Hi, I’m Jeff. I’m starting a new blog. Wow, that sounded like an Alcoholics Anonymous opening. Let’s start again.
I’m a new blogger on this website, but I’m not new to blogging. In prepping for this piece, I went back to some of my early stuff in 2006 and I rediscovered that the Winter Olympics were in (Turin) Italy, the human genome project finished it’s last chromosome sequence, and Borat dominated the comedy movie genre. But I digress.
The point is, I’ve been communicating through blogs for a long time. Cue your possible next question, “Yeah, but was any of it any good? I haven’t heard of you…” Obviously I’m speaking on behalf of those not following edu-bloggers. See, in education circles, I have a decent following, although jumping from blog site to blog site likely hasn't helped me. I’ve been asked to blog for Wired Innovations, Huff Post, and various Education Consulting groups over time. But if you aren’t in education, you may not know my stuff. So let’s see if I can tempt you as this blog will go far beyond education...
What Have You Ever Done?
I know to follow a blogger they need some degree of credibility – not too much, which is bragging, but enough to peak your interest. So let’s try this. For the past 4 years I have been the Chief Innovation Officer at a private university in Florida. I turned in my CIO title for a Chief Academic Officer / Executive Director title and now I'm back home in Denver. Before that, I traveled the world delivering keynote addresses in 38 different countries, every state but Alaska, and consulting with Governments, Councils, and Churches regarding transformation, change, technology, learning, and communication. I have been a "puppet master" for more than a dozen Alternate Reality Games for Education (I call them Alternate Reality Learning Experiences) over time. I worked my way through my Master’s program doing stand-up comedy. I was also an “in-house” care technician for a wing of disabled adults, while I worked on an internship that created the Colorado Children’s Code. I likely have more than 20,000 hours in front of audiences, I have taught (literally) hundreds of college students (both online and face to face), and I have two unpublished, yet completely finished great-American-novels on my hard drive and two non-fiction works on Education and Innovation. Oh, and at one point I was ranked 18th in the world for Am Disc Golf.
What Will You Do For Me?
Next, you need to know why my writing would possibly impact you. Fair enough. See, while I have been employed by or worked in or around education, my expertise is really in only a handful of things. As hard as I try, I can't claim to be the world’s best Dad or hubby, I know I’m not a better than average driver (I spent a lot of years delivering pizza), and I’m not going to tell you how to invest wisely, as I’m still trying to pay off student loans. But I can advise you about other things that might really matter to you.
I know communication. I can work a crowd of 10 or 10,000 with humor, poise, and driving home a point that matters. I have coached (elected) politicians, CEO’s, and University Presidents in the art AND skill of presenting. I can (and will) help you write a better email and run a better meeting. I’ll tell you what colors will help you get a job in an interview and help produce results when painted on the walls at your office. Check out my presentation site for more info.
I know innovation. I’ll share tidbits of my book on creating a culture of innovation regularly. I’ll show you how to get great ideas, debunk some urban legends about creativity, and prove that if your President / CEO isn’t innovating, neither are you. In doing so we’ll talk about communication plans, change management, and agile vs waterfall development. I’ll also try to persuade you that technology, which I have implemented and intentionally strategized around for years is not synonymous with innovation.
And yes, I know a thing or two about education. I’ll help shine a light on what went wrong with the education you probably received, while explaining how it could be done better, at scale. I’ll promote practical neuroscience, meaningful research which applies outside of educational walls, and show you how to send your kids through a better school experience. I’ll tie all of this to social learning, outcomes, active learning, and all sorts of $5 buzzwords with an eye for pragmatism.
Along the way, I suspect you’ll learn something. I suspect you’ll learn how to connect better. “Connect to what” you may ask? Everything. Because at the end of the day, that is probably what I’m best at – teaching others how to make connection happen. Whether you’re connecting to people, processes, ideas, or just about anything else, I will do my best to show you how to do it better, faster, and with more effect.
That’s my pitch, in less than 800 words. I hope you consider connecting with me for a while and see what we do together.
Good luck and good learning.