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Action Learning
“Action learning” is a process in which groups of learners collaborate to solve actual workplace problems. In this way, organizations benefit from gaining solutions to critical challenges and participants benefit by learning from their experiences.
Actionable Information

“Actionable information” provides data that can be used to make specific business decisions. Actionable information is specific, consistent, and credible.

For example, a report which shows trends in "employee retention" is important and interesting, but not necessarily actionable. However, a dashboard or simple red / yellow / green report which shows managers the turnover rate by department, accompanied by the "top three reasons for leaving the company," is far more actionable. In any HR or L&D data and reporting program, it is always important to drive toward giving managers data which is not only interesting, but actionable.
Active Candidates
"Active candidates" are those individuals who are searching for a new job; they may or may not be currently employed. Active candidates are a good source of hire because they are typically ready to move into a new role quickly.
Active Directory
Active directory (or "AD") is a technology created by Microsoft that provides a variety of network services (including LDAP-like directory services, Kerberos-based authentication, DNS-based naming, and other network information) utilizing the same database, for use primarily in Windows environments.
Activity Stream

 An "activity stream" is a stream of updates, changes, and comments from people in an internal network (e.g., team, workgroup, organization, special interest group, etc.) all on a single page.


“ADDIE” is a standard instructional design model that stands for analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate. A generally accepted approach to developing instructional (traditional) programs, the ADDIE model was developed in 1975 by Florida State University. 


In today's informal learning programs, designers must add on-demand, social, and embedded learning into their learning environments. It is also very important to do detailed audience analysis, which often involves building "personas" which describe various learner types.


These other approaches to learning (described in our Enterprise Learning Framework) go beyond the traditional approach to instructional design. We have also published a model for the development of e-learning, the Four Stages of E-Learning,  which allow the instructional designer to consider the goal for an e-learning course from among four categories:   

  • Information DistributionInforming people about a topic or change (i.e., notifying salespeople of a new price list)
  • Critical Information DistributionInforming people about a topic or change, and checking that they have read and understand the information (i.e., notifying people of the price change and asking them questions to validate that they understand it)
  • Skills DevelopmentDeveloping specific skills and capabilities (i.e., giving learners a simulation or assignment with pricing to help them in understanding how to apply the new price list)
  • Certified Skills DevelopmentDeveloping skills, and certifying that the learning has reached competency or mastery; this is done typically by giving the learner a set of certification tests and validations, as well as delivering information and skills-development exercises (i.e., certifying, through various tests, that an individual is now empowered to change prices)

One of the 12 Bersin Learning Impact Measurement measures, "adoption" specifically refers to the level of utilization of a training programand measures how well the program was targeted, marketed, and actually utilized. 

Adoption measures include enrollments, completions, percent completed, percent enrolled, student hours, total number of modules completed, etc.
"ADSL" stands for asymmetric digital subscriber line.
Agile Development

"Agile development" is a methodology widely used in software development. It is built on the concept of weekly releases of software, and daily meetings ("scrums") to keep the development team highly engaged and aligned. The traditional approach to software development was called the "waterfall method," in which an organization would study requirements, cascade through a series of refinements in strategy, and then put in place a long-term development plan. The agile model enables the team to iterate quickly, release features every week, and rapidly stay current with changing market requirements.


In terms of HR and learning, there are many similar analogies. Traditional annual performance appraisals use an older "waterfall" method; continuous feedback and recognition is an "agile" approach. Traditional, formal education and certification are "waterfall" models; rapid e-learning and informal learning are "agile" approaches. Top-down cascading goals are a "waterfall" approach; rapidly updated "objectives and key results" (sometimes called "OKR") is an "agile" model.

Agile Model of HR

The "Agile Model of HR" states that human resources' job is not just to implement controls and standards, and drive executionbut rather to facilitate and improve organizational agility. This changes HR's mission and focus. Driving agility means driving programs that create adaptability, innovation, collaboration, and speed.


Examples of agile HR strategies include:

  • Training leaders at all levels of the company to act as hands-on coaches, not "managers"
  • Designing the organization into small, high-performance teams that set their own targets
  • Creating customer interactions within all groups and functions in the company
  • Delivering a strong, focused mission and values to keep everyone aligned
  • Creating systems with lots of transparent information, i.e., what are our goals, who is working on what project, who are our experts
  • Implementing "systems of engagement" not just "systems of record," i.e., collaboration, information-sharing, project management
  • Building a focus on continuous learning and learning culture at all levels
  • Implementing a strong external employment brand that attracts "the right type" of people
  • Hiring and promoting experts, not general managers
  • Encouraging and teaching people to give each other direct feedback
  • Creating programs for peer-to-peer rewards and recognition
  • Developing programs to foster diversity in teams
The Agile Model of HR represents a new, emerging way for HR to define its mission.