Learning Amplifier

I am a big fan of mash-ups. The style of DJ built music that combines seemingly disparate style of music into what are arguably “new” songs. these mixes often surpass the originals and also do a great job of exposing new audiences to source material they may have never heard. In my role as a business strategist I have often used this as a means of creative strategy development. Take the way one industry solved a problem and bring it to a new one. Rick Rubin the Grammy-winning producer who has had hits with rap. heavy metal and Johnny Cash, just to name a few, is a role model of mine. So when I began looking at the art of learning it was natural for me to take the same genre-busting approach I had in other parts of my life.

Learning is far too important to be left in the hands of single branch of science. We are all lifelong learners and the advancement of our society requires that we find continuously improving means of helping individuals acquire new skills that allow improved performance. This transformational, not incremental will be challenging to some, exciting to many and will no doubt take us places we can only dream. The book from Edward O. Wilson, Consilience, with its now yellow pages and beaten cover is a great starting point for those interested in better understanding this vision.

5 Minutes That Drive $70 Million In Value
In the $7 billion enterprise learning market something that moves the needle 1% is kind of a big deal.  So why are we not experimenting more. It is not as if the science is not available. Not a day goes by without a new release of scientific studies expanding our understanding how our brains, social structures, environment and beliefs affect our ability to learn. Out jobs is to translate these findings into actionable elements of what I call the Performance Learning Stack.

The grandmasters of Kung Fu are dying out (based on a recent documentary I saw) but one of their teachings will live on in me.  In the documentary a grandmaster was asked about how he teaches the principles of kung fu and he said that he simply teaches the forms (a set series of movements) and is these age-old forms that teach the principles. Learners, executives and even most practitioners will never need to become neuroscientists, or meditation yogis or sports psychologists, rather they will simply need to learn the form. I don’t care about the scientific basis for my 250% increase in reading speed after just 20 minutes of training.  I just care that I can know better handle the tidal waves of content that fills my Instapaper. The challenge facing our industry is building the forms that optimize performance learning.

Form 1
The following five minute exercise is designed to increase focus, creativity, confidence, risk tolerance, determination, positive mood and commitment. All while reducing stress.  I would argue that this exercise has ability to improve your learners’ ability to get more from any training.  And even if it only moves the needle 1% why wouldn’t you give it a try.


 You can download the form’s instruction sheet here  The 5

You can see the research here

Learn to speed read here

2 Responses to “Learning Amplifier”
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  1. […] “bucket” the hacks from science, Eastern thought, sports psychology, learning theory etc.  My learning amplifier exercise was an attempt to capture a quick hack at improving the learner elements of the stack.  With each […]

  2. […] tools, reference material and “learn more” type content. I created one for my 5-minute Learning Amplifier exercise […]

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