Articles + Papers

Although not comprehensive, this list includes many of the pieces I have published or have been quoted in (up until 2011, and soon to be updated to 2018).  You are welcome to read and share these pieces with proper credit to the author(s). All documents have been published and are therefore subject to copyright.

Baseball, Big Data, And Learnings From Advanced Analytics.” October 24, 2011. Fast Company. Analyzing the massive explosion of baseball information capitalizes on a growing trend toward “big data,” the tools and processes to harness insights found in gigantic data sets. A project to uncover Twitter sentiment around this year’s post-season play provides an example of how the sheer amount of information need not outstrip our capacity to manage or access it in useful ways.

Now That People Finally Matter To Businesses, HR Is The Next Big Thing.” September 30, 2011. Fast Company. The social business movement is forcing employers to treat people like the valuable assets they’ve always been. Is Human Resources ready?

The Undeniable Connector.” March 18, 2011. CLO Magazine. Emerging social technologies allow people of all ages to learn in ways that are comfortable and convenient for them.

Turning Social Capital Into Financial Capital.” November 2010. Change This. “Social media has the potential to dramatically improve the inner workings of every company. The interstitial connections can quickly cross business silos, inform decision making, educate people at all levels, and allow employees—especially new entrants—to pick up the natural rhythms of how people around them work.”

Information Demands People.” November 1, 2010. Fast Company.With the right data you can make educated decisions, more captivating client experiences, and ultimately create stronger financial returns. With the right people, putting that information in context, you can do anything.

Rewiring for Social Commerce.” October 5, 2010. Fast Company. Sale made. Gift given. Little girl ecstatic. Chalk up another wonderful transaction to social commerce. Is your organization ready for the next buyer?

The Rise of Social Everything.” September 19, 2010. Fast Company. Within five years, I predict, the word “social” will seem as cliché as “synergy” feels now. Social connection will be like a dial tone, something we once expected to hear and now don’t bother listening for as we dial. What it represents is just there.

Blue Collar Collaboration.” September 13, 2010. Fast Company. People on the front lines, doing nitty-gritty manual work, can teach us plenty about real collaboration.

The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Your Organization Through Social Media (with Tony Bingham, forward by Daniel H. Pink). Berrett-Koehler/ASTD, September 2010. Also on Kindle. Read an excerpt (PDF).

Where Social Learning Thrives” with Steve LeBlanc. February 11, 2010. Fast Company. To benefit from social learning, build a culture that makes learning fun, productive and commonplace, a culture where learning is part of everyday work.

Twitter in the Enterprise: Up the Next Hill.” October 2011. ASTD’s T+D. Forming a committee to develop a social media strategy didn’t seem right to Greg Matthews, director of consumer innovation at Humana. He saw advantages in encouraging the company’s 28,500 employees to begin to incorporate new practices, and wanted to demonstrate an alternative approach to even the early work. His team’s charter, after all, was to explore the leading edge of technology and business practices, and to act as a conduit to bring those practices into Humana’s ecosystem.

2Do.Over.” September 16, 2009. Fast Company. What if 2.0 were an authentic chance to revisit and do over what came in 1.0?

Twitter for Trainers.” August 2009. First published in ASTD’s T+D then reposted on the Touchbase blog. Think Twitter is just for narcissists with too much time on their hands? Think again. Workplace learning professionals have begun to realize a learning return. If you’re not part of this social networking phenomenon, you risk getting left behind.

Twitterbursts: It’s Not About The Tools; It’s All About The Tools.” June 28, 2009. Fast Company. If you think microsharing (Twitter and it’s enterprise-strength counterparts) is new, consider that humans have conveyed short messages, rife with meaning, for over thirty thousand years. Smoke signals have traversed the airways. Expressive quips filled Seinfeld’s show. At all stages and ages, we burst forward. So what is new, what makes this a revolution?

Twitterprise: Bringing Whole Selves to Work.” April 8, 2009. Fast Company. Social messaging offers much more than collaboration when individuals include their multidimensional perspectives in the Enterprise stream.

Learn More with Less: Nontraditional Fundraising for Corporate Education.” March 12, 2009. Fast Company. Fundraising for your education department. Why not?

Twitter Your Time-of-Day.” December 21, 2008. Fast Company. Wonder if you’re learning all you can from Twitter and Facebook? Consider the time of day.

Learn More With Less: Low-cost Content.” December 7, 2008. Fast Company. With less money available for corporate education efforts, how can organizations continue to support intentional learning in the enterprise? This is the second in a series of articles focused on learning as the money runs out.

Learn More With Less: Corporate Education in the Current Economy.” November 30, 2008. Fast Company. With less money available for corporate education efforts, how can organizations learn more now? Some suggestions are old school, others post-modern. This is the first in a series of articles focused on learning as the money runs out.

Can Twittering Create an Economy of Words?” November 16, 2008. Fast Company. How companies should use Twitter. More answers to executives’ tough questions about microsharing in the enterprise.

Are Employees Twittering Away Productivity?” November 3, 2008. Fast Company. Answers to executives’ tough questions about microsharing in the enterprise. As the enterprise microsharing market grows all in, I hear from skeptical leaders befuddled by this trend, wanting to be reassured their people aren’t simply wasting time. Here are specific questions I’ve received and how I respond to each. Question: How can all of this yammering be good for business and my bottom line?

Enterprise Microsharing Tools Comparison. November 3, 2008. Pistachio Consulting.

The New Media Skills.” October 19, 2008. Fast Company. It’s time to review the new set of skills people of all ages require to succeed. After my son told me recently he couldn’t find one of his favorite books and that I should, “order another one online,” he climbed into my office chair and set his hands on my laptop keyboard as if to suggest he would show me how if I needed his help. The novel part of this exchange was that he had just turned four years old — and he hasn’t bought anything (that I know of) online.

Enterprise Micro-Learning.” October 12, 2008. Fast Company. If you can’t fathom how Twitter can help your company, read on. When a student opened fire on the Virginia Tech campus last year, the school had no systematic way to alert those in harm’s way. In the days that followed, organizations nationwide began asking, “Does my organization have the ability, in a few minutes, in the event of a crisis, to notify everyone involved?” What if fire, an earthquake, an explosion, or a hurricane rendered our email and phone systems useless? How would people receive information critical to their lives?

Face to Facebook Learning.” September 29, 2008. Fast Company. I’m a voracious learner. In addition to reading magazines, books, blogs, tweets, and faces, I persistently look for patterns, connections, anomalies and what’s new. I tolerated school only because it was where my friends were and because occasionally I could talk with adults who seemed to know a bit about topics that might someday matter.

Learning ‘Dis.” September 22, 2008. Fast Company. On a drizzly day in Madison Wisconsin, several hundred of my classmates stood in line on Bascom Hill waiting to audition for bit parts in the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School. Although I was nowhere near the set months later, and this entire event took place decades ago, I still hear Rodney’s voice in my minds-ear whenever I witness someone giving learning no respect.

What I Learned During My Summer Vacation.” September 14, 2008. Fast Company. June through August, when I was young, entailed family trips around the state. In September, when asked about my vacation, I would say brightly, “I visited Mexico, Paris and Lebanon,” and then in a quieter voice, “without ever leaving Missouri.” Although my family didn’t go far, we were always learning. The show-me state attitude instilled at an early age, while riding in the back of a Buick Riviera, resurfaces each year around this time.

Get Smarter Than Smart.” June 20, 2008. Fast Company. A CEO just asked me how to get his people under control. He believes he’s doing everything right so it must be his people who are all wrong. He reminds me of the teacher who prepares all summer and then come fall the wrong students arrive.

Invitation to a Party.” April 27, 2008. Fast Company. Many of my colleagues recently attended the Web2.0Expo in San Francisco. From over 2K miles away I followed those twittering the fine details, longing for a way to easily get to the West Coast. This expo captivated my attention because the world live web, by its very nature, invites each of us to learn.

Socially Awkward Networks.” April 6, 2008. Fast Company. A woman, who as a girl in gradeschool taunted me enthusiastically, contacted me through a social network site asking if I planned to attend an upcoming reunion. At first, I didn’t think much about it. I assumed she was on some committee for the gathering of once inelegant adolescents and she was contacting me as part of her new do-good campaign. I replied in a perfunctory noncommittal way and tucked her married name into my mental Rolodex of people to avoid calls from if they appear on callerID.

The Latest in Learning Fast: edu-Twittering.” March 3, 2008. Fast Company. A decade ago the hot app on everyone’s desktop was PointCast, a personalized headline service of content emblazoned across your screensaver through a pre-RSS feed. No typing required, no link to click through. While on the phone or talking with a colleague at your desk you could glean the day’s hot news or gather learning-bites you subscribed to receive. Downtime be damned.

Time for You to Go.” February 27, 2008. Fast Company. With the turning of the seasons, are there leaves in your work and life you are ready to let go? When my husband was leaving a long-time job, the exit interviewer asked if a different role would make him stay. He had envisioned one, but he didn’t mention it.

Shaping the Future.” February 14, 2008. Guest post on the Off Course On Target blog. Over a decade ago, Wayne Hodgins and I (along with our friend Doug) began writing a book. Although our target was clear, our time off course took so many turns that we ended up finding ourselves on different moons—connected through the stratosphere, but also miles apart. When Wayne asked if I would be a guest blogger, I agreed without hesitation. We frequently compare notes on where life has taken us and we laugh about the parallels, knowing synchronicity isn’t optional when your shared vision is so clear.

A Different Approach to Planning.” February 2, 2008. Fast Company. Can you name four magnificent events in your life that came about because of perfect planning? Sure, there was the vacation in ’99. Then the move from… oh, scratch that. Even if I count a house we built, which was well-planned but not as-planned, I can’t name four. Neither can anyone else I’ve asked.

You Can Do Anything.” January 4, 2008. Fast Company. “How many of you were told when you were young that you could grow up to be anything you set your mind on?” This was the way a professor-friend recently opened his graduate management course. Fewer than half the people in the room raised a hand. I’ve begun asking this of everyone I meet, trying to get a sense if there’s a relationship between the mental paths paved during childhood and each person’s natural self-leadership to reach beyond obvious walls.

Resolution: Create a Stronger, Smarter Organization.” December 28. 2007. Fast Company. Tired of the usual end-of-year reflections? Alongside the new year, you may be looking for a new practice to improve your organization’s competitiveness, talent, staying power, and smarts. Conduct a learning culture audit to speed your organization along the learning culture continuum and to help you get stronger now.

More or Less.” December 14, 2007. Fast Company. My life was complicated by running forward without recognizing I’d tangled my path. More clients. More calls. More writing. More naps. When starting something new I rarely asked myself, “What will I take off of my schedule?” I’d never aggregated my actions: looking at all I was doing, observing my patterns, let alone considering my bounds. Yet, the more space you’ve cleared in your life for something new, the more right things will happen. More or less.

Leading People On.” December 5, 2007. Fast Company. Perhaps our hard work and early successes make us particularly sensitive to comments we hear now about younger workers with their tech-centered, self-centered, short-attention-span, high-maintenance mentality. It isn’t uncommon to hear people from even our own generation say, “Kids these days don’t really know how to work.” I don’t believe that’s true.

In early December 2007 I became an expert blogger for Fast Company, with a blog called “Learn at All Levels.”

Brain, Body, Butt.” November 9, 2007. Fast Company. Different times of day are best for learning different sorts of information. Schedule your time to maximize how much, and how efficiently, you learn. Different times of day are best for learning different sorts of information. Schedule your time to maximize how much, and how efficiently, you learn.

The Seeing/Believing Gap.” September 28, 2007. Fast Company. What you see may be only a fraction of what’s there. To learn more, look beyond what you expect.

Ready, Set, Go.” September 7, 2007. Fast Company. Ready for your next assignment, your new job, a sales call with a new customer, or fixing an iThing? Readiness has become the true test of learning.

Please Participate.” August 15, 2007. Fast Company. Work with a group averse to participating? Get an expert’s tips on the best ways to turn them around.

May I Borrow Your Job?” July 16, 2007. Fast Company. Use job exchange programs to improve organizational productivity, improve your business culture, and help everyone learn.

Do You Talk to Think or Think to Talk?” June 5, 2007. Fast Company. We each have an internal pace that reveals itself when we engage in learning with other people. Frequently these paces clash. Learn how to best adapt your style to get the most from any situation.

We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear of Learning.” January 16, 2007. Fast Company. Could you learn more if fear didn’t hold you back?

Learn How They Learn.” October 3, 2006. Fast Company. Your colleagues learn more than you know. Ask them how they do it.

Go and Learn.” October 3, 2006. Fast Company. Mobile learning offers people something traditional education cannot; integration into life.

Advice for Executives: Get Some Sleep!” July 10, 2006. Fast Company. Our lack of sleep deprives us of the capacity to excel.

Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn.” February 27, 2006. Fast Company. The secret to learning new things is to be willing to unlearn—even if your behaviors previously brought success.

See What I Mean: The Power of Visual Learning.” January 31, 2006. Fast Company. Pictures convey meaning fast, yet most content is text. Time to look at the possibilities.

Are Online Learning Programs Right For You?” October 19, 2005. Fast Company. Few current-day elearning programs incorporate key factors: that learning happens in context, with the help of other people, when you are motivated to learn the subject, and spurred on by originality. (updated link)

Build a Better Meeting.” September 5, 2005. Fast Company. When it comes to having more constructive sit-downs, it’s all a matter of style.

Create a Learning Culture.” July 26, 2005. Fast Company. Smart companies rely on people at every level to learn quickly and apply what they learn in often unanticipated situations. Improve your organization’s capacity by developing an environment where learning takes place each day — all day.

Learn More Right Now.” May 2, 2005. Fast Company. Still think learning means school? Expand your definition of learning to include conversations with your peers and your children, from books, articles, informal networks, Internet searching, television, and what you learn through trial and error. Use everything that happens in your world as a resource to learn more now.

Creating a Learning Culture: Theory, Practice, and Technology. Marcia L. Conner and James G. Clawson, editors (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, July 2004). This book features insightful essays from industry observers and revealing case studies of prominent corporations. Taken together, the chapters identify the steps companies must take to remain competitive for years to come. Infusing learning strategies into
all aspects of every job will provide both swift returns and lasting results.

Learning Styles on the Job.” April 2004. Career Know How Magazine. By assessing how you learn, you’ll understand how you are likely to respond under different circumstances and how to attain information in a way that best addresses your particular needs. The more you discover about your natural way of learning, the easier it will be to overcome information overload and communicate with other people.

Learn More in Meetings.” April 2004. Business Know How e-Magazine. Are all these meetings really a good use of time for you and your colleagues? Not necessarily, according to Marcia Conner, author of the new book Create a Learning Culture. Before you plan your next meeting, find out how different learning styles impact the group dynamic, and the meeting’s final outcome.

Learn More Now: 10 Simple Steps to Learning Better, Smarter, and Faster. Marcia L. Conner (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, March 2004) We’re all born with a vast capacity to explore and learn. Unfortunately, many of us never discover what we’re truly capable of. What if you could reclaim your birthright and tap into your full potential for learning? Imagine how much you could accomplish—how much you could become. Here’s your chance to find out.

“Informal Learning: Developing a Value for Discovery.” Marcia L. Conner. In Leading Organizational Learning. Sandy Ogg, Howard Morgan, and Marshall Goldsmith, editors. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Leader-to-Leader Foundation, March 2004). This is an anthology of essays on the current state of organizational learning. I am one of a dozen contributing authors addressing the fields of human capital, adult education, knowledge management, and training.

“How to Perpetuate Informal Learning.” Marcia L. Conner. Batten Briefings. Spring 2003.

“Group Dynamics: One Learner at a Time.” Marcia L. Conner. The Chaordic Commons of Terra Civitas Journal. Vol. 2, No. 3. Winter 2002.

Creating a Learning Culture.” Marcia L. Conner and James G. Clawson. In Transforming Culture: An Executive Briefing on the Power of Learning. The University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, June 2002.

A World of Magnificent Maniacs: Learning at WD-40 Company.” Garry O. Ridge and Marcia L. Conner. In Transforming Culture: An Executive Briefing on the Power of Learning. The University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, June 2002.

Learning in the Middle of the Road.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, June 2002.

How do I measure return on investment (ROI) for my learning program?” Marcia L. Conner., April 2002.

“A Primer on Educational Psychology.” Marcia L. Conner. Institute of Training & Occupational Learning (ITOL) Journal, United Kingdom. January 2002.

Leading Our Organizations to Work Smarter, Not Longer: An Interview with “Turn it Off” author, Gil Gordon. Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy, Fall 2001.

What Do We Do Now?” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy, Fall 2001.

21st Century Dilemmas: Balance, Integration, or Learning It All.” Marcia L. Conner and Brook Manville. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Summer 2001.

Face Your Fears.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Summer 2001.

Focusing on What Matters Most: An Interview with Elaine St. James.” Marcia L.
Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Summer 2001.

Great Minds: A Thoughtful interview with Michael Gelb.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Spring 2001.

Being Chaordic.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Spring 2001.

Human Capital: Basic Beliefs about the World’s Oldest New Paradigm.” Marcia L. Conner and Brook Manville. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Spring 2001.

The Integration of Work and Personal Life: A Discussion About the Dual Agenda with MIT’s Lotte Bailyn.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Spring 2001.

The Juncture Between Humanity and Technology: An Interview with Michael Dertouzos.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Spring 2001.

Learning’s Reward: An Interview with Mary Catherine Bateson.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Spring 2001.

Looking Forward and Back: An Interview with Howard Rheingold.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Spring 2001.

Musically Speaking: An Interview with Susan Greenbaum.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Spring 2001.

Envisioning: An Interview with The Grove’s David Sibbet.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Winter 2001.

Learners… Remember Them?” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Winter 2001.

Our Shared Playground: An Interview with Michael Schrage.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Winter 2001.

Can We Learn Online?” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Fall 2000.

Change at GM Through the Eyes of Wendy Coles.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Fall 2000.

The Global Implications of eLearning.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Fall 2000.

Linking, Lurking, Listening, and Learning: An Interview with John Seely Brown.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Fall 2000.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Learning Standards but Were Afraid to Ask.” Wayne Hodgins with Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Fall 2000.

Whitespace.” Marcia L. Conner. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Fall 2000.

The Instructor’s Instruction Book. Marcia L. Conner. (Richmond, VA: Learnativity Press, July 2000).

Learning in the New Economy Manifesto.” Marcia L. Conner and Brook Manville. Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Summer 2000.

Let’s Begin: Editor’s Letter.” Learning in the New Economy Magazine, Summer 2000.

Our Competition is the World: An Interview with Learnativity’s Marcia Conner.” Brandon Hall. Multimedia & Internet Training Newsletter, September 1999.

Facilitating Adult Learning: A Guide to Classroom Management and Delivery Skills. Marcia L. Conner. (Pleasanton, CA: PeopleSoft University, February 1999).

Toward Understanding Community.” Marcia L. Conner., September 1998.

Success Within Organizations Rests on the Shoulder of Individual Learners.” Marcia L. Conner. Wavelink, April 1995.

Effective Training Techniques. Marcia L. Conner. (St. Louis: Wave Technologies International, April 1995).

“Automaticity.” Marcia L. Conner. Wavelink, March 1995.

“Learning: The Critical Technology: An industry whitepaper. Marcia L. Conner. (St. Louis: Wave Technologies International, February 1995).

“What’s Your Learning Style?” Marcia L. Conner. Wavelink, February 1995.

“The Training & Development FAQs for TRDEV-L.” Marcia L. Conner. March 1993 – October 2002).

“Training 101.” Marcia L. Conner. Published on TRDEV-L and (1993-2002).

“Answers to Questions Your Kids Can’t Answer.” Marcia L. Conner. Challenge, October

“How Do You Motivate a Gifted Learner?” Marcia L. Conner. Challenge, October 1990.