Cognition - Day 1

  • 5 October 2023
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Cognition - Day 1
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It was such a packed day of information and interactions! I know some of that is because so many people worked so hard to make this week a reality. Thanks particularly to Jaclyn Blake and Michael Daecher for all the herding cats that they have done to get through to today.

Every conference starts off with a welcome message, but WOW! what a message! Robin Wadsworth is one of the best out there to get the thoughts moving in the right direction. She knows how to bring the interest and target the themes every single time. And this is the third time I've seen her do it. Adapt! Innovate! Scale!

Which led up to BARRY KELLY , where the comments were all about how natural his presentation was, and how nice it would be to go for a beer with him. Which is true. But the story he wove was really about Thought Industries - how the past has shaped the present as we move into the future. 10 years! In software time, that's old! The story was certainly one of progress, of the advent of panorama (one of the best things we do here), the investment in people, both as customers and employees, and the nod to the future of AI in all of the places it can appear.

And then came the keynote from Donald Clark. I first met him through one of his books - Learning Experience Design. And his latest is perfect for where I am right now - Artificial Intelligence for Learning. So his conversational tone while he discussed how AI can impact what we do in learning, and how we can leverage it, and some of the great stories, was just right. I'm going to have to go back and listen again, just to take better notes.

The customer keynote this year was presented by Raghu Viswanathan. I called him one of the visionary leaders in customer education, and he's the one that started me on my 80/20 journey. The work that the MongoDB team has done is absolutely some of the best out there. And they did it with a variety of tools, including #Helium. He shared a little about what it looks like. It looks REALLY good!

SongDivision is helping out with the breaks, and man, are these folks good! They keep the energy moving, and tell some funny tales, and get the music flowing.

The afternoon divided into tracks. Track I started out with my #cedma buddy Donna Weber and I talking about transforming the customer experience to be more impactful. She referenced her book Onboarding Matters as a good source of information. And she's right. It really is. Personas, meeting people where they are, jobs to be done, are all key to building an impactful customer experience.

From there, I went into a great Q&A with Cary T. Self and Karen Swindells on measuring your practice. We got so many great questions from the listeners. It was great to talk about important metrics, and even thinking about how to manage the reporting. I think the takeaway for me was twofold: (1) measuring has a maturity level from the most basic totals and averages to more complex metrics; and (2) alignment is key - align with leadership and make sure you're speaking their language.

Track II started out with one of my favorite people, Julie Cochrane, talking about her program and the growth they have experienced in their enterprise learning program at Charles River Development. I love listening to the CRD story.

That was followed by more of my favorite people getting together to focus on the business of learning: John Leh led the discussion with Bill H.Amy Farber and Aaron Lundberg and how they leverage education and a driver of revenue. They all run powerhouse organizations, and it was great to listen to their stories.

And Robin was back at the end to sum it all up, and queue up tomorrow. I'm not as exhausted as I thought I'd be, and it sure feels great to have this day to reflect on. I'll have to go back and listen to a couple again, just to better orient to the information.

See you tomorrow?

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