I send you the E-News for June from the Georgia World Convention Centre, Atlanta. The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) International Conference & Expo is being held here. Personally, I come back to the ASTD Conference after a long time; the last one I attended was way back in 1998 at San Francisco. The trip from Malaysia to Atlanta took us 42 hours. We were pretty much finished when we got here but our SMR colleagues here made sure we were fit for the convention.
Happenings at the ASTD Conference & Expo
Jim Collins Keynote: Good to Great
Evaluation: The 4 Levels and Beyond
SMR and Personal News
Happenings at the ASTD Conference & Expo

The delegates profile looked a lot different from the earlier years. There were more younger and first time participants. With about 8000 participants and 375 companies exhibiting, it certainly was much smaller than the yester years. The focus was clear - lots of vendors on learning management systems and online learning, coaching and assessments. The mom and pop training shops were not to be found. There were a lot more new speakers.

For my part, I spent most of my time at the SMR USA exhibition stand. The expo itself was only two and half days and the conference about 3 and half days, much different from the early days. The opportunity to connect with the legends, gurus and friends after a lapse of few years was good. Meeting Don Kirkpatrick, Thiagi, Pike, Ed Scannel, Kevin Lohan and Ling Ling were great. Don, Pike and Thiagi had great sessions. Don was probably the only speaker to use the OHP still. When his son Jim’s PowerPoint collapsed, Don shouted out “use the OHP next time.” The delegates roared with laughter. Participants loved Bob Pike and Thiagi too. I did not get much of a chance to attend sessions other than the keynotes simply because of the need to be at the expo stand. SMR USA Chairman Emeritus Don, Vice President Jim, my colleague Siva and two part time helpers Gina and Jackie were outstanding managing the enquiries re Consulting and HRDPower™.
Jim Collins Keynote: Good to Great

I dashed into the session early morning at 7.25 am only to find the hall full. Professor Mahmud Khan from Saudi Arabia was right there. I got to know later from him he had come in as early as 6.30 am to get a seat. Jim Collins showed why he was truly a great thinker. Humility, willingness to share and a desire to refer to his mentors separated him from the many other good but not great speakers. I did not take notes. He was too persuasive. I only had eyes for him and ears for his words. Some of his key ideas in his message tailored for the ASTD audience were:

Having a TO DO list is important but more important is having a NOT TO DO list.
Decide what you want - do you want to build an organisation or ideas? He shared in an inimitable way his learning from Dr Peter Drucker. The truly giving nature of Peter Drucker is what made him an outstanding thinker of our times.
Ask questions to learn and when you have the answers, go out there and do something USEFUL.
When a business grows faster than its ability to hire, train and develop the workforce, it is in trouble.
Get the RIGHT people on the bus and make sure they are in the RIGHT seats.
His current work revolves round two questions: Why do great companies fall to become good and the question of turbulent disruption. Why do some companies prevail in the face of turbulent disruption while others do not?
Evaluation: The 4 Levels and Beyond

Jim Kirkpatrick with industry practitioners shared the practical applications at Level Three and Four. The goal was to develop a compelling trail of evidence. In both the sessions, Jim’s focus was to build on what can we do take evaluation into the workplace environment. How do we build partnerships with the folks out there? At a special cocktail, SMR USA hosted for key industry practitioners, there was general consensus on building partnerships with industry to develop cases and whitepapers. Those of you who would like a white paper, please email jim.kirkpatrick@smrhrd.com. Jim will also be running an Accredited Evaluation Professional programme in Kuala Lumpur. More details of all accreditation programmes from karen@smrhrd.com.
SMR and Personal News

Wen Dee, our Events Manager with the support of our Indonesian partner PPM and Indian partners Deen, D R Nagaraj, Atul and Uday was on a road show in India and Indonesia. She visited Jakarta, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. More information on the Asia HRD Congress from inoka@hrdcongress.com.

Will be in touch in July and hope to see you in Asia HRD Congress.

Best wishes,
Palan
June 2007
Asia HRD Congress 2007

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