As the content (and garbage) on the web continues to proliferate, it’s sometimes hard to sort through the gold nuggets from the chaff (or the garbage). This is especially true in the performance arena. There is one particular site that has been up a while (“a while” in this case means since 1995). It’s the work of consultant Don Clark. Don has produced a true labor of love that everyone in the workplace learning and performance fields needs to be aware of. With a background in the Army and then Starbucks before he set off on his own, Don decided to create a site not to promote himself but really cover a wide range of ISD, training, OD, performance, management and programmed learning content. He’s got a variety of self-created templates, forms and manuals you can download on topics like ISD or task analysis. He provides a list of HRD names and why they matter, books that are important, timelines for particular topics, relevant quotes and more. But mostly the “more” is about tools and examples and content around how to do what it is that we do–more intelligently and effectively. And the site is clearly designed to share knowledge, not for self-promotion or profit. Frankly, I cannot think of a single person in the workplace learning and performance field who has been so prolific on their website in terms of content.
The primary topic headings off the main page are: leadership, training, learning, history, knowledge, performance, java, news and his blog. And under each of these topics, you’ve got a wealth of depth (in some cases over 100 individual pages of content in terms of a user’s manual or separate job aids). Quite simply, there is a tremendous amount of eclectic depth and breadth on this site. In the few exchanges I’ve had with Don in the past, he’s proven to be trusting, magnanimous and helpful and easy to deal with. I once wanted to use some of his material for some University Professors in Central Asia and instead of providing a lot of hoops for me to jump through, really made it easy to move forward with his stuff.
I’m going to list the URL in just a few lines but I do so with the caveat–I think the URL has changed a few times over the 15+ years that Don has has this site up (and he continues to add to it). So if for some reason the URL doesn’t work (which could be due to my error or a change on his part), I’ve always found it by searching for “Big Dog’s bowl of biscuits” (certainly a memorable phrase). And if you go to the website and look at “about” you’ll see pictures of “big dog” and “little dog” with an explanation that will probably draw a chuckle from you and also just drive home how amazing this site is–that Don is clearly doing this out of a desire to help the field and share knowledge, not profit individually or market himself.
The most recent URL that got me to Don’s site is: www.nwlink.com/~donclark/ and if you haven’t visited the site before, I strongly suggest you do. Don–keep up the great work!