The term hack has had quite a life since it came on the scene around 1150.  Associated with everything from cleaver to clever, it has evolved and remained relevant.  Widely associated with computer programming languages the term hack has come to be understood as a “shortcut”, a “fix”, a new way to do something using pre-existing means. For example a college cooking “hack” is using your upside down iron to make grilled cheese ala dorm (allrecipes.com has an entire section dedicated to it here).

We chose the term hack deliberately.  It reflects the imperfect, non-traditional, playful spirit we approach training and development.  To be clear, we don’t think that today’s practioners are bad or that the current approaches are wrong.  We simply think that today’s business environment has changed dramatically from the one that existed only 10 years ago.  Combine this with the emergence of a slew of new technologies and add new generations of learners with fresh expectations to the mix and we can’t think of a better time to take a fresh look at how training and development is done.

Learning Hackers

Rick Harris

Rick has more than 30 years’ experience in leadership development and strategy execution. After earning a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Cornell University he worked for two start-up consulting firms in the Boston area. In 1980 he began a 20 year association with The Forum Corporation, during which he held several leadership positions including Managing Director for the UK (London) and Global Head of Research (Boston). He also sat on Forum’s Board of Directors.

In 2000 Rick started his own firm coaching individual leaders and consulting to leadership teams in a wide array of industries—high technology, media, advertising, financial services, healthcare, aerospace, and energy. He also acts as a mentor to entrepreneurs leading growing consulting firms.

White papers and articles at www.rch-phd.com.

J. Anthony Miguez (Jay)

A seasoned strategist, product professional and serial entrepreneur, J. Miguez has spent his entire career driving growth for companies through innovative solutions. He has spent the last 20 years at the intersection of Learning & Development and innovation.

He was the architect and lead consultant for the Forum Corporation’s strategic training assessment offering working with global 1000 companies where he was responsible for large-scale implementation of client solutions for companies such as Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Natwest Banks, Du Pont, Leo Burnett and the Vanguard Company.

He designed and launched the Training Outsourcing offering by Franklin Covey, later acquired by Mellon. J. has previously held the position of Senior Talent Solutions Architect for Aon Hewitt focused on bringing new approaches, solutions and partnerships to clients. Throughout his career J. has worked with clients around the world on optimizing their learning organizations to meet today’s business challenges of speed, flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness.

J. has also founded two successful startups, was an organizer of StartItUpDE (a public-private partnership that launched the Delaware tech ecosystem) and is an advisor to investors, founders and large corporations. He has taught entrepreneurship as part of the Social Entrepreneurship program at Tulane University and has also served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for The Idea Village, a nonprofit for New Orleans-based startups.

Currently, J. is focused on bringing the best practices used by fast growing startups to Learning & Development functions in large organizations.

J also writes “Grow Up” a blog dedicated to business growth strategies and his goal of being the Rick Rubin of business.


NOTE: The opinions expressed here are solely those of the authors and do not reflect those of any organization foolish enough to employ the hackers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: