My name: Michael Nagy
My company: GEVC
My title: Principal and Chief Learning Solutions Architect
My location: Ottawa, Canada
Best business advice I ever received: My parents insisted that my four siblings and I always show respect to other people, even when we disagreed with them. It has been good advice to follow and apply with my company, GEVC. My team and I strive to create respectful, inclusive learning solutions for very diverse workplaces and organizations. To do that well, we need to put ourselves in other people’s shoes to appreciate how our learning will be received. We also need to move through the creative process—and the inevitable differences in opinion—with professionalism. Differences don’t have to lead to distance between people; when we take care to be respectful—even when we are frustrated—the outcome is always better for everyone involved.
Most daring personal career move: I graduated from university during a recession, with very few prospects for employment in my field. I took a leap of faith and started a company based on one small but essential truth that I knew to be true—training doesn’t have to be boring.
In university I watched others snooze their way through boring, content-driven, tone-deaf lectures. I knew there had to be a better way of engaging students in the education they wanted to receive. So I signed up to teach classes myself, and started introducing multimedia into them. I incorporated videos, software applications, and 3-D modelling as a way to illustrate concepts and provide practice for students.
All these years later, I’m still striving every day to create memorable learning experiences for clients in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors—only now I’m joined by a team of amazing and respectful learning designers, graphic designers, animators, and web designers.
What I’m most proud of: Two things: my company’s body of work and the number of return clients we have. Organizations find their way to us when they want learning solutions that are respectful and creative, and they keep coming back because they enjoy working with us. So not only do we create beautiful, appealing, and thoughtful learning solutions, we build relationships with people along the way. I think that’s the reason GEVC is the longest-standing, continuously-operating eLearning company in Canada, and the reason we believe that “together, we thrive.”
Current workplace challenge: A growing number of clients are asking us to help them find a way to leapfrog over cumbersome technology or technological limitations to find simpler, more cost-effective solutions for employee training.
We have some clients that don’t want to be tied to specific courseware anymore because of the licensing arrangements; and others looking to bring training into their employees’ hands (literally) rather than make those employees go to the training via a corporate computer and learning management system. In both cases it’s the same challenge: find ways to do things more simply—not by adding technology but rather by using what’s already in place in different ways in order to make things easier for employees.
Something people don’t know about me: I’m an architect! Not just an information architect, but a bricks-and-mortar architect. Since there were very few paid jobs designing buildings in 1994, I turned my design skills and sensibility to training and have never looked back.
Actually, there is one way I do look back every day: the name of the company, GEVC, is a wink to my own training as an architect. GeV/c is actually a physics equation for momentum. Intelligent, appealing, and memorable learning experiences give everyone involved the momentum to keep thriving in what they do!