An Evening with Thiagi

by Tamara Lewis

Tamara Lewis, Director of Alliance Relations, ATDChi

Tamara Lewis, Director of Alliance Relations, ATDChi

Thiagi’s wonderful sense of humor and improv skills supplied ATDChi members and guests an engaging, fun-filled dinner event.  After his two day workshop, Thiagi started his evening talk by demonstrating a card trick involving a psychic member of the audience.  He did this without an actual deck of cards.  We were amazed when another well-known ATDChi member stood up and presented the final card.  It was a great way to start his engaging talk.

He then gave each table an opportunity to come up with questions to ask him.  He described his listening to the questions as a needs analysis.  The questions were as follows:

  1. How do we get adults to perform when they don’t want to?
  2. When will our profession become obsolete?
  3. How did you really do that trick?
  4. Is ADDIE dead?
  5. What is the one best practice for doing rapid design?
  6. Where is training headed?
  7. Will MOOCs make a college degree obsolete?
  8. How do you make non-learning professionals understand what we do?

With never-ending wit and intelligence, Thiagi answered each question.  Yes, he even explained the card trick! There was also a question concerning what we can do when a client says they need a learning solution, but they really need a cultural solution.  He replied that culture takes five generations to change.  If you can accelerate it, it’s not cultural change.

Here are some key takeaways from the evening:

  • Trust your participants
  • Let the inmates run the asylum
  • He’s into an Agile model.  He called it the mashed potatoes model
  • Design in front of people – mash up the design and the delivery

The evening wrapped up with a raffle for a copy of Thiagi’s book and an opportunity to take photos and speak to Thiagi.

I think it’s safe to say that Thiagi’s talk brought us to our feet, opened our eyes, turned us completely around, and touched our hearts.  In other words, it was an evening that was entertaining and well spent.