Our Story

Our Story 2018-06-08T14:10:09+00:00
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in how people learn and change — change how they see the world and themselves, how they relate to one another, and what they do as a result. As I see it, the needed solutions to our current challenges as a species can all be traced back to this fundamental learning process.
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I believe strongly in the potential of the human race to not just survive through these challenges, but to thrive beyond what any of us can now imagine. The core challenge is the same for all living beings and living systems alike: to excel at the evolutionary process — to learn, adapt and evolve as everything continuously changes.
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My path to supporting organizations to become more evolvable in these rapidly changing times has been somewhat unconventional. I won’t bore you with too many details, but here are a few snapshots that might help you better understand where I’m coming from and why I do what I do.
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I had the privilege of growing up on what I consider the “edge” of civilization, on a small homestead in south-central Alaska. A 45 minute drive in one direction would take you into a city of 300,000 people, while a 45 minute drive in the opposite direction would take you out into a wilderness that seemed to go on forever. This experience, I think, has always helped me to see things from an outside perspective, questioning things that most people take for granted. I bring this into my work by helping people question their assumptions, beliefs, biases, the stories that shape their perspectives, and their behavior.
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After completing my bachelor’s degree at Colorado State University (majoring in literature & philosophy, deepening my interest in how stories shape our perspectives and behavior), I moved to Chile, South America, to work as an English teacher. My career as an educator evolved into developing curriculum and working as an instructional designer, which led me into the world of organizational learning and development.
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Wired Roots emerged as I was completing my Master’s degree in Organizational Development & Transition Design at Gaia University. Gaia U, as a forward-thinking global community of self-directed “action learners” focused on the design of living, or “regenerative” systems, was an ideal environment for exploring how organizations can better learn and co-evolve in an increasingly complex world.
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It was here I came to see the critical role that Learning & Development plays in building a better world, by growing the people that are building it.
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Coming of age alongside the world wide web in the 1990’s, I have always been a self-directed learner. My experience both studying and working at Gaia University helped me see how self-directed learning can be supported within organizations and communities of practice, and why this shift is urgent as we enter a new age.
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I came to understand that the ways of developing people we have been using for a long time, which served us well in the past, are coming up against their limits as we move into unprecedented levels of complexity, change and uncertainty. That we must empower individuals at all levels of the organization to think, act, and learn through their work as skilled self-directed learners.
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This leads to important questions, such as:
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How can individuals within the organization build their skills as self-directed learners, integrating their learning with their day-to-day work, reflecting on their experiences, and supporting their development with resources in their networks?
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How can they become less dependent on mandated training programs that are often too slow and expensive to keep up with changes in the field or industry?
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How can the organization best support employees to learn in this self-directed way? How can employees best support one another in their developmental pathways?
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What new roles are emerging for leaders? How can current resources be redirected? What tools can be used? Where are the leverage points to initiate the change process, and how can these changes be sustained?
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These questions are open by nature, and the answers vary from organization to organization. The questions themselves must be embraced. Wired Roots was designed to help leaders do exactly that, supporting their people to learn into an uncertain future together and to keep getting better at getting better.
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I am honored to serve my clients in this space, equipping them with the tools, skills and mindsets to embrace the changes we are all facing together and better evolve into the emerging world that is our to co-create.
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If you are interested in exploring how Wired Roots can help you make your organization more evolvable, giving you the edge you’ll need to lead in the new world, please schedule a free, no-pressure discovery call today. Just fill out the short form below and choose a time to talk (for 15-30 minutes).
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I look forward to connecting with you soon.
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To a bright future and all the learning experiences along the way,
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Tom Palmer
Founder & CEO, Wired Roots Learning & Development LLC

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