Jay Cross

Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on January 9, 2009 at 11:44 pm


It is great to interact with people who don’t need to be instructed in the rules for brainstorming. Thank you for your suggestions; the words are prodding me to flesh out my vision of what’s taking shape.

First of all, this is a non-profit endeavor. The goal is to change the world. Participants will be rewarded with karma. Of course, when you change the world enough, and people notice. Our name can’t be frivolous, for that doesn’t match the dream.

Our primary purpose is fostering innovation in learning in organizations. My interest is in corporations, but learning underlies everything in life, so it’s not a business-only deal.

The economic spasms shooting around the globe are the precursor to a new age. The rigid, mechanical, predictable, slow-moving, top-down industrial age is giving way to flexible, erratic, rapid-fire, empowering web of relationships. Things are not going to snap back to “normal,” for we’re redefining normalcy.

This phase change makes the times ripe for bold experiments and unprecedented innovation with human learning. On the one hand, yesterday’s classrooms and workshops are too slow, cumbersome, and expensive to meet today’s needs. On the other, we know that people learn best from one another in the context of working with one another. Economic turmoil and survival instinct can force staid corporations to get serious about the social, networked, peer, sharing, bite-sized, need-driven, self-serve, collaborative learning we’ve been talking about amongst ourselves.

Our group will host challenging conversations among well-meaning people from multiple disciplines. Not just learning and organization development and knowledge management consultants, but also mash-ups of cognitive scientists, labor leaders, CFOs, anthropologists, psychologists, historians, executives, and others.

Our agenda is change. We’re trying to influence business culture, not start a school or produce erudite white papers. I’m leery of names that smack of theory instead of practice. These are too theoretical: emergent, meta-, competenz, education, knowledge. The word learning itself is dangerously close to the line.

Positive words are next, commons, innovation. I wish we find a way to shoehorn in concepts like humanism, holistic, and heartwarming, too.