August Highlights: Create a sustainable impact with training

Without consistent application, knowledge and inspiration will never amount to transformation. 

In this newsletter highlight, I’d like to share some actionable insights I’ve gained last month, which can help you gain visible transformation for your organisation (if you apply).

August’s Highlights

Click on this menu:

  1. L&D insights for the month: must read/watch
    • Learnings from Harvard Business Publishing (HBP)
    • Assurance from HBP corporate learning expert
    • Is your feedback form working?
  2. The future of learning
    • Neuroscience and learning
    • Should we revert to Offline training after Covid?
  3. Programmes to make 2021 even better!

1. L&D insights for the month and must read/watch


To save you time, we’ve hand-picked the most relevant content and summarised them for you:

a. Learnings on Virtual Learning from Harvard Business Publishing (Corporate Learning)

The best practices for learning design advocated by the  HBP corporate learning department have influenced the way our team customises training experiences and solutions. For a long time, I’ve been inspired by their thought pieces and white papers, which are backed by extensive research and data. When they organised a webinar about virtual learning last month, I knew I had to attend. We needed to know if our approach to digital and blended learning is on par with the best-in-class. 

Here are some key takeaways (extract): 

1. The learning process is split into 4 parts: 

#1 Engage 

Establish relevance and need.

How? Through online surveys, assessment, self-evaluation and relevant content. 

# 2 Discover 

Acquisition of new knowledge happens when learners are able to anticipate how to use it by formulating questions and comparing it to what they know.

How? Through different learning channels such as peer discussions, videos, podcasts, articles and the like.

# 3 Act 

Apply the learning in the work environment.

How? Through coaching and other work-based activities

#4 Integrate 

Modify behaviours according to feedback to realise work improvements. 

How? Provide access to a virtual learning platform for content, tools and connections for ongoing refinement.

2. Why do organisations choose virtual learning?

– Better learning impact

– Time and flexibility

– Engages diverse learners

– Consistency and scale

3. Spaced learning for maximum impact

Spread the learning experience over a period of time and in smaller chunks rather than a single event. We’ve covered this in a previous article. This allows learners the time to internalise the content, apply, make mistakes, take corrective actions and learn again. This iterative process leads to a much greater impact.

b. Assurance from Harvard Business Publishing (Corporate Learning) expert

Deanna Foster, the presenter of the webinar, is  Harvard Business Publishing’s Director of Global Design Center of Excellence. I had the privilege to get her feedback on some initiatives to help  learners maximise their learning potential. Some of these initiatives include a 30-day email course and the 1-month post workshop follow up. She assured our team that these are good initiatives, and she offered two ideas that we hope to implement  in the coming months:


Manager’s involvement

Old habits die hard. Applying what’s learnt daily is a deliberate effort and has to be sustained over a period of time to achieve a long-lasting impact. The suggestion given by Deanna was so simple and yet so effective.

Managers have the most influence over a  learner’s progress. Hence, they should be involved in the learning process from the start. This will allow the managers to reinforce the learnings and provide support to help their team members grow. Setting a clear learning and career goals with their managers will illustrate to the team just how invested their manager is in their success. This can be a great motivating factor for the learners  to contribute more and be more proactive in learning too.

Having managers do the same can help us gain a more objective view of the possible gaps and growth, see if there are any discrepancies and most importantly, take corrective actions. This is a level up from our usual pre-workshop survey and post-workshop survey that are made exclusive to learners.  


Peer Support

Learners have expressed how they have enjoyed group learnings as they get to exchange perspectives with their peers and feel more motivated to learn when learning is done together. Sustaining learning after the official programme is over requires a lot of self-discipline. This is largely due to the fact that learners get busy with day-to-day tasks and time is devoted to tackling the most urgent thing. As a result, the learning curve is always steep at the beginning and only flattens after consistent application. The initial momentum of applying new concepts should result in continuous application for it to become second nature.


The suggestion to have a buddy system can help team members, who work together, remind and guide each other in their journey to improvement. Having attended the same programme, they have a common lingo, which helps them collaborate better and hold each other accountable to applying what they have learnt. 

c. Is your feedback form working?

We’ve improved our feedback form to serve the needs of current times: 

  • The virtual learning situation 
  • The learning needs of the future 
  • The focus on helping learners shift from knowledge to skills

If you haven’t adapted your own forms with the above considerations, you will benefit from this recent article that we have published

Examples of effective and non-effective questions included!

2. The future of training

a. Cognitive Neuroscience will influence training interventions

Over the last decade, there’s a growing number of research papers around how Cognitive Neuroscience can influence learning behaviors and shape teaching methodologies. Best-in-class training institutions are speaking more about this to increase awareness. I believe this is the future of adult education.  We can no longer settle with a look-good curriculum and focus mainly on the content of the course.  Gone  are days when the effectiveness of training is mainly measured by satisfaction scores but by tangible outcomes. 

Out of the many scientific discoveries, here’s one you can ponder:

Intentions affect attention to a learning task
Lau, Rogers, Haggard, Passasingham, 2004.

Learners are more likely to act on a learning task and perform better in assessment (a mode of application), when there is a clear alignment of what they are learning and their goals.

What this means to you:

(a) Set clear learning goals with employees before nominating them for courses.
(b) Set clear context on why the course is organised, why they are attending, and how it can help them succeed.  
(c) Give learners a choice to register or to opt-out with valid reasons based on the usefulness and their competency level.

Doing these would give learners a greater sense of purpose and motivation in learning. This significantly creates a positive vibe during the course, draws them to take charge of their own learning and be excited about it. As the organiser of the course, you reduce the need to chase learners for their submissions and you achieve better outcomes for your organisation when application happens.

b. Should we revert to offline classroom learning after Covid?


As the community cases of Covid stabilises and the safety measures are slowly easing, many of you are considering returning to offline learning. While I personally prefer physical live interaction, I have to be wary about suggesting solutions based on my personal biases without prioritising the learning outcomes. Many of my assumptions about the disadvantages of virtual learning were invalidated over the past few months. 

At this stage, I have  also questioned if we should revert to the old ways of training. I’m deliberating between the effectiveness of these two modes. Which should we choose after Covid? 

Perhaps this isn’t about which mode to choose, but about how to leverage the advantages of each modality and tweak the format, duration, activities to maximise the learning output, i.e. turn knowledge into skills.

Full offline: The Pros and the cons
Able to better focus on the course with no competing priorities, able to clear doubts  and seek feedback immediately. I think interactions with trainer and course mates will help make the experience more enjoyable.” 


Best for those who prefers: 

1. face-to-face interaction with trainer and group mates in real time to seek clarification and receive immediate direct support.

2. to time block themselves to learn without interruption.

3. the human touch, which makes the learning more enjoyable and fun.

Disadvantages: Generally, full offline 1-2 day workshops …

– can lead to information overload. Learners are not given adequate time to internalise new concepts, resulting in low information retention.

– do not give time for learners to apply learnings to different aspects of their day-to-day work, take corrective actions, and eventually master the skill.

– do not drive outcomes to the organisation due to its transactional nature.

– do not equip all learners to apply. Individuals who are more pro-active learns more, while others learn passively by waiting for their peers to complete group exercises. As such, the instructor cannot tell if everyone has applied the learnings adequately.

Ways to overcome:

+ Keep Offline training in short-burst of 3-4 hours over a few sessions so that learners have other parts of the day to attend to work duties.

+ Assign tasks or work to learners between sessions to apply their learnings. 

+ Offer coaching or mentoring to support learners on the journey to mastery.

Blended: The Pros and the cons
“Self-paced allows learning done on their  own time and group coaching allows me to learn application and comments from the Instructor and from each other. It allows time to work on application of the concepts on our own time but still share and learn from one another in the group.”


Best for those who: 

1. cannot take a big block of time off for learning due to work commitments and duties.

2. learns better at their own pace and based on their own schedule

3. are serious about applying learnings on an in-depth level to tackle the nuances they face at work. 


Disadvantages: Generally, full offline 1-2 day workshops …

– The learner has no visibility of the process of learning, practise, and application of their peers, therefore, can’t learn from it. They could only see the final output. Example: In an offline presentation programme, learners might be able to see how their peers use certain shortcuts or design hacks to arrive at the outcome.

– Requires learners to be self-directed in completing self-paced modules and complete them seriously 


Ways to overcome:

+ Set learning goals and deadlines to keep learners accountable in completing their assignments

+ Document the process using recording tools or verbally walk group members through the process during live discussions.

Consideration: If you have enough demand for the programme within your organisation, why not offer both learning modes? This way, learners get to choose the mode that best suit their learning needs, which will lead to better outcomes. 

3. Training programmes to ace 2021!

While Covid19 may be gone by then, remote meeting is here to stay. Attention span of your audience is now shorter than ever. Here are some courses to help your team crush their virtual presentations: 

Designing visual presentation for remote meetings 

Learn how to create visually engaging presentations that your audiences will understand, love, and agree with. Adapt your visuals to different virtual contexts like pitching, teaching, discussing, informing etc. It’s time to convert those cluttered text into compelling visuals to communicate more clearly and persuasively! In this course, you uncover design hacks and the S.P.I.L.L process that can help you design effective visual slides in less time. 

Here’s a sneak peek to the course: 

Full suite of courses: 

Delivering engaging online meetings

How do you engage your audience on a small screen? Especially when they don’t show their faces. Utilise public speaking techniques in the virtual context. Put audiences at the edge of their seats, get them glued to your presentation and leave no chance for them to multitask. No fancy technology tools needed. Just your voice, hands, and face. Make your presence felt over the screen!

Digital Marketing: Turn employees into digital brand advocates

Marketing budget got cut? How can you achieve the same results with limited money, resources? The piece of good news is: The best people to market your brand are your employees. 

Why you should turn your employees into brand advocates in 2021:

1. More cost effective and sustainable versus paying influencers and advertisers a hefty sum every month to gain brand visibility.

2. More authentic as employees are the ones who understand your brand intimately and represent your brand the best. 

3. Increase employees’ brand belonging and showcase company culture to attract new talents.

Best for Brand & marketing team

The Employee Advocacy (via LinkedIn) programme gives brands a blueprint to recruit, train and evangelise a core group of employees and transform them into micro-influencers.

This programme will incorporate a self- sustainable content curation and creation process where your employees are equipped with the art and science of LinkedIn content creation and curation.

Developing a virtual team culture
Working from home. You either find yourself overworking or being unproductive. The lack of human interaction shrinks morale and increases frustration. Miscommunication, misaligned expectations, misdirection. You wonder when will this end.
Learn how teams can reclaim their time, get more done while achieving more work-life-balance!
This course transforms team’s culture to perform more productively & effectively online. Uncover the structure & strategy to boost motivation and productivity of your remote teams. 
Data Storytelling

Aside from  leaving your stakeholders bored, ineffective and misguided data presentations can be costly to you and your team. Teams might embark on wrong ventures or be denied access to resources.  Change the story, change the outcome! Uncover proven steps to leverage data to develop insightful and purposeful stories that drives the best organizational decisions. Apply story structures that engage your audience and cut through the noise of data and straight at what truly matters.

Data Visualisation
Are your key messages buried in the endless amounts of facts and figures? Are your audiences overwhelmed by confusing tables, charts, and diagrams? Stop making these mistakes! Learn how to harness the power of visuals elements to clarify key messages in your data slide. You will uncover ways to leverage basic features of PowerPoint/Keynote and Excel to transform complex charts into visually compelling ones. Effective visualisation helps convey the right message to influence the right decision fast. 
Other courses
  • (Digital) Sales & Negotiation 
  • Employees into Brand Digital Advocacy 
  • Investor Pitching/Fundraising
  • Brand Strategy
  • LinkedIn Marketing
  • Social Selling 
  • Effective Leadership 
  • Facilitation (Solution-focused)
  • Critical Thinking for Problem-Solving
  • Creative Thinking
  • Lego Serious Play for Team Building and Innovation
  • Communicating and Engaging with Millennials at the Workplace
  • Mindfulness for emotional resilience and well-being

2021 will be a year of value and returns

As companies are tightening their budgets, there’s an increase pressure to link any business activities to business outcomes. As such, HR and L&D leads will have take on a more strategic approach to organising courses. There will be a shift from once-off training programme to a longer-term learning pathway that sustains learning & application. 

Need more ideas on how to ace 2021 with training programmes? Get in touch! 

Want to gain more?

Client-exclusive Solutions

We’ve rolled out a few new solutions to help learners turn knowledge into skills. Past clients are entitled to these at no additional cost. Drop us a message below – “Hi team, I’d like to gain access to the client-exclusive solutions. Can you share them with me?” and hit the orange button below.

8 + 5 =

Is your feedback form effective?

Getting learners to fill in a feedback form after the completion of a training is the norm. But how much of what is gathered is actually useful? What can you do with the data? 

If you cannot derive any actionable insights from the responses, you ought to challenge the effectiveness of the questions. Because the purpose of soliciting feedback is to evaluate and improve, with the goal to achieve better results in the future.


There are two aspects of the form to take note to get you closer to your goal: 

  1. The objectives of the questions is to help you collect the ‘right’ data
  2. The type of questions is to help you obtain better data


1. Objectives

“ Asking the right questions is as important as answering them”
Benoit Mandelbrot

Most survey questions I’ve seen are centred around learning experiences and engagement — Questions about the (i) Trainer, (ii) format, (iii) duration, (iv) learning environment. 

While experience is an important aspect of learning, it is only a means to an end. The application of skills is one that will make every dollar you invest in your learners worthwhile. The effectiveness of a training programme can be evaluated based on the following component:

Relevance and usefulness


Q: List the top 3 learnings that are the most relevant and useful to your work.

This question helps HR identify course content that contributed to the success of the workshop. If there is a need to tweak the programme outline in the future, these insights will guide the trainer’s decision on which parts to retain. You can also consider inserting a question on the least relevant areas of the course.


Q: How have the course materials helped you in your learning? What can be improved?

This uncovers how learners interact with the course materials to aid their learning. The responses may also reveal their learning habits and preferences. From these questions, the trainer can also assess if the case studies are useful in helping the learners internalise the course content or if new ones have to be created.

Growth/ Transformation

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your proficiency in [skill] before you attended this programme.

How has the programme contributed to the difference in rating? 

These questions identify learners who have had the most benefit, i.e. those who saw a big shift in rating. E.g. Did  the technical folks benefit most from the course while the marketing folks the least? If so, HR can consider organising future sessions that target a specific  learner’s profile in order to maximise the results.

If all learners move up at least 1 scale, HR can use this  to validate that the programme was indeed helpful in upskilling. It also allows HR to see who in the class is on the lowest end of the spectrum and; who might need further support. If the rating before and after the programme remains unchanged, the trainer can follow up with the learner to identify why. You can consider asking these questions to ensure learning has turned into skills and skills are applied

Future application


Q: What needs to happen for you to turn these learnings into skills and to eventually master it?

The answers would inform  HR on what additional support to provide  the learners the ability to sustain learning for long-term transformation to take place. For example, if the majority of learners indicated “practice”, HR can explore ideas on how to create conditions for them to do so. This might warrant another in-depth survey to formulate a quality solution.



Q: What would be an obstacle for you to gain mastery?

We cannot assume that once the learners are equipped with the new tools that they will apply it. This question helps HR uncover possible reasons why this knowledge didn’t  get transferred as  skills. These could be the lack of time, resources, support, culture, or working styles. Some learners have shared that while they would like to improve, their bosses are not aligned with the best practices. Hence, they throw in the towel after multiple attempts to improve  have been shot down. In such cases, HR can consider ways to get the buy-in from these bosses.

Future development 

Learning preferences:

Q: Given the same amount of content and learning, which mode of learning will suit you best and why?

This helps to invalidate  assumptions that one mode of learning suits all. It also uncovers ways to experiment with new learning modality  that can maximise outcomes. For example, due to Covid, there are  no other option  but to conduct learning remotely and digitally. At first, HR may  doubt the effectiveness of virtual learning but as it turns out, given a choice, 80-90% of learners prefer blended learning. When  asked why, many appreciated the ability to juggle work and learning, to have more time to internalise learning at their own pace for self-study  modules, while being able to also benefit from their peers sharing during live online discussions.

New skills:

Q: What other skills would you like to develop? Why?

This helps to identify new learning opportunities that HR might not have considered. Such questions also encourage the learners to pause and reflect on their learning needs and goals. When the goals are clear, they become more enthusiastic in filling the gaps.


2. Types of questions

“Data by itself is useless. Data is only useful if you apply it.” 
– Todd Park

There are different types of questions such as: 

Closed-endedHas this course met your learning objectives? 
Scaling questionsOn a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the effectiveness of the workshop? 1 being not effective, 10 being very effective.
OpenHow would you define the effectiveness of the workshop? 
ProbingDid this course meet your objectives? Why or why not? 
ReflectiveWhat are the top 3 learnings that are  the most useful in  your work?

Closed ended and scaling questions are best at gathering quantitative data which removes ambiguity and subjectivity. However, many questionnaires placed too much weight  on such questions and with only one open-ended question like “any suggestions for improvement”. This might be due to the intention of creating  questionnaires that are easy and fast to complete. 

The problem with these questionnaires is that they only provide quantitative results but t you do not gain insights as to why learners gave a low or high rating.  For example, the question “The course has been relevant”, scale 1-5 disagree to agree. What can we do with the information? If 90% of the class rate 5 and 10% rated 2, it indicates that there is room for improvement but we don’t know  specifically where? Without actionable insights, the trainer and HR cannot pinpoint specific aspects on where to improve.

Hence, it is advisable to supplement closed-ended questions with a probing question such as “WHY?”. This allows trainers to take corrective actions that may help to increase the score on future runs. 

To avoid vague or one-worded answers that are subject to interpretation such as “practice”, you can frame questions with a more direct intent. Here’s an example a question that aims at gathering specific insights to meet a goal:


Instead of this

Ask this

Any suggestions for improvement?

How can this course be improved to help you get better at (skills)? Please elaborate with details so we can better understand how to help you. 

You will be amazed at how much you can uncover with thoughtfully crafted questions.

To sum it up

  1. Identify the purpose of the survey
  2. Design questions to meet specific objectives
  3. Collect both quantitative and qualitative data
  4. Frame questions to gain specific and actionable insights

July Highlights: Resources to help you increase training effectiveness

“Machines need to be productive. People need to be effective.”, said by the English watchmaker.

Like many, you may have found yourself working longer hours in recent months. Doing, doing, and doing.

Producing new things such as events, initiatives, programmes, content, sure feels great. But are they  purposeful? What sets effectiveness and productivity apart is that effectiveness moves us closer to our intended goals and outcomes.

In the L&D context, to be truly effective, we have to break these misconceptions: 
#1 The longer the duration = the more one learns
#2 The more content covered in a class = the more value learners get
#3 Learning has to be done in a single session

At HighSpark Academy, we see a training programme as a means to an end. Ultimately, the programme should drive long-term value to your teams and organisation. We are constantly keeping up with L&D trends, scientific research  around learning, and refining our learning solutions to achieve the highest level of effectiveness.

In this newsletter highlight, we will share with you key insights so you can maximise the ROI of every learning initiative you champion.

July’s Highlights

Click on this menu:

  1. L&D insights of the month: must read/watch

    #1 Top four obstacles to learning & development, and how to overcome them

    #2 Three learning strategies that you should bake into your L&D programmes 

  2. How to gain higher rating for training effectiveness (Case study)
  3. Maximise your existing limited resources with these programmes
  4. Free resources – Learners exclusive
  5. Help us prioritise what new (free) resources we should build for you

1. L&D insights of the month and must read/watch


To save you time, we’ve hand-picked the most relevant content and summarised them for you:

#1 Top four obstacles to learning & development, and how to overcome them 

Managers are the most trusted source for learning inside any organisation. Learning and development leads can work closely with managers of teams to empower employees to learn effectively.

1. Time (43%)

Share scientifically-backed strategies with employees to make use of their time and learn wisely. Then lead by example.

2. Guidance (30%)
Know the difference between control and power – assign tasks, trust your  people to complete them.

3. Recognition (30%)
Spotlight the most dedicated learners in email updates.

4. Encouragement (22%)
Co-create learning plans with employees and create a timeline to prioritise developing relevant skills.

Read the full article by Degreed here: Link


#2 Three learning strategies that you should bake into your L&D plans


Findings by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghau: If new information isn’t applied, we forget 75% of them after just six days. If your learners forget what they learnt in the workshops, wouldn’t this be a loss of time and money?

To get the most value from the learning plans you design, you can beat the forgetting curve with these strategies:

1. Activate prior knowledge: connect new information with existing ones

2. Retrieval practice: review what was learnt in a number of different ways

3. Make learning active: solve problems, create experiments

4. Make learning effortful: make the process slightly hard

5. Make learning social: learn from somebody and teach somebody


These 5 techniques will signal to the brain that what was learnt is important and useful,  thereby turning short-term memory into long-term memory.

Watch the video by Steve Griffiths here: Link

2. Same programme, different format -> highest effectiveness rating

The best way to test the effectiveness of the learning modality is to run the same programme a few times, in different formats and durations, then let the data tell the story. We have been blessed to work with some of you to experiment with different learning modalities. 

If you have yet to try approaching your programmes differently, the following case study may inspire you to try. 

In the previous newsletter, we saw that the ratings for blended learning were higher than traditional classroom training. In July, we conducted the blended learning again for the same programme, but this time, with some changes. The rating was the highest (highlighted in yellow).

Blended format 1:

10 hours of content & exercises spread across 2 days

This flow is beneficial when…
the learners and teams are nominated by their bosses, and they have little idea why they are enrolled in the course or how it can benefit them.  Having a synchronous session (for example 1 hr) at the start would allow the L&D or team lead to set the context and paint the purpose of the programme. This will motivate participants to look at the workshop as an opportunity rather than a chore. Learning becomes more effective when learners are motivated to complete the self-paced modules and work on the assignments with their best effort.

This duration is beneficial when…
the learners or organiser would like the course to be completed as soon as possible, so they can dedicate their attention to other work at hand. And when spreading out sessions too much might make it difficult for live sessions to be scheduled.

The rating on training effectiveness was 90%, an increase of 5.8% as compared to the offline run of the same programme.
However, participants wished they had more time to complete the modules as they were juggling multiple work duties while learning.


Blended format 2:

9 hours worth of content & exercises spread across 5 days, with personalised feedback 

We ran the same programme in July. This time, we spread out the blended learning over a week. To ensure that the learners do not pack the learning to the last minute, we embedded two deadlines within the week. To ensure that they are on the right track with their assignments, and applied the concepts accurately, the trainer recorded personalised feedback after each submission. Those who requested for more guidance and clarification received them throughout the week.

The outcome:

Surprisingly good. We were quite uncertain at first about the new flow of events. What if learners are not motivated to learn without a proper kick-off and context setting session? Turns out, the scheduled onboarding emails and videos, and scheduled check-ins worked. The rating for this new approach is the highest of all, 95.8%, a 5.8% increase from the previous run. Still, we get some requests to stretch the learning even more. And that is what we will be experimenting next.


Thank you! It was more useful than I had initially expected, with very clear explanation and impactful case studies. The details of the course were also very well-thought-out, including outlining the estimated duration of the assignments, and an overview of the sub-topics within each module to give the participant a sense of the overall flow.

Learner of Designing impactful presentation, Blended Learning over 1 week

Want more insights on how to organise an effective virtual training?

3. Recommended courses that maximise your existing limited resources  

The best people to market your brand are your employees. 

Advantages of turning your employees into brand advocates:

1. More cost effective and sustainable versus paying influencers and advertisers a hefty sum every month to gain brand visibility.

2. More authentic as employees are the ones who understand your brand intimately and represent your brand the best. 

3. Increase employees’ brand belonging and showcase company culture to attract new talents.


Best for Brand & marketing team

The Employee Advocacy (via LinkedIn) programme gives brands a blueprint to recruit, train and evangelise a core group of employees and transform them into micro-influencers.

This programme will incorporate a self- sustainable content curation and creation process where your employees are equipped with the art and science of LinkedIn content creation and curation. 

Best for all teams:

Uncover the structure & strategy to boost motivation and productivity of your remote teams. Learn how teams can reclaim their time, get more done while achieving more work-life-balance!

4. Free resources – Client exclusive

We’ve been actively listening to the learners about their needs and wants, especially around how we can better support them to apply what they’ve learnt to their work.

Here are some new resources we have rolled out. And yes, they are completely free (for existing clients).  

The 30-day storytelling email course

This course was inspired by a question one of our coachees asked: ‘What are the habits I need to build to become a better storyteller?’. This 30-day course makes a good post-workshop resource in order to enhance retention and learning based on what you read in the article above.

How does this work? 

Upon sign up, every alternate day, learners will receive a bite-sized email from us. This will last for a month. And each email will contain useful resources, tips, and exercises. With spatial learning, and the other learning strategies embedded, learners transform knowledge into skills.

We’ve rolled this out to a handful of clients and this seemed to be working! 

Learners’ spotlight

This was inspired by the question: “How can we encourage employees to be proactive in learning?” and by the ’employee of the month/year’ model.

How does this work?

For clients who work with us long-term, after each workshop, the trainer will hand pick learner(s) to spotlight. A poster will be designed featuring the learner and the best practices he/she advocates (relating to the topic of the programme that was attended). These posters will then be included in the organisation’s newsletter or online portal where peers can see.



This is to recognise dedicated learners from our workshop and inspire their peers to learn the best practices from them. This turns learners into guides, and creates a culture of learning in the organisation where individuals are motivated to upskill themselves. It is also a good way to garner interest from the right target audience to sign up for the upcoming sessions of the programme.

5. Help us prioritise what new (free) resources we should build for you

Select the top 2 options we should work on this month. Have a suggestion that is not listed? Drop me an email at [email protected]!  

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Want to gain more?

Client-exclusive Solutions

We’ve rolled out a few new solutions to help learners turn knowledge into skills. Past clients are entitled to these at no additional cost. Drop us a message below – “Hi team, I’d like to gain access to the client-exclusive solutions. Can you share them with me?” and hit the orange button below.

10 + 11 =

June Highlights: Resources to help you emerge stronger from tough times

The climate is uncertain right now and there is an urgent need to equip teams with skills that can help them conquer the challenges ahead.

If you want to emerge stronger from the challenging times, you won’t want to miss the highlights from last month. And you should definitely consider some solutions that can help build stronger teams, get more business, and prepare for what lies ahead.

1. The best learning modality – offline or online?

Ever since the circuit breaker, we have been innovating and reinventing learning experiences to offer more value to our clients than before!

We’ve successfully run numerous soft-skills programmes online in different learning modalities – virtual, blended, self-paced, on different platforms. The responses have been great!

Is online learning more effective?

The hands on and the self pace learning really helps! It makes learning easier and we can concentrate better.

- Yan Cheng

Learner of Storytelling Blended Learning over 1 week

Sessions are fun, engaging and learners gain applicable take-aways for their respective professions.

- Charlene Lim

Learner of 4-hour virtual sesions of Data Storytelling & Visual presentation

Based on results for one of our long-term client, the ratings for blended learning (a.k.a virtual run) were higher than traditional classroom training.

Should Blended Learning be the new normal?

It depends. Blended learning might not always work for all learners.
The same goes for classroom training. Here are two different insights gathered from two different runs for separate organisation.

What does this mean? There is no one size that fits all. We cannot expect training to be effective with a blanket approach or cookie-cutter solution. The disruption caused by Covid-19 has open up opportunities for us to ask this essential question – “which mode of learning works best for you?”

What if L&D can offer the best learning solution to the right learners and at the same time maximise the return of investment? Is it possible? Yes it is. You can speak to us to discuss how can optimise your training and achieve cost savings.

2. The must-have skills to survive the oncoming recession

There’s more pressure for teams to contribute to the bottomline, especially the sales and marketing team. We’ve recently partner Thriving Talent, an award-winning Malaysia training provider to bring their successful online programmes to you.

New Virtual training programmes

Best for sales team:

This programme will explore proven strategies & frameworks in getting sales professionals to help their customers turn crisis into opportunities. Understand the criteria of becoming a trusted authority, apply the ‘6 hot buttons that turn customers on, and uncover the 4 human brain chemicals that naturally get customers to say “YES!”.

Best for all teams:

Uncover the structure & strategy to boost motivation and productivity of your remote teams. Learn how teams can reclaim their time, get more done while achieving more work-life-balance!

Success stories

Programme: Sales Leaders Motivating Sales Teams

Trainer: Michael Teoh

Format: 2 Days Blended-Workshop + 3 Virtual Learning Sessions 

Learners’ profile: Group & Property Teams

The training workshop is informative and fun. I find the concepts of The Pitch, 2 Cornerstones and Digital Trust useful. Thank you for helping me to overcome my nervousness when presenting in front of the professional members.

Lim Hui Ying

SP Setia Malaysia

HighSpark is now an
Exclusive Partner of Thriving Talent 

3. How to win more business in times of Covid-19

How to Covid-proof your brand message and sales pitch

We did a collaboration with Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) Singapore. In the 45-minute Kopi-chat, I addressed the following questions from the participations: 

1. Should one focus more on emotional selling during COVID days? 

2. Will giving freebies help businesses establish their brand message?

3. How can businesses attract the right target audiences in this period?

And I talked about the components one must weave into any business narrative during Covid-19 period:

(a) Relevance  (b) Risk  (c) Reward

4. How to organise a high-impact soft-skills training online

In 90 minutes, we covered lots of learning to help L&D managers succeed:

1. Identify the most effective mode of online learning that fulfils your team’s unique L&D needs.

Explore the top 3 online learning formats and solutions that are easy to implement and will not break the bank.


2. Implement measures to ensure learning outcomes are achieved.

Uncover tips on what should be done before, during and after online learning is conducted or implemented.


3. Understand skills required to engage learners virtually and facilitate learning.(it’s not about quizzes and polls)

Learn to prepare your trainers to sustain attention, and increase engagement and impact.

Thanks for conducting this webinar! Really appreciate the effort to conduct Q&A sessions.  I think the framework that you gave during the session is also very applicable to the L&D initiatives my company is trying to implement. Love your enthusiasm and voice throughout the webinar too 🙂 



This webinar has been pretty insightful. Although I’m not from the HR nor L&D functions, I believe that such learning styles are here to stay.



We gain happiness by giving

Lately, I’ve been doing some deeeeep reflection on life. Some friends and clients I know have lost their jobs. Many are living in fear and uncertainty. “Recession is approaching”, echoed many.

In the midst of chaos and fear mongering, I also see love, compassion and kindness. I personally have not experienced any financial crisis. While I’m unsure of what lies ahead, I am certain that I will choose to give more and serve more in order to help others rise above adversities.

So the commitment from my team and me is to do our best to add more value. No selling, just serving.

In the next few months, we’ll be rolling out more initiatives to support our clients and spread joy. If you have any suggestions on how we can add value, do drop me a message at [email protected] 


And my call to action to you: Do a kind act today 🙂 

Ready to help your team thrive in tough times?

Client-exclusive Solutions

We’ve rolled out a few new solutions to help learners turn knowledge into skills. Past clients are entitled to these at no additional cost. Drop us a message below – “Hi team, I’d like to gain access to the client-exclusive solutions. Can you share them with me?” and hit the orange button below.

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