Imagine my surprise this week when I heard that I was awarded the inaugural Jay Cross Memorial Award from the Internet Time Alliance.
You know when someone tells you something so unbelievable that it takes a few seconds to register before the penny drops? Well that was me this week.
I was soon overwhelmed (in a positive way) with the feeling that this was a huge honour. My mind tried to grapple how my work and blog posts, ramblings with social learning, experiments with vlogging, musings about knitting, QR codes, ukuleles, online communities, social networks, Yammer, Snapchat and everything else thrown into the mix was indeed, helping people.
Sometimes you know, I have my doubts. I think, “does anyone else find this interesting or is it just me? Am I annoying people with my incessant pontifications about my latest learning adventure? If I mention Casey Niestat or Snapchat one more time, will people be bored senseless?”
So as the notifications came in on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, email and personal phone calls, I was humbled by the wonderful support and feedback that people gave to me. What I learned was that what I thought were just ramblings on my blog were indeed ideas, prods and pokes for some people to take their own action and to have courage to share their own work and learning out loud in their own circles, communities or networks.
For that, I’m grateful that I helped them in this way.
I guess you could say in the words of Jay that I had my ‘a ha’ learning moment.
So this week, in between some deadlines with client work, I reflected on his latest body work before he passed away. You may recall that he was working on the “Real Learning Project”.
“The Real Learning project was going to be for people and small groups of colleagues who wanted to take their professional development in their own hands and take charge of their own destiny”. At the time, I recall thinking how difficult it would be to ‘sell’ real learning to organisational Learning and Development teams but I know that Jay’s thinking was much deeper than that.
He was inspiring us to take our own action – and not wait for others – and to do in our own way. After all, learning is personal.
So as I revisited his Real Learning blog this week, I thought about his work and this award.
I thought about my own personal growth in the last few years, the ups, the downs, the people I’ve met, the opportunities I’ve been given, the challenges I’ve come across and the new friends I’ve made along the way. Also, the things I learned about business development, website design, content marketing, business processes, relationship and network building to name a few as I moved from being a salaried employee to an independent consultant. When I compare to where I was some years back, to where I am today, I realise that it was all possible through real learning – and making it public so that I could help others on their own journey too.
It made me realise that this is what Jay was talking about all along. Even though he never got to finish his book, in The Real Learning Project “The book is simply an artefact” he said. What he was trying to do was to “lead a crusade” and bring about what we know about learning into the mainstream and create a community of co-learners. He was a man ahead of his time.
So with that, I’d like to thank the Internet Time Alliance, Jane Hart, Harold Jarche, Charles Jennings and Clark Quinn for this wonderful award. It’s an honour to receive it and continue to share the messages and work that Jay was crusading in our world. Thank you.
Addendum: I recently found out that Jay Cross had indeed completed the Real Learning book and it is available for purchase on this website.
Here are some photos and videos from the day of the Jay Cross Presentation:
The Periscope Video of the Presentation
— Con Sotidis (@LearnKotch) July 20, 2016