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Learning In The New Economy
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When Brook Manville asked if I was interested in running a new e-magazine about learning in the new economy, I could not think of a single reason to say, "Yes." For years, I teased that I wanted a profession without a trade magazine. I could carpet my office and paper my walls with learning objects others called Journals, Reviews, Magazines and Papers. All concern learning, education, knowledge, science, or business leadership. All say about the same things in about the same way. I pay little more attention to their websites until I require a new statistic or angle. Maybe I am just jaded. Maybe I am not so different from you. 

Why contribute to this glut?

I circulated the idea of a high-quality e-magazine a year earlier to a number of forward-thinking organizations, but I hadn't intended on running the magazine! I wanted to read it and maybe contribute.

To take on this task, my publisher and sponsors would have to agree to a few stiff questions. Could we frame this magazine in the language of hope and purpose; showing business managers clear examples of how to improve their situation? Could we engage the best leaders into talking about—and working through—subjects we must master to survive? What if we included conversations between intriguing people to learn what they are thinking about and paying attention to right now? What if we lead the conversation by pushing the edges of topics not yet fully understood? What if we published views not necessarily in line with our sponsors or in agreement with one another? How about if we did this in an organic, somewhat offbeat, vendor-neutral way? Ready for that?

They were ready and I signed up.

We will publish this e-magazine (zine) once per quarter until we believe you have enough time to read it more often. Look for other editions in August and November. Our links will be easy to access, share with colleagues and friends, and printable so you can tuck them in your briefcase or read them on the train.

Our first issue focuses on performance and learning. Our authors and contributors acknowledge these topics are difficult to work through. These authors, however, have been practitioners as well as theorists and do not just write from on high. Doug Smith challenges the meaning of running a P&L. Etienne Wenger and Bill Snyder encourage us to pay close attention to learning in communities. Michael Schrage reminds us we should never stop playing or sharing. Chris Bartlett takes off the gloves to say old-world organizations need a new build. Esther Dyson delves into why the education industry has never taken off. Brook and I offer a manifesto for how to begin a revolution from where we sit now.

Outside our features, we offer snippets of conversations from a White House Summit, and a Fast Company event on talent. Our recurring themes provide quotations, cartoons, links and more.

As with any first edition, we need your help. With your suggestions and challenges, we can create together and grow as we go. Expect this zine to be interactive and organic, rough at times but also right on. Bottom line? Please tell us what we can do to make this the first thing you turn to when you have 3 or 4 minutes to learn something new.

On the road to better understanding,

Marcia Conner  marcia@linezine.com