July 20, 2017

As we discussed last week, Training Binders suck. They're heavy and full of things people don’t need. They have no real direction for use, and most often, no real world relevance or application.  They merely serve to check off a box that says the person got “trained”.   

Unfortunately in many businesses, it’s the go-to for a new team member. Companies cling to the binder like I cling to the hope that I’ll one day have a 34" waist again. What needs to happen is that companies need to take a blended approach to learning, and clearly, I need to diet.

What does “blended approach” mean, John?  Well, I’m glad you asked, valued Reader. A blended approach means using different methods and media to give a person a well-rounded learning experience that lets them succeed in the way they learn best....

July 12, 2017

I was just touring a restaurant with a manager the other day and she said to me, “...And here’s our training manual!  Ta Da!  Look it’s all complete and perfect and we’ve got everything highlighted.”  She handed me a binder that weighed about 11 pounds, which is coincidentally the same weight of my chips and salsa intake at any Mexican Restaurant I go to...but I digress.  I said “Well it certainly is a very heavy binder."  I cracked it open and I swear to you it creaked like the rusty door of a haunted house, or the door to your bedroom when you’re trying to sneak out without waking your wife because the Ben and Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch is calling your name. Perhaps I should stop writing these blogs when I’m hungry.  Anyhoo, the cover creaked because it hadn’t been used.  She said, "Well we never...

June 30, 2017

Recently I made a giant change in my life.  I finally got the courage to pursue my dream of public speaking for a living.  I’ve been doing it for years on the side, always with the comfort of knowing I still had a full time job with benefits to ensure I had a safety net.  Well, when a forced reduction causes you to have to go out and get contract work to keep food on the table, you start reevaluating your career path.  So it’s been nagging at me that I need to do what I love.  So how did I finally get the courage to do it?  Well, her name is Ainsley.  

Ainsley is my daughter.  She is beautiful inside and out.  She’s funny, sassy and sarcastic (like her parents) and she just lights up a room.  Last September she made a monumental decision in her life (as...

June 22, 2017

I heard a great quote the other day by Jalen Rose, former college basketball standout who went on to have a really good 13 year career in the NBA.  He said “People in your life usually have four purposes. To add, subtract, multiply or divide. Choose wisely!”  It really got me thinking.  And I mean deep thinking.  He’s absolutely right.  All the people in our lives fit into one of these 4 categories.  

People can add to your life.  Whether its mentally, physically, financially, spiritually, or whatever else you value – there are people who make your life just a little bit better by being in it.  They support you.  They tell you the truth, even when that’s not what you want to hear, because it’s the right thing to do.  They can give you love and compassion.  They ca...

October 28, 2014

For as long as I can remember I have despised structure.  I think I may actually be allergic to the word “structure”.  It seems so confining and, I don’t know, very…"structure-y".  I know that’s not a word but you get the point.  For some people, structure can be exactly what they need….a specific set of guidelines and systems that allow things to work properly. It directs you to where you are supposed to be and no rules are broken.

To be honest, I like it a little more relaxed.  And to be really honest, I am playing a little fast and loose with the word “relaxed”.  I like it when there is very little structure at all!  I’ve always believed that if you train people right and then trust them to do what you have trained them to do, and, oh by the way, treat them right – they’ll th...

March 9, 2011

My Grandma has always been one of my favorite people.  There was never a better place in the whole wide world than her house.  So whenever something bad would happen or I'd be sad about something I'd head over to Grandma's house for some cheering up and she'd always say "Johnny, honey, this too shall pass..." in a calm, sweet, grandma voice.  It always relaxed me and, inevitably, she'd always be right.  Every time something went wrong - eventually it passed and all was right with the world again.

I have been reading and watching a lot of news lately and I'm not sure I've seen a darker time in my years on this earth.  Businesses are still shutting down, departments being cut, people losing their jobs.  A lot of companies are falling into the trap that, because of the econo...

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The Learning Curve Blog - Musings On Life, Learning & Leadership

John Isbell is a Speaker, Writer, Emcee/Host,  Adult Learning Specialist, & Consultant 

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