I considered pulling a Walking Dead and (SPOILER ALERT) not answering the question in the title until my next column, but that wouldn’t really align with the whole idea of knowledge sharing, would it? So, you can skip to the bottom of the article for the answer right now, or you can follow along and be rewarded at the end for sticking with me. After all, meaningful user choices are part of effective experience design!

The eLearning Guild has invited me along for the ride as its newest columnist for Learning Solutions Magazine, and I’m super excited and grateful for the opportunity. Admittedly, sitting alongside veteran contributors like Jane Bozarth and Marc Rosenberg is a bit daunting. After all, Jane was the first L&D person I ever met in person via Twitter, and Marc has shared a pile of great stuff that I continue to use as a resource in my daily work.

Authors always say they bring a unique perspective to their writing, and I’m about to make the same claim. Be sure to tell me how accurate you think I am via comments. That said, I’ve had a few interesting jobs during my 15-plus years in corporate operations, learning, and performance. Telling you a little about them may help you better understand my vision for modern workplace learning.

Many people know me from Kaplan, where I was director of learning technology and development, and led internal training tech, instructional design and development, and overall learning strategy within the higher-education side of the business. Before Kaplan, my time with Disney was split across a variety of roles. I designed and delivered custom learning solutions for cast members and management in every line of business at the Walt Disney World Resort. I piloted 10-minute boat tours of the world’s most exotic rivers as a Jungle Cruise skipper. I managed the busiest corner of the world’s busiest theme park as a guest service manager in Frontierland. It was a small yet dynamic world. I also spent time immersed in the business of global supply chain logistics as well as cinematic entertainment. That brings me to my current role as principal learning strategist with Axonify. We work with organizations in a myriad of industries to improve employee knowledge and behaviors in order to solve business problems and realize measurable outcomes. What do you think? Unique?

I hope the perspective I’ve gained as a result of this semi-transient career path will hold your interest as I share a new article on the third Tuesday of each month. After all, I have been the L&D director. I have been the operational manager. I have been the instructional designer. I have been the frontline employee. I use this collective perspective whenever I formulate and share my ideas on what workplace learning must become to drive real business results in today’s marketplace.

I’m direct, open, and sometimes a bit irreverent. I also consider myself pretty funny, but that’s for you to decide. My goal is to provide you with practical ideas you can use within your organizations now to elevate your learning and performance strategies and deliver real value to your stakeholders, employees, and customers. Each month, we’ll focus on a popular topic, such as measurement, learning technology, knowledge sharing, gamification, or microlearning. We’ll reach beneath the surface and beyond the hype to explore common-sense ways you can leverage these concepts to evolve learning and performance in your organizations. Theories and principles are great, but this column is about what works in real life.

I have one more thought to share before you get your answer. I consider myself to be both an L&D person and an operations person. I enjoy speaking about workplace learning and performance with both audiences, and I believe L&D can derive considerable value from expanding our discussions to include stakeholders within the client group we typically refer to as “the business.” To that end, I will select topics and share ideas in ways that will make it easy for you to forward this column along to your peers in logistics, sales, compliance, operations, retail, food and beverage, etc. Let’s use this opportunity to start a bigger conversation about modern workplace learning and really bring about change in our organizations!

And finally, the letters “JD” are just my initials. Hi, I’m John Dillon. Yes, JD Dillon is awkwardly redundant, but it’s also highly Googleable. Join me next month as we start to dig in and explore what it really means to “modernize learning” in the ever-changing world of work!