This year, my traditional Tuesday post means this is the last post of this year. The next will be in 2023! Which means it’s time for reflection, heartfelt thanks, and so on. So here’s some thoughts and wishes for happy holidays and the new year.
First, it’s been a really good year, overall. After two too-quiet years (2020 and 2021), the year has been joyously busy. Almost too, but that beats the alternative! I’ve been fortunate to be working not only with great clients, but also with Matt Richter and team for the Learning Development Accelerator (LDA), and with Amit Garg and the Upside Learning team. Both have been very fulfilling.
I’ve been serving as the co-director of the LDA, and as such helped drive a few of the initiatives. For one, the You Oughta Know weekly webinar series was a blessing! I got to interview some of my heroes in learning such as John Sweller and Rich Mayer, as well as many eminent friends. We also ran the Learning & Development Conference in a new format this year. I think it went well. We’re moving on to new ideas for this coming year (stay tuned).
Serving as Upside Learning’s Chief Learning Strategist has also been a great experience. These are folks who’ve made a welcome serious commitment to learning science. I’m helping them find the balance between rigor and commercial viability. I’ve always recognized the need to strike a pragmatic balance between principle and practicality. Thus, it’s truly ‘hard fun’ to help figure it out. More mischief is afoot (so again, stay tuned).
I’ve had the chance to realize a couple of things. For one, I’ve been fortunate to have the bandwidth to do things like publish books (my most recent also came out this year). I likely wouldn’t have had that if I had a full-time job. It was an enormous source of stress (and not a few bad decisions) to not have the security of such work, particularly when the kids were young and I was the sole bread-winner. Yet, things have turned out for the best.
Another realization is that I love working with folks to find the balance between what theory would suggest and what fits in practice. I like working through these exercises, because I learn, and I think this is where I add unique value. I also like sharing the underlying thinking, because I think we need more of it and it’s hard to scale as an individual contributor. I’m grateful I’ve had the chance for the books and to speak at various venues around the world. Also this blog!
So, thanks to my clients, my partners, and all those who strive to pay attention to what research says and do the right thing. I wish you all the best for happy holidays and the new year. May we continue to learn and grow. Stay curious, my friends!