Welcome to issue #49!

A couple of weeks ago I turned to my LinkedIn connections to
ask for recommendations for "how our brain learns" resources. The answer was amazing and I thank everyone who took the time to comment. I think that putting my intentions out there and constantly looking for knowledge in this area brought me to the Teaching with learning in mind page. We all know how important is for L&Ds to understand how our brain works in order to use effective learning strategies in our programs, so we should talk about it as often as possible.

As the author of the page states, without understanding the basics of the pyramid it's harder and sometimes impossible to build an understanding of more complex concepts. So going through these pages served me really well and I think it will serve you well too.

How to start navigating this page?

  • Start with Learning in the brain. Here are depicted the following: the functions of the working memory and long term memory, how they collaborate, and the "knowing, understanding, using, and mastering" chain;
  • Understanding might be the hardest part of learning, using a lot of cognitive load, but it is also the most important one. Go on with Understanding "understanding";
  • Meaning is so important, especially to adult learners. This chapter goes through the why, the how, and explains meaning in relation to cognitive load and retrieval practice;
After you go through these first 3 chapters, you will understand the others more easily. Most of the examples are from child education but don't get discouraged, they will help you better grasp the concepts so you can use them in your work as an L&D.

Enjoy, stay safe, and keep learning,

This newsletter is built with the full psychological, design, development, and brainstorming support of Nifty Learning.
L&D Jobs of the week
L&D Newsroom
I'm so glad I got to be a part of this course. Kenjo together with Alison Lee put together an introductory course about creating L&D strategies from scratch. They go through Needs Analysis, Setting goals and KPIs, Constructing Learning Journeys and so much more.
Another great article from McKinsey on skill-building during and after the pandemic. I particularly liked the 4th exhibit "The nine practices support three different phases of a skill transformation", and the 6th one showing how a multichannel approach is most suitable for skill building.
I particularly like this piece because they supported their performance management concepts by using diverse psychological research studies. The 5 steps they mention? (1) Goal setting, (2) Quality feedback, (3) Manager driven, (4) Self-reflections, (5) Holistic reviews.
This article starts with defining a high-performance culture together with showcasing its main characteristics. Moreover, it details some of the practices we can embrace to grow or turn our cultures into high-performing ones.
As I know by now that trust is a key component of successful workplaces, I was drawn by the title of this new podcast episode from Digital HR Leaders. David Green together with his guest Jignasha Grooms, Chief Human Resources Officer at Epicor Software approach a really interesting topic: measuring the business impact of culture.
If you did not go through Barbara Oakley's course on Learning how to learn, well... you should. But if you don't have the time or you want to share learnings from the course with your colleagues in an easy way, this infographic and article will work for you.
Although not 100% an L&D resource, I found this article so interesting. It basically explores an alternative to the ego-depletion theory (which states self-control or willpower draws upon a limited pool of mental resources that can be used up). To better understand the opportunity cost theory I strongly suggest going through An opportunity cost model of subjective effort and task performance as well.
I've been looking for more concrete examples for creating psychological safety lately. This is one interesting resource I found mostly because it gives concrete samples of sentences and behaviors you can use apart from the theory. Moreover, it pinpoints another resource that explores measuring psychological safety.
If you're still working remotely or your future might look like this long-term, this piece will definitely be useful. This article goes through practical advice on how you can build culture remotely: (1) connect with purpose, (2) celebrate your team, (3) build trust through openness, (4) embrace camaraderie.
Different management levels need different types of support and skills. This is the basis of this resource. Although I think it also depends on every individual (you might have new managers with strong strategic skills, for example), I still found this e-book useful in raising awareness about learning in higher up levels.
I started seeing the book How to change, by Katy Milkman shared by some of my LinkedIn connections in the last couple of weeks and it intrigued me, so I added it to my to-read list. This article is a small intro to what we will find in the book, which already looks interesting.
Maybe not everyone is feeling these problems to the same degree. And maybe not every L&D is interested in actively talking about anti-bias and diversity at work. As I've come to learn it depends a lot on where you're living or what company you work for. But for those of you actively interested in these subjects, I think this article is a good starting point. For everyone else, I think it's a topic we should be aware of no matter our cultural context.
From time to time I try adding to Offbeat some inspirational resources, maybe not L&D related, but which can be shared with anyone. This week, the resource is a collection of amazing Ted Talks you can spend your time watching about science, business, art or just being a better human being.
Overheard on LinkedIn
‘Successful #onboardingprograms must align with the changing needs and goals of the business to be able to provide support and improve competencies.’ 

-Kanishka Bisaani
Visual of the week
There are other options to improve performance

How often have you been requested training as a solution to a performance problem? As L&D consultants we should challenge those requests, make sure people managers did their due diligence, and accept moving on only if low performance comes from a knowledge or skill gap. Even then, training alone won't do magic.
Thanks to Letitia Stefan, Joe Dunlap, Roi Ben-Yehuda, Anna McCarron, and Andrei Szatmari for sharing Offbeat in the past week.

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This newsletter is created through the joint efforts of Lavinia Mehedintu and Nifty Learning. Offbeat is our way to support the L&D community around the globe. We only share resources we find insightful, and we add our interpretation of how readers could apply what they learn. Could we be wrong? Definitely. We strongly encourage you to share your feedback and thoughts at

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