A new era. A new way to learn.

The New Era

We’re over a decade deep in the digital era.

Industrial-era companies who still cling to old-economy business models and command-and-control organizational structures are being disrupted by digital-native startups that have the agility, speed, and curiosity to reinvent the way works get done. The only true competitive advantage in this new era is an empowered, adaptable, self-driving culture.

Most companies are still saddled with learning programs and strategies designed for a bygone era. They may realize what’s at stake, but they don’t know how to break free of the rigid, one-size-fits all learning programs built to produce a uniform workforce full of interchangeable workers.

This new era of constant change demands just the opposite. No matter what industry you’re in, to succeed, you need engaged, creative employees in every department, in every role. Fast, adaptable, self-driven companies need new learning programs and strategies built in their image: Experience-based, open-path, and purpose-driven.

  • We encourage learning by doing.
  • We don't dictate. We shape.
  • We focus on solutions on the ground.
  • We have as many questions as answers.
  • We're in it for the long haul.

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Last month I took my family on a three-week vacation to visit relatives in Europe, people they had never met. It was a wonderful experience. The kids made memories that will last a lifetime. What we didn’t expect was that one of the best memories would be of the flight.

I fly a fair amount for work, and I’ve had positive and negative experiences on a variety of airlines. But for my kids, this was their first BIG flight, and every flight they take for the rest of their lives will be measured against this one. Let me tell you, Delta Air Lines created customers for life. My kids were stunned by the service, the food, the kindness, and the attention to detail of every person we interacted with. We got menus, hot towels, unlimited snacks (teenagers love that), and an enormous selection of movies and games. The entire experience was unexpectedly wonderful. Let me repeat that – I flew on a ten-hour transatlantic flight with three teenagers and it was unexpectedly WONDERFUL.

So I wasn’t surprised, just a couple of weeks after returning home, to read this article highlighting Delta’s philosophy and the surprise 4% pay raise employees got on Labor Day. Delta gets it. They know the secret sauce to business success is their people. They know that to expect their staff to care for others, their staff must be cared for.

Delta is what we refer to as a “self-driving organization” (or should we say self-flying?). The three keys to a self-driving culture are purpose, freedom, and learning.

Purpose Unites: At the heart of any effective culture is a broad yet clear purpose that helps gather a diverse workforce toward a common goal. All self-driven organizations have a clear, actionable answer when an employee asks, “How are we making the world be a better place?” I bet all Delta staff can answer that question. 
Freedom Empowers: When you trust employees to solve challenges in their own way, using their own natural abilities, they solve those problems quicker, more effectively, and more efficiently. The opposite of freedom and autonomy is control. The more management seeks to control employees, the more they limit employees’ potential for growth, creativity, and motivation. We Slides are for participants, not trainers. #training #trainers #trainthetrainer @atd #tipsfortrainers Slides are for participants, not trainers. #training #trainers #trainthetrainer @atd #tipsfortrainers #atdcore4 #atd #idealearninggroup #cafeterialearning Elephant in the room? Don’t ignore it. Address it. Follow @idea_learning and sign up for @tdcascadia Fundamentals of Training for more tips for trainers. #trainthetrainer #atd #tipsfortrainers 

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Whatever skills, behaviors, or concepts your workforce needs to rise to the next challenge—we’re here to help.

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