- I could borrow a “dude” from the ever-entertaining and brilliant Bill Nye.
- I could throw out a “WHAT?!?!?” as inspired by the puzzlement of David Kwong.
- I could add a “YES!” per the research of Annie Murphy Paul.
If you’ve read any of my past conference reflection posts, I tend to harp on the value of community. As the eLearning Guild slogan reads, together we are better. Never before has this felt more true for me as a learning/performance geek. I am thankful for each and every conversation during an extremely tiring, rewarding and just pure fun week.
While I often have to sit and reflect on my conference experience to find a few key moments worth sharing, this one was easy. In fact, I can summarize my #LSCon with the story of just one conversation from last week …
Why I Do What I Do …
I was walking to lunch on Thursday afternoon when I was stopped by a young woman. I did not recognize her, but she obviously knew me given that she called me by name from a distance. As she introduced herself, I realized that we had actually met virtually during #GuildChat, an hour-long Twitter chat that takes place every Friday at 2pm ET. I am a member of the committee that helps organize the chat in partnership with the eLearning Guild.
She went on to say that her participation in #GuildChat had helped her find out about LSCon, and that, given that she is from South Africa, this was her first time attending a U.S. industry event. While this was certainly an awesome opportunity to meet an international peer in-person, the next part of her story literally floored me.
She started to thank me personally. I came to find out that her virtual connection to me along with a few of my #GuildChat peers had exposed her to ideas and resources that had re-defined her understanding of the possibilities of workplace learning. Through our everyday online sharing and discussion, we had unknowingly opened up a world of insight to a relatively new L&D peer thousands of miles away. She is in the process of using her evolved understanding to outline a new learning ecosystem for her international non-governmental organization that works across 47 countries to help more than 15 million impoverished and disadvantaged people.
I always knew my passion for working out loud – and obsessively tweeting – had the potential to help my global industry peers. I never realized who was really listening how much influence our interactions could have on the lives of people so far removed from my view. Her story will continue to inspire me to share new, practical ideas for pushing our field forward and providing the best possible experiences for the people we support.
Together we are better. My time at #LSCon reminded me why I do what I do and how we, as a community driven to improve outcomes for our organizations, make the world a better place every single day.
Be sure to check out my Axonify Blog post with 5 key themes from #LSCon 2016.
What were your BIG takeaways from #LSCon? How will you share your experience?
JD Dillon is one of the most prolific authors and speakers in workplace learning today. He has spent 20 years designing learning and performance strategies for respected global organizations, including The Walt Disney Company, Kaplan, Brambles, and AMC Theatres. JD is the founder of LearnGeek and Chief Learning Architect with Axonify.