ISA was started 35 years ago when formal training and development companies were few and far between.  The new ‘training’ industry was just forming and it took leaders with tremendous courage and insight to recognize that even competitors could learn something from each other.  At this year’s annual conference we had the pleasure of reconnecting with 10 of the founders of ISA; legends to be sure.

The group included the founder of Forum Corporation, John Humphries, Zenger-Miller’s (now Achieve Global) Jack Zenger, The Blanchard Companies’ Ken (and Margie) Blanchard, Pat McClagan who wrote the first competency model for ASTD and who went on to advise ArchBishop Tutu of South Africa on collaboration to ending aparteid.  An august group to be sure.

They answered questions from our group ranging from the biggest mistakes to best decisions.  John Humphries talked about founding the Forum Corporation as the best place to learn and grow.  Jack Zenger shared three key mistakes, one of which was confusing hope with predictable reality.  It was a powerful session.  These men and women represented the past and present of training.  What lessons will we be teaching future educators and consultants?  One thing was sure, the organization of learning providers they began still holds the values of sharing, caring, and daring even today.  Who are your gurus and legends?  tweet us @mohrretail or share a comment here.  thanks for reading.


About Michael Patrick

Michael held positions in retail management, merchandising, and human resources before joining MOHR Retail’s predecessor in 1986. In 1990 he purchased the retail division of that firm to form today’s MOHR Retail. Michael holds true to his retail roots by delivering learning that changes behavior—providing both immediate and lasting business impact. In addition to facilitating MOHR Retail training programs, he offers executive-level coaching in one-on-one sessions dealing with critical strategic issues such as succession strategies and executive team development. The author of “The New Negotiation Mindset: Guarantee A Bigger Slice,” Michael is a longstanding member of NRF as well as ISA: The Association of Learning Providers. He has a B.A. from San Diego State University, completed Master’s level work at Arizona State University, and lives with his family in New Jersey.