He may be new to the Kineo US team, but with over 20 years of experience
in learning, Chip Cleary, VP of Solutions & Consulting, is already using his expertise to make an impact on client projects.
With a background in management consulting and leading design teams, an MBA from University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Chip has a solution-focused mindset that's ready to tackle even the most complicated challenges.
Learn more about Chip with some Q&A.
You have a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. Tell me a bit about that. What was your dissertation on?
I studied with Roger Schank at the Institute for Learning Sciences. That was a wonderful place where a group was trying to put together ideas from cognitive science and education along with technology to create better ways of learning. Or, rather, I should say create learning experiences, experiences that are built on how we naturally learn. We used mottos like"instead of one teacher and 30 students, why not 20 teachers for each student?" In today's lingo, it was sort of a Maker's Lab for learning geeks.
My thesis was on how to model conversations between experts who know an area and novices who are learning about it. Back then, the web was just getting started with the static linked pages we have all grown to love. My thesis looked at how we could build an engine that novices could have more natural conversations. So, instead of writing a book, an expert could lay out his thoughts, points, and stories, and the engine could figure out what's most helpful to share given the flow of conversation with each individual novice.
What interests you the most about learning design?
The sheer potential to make an impact. You can't go a day without hearing about how the pace of change is increasing so there's more to learn. You can't go a day without hearing about how tomorrow's jobs require more capability than yesterdays. And you can't go a day without hearing about how that school program or this corporate training program just doesn't work.
In our world of corporate training, the end goal is always providing business leaders an economical way to achieve their business goals. Improved learning design can give us that. At the same time, the very same improvements that give leaders the results they seek also end up making more engaging and fun learning experiences. Who wouldn't want to work for that?
That's not to say that I think learning design is the only key to improving how we invest in learning. There's just as much work to be done on improving how we determine what's worth learning and how we tell whether we are suceeding.
What brought you to Kineo?
For the past few years, I have been helping learning leaders in large corporations refine their learning strategies, determine what capabilities they wanted to retain, and which they should acquire from the market. Much of my work was organized around helping organizations explore outsourcing learning services.
This was good value-creating work. But at the same time, it didn't really result in major changes on the ground. It led to somewhat leaner, somewhat less costly, somewhat more effective learning organizations. But it didn't result in a sea change in either what business leaders could expect from learning nor what learners themselves could expect. In short, I came to feel that I was only nibbling at the large opportunity we spoke about.
At Kineo, we have a very learner-centric perspective and are looking to build upon our historical business to create some really interesting solutions that I hope will move the needle on the experiences that organizations offer their learners. The reason I came to Kineo is to help advance that strategy of improved solutions. Stay tuned!
What has been your favorite aspect of working at Kineo thus far?
I'd point to two things. First, the people. What a down-to-earth, well-intentioned group of people! Second, the culture. In particular, one of the tenets of Kineo's culture is "love your client." It's realyl been fun to see how that really is woven into the culture and how we interact both with the clients and alos with each other to get the right thins done in the right ways.
What do you like to do outside of work? Hobbies?
Since I'm in learning, one of my hobbies is to try to learn something new and see how I end up going about it and where I struggle. So, my last project was to put concrete countertops in our kitchen. Before that, I had a go at home automation so now our front porch light turns itself on at dusk andour closet lights turn on when you walk in the closets.
Read more about the Kineo US Leadership Team.