best learning and development articles of 2019

It’s hard to believe that 2020 is already here, but it is! In the spirit of renewal, let’s look back at SweetRush’s best articles of 2019—and three exciting eBooks we released, too. Sign up to receive lots of insightful new learning articles in the months ahead!

2019 was a year that saw continued growth at SweetRush, with the welcoming of awesome new team members and client-partners into our family. It was also a wonderful year for master-class content, as evidenced by our favorite and most popular articles heresome of which were listed among the best articles of 2019 by the industry. Several of our thought leaders and experts shared leading-edge best practices and tackled issues relevant to custom learning, cultural transformation and change management, emerging technologies like virtual reality, and staff augmentation in the age of agile talent.

In the year ahead, we’ll be sharing loads of vital new insights and talk about industry trends, so stay tuned and subscribe to our monthly newsletter!  

LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

2019 Instructional Design Trends and Learning Trends: The Ecosystem Evolves
https://elearningindustry.com/2019-instructional-design-trends-learning-trends-ecosystem-evolves

Named the #2 article of year in the 2019 eLearning Learning’s MVP Awards (“Other” category) and listed among eLearning Industry’s Top 50 articles for 2019, Director of Marketing Danielle Hart’s thorough piece examines the biggest shifts in L&D and presents forward-thinking, highly effective solutions to 11 common sticking points L&D organizations face. Psst: Our 2020 trends article is coming (very) soon! 

Design Thinking: Creating Authentically Learner-Centric Solutions
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20191112/index.php#/24

Today’s rapid development of learning programs doesn’t always permit audience analysis. So how do you know your strategy is on target? How do you validate ideas with actual learners? Enter the power of design thinking—as discussed by Director of Organizational Effectiveness Lauren Granahan and Director of Instructional Design Clare Dygert. 

3 Hot Tips & Best Practices for Blended Learning Solutions
https://www.sweetrush.com/hot-tips-best-practices-for-blended-learning-solutions/

The “Swiss Army knife of learning solutions” is fantastic for knowledge- and skills-based content and outcomes—and it’s also cost-effective. Senior Instructional Designer Emma Klosson explains how to masterfully strategize and combine the right modalities to create an exceptional blended learning solution. 

Use Design Thinking to Design New Hire Onboarding
https://trainingindustry.com/articles/content-development/use-design-thinking-to-design-new-hire-onboarding/

Instructional Designers are often tasked with crafting new employee onboarding, and they can probably design a program off the top of their heads. So why apply design thinking? Clare Dygert shares three very good reasons why—and walks through the steps of applying it. 

CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT

5 Types Of Organizational Culture Transformation Approaches: Which Is Right For Your Org?
https://elearningindustry.com/organizational-culture-transformation-approaches-right-org-types

When transforming the culture of your organization, expanding your team and getting the right facilitators and approach in place is vital. Another honoree on eLearning Industry’s list of the Top 50 articles for 2019, Director of Cultural and Organizational Transformation Ashley Munday explores five proven approaches specific to organizational needs. 

An Unexpected Approach to Creating a Culture of Innovation
https://elearningindustry.com/create-a-culture-of-innovation-unexpected-approach 

What is co-creation—and how does it contribute to making your team more innovative and agile? What does psychological safety have to do with it? Discover what’s needed to transform your group into supercharged high performers. 

EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

VR Case Study Webinar: Answers to Your Questions
https://www.sweetrush.com/virtual-reality-case-study-webinar/

Attendees of our Virtual Reality Case Study webinar brought their burning questions—like What’s VR good for teaching? What advances are you working on for soft skills training? What headset should I use? Do I need a developer to get started with VR? And we responded! Check out Creative Director John-Carlos Lozano’s blog post your how-to for everything VR (at least for this moment; things are rapidly changing!). 

Emerging Tech Innovating Soft Skills for Employees
https://www.sweetrush.com/emerging-technology-innovating-soft-skills-employee-training/

Soft skills have become the most sought-after competencies in nearly every industry. Fortunately, there are new, exciting, and impactful ways to teach empathy and leadership and communication skills. Yours truly sheds light on the use of virtual and augmented realities, gamification, and simulations, and where to learn more. 

STAFF AUGMENTATION

The ROI of Staff Augmentation in Learning and Development
https://elearningindustry.com/roi-of-staff-augmentation-learning-development

What are the advantages to using a staff augmentation vendor versus recruiting and vetting on your own? They are plentiful and save you more than just time and frustration—especially when you partner with a vendor that is also an L&D agency. Talent Solutions experts Rodrigo Salazar and Ann Cathers break down the benefits. 

WORKING VIRTUALLY

4 Things to Consider When Managing a Virtual Team
https://www.sweetrush.com/4-things-to-consider-when-managing-virtual-teams/

With more than a decade as a completely virtual company, SweetRush leaders, including Director of Instructional Design Clare Dygert, have learned how to keep our team members productive and happy. Learn about the essential tools and methods Clare swears by.

eBOOKS YOU NEED TO READ

Staff Augmentation for Learning and Development: The Agile Talent Solution for Modern Business
https://elearningindustry.com/free-ebooks/staff-augmentation-learning-and-development-agile-talent-solution

How do smart L&D managers keep their teams agile, bridge skills gaps, and even shorten project timelines? Staff augmentation—which is surging in popularity as the go-to solution. Find out how it can help you and your team and how to make this strategy work for your organization. 

Top Emerging Technology Trends and Their Impact on L&D
https://elearningindustry.com/free-ebooks/top-emerging-technology-trends-and-their-impact-on-ld

In increasing numbers, L&D organizations are integrating emerging technologies like VR, AR, and artificial intelligence into their toolset. Discover how and why these innovations—the future of learning—are having a tremendous impact on performance outcomes and business results.

Secrets of Effective L&D Leaders: Innovation, Embracing Change, and Cultural Transformation
https://elearningindustry.com/free-ebooks/cultural-transformation-innovation-secrets-for-effective-ld-leadership

L&D leaders need innovative, high-performing teams to meet today’s challenges. For L&D teams, culture change is the answer; for companies, cultural transformation. Learn the insights and practical advice on getting started.

Thanks for reading! We hope you’ve discovered some worthy tips and tools to put to use in 2020. Coming soon, we’ll have another game-changing eBook and some stimulating articles and blog posts to learn from. And very shortly, we’ll share our always-anticipated 2020 instructional design and learning trends article, informing you of what’s top of mind in industry and what to expect in the next 11 months!

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