The Last Mile of Learning, Next Generation of Digital Learning

Concurrent Session 4

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This experience is for people interested in the results and lessons learned in creating the next generation of digital learning for leaders and managers. Prerequisites: Curiosity, Love of Learning.

The experience is a documented, two year, design experiment inside GE’s Brilliant YOU. Co-presenters from GE and partner, exper!ence it, will reveal for the first-time publically the 3-Episode Series, The People Development Factory. This is a story and character driven, episodic series that immerses the participants inside an intellectually challenging and emotional engaging roller coaster ride of deep learning and engagement that has changed digital learning.


Don Jones is the founding president of exper!ence it inc., a Toronto-based company that specializes in experiential learning. Over the past 30 years, Don has achieved a reputation as one of the foremost designers of sophisticated management and leadership business simulations in the world. Don is an accomplished consultant, researcher, speaker and author. His organization has designed, delivered and implemented large-scale corporate change and experiential learning programs for multi-national, Fortune 500 companies in over 20 countries. Primary Areas of Expertise Design He is a designer of innovative, distinctive and immersive business simulations. Don has created strategically important leadership and development projects for corporations such as Whirlpool, Boeing, P&G and Microsoft. 70,000 people throughout North America, Europe, South America and Asia have experienced his simulations. Thought Leader in Contextual Intelligence He is a recognized thought leader in human learning and contextual intelligence. His Contextual Intelligence Transformation Model™ has been adopted by a number of corporations and is being taught to thousands of GE leaders globally. Don is currently working on a book entitled Context Trumps Content and has written an article by the same name. Facilitator/Keynote Speaker Don’s work in the world of experiential learning has been featured in numerous publications, including the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine and the Financial Post. He has been a keynote speaker at international leadership conferences from corporate gatherings to Olympic teams. His literary work, Walk Softly and Carry a Big Idea, a leadership and management fable has been translated into several languages and distributed internationally.
Natalia is a senior designer & strategist who is responsible for the Product Management Function & Leadership Development Portfolio at GE Crotonville. She hosts immersive programs where emerging leaders build upon their vision and explore peak performance models for thinking, motivation, risk, and decision making. Thousands of leaders go on to grow in their careers, often reporting news of promotions, customer success, and experience greater levels of personal fulfillment. During her tenure at GE, she led Product Education and Organizational Development at GE Healthcare. During her tenure, she was known for her study of Net Promoter Score as a customer satisfaction and loyalty metric, in which she found 10 Key Service Related Behaviors that Promote higher scores. Her study was featured at the NPS Satmetrix Conference in San Francisco in 2009. Her methods have been deployed world wide: 'My boss just gave me your book to read about improving NPS: I started using the triggers that you have listed and yes, it works!' – G. Battault, True Clarity Business Development Executive, Thailand. 'I learned more about connecting emotionally with the customer, rephrasing things to make customers feel more of a connection, better ways to diffuse conflicts and unhappy customers, and more technical to keep better control of the calls.' Natalia was recently awarded for her contributions towards building the future of GE as a premier digital industrial company. She received several GE Growth Leader awards for attaining over 30% growth in her business line through the development of Education and Consulting Tools and Services. She was presented several GE Healthcare Awards for her work in performance improvement, and automated service tools for Product Implementation and Knowledge Management, removing millions of dollars of cost. Natalia hosts business development workshops and leadership events, and is a Co- Founder of The Center for Advanced Learning and Mentorship.

Extended Abstract

This presentation is for any audience level interested in the challenges and lessons learned in creating the next generation of digital learning experiences for leaders and managers. Prerequisites: Curiosity, Ambition and a Love of Learning.

Today’s knowledge platforms are leading to massive amounts of modularized content deployed globally, yet learning is strongly linked to individual motivation and an ability to think contextually while making necessary connections.

How do you balance the need for scalability and still provide the learner with an experience that makes the last mile significantly different than the rest of the ‘mass transit’ journey?

Designers of digital learning experiences have often struggled to deliver rich, engaging, customized worlds for unique leaders, but that’s changing.

In this session we will explore the findings from a two-year design experiment inside GE’s Brilliant You Learning Platform. Co-Presenters from GE’s Leadership Development Institute and partner, exper!ence it inc., will reveal the 3-Episode Series, The People Development Factory. This is a story and character driven series that immerses participants inside an intellectually challenging and emotionally engaging leadership learning and engagement experience.

 The bumps and lessons we learned along the way will be shared and the audience will experience the simulation in real time, including the following discussions:

  • The Learning Galaxy - Ownership, Authorship, Relationship and Mentorship (Four learning principles that drive experiential design)
  • Team Make-Up and Working Process (Blurred lines between: Learning & Creative + Technology)
  • Bleeding Edge vs. Leading Edge Technology (Leading Edge is Enough)
  • Design: It is all about DESIGN.
  • Story: Digital learning is only scratching the surface of leveraging story.
  • Character: 5 people spent 6 months fully dedicated to developing the character story arcs. It was worth it.
  • The Digital Mentor: Providing digitally customized ‘employee’ 180 degree expert coaching feedback to every learner.
  • Transfer to Application: The Digital Mentor is customized for Mobile Devices for real-time coaching, encouragement, just-in-time tools and ongoing support.
  • The Economics of the Learning Business have Already Changed: Large Distribution systems are changing the game.

This session will be co-presented by the client and external partner. It is a hands on, lively, engaged session, focused on practical insight and applications back on the job including:

  • Hands On: Participants will download, where possible, or used table-based iPads to experience The People Development Factory.
  • Interactive Team Experience: of the two-year experience, learning bumps and lessons learned, presented in the form of a learning map. Participants will interact with each other around the map exploring how the lessons learned apply to their most pressing learning needs.
  • with four to six others around key lessons that came from the two-year experiment.
  • Specific On The Job Examples: will be discussed in detail providing both the client and the external partner perspectives on learning, design and delivery.
  • The Learning Galaxy Experiential Table Game: A table game created around the four main principles of the reconceptualization of learning theory: Ownership, Authorship, Relationship and Mentorship. The focus is on how each of the four forces affect your learning audience now and how you can leverage them.

The participants will:

  • Discover a new way to think about learner’s and learning. The Learning Galaxy.
  • Apply the principles of The Learning Galaxy - Ownership, Authorship, Relationship and Mentorship in creating incredible engagement.
  • Explore the importance of, and learn How To, leverage Story and Character in your next program.
  • Be inspired by the potential of Digital Learning to transform learning.
  • Reevaluate the importance of curiosity and diversity on your next design project team.