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  • 18 Sep 2019 9:43 PM | Rance Greene (Administrator)

    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 membership@tddallas.org!


    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 (Administrator)

    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 (Administrator)

    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 (Administrator)

    "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

  • 01 Jun 2019 11:42 AM | Rance Greene (Administrator)

    Downtown DC. ATD ICE 2019. May 18-22. ATD's International Conference is the largest talent development conference in the world (which is why they should have it in Dallas more often!). I attended on behalf of ATD Dallas with my fellow-board member, Todd Strosnider. I also spoke at the conference. But before I get to that, don't forget what's right here in our own community this month.

    Joe MacKrell is a fantastic photographer and learning professional. Join him on June 7 to learn about creative ways to use video in eLearning. Instructional designers don't want to miss it.

    On June 18, join me, the board and your fellow-members for an evening with Adrianne Court, the CHRO of Alkami, and Kim Zoller, CEO of ID 360, for Sculpting a Growth Mindset Culture. Chapter meetings have been awesome this year. This evening will be no different. A light dinner will be served and your talent development friends will be there!

    Don't miss the inimitable Jed Gifford on June 24 to Leverage Your LinkedIn Brand! I've benefited from Jed's presentations in the past. Make your profile sizzle!

    Our prestigious one-day conference, the Southwest Learning Summit on August 22, is quickly approaching. Register today!

    If you are a member, you have access to a free Degreed account, with content from Harvard MentorManager, getAbstract and the additional content ATD Dallas has curated to supplement all of our live events! Start using Degreed!

    Congratulations to Andraya Goodwin for receiving a free national course! Twice a year, national offers a selection of our courses for meeting certain requirements. The board nominates recipients of these courses from our pool of active volunteers and/or Power Members (Members of both National and ATD Dallas. Volunteer. Become a Power Member. The benefits of ATD Dallas keep growing!

    Now, here's a snap shot of my experiences and take-aways from ATD ICE 2019!


    When I stepped out of Reagan International Airport on Saturday afternoon, I was shocked. It was hotter in DC than it was in Texas! On the plane ride over, I had a great conversation about some of the challenges of talent development in the private and government sectors with Jeannette Johnson of Fort Worth. She's been to several ATD Dallas events and is considering joining our chapter. Hint, hint, Jeannette! As soon as I checked into the hotel--first things first--I registered in the Speaker Ready Room and was thrilled that Hadiya Nuriddin was registering at the same time. She just released a book called Story Training, a great read for facilitators who need guidance for mining personal experiences for relevant stories in the classroom. Preconference sessions were just ending and the conference bookstore was packed. What a pleasant surprise to run into Lou Russell (an absolute gem in our industry) and Jack Phillips, who spoke at our January community meeting. It was great catching up with both of them. 

    Sunday was Chapter Leader Day, where board members from chapters all over the United States met to learn from one another. Todd and I made some good connections with the Pennsylvania, New York, Detroit, Chicago and Rhode Island chapters. As always, it was great to see Texas well-represented by Houston and Austin chapter leaders. We had a meeting later in the day with board members of the large chapters--there are seven--and guess who the largest one is? ;) In addition to learning, and sharing, about the great work being done by ATD locally, we left meetings with fuel for future goals regarding student outreach, CPLP support and virtual communities. Later in the week, I had a great one-on-one with Erin Murphy, who is an amazing resource for our chapter at the national level. 

    Sunday was also filming day. ATD Press asked me to shoot five short videos in preparation for my book release in 2020. The book's focus is, not surprisingly, Story Design, a methodology for creating relatable characters in strong conflict that connect with your audience emotionally and impact performance. Though my undergrad degree is in acting, it's been a very long time since I've been in front of a camera, but the staff and film crew were great and, besides an occasional passing fire truck which forced a couple of re-shoots, the filming went off without a hitch! Todd and I had dinner together at a hole-in-the-wall shop in Chinatown. Great conversation about the ATD Dallas over fresh dumplings and homemade noodles. Looking back at the day's events, I was grateful that our community stands out as one to follow among other chapters. It's a privilege for me to know and work with so many amazing talent development professionals right in our own backyard. 

    Monday morning was all about Oprah. The line was long, but I arrived just in time to snag a reserved seat (for chapter leaders) near the front. It goes without saying that Oprah is a polished storyteller. She shared about her school for girls in South Africa. She shared about the mistakes she made along the way. One of the mistakes was that she focused on the girls, not the leadership, which caused big problems later. She had some solid advice about being fully present in the moment and never making decisions based on ego. ATD National members can view a summary of her keynote here. 


    I met up with Todd and together we tackled the Expo Hall. I should say, Todd finessed the Expo Hall and I enjoyed the ride. He introduced me to key people in companies like Degreed, eCornell and AllenCom, partners and sponsors of ATD Dallas. It was fun to meet the people who make that partnership possible. Todd and I took the opportunity to deepen those relationships. Thank you Todd, for all you do to make our partner relationships a win-win! You're amazing! That evening, two of our partners, Degreed and Training Orchestra hosted a river cruise on the Potomac. Had a surprise meet-up with Erika Dorsey and Millicent Poole, both ATD Dallas members, plus a new friend from Fort Worth, Bryan Cox. A great night for networking and enjoying Washington DC at sunset. 

    Seth Godin got our Tuesday started off with a fire hose of big ideas. Another great storyteller! He proposed that our society is mass producing for the average person. No one is treated differently. It made me think of talent development and the mass production of training that is engineered for the average audience. Who is, he asked, the smallest viable audience? He challenged us to treat different people differently. Meet them where they're at. For our industry, it comes down to thoughtful analysis to identify and design for our real audience, not a canned course that may, or may not make a difference. Technology can help span that gap, and there were a lot of technology solutions on display in the Expo Hall, like AR, xAPI, even a do-it-yourself VR tool (by Trivantis) that blew me away. Some fun quotes from Seth: "Are you making art or are you making copies?" "Soft skills are real skills that can be trained." He delivered a three hour presentation in one hour…flawlessly. ATD National members can read more here.

    After Seth's keynote, I met up with colleague and friend, Karl Kapp, in the Speaker Ready Room. The night before, Karl had received the ATD Distinguished Contribution to Talent Development Award for his work in gamification and, more importantly, his work with students and his international work. I also got to meet his wife, Nancy, whom I've worked with long-distance for years, but never met in person. Both of them have worked in the talent development industry for a long time. We talked about their son's recent graduation and their recent travels to Cambodia, Vietnam, and other countries and some of Karl's recent articles about role play and culture that these travels inspired.  You can read more about our conversation from his point of view here. There's a surprise in his article about SWLS that ATD Dallas members will be interested to know. Check out his comments in the Tuesday morning section of his blog post!

    Later on Tuesday (the last session of the day), I presented. The title of the session was Story Design In the Real World. I called it that because the real world is demanding. Work is coming at us from all sides. Talent Development professionals want to be better at storytelling, but it seems impossible to design a story in a real world environment where time is short. I had a great time with this crowd. They participated as characters in the stories (our very own Krista Allen, of Toyota, played one of the roles--represent!) and people left inspired and equipped to bring stories center stage in their training initiatives. 

    I did actually get to attend a few sessions: Talent development from a marketing point of view, the intersection of gamification and microlearning, the role of the Business Learner Advisor and another session on storytelling. And I chatted with a slew of thought leaders and practitioners, including ATD Dallas members, Rich Cordrey, who received an award the same evening as Dr. Kapp for his advocacy of the CPLP with AutoNation, Jeff Kribs of Infinitude (former ATD Dallas board member), Grace Linehan, who was a panelist for a breakout session on creative video, Sheila Kay and Aislinn Lowery of Santander and engagement engineer, Frank Larson. Aislinn, Frank, Sheila, Aislinn, me Todd and Grace are all in the title picture at the top of this blog.

    I got off the plane at Dallas Love Field on Wednesday evening. Ironically, Jeannette was beside me on the plane again! Good conversation. Good to be home. I was exhausted, but pleased with the meaningful connections Todd and I made with other chapter leaders. The recruitment of additional sponsors and deepening of relationships with our current partners. Inspired and ready to further our reputation as the talent development capital of the world!

    Rance Greene

    ATD Dallas, President

    June 1, 2019

  • 01 May 2019 6:57 PM | Rance Greene (Administrator)

    Never have I had the privilege of being so close to so many who are driven to learn. It's in our talent development blood to tenaciously pursue new knowledge and new skills, most often for the benefit of others.


    A few people who've inspired me to continue to learn this month are Mary Anderek, interim CLO of Parkland Hospital, who received her Master's in April. Congratulations, Mary! Rich Cordrey, who is juggling work, studying for the CPLP and welcoming a brand new little girl into his life! Can't wait to hear about the test results, Rich! And Clark Quinn, who I had the privilege of hanging out with at Learning Solutions Conference. He's still defending truth for learning! (I'm holding his latest book in this picture.)


    There's also never been in a time in history when learning something new was more possible. We are flooded with content! Sometimes too flooded. And keeping track of everything we learn is near-impossible…until now.

    You've been hearing about Degreed for several months. I announced our partnership with them in August of last year, during our annual conference (Southwest Learning Summit). Volunteers have been testing it out and curating content that compliments our live events. They've been test-driving Harvard ManageMentor and GetAbstract.


    And now it's your turn.


    Your ATD Dallas Degreed account has been activated, using the email you registered with for the chapter. Now you can access and receive credit for:


    Formal education
    Online courses
    ATD Dallas events


    All learning counts!


    Log in using the email address associated with your ATD Dallas account and the password: ATDDallasUserD3gre33! (I know…it's long…but you can change it quite easily once you're in). I recommend enrolling in the Introduction to Degreed pathway to make the most of your ATD Dallas Degreed experience. Then sign up to join the party at FOGO de Chao with ATD Dallas board members and representatives from Degreed, Harvard and GetAbstract on May 14.


    Let's get some ATD Dallas live events checked off in your Degreed account. I met Tom McGehee, founder of Wave Changer, earlier this year. Tom is absolutely dedicated to solving business problems through collaboration. I highly recommend his Management SIG session on May 3, Collaborating Across Business Lines. Make every effort to go in-person. If you happen to miss it, you'll receive access to the recording through…you guessed it…your Degreed account!


    Also keep an eye out for our Career Development meeting toward the end of May. My good friends, Laurie Barnett and Jed Gifford (pictured below) will be there to greet you!


    If you're new to ATD Dallas and you'd like to talk with someone about how to make the most of your membership, contact us! We'd love to hear what your goals are and get you plugged in. To dive in and start exercising your skills in some exciting ways, complete the volunteer form. Our board will make sure you are contacted.

    Making all learning count! 



    Rance Greene

    ATD Dallas, President

    May 1, 2019

  • 01 Apr 2019 10:08 PM | Rance Greene (Administrator)

    There are moments of transcendence. You've felt it before. When a singer hits that certain note that makes your heart squeeze. Or a wide receiver catches the most impossible pass and makes it look like ballet. Or a speaker crafts a speech with such skill that it moves you to tears. These are encounters with virtuosity. I had such an encounter last month. 


    I had the pleasure of being invited to a unique and wonderful conference. It was the International Accordion Convention. Players, old and young, from all over the world--Norway, Germany, Belarus--came to trade best practices, perform and learn. But one gentleman stood out. He was demonstrating various styles of music on his instrument. When we came in, he was talking to the audience about the tango. He played a very straight-forward tango and played it well, but he stopped in the middle, and said, "This is a very straight tango. No, you have to play the tango like you want a woman to dance with you, but you cannot speak to her. All you have is your instrument." Suddenly, he clutched his accordion and began to play the most exhilarating, hair-raising tango I've ever heard. It was loud. It was gentle. It was passionate. It was…perfection. I could imagine him holding the woman in his arms as he played.

    This gentleman dedicated his life to playing his instrument. Out of him flowed virtuosity. 

    Talent development is a wide open field that invites us to explore and flourish. It's a treat when one encounters an expert in our industry. Last week, I attended Learning Solutions in Orlando and traded conversations with many such experts, virtuosos in their field. Julie Dirksen and Clark Quinn, who have devoted themselves to rigorous research, helping us understand how to design for how people learn. Joe Ganci, Ron Price and Kevin Thorn, who can make an eLearning development tool sing. Megan Torrancewho's doing amazing work with xAPI. Chatbot guru, Vince Han. Each of them offers a glimpse into the incredibly fulfilling work of diving deeply into focused research and practice. They display the rare and wonderful attributes of virtuosity. 

    On the plane back to Dallas, I thought of ATD Dallas members who have this same drive. I thought of the board members I serve with. Matt Hirst (Past-President), who is a masterful speaker. Laurie Lumston (Director), who understands and practices leadership from a people-first position. I thought of Todd Strosnider (Director) who sees the future with such clarity and effortlessly brings the right people into the room to make it happen. Ann Zoob (EBM of Programs), an exceptional facilitator and natural networker. Lisa Bevington (EBM of Professional Development), who marries change management and psychology to yield amazing results. Amanda Ballard's (EBM of MarCom) uncanny ability to craft a compelling message that says exactly what needs to be said. Bart Castle (EBM of Membership), who can frame concepts masterfully in down-to-earth ways that make everyone in the room feel completely at ease. And I thought of Kim Valliere (Board Admin), a gifted instructional designer and manager of work. I thought of Steff Allison (Chair of SWLS), and her deep knowledge of project management that keeps our Southwest Learning Summit the premier regional conference that it is, and our other VPs, that volunteer their expertise to ATD Dallas and keep us sharp. Our volunteers and members represent some of the most talented TD professionals on the planet. I am blessed to work with and learn from such skilled virtuosos that make ATD Dallas the talent development capital of the world. The purpose of our group is to: 

    Empower people to change their organizations for good. 

    If you haven't fully tapped into that, I invite you to start now. Learn from fellow experts, deepen your  skills and volunteer your own to a vibrant and growing community of talent development virtuosos. The next transcendent moment is yours. 

    One way to ramp up your virtuosity is through Degreed. Follow the steps outlined above and get ready for an amazing experience. Access courses through Harvard MentorManager. Search easily for TED Talks, edX content, Business Insider and and HR.com--for free! And, of course, interact with ATD Dallas members and continue the learning started at our live events, with additional content and conversations tailored just for you.  

    Another way is to volunteer, like my friend and colleague, Deanna does. Complete a volunteer form and join a group of professional friends who are just as committed and excited to make a difference through their own expertise.  

    Finally, don't miss out on all of our upcoming events in April and June. Special Interest Groups, Career Development and our Community-wide event at Parkland Hospital. I had the fortune of interviewing Mary Anderek, interim CLO at Parkland Academy, who will be sharing their simple approach to building trust with business areas on April 23. She's delightful and I feel confident that you will walk away with some solid ideas for building trust at your own organizations. 

    Thanks to every volunteer and member in our organization, we are offering Access, Recognition and Expertise. Take some time this month for cultivating your own virtuosity with ATD Dallas. 


    Rance Greene

    ATD Dallas President

    April 1, 2019

  • 28 Feb 2019 4:53 PM | Rance Greene (Administrator)

    This week I took my car to get the oil changed. I arrived thirty minutes before they closed and there was a line. One of the employees came over to my car. He wasn't scowling. He wasn't shaking his head or pointing for me to leave. I rolled down my window and he greeted me with a big smile.


    "What can we do for you today?"


    "Man, he's chipper," I thought. "Just an oil change."


    "Great, just pull up behind that silver car. Here's a bottle of water for you while you wait!"


    "Wow, a smile and a bottle of water. This must be the friendly guy of the garage, or the manager." But I was wrong. Everybody was friendly! And the smiling man actually worked on my car! He seemed genuinely happy that my type of oil was on sale that day. All of the employees were calling out to one another in oil change language:


    "GTX 30 in bay number three!" "Customer needs washer fluid top off!"


    Before I left, he asked if he could reset the oil change alert in my car. "Sure!" He reset it.


    "We appreciate your business. I'm going to lead you out of here. Hope you have a great day." Then he walked to the front of the car, gave his buddies a friendly shout that a car was leaving the bay and motioned me to move forward. There's a sign just outside the garage that reads, "Honk if you got great service." I think everybody honks when they leave that place.


    Experiences like that make me think, "That didn't happen on accident." Every one of those employees were in sync. They were on the same page.

    They were part of some kind of amazing oil-changing garage culture.

    And they all had something in common. Something so evident that even the grumpiest customers had to admit: they cared. And it wasn't because they were a bunch of caring technicians who happened to get hired at the same time by the same garage. They were actually empowered to care.


    I could imagine any one of those men employed by a different garage where they were doing exactly the same job and hating it. When that employee offered me the bottle of water, it was more than obligatory. It was like he was empowered to give that bottle of water with a sincere desire to meet my need. How does that happen? It's the culture, of course, but how does that culture exist? How did it ever come to be?


    Other companies, like this oil change place, who are known for their culture, seemed to have also found the key: empower your people to care. When you read the story of a Southwest Airlines employee personally delivering lost baggage to a customer who needed special shoes to run an off-road race, or the Nordie (Nordstrom employee) who cheerfully gift-wrapped a product a customer bought at Macy's (without getting fired), there is no way to explain such behavior except that these employees were empowered to care for their customers. But all that caring has to start somewhere. From the very top. Leadership has to care about employees so employees can care about their customers. And it works. Turns out investing in your people is actually also profitable.


    Talent development serves a similar role. We empower. We empower leaders to care about their employees and lead them effectively. We empower customer-facing employees to care for clients. We train, we advocate, we improve business by caring for the people. ATD Dallas's reason for existence reflects the role all of us play in talent development:


    We empower people who are changing their organizations for good.


    We all reap the benefits of an organization that empowers us to care. Care for one another as a community of TD professionals, and care for the people we work with day-to-day. We've got a good thing going.

    At February's packed-out Happy Hour event, it was a pleasure to see familiar faces and meet some new friends, like Lara Azcona, an educator with an amazing background of change management and software engineering who is currently looking for an opportunity to transition into talent development/change management. Andrew Esguerra is a transplant from California, and is taking advantage of his corporate membership with ATD Dallas through his company, Toyota. I also had a chance to speak with Tom McGehee, owner of WaveChanger, who has a rich history in business and facilitating collaboration. The ATD Dallas community is a rich and diverse community of people who truly care.

    This month, we're partnering with another company who believes in investing in their own people. Join us on the morning of March 19 for Breakfast with the C-Suite. VARIDESK's Jeff Lamb (President & COO) and Megan Detz (CPO) are speaking on Growth In a People First Culture. You'll also get a tour of VARIDESK's headquarters.


    Today, the inimitable Jeremy Medrano, Creative Director at Infinitude, is headlining our Learning Technology Special Interest Group. If you're not a graphic designer and you need to design graphics, scoot over to the Girl Scout's headquarters for an amazing session with Jeremy. If you missed him, check out the Design Basics tips from my eLearning Guild colleague, Bianca Woods. We all need a little design help sometimes.

    Join Jan Moorman on March 25 for Networking for Introverts (and others too) at our Career Development event at Dallas Baptist University north campus. 

    Degreed is coming! Already, many of our volunteers are enjoying Degreed's platform of curated learning, and getting it ready for the community-wide launch. One thing you can do now to prepare, is make sure ATD Dallas has the email address you want to use for your personal Degreed account. If the email you want to use for Degreed is different than the email we have on file for ATD Dallas, email info@tddallas.org with "Degreed email" in the subject line and let us know the email you want to use for your Degreed account. For instance, you may already have an account with your company and want to set up your ATD Dallas account on your personal email. Otherwise, you're set!

    If you'd like to experience the ATD Dallas culture and find out just how great it can be, give back. Serve, plan, lead, mentor, speak. Like my colleague, Glenn Smith, there's something you love to do and there's a place here for you to enjoy it. Now that you're part of us, take time to contribute to a culture that empowers others. Complete a volunteer form. We'll reach out to you and connect you to our community.  


    Rance Greene

    ATD Dallas President

    March 1, 2019

  • 01 Feb 2019 8:21 AM | Rance Greene (Administrator)

    …And all who heard should see them there, 

    And all should cry, Beware! Beware! 

    His flashing eyes, his floating hair! 

    Weave a circle round him thrice, 

    And close your eyes with holy dread 

    For he on honey-dew hath fed, 

    And drunk the milk of Paradise…


    <Knock, knock>


    "Come in."


    "It's a person from Porlock here to see you, sir."


    So the story goes, when Samuel Taylor Coleridge returned from speaking with a person from Porlock, Xanadu had vanished. He could not remember the next line or finish the poem. Kubla Khan has a thrilling beginning, but, though regarded as a masterpiece, it remains incomplete.


    That was in 1797. It's February, 2019 now…about the time when resolutions have weakened and daily work has more people from Porlock banging at the door than one can count, interrupting our hopes for innovation and change. It would be easy to hang up strategies as idealism and file away our goals until Q4. It's prime distraction time! And we, the talent development professionals of the world, should know better than anyone just how vital it is to know where we are heading and build out an executable plan. I hope you have set some lofty, crazy goals for yourselves, your teams, your organizations. And I hope you're taking the next steps of careful planning so that even when the person from Porlock comes knocking, your masterpiece will have an ending.

    We're doing exactly that with ATD Dallas. Two Saturdays ago, about thirty of us, all volunteers, gathered to build an execution roadmap that aligns with our strategy. The expertise among those thirty people was diverse and impressive. There's never been a more exciting time to volunteer with our community. And it's not too late to get in on the action. If you want to connect more powerfully with our value proposition of Access, Recognition and Expertise, volunteer with us. You won't regret it. (At the bottom of this post, you'll see a short list of volunteer opportunities.) 


    During our January community meeting, Dr. Jack Phillips, of the ROI Institute gave us the whirlwind tour of The Value of Innovation. Insightful, witty, incredibly wise. Jack closed out his session with this:

    Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor.
    Doing nothing is not an option.


    If anyone knows the value of defining your destination before you start the journey, it's Jack. ATD Dallas members can watch an interview I conducted with Jack. Just log in at the top of this page and click here. Also on this webpage, for a limited time, members can download Jack's ebook, Beyond Learning Objectives.


    Today (February 1), a sell-out crowd is joining the Management Special Interest Group with Dr. Lisa Bevington, an expert in change management (and a member of the board), to learn the small actions you can do to make a big difference in organizational change, during her session, The Neuroscience of Change on February 1 at lunchtime. Lisa's sessions are a must-see. I'm looking forward to it. If you missed it or you'd like a refresher on the NeuroLeadership Institute's SCARF model, watch this video with David Rock. 

    Our community meeting this month is a time of meaningful networking at The Rustic. Register to let us know you're coming. We'll be there to greet you with a drink, apps and great conversation. It's free! If you're looking for a community of talent development professionals, this is a great way to meet some of the best in Dallas.


    If career development is on your list of resolutions (isn't it always?), join the Career Development monthly evening session on Feb 25. Whether you are obtaining a new job, transitioning to a new career, snagging a promotion, branching out into contracting or building new skills, Laurie Barnett delivers an amazing workshop experience that will give you actionable steps to take you to the next level. 


    In addition to our monthly events, ATD Dallas has partnered with Degreed to augment the community experience and your own personal development. Look for more information to come on Degreed's launch how you can be in on the action. Southwest Learning Summit is coming in August and the AXIS Awards will continue to expand recognition to the most innovative businesses in Dallas. 


    Coleridge's Xanadu was a fantasy. ATD Dallas is empowering real people to make real change in their organizations. We are your partner to keep you focused, equipped and ready to handle any distraction from Porlock. Let's dive in together and make a measurable impact on Dallas' businesses. After all, we are becoming the talent development capital of the world. 


    Short list of volunteer opportunities. Complete a volunteer form here. 

    • Project manager for Southwest Learning Summit
    • Technical support for Southwest Learning Summit
    • Other leadership roles for Southwest Learning Summit
    • Career Development leadership role
    • Member Liaisons for all live events
    • Registration for community meetings
    • Graphic designers for MarCom
    • Event organizers for Programs 

    Rance Greene

    ATD Dallas Chapter President

    February 1, 2019

  • 01 Jan 2019 7:00 AM | Anonymous

    She's kind of nervous. Not because she's timid or lacks confidence. But she's already been to several meetings like the one she's about to step into, in hopes that she'll find her people. She hasn't found them yet. She's a manager of a technical writing team who keeps venturing into talent development. She can't help it. She believes that developing people is the key to changing organizations. She wants to make a measurable difference in the business. She's had a hard time connecting with others who have that same drive. She needs a community that understands her and connects her to opportunities. She wants to increase her skills so she can develop others effectively. She has some amazing ideas, but no one to share them with. So she's hoping...hoping that her people will be in that room.  

    Who is she and who is in that room? Those of us who volunteer for ATD Dallas know exactly what's going on here. We've stood outside the door of a Special Interest Group meeting or a chapter event, for the first time, hoping that the people on the other side of that door will be our people. Because deep down inside we are driven to empower others. And it sure would be nice to do that with a community that had that same drive. 

    A lot of us were like this woman. I was. And when I stepped through those doors, I was greeted by everyone...everyone! Leaders of talent development functions in large corporations, one-person training departments, professionals in organizational development. Managers, practitioners, consultants. All of us gathering for the purpose of connecting and learning from one another through this amazing organization: ATD Dallas. I found my people. 

    ATD Dallas members know exactly why they renew their membership year after year. Because we are a community of thriving professionals who are pushing talent development boundaries. Yes, a community. In the metropolis of Dallas, where more and more businesses are setting up shop, there is a growing community with the singular vision of: 

    Becoming the talent development capital of the world. 

    It's my commitment to you, in 2019, to push our boundaries as a chapter, and to make sure the ATD Dallas story is told in a way that compels the best of the best to join and partner with us in our vision. The board and I will use this webpage as a platform to communicate our strategy and to make sure you know how to take advantage of every member benefit available to you.

    Connecting with your people is about to get a lot easier. During the first quarter, every member of ATD Dallas will receive a free account to Degreed, where our in-person connections will blossom into a vibrant online community, centered on skills you are interested in cultivating. Check out a Degreed intro video here and download the app to use the free version.

    Once you've been added to the ATD Dallas account, you'll receive access to an enormous amount of Freemium content, including Harvard ManageMentor, edX, Business Insider and all of ATD Dallas's content. Initiate discussion around articles, videos and courses and learn from other TD professionals who are part of our community. Get credit for everything you're learning, like workshops you attend, articles you read and speakers you hear at our own chapter events. 

    Get an inside view of some amazing organizations and hear renowned speakers at our monthly chapter-wide meetings. You can kick off your year by joining us at Southwest Airlines University as we welcome Jack Phillips of the ROI Institute on January 22. He's excited to partner with us to speak on The Value of Innovation. As part of our partnership, Jack is offering a registration for an upcoming certification course in ROI at a greatly reduced price. You can place a bid to receive that workshop here

    Expect deeper skill building opportunities at our Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings, which will be recorded and posted to Degreed, in case you can't make the live event. Each SIGL&D, Leadership and Learning Technologieswill meet once a quarter, beginning in February, with pre- and post-session dialogue taking place in groups on Degreed. Career Development monthly meetings will continue to offer support for members who want to advance their own careers, break into talent development or search for another opportunity. 

    Our annual conference, the Southwest Learning Summit, in August, will continue to be one of the premier regional talent development conferences the United States, attracting over 400 professionals and some of the best speakers on what's most relevant to our industry. And the AXIS Awards, in December, will expand its reach as more and more corporations and organizations look to ATD Dallas for recognition of their innovative work in talent development.

    There's so much to look forward to in 2019. More access to our community in person, online, any time, anywhere. More recognition on a personal and a corporate level. And targeted expertise to build the skills you want to master. I anticipate every encounter you have with our community to empower you to change your organization for good. Most importantly, you get to do all of this with your people. 

    Rance Greene

    ATD Dallas Chapter President

    January 1, 2019

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