ISPI Performance Digest
Oct. 12, 2010

Gates Foundation announces $20 million grant program for online education
Top News
A $20 million grant program was recently announced by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for improving college graduation rates with the help of technology. The multi-year grant, which will apparently be oriented around online education and learning programs, will promote innovation in online instructional tools, with a special focus on community colleges. According to a New York Times report, the Foundation will be joined by four non-profit educations organizations as well as the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, to encourage the use of technology to prepare more students for the high-skill job market.More

Training picks up post recession
The National Business Review
The executive education sector took a big hit during the recession with many companies cutting costs but only to bounce back performing better than ever. Employers & Manufacturers Association (EMA) chief executive Alasdair Thompson, said the number of registrations for the 700 short courses the association offers plummeted during the financial downturn. While the sector began to recovery in early 2010 it was very slow to the end of March.More

ISPI SkillCast: Quality tools & human performance technology
ISPI
Join ISPI's first SkillCast Webinar of the new 2010-2011 season. Join Tom Berstene of Workplace planning Associates as he shares the Seven Basic Tools of Quality, the Seven Management Tools of Quality and a handful of advanced tools used in Quality, while discussing the implications for HPT practitioners. These tools are designed to help improve the products and services of any organization while promoting innovation, communication and planning. If you want a better understanding of quality tools, their purpose and uses and the decisions they are designed to support — then this SkillCast is for you! More

Developing leaders who can deal with times of uncertainty
HR Magazine
Consultant, Peter Hamill wrote in HR Magazine, "Having recently read a couple of books on the banking crisis, it is easy to see how ego, pride and self-deception caused many of the problems the world economy is still experiencing. This was a situation of enormous ambiguity and uncertainty and the lack of leaders who could deal with this effectively has had a dramatic impact on all our lives. So what does it take to develop leaders who can respond well to such circumstances? Well, first we need to understand what happens to us in times of ambiguity and uncertainty, and here we can look to neuroscience for answers."More

Barnhart in training partnership
Memphis Business Journal
Industrial Training International, a Woodland, Wash., based crane and heavy equipment training company, is opening a 9,500-square-foot training center in Memphis. The facility will be located at the Memphis headquarters of Barnhart, a crane and rigging company, and provide training for Barnhart employees from around the country as well as other equipment operators in the region seeking to be certified. More

Lessons from nightmare bosses
Inc. Magazine
Robert Sutton is like a priest or psychiatrist of office life: People tell him everything. And because he is not bound by vows of secrecy, Sutton, a professor in Stanford's department of management science and engineering, is free to share the tales, both comic and tragic, that pour in to him from managers and the managed alike. Two of Sutton's recently finished books are Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best and Learn From the Worst. He spoke with Inc. editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan about how to produce inspiration, rather than desperation, in your followers.More

New subsidy to boost workplace productivity
The National Business Review
The Government of New Zealand has announced a fresh initiative to boost workplace productivity. The new igh Performance Working' initiative will provide a pool of $1 million per year to fund a network of specialist business consultants, who will work with businesses to promote more effective use of time and skills in the workplace. "Achieving greater employee engagement and developing sound workplace practices is crucial to growing a successful business," Labor Minister Kate Wilkinson said in a recent release.More

Strengthening workforce development
Daily Times
Experts have stressed the need to improve competitiveness of Pakistani economy by strengthening the system for workforce development, increased investment in human capital by the private sector, and improving access to trainings, jobs and business opportunities for youth and women. At a workshop titled "Private sector engagement for professional development in Pakistan" jointly organized by USAID Pakistan Jobs Project in collaboration with its implementing partner in Pakistan, Voice Tel Tech (VTT) and National University of Science and Technology (NUST) — exporters, stakeholders and participants stressed focus on bridging the gap between the employer and job markets. The underlying focus of this project is to create an enabling environment in Pakistan job markets so that job seekers better prepare themselves in finding the right jobs as well as progressing in their respective fields.More

Challenge to work hours fails
The Age
FAIR Work Australia has emphatically rejected a push by retail employers to allow casual employees to work less than three-hour shifts and has strongly criticized their case. The issue has been controversial with both employers and the federal Coalition highlighting the effect on school students who were forced out of work due to the minimum hours rule. But the full bench of Fair Work Australia rejected an employer appeal and said at one point that it was hard to imagine a weaker evidentiary case for a cut in minimum hours. They said it was not appropriate to allow the appeal nor was it in the public interest. The employer case also did not deal with the "substantial" evidence put against it by a union, the tribunal said.More

Satyam crisis: Leadership lessons
The Economic Times
"Do you know there was a fire drill at Satyam's School of Leadership a few years back?" asks Ed Cohen, the dapper 51 year-old ex-chief Learning Officer of Satyam Computer Services. Of course, when the 'fire' broke out, Cohen was aghast to see people strolling out of the building casually. He took it upon himself to explain to his colleagues why they should never take a crisis lightly. "When a crisis happens, you need to put a plan together for what you need to do and use the time to re-look at your core purpose and values," says Nelson. The words turned out to be prophetic. On Jan. 7, 2009, a multi-crore accounting scandal hit the company with promoter Ramalinga Raju admitting fraud. More