For the longest time I’ve wanted to learn about the influencers who have changed the course or perspective of professional practice.
In the world of corporate learning, for me, at least its been Roger Schank. He is all over the web so I won’t list all the ways you can reach him. Though he’s been at it a long time he keeps reinventing ways to communicate his purposeful crusade for ways to learn. And his powerful arguments for the how and why learning should be built. The simple fact he resonates for me so powerfully is we come from the same world. I started my career in education shortly after leaving advertising and graphic design for a modest sized-but known firm in NYC. My first teaching year I journaled about all the inequities, stupidities and failures of schools. I held on to this – and the tipping point that compelled me to leave education was the discovery – up in the attic – of my old journals. Guess what? Rereading my writing from that first year I realized NOTHING HAD CHANGED. So I had to.
What I found in corporate learning – and especially entering the field in synchronicity with the exultant rise of technology, is that you can have the freedom to deliver knowledge, skills and even influence behaviors given the opportunity, a wise client, and a modest budget. This was reinforced when I discovered Cognitive Arts, Roger’s test bed for his philosophy to be played out for real. He taught me how e-learning could work to bring about massive and distributed performance change. His 2 page memo I kind of copped from one of his minions laid out a rubric I could get behind. And I did and still do.
Now I want to understand how others came to their way of practicing. I think it’s important. Do you, in fact, have guiding principles and if so where did they come from — and from whom. I believe that if we can share the influencers that made our designs for learning what a wonderful service to the field. Think of it as a repository of the good guys processes – and a deep and wide reference for a beginner or an experienced professional to draw from as needed.
So I ask that you consider signing up for the LinkedIn group “Heroes of Learning Foundation” and share your stories with us. Check it out at goo.gl/hTw3A or if the link won’t take just sign in and go to groups and search us out. This won’t be nearly as powerful until we have a critical mass of participants. I’ve gotten some positive feedback already but it remains to be seen if you all will give back to the profession and get something in return as well.
Hope to see you on LI.