Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thoughts from a Leaders Conference

I've just spent a couple of days in the company of a great bunch of people.

Some background

When I started my career as a Workplace Learning practitioner, I realized fairly quickly that I loved this field. It gives me the opportunity to help others develop new skills. I still get a kick out of the "Aha" moments I get to witness when I'm doing any form of live training. Pretty quickly I also realized that being able to share that feeling and discuss it with others was also very fulfilling so I joined my local learning group. Back then and there it was an organization called SEAL. The Society for Effective Affective Learning. When I moved to the US I joined the International Alliance for Learning and was active there for a while. Those two groups were focused on Accelerated Learning which I still see a set of fundamentally good learner focused principles.

Since 2008 however my energy has been more aligned with ASTD. I see that ASTD is the professional body of my chosen profession. Back in Chicago I really enjoyed spending my time with people who shared some of my passions for learning and started to get more and more involved with my local Chapter. I even ended up on the board where the like-mindedness took another step forward because then I started spending time with others who not only shared my passion for learning but choose to give back to the furtherance of our profession by volunteering their time and energy to their local chapter.

Being on a Chapter board is a lot of work but its very rewarding work. I get to help other learn about helping others learn. How cool is that?

If you are thinking that this sounds pretty cool then I suspect that you might also want to be a part of your local chapter board, giving back to your profession, and spending time with others who do the same. Imagine spending your time with 6-12 others who share that.

Now imagine spending your time with 350 people like that.

That's what the ASTD Chapter Leaders Conference is like. We get together with a single aim. How do we make our chapters better at serving the needs of Learning Professionals in our areas. We share great ideas and learn from each other. We return to our chapters energized and ready to push ahead with new initiatives and new ideas. I'm bringing two specific things back to Golden Gate Chapter with me.

Firstly from the folks up at Sacramento Chapter I'm bringing back "The Programs Machine"  A planning tool that will hopefully allow us to better plan the programs that the chapter hosts, not only the central chapter meetings but also the Geographical and Special Interest groups we have.

Secondly from Houston Chapter the idea of a Leaders Advisory Board. How we can get local learning leaders to guide and advise the board on the work that the chapter needs to do to meet their needs as leaders of large teams of Learning Professionals.

I'm excited about all of these things.

Naturally I was busy tweeting. I've collected my tweets and retweets here.

I'll keep you posted.

Happy Learning


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