Back to School and Welcome Forward!
Elliott's Return to "Notes" After 5 Months...
Today, for many, is the First Day of School. I grew up looking forward to the first day after Labor Day as the “Back to Learning & Curiosity Day”. I would gather my new school supplies (3 ring binder reinforcements - for those old enough to remember). And, my energy would be soaring - as school days would be filled with networking, new learning topics and a sense of Wow!
After two plus years of the Pandemic, it is powerful to consider how we “Go Forward” vs. “Go Back to School”. Our formats, our learner’s expectations, our workplaces and our curiosity scope have evolved. I will use this theme to come back online with “Notes from Elliott Masie”. Over the past five months, I have been in a learning, re-organizing and personal refocusing process:
OOPS, COVID! COVID changed and will continue to change our Learning strategies and models. Do we stay virtual, go hybrid, launch loads of new classes and conferences? And, what is the correct safety model for containing the continual spread of COVID. After 2 plus years of avoiding the virus, it caught up to me - TWICE - in the past month. With rest, isolation and Paxlovid, I came through the process. But, my curiosity about how to handle contagion in the future is difficult. Do I take a flight to a conference on a plane with a mixture of mask and unmasked folks? How do I calibrate the safety of learning - that will fit the networking needs of employees and align with how their work styles have shifted.
Learning in an Age of Ambiguity: In conversations with the Chief Learning Officers from major corporations around the world, it is clear that we are in the midst of a high degree of Ambiguity about the near and long term futures of learning. Ambiguity about the blend of learning experience delivery. Leaders are often struggling with the uncertainty of learning strategies as the workplace, marketplace and employee career paths are in flux. Do they shift from virtual on-boarding to deep dive in-person welcome sessions? Do they send teams to conferences in hotels - or opt for virtual alternatives? And, how does the workforce view the role of learning in these changing times?
Own the Word Ambiguity! It is helpful, as a leader, to own the uncertainty about things that are changing and in fact, are Ambiguous. Leaders always wanted to have 100% clarity about the strategies for Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4. Yet, we may not have that degree of certainty. I would rather have a leader be fully authentic about what we do not know now.
UPSKILLING!! Prepare for a radical increase in the volume, format and focus of Upskilling in our field. With career paths shifting and retention in flux, organizations will need to be deeply agile in how we Hire, OnBoard, Position, Manage, Coach, Assess and Upskill our new and existing employees. We will see new partnerships between colleges, universities and third party providers to support Upskilling. We are witnessing large numbers of job requirements shifting away from mandatory college degrees to a “readiness” model. Several of my CLO friends have recently hired high school and college interns into full time roles that would never be accessible to a non-graduate.
Adding & Evolving Learning Professionals : The MASIE Learning Foundation is launching a major non-profit, Open Source project focused on Learning OnBoarding & Readiness. This will be a no-fee set of resources to help prepare new hires, internal promotions and college students for the changing nature of Learning & Development. And, it is being built by over 90 volunteers from corporations across the world. (More about this in a future edition of NOTES. But, if you are intrigued, send a note to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elliott Evolving: Just as I was at the start of a new school year, I am totally excited about my evolving work and focus. In the past few years:
Sold Learning Conference. After decades of hosting large conferences, I am excited to produce new format gatherings of learning and business colleagues.
Launched MASIE Learning Foundation: Much of my work will be in our new non-profit foundation - to give back to the field and to promote deep innovation in the world of learning and talent.
Focusing on Balancing New Technology with Great Learning Design: How do we leverage the best potentials of new technology - while designing great and impactful learning experiences? A new LMS or Talent System does not automatically make better learners or employees.
Producing Broadway and Empathy Events: MASIE Productions has produced over 34 shows on and off Broadway. And, we hosted almost 100,000 colleagues for 2 years of Empathy Concerts. Stay tuned for more to come.
Lost 40 Pounds and Got Healthier: At the young age of 72, I wanted to be healthier and lighter. It feels great!
Here is Elliott and Cindy Lauper at the recent Opening of Kinky Boots in NYC.
I look forward to learning from and with YOU! Elliott Masie’s NOTES will be coming to you on an occasional rhythm in the months ahead. Welcome to My First Day of School and may we learn together.
Yours in learning,
MASIE Learning Foundation