Different Backgrounds Make for Great Collaboration in Learning Technology Innovation!

I recently had a conversation with my co-worker Taunya MacDonald, and as we discussed how each of us started our careers, we realized how different each of our journeys have been to end up working together to change the future of Learning Technology. When the conversation ended, I couldn’t stop thinking about how diverse career paths can converge to lead to amazing collaboration and innovation. I thought it would be fun to write this blog with her to illustrate how different roads can lead to solving a shared problem.

Where We Started

Leah (VP, Operations @ LearnExperts): I began my career in the supply chain industry and worked for Ottawa based manufacturing companies such as Warners Canada, Viavi (formerly JDS Uniphase) and Solace in traditional roles like Master Scheduler, Buyer and Production Planner. I quickly realized I had an aptitude for learning about and training others on the software tools used to help with supply chain planning. This led me to an Ottawa based supply chain software provider, as a consultant implementing software as a service for clients and learning all about the software development process.

Taunya (Director, Customer Success @ LearnExperts): I started my career designing user interfaces for software, but found it very solitary and decided to go back to school to become a teacher. I taught English as a second language abroad. After returning I worked as an elementary school teacher when an opportunity came up for a role as a corporate trainer for a software company, it was the perfect mix between the two things that I loved doing and I never looked back. Since then, I have worked for many years as a high-tech instructor and then held various roles creating and managing learning programs for high-tech organizations, where I first met Leah.

When We Identified our Passion for Learning

Leah: Teaching came naturally to me since my father was an elementary school teacher for 30 years. Some of my earliest memories are of me in my basement with our big chalkboard giving lessons to a few of my dolls and stuffed animals whom I arranged in chairs set up like desks in a classroom. And every year from kindergarten to grade 12 my “What I want to be when I grow up list” had teacher as #1. My mother worked in business and when the time came to head to post secondary education, to everyone’s surprise, including my own, I headed into a business program specializing in materials management, which filled my other passion for planning and organizing.

Taunya: If you asked school-aged Taunya what she wanted to be she would have told you a teacher. I have always had a passion for helping and leading people, but as I got older and the tech industry was really booming my focus changed to high-tech and led me to pursue information systems in university. It was there that I became a teaching assistant and rediscovered my passion for training and learning and influenced the choices I made in the tech industry.

Coming Together to Identify a Common Problem

Leah: Early on I noticed how important training was to drive the success of both individuals and companies. Internally for new employees joining an organization and externally for customers when learning new technologies. As a subject matter expert, I was often asked to help with developing and delivering training, both ad hoc as a consultant or in a traditional classroom style when our training department was short staffed. What became clear to me was how important role-based learning paths and experiential learning is to driving effective adoption of any new technology or subject. And to do it right, creating the content that addresses the learning each role needs, takes a lot of time with traditional processes.

Taunya: I was in the training department that Leah is referencing. Various projects brought us together and as we talked, we realized we were experiencing the same issue. The process to create courses to train people quickly was slow and inefficient (and still is today!), which delayed our ability to train at the right time. We would often talk about how it would be helpful to use technology to speed up the process, but at the time it did not exist.

Our Passion and Focus to Transform the Online Training Industry Through AI

Leah: That brings us to today. Our journey led us to both join LearnExperts where we are solving the problem that we experienced, the right way. Our platform achieves rapid course creation through AI and is set to accelerate course content to train sooner and grow revenue faster. The result means faster and more effective training that drives adoption and retains customers and employees. Every day I want our clients to achieve the outcomes that make them successful. The LearnExperts team embraces our diverse backgrounds and passions that bring us together to collaborate towards a shared vision and it’s exciting!

Taunya: I’m passionate about our mission and work to understand the current industry benchmarks and advances in learning, through our Center of Excellence, to influence our key features and add value for our customers. My team and I bring expertise and thought leadership from over 100+ years (collectively) in creating large learning programs, certification, learning delivering and delivery platforms for employees, partners, customers, and academic audiences. Every day I want our clients to benefit from all this expertise that’s built into our platform. This expertise differentiates us and hearing from our clients and our expert connections across the industry on what they need is inspiring.

Have you and your colleagues come together in unique ways? We’d love to hear them! Share in the comment section.

...and of course, if you need to accelerate training in your organization, reach out so we can show you how LearnExperts AI (LEAi) can help you accelerate!

Leah McGuire,

VP, Customer Success

Taunya MacDonald,

Director, Center of Excellence