Learning and leadership development news, articles, blogs, case studies and analysis on employee learning, leadership development and executive management.

Traditional learning interventions may not move fast enough to close skill gaps. Different types of mentoring offer relational strategies to help employees compete in today’s fast-moving business environment.

Despite a surplus of workers in the market, organizations are experiencing a growing skill gap.

According to a 2009 ASTD study, almost 80 percent of executives from 1,179 organizations agree that there are growing skill gaps in their organizations in eight key areas: leadership and executive skills, basic workplace competencies, professional or industry-specific skills, managerial and supervisory skills, communication and interpersonal skills, technical, IT and systems skills, sales skills, and process and project management skills.


Are social rejects more innovative? A recent study shows that social rejection may not have purely negative implications.

Don’t neglect the social rejects in the organization — those individuals nobody chooses to work with. They may be essential drivers of innovation.

In fact, social rejection can actually boost creativity, according to an October 2012 study by researchers from Cornell and Johns Hopkins universities. Those with a greater sense of independent self-concept feel a sense of uniqueness when they experience social rejection, in turn bolstering their creative output, said Jack A. Goncalo, an associate professor of organizational behavior at Cornell.


Bosses who teach skills and habits to employees drive higher individual productivity and elevate team performance.

There’s an old saying that those who can, do and those who can’t, teach. But in business, as it turns out, those bosses who can, in terms of generating higher productivity, are in fact teachers.

According to a study by economics researchers from Stanford and the University of Utah, replacing a low-performing boss with a high-performing one boosts productivity by 12 percent, which is better than adding a 10th worker to a nine-person team. The researchers call it the “boss effect,” and they identified it by examining the productivity of workers who change bosses.


Securing manager commitment to learning can be challenging, especially in uncertain times. However, gaining buy-in and delivering effective manager learning is a critical step in ensuring peak organizational performance.


Because of their shared experiences, peers can learn from each other in a way they can’t from anyone else. This makes peer-to-peer learning in mentoring networks essential.

One of the most critical questions facing learning leaders today is: How do we develop workers for jobs where the knowledge, competencies and relationships needed change almost constantly? Leaders know that the typical approaches to learning must shift in order to keep pace with the demands of a new work environment. The focus today needs to be on accelerating the rate at which employees gain competency.

Senior leaders from large, dispersed organizations say they need a more connection-based learning model that allows people to:


Effective social learning requires a culture of experimentation.

As recently as a year ago, I viewed informal learning, social media and mobile learning as buzz terms. My reaction was summed up perfectly by my Alaskan fishing guide — “all hat, no cattle.” Translated from the Katmai Wilderness of Alaska to today’s organizations, it means “lots of show but no substance.”

I was especially skeptical of a recent CLO Breakfast Club audience poll of who in the audience was on Facebook and for how long. I confess I am still not on Facebook even in the face of considerable pressure from my sisters in Florida to become their friend. Hell, I’m already their friend and have been since their birth years ago.