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ATD Blog

Uninspired? Dive Into What’s Happening Around You!


Thu Apr 11 2013


With the hustle and bustle of everyday life (along with a full-time work and school load), there are weeks that I find it extremely difficult to find something to blog about. What’s even more interesting is that this problem doesn’t just affect bloggers. It affects any of us who must create new and fresh material for our respective organizations—either in practice or in academia.

While our brains may be overloaded and unable to retrieve brilliant topics to inspire the masses or meet the requirements of a term paper, there’s always something going on in our world that can provide the much needed inspiration we need to meet desired expectations.


Here are a few snippets from recent news articles and their relevance to our field.

  • Savannah Morning News: Fast Pitch Returns with More Unique, Innovative Entrepreneurs This Savannah local event allows budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their ideas and secure capital to support their endeavors. How about a fast pitch competition at your company that allows employees to come up with innovative ways to solve a problem, improve a process, or complete a project? Follow the Google model and offer 20 percent time during 4 weeks of preparation. See what this does to morale, innovation, and engagement in the organization.

  • The Weather Channel: Spring Snowstorm hits East Coast, Midwest

    The weather often changes unexpectedly. There are times in our career and academic pursuits where we must be flexible and agile, adapting to the changing conditions. For academicians, this is great inspiration to read more on organizational change. For practitioners, this is a great conversation starter at the beginning of a training to achieve common ground and purpose if the course is on change management.

  • Business Insider: What Extremely Successful People Were Doing at the Age of 25

    I threw this one in here because it is personally relevant. I am really hard on myself when it comes to striving for excellence or achieving career goals. Knowing where these people were at my age now leads me to believe I’m doing okay. During your next coaching session with a Millennial or conversation with your classmate, share the information in this article. Help them to see that we’re not doing too shabby after all!

By taking in what happens around us and exploring how it can affect our practice of or scholarship in the learning and development function, we are strengthening our synthesis skills and our ability to force connections.

I encourage you to try this for yourself. What’s something you recently read in an article that satisfies the topic requirements of your next paper? What’s an encounter that recently happened in the office that can be used as a case in an upcoming training? We should write papers that speak about industry and field relevant experiences. We should present training that emphasizes simulation through the inclusion of realistic encounters to ensure understanding.

One thing is for certain: There’s inspiration around us at every turn. So, let’s use it to our advantage. More than anything, we should realize that our next great training idea could come from the morning newspaper sitting on our kitchen tables or the latest T+D article. Did you read either today?

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