Letter to the Boss…

Our last post highlighted the upcoming LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting focusing on Learning in NGOs. Many members have asked for a letter-to-the-boss to share with their supervisor to strengthen their request to attend.  LINGOs Co-Founder and CEO Eric Berg wrote this post for member representatives who could use a bit of leverage with their manager or boss. (There’s an editable note, where you can insert some of your own info on the LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting web page. Remember, early bird registration ends on July 31.)

 #Let’sDoThis

#LearningInNGOs

EricBerg (1)Dear _________________,

I am writing on behalf of (insert your name/s here) to let you know of an important capacity building event happening in November. LINGOs is completing its tenth year and we are taking this opportunity to gather many of the individuals and organizations that have instrumental in our efforts to provide world-class learning free or at little cost to anyone working to improve lives in the developing world. As one of the founding members, Mercy Corps will be hosting this year’s meeting at their headquarters in Portland Oregon. In addition to highlighting the innovative programs our members are running to build the skills of their staff and implementing partners in the field, we have three industry leaders coming to share their expertise with the group:

Vikas Narula, Creator and Co-Founder of KeyHubs, a Minneapolis-based management software and consulting firm, which specializes in helping organizations realize their potential by uncovering and tapping the hidden organization – the informal network of relationships that exist between employees.

Kevin Carroll, author, speaker and agent for social change (a.k.a. the Katalyst), it is Kevin’s “job” to inspire businesses, organizations and individuals – from CEOs and employees of Fortune 500 companies to schoolchildren – to embrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth.

Chris Proulx, President and CEO of eCornell, will share the lessons he has learned about staff development and cultivating excellence while growing the eCornell business into the award-winning online professional development leader in the industry. As the incoming CEO of LINGOs, Chris will explain how any organization can leverage technology and content to improve organizational performance.

In addition to the leaders above, there will be concurrent sessions on blended learning, implementing partner engagement, mentoring and coaching and several opportunities to meet with people from other organizations coping with the same resource-constrained staff development challenges face by (your organization name here).

Finally, with the launch of the new LINGOs Learning Platform (LLP) this year, there will be an opportunity for your staff to see how the early adopters are using the LLP to engage the power of social networking and peer-to-peer learning in a two-day event prior to the LINGOs meeting.

I know resources are limited so investments in staff development must be made very wisely. I assure you this event will do more to enhance the capacity of (insert name/s here) than any alternative available. We hope to see (organization) take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Eric Berg

Co-Founder and CEO, LINGOs

 

For more information, visit the LINGOs Tenth Anniversary Meeting Page

Learning in NGOs – LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting

2014-04 New Membership Logo - CLEAR 669x200Each year, for the past decade, LINGOs has convened a meeting of its members, to share learning, ideas, approaches, lessons and challenges about learning in NGOs.  This year, our guest speakers Kevin Carroll and Vikas Narula will catalyze new ideas and approaches for strengthening engagement building communities and networks of learning.

Members come from organizations large and small, from faith-based and secular NGOs, from organizations dedicated to humanitarian relief, international development, health, conservation and social justice. What they have in common (apart from membership in LINGOs) is a desire to strengthen the skills of their staff around the world, using appropriate, affordable, accessible learning approaches – most often involving technology to bridge the distances, so that their colleagues can do their good work… better.

This November, Mercy Corps, a founding member of LINGOs will host the LINGOs Tenth Anniversary Member Meeting. LINGOs Members can take advantage of being in Portland with a two-day pre-meeting training workshop on the LINGOs Learning Platform – a great opportunity for individuals responsible for designing, deploying and/or managing their organization’s Learning Platform. Space is limited for this pre-meeting event – so sign up now!

In addition to the two-day meeting, we’ll celebrate our tenth year at a gala reception with our founders, board and partners.

Why attend the Member Meeting?

Why attend the Member Meeting? Let us explain, in a word (or Acrostic):

Learn new skills and tools

LINGOs is introducing the state of the art LINGOs Learning Platform in coming months, and the member meeting and pre-meeting training workshop are the best opportunities to learn about the powerful capabilities of the platform and how to use them to greatest effect in your organization. Some of the new features include online community groups, resource wikis, online help, learning paths, multiple catalogs and a multitude of reporting options. If you want to be prepared to lay the groundwork for rolling out the LLP, you should attend the meeting. If you are in the early adopter group, or planning to deploy the LLP in early 2015, make plans to participate in the two-day pre-meeting training event.

Inspire yourself and your organization

LINGOs 2014 Keynoter Kevin Carroll, author, speaker and agent for social change inspires organizations, businesses and individuals to embrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth. Gain inspiration, catalyze your learning and strengthen learning in your NGO.

Network with Global NGO Learning Professionals

Do you work alone or in a small team? For many NGOs, providing learning and capacity building for global staff is a one man or one woman show. The LINGOs Member Meeting is your network — build a global team to help you throughout the year.  Like a priceless piece of art, or the cost of finding that unique part that makes your machine run, it’s hard to calculate the value of networking among a community of peers. The annual LINGOs Member Meeting is THE networking opportunity for those interested in strengthening Learning in international NGOs.

Get energized about organizational learning and the LLP

Excited about launching a new platform? The two-day pre-meeting training workshop, and many sessions at the Member Meeting will energize you and your colleagues about the potential to really leverage learning resources globally across your organization – to help your staff around the world access learning they need to achieve your mission.  

Open your learning to new approaches

Each year, members who participate in the LINGOs Member Meeting tell us that the time spent at the meeting is the most valuable learning they’ve engaged in all year. They open up a wealth of new ideas and approaches they can use when they get back – some immediately and others that can be adapted and put in place in coming months.

Social

Learning is social! Make connections, form collaborative relationships, get more involved with LINGOs (the full team, including Project Services, Last Mile Learning and our full staff). You can immediately put into practice what keynoter Vikas Narula has to say about informal networks! We’ve built in networking opportunities and plenty of structured interactions to help catalyze your learning and build synergy among members. We’re planning another “Speed Dating” session where quickly and informally share innovative programs, as well as an informal gathering (wine tasting) the night before the member meeting and a gala event to celebrate our tenth year!

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting

 Want more info?

View the LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting webpage

Read about the  meetings from 2013  and 2012 or contact Membership Director Marian Abernathy for more info.

 

 

The Right Stuff… LINGOs 2013 Awards

Clockwise from upper left: ComputerWorld Honors Medal; Paige Layno Winn with FHI 360's Member of the Year Award; LINGOs Awards; Rising Stars Nick Walden (L) and Rich Peavy (R) with LINGOs CEO Eric Berg (Center).

Clockwise from upper left: ComputerWorld Honors Medal; Paige Layno Winn with FHI 360’s Member of the Year Award; LINGOs Awards; Rising Stars Nick Walden (L) and Rich Peavy (R) with LINGOs CEO Eric Berg (Center).

Among the fun and fabulousness at the LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting, we had the opportunity to recognize some rising stars and a member organization that is contributing above and beyond to the LINGOs learning consortium.

Originally formed to be a community of learning in 2005, LINGOs has grown and evolved.  As a reader of this blog, you’ve no doubt seen frequent posts on two initiatives that benefit our members, as well as the development/humanitarian community at large:

Our Project Services group works with development organizations to build capacity in project management, and provides innovative learning opportunities for individuals around the world to strengthen their skills and knowledge.

The Last Mile Learning initiative is providing world class learning at little or no cost – not just to our member organizations, but to ANYONE working to improve people’s lives in the developing world.  LINGOs members have access to all that is available to others, often before it’s released to the public.

Focus on LINGOs Members

The LINGOs 2013 member meeting was the ninth occasion at which LINGOs members have convened to network, share ideas and approaches and learn with and from one another. Over a third of our 76 member organizations from around the world sent representatives to the two-day event to take part in two dozen sessions hosted at PATH’s Washington, DC headquarters.

It was a wonderful occasion, and at the reception hosted at the offices of the National Democratic Institute, we recognized some key contributors to our learning community.

Rising Stars

LINGOs recognized two individuals each one new to the community stood out as exemplifying the ideals on which LINGOs was formed. Both work with organizations that have joined LINGOs in the past two years, and each has contribute to the community in ways large and small – serve on advisory committees, share what they are learning – spotlights on work in progress, espresso shots, share questions and concerns in LinkedIn… provide and share across the community.

Member of the year

LINGOs’ 2013 Member of the Year FHI 360 joined the LINGOs community three years ago, and has since undergone significant transition and growth. Paige Layno Winn, FHI 360 Senior Learning Officer and designated contact to LINGOs has played an extraordinary role and is more than a LINGOs star (maybe a sun).

“LINGOs recognizes FHI 360 as its 2013 Member of the Year not simply for using LINGOs resources well within their organization,” said LINGOs CEO Eric Berg. “Rather, the recognition is for sharing and giving back to the LINGOs community that includes 75 + international development organizations and the other organizations and individuals with whom LINGOs interacts via its Last Mile Learning initiative (www.LastMileLearning.org) and our Project Services groups.”

FHI 360 emulates the ideals of a learning community on which LINGOs was founded 9 years ago, and it is an honor to present the 2013 Member of the Year award to Paige Winn for FHI 360.

FHI360 shared its initial learning and process for deploying its LMS with other members in a blog post in January  2011. This relatively simple way to share knowledge and approach to deploying technology based learning, has benefitted the many organizations that have joined LINGOs since then.  In an early 2013 “Espresso shot” shared a great update on internal community building, that highlights use of resources they get through LINGOs and other low cost resource such as NING.

FHI 360 is clearly is deploying LINGOs resources well, as can be seen from its learning management system utilization reports in terms of the total number of staff registered and actively engaging in and completing self-paced courses, as well as participating in events.

Our Member of the year has tried out many member benefits, sometimes investing extra resources in getting more than what is available through LINGOs – such as we shared in the January Spotlight article.

Paige Winn recently guest blogged on its approach to building a virtual community of learning.

FHI 360 not only developed important resources through Global Giveback but shared with other LINGOs members, an award-winning resource that benefits any health worker working on HIV and TB prevention.

Also through the Global Giveback, FHI 360 created a harassment and discrimination course that, with minimal adaptation, is now available for the entire LINGOs and InsideNGO community, has shared its approaches to using the LINGOs-hosted LMS for events and reporting.

LINGOs Laureate Award Bestowed

Earlier this year,  in a LINGOs LINK Spotlight article, we reported that IDG’s Computerworld  Honors Program named LINGOs as a 2013 Laureate for its collaboration with Rustici Software  in the  creation of SCORM Dispatch. The annual award program honors visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change.  Todd Slater, Director of the Technology Learning Center Director at The Nature Conservancy and LINGOs Board Member bestowed the ComputerWorld Honors Laureate medal on LINGOs’ Director of Technology, Robb Allen. Robb lead the work for LINGOs with Rustici Software that member organizations are now using to provide content from the LINGOs catalog to more than ten portals.

For more info on the meeting

Please view the Spotlight Report from the November 2013 LINGOs LINK.

Fun “Cosmo Quiz” vs Serious Announcement?

You’ve got a new course or learning resource and it’s a great learning opportunity for your staff. How do you get the word out?

 Financially_Fluent

[  ] Memo from the boss?

[  ]  eMail from the Learning Coordinator?

[  ]  Flyer in the break room?  (or elevator, stairwell, restroom…)

[  ]  Text announcement on your intranet?

[  ]  “Gamified” approach?

[  ]   Hallway conversations from an internal maven?

[  ]   All of the above

Have Some Fun

Most of us don’t think of financial management as particularly enjoyable. Last Mile Learning launched its new Financial Management Learning Path with a fun Cosmo-style quiz to ask viewers to check their financial fluency  (click here for the quiz).

Market Your Learning

LINGOs’ Last Mile Learning is marketing learning resources more than once and in various ways. For busy development professionals, particularly those who travel internationally and may miss an email that isn’t hugely urgent, so it’s vital to have more than one opportunity for staff to learn about it.

Actively market your learning! For-profit-companies don’t send an email about a new product and then sit back and wait for customers to empty the shelves. They advertise! Not-for-profit charities do marketing, as well. Use those marketing resources to increase awareness of your learning resources.

Multiple Contacts

The “Financial Fluency Quiz” was promoted through a newsletter (click here to subscribe), many LinkedIn Community Groups, the Last Mile Learning Facebook Page, tweets (and re-tweets) and various e-distribution groups.  In fact, you can forward it, too!

5 things you can do now:

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2013 Member MeetingIf you are with a LINGOs Member Organization*, you can attend the Last Mile Learning session at the LINGOs member meeting next month in Washington, DC.
checkMark Click to Check YOUR financial fluency

LML-squareRegister for a Last Mile Learning Account and take a free course

LikeUsonFacebook  LIKE Last Mile Learning on Facebook

LINGOs Members, if you’d like the editable file for the financial fluency quiz to use (and direct your learners to YOUR portal), email Marian.

The Virtual Palava Hut: Building a Global Community of Learning

Guest Post By Paige Layno Winn, FHI 360

PaigeWinn

In some African countries, the Palava Hut is the central space for social networking, informal learning, and conflict resolution. It’s a place that welcomes locals and guests alike. It’s the cultural hub of a village—a place that promotes dialogue between people of diverse opinions, backgrounds, and cultures.

How do you create community in a virtual learning space?

You might say that an NGO’s training classroom is like a Palava Hut—the organizational learning hub. So how do you create that same sense of community in a virtual learning space?  The Learning and Development (L+D) team at FHI 360 has been working on creative ways to do just that.

This year, we launched a series of live, virtual learning events called Cross-Sector Cafés—regular one-hour interactive discussions led by country offices and staff from across FHI 360’s 11 practice areas. Facilitators lead sessions held via virtual classroom (Blackboard Collaborate), giving brief introductions and highlights of staff/programs, with much of the time devoted for Q&A from attendees. This year’s topics include:

  • Integrating gender programs
  • Exploring FHI 360’s disability projects and resources
  • Strengthening economic systems in developing countries
  • Extending information delivery and data collection in low resource environments
  • Developing sustainable solutions to environmental protection
  • Introducing staff and projects in country offices, including Nepal, Kenya, and Thailand
  • And more!

Cross Sector Dialogue via Collaborative Platform

1Cafe 360 screenshotAfter each session, follow up discussions are posted on Café 360, a collaborative networking site we built using the professional social networking platform, Ning. Café 360 is designed to promote cross-sector dialogue between staff through discussion boards, videos, and other cross-sector collaboration tools. Café 360 also provides us a place to post recorded Cross-Sector Cafés , so colleagues who couldn’t attend a synchronous session still have access. And, as a bonus, we have a nice library of virtual interactions between staff that can be accessed anywhere, anytime!

Café 360 has been a great resource where staff share profiles and photos, as well as a place for L+D to post pictures of live, in-country learning events and learning materials. We’ve also set up content interest groups so staff can direct questions to the relevant people. For example, we have a learning champions group on Café 360 where champions can post LMS or eLearning-related questions and get quick responses—often real-time answers in their time zones.

Another outcome of Café 360 is that others are now using technologies like Blackboard Collaborate to facilitate virtual learning across their own global teams. Groups are also seeing the advantage of adopting professional networking sites (such as Ning) and are exploring similar platforms for communities of practice and FHI 360 as a whole. As a result, learners are collaborating across geographies and practices areas, and staff are building their virtual training skills when they facilitate Cross-Sector Cafés.

NGOs often face hurdles with expense, skill, and technology infrastructure. But with a growing variety of social media and mobile learning tools, you’re sure to find one that fits your budget, size, and capacity. In the spirit of a LINGOs Palava Hut, contact me if you’d like to talk about getting started with a virtual strategy to increase global collaboration and learning with your teams. Or better yet—let’s catch up over coffee at this year’s LINGOs member meeting!

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting

The  LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting takes place October 16 & 17 in Washington, DC. Staff of all LINGOs Member Organizations are welcome to register and attend.  Sessions are tailored for our members: to help you give your learners a  “buzz”, help you use a mixture of resources to “blend” your  program and give you ideas to make maximum use of the limited  “bandwidth” we all have available – both figuratively and literally.

How fast does your NGO learn?

Posted by Marian Abernathy, Director of Membership & Communications

Marian_Abernathy

Atul Gawande’s recent New Yorker article Slow Ideas: Some innovations spread fast. How do you speed the ones that don’t? highlights the importance of champions. He discusses his work on the BetterBirth Project in Uttar Pradesh with the Indian Government, the World Health Organization, the Gates Foundation and LINGOs member Population Services International (PSI).

Dr. Gawande illustrates how we are often very slow to adopt great ideas, even those that resolve resolve important and highly prioritized challenges. While reading “slow ideas” about the speed of adoption of medical and public health innovations (from anesthesia and aseptic technique to oral rehydration solutions), I was struck by the similarities that many LINGOs members face as they roll out technology-based learning to provide professional development or strengthen technical skills of their global staff.

Many LINGOs members, including PSI, designate learning champions who help speed the diffusion of innovation in learning. Over 50 years ago, Everett Rogers’ wrote about the diffusion of innovation and showed that people take up new ideas when they have a trusted personal connection to it: change is a social process. A local learning champion serves as the trusted personal connection to organizational learning program.

LINGOs Members & Learning Champions

• Opportunity International clearly defines the role for their learning champions, including serving as registrars in the organizational learning management system (for more information, see March 2013 LINK  Spotlight).

• IJM’s Chennai-based Learning Champion shared her Gold Medal Tips in a July 2012 post on the LINGOs blog.

• LINGOs members will be abuzz their approaches to bring that personal connection to learners at the LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting. Registration is now open for LINGOs members and their global champions. We look forward to learning with you in Washington, DC.

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting

Buzz, Blend and Bandwidth at LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting: October in Washington DC

The LINGOs team and Advisory Committee planning the LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting are abuzz with excitement and we hope our members are, too!

LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting is being hosted at the Washington, DC offices of PATH October 16 and 17.

The agenda is filling up with sessions facilitated by members of our community, invited speakers and LINGOs team members.

Invited Speakers

Entrepreneurial approaches to build capacity – Liziane Silva

LizianeSilvaWe look forward to introducing you to keynoter Liziane Silva, a young entrepreneur from Brazil who brings a field-based perspective and entrepreneurial approach to building capacity. Her company, INK, aims to inspire, form and connect people and organizations to create, build and transform their realities through entrepreneurial action.  We got to know Liziane as she’s trained more than 500 people and a network of facilitators in project management in Brazil. She is also developing projects to build capacities in different knowledge areas, as Strategic Planning, Communications, Impact Strategies, Fundraising, Laws and Financial Organization.  Liziane will share her experiences both as a facilitator and as an employee of social organizations aiming to strengthen management capacities to achieve broader and deeper impact.

Personalizing and Reinforcing Learning – Ron Price

Ron PriceMany of our members have had the pleasure of meeting keynoter Ron Price, Senior Vice President of Yukon Learning at eLearning Guild events and Yukon training workshops on Articulate Studio and Storyline rapid eLearning authoring tools. Ron brings a distinctive, holistic, and dynamic approach to organizational learning, springing from over 30 years of combined experience in organization development consulting, instructional design, business coaching, leadership development, experiential education, public speaking, and relational ministry.  Ron has consulted with organizations from  an assortment of industries of various sizes – from large institutions (UNC – Kenan Flagler, Duke – Fuqua School of Business, Kaiser-Permanente, AT&T, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Harvard Business School, Outward Bound) to small organizations (church congregations, camps, schools, youth groups, community organizations).

Ron will share his experience and knowledge of personalizing learning and reinforcing the learning to enhance application of new skills and knowledge on the job.  Friday, Ron will lead a workshop on Storyline. Participants will gain experience and ability to use storyboards, chunk learning with the “Big Idea” process and use Storyline to create learning resources for their global staff.

Concurrent Sessions: Buzz, Blend and Bandwidth

Sessions will help you give your learners a  “buzz”, help you use a mixture of resources to “blend” your  program and give you ideas to make maximum use of the limited  “bandwidth” we all have available – both figuratively and literally.

The Initial Menu of Concurrent Sessions:

Buzz:

Communicating with learners

Telling the story of organizational learning to Execs, CDs, Managers and Donors

Champions speed adoption of learning

Engaging field-based programmatic partners with an entrepreneurial approach

Blend:

Building Capacity through mentoring and shadowing

Just add MOOC? Considerations for designing your organizational learning menu

Microteaching to build trainers – virtually and in person

LINGOs project services learning labs serves up interesting results

Bandwidth:

Getting started with eLearning in your organization

Building multi-media learning without a multi-media budget or producer

In addition to sessions facilitated by familiar faces of many fellow members, members will enjoy the sessions facilitated by some lesser known LINGOs team members:

  • Not just fun and games: Strengthening Engagement and Application with Gamification with Juan Manuel Palacios and Gus Curran
  • Launching new learning products, lessons from Last Mile Learning – with Mike Culligan
  • Microteaching to build trainers – virtually and in person with Roger Steele
  • Maximizing results with innovative approaches – John Cropper and Roger Steele
  • Partners, Paths and Platforms, Oh My: Update from LINGOs with Eric Berg

Networking, Resources and Fun

Bypopular request, LINGOs 2013 includes a networking platform through which participants can meet, share resources and network before, during and after the meeting. We’ll be able to share updates on the agenda, social events (including welcome reception at fellow member NDI’s offices), and resources. Stay tuned!

Friday Workshops

For those who want more! Members can choose from two optional workshops on Friday October 18.

Storyline and the “Big Idea”: Gain concepts and skills for rapid eLearning course development with Ron Price (full day)

Participants in this highly engaging and interactive full-day workshop will learn or build skills in the use of Articulate Storyline while creating and/or customizing a general course on how to be a successful self-directed learner.  This introductory – intermediate course is geared for those relatively new to rapid eLearning and those with some skills who want to learn to use Storyline.

Our goal is for participants to leave the workshop with skills to use Storyline, and a course they can upload to their organizational LMS upon completion of the workshop.

Participants will gain experience and ability to:

  • Use storyboards to build courses
  • Chunk learning with the “Big Idea” process
  • Use Storyline to create learning resources for their global staff

Participants should bring their own computer with Storyline installed and organizational assets including logo and branding guidelines.

Getting started or re-booting your organizational learning program with LINGOs (half day)

If you or your organization is new to LINGOs, or your organizational learning program has been sidelined and you are ready to reboot it – or you just want to get more from your LINGOs membership, this is the workshop for you!

Participants will leave this half day workshop with a plan that identifies:

  • Top organizational learning priorities
  • Benchmarks and metrics for success
  • Quick wins for your organization to leverage your LINGOs membership

  

Registration is now open!

We look forward to a fabulous event with our members October 16-17 and optional workshops Friday October 18 at the DC offices of PATH.

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting