My 2019 Roundup

I’ve had a awesome crazy amazing 2019, and I wanted to share a few highlights, personal and professional, that have made my year!

Finished my Masters degree in Professional Education & Training

This degree saw me become a part-time hermit, read so many research papers that I thought my brain would explode, and cry on more than one occasion.

More than anything though it gave me an appreciation for how much of a journey professional learning is. How much learning is irrevocably linked to our egos, identities, and preconceptions. How much we box up and pigeonhole learning into professions and tight areas when really it’s learning along the boundaries between them that’s full of the most tenacious issues. How much learning is vulnerable, and messy, and if you’re doing it properly, it can sometimes make you feel really crappy.

There’s a long way to go for organisations to foster learning environments that acknowledge all of those things. It involves divorcing themselves from an always-hustling-always-winning mentality, building feedback systems that are constructive instead of defensive, valuing people as themselves warts-and-all, and treating failure as a potent and effective driver towards betterness.

We’re a long way away from that. I hope that eventually, I can help build something that helps us get there.

Did a standup comedy routine

I’ve found public speaking difficult and scary since I was in my teens. I have done a lot to try and knock it on its head – becoming a corporate trainer is one way to do that – but while that fear has lessened over time, it’s never completely left.

So I decided to do standup since that completely terrifies me. I did a 10-week course feeling like the most unfunny person ever for the vast majority of it. On October 17th I got up on stage and did a set in front of a packed out comedy club. People laughed! I had a ton of fun and did something I never believed I’d be able to do.

There is a recording out there somewhere… if you want to hear me say unforgivable things about the Queen, share anecdotes about pigeons, and explain why you should never play Scrabble with me, then get in touch via the Contact link at the top of this page 😉

Second from the left doing a happy mad goon face.

Spoke at ICMI Connections Conference

This was my first proper speaking gig, and I did standup as a way to prep for it.

I’ve blogged about it here so head over if you’d like to read a summary of that.

This was especially significant for me as it’s a marker of how much change can happen in three years.

Almost exactly three years prior to this I arrived in Canada and started work at Comm100. Almost immediately after I had started there, Comm100 very kindly offered to send me to ICMI Demo 2016, in Dallas, Texas.

Little old me had never travelled much of America before so I was stupidly excited. I was completely thrilled to find a world of people who thought just like I did. Where I’d been a bit of a lonely customer service geek in the UK, here I was among people who talked my language, challenged me, and helped me to think in new ways about the things I thought I knew inside out.

Over the course of this three years I am immensely lucky and privileged to have made some of those people I saw on stage back in 2016 my friends and people who I work alongside daily in my work for CX Accelerator. Being able to be on stage myself three years later and share what I’d learned to others who maybe were in the same position as I was three years ago… that is immensely gratifying.

What’s coming in 2020?

I’m going to be writing about my Masters dissertation in some detail. I poured everything I had into it towards the latter half of the year, so I’ve needed to put it down and take a breather. Now I am ready to get back on it.

I’m going to be working harder than ever at Comm100 to build an amazing new education function as we continue to grow the company.

And I’m going to be working ever closer with the CX Accelerator team to pull off some amazing new achievements for our community.

2020 is going to be wild. Thank you for hanging out with me to hear about my 2019, and I’m wishing you all the best for a wonderful 2020!

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