Marcia Conner (@marciamarcia) works with senior leaders to put collaborative technologies into action. Because the challenges companies face are too big for individuals or organizations to solve alone, Marcia aligns social strategies with corporate culture to speed innovation, inform decision-making, and invigorate an organizationís value chain. Research topics often address real-time communication, internal social networks, microsharing for macro results, multi-generation business culture, information management for agile learning, and leadership preparedness. She is co-author of The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media, with Tony Bingham and author of the popular Fast Company column "Learning at all Levels." Former Vice President and Information Futurist at PeopleSoft and Worldwide Manager at Microsoft, she is a Fellow of the Altimeter Group and the Batten Institute at the Darden School of Business.
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Leola Chidester wrote on
my Kindergarten report card, "Although Marcia wants to be President, she'd
make a terrific teacher." She went on to explain that my constant curiosity
and endless energy could be used to help people learn new things and see different
points of view. Years later, after rethinking my political aspirations
on a train across Northern Africa, I recalled Mrs. Chidester's words and I
decided to pursue my passion for learning with a passion.
I have spent much of my life in corporations, often unraveling overly
cumbersome education departments, moving functions into the business line or
redesigning software programs so they don't require endless training. Over the
years this has required work in areas as diverse as business strategy, product development,
marketing, management, human resources, OD, interface design, usability, learnability,
publishing, and online community.
I've served as senior counsel to
corporations, schools, governments and non-governmental organizations. Over the last 25 years I have studied, lived and worked on three continents. I also authored
Learn More Now (John Wiley & Sons, 2004),
Creating a Learning Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2004),
wrote the forward to
Engaging Learning by Clark N. Quinn (Jossey-Bass, 2005),
and contribute to dozens of other magazines and books. I've also appeared on
ABC's World News This Morning and the BBC, as well as being quoted in the Wall Street Journal and Fortune
I'm ultimately interested in helping people
work together, tap into how they
learn so they can attain personal and professional success through means other
than lengthy and often costly traditional (even online) training programs. I
refer this as "liberating the social learner in each of us." I aim to educe a passion for learning in each person's soul, allowing for the
unconstrained pursuit of personal joys. I'm happy to report, I'm not alone in
On the personal
front, I'm married to a brilliant and handsome tennis coach,
Karl Conner. We have a young
son who keeps us humble and animals that keep us grounded. We live and
work on a 50-acre homestead in
Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. I whitewater canoe and
volunteer my time to talk with parents and teachers about creative solutions for
children who have learning disabilities.
In addition to my work with Altimeter Group and Fast Company, I head a team that quietly solves urgent business problems, stand up branded education organizations for small firms want to develop leading edge learning programs, facilitate workshops on
forms of organization design, social media and
complexity, and serve as
advisor to terrific executives around the
globe. I'm the sort of person who people call when they're unsure who to call. I have made a career of fixing problems and creating opportunities.
At work or at play, I love learning and helping other people
learn. I hate to see people miss out on what's interesting around them because
they haven't figured out how to master new information quicker. Sometimes this
knowledge-transfer happens in a classroom. Most of the time it happens
informally and when we least expect it.
I also love to share what I know and I am learning
so if you're interested in these same sorts of things,
let me know what
resources you've found particularly useful.
learning all ways,