Posts By Dave Barton

Professional Development on a Shoestring

When your workload grows and your budget shrinks, professional development often gets pushed to the back burner.  Here are some ideas about finding training and development opportunities despite the obstacles. Updating Your Individual Development Plan (IDP) – There are a variety of ways government employees make use of development plans, and not all processes are ofRead… Read more »

The Present & Future of Distance Learning in Government

This week I met with Dale Carpenter, the National Park Service’s (NPS) Distance Learning (DL) Program Manager, to collect some thoughts about the current and future state of DL in government.   Dale’s unique perspective includes experience from years of service in both the public and private sector. What does a day look like inRead… Read more »

Q&A with a Full-Time Virtual Employee

I’ve worked in a variety of environments including full-time office, periodic telework, and now, full-time virtual. I get asked a lot of questions about virtual work.  Here are my responses to the top three: 1-Wait…you work from home?  (Or, what kind of work did you say you do again?) I’ve transitioned from working in anRead… Read more »

The Color of a Dress & Public Perception

What color is this dress?  Black and Blue? Gold and White?  Something else? Like thousands of others, you’ve probably already responded to the social media sensation about perception over the course of the last week. Did any of you get the correct answer? Perception is also incredibly important in the government community–not only to our employees, butRead… Read more »

The Intersection of Knowledge Management and Learning

I’ve never worked in knowledge management, but I do work in learning and development, and it’s always fun to find new applications for the Pareto principle. You know, the one where 80% of outputs are the result of 20% of the inputs…or something like that. In learning applications, Lombardo & Eichinger’s 70-20-10 rule is often citedRead… Read more »

4 Reasons to Benchmark Against the Private Sector

I’ve always found it a bit disheartening how far-removed some government departments seem to be from any semblance of performance-based accountability. I ask, “would these folks survive a day out in the real world if there was an ounce of competition?” Considering that I work for the government as well, I have to assume that othersRead… Read more »

Engage your Team with Liberating Structures

Are your workplace interactions motivating and engaging? Or stiff and stale? Other than email, in which format do most of your professional interactions take place? Presentations? Status reports? Discussions? Brainstorming sessions? Whatever your answer, ask yourself if the primary formats are particularly engaging or effective. If not, consider the contributions of “liberating structures,”  an innovation broughtRead… Read more »

5 Tips to Flip Your Virtual Event

I love the way this video clip portrays some of the communication barriers and group dynamics associated with virtual conferencing. For me, it also calls into question the format of most of our meetings. Virtual meetings often make it easier for more attendees to participate, and as a virtual worker, I get it!  But I also haveRead… Read more »

Facts & Myths about Training

In last week’s post, Why Mandatory Training Rocks, I asked GovLoopers to weigh in on whether a few statements about learning are facts or myths. Here are the results and some supporting evidence.  Thanks to all who participated. 1. Participants have to like training to learn from it (Myth) @ryanburdick wrote, this one’s “a weird place betweenRead… Read more »