Welcome! I help people and organizations work better, smarter, and faster. Take a look around to see articles and resources on talent development, learning, productivity, management, and more.

- B.J. Schone

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Latest Blog Posts

  • Long-Distance Leadership: 11 Tips for Managing Remote Teams

    Managing a team is a tough enough job when everybody is located in the same building; however, things get much more complex when your team is distributed around the country or even around the world. Time zones might seem like the biggest adjustment at first, but there are plenty of additional factors to keep in […]

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  • Coaching to Win: Why Employees Need Constant Feedback

    One area that I continue to develop as a manager is the role of being a good coach to my employees. It’s funny – when you first become a manager, one of the natural instincts is to jump in and take control of your team. Your inclination is to get things under control, fix any […]

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  • Thinking of Changing Jobs? What’s in Your Portable Toolkit?

    I’ve had a few friends and colleagues change jobs in the past 2-3 months, which has naturally triggered a series of thoughts, questions, and feelings on my part. As employees (me included) move from job to job more frequently, I started thinking about the knowledge, tools, and other artifacts we accumulate as professionals with each job […]

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  • The Trigger / Action Model: The Future of HR Systems?

    I was a child who grew up with legos, so it’s no surprise that one of my absolute favorite sites on the internet is IFTTT. If you’re not familiar with IFTTT (If This Then That), it is a service that allows you to plug many popular web sites together to complete creative tasks. I have experimented with […]

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  • Make it Stick: 11 Creative Ways to Use Post-it Notes at Work

    Earlier today, I found myself assembling ideas by writing on Post-it Notes and re-arranging them repeatedly all over my desk. I do this almost every day to collect my thoughts, but today it hit me: There are some seriously cool ways to brainstorm, collaborate, and display information using Post-it Notes! Why not record a few […]

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  • Scoreboard: My Homegrown System for Easily Managing Dozens of Projects

    Three years ago, I was meeting with one of my employees and thinking to myself, "This is bad. This is really, really bad." I had just experienced the moment of realization that I couldn’t keep up with the work that my team was doing. I was holding 1:1 meetings with my team members regularly, but […]

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  • How I Made the Transition From Individual Contributor to Manager

    When I made the transition from individual contributor to manager a few years ago, I went from running large projects to running a large team (12 direct reports). Quite a change! To make it even more interesting, half of the team was in another part of the country, so I had to focus my on-site […]

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  • Review: Officevibe – An Employee Engagement and Team Building Platform

    I first discovered Officevibe when I was doing some research on employee engagement about 2 weeks ago. If you’ve never seen or heard about it, Officevibe is what I would call an employee engagement and team building platform. It is essentially a social network that companies can use internally to encourage employee participation across 5 […]

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  • How to Fit Professional Development Into a Busy Schedule

    It’s a phrase I’ve heard often and I’ve thought it many times on my own: “I’d like to attend more training and improve my skills, but I just don’t have time.” If you’re a manager, at some point you’ve probably heard employees say, “I’m too busy for training.” In our increasingly crazy world of higher expectations, tighter […]

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  • The Ten Commandments of Effective 1:1 Meetings

    The 1:1 (one-on-one) meeting…. When it works well, it’s great and it can boost employee engagement. When it fails, it’s a giant waste of time. After reflecting on how I use 1:1 time with my employees and how I interact with my manager, I decided to stop and re-think my approach. I did some research, […]

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  • Retaining Top Talent: Don’t Let the Good Ones Go

    Whether or not you believe there is a war for talent, it’s pretty easy to agree there are major advantages to retaining top talent: it leads to increased productivity, increased innovation, a better-performing organization, and so on. Common sense, right? So what are you doing to keep the smart employees hanging around your company? At […]

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  • How I Started to Make Better Decisions at Work

    I had an epiphany while walking to my car last Friday after a long day at work: I feel like I’m starting to make better decisions at work. I’ve been receiving coaching from one of my peers that has helped immensely, and I think it’s finally starting to make a difference. I wanted to take some […]

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  • 10 Professional Development Resources for You and Your Team

    Do you leave lots of tabs open in your favorite web browser? Tabs that you’ll eventually come back to read? I noticed several that I had open today – and they all had a theme: professional development resources that I’ve used quite a bit over the past few years. I wanted to share a list […]

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  • Where I’m Going

    My professional interests have changed quite a bit in the past several years. I used to be more specialized, focusing mainly on eLearning and instructional design. Now I see the bigger picture. Instead of focusing on building learning solutions to solve one particular need, I’m looking at how to build systems and empower employees to […]

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  • Where I’ve Been

    To use a running term, I hit the wall in 2011. After writing a bunch of blog posts for eLearning Weekly and attending/presenting at a bunch of conferences, I felt like I was seeing, hearing, and regurgitating the same ideas over and over. I lost my energy and passion because the learning and development industry […]

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