Eleventh in our series of 30 Under Thirty interviews is Carl Meyers III, Senior Learning Tech Specialist with White Lodging Services.
Maestro: Tell me a little bit about your company and your role within it.
Carl: I am employed by White Lodging Services as an LMS Administrator and Training Developer. White Lodging Services is an independent hotel ownership, development, and management company. We currently manage over 160 hotels in 19 states throughout the U.S. We are six months into launching a brand new LMS for our organization. I spend the better part of my time marketing our product to the company as well as developing content for it. We previously delivered our content in printed form but my department’s focus has been to revitalize learning in our organization and to deliver content across all platforms to allow our managers the ability to access content in the moment of need. We want to keep folks on the job and not tied to a computer or having to lug around a 5 lb. binder. If we can we create a learning culture that drives organizational performance, then we’ll have done our jobs well.
Maestro: Tell me about some of the things you are doing to stay current in the world of learning.
Carl: I am constantly scouring the web for interesting insight and perspective. I find quite a bit of value in immersing myself in the thoughts, rants, and blurbs of members of the Learning industry. When I come across an article or blog post that gets me thinking differently I feel like I’ve stumbled on buried treasure. I’m also lucky enough to work for an organization that believes in continued development, so I have the opportunity to be part of groups like the eLearning Guild and Masie’s Learning Consortium. Having access to some of the greatest minds in the learning industry at the click of a mouse has really helped to keep me on the tip of the sword.
Maestro: What challenges do you see for the next generation of learning leaders - people like you?
Carl: That’s a difficult question! I really try to avoid subscribing to the generational stereotypes. It seems to me that every generation faces similar challenges, but the tools they are equipped with to face those challenges are the variable to me in the equation. Currently, we see quite a bit of trail blazing going on in the learning industry and I think it’s really important that the next generation of leaders don’t take their foot off the gas. We have a lot of work to do over the coming years and the enthusiasm, energy, and youthful insight from the next generation of leaders will prove to be invaluable.
Maestro: What excites you about the future of learning?
Carl: I’m REALLY excited about “Big Data” and the potential of the xAPI. During the Masie conference last fall, I was able to network with a great fellow – and also a 30 Under 30 member – James Mullaney, who works for HT2. What his team is doing with Curatr and the Learning Locker is really powerful stuff. As with anything revolutionary there is always fear of the unknown, speculation, and debate. If the industry can get this right, what we can do as educators, developers, trainers, and so on will be unprecedented. I see a future in learning where we have students that each has a personalized learning program. Their strengths and weaknesses identified early in their development, and a custom educational plan developed specifically for them. The potential of an entire generation of learners who have been developed based on their individual needs versus a standardized program is very exciting. Can you imagine a world where there is no longer “compliance” education, but a national (and even global) culture for learning?
Maestro: What advice do you have for companies struggling to keep up with the changing landscape of learning?
Carl: The landscape of learning is ever changing, as it should be. We are constantly provided with new research on how the human brain processes data, on technologies and methods for delivery, and development processes. My advice is that you have to be open to change at the most foundational levels of the organization. Very few companies are successful today following the strategies and processes they created decades prior. Evolution and change are necessary to stay relevant. Breakthroughs often happen without warning and as industry professionals, we need to be open-minded when they are presented. We owe at least that much to the individuals we are charged with educating and developing.
Interested in learning more about Carl?