Thank you, 2018!

Year of 2018

Sum-up: From being unemployed through #2 behind Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States of America at the ATD International Conference and Exposition, to seven stitches on my face (not to mention a near escape form Moscow, Russia).

Let’s not jump too far ahead. Dear reader, here’s to the year of 2018, and lessons learned for me (and may be practical for you as well)!!

January, 2018

The year started out with something I’ve never tried before: being unemployed. In the middle of a journey to find my next challenge, the first day of this year was strange. In your head you know it’s just a question of time to find the next big thing. In your heart, it’s a different story…

But, I didn’t have much time to lament. By the time I got to the ATD TechKnowledge conference to speak about gamification, I was a learning consultant at Kineo. And so, with Julie Dirksen and Karl Kapp, we were addressing life and universe of L&D.

Coincidence? Four conferences later, at DevLearn in Las Vegas!! It’s almost like of those “Spot the differences” game! I mean, look Julie’s glasses!! Does she wear it on her head all the time or what? And yes, you probably spotted the band aid above my eye. More to come on that later.

You had one job! You know what this is down here? Have you ever mailed books in a package? Then you know, the USPS sticks a tracking code on top, so we can see where the books go online. You’re wrong!!

That tracking code is not tracking where the content of your package go. No, no, no! They’re tracking where the barcode go. Now, you may say it’s the same thing but it’s not! What you see in this picture is the TOP of the box I sent to the conference with my books inside. We tracked them, they arrived. Actually, the top of the book (seen on the picture) arrived. The box under it, and with that, my books never. So, please! If you are a USPS person who scans a piece of box with a code on it and you don’t find it interesting that there’s nothing under that piece, I think you need TRAINING!!!

Anyways, always look on the bright side of the box! I brought some books with me. It was my first ever book signing. I didn’t really write these books to sell them but I was nervous if anyone shows up. They did! Thank you so much for those who invested in my work!

Another coincidence? Look who’s on next year’s ATD TK brochure (as Mell Milloway pointed out with her finger)! Same two people 🙂

One of the benefits of conferences is networking. You see people IRL (in real life) that you only know online. That’s true for both people you’re following and those who follow you. And books. More books. If you’re interested in reading good books, here’s a list.

 

February – April, 2018

I started working as a learning consultant for Kineo. You may not know me but if you’re an instructional designer, you’ve probably read the Accidental Instructional Designer by Cammy Bean. Now we both work at Kineo.

And I promise this is the last time (but one), I’ll mention books. In the spring, I travelled with clients providing consultation on how to solve complex problems in the digital age. (Yes, it does involve xAPI, content curations, JavaScript, AI, natural language processing, and other stuff but behind all of this is one thing: data literacy. More to come on that.)

May 2018

I opened my session at the ATD International Conference and Exposition in San Diego, CA in May with a statement:

Ten years ago, here in San Diego, was my first ATD conference. I was amazed by Malcolm Gladwell’s brilliant thinking, Patrick Lencioni’s dysfunctional team (good read), and all the presenters. But my biggest takeaway from the conference was people. Connecting with people, understanding what’s happening in the industry, sharing practical best practices and worst failures… I also hoped that one day, I’ll have the knowledge and courage to take the stage and share something worth sharing. 

Sometime little things make a big different. Like your last name in the alphabet 🙂

If nothing else, in the last ten years, I’ve seen more and more hands going up when I ask who knows about Cathy Moore’s action mapping. Do yourself a favor, and take a look at the action mapping process. You can solve half of your issues with implementing one way or another.

As for the process of figuring out what solutions the client needs, you can now use Might Cards.

Talk to people, share you concerns, fears, problems, ideas. Prototype things. Playtest. Engage the WORL&D!

And again, you never know who needs that spark, inspiration, idea or complete solution out there! You never know who’s listening! You think you have nothing interesting to share? One’s garbage is someone else’s treasure. Don’t wait until once a year you go to a conference. Keep sharing online! Make friends!

Sometimes it takes years to meet someone IRL…

 

August, 2018

I had the chance to speak about gamification at a conference in Moscow. Of course, it was a trip to remember for years to come… For various reasons. From Russia with love:

After receiving my 007 visa, I landed in Moscow. Of course Aeroflot/Delta lost my luggage, so I had to but a set of clothes for the dinner with the minister of education of Moscow. But first, a quick “Cheescake Frappuccino” from Starbucks.

All in all, it was a successful international session, followed by a TV station interview.

But if you see me IRL next time, ask me about why my watch flew to DC instead of Philadelphia.

October, 2018

In October, I met many enthusiastic L&D folks at the ATD Core 4 in New Orleans and at DevLearn in Las Vegas.

 Lots of people gathered for the first Articulate User Conference where I helped out while Mel Milloway was doing her JavaScript session.

We talked lots of xAPI with Megan Torrance (aka Queen of xAPI)…

…and eLearning with guru Ashley Chiasson on the future of eLearning, Storyline and all. And unfortunately, I missed the eLearning Heroes gathering (thanks for adding me virtually).

And I’m sure you’re all wondering about that band-aid… A day before the trip I was playing soccer. I even scored, we were winning when I had a clash with a defender. I ended up at the ER with seven stitches (and maybe a very light concussion?) but when or professionals calls it calls. You would not want to miss your own AR session!

Meanwhile in Chicago… Good dinner, talk and data. Or, as Trish put it we talked about Life, the Universe & Everything.

And the year wasn’t even over… This year I’ve done an experiment. I’ve posted a dozen articles on elearningindustry.com to see what resonates with L&D folks, what’s useful for you out there. Here’s the list of the articles if you’re interested:

https://elearningindustry.com/members/zsolt-olah

Apparently, the most visited article was the first post in a series of detailed design tips. And the most shared article was my very first one about 5 Design Steps of Learning Engagement for Humans.

I’ve also been honored to be a guest on TLDC chatting about my Mighty Cards for action mapping, and Instructional Designers in Offices Drinking Coffee podcast. I wanted to thank everyone who made 2018 an exciting, great year! I can’t wait to meet 2019.

About the Author olahzsolt@hotmail.com

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