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Designing, Developing, & Producing Excellence in eLearning Worldwide | Darnell Lattal, Ph.D.
Darnell Lattal, Ph.D.
CEO & President
Darnell Lattal, CEO and President of ABA Technologies, Inc., a female-owned online learning company, has a Ph.D. in psychology and specializes in the science of learning. With over 40 years of leadership experience, Darnell believes that a successful workplace culture lies in bringing Ben Franklin’s maxim to life: “Carve mistakes in sand and success in stone.” At ABA Technologies, Inc., errors are seen as valuable opportunities to learn—a behavioral approach to shaping positive outcomes. Dr. Lattal knows that increasing demand for what her company does is the tip of a worldwide tidal wave seeking to extend excellence in learning outside traditional classrooms and corporate training structures. Success at ABA Technologies, Inc. is defined by Dr. Lattal as embedded in the highly polished instructional design and application skills of an extraordinary workforce in producing repeat business and expanding market reach.
An Evolving Company
Over the last 20 years, ABA Technologies, Inc. trained over 250,000 students in 60 countries in partnership with Florida Institute of Technology and continues to do so. Students seeking the kinds of education offered helps to extend the University’s online reach around the world. ABA Technologies, Inc., through this active partnership, trains students to become practicing clinicians who work with individuals with special needs,
providing certifications and a university master’s degree in areas that will ultimately improve service quality. New courses are also being developed specifically for those in business and industry who want to know more about the science of behavior as it applies to producing outstanding cultures of performance success. Dr. Jose Martinez-Diaz, Ph.D., BCBA-D the founder of ABA Technologies, Inc., asked Dr. Lattal to take over the leadership of this fine company, understanding how much alike they were in their hopes to shape a better world through the science of behavior. His untimely death dealt a blow, making for sad times just as COVID came on the scene. Nevertheless, it was a time of growth and expanding opportunity for ABA Technologies.
Darnell is helping ABA Technologies, Inc. navigate the tricky terrain of transitioning from the founder-led vision of Dr. Martinez-Dias, through the COVID-19 pandemic, given the gift of a stable and highly skilled workforce. The company has increased the reach of this superb model to introduce effective online learning architecture inside the structures and processes of the workplace, side-by-side with their clients. Entering any business to provide learning solutions needs alertness to more than how employees respond to the training itself, but how they apply skills to daily activity, teaching them needed
problem-solving and decision skills alongside specific content. Becoming skilled in taking needed actions demonstrating the capability to produce an immediately needed change will continue to be a part of a required core set of thinking skills required by 21st Century workers. It is in those on-the-job applications that the value of online learning is demonstrated in meaningful ways.
Skill deficits cannot be solved with software or one-size-fits-all courses but need a behavior solution that shows up in everyday decision-making and accountability structures surrounding individual performers. Those conditions around the performer are called the learning architecture that a business, deliberately or accidentally, establishes. A company needs an architecture that interfaces across its rich history and delivers reinforcement for current approaches, actively supporting conditions to make necessary change easier.
That interface between the way we have been and the way we are now often is not made very clear to those who may need to change the most. How to do that well is what ABA Technologies, Inc. provides as a core part of its learning technology. Patterns of behavior inside companies learned to habit strength are hard to change if not addressed systematically.
How to develop skills for this new, virtually expanding universe, crossing into varied cultural practices, requires businesses everywhere to understand the science of behavior to maximize financial and performance success for all its employees. Technologies such as quantum computing, cloud migrations, virtual reality, biotechnology, and digital communications, are advancing in continuous and rapid iterations. And every advancement in technology requires new, adaptive, and fluid behavior change. The 2020 Future of Jobs Report from the World Economic Forum shows that approximately 50% of all employees around the globe will need significant upskilling or complete reskilling by 2025 to stay on top of tech advancements.If there is truth in such predictions, understanding the science of behavior and how to arrange conditions to accelerate and sustain such patterns will be of utmost importance to us all.
Adapting quickly to changing conditions in what people do at the individual and group level is essential for worker and business success in the 21st century; ABA Technologies, Inc.’s years of exceptional success in online learning has helped prepare it as the world changes its models.
Foundationally to the advantage of ABA Technologies is it’s having built its models based on research-based learning architectures that work in supporting these adaptations of human behavior. Science provides insights to initiate, develop and sustain new behaviors across conditions that may seem unclear. ABA Technologies, Inc. provides pragmatic guidelines about how to build targeted increases in specific skills in solving problems and crafting innovative solutions to new dilemmas as they arise.
What Does ABA Technologies, Inc. Do ?
ABA Technologies, Inc. builds learning solutions that meet their client’s training and learning needs. As experts in learning science, ABA Technologies helps transform organizations to build cultures of adaptation, sustaining new skills required to meet constantly evolving demand. With an approach deeply rooted in how people learn, ABA Technologies, Inc. partners with organizations to fully understand the customer’s goals, their learners, and the environments in which work occurs. From that foundation, they customize engaging learning solutions that fit seamlessly into the culture, are measured frequently, and produce sustainable as well as adaptive results.
Inspiring & Empowering Entrepreneurs
“Removing the blinders that come with evaluating other people’s performance requires removing biases we have learned about who is capable and who is not. Until we learn to see the behavior in front of us in objective terms, companies will continue to label and categorize, restricting the extraordinary contributions that employees can make, regardless of their gender or race, or labels applied in pseudo-science terms about capability. There is no time to waste by wasting the potential of others.”
While there is much to say about ABA Technologies, Inc. Dr. Lattal is highlighted in our e-magazine, The Woman Leader, for her lifetime of working on issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and gender. She has helped females take on larger roles that match or exceed their male colleagues. She has conducted coaching with C-level corporate executives as well as front-line supervisors to help them see the men and women they manage objectively as co-equal in their potential.
Often practices built to habit-strength, without thought, dictate bias. At a larger societal level, these biases are so accepted that they are written in law, into various religions, and into how culture defines what we do from an early age, including how men—and women—are taught to think about females as emotional or not capable of critical thinking skills because biology dictates a female’s potential. Men are also labeled in ways that determine how we see them, limiting their capacity as well.
Fundamentally, for her, these issues boil down to not really seeing the person in front of us. Darnell is concerned with the capability to see beyond the label to observe the ways in which skills arise and are stabilized. Dr. Lattal states that a tenet of learning is that behavior goes where reinforcement flows. Learning to pinpoint behavior objectively will reduce bias about the person and can help to accelerate the upward spiral of the learning curve in your organization. She has worked on women’s issues for years, knowing it is not only about gender but about who is of worth and who is not in given workplace cultures and the larger society. While she has a lifetime of being active in female mentoring, the tools she uses are those all people need, regardless of gender or other identity. Those tools are found in the science of behavior.
Why The Science Of Behavior ?
Every business metric is driven by human behavior. Productivity, quality, cost, innovation, safety–these are all driven by the things that people do and say. Our behavior is at the core of our personal and organizational success. Having a better understanding of how it works can provide us with a powerful awareness and set of tools to maximize learning and support the most critical ingredients to performance improvement.
The science of behavior can equip organizations with tools and principles backed by more than 75 years of research. Leaders better understand, motivate, and inspire business-critical behavior at all levels of the organization once they begin to view behavior through a behavior-analytic lens. They begin to understand how much the corporate settings establish what is and is not valued and built to last. The notion that all can achieve more is not a simple statement of belief but of principles derived from research repeatable across individuals and teams, a highly egalitarian management philosophy.
With a behavior-based approach, every employee has an equal opportunity to grow and excel because they are evaluated based on what they do, how they do it, and how that impacts business outcomes. “Employees are not evaluated on what they look like, where they came from, or who they seem to be.” Managing performance in this manner—instead of relying on subjective labels, prejudices, and personal biases—not only makes for a significantly more just and positive environment. It produces a sizeable and measurable impact on all business objectives.
All organizations could benefit from science-based behavioral solutions. Behavior arises from our history of learning. It shapes our interpretations and our actions. Our history of learning teaches us to take risks or to act with great care. To dedicate ourselves fully to an endeavor or be perfunctory in our attempts. To support and be aligned with the company values or to disassociate with the vision. It teaches us to use methods of threat and fear or of positive influence to get to end goals. Organizations that understand these principles and possess the knowledge to leverage them hold the keys to learning and workplace success.
Success in business in the 21st Century will rely on accessing and applying knowledge demonstrated in what people do. Driving this is a certainty that access to education is central to reaching one’s full potential. Online access to learning and knowledge mastery, regardless of social status, prior education, gender, or other marks of diversity, is essential in this connected world. Dr. Lattal is particularly proud to be part of this industry, helping to further that open access to knowledge and skills for anyone, anywhere, and to work to make them even more readily accessible.
Dr. Lattal, with her co-author, Carlos Zuluaga, recently published The Wisdom Factor: Reducing Bias, Threat and Fear to Build a Better World, KeyPress Publishing, 2022. The book contains details about arranging conditions for your own and others’ success in creating a values-based workplace and world. Scan the QR code to learn more or to purchase. Or visit the website: www.abatechnologies.com/the-wisdom-factor.
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