Douglas Crets


Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

Iterate It Till You Make It.

This comment by Mike O’Horo at AVC shows you how thinking about education is important, no matter what indusry you are in, or no matter how long you have been out of the formal education system. But here is the main caveat, there needs to be a way of making lifelong learning easy, measurable, precise, and somewhat standardized so that while education will always be democratic, it should remain meritocratic

Education is a part of any jobs process. You get into a role at a company, you will always want to improve, even if you feel that there are no incentives for you to improve. 

Education as a system loses its formality and turns into a lifelong process after we exit public, or private, systems. that process is inherently informal, and loose. There are so many ways to get that education. For those of us who climb the corporate ladder, learning is essential, unless you are content to just step on others’ backs to make it in this world (a methodology that should not work so well in the world of mainstream rumor blogs and very savvy bloggers). 

We need to safeguard learning, and really incentivize open and helpful systems so that the very best can succeed, and so as many of us as possible can be the very best. 

If you are an entrepreneur, I can’t think of anything more important than learning-while-you-work, or, as the software industry has labeled it, iteration. 

Read the comment below to get the full jist of why education as an informal social system is the future, and the challenges an informal, “shadow” education system faces as it makes it possible for all of us to rise in society. 

Mike O’Horo writes:

For 20 years I trained and coached senior partners in BigLaw, i.e., the largest US law firms, to sell to Corporate America.  Because of the high-touch, just-in-time nature of the tactical coaching, I could only train 20 lawyers at a time.  Though we produced dramatic economic results, we suffered from five limitations common to human-delivered training: 1) I wasn’t scalable.  There was no way I could train the hundreds of lawyers whose performance the firms wanted to improve 2) I was expensive.  Even if there somehow were enough of me, nobody could afford to train a large population at those unit costs. 3) I was synchronous.  Self-explanatory. 4) I wasn’t measurable.  Sure, we got kudos for large, high-profile victories, but we never really knew whether the lawyers were learning and getting better, or merely enjoying the advantage of having a ringer on their side when competing against other amateurs. 5) Inconsistency.  While I had a consistent and proven methodology, if you hired enough “me’s” to cover a large population, you’d have a management nightmare of different philosophies, vernacular, etc. Worse, perhaps in my application, such services were not available to SmallLaw, the 500,000 lawyers practicing solo or in firms of 10 or fewer.  I couldn’t afford to call on them and they couldn’t afford to hire me. That’s why we created RainmakerVT, the world’s first interactive virtual sales training for lawyers.  In our virtual world, lawyers manage an avatar through simulated networking events, sales calls, beauty contests, etc.  At each “say/do” decision point, they select from among five responses, and receive response-sensitive video coaching that explains the subtlety and nuance of why that choice is or isn’t optional.  We’ve built a quickie Practice Mode that lets them refresh and prepare in five minutes before applying the skill in the real world, and a Ready Mode that demonstrates that they’ve actually learned and internalized the skill. Those in this vibrant commenting community willing to invest 20-30 minutes to experience our demo and provide feedback will be much appreciated.  Go to and click on either of the Demo buttons. Thanks in advance for your blunt candor. Mike


Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Work, ,

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