January 2012

In This Issue

Myth Busters: The Assessment Episode

Everyone values assessment. So why are so few companies taking the time to measure their training program's impact on performance? CARA Executive Director of Strategic Services, Michelle Reid-Powell debunks the top four myths she sees in this area — and why an "assessment loop" is key to producing results. Read more.

Latest News & Events

CARA Recruiting Manager to Participate on Panel Discussion for ODNC

Gina Arinyanontakoon will be featured as one of six industry experts during a panel discussion hosted by the Organization Development Network of Chicago (ODNC) on February 7. The topic, "Taking Charge of Your Career in OD" expects to stimulate a provocative and practical discussion that will help OD professionals evaluate their own careers. Click here to learn more.

Team Spotlight

Meet Susan Beyers!

As a managing consultant in the Service Delivery Group, Susan is involved in just about every aspect of the business from vetting, orienting and onboarding consultants to providing support throughout the full lifecycle of a project. Find out why, after years of serving in global corporate environments, she chose to work with a small business —and loves her job more than ever. Meet Susan!

Case Study

Custom, Company-wide Leadership Development Initiative for Career Education Corporation

When an educational services company went through a comprehensive restructuring of its upper management team, leadership challenges ensued across the entire organization creating a pressing need for effective management development training. Find out how CARA customized a solution that would save CEC more than $300,000 and earn rave reviews in subsequent survey evaluations. Learn more.

The Blog File

The President's State of the Industry Address … State of YOU!

On January 19th, a "CARAvan" descended upon the first 2012 dinner meeting hosted by the Chicago Chapter of ASTD (CCASTD). My colleagues—Susan Beyers, Barbara Coughlin, Tina Jandris—and I were curious to hear CCASTD President, Sue Weller, address how learning professionals can better prepare for 2012 and beyond... Read more.


Letter from a Leader

Happy New Year and welcome to the January, 2012 issue of CARA's newsletter, Eolas!

When we launched Eolas in 2010, our objective then was the same as it is today. The CARA team strives to offer thought leadership you'll find valuable in your business. We include timely tips, relevant content, links to industry resources, commentary on industry trends, case studies that outline how companies like yours have improved their bottom-line, and even a peek behind the scenes at CARA.

Some bright news as we move into 2012, the unemployment rate fell to 8.5% in December—lowest since February 2009—and is expected to continue the trend. So, what does this mean for our industry? Employers seemed more confident investing in their employees' growth and development, manifesting in a 13.6% increase in learning expenditures per employee (2011 ASTD State of the Industry Report). From the same report, we see that 34% of learning efforts are focused on leadership development, professional development and specialty skills enhancement. Learning technologies for content delivery continue to advance with the proliferation of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.

Are we finally emerging from the volatility of the global financial crisis with optimism for an economic recovery? Not so fast. Chief Learning Officer (CLO) magazine reports a more cautious outlook for 2012. The IDC survey results from CLO magazine's Business Intelligence Board indicates mixed reviews from CLOs, some anticipating more cuts while others see the need to address skills shortages. The survey also projects "leadership development, self-paced e-learning and competencies as the most impactful activities in 2012" reinforcing ASTD's assessment of the market. Both sources cite emerging trends that indicate continued focus on collaboration with the business unit to strategically support the organization's performance goals.

In this issue we take a look at assessments as a critical tool for measuring performance in our organizations in our feature article, Myth Busters: The Assessment Episode, by CARA's Executive Director of Strategic Services, Michelle Reid-Powell.

We also invite you to take a look at how Career Education Corporation (CEC) accomplished a customized, company-wide leadership development initiative in our featured case study. And speaking of professional development, our latest news and events section highlights opportunities for continuing education, productivity and growth.

Whether the new year brings you a new organizational development challenge, a new career or project, or a brand new lease on life, we hope our latest issue of Eolas helps you navigate the seas of change to a successful result. We encourage you to share your feedback and look forward to continuing to provide our respected clients and colleagues with value-added knowledge and information.


Jane Ehrenstrom
Co-founder and Senior Vice President
The CARA Group, Inc.


CARA Kudos

We loved working with our CARA consultant. Our product is great and he was responsive and on target with all his interpretations of our needs.

Fran White
Training Program Manager
Abbott Laboratories

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