bad rap, especially in articles and blogs that compare leaders versus managers; managers take on the role of multitasking villains and leaders become heroic visionaries. In reality, we depend on our managers; they are the people keeping the balls in the air and the organization moving forward.  They help us coordinate people, processes, and projects and take charge of the day-to-day...

Thursday, 24 July 2014 08:00


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Have you heard of Airbnb? Bromium? Uber? If you haven’t yet, you can be sure that you will. These are just a few examples of companies that have seemingly sprung up overnight and are poised to totally disrupt the status-quo in their respective industries. I’m not telling you anything new when I say that this type of market reality is the new normal for organizations, and that as a result, companies...

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 06:00


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While watching CNN’s documentary series, “The Sixties,” recently, I began thinking about how far technology and our concept of work has advanced, yet how organizational learning and development has somehow managed to lag behind. The entire notion of work has gone from a mutual commitment that lasted a lifetime and was celebrated with a gold 25-year anniversary watch to an era of networked freelancers who may not be bound to a physical desk...

We all have dreams and aspirations. We all have ideas for our futures. We all have plans for how we want to live our lives. However, not all of us are able to make these dreams a reality. Why are some people able to turn these fantasies into realities while others are not? It could be due to personality differences, commitment to realizing their dreams, a change in priorities, an inability to complete tasks, trying to take on too much too fast, and numerous other reasons...

Tuesday, 19 November 2013 16:00


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A November 2013 CareerBuilder survey found that nearly eight in 10 managers are at least somewhat concerned about the skills gap that exists in their company, but only about four in 10 organizations are doing anything about it. I agree that the skills gap is a very real and serious problem, but if companies are not willing to do anything to address the issue, then they need to stop complaining about it...

We can all relate to the feeling of not having enough hours in the day to do the work we need to get done.  Or those times in our lives when we convince ourselves that we don’t have time to try something new: from a new software at work to yoga on the weekends, because we are too busy and “already don’t have enough time in the day.” But if we knew that trying the new software could help us get ahead at work or that yoga could reinforce a healthy lifestyle that prevents us from getting a disease, we might find a way to make time for these new activities...

In a new Dove beauty products ad campaign called Real Beauty Sketches, we see normal women describing themselves to a sketch artist who cannot see them.  We hear them make some rather harsh and unflattering comments about themselves, from having round cheeks and a full face to crow’s feet and thin lips.  In this social experiment, these women then spent 20 minutes with a stranger, and then that stranger described the woman to the sketch artist. The difference between how the women described themselves and how the strangers described them was astounding...

Wednesday, 07 November 2012 14:00


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I recently read an article on the conclusions drawn by The Talent Management Panel at the HR Technology Conference and thought their deductions were extremely relevant to learning and development practices in the workplace today. Walmart, Motorola Solutions, and Merck were among the participants who discussed diverse approaches to deploying talent management processes and technologies to help reach overall organizational goals. One particular theme emerged from the panel that I think is worth exploring – the importance of meaningful data and reports on L&D efforts and practices...

For knowledge workers today, it is not enough to have access to the wealth of information available in one’s organization (it is not that this is unimportant, it is just not enough). Employees must also be able to understand the context of their job and/or the issue at hand so that they can appropriately apply knowledge to the situation. It used to be that many knowledge workers could simply follow an established methodology (e.g., input data from field X on the form into field Y in the application)...


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