Alice’s Blog

Less is Truly More

223Last night I attended a fascinating program put on by the DC Chapter of ASTD (American Society for Training and Development. The program was titled, EducaTED and was structured similar to the famous TED Talks. A new spin on the old talking panel, we heard from 5 guest speakers, 3 of them physically present and 2 remotely engaged via video conferencing. Each speaker was given 10 minutes to share his/her thoughts on learning and development. The brief presentation was not a data dump on current research but a very personal talk about their own values and beliefs around developing self and others.


The Cult of Choice

Last week I had a mental meltdown getting a cup of coffee. I was at a client’s office, in their kitchen, searching for a needed cuppa joe. What I found was one of those one-cup systems that made me choose from a vast array of coffee, tea, hot chocolate and something called “chai” which I thought was a furry plant from the 80’s. I went into brain lock and had to be rescued by a buddy who said: “Just pick one. They all taste the same anyway like lousy instant coffee.”

I am constantly confronted and confounded by what I have dubbed “The Cult of Choice.” I don’t know when this started but it seems like every simple life act requires endless nuanced decisions.


A Year End Sanity Strategy

Person under crumpled pile of papers with hand holding a help siThe end of the year is slowly creeping up on me. I find myself enchanted by the beauty of fall leaves, blissfully thinking these balmy days of sunshine and color will last forever. Yet year end and holiday madness lurk on the horizon, waiting to pounce once Halloween is over.

October and November are the time to gear up to deep dive into uber-time and priority management. No other season of the year puts such pressures on us. The business side bombards us with year-end goals, quarterly number targets, budget submissions and the dreaded annual performance reviews. The personal side has families, friends, entertaining and more.


The Art of Setting Goals

By Alice Waagen, PhD

Over the years, my goals have provided focus and direction to my management training business.

For instance, last July, I wrote in my newsletter about attending Penland School of Crafts for a two-week drawing course. Entitled, The Benefits of Taking a Break, it struck a chord with many of my colleagues, who called after reading it.


Alice Waagen Interviews Goal-Setting Guru Amy Steindler About Her “InsightOut Life”

186By Alice Waagen
Workforce Learning

When it comes to setting goals, no one is better at helping us all get on task than a life coach. I recently met Amy Steindler of Annapolis, whose company, InsightOut Life, is helping dozens of professionals get on track so they can have the lives they want in 2012 and beyond.

We talked to her about how she came to become a life coach, how she sets goals, and how she helps others set and stick to theirs.


Why Managers Hate Career Coaching—And How to Avoid the Struggle

165By Dr. Alice Waagen

In my experience, career discussions are onerous for managers because many of these talks become contentious. The reasons why are complex, but essentially the conflict arises from misguided expectations and poor communication from both the employee and manager. I believe there are three reasons for the disconnect.


Expert Interview With CEO Christopher Noyes

154Alice Waagen: Chris, you are an entrepreneur who left the corporate world to found a meeting and event planning firm. As a person who finds planning an annual family vacation overwhelming, I have to ask: why do you love this work?

Chris Noyes: Quite honestly, I love the adrenaline rush. I love spending months working out the details of every aspect of a conference, big meeting, or convention. Then, after two or three days of intense craziness, it is all over. The thrill of it never gets old.


Lessons on Learning

143By Dr. Alice Waagen

I admit it. I have been living a double life.

My professional life is well documented on my website,

My other life, however, is something that may come as a surprise to many. It is my passion for the visual arts. The only evidence of my artistic life is the mention in my bio that I have a doctoral degree in art education.


The Secrets to Hiring Well

147The Secret to Hiring Well:An Organizational Resource Strategy

By Dr. Alice Waagen
President & Founder
Workforce Learning

When organizational leaders are looking to fill a staff vacancy, I suggest that they start by creating an organizational staffing or resource plan.

I prefer to call this plan an “organizational resource strategy,” because many organizations are achieving work goals by using a wide variety of staffing options, including full-time staff, temporary workers, contractors, vendors, consultants, interns, fellows — the list goes on.


Q&A with a Gina Schaefer


I recently had the privilege of interviewing entrepreneur Gina Schaefer, the owner of a chain of ACE Hardware stores throughout Washington, DC.

She and her husband, Marc Friedman, stand at the helm of an $11 million company. They opened their seventh store last spring — a 7,500-square-foot space at 7001 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park, Maryland, just outside DC.