ISPI Performance Digest
Oct. 23, 2012

Why certifications are a great choice for your career
Fan to Pro
Certifications. We're used to seeing them in resumes as strings of letters after people's names. We're used to hearing about them at professional associations. We're also used to people talking about them. But why do people emphasize them? There are six major reasons why professional certifications are a great choice for your career.More

Harvard launches free online learning; 100,000 sign up
The Boston Globe
About 100,000 students have signed up for Harvard University's first free online courses — computer science and an adaptation of the Harvard School of Public Health's classes in epidemiology and biostatics. The online courses, part of a joint venture called edX, begin Oct. 22, according to Harvard. Provost Alan Garber said the free courses are part of an effort to educate people worldwide and that the effort will help improve education on Harvard's own campus.More

The devil (really is) in the details
MoldMaking Technology
Wayne Chaneski writes, "I recently met with three different companies that were all experiencing recurring mistakes that negatively affected their business. The recurring theme in each of these instances is a weak documentation of processes, procedures and accountabilities." While documentation just for the sake of documentation is not helpful, Chaneski says, properly executed documentation can serve a variety of purposes for employees, managers and the company overall.More

Enterprise learners vs. entrepreneurial learners
Learning in the Social Workplace
Today's environment — one in which companies no longer offer jobs for life and skills become obsolete within five years — makes it more important than ever for employees and employers to stay on top of all the new knowledge and skills in the marketplace. This is leading to a shift from enterprise learning — likened to a steamship that sets its course and steams ahead — to entrepreneurial learning, which is more similar to the reactionary nature of kayaking. What does this transition mean to organizations?More

GAO report looks at government employee training
The Intangible Economy
In late September, the Government Accountability Office released a new report on government training — "Federal Training Investments" — that critiques both agency practices and Office of Personnel Management oversight. It documents the inability of the federal government to know how much it spends on investments in human capital: Only 16 of 27 agencies surveyed tracked training investments. The report looks specifically at the problems of existing data collection systems in four departments — Energy, Homeland Security, Interior and Veterans Affairs.More

Utilizing state-funded training
The Santa Clarita Valley Signal
In order to keep California's businesses competitive with out-of-state and international companies, the state provides several sources of funding to help support a trained workforce. One such source is the Employment Training Panel. Another funding source is the Economic and Workforce Development grants through the Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges. Developing the skills and abilities of your workforce is usually a good idea; it can have a much greater impact if it is part of a strategic plan that connects the skill development efforts to business objectives — and state funding can help make this a reality without draining a company's resources.More