Skillsoft Blog

Perspectives 2010: E-Learning and the Power of Positive Thinking (It Really Does Work!)

By Julie Ogilvie

In a little over a month, SkillSoft customers will gather in Orlando, FL for the annual e-learning conference, Perspectives.   Maybe it’s because Perspectives comes in May, when we’re just emerging from our long New England winters, but it never fails to lift my spirits and make me thankful for the business I’m in.  Not only do I get to take a short break from the normal hubbub of daily life, but I also get to hear about the interesting and transformative programs our customers are doing.  I also get to know many of our customers better, and truthfully, a nicer, warmer group I have never met.

This year another reason I’m looking forward to Perspectives is the opportunity to hear our keynote speaker, Shawn AchorAchor is a Harvard University lecturer and one of the foremost leaders in the positive psychology movement, a branch of psychology that focuses on happiness and success rather than mental disorders.  The notion that there are steps we can take to increase our happiness is empowering and uplifting.  In a recent interview on, Achor put it this way:

“If you think you are unhappy and can’t change; then your brain is less likely to change.  The key to happiness is to remember we can keep growing and taking responsible for our own behavior. How we respond to reality can change that reality.”

That’s a powerful message, especially for those of us in the e-learning profession.  Our job is very often to change reality, whether it’s an organizational culture that’s weighed down with negativity, or a management style that relies on bullying, or a lackadaisical attitude toward projects and deadlines.  We are very often on the front lines of change, and when we model the behavior that we want others to adopt; we can be much more effective at bringing it about.  It reminds me of the name of a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, another relentlessly optimistic and spiritually-uplifting person: You’ll See It When You Believe It.  We need to really believe that e-learning makes a difference, and when we do, we will be able to motivate others like never before.

The theme of this year’s Perspectives, Propelling Business IQ, is all about creating that fast-paced, quick-thinking, positive culture that can propel your organization to new heights.  Our meeting in May will be the perfect opportunity for all of us to start feeling the power of positive thinking, and modeling the behavior that will bring about positive change.

I hope you will join us.  Perspectives registration closes on Wednesday, April 14, so please reserve your spot now.  And please tell me what you’d like to get out of the event in the comments.

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