Monthly thoughts and chapter happenings shared from the desk of Dana Devlin, ATD Dallas President for 2023.

  • 01 Jun 2020 7:16 PM | Rance Greene

    I spoke with a new member ATD Dallas today who pinged me on LinkedIn and asked if we could chat. She had attended our New-To-Industry Meetup in May and enjoyed the hands-on problem-solving and connecting with others in the field. During our phone conversation, she asked some great questions about life as a performance consultant, what serving on the board of ATD Dallas was like and how I landed in this industry. I learned about her education and interests in organizational psychology and UX, so I connected her to some folks in ATD Dallas that could help her along in those fields. We commiserated with one another about the constant pressure on presenters to be "peppy." Yeah, that's just kinda hard for us. I encouraged her to know her audience, care about them and deliver her message in a way that is genuine to her and to compel her audience to offer insights and self-discover the solutions she is presenting. I can't wait to meet her...some person!


    It's these kinds of personal connections with fellow-professionals that members have expressed over and over, provide the deepest value to their membership. A $100 membership gives each member over 40 opportunities throughout the year to build their #expertise in sessions led by professionals, #recognizedfor their leadership in the field. And best of all, we get to do all of that with friends, because of #access.


    During trying times like these, it's the network of caring professionals in our talent development community that make the value of belonging even sweeter. It's the commitment of every volunteer in ATD Dallas to make sure that during exceptionally difficult times, we provide exceptional ACCESS, RECOGNITION and EXPERTISE. 


    This is who we A.R.E. no matter what. 


    I'm proud of the creativity of our volunteer staff, offering meaningful and flexible programs that speak to the needs of our members and equips them with what they value most. Check out our events page and join us for a special interest group or our monthly chapter meeting. 


    Southwest Learning Summit Update

    "So...August will be here soon. What about our annual conference that has outperformed itself year over year? Are we still having it?"

    Absolutely. Before I share the details of the conference, I'd like to share a testimonial from last year:

    "I’m a former ATD Dallas member that relocated to New Orleans for the last 2 years. Upon returning to Dallas in August, I attended Southwest Learning Summit … even before I finished unpacking … because I wanted to see how the organization had morphed during my time away. My plan was to visit ATD as well as two other professional associations related to the work I do in my organization. As it turns out, my experience at SWLS sealed the deal and I plan to rejoin ATD Dallas without even visiting the other associations. I love that the chapter continues to embrace technology solutions supporting our members,  I love that sessions I attended were informational and engaging! And I love that there were multiple sessions offered on coaching! Way to go,  ATD Dallas! Glad to be back!" -Michele Newhouse

    Welcome back Michele! A team within our volunteer community has been especially hard at work to make sure you, and all attendees, have an equally amazing experience...virtually. The board unanimously voted to make this year's Southwest Learning Summit (SWLS) a virtual two half-day conference for several reasons. The two most important reasons:

    • COVID-19 may not have run its course by August, so we want our attendees to feel (and be) safe and healthy. 
    • We are also mindful that many ATD Dallas members have had to look for work as a result of COVID-19 and we wanted to make sure the conference was affordable. So, we have decided to ask for a minimum donation of $35 from each attendee. If you are able, we hope you will decide to give more since all of the registration fees will go directly to City Square, a non-profit that shares our value of community, and our purpose to empower others. I hope you'll read more about their work with Dallas youth and their front-line role in combatting poverty and COVID-19. 

    "But I've already been to a bajillion online conferences and it's just like a string of webinars with some chat interactions at the end!" 


    I hear you. I've been to those conferences too. And they are good for building expertise, but they aren't as great for connecting people. But our conference will be different. Here's how:

    1. It's Dallas-centric, so you'll mostly hear from Dallas-area experts and connect with Dallas-area professionals right here in the talent development capital of the world
    2. You'll connect with fellow-attendees, speakers and sponsors before, during and after the conference through the conference app. 
    3. Breakout sessions will not be your typical "sit-and-get". Expect short presentations with plenty of time to interact, ask questions and offer your own insights. 
    4. The committee is popping with more innovative ideas than this blog has room for. Look for more details coming soon. 

    Register now to reserve your virtual seat. 


    Thanks again for all you do to empower others who are changing their organizations for good. You are needed now more than ever. 




    Rance Greene

    President, 2019-2020

  • 01 Apr 2020 1:55 PM | Rance Greene

    Talent Development has always had its unsung heroes. So much of what we do is accomplished in the shadows. The weeks of analysis and performance consulting. Months of design and development. Managing stakeholder relationships, resources and technology challenges. Pressing through to emerge with a solution that empowers the organization's most valuable asset: People. 


    And now, with the added challenges that COVID-19 has introduced, you've quickly pivoted to offer remote solutions, overcoming more technology challenges to deliver effective interventions, onboarding programs and skill-building courses that make a difference in your customers' lives. In some cases, you're literally saving lives.

    Many of you have businesses of your own that may be particularly challenged. I've seen you adapt to our new reality. You've re-thought how you design and deliver your expertise to clients. You've started podcasts, posted videos and published blogs to generously share your knowledge with our community.


    Constraints have spawned creativity. Hardship has spurred innovation.

    To all of you, ATD Dallas salutes your valiant efforts. I expect the AXIS Awards will be packed with show-stopping submissions this year (Applications open in June!). I can't wait to see what you've been doing and celebrate it with you.


    Many in our community are now in transition because of the pandemic. Resources in some industries are drying up and talent development areas have been trimmed down. Our hearts are with each of you.

    Lean into the networks you've built within ATD Dallas. Let your colleagues know that you're seeking new opportunities. Reach out to me. I'm happy to share what open positions I know about with job-seekers in talent development. Check out ATD National's job bank. Now's a great time to leverage remote employment opportunities. Take advantage of our transition membership option. And don't miss our Career Development meeting on April 27, "Succeeding at a Virtual Interview."


    ATD Dallas's programming continues online. This month, we're testing our Zoom platform's capabilities even further by offering a virtual Happy Hour with breakout rooms built around topics of interest. If you've never experienced this kind of interactivity on a virtual platform (it's fairly new to us as well), stop by and join us.

    In May, join us online again for Best Practices for Training Delivery, in person, online, anywhere.

    We've also added some webinars hosted by ATD Houston; they've generously offered them to ATD Dallas for free.

    Please take advantage of these opportunities. We will eventually be past COVID-19. Take some time to develop yourself.

    Access RECOGNITION Expertise


    With gratitude for each of you,


    Rance Greene

    President 2019-2020

  • 02 Mar 2020 9:20 AM | Rance Greene

    You may be saying, “Isn’t the Southwest Learning Summit in August?” And you would be right. But read on and you’ll see why I’m writing about this in March. Here are the five top reasons why I am registering now for our premiere regional conference.

    REASON #5 - Pace

    There’s time for everything at this full-day conference and you don’t feel like you’re being overloaded with too much all at once. Time for taking in the great concurrent sessions. Time for chatting with our top-notch vendors. Time to eat (the food is amazing). Time to network with peers at all levels of Dallas-area organizations. And with over 400 attendees, there’s a lot of networking potential. But not so large that you feel a like a number. Don’t want to miss all of that, so I’m registering now.

    REASON #4 - Expertise

    You will be hard-pressed to find more talent development expertise under one roof anywhere in north Texas. Surveys from last year’s conference show an incredibly high value from our concurrent session speakers who are leading the way in our field. I’m not missing that.

    REASON #3 - Karl Kapp

    Our keynote speaker for the conference will be with us all day, starting with a general session on the state of the industry and the future of the industry. He’s  conducting an open Q&A session later in the day. Karl has invested into so many people in our industry and I’m thrilled that he’s investing in us. Definitely not missing a chance to interact with Karl!

    REASON #2 - You

    The favorite part of this conference is meeting you, seasoned professionals, new members, speakers, sponsors. We’re all in this together. And this is one day during the year I count on to reconnect with the Dallas-area TD people I care about….which means you need to register now too.

    REASON #1 - We’re going to sell out early

    93% of 2019 attendees indicated that they would return to SWLS 2020. That means that if you didn’t attend last year (which sold out), you have a 7% chance of making it into the conference this year. And with more and more people joining ATD Dallas, this is an opportunity you don’t want to pass you by. I will be surprised if there are still open slots left in June, so please join me in registering for SWLS now, in March. You won’t regret it.


    February showcased some amazing programming. Southwest Airlines gave us an in-depth look into their performance management re-haul from the yearly review to quarterly coaching check ins. Simple, human, brilliant. I left inspired to implement the principles on my own team. The L&D SIG addressed design for multi-generations for a live and virtual audience with Darren Ford. Career Development had a knock-out session with Fanny Dunagan on leveraging training experience to build a LinkedIn brand. Rave reviews, Fanny. Thank you! Bart Castle and I facilitated the quarterly New Member Meetup. Welcome to the chapter new members!


    Opportunities to connect with the ATD family in March are upcoming. If you are on the waiting list for the Amazon event, please know that we are limited in how many may attend and we’ll bring wait listed folks onto the roster as space is made available. Some of our venues accommodate less people, but the board is aware of the surge of interest to attend our meetings and we’re working to keep our events as open to as many members as possible. For now, please visit our event page and register for only those events you feel like you will be able to make to leave room for those who are able to attend. And if, at the last minute, you need to cancel, please let us know by emailing so we can make room for others.


    We’ve also seen a surge in volunteerism. To express your interest in volunteering, simply complete Volunteer Form and we’ll reach out to you right away to discuss how you would like to give back to our community.




    Rance Greene

    President 2019-2020

  • 03 Feb 2020 9:00 AM | Rance Greene

    At ATD Dallas's first community event, a joint happy hour with ATD Mid Cities chapter, I met a number of people who work in some very niche industries within our field:

    • A new member of our chapter who focuses on technical training for trade skills.
    • I met a woman who works for a company that provides training strictly for the mortgage industry.
    • Then there's Davide, whose expertise is training engineers on soft skills. Talk about niche!
    • The board of the North Texas chapter of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) was there representing a subset of talent development that stands on its own. 

    Each of us comes to this industry with a unique experience to offer one another. In attendance at the happy hour were professionals who come to our field from a wide range of backgrounds and experience: finance, teaching, engineering, ministry, multi-media, writing, programming, military career, the list goes on. This tapestry of experience means that our field is rich with unique solutions to business problems. And, no matter how diverse business becomes, there is a diverse talent development pool ready to produce a compelling, engaging experience to meet the changing needs of organizations. The movement of professionals transitioning from other fields and entering talent development doesn't show signs of stopping…and that's good. There's room for all of us. This is why I tell students of instructional design, organizational development or other talent development studies to nurture a second discipline. We are growing as an industry addressing a growing number of business challenges. And Dallas is leading the way.


    The board of ATD Dallas is committed to connecting you with our value proposition of Access, Recognition and Expertise. Check out this month's opportunities to connect with us. We hope you'll join us…there's room for you in our community.

    Our Volunteer Summit on Feb 1 was electric. Imagine some of the best talent development professionals in Dallas coming together for 4 1/2 hours to execute on our strategy to make the member experience greater than ever. Our year is off to a rocking start! If you want to get in on the fun, complete this volunteer form and we'll connect you to an area that suits your interests and goals. 

    If you are new to our community or just haven't plugged in yet, I invite you to join me and other board members for an informal meet up at I Love Pho on Forest Ln and 75 at 11:30. I look forward to connecting with you! I think you'll find that there's plenty of room for you contribute to our vision of making Dallas the Talent Development Capital of the World. 


    Rance Greene

    President 2019-2020

  • 06 Jan 2020 11:57 PM | Rance Greene

    When I look back to the very first blog post of 2019, I'm reminded of why we still come together as an organization of talent development professionals. Yes, it's because we develop ourselves and deepen our expertise. And it's because of the recognition ATD Dallas bestows on each of its members for the work they do in this industry. But one of the biggest reasons why we still come together is because we know we'll meet other like-minded professionals.


    People who care about empowering others.

    People who offer connections and counsel.

    People who "get" us.


    So, when volunteers talk about who we A.R.E. (our value proposition of Access, Recognition and Expertise) to other interested professionals and organizations, it's the "A" that connects us most to one another: ACCESS.

    We are a vibrant community of talent development professionals who understand one another. We know the struggles and the joys of working in this industry. That's why, in 2020, our promise to you, as the board of ATD Dallas, is to keep you connected to our growing community--to give you as much access as possible. Among us are the leaders, the innovators, the rock star practitioners who keep talent development thriving. It's exciting to enter into a new year in such good company.


  • 11 Nov 2019 8:45 PM | Rance Greene

    During this season of reflection and Thanksgiving, ATD Dallas enjoys highlighting the volunteers who make us a community that empowers people who are changing their organizations for good. Throughout 2019, I've shared many stories that came straight from our volunteers. You've heard about the #access ATD Dallas offers its members to hundreds of other talent development professionals in our community. You've read stories about volunteers, and the companies they serve, who appreciate the #recognition they receive from ATD Dallas for their innovative work. You know about the #expertise we offer from rock star practitioners and thought leaders from some of the most innovative companies in Dallas.


     Access. Recognition. Expertise. This is who we A.R.E.


    Right now, social media is buzzing with our Volunteer Highlights, like some of the ones below. They speak for themselves. There's incredible value in the talent development community we've created. Our organization is run by volunteers to make that happen. Leading, growing and, as our Past-President, Matt Hirst, would say, happy. Happy because there are rich rewards in giving back.


    I'm honored to volunteer alongside such a talented and generous group of professionals. We've grown together. We've helped one another. The contributions of each volunteer in our TD family is an inspiration to keep giving back more. That's worth celebrating!

    Join us for the AXIS Awards, December 3, where we celebrate the innovative work of Dallas companies…and honor the work of our own volunteers.


    I hope you'll also join us for our last chapter meeting of the year on November 19 for drinks, eats and a splash of ritual. The 2019 Board will share our successes from this year. The 2020 Board will be sworn in. You'll have a chance to share your thoughts on where you'd like to see ATD Dallas go. You'll mingle with the leadership team and fellow members.

    And for those who are thinking of presenting at next year's Southwest Learning Summit (August 20), no problem! You can submit your proposal now! You can also register to attend! We're going to sell out again in 2020. You don't want to miss our keynote, Karl Kapp, so better safe than too late!


    Can't wait to see you at our next event!




    Rance Greene

    ATD Dallas, President

    November 11, 2019

  • 18 Sep 2019 9:43 PM | Rance Greene

    I sat in a large crowded room with about 150 other talent development professionals who'd joined the conference for industry know-how and to get their finger on the pulse of what was…new. The speaker was incredibly gifted. He was touting a way of learning that was…new. And sharing special knowledge with us that was supposedly cutting edge stuff. It was the first time I'd heard a speaker stand on stage and inform everyone that we had the attention span of a goldfish. I looked around the room. "Does everybody believe that?" I thought. I mean, really. If we had such minuscule attention spans, why are we all still in this room after thirty-five minutes? The special knowledge the speaker shared with us is that because of this well-established fact (our brains are suddenly not being able to focus for longer than 8 seconds) there was a…new…panacea for learning that would solve all of our problems. It's called…microlearning!


    That this particular speaker was more than a little misinformed goes without saying. That his microlearning company was benefiting from all of this misinformation was without question. For years, we've been bombarded with proposed definitions of exactly what microlearning is. It's a video. It's less than 5 minutes. It's mobile. It's a job aid. Hm…so what is it? And when is it appropriate for learning solutions?

    Wonder know more. Karl Kapp and Robyn Defelice have written a (short) book that gives us a logical and useful understanding of the sometimes misunderstood delivery method of microlearning. What I love about Microlearning Short and Sweet is that it begins with an answer to the basic question of: "What is it?" I also appreciate the explanation of what it's not. Yay for non-examples! I'd like to share a few nuggets from this particular list of non-examples:


    Microlearning is not:

    • New. Get out! Yes, it's true that we've been training others how to do specific skills in short bursts for…well, for time immemorial. Technology has provided new possibilities for delivering that training, but the concept is time-tested.
    • Shrunken head learning. Ha! We'll just take this one hour course and chop it up into 20 five minute pieces, cause that'll work! Actually, no. No it won't. Karl explains this nicely in a video. It's only 1:41. It must be microlearning.
    • Right for every learning solution. Yes, if you're still designing half day leadership sessions, you don't have to live with the guilt that you haven't converted it to 8 minutes anymore.

    Karl and Robyn bring their expertise in instructional design to bear on how microlearning fits with learning principles. When should microlearning be considered as a viable delivery method? How do you create a microlearning strategy? How do you plan and create microlearning? How do you design it? How do you measure it? It's a tour of the instructional design process through the lens of microlearning. If you are a seasoned or new-to-industry professional that feel microlearning may be the right solution for your learning programs, Microlearning Short and Sweet is a great resource. It's over 160 pages, so it probably doesn't qualify for microlearning, but it's a quick read..and it's sweet!


    As many of you know, Karl Kapp is our 2020 SWLS keynote! 97% of SWLS attendees indicated that they will return next year, so that leaves very few spots open. We sold out this year and expect to do the same in 2020. Lock in this year's rates by registering before September 30. If you've missed that date, go ahead and register to reserve your spot to hear the best thought leadership in Dallas, the talent development capital of the world!


    Last month you heard from a couple of our SWLS concurrent speakers who had an amazing experience. Here's a great story from a new friend, Trey Talley, I met through ATD Dallas who is brand new to talent development. He came to SWLS and wrote this great recap of his experience. Everything below, including the subtitles, are his.


    “Have I made a horrible mistake?”

    I began to wonder if leaving behind fifteen years of experience in one career to launch a new career in talent development at almost forty years old was reckless. I’d been certain that my extensive experience teaching and training plus a graduate degree in Education would open doors for me and it was exciting. However, that excitement faded when door after door closed. Each job application was followed by a cordial rejection or deafening silence. I couldn’t decide which was worse. Both were a gut punch. After a flurry of these, my hope was on the ropes. I was ready to throw in the towel.


    “I don’t want to talk about it.”

    I began to dread, and even avoid, conversations with my friends and family. They wanted to know I had landed on my feet and I didn’t want them to know I’d only landed on my face. Metaphor can be just as painful as the real thing. I felt like I was at an impasse. Uncertain whether I was at a dead end or simply in need a sherpa who knew the terrain to lead me forward, I turned to the all-powerful-cosmic-answer-machine: the internet.


    “Am I going to fit in here?”

    I honestly can’t remember how ended up on the ATD Dallas website. Regardless, my digital stumbling resulted in joining the chapter. Before my first special interest group meeting, I remember questioning whether I would fit in here. I wondered if I’d feel like an outsider since I was new to the industry. Those thoughts weren’t allowed to linger. Immediately after the meeting, someone introduced himself because his path into talent development was similar to mine. Shortly after this, at my first chapter meeting, I had a similar experience. These two individuals continue to generously share their wisdom and regularly serve as champions for me. Beyond these two individuals, ATD Dallas has become a community where I fit in.


    “You’re doing what on your birthday?”

    According to some, waking up at 4:30am to volunteer at and attend a professional conference is a strange way to celebrate turning 40 years old. While they are probably right, I loved every minute of the Southwest Learning Summit this year. Working alongside the other volunteers and conference committee members was a pure joy. Talking with fellow attendees in line or before classes and hearing their stories was a privilege. And lastly, meeting people from companies I sent applications to has started to open doors that were once closed. I can’t think of better birthday presents than those.  


    Thanks to ATD Dallas, I have a community of support and resources. Thanks to SWLS, those closed doors are starting to open. Though I haven’t yet accepted my first job in talent development, I’m again excited by my decision to launch a new career in talent development.


    Start the countdown. I’m prepared for lift off.

    Nice story writing, Trey! SWLS causes no small stir. It's a big deal to a lot of people. Can't wait to see you there!

    Coming up on September 30, join the Career Development SIG to hear our own master presenter and networking natural, Sally Luttrell for "Presenting Your Best Self When Networking Face-to-Face". And on October 22, we'll gather for dinner and decay. No, actually decay resistance. You're familiar with the learning decay curve. Michael Torie will show you how to curb the curve. Friends, food and no decay. What could be more fun?


    Thank you to the corporations who submitted for an AXIS Award! Judging has begun! I encourage all ATD Dallas volunteers and Dallas area corporate learning departments to join us for a night of celebrating you on December 3 for our annual gala! Recognize and be recognized for the innovative work done by Dallas talent development professionals!


    If you're convinced that story-writing for instruction is a competency you want to master, I welcome you to join my online workshop--Story Design--for three action-packed online sessions that will equip you to discover, design and deliver stories for instruction. October 28, November 4 & 11. ATD Dallas members get a discount, naturally!


    Each of our in-person events are touch points, short and sweet…like microlearning, but members can continue the self-development and the conversations using your own ATD Dallas Degreed account. And if you like more in-person encounters, volunteer and build a deep and lasting network among some of the best professionals in the industry. Or, if you're brand new to ATD Dallas, like Trey, join me and the Membership team for the New Member Meetup on November 13 at I Love Pho, 75 & Forest, in Dallas at 11:30. Let us know you're coming by emailing!


    Let's summarize:

    • Microlearning is not a fad. It's a legitimate delivery method for learning. Buy Karl and Robyn's book to delve in and utilize it's power.
    • SWLS rocks the house and you should register now.
    • Trey writes a very nice story.
    • Meet up with ATD Dallas people frequently to maximize your member benefits (aka - Access. Recognition. Expertise). It's who we A.R.E. 


    Rance Greene

    ATD Dallas, President

    September 26, 2019



  • 02 Sep 2019 11:46 AM | Rance Greene

    Imagine a ballroom packed some of the most forward-thinking leaders in the talent development industry, changing their organizations for good. Financial institutions, automotive, sports apparel, hospitality, healthcare--all gathered to receive recognition for their innovations in twelve distinct categories, such as Change Management, Diversity & Inclusion, Design & Delivery, Learning Technology…. This is the AXIS Awards, hosted by ATD Dallas. It's the prestigious learning awards gala that celebrates companies and ATD Dallas volunteers all in one exciting night.


    Last year, I sat, amazed as twenty-two awards were given to some of the most impressive solutions, impacting employees, clients and society.


    In the Strategic Planning category, Marriott International won second place for rethinking its recruiting and onboarding strategy. The Dallas Market Human Resources Manager began by identifying and piloting strategies that would appeal to a younger generation of workers, including the opportunity for flexible part-time roles and the implementation of text communication with potential candidates. Texting potential candidates! When's the last time a recruiter took time to text you from their cell phone? Now, positions are filled quicker and local General Managers can focus on running their individual properties instead of filling positions. The program has been so successful, that it is now being rolled out in 5 additional markets.


    While Marriott found ways to reach young workers, Parkland Health & Hospital System found a solution that benefited high school students. One of their five AXIS Awards last year was 1st place in Talent Mobility. Statistics indicate that less than 5% of the current Dallas Independent School District (DISD) ninth grade students will earn a college degree by their mid-20s. In 2015, Parkland initiated The Rise to Success program to create a pipeline of future health care professionals among high school graduates from low income areas through a structured development path leading to a health care career. They experienced an increase in retention of PCAs by almost 200%, which has dramatically reduced the number of job vacancies and allowed the team to focus on sustainably growing to meet the region’s future healthcare needs. 


    With the dramatic increase in suicide rates among children in recent years, Children’s Health System of Texas identified the need to refine their process for identifying and caring for patients who may be at risk for suicide or self-harm, resulting in the implementation of suicide and self-harm screenings in their inpatient units and emergency department. The Children’s Health Learning Institute team designed a blended learning approach which included spaced learning, online micro-learning modules / videos and quick reference tools to ensure all physicians, clinical staff and ancillary staff were prepared to execute new screenings. Their Design and Delivery solution won first place and best of show. What a privilege to design learning that literally saves the lives of children.


    It made me proud to see the impact of talent development upon Dallas organizations and their communities. And as we honored our volunteers of the year, it made me proud that so many people give so much of themselves to make sure ATD Dallas serves its purpose of empowering the people in that room to change their organizations for good. Several past-Presidents of ATD Dallas, including Susan Brookshire, the winner of the Dee Dick Lifetime Achievement Award, were sitting at my table at the AXIS Awards. Each of them had invested at least a year of leadership, building upon the work of their predecessors.


    This year, we'll gather again. We'll celebrate Dallas's talent development community again. We'll toast our successes and honor those who have given. I hope you'll be one of those people!


    Please, share your success story with us and apply for an AXIS Award. Last year, 22 awards were given.

    This could be your year.

    Last month, over 400 of you joined ATD Dallas at the Plano Event Center for Southwest Learning Summit (SWLS). Throughout the rest of the year, I'm going to share stories with you from those who attended. The first one is from Duncan Welder of RISC, Inc. He and Art Werkenthin were first-time attendees and presenters. Many of you attended their session on xAPI. Here's what they had to say about the conference:


    As a first-time attendee and presenter at the 2019 Southwest Learning Summit I was simply blown away.  The Summit kicked off with an engaging and energizing keynote from Lee Derryberry and Dr. Laura Hume from the Ernst & Young on the state of the industry and the future of workplace learning.  The Plano Event Center provided a fantastic venue that allowed attendees to network with each other and meet show sponsors in the expo area.  During our session on The Fundamentals of xAPI, the audience was highly involved and asked probing questions on the use of new learning technologies within their organizations.  I look forward to next year and certainly see the SWLS as a benchmark for regional (and national) conferences to strive for. 


    A benchmarking conference is exactly what should be expected by the talent development capital of the world.


    A special thanks to the SWLS committee, lead by Steff Allison and her co-chair, Lara Azcona, for making SWLS a sold-out, wildly successful day of development. 93% of attendees plan on returning to SWLS 2020. And with talent development superstar, Karl Kapp, keynoting, seats are going to go quickly. During September, you can register for SWLS 2020 at a big discount and guarantee your spot!

    We spend so much time developing others. ATD Dallas develops us. Here are some more opportunities to develop yourself this month.

    If you are new to our community, I invite you to join me, our Membership team and fellow-TD professionals at our next New Member Meetup on November 13 at I Love Pho on Forest Ln and 75 in Dallas. You don't have to wait until then to get plugged in though. Volunteer! Or contact us to learn more about the community and how you can get more involved. 

    I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event or connecting on Degreed


    Rance Greene

    ATD Dallas, President

    September 1, 2019

  • 30 Jul 2019 6:41 PM | Rance Greene

    I have an Ace of clubs card on my desk. On the back it reads "Culture Compound: Trusted Accountability." Below that it lists specific attributes that explain what trusted accountability is, like "Resolute in commitment" and "Shares knowledge". I got the card during ATD Dallas's June community meeting at Alkami, where Adrianne Court, Alkami's CHRO, and Kim Zoller, founder of ID 360, simulated their break-through onboarding session that every employee participates in during their first 3 months. Part of the session includes a moment where employees dig into the company's core values, like trusted accountability, and flesh out its meaning. The core values aren't empty words on a wall. They are substantial measures that govern everything they do. And everyone knows it. That's one reason why it's been ranked as one of the Top 10 Coolest Tech Companies to Work For in Dallas.


    In my notebook, dated April 23, I have two pages of notes from our community meeting at Parkland, where Mary Andereck, the interim CLO at Parkland at the time, shared a framework for building trust with stakeholders based on four simple questions. She and her team used this framework to mine: for purpose, for business outcomes, for audience, for success criteria and for deliverables. Her team sits down with stakeholders to complete a simple form that captures everything needed to build the program. The results? A healthy talent developer/stakeholder relationship cycle: approachability > clarity > support (that delivers) > trust. Oh yeah, and five AXIS Awards. Taking time to mine with stakeholders can unearth a golden solution.


    I still use my VARIDESK mug for tea when I'm working from home, on my VARIDESK Laptop 30 adjustable work station, sitting in my VARIDESK chair. My back thanks me every day! I will never forget what Jeff Lamb, President and Chief Operating Officer at VARIDESK, said to us during our March 19 community meeting. "The best business model is people-focused. It's leaders who know their direct reports." He talked about spending time getting to know people. He told us that he insisted that his office be located on the main hallway so he can stop people who are walking by to ask them questions about their family, their work, how they are feeling about those things. He spoke about love. Not love of power, but love for people. That kind of investment yields gold. And in this case, the gold is people. A remarkable lesson of investment that really counts.


    On my computer, I have a hard copy of a book entitled, Beyond Learning Objectives, by Jack Phillips founder of the ROI Institute, who also happened to be the speaker for our January community meeting at Southwest Airlines. He donated the book to those in attendance. If anyone knows how to mine for measurable results, it's Jack! His decades of experience and war stories showcased how essential it is that our industry dig down to root causes and business outcomes.

    All of these objects are mementos of people and companies who mined until they struck gold. They are an inspiration to keep doing the work. But I wouldn't have had any of these encounters if it hadn't been for a special person who serves on the board of ATD Dallas. She, and her Programs team, have searched diligently for the cutting edge innovators in Dallas. We are the recipients of their hard work. I'd like to introduce you to Ann Zoob, my colleague and friend, who knows how to mine for gold.

    I interviewed Ann about her involvement with ATD Dallas. Here's our conversation:


    Me: Ann, what was life like before you joined ATD Dallas?

    Ann: I was an HR Training Consultant working for a small boutique HR consulting firm in California. Although I knew a lot of people, there wasn’t a sense of community. 

    Me: What about after you joined ATD Dallas?

    Ann: I relocated from California back to Dallas last summer. ATD Dallas was a great springboard to re-assimilate back into the community. I can honestly say that I have more friends here in Dallas than I did in California and my social and business contacts have expanded exponentially being a member of ATD Dallas due to the great events, programs, and conferences that this association has to offer.

    Me: Why did you say "yes" to joining the ATD Dallas board?

    Ann: I had no problem saying “yes” to serve on the board. I already had pre-existing relationships with Kim Valliere and Laurie Lumston [2019 Board Members] when I served on the SWLS planning committee for 4 years. I had also heard great things about you and your leadership style. [Honest, I didn't pay her to say that!] It’s an honor and a privilege to be on the board and I have truly enjoyed contributing to this amazing team of talented individuals.

    Me: What are you most proud about in your tenure as a board member in 2019? 

    Ann: The opportunity to serve and give back to the greater Dallas-Fort Worth community and meet some incredible people that have become life-long friends.

    Me: Can you describe the most impactful moment you experienced as a member of ATD Dallas? 

    Ann: I really enjoy helping and meeting new people. Working alongside my fellow board members has been inspiring and fulfilling because we all share the same goals to make a difference and enrich people’s lives for the greater good. 


    "Enriching people's lives." That stands out to me. It's exactly what we do as an industry and as an organization. Though Ann will continue on the board through the end of 2019, I'm sad to announce that she will be doing this from afar. She and her husband are moving to Arizona this month. Ann, we appreciate everything you've done for ATD Dallas so far. Thanks for inspiring us and teaching us. I will miss you.

    When you attend a conference, you're always looking for those gold nuggets that you can take back to work and apply or experiment with. The Southwest Learning Summit (SWLS) is the premier regional conference for talent development in the United States. And it's made possible by awesome volunteers, like Steff Allison, Lara Azcona and their talented, dedicated team. We owe much to their hard work. Come expecting to meet 350 other talent development professionals and learn with outstanding facilitators and thought leaders. But you don't have to wait to get in on the connections and the learning. Download Whova, one of the most interactive conference apps I've ever experienced. Already, I'm learning about the books people are reading, scheduling meetups, interacting with speakers and, oh yeah, you can schedule your concurrent sessions. And, for the record, I made it to gold on the leaderboard…for at least an hour. I can't wait to meet you at SWLS!

    Our prestigious AXIS Awards are coming in December, but applications are due shortly after SWLS--September 15! Many of you have a model program, a stellar initiative that deserves celebration. ATD Dallas is very good at celebrating exemplary work! The AXIS Awards is for you, the people who are changing their organizations for good…and for our volunteers who make all of this possible. The application is free. This is one way to show how golden you are.


    If you and your company would like to give ATD Dallas a sneak peek into your company's culture or how you're using innovative ways to engage employees or pioneering immersive technology--whatever you are doing to push the boundaries of our industry--contact us! I'd love to add another memento from our time with you to my collection. 

    New members! The board and I would love to meet you! If you are fairly new to our chapter and would like to learn more about us, join us at a New Member Meet-up on August 15! 11:30-12:30 at I Love Pho (Forrest Ln and 75 in Dallas). Respond here and we'll save you a seat!




    Rance Greene

    ATD Dallas, President

    August 1, 2019

  • 28 Jun 2019 7:21 PM | Rance Greene

    "To the left flank…MOVE! To the right…MOVE!" 150 people turn left, then right, in unison in a measured march. The balls of every foot roll across a five-yard marker at exactly eight steps as they navigate down the football field. The August sun is beating down. Sweat is pouring from each face. Chests are high. Backs are straight. It's hard work. And there's nowhere else these people would rather be…than marching band practice. Maybe marching band wasn't your thing in high school. Maybe it was speech and debate, or basketball, or theatre or ballet. No matter what it was, if you had the opportunity to be part of a group and you were challenged to do hard things--things that made you a little afraid or uncomfortable--there's nothing like the feeling of accomplishing something amazing with your club. Your tribe. Your band. Most of my endeavors in education required some level of collaboration. Marching Band was one of those things. We didn't mind giving up two weeks of our summer to start practicing early in the North Carolina August humidity. We got to hang out with our friends, get better at playing great music (and marching at the same time). And, almost every season, we won big at competition.


    In a lot of ways, that's how we feel about ATD Dallas. We get to hang out with our friends often. We get better at talent development by learning from thought leaders and practitioners at the Southwest Learning Summit and Special Interest Groups. And, at the end of the year, we celebrate the innovative talent development work that's happening right here in Dallas at our AXIS Awards gala.


    Access. Recognition. Expertise. This is who we A.R.E.


    Let's face it, there's sweat involved. There's discipline. But isn't it worth it? I think so.


    We empower people who are changing their organizations for good.


    This is no small purpose. If you've joined ATD Dallas, you've joined a band that's making great strides to make our city the talent development capital of the world. 

    This month, we're taking a moment to stop and enjoy one another. Our community meeting on July 23, with comedians Melanie Murphy (ATD Dallas member) and Dean Lindsay, is for us: members only. It's completely free. It's entitled Getting' Loose With the Business Casuals. See, you're laughing already! Strengthen your networking skills, practice listening and enjoy some low-pressure improv that's designed to empower you and your team. We'll enjoy a light meal together and plenty of good belly laughs to energize us for the second half of 2019. 


    Join super power instructional designer, Cathy Howard for an amazing session on The ADDIE model and Today's Learning Professional on Friday, July 12. For members, it's absolutely free. Guests are invited to join a Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting, like this one, for free two times before becoming a member. So, check this one out!


    Continue the conversation on your free Degreed account. Our SIG hosts post related materials to continue the conversation online.


    Laurie Barnett and Jed Gifford host a monthly career development event every month and…you guessed it…it's free for members! Are you noticing a pattern here? Again, guests are invited to join a Special Interest Group a total of two times before becoming a member. Laurie and Jed have invited Brandy Schade, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, to empower you in what you do best.


    Take full advantage of your membership. $100 gives you access to a lot of people, events and learning. Get out and meet this vibrant community of professionals. Volunteer for ATD Dallas and receive even more benefits: a close-knit group of trusted professionals and discounts on SWLS and the AXIS Awards. Contribute your leadership skills, your project management savvy, your facilitation chops. Mentor a learning professional who is new to the industry. Stretch yourself to take on web design, event planning, marketing. Make friends!


    Join the band and let's make some music. 

    Every quarter, the Membership Team and I meet with new members at I Love Pho on Forest and 75 in Dallas. In May, Sally, Kristi and Malika, from Membership and I welcomed Chloe, Div, Sandra and Danish to our happy band. So much great talent and great conversation around the table! Thanks to all of you for joining us. If you're fairly new to our community or you are considering joining us, or you've been a member for a while and want to know how you can be more involved, you are welcome to meet us at I Love Pho on August 15 at 11:30. Just RSVP to let us know to expect you!



    Rance Greene

    President, ATD Dallas

    July 1, 2019


14070 Proton Rd. - Suite 100
Dallas, TX 75244


Phone: 972-233-9107 ex. 224

Fax: 972-490-4219

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