In the late 90’s, I was in charge of training and development in a product distribution company. I headed out on an annual pilgrimage to be inspired at a national training conference. This particular year, as I sat in my general session seat, something shifted for me. It would be easy to attribute the shift to the dynamic, A-list speakers who were all on their A game that day. But, the truth is that Tom Cruise was responsible for this life-altering change in perspective.
If you recall the story line of Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise’s character has an epiphany and writes a “manifesto” with a call to action to radically shift the way the sports agency he works in operates. It’s an inspiring, memorable moment in the film. Just as something radically shifted for Jerry, my view of the “work” I did shifted, too. Sitting in that conference, I had my own epiphany and was seriously inspired. On the plane ride home from the conference, I began to write my own Maguire manifesto, a call to action to shift the way we learned in the medium-sized company I had worked in for years.
If you have seen the movie, you remember that when Jerry shares his Manifesto, he doesn’t get the response he expected. In fact, it ends up pretty bad. In hindsight, I should have paid more attention to that part of the movie. My printed manifesto, distributed at the senior exec meeting with great passion, did little more than earn the annoyance of my boss, condolences of my colleagues and a punitive reduction in my personal travel budget.
But, like Mr. Maguire, my story doesn’t end with the passionate delivery of the Manifesto. That’s where my story begins. I learned a great deal about learning that day. I realized that the fuel required to create change is always internally sourced and it is always borne of personal experience. My Manifesto was a product of a powerful experience that fueled my desire for change. The problem was that the experience was not shared. If I wanted to create change (new learning) in a person, a team, an organization or in the world, I had to cultivate the ability to create shared experience.
This is why I chose 4MAT as my platform for change. Yes, 4MAT is a training design, delivery, coaching and leading model. More importantly, at the most basic level, 4MAT is a common language for creating experiences that have the power to create change and transform. Choosing what to apply the model to is where this gets really exciting.
Jeanine O’Neill-Blackwell is the President/CEO of 4MAT 4Business®, a consulting group that provides training and tools for leaders, managers and trainers on how to impact change by addressing the unique needs of all learners. The award-winning training design model, 4MAT®, is one of the most widely used instructional design and performance models in K-12 and is rapidly spreading in the corporate world. Jeanine has worked with global learning organizations focused on improving performance including 3M, Estee Lauder, Compassion International, Meeting Professionals International, Merck, The Center for Creative Leadership, Princess Cruises, and many more.
Jeanine frequently speaks as a keynote speaker and facilitator for national and international conferences focused on implementing training design and delivery in live and e-learning environments. She is the co-author of the training and development bestseller, Hold On, You Lost Me! Use Learning Styles to Create Training that Sticks, published by ASTD Press. She is also the author of numerous articles on applying learning styles to training and leadership.