ASTD Late Tuesday & Wednesday

Tuesday evening I attended a cocktail reception as one of the few gringos among dozens of Canadians. Canada is becoming a power in filling eLearning niches. David Bostwick, the Consul and Trade Commissioner told me a major part of his role is informing please about the Canada they don't know. For instance, few people realize that the U.S. imports more oil from Canada than from Saudi Arabia. I suggested he might get a consortium of companies to produce some eLearning about Canada; everybody wins.

My friend Al Bailey, CEO of Learning Designs (Mississauga, Ontario) invited me to dine with the group. We ended up discussing just about everything under the sun.

Speaking of sun, my half-hour soaking up rays at the lunch on the roof of the Convention Center with Ken Blanchard was turning me into a beet. A day later, my face is still red and warm to the touch.

Don't Wait For Instructions

Waiting for the airport shuttle, I took Margaret Wheatley's advice about reflection to heart. The affluence of the Western world enables many of us to invest our time as we choose. When people ask me what I do, I sometimes tell them that I write myself a new job description every morning.

It's as if we all walk a corridor lined with doorways. Behind each door lies opportunity. Sad to say, many people think the doors are locked and pass them by. Perception is reality. We hold on to vestigial patterns and assumptions long after they have outlasted their usefulness. This has been a concern of the Meta-Learning Lab.

The Conference has finished. The Learning goes on:

1. It ain't over ?til it's over.
2. It's never over.

Waiting for the Southwest flight back to Oakland, I noticed some people from the Canadian reception, Alex Pattakos and his wife Elaine Dundon. Elaine is author of Seeds of Innovation: Cultivating the Synergy That Fosters New Ideas. I hadn't thought about it before, but most of the books on innovation describe it as revolutionary. Gary Hamel, for example, focuses on developing innovative strategic plans; if they don't totally rattle the organization's cage, they don't qualify as innovation. Elaine and Alex take a more practical approach in their workshops in Santa Fe.

People at this year's ASTD conference seemed happier and more optimistic than last year in New Orleans. San Diego's a great spot for a conference. Smiling people open the Convention Center doors when you approach. The weather is wonderful. Hotels and restaurants are within walking distance. More than that, the war is over and people are looking forward to going back to work. Numerous marginal vendors have dropped out of the game, leaving the stronger firms to play the field.

Posted by Jay Cross at May 22, 2003 10:22 AM | TrackBack

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