10 Links to Boost Your Education Business

BY Jeff Cobb

Leading Links

How can you turbo charge your strategy for continuing education and professional development programs? Apply the latest learning principles for maximum impact?  Market like a pro? And bring it all together with technology that really works?

Month in and month out we strive to help you answer these types of questions through the resource links we share in the Leading Learning newsletter. In this post, we’ve decided to share the “Leading Links” links that got the most clicks between July of 2014 and July of 2015.

Enjoy them. Share them. And, of course, if you want to make sure you get a wealth of similar resources in the year ahead, be sure to subscribe to the free Leading Learning newsletter. (You can unsubscribe at any time, and we never share your information.)

Top 10 Leading Learning Links

1. The First Question to Ask of Any Strategy [Strategy & innovation]

Roger Martin really nails it with his “first question.” Regardless of how you answer, it’s thought provoking in a highly productive way and likely to be a great discussion starter at your next team meeting.

2. The Truth About Learning [Learning]

If you have been keeping up with the latest in the science of learning you may not find much new in the article from Chief Learning Officer. Still, it is well and concisely said. Might be a good tool for spreading the word within your organization.

3. The Big Shift in Strategy, Parts 1 and 2 [Strategy and Innovation]

An important set of articles from John Hagel, one of the more perceptive strategic thinkers of our time. If you want to take your strategy to new levels in 2015 – and most education businesses need to, in our experience – adopting Hagel’s concept of strategic trajectory would be a good place to start.

4. What’s The Secret To Effective Learning? [Learning]

Recent research by neuroscientists from the University of California, the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University makes for a good headline, but don’t get too carried away by it. What Nick Morgan discusses here is only part of the picture when it comes to learning – as a great deal of other research has demonstrated. Practice is only one aspect of learning. Retrieval – or more precisely effortful retrieval – is another critical aspect. As is having some sort of approach to review and reflection over time. But, then again, we may be over thinking it. (Related to this link, you may also want to check out our recent post highlighting five key points from Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.)

5. Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology [Technology]

We’re going lean with this final issue of 2014 and are only going to recommend one external resource. Namely, a new book called Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology by Michelle Miller. As the description on Amazon puts it, the book provides a “sound scientific understanding of how the human brain assimilates knowledge” and is a “concise, nontechnical guide” for leaders who want to understand the rapidly changing learning landscape. While written from the standpoint of higher education, nearly everything Miller discusses has applications in the world of lifelong learning and continuing education. I’m about a third of the way through the book and can already tell it will become one of my standard recommendations for anyone serious about being in the education business in the 21st century.

6. Skip the Boring Business Plan. Focus on This Strategy Instead [Strategy & Innovation]

The concept of a single-page, “canvas”-type approach to developing strategy and business models has been popular for sometime. Like most methodologies, it has its limitations, but if you are not familiar with it, you should be. In this article, Cache Merrill advocates a “lean canvas” approach, the basis of the more intensive business model canvas popularized by Alexander Osterwalder. The next time you are trying to put together the strategy for a new product line, this could be a helpful tool indeed.

7. How to Create Landing Pages That Address the Emotional Needs of Prospects [Marketing]

A “landing page” is the sales/catalog page your prospective learner arrives after clicking a link for one of your educational products (e.g., in an e-mail, in search engine results). In our experience, poor landing page quality is practically an epidemic problem across education businesses, and a failure to appeal to emotion is a key aspect of poor quality. Maybe your organization is an exception, but if not, read this article.

8. Seven Principles of Learning Better From Cognitive Science [Learning]

In this post, Scott H. Young does a great job summarizing some of the key points from Daniel Willingham’s excellent book Why Students Don’t Like School. As Young notes, the title of Willingham’s book does it a disservice – the learning principles he discusses apply broadly, not just in school situations. Certainly they apply in the context of adult continuing education and professional development.

9. 15 Free Content Marketing Tools To Make Your Life Easier [Marketing]

It’s way past time for content marketing to be central to how organizations drive participation in their educational offerings. If you need to jump start you efforts or take them to new levels, this post from Jessica Mills should be just the thing.

10. Five trends that will determine the future of lifelong learning [Learning]

One of the keys to successful strategy and innovation is to have a sense how major trends may play out in the future. In this LinkedIn post, University of the Philippines professor Alexander Flor lays out his perspective on the future. We liked that this was a non-U.S. perspective – increasingly important to have in the flat, global learning economy. Also, we felt Flor’s piece was in many ways a nice complement to the recent Tagoras blog post on The Opportunity of Lifetime Enrollment. http://www.tagoras.com/2014/08/08/lifetime-enrollment-equals-membership/


The Leading Learning Symposium

If you are looking to up your game as a learning leader and take your education business to new heights, be sure to join us this fall for the Leading Learning Symposium. The symposium is an annual event designed for leaders at the director level and above in organizations that focus on lifelong learning either as their main business or as a major line of business. The 2015 Leading Learning Symposium will be held in Baltimore on October 24 and 25. To find out more, visit the event Web site.

Join us for the Leading Learning Symposium, October 27-28 in Baltimore

Join us for the Leading Learning Annual Symposium, October 24-25 in Baltimore

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