Shall We Dance?

A special performance by dance troupe Pilobolus during our Training Top 125 Gala last month in Atlanta reminded me how much learning is like dancing.

One foot firmly plants. An arm outstretches. Hands clasp. Muscles bunch. A body lifts and balances. To the audience, the movements are effortless and flow sinuously like a river. For the performers, the movements are the result of thousands of hours of practice, training, and sweat.

A special performance by dance troupe Pilobolus during our Training Top 125 Gala last month in Atlanta reminded me how much learning is like dancing. Both can have elements of push/pull. Both require mental agility, commitment, and retention. And for both, the foundation is collaboration and trust.

Those themes ran through our Training 2018 Conference & Expo and Innovations in Training events, held in February in Atlanta, and also are displayed in each of the feature articles in this issue. Our cover story, “Partners in Learning” looks at how collaborating with the right internal partners within your organization can make the difference between reaching learning— and corporate—goals and falling short. Eight 2018 Training Top 125ers reveal their secrets for successful Learning and Development partnerships.

In “Choosing the Right Agile Strategy,” Scott Ambler, senior consultant for Scott Ambler + Associates, notes, “The primary concept of Agile is collaboration and incremental, evolutionary advances.” Adaptive learning is another form of the dance, enabling an individualized, contextual approach that focuses on what learners need while directing instructors to where they are most needed. Check out "Adapting to Adaptive Learning" for three myths that must be overcome before adaptive learning can be deployed effectively.

In keeping with this column’s “dancing” motif, I have a few “next steps” I’d like you to consider:

1. Nominate an Emerging Training Leader: This awards program aims to recognize training professionals who have been in the training/learning and development industry between two and 10 years and who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, business savvy, and training instincts. To download the nomination form, visit:

2. Enter the TTVs: Submit a two-minute clip from your best training video to our fifth annual Top Training Videos (TTVs) Awards Program. The Top 3 Training Videos (in two categories: produced in-house and produced by a professional video company for a client) selected by our panel of expert judges will be shown at Training’s Online Learning Conference (OLC) 2018 to be held October 8-10 in Chicago. The 6 TTV finalists will each receive a free OLC 2018 registration. To submit, visit:

3. Participate in Training’s 34th Annual Salary Survey: See how your salary benchmarks against those of your peers and the industry. To take the survey, visit:

As Lee Ann Womack’s song goes: “And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…I hope you dance.”

editor's note

Training Top 125

Applying for the Training Top 125 can showcase your training effectiveness and help L&D earn a seat at the executive decision-making table. Learn more...

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