Season 6 Episode 2 With Kevin Oakes: Your Brand’s Going To Be Defined For A Long Time By What You Do Now

In our first episode since COVID-19’s grim debut and the lockdown of three billion of us worldwide, we offer some thoughts on ‘What-If’ to ‘What Now?’ – an attempt to curate timely, useful conversations to surface best practice, build community, and share what we in the Workplace Learning community are doing to best cope with what Josh Bersin’s calling ‘The Great Reset.’ We’re kicking off this new conversation stream pretty strong, with a very thought-provoking meeting we had online with highly-respected Learning tech veteran Kevin Oakes. Kevin is, of course, CEO and Co-Founder of HR think tank i4cp (the Institute for Corporate Productivity), a leading research firm all about discovering what makes the successful people practices of high-performance organizations so effective, and which claims to produce more human capital research than any other firm on the Planet. In the course of a focused 38 minutes of dialog we review the mission of i4cp, then dive into:

  • why he lives in Seattle – a city he moved to from Boston to start work with Microsoft founder Paul Allen on what was originally Asymetrix then became a small company you may have heard of, Click2learn
  • the rest of Kevin’s unique resume, which includes entrepreneurship and leadership at major detect brands such as SumTotal Systems
  • the concept of the ‘next practice’ and how that can help the CHRO
  • how if the CFO was the hero that emerged in the 9/11 crisis, it may be that the HR and CLO is the figure brands are coming to in this one
  • how new work practices like employee swaps and new (overdue!) attitudes to gig workers are being rapidly brought together because of Coronavirus
  • how the long-term effects of remote working and learning will change our world for ever
  • and much more.


Kevin asks anyone interested in the i4cop agenda to go to its main website at

There, you can also access (for free) highly-focused Pandemic resources and guides off the main I4cp website at

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