Blog Post

Out of Adversity Comes Innovation

Published: Saturday, March 28, 2020

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair..."

It was as if Charles Dickens were a psychic! How well he describes our situation. We are no doubt in our own season of the best and worst times. Things are troubling for sure but not all things! Years from now, when we look back to this time, it will undoubtedly come with sadness. But I firmly believe we will also marvel at the goodness it spawned. Contrary to the reports of toilet paper and cleaning product hoarding, I have witnessed many moments of generosity, teamwork, and ingenuity!

The last few weeks have been consumed with helping clients figure out how to continue to onboard new employees and deliver leadership development without relying on in-person workshops. The question has been,

“How might we create and deliver interactive, challenging, and gameful virtually experienced digitally-enhanced learning that delights, engages, and equips learners?” 

The teams I’ve had the privilege to collaborate with are taking such an optimistic view! It’s an honor to be part of the process with them. We’ve decided to see this as an invitation to ideate. Ours is not a “have to” but a “get to” mindset. Instead of just “adjusting” to virtual, we are capitalizing on this opportunity to create phenomenal hybrid (self-discovery + online collaboration + virtual facilitation + coaching) experiences. The solutions we are crafting combine the upsides of each modality we put into the mix to produce effective “sticky” learning.


I am confident that if we as an industry strive to create engaging brain-based participant-centered experiences (not defaulting to passive methods), from this adversity we will produce great innovations in learning!

What examples of the "best of times" are you seeing these days?

About the Author

For the last 29 years, it’s been a joy to deliver learning that equips people to perform at their best.

I love the art and science of learning. It's a delight creating fun, challenging, effective facilitated, self-paced, and blended learning. My secret sauce is a mix of neuroscience, narratives, and playfulness that produces rich learning journeys. Learners enjoy, engage, and get equipped through exploration, discovery, play, practice, reflection, feedback, and immediate application. I believe serious learning happens when we don’t take ourselves so seriously! It's a blast to design learning learners love and watch them flourish as a result!

Ways I contribute...

  • Performance consulting
  • Learning strategy
  • Instructional design 
  • Learner-centered facilitation
  • Change management - strategy and implementation

Sampling of Results...

  • Currently designing distributed learning. Developing phenomenal blended journeys that surprise, delight, and equip. Choosing media to meet outcomes and create challenging fun experiences for participants and facilitators.
  • Designed a “MasterClass”-style highly engaging and entertaining orientation experience currently being used by a Fortune 50 client to onboard people around the world
  • Crafted an escape-room style orientation for a Fortune 50 client that exceeds new hire expectations, lives up to the brand promise, increases retention and speeds time to productivity
  • Transformed several traditional training events into blended learning journeys that better equip leaders to contribute to business priorities. Focus areas included career and leadership development for underrepresented populations as well as new promotes transitioning to higher career levels 
  • Partnered with a dynamic team to design game-based and real-time immersive simulations coupled with a cohort-based coaching model to prepare thousands of newly promoted executives to lead their organization 

Areas of Expertise: Career & leadership development | Onboarding | D&I | Relationship Management | Storytelling

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Great piece! I have seen some great things from people! Our smaller teams have also shown optimism where I think perhaps it may not have been that way just a month or so ago. I often try to visualize how I will describe these times in the future. I agree the overall feeling will be one of sadness but a bright and shiny silver lining is already shining through.
Thank you! I'm with you on the visualizing how these times will be described. I've been thinking about how the younger generations will relay their stories. Let's hope this deepens their resilience (and ours) and their stories are those of learning, connection, and triumph
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