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Episode Summary

Pamay M. Bassey is an entrepreneur, author of the book My 52 Weeks of Worship, and earned her B.S. degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. Currently, Pamay is the Global Head of Learning Platform and Professional Development at BlackRock. Pamay discusses how she went from employee to entrepreneur to intrepreneur on this week’s episode.

Creating a Practice of Lifelong Learning

Okay, good morning. This is Mark Bidwell from the Innovation Ecosystem. Now, with me today is Pamay Bassey. Welcome to the show Pamay.

Hi, it’s nice to be here. Thank you.

So, that’s the formal bio, and it’s a very impressive one, but how do your friends or family describe who you are and what you do, Pamay?

That’s so great. Sometimes it’s funny where people just really don’t know what I do. Some people say I work with computers because I have a technical background, but many who know the different things I’m involved in would call me an educator, and would say that I use my different talents to communicate, and connect, and enrich those around me in various contexts. So, I think somewhere between technology, and education is where people think I sit. Where I actually do sit I would say.

You started your professional career with Accenture, and then founded your own company. What lead up to you doing that?

That’s actually- I say I was born and raised professionally at Accenture. Came out of university, and Accenture was doing some innovative work with Northwestern University around applying artificial intelligence ideas and thoughts to the field of education, and really wanting to take the knowledge from the AI community about how people learn, and how people process information, and use that to create engaging, and interesting educational environments in the corporate arena. So, I was able to ride that wave, spend a lot of years in consulting in the US, and in Germany for Fortune 500, Fortune 1000 companies really taking some time to create those educational environments where people can step into a role and learn by doing. When I left Accenture I ended up going to a technology start-up. I went to school in the Bay Area here in the United States. I had a lot of friends who were doing foundational work in the area of technology, and thought that I should be doing the same, and this mobile technology started back when I was doing more user experience, voice user interfaces, trying to figure out how to develop, or to share information on a number of interfaces, mobile, technology, web, voice. That company unfortunately died after about a year and a half as startups sometimes do, and when that happened I thought well –

When was this?

This was in the late 90s. So, quite a long time ago. I’m dating myself. That was at the end of the – right around the 2000 area where I was working for the startup company, and then decided after that I would go independent, and it wasn’t a declaration. I’m starting a company. It was really started with me doing contract work. I was doing research. Educational research for universities here in the states. I was teaching online at online universities information technology type courses, and doing the design and development of learning environments, which is really my bread and butter. After a few years of doing that as an independent I realized that I had started a consulting company, If you will. Formalized it, and then went on to continue doing that kind of work for the next 12, 13 years.ie26-pamay-bassey-key1

When you say learning environments, what does that actually mean? I think you talked about the company as specializing in creating innovative educational learning environments. What does that mean?

Sure, so what It really started out meaning because technology enabled learning is my real interest, is trying to figure out how to use technology to create courses, and training, and coaching. That would meet some specific goals, and imagine a company coming to me and saying, “Hey, we have 5,000 managers. Do you want to teach them the specific skill?” We want to drop it in a virtual way. We wanted to do it in a blended way where part of the learning happens face to face, and part of it happens via technology, and trying to figure out the best combination of the two, and what the activities would be. What the content would be. What technology we’d be using, and so a lot of the projects I worked on had that set as the mandate.

So, it’s a learning environment from a technology point of view rather than a physical office environment perspective.

It started out, really honestly, as a technology environment, but especially as we got closer to the present day there’s been more of a desire to what we call blended learning where some of that happens in the face to face, and we don’t want to lose the magic that happens when people are in the same space, and are able to learn from each other. Also, don’t want to avoid innovating in the space where technology can be of service whether that be delivering a module prior to the face to face meeting, or some sort of simulation where you’re engaged and immersed in a virtual world. You’re able to go through specific activities. Learn from the decisions you make in that virtual environment, etc. So, it started out, for me, actually just being more of just an interest in seeing how technology could be of service in the educational space, but then the realist of the reality now is that it has to really be a solution to that agonistic action where we’re trying to figure out okay what do we want people to learn? What do we want them to be able to do after they’re done with this learning experience, and so what is the best delivery whether that be face to face or using technology, or some combination of the two?

Because I suppose back in those days, If I remember rightly, there were companies like Docent, and Sapient, and all these startups, which had enormous valuations, which were all playing in this broad space, and a lot of them got washed out as your company did. Today, what’s the state of the art? Has it moved on significantly from those early days of learning management systems and things?

I think there’s a spectrum, right? So, back in the day we were doing learning when there wasn’t even an Internet. So, it as CD-ROM based were delivering content via CD-ROM to very heavy video. Interesting ways of using media to create scenarios that could put learners really in that virtual space, and of course when the Internet came we had to back away from that rich media because the Internet had to catch up, right? We’re having been with situations, and how much video can you really send through the wires, etc. So, now there’s a spectrum, right? There’s e-learning, if you will, has standardized in some arenas where you have things that are as standard, and perhaps I might say uninspiring as a PowerPoint come to live. Everyone knows the next button, the back button, or pressing a button, and going to take a nap, and coming back, and doing the next slide. It has its place that very, very standard e-learning. From the other end I talked to a CEO of a company last week, and they’re using machine learning to create learning environments for elementary school students in the area of math, and really trying to engage with students and say I want to know where you are, what you know. Here’s, for example, a mac example. We’re going to learn from whatever process you want to get to the answer, and then give you the next problem or question based on what we were learning from you. So, really adaptive learning in that space, and so again there’s a spectrum and some of it is very standard because we’ve been through it and some of it is really pushing the envelope trying to create intelligent learning environments for people. Which I find to be very exciting.

In that example, that’s specifically tailored for the individual, and how they interact with the content?

Exactly.

Interesting, yeah.

Yes, so then you would increase engagement to the point where there’s always been a challenge when you had, let’s say, a 100 people that a portion of those people know the content already. They’re bored, or pushing them, or lost, and people in the middle are really where education has been targeted, but if you’re able to figure out how to know where the learner sits, what is their background, what is their point of knowledge and tailor that learning experience to them. Then everybody gets exactly what they need, and it’s really more engaging and interesting for that learner.

Yeah, it’s rather like personalized medicine but for education instead, right?

Exactly.

Fascinating. You did this for 13 years. You founded the company without really knowing it on the basis of working with a number of clients, and I guess some of the clients you’ve worked with are pretty well-known organizations. Before we go to the next stage, what was it, as you reflect, what was it that they are actually buying from you? What was it that you were offering that others weren’t? Was it a technology? Was it an approach, or was it just the fact that you’ve been doing for so long that you could zero on their needs, and meet them very, very quickly? Just curious because it is a – it’s a blue chip client base that you have, isn’t it?

Sure, and I was very honored and lucky, if you will, to work first and really great clients, and sometimes it was myself, an independent. Sometimes I brought my friends with me. Sometimes I started in internal teams, and lead them, and or contributed to them, and I think what they were really buying was what – you hear about the role, and structural designer. We’re a learning designer. I consider myself to be a learning designer, and what that means is I’m able to have a conversation with a subject matter expert. Really figure out what is it about – whatever we are trying to help somebody learn. Help them understand the process. What are people doing? What do they have to do, or know, to gather a set of expertise? What are the common mistakes? What are the pitfalls that come when you’re learning something new, and then taking that process and that ability to talk to somebody? Any area of expertise to talk to companies that I had no interest in, or a prior, or knowledge of, and really trying to step into the shoes of someone who didn’t know something, figure out how they would have learned something, and then having the educational experience we build mirror that.

So, think about learning how to drive a car. Well, what are the things that – what are the pitfalls you might run into when you’re learning how to drive a car? There’s a certain- we call them common mistakes. People make every time, and so really trying to identify what those are so if you are including assessments. You’re including activities, and you know that the people are going to make those common mistakes. How do we notice them when people make them? Give them feedback with a point of need. They’re getting what they need in order to learn something. So, there’s that whole kind of methodology of learning design, and then the ability to communicate with the technologists who are actually – if we’re doing something technology enabled. Then the developers who are actually developing the system, and making it come to life for us.

Got it, got it. So, this is Mark Bidwell interviewing Pamay Bassey on the Innovation Ecosystem podcast. Now Pamay, we now get to a really interesting – an even more interesting stage in your career, or your journey. This is where you kicked off your project. The 52 Weeks of Worship project. So, can you just explain what triggered it, and what was it, and then we can get into the conversation around that.

Sure, so it’s funny because the product really was triggered by a very personal reason. I had what I called a very personally challenging year, and one year I lost my father, and my grandmother, and ended a relationship. So, at the end of that year I was just basically at the point where I was questioning everything about life, and I think anyone who’s been through it, or lost somebody, or has had their whole world crumble. Has been to that point where you think well I’ve done some things in my life. I’ve seen some successes, but I’ve lost some people who really mean a lot to me. What am I going to do to heal and come back to the point where I’m as strong as I was? I’ve always had an interest in philosophy, and religion, what I’d studied at Stanford was a major called Symbolic Systems, which was computer science, but also had philosophy, and psychology, and linguistics. I’ve always been interested in coming at an issue from various perspectives, and various different thought processes. So, I really decided to just make a personal promise that I was going to be in a different place or worship every week for a year from all other traditions, and that was the genesis if you will. No pun intended.ie26-pamay-bassey-key2

Was it really like that? Because I can understand that having been in this similar situation. I can understand the need to do something, but you got very specific. A different place of worship every week for 52 weeks. How did you actually land on that concept?

Well, for me it was just a need to see people, and I’m going to get very theological here.

That’s okay.

Having been through a tough time, and realize that I didn’t really have a strong spiritual basis to draw from, and why was that? I had been raised in a specific religious tradition. It was not something that I felt was as useful as I needed it to be when I was going through the fire, if you will, and so really wanting to say okay I want to see how people do this every day out there. How do they search for the divine, how do they celebrate their pains? How do they celebrate their victories, and go through their pains, and just in a lot of different ways, and wanting to see divinity everywhere? To perhaps convince me that there was hope for the future, and so it sounds very baked now, but really was just where are you divine? Where are you God, I’m looking for you everywhere, and that’s where I’m just going to go to a different place every week and see what I see, and see what people are doing in various context to search for the divine.

So, you’ve visited 52 different places of worship, and some of them are unsurprising. You would recognize them, but some of them are a little bit more different. So, I think there was one which was you worshiped in the church in the great outdoors, which I love. Let’s pull out a couple of really rich examples where either you were enormously surprised by what you found, or moved by what you found. Anything that comes to mind over the 52 week physical, and metaphorical journey as it were?

Sure, absolutely. I think one of the things that was most memorable about the journey was it really was a way for me to heal. It was also a way for me to honor my father. He was a force in my life or position, and a philosophy, and someone who encouraged me to look for wisdom wherever I could find it. So, he also emphasized achievement on the academic professional side. He always thought it was important to have that balance, and so a lot of times I would go to a place. I remember a place that I went to in Mexico. It was very early in my process. It was called La Vina, the vineyard. It was a pretty unremarkable location, and the service was not something that you might not see anywhere, but a song played and it was his favorite song. So, I was reminded there that the people that leave your life don’t leave you forever, and so I saw him in various places. There were other places that I went to that I say have more commentary around them. I went to the Scientologists and spent some time with them. I went to a Wiccan festival, and spent some time with them. That’s an Earth religion. Some people call them witches. I went to my family from Nigeria West Africa. I went to a very large sprawling extremely Pentecostal Christian service in Nigeria West Africa. The energy there was really memorable. So, I tried to spread out. I went to a number of catholic masses. I went to some masses, and some synagogues. Things that were a little less on the fringes, but I tried to experience as much as I could across the spectrum so that I was able to really challenge myself and learn some new things.

Clearly, this was a systematic process you went through, but I guess there would have been ups and downs, peaks and troughs. Were there any of your – you said earlier on you didn’t necessarily have any major religious beliefs going in, but were any of your beliefs are actually fundamentally shaken by what you experience, by what you saw, what you heard, and also were there any beliefs that were reinforced by that process? So, shaken first?

Sure.

What happened?

Yeah, so I was raised as a Christian. I would have said that I was going in. I just feel like prior to this journey me saying that was not – didn’t have as much power, and force, and authenticity behind it as it might now was just something that I had experience growing up. So, it wasn’t that I didn’t have any really beliefs. I just felt don’t feel that they were as powerful as they should have been, and so it’s amazing. I went to so many different places within my own religious tradition that challenged me. I went to a Christian mystic church in Chicago, and sat there the whole time thinking “Holy Cow! I’m supposed to believe this. Do I? Do I believe that? What about that?” Really questioning everything that I was hearing, and putting it side by side with what I purported to believe, and I think that really gave me the inspiration, and motivation to say you should really strengthen your own personal journey because if you’re going to say you are something it should mean something. Went to a number of catholic masses, and thought this is really great. I really enjoyed the liturgy, and I enjoyed the structure, but then went to one mass where the priest was very specific. This is what Catholics believe, and if you don’t believe these things you can’t be catholic, and I came away saying I guess I can’t be catholic because there were some things that I thought I don’t really believe at, and just because I like the songs, or the order of services that mean I can – so I was challenged many times even within my own religious tradition to really say okay Pamay, what do you mean when you say you believe this or you don’t believe that? What kind of person are you going to be? Are you going to be the kind of person who can stand up and say you have some force behind the words that you say, and the things that you claim?

You say – you mentioned this was triggered by some personal tragedies, or trauma if you like. Now, Whitney Johnson, who we both know. Whitney is the founder of the 40 over 40 program, which you were recently nominated for, and she came on the show a few months ago. She talked about disrupting yourself. My question is is it possible for people to access this kind of learning, this kind of experience without being triggered by such an event that you went through. So, I think you’ve got people who have – the book has been very popular. Lots of people had been following you in conversation with a lot of them. Do you have advice for people to go on this kind of journey, but not necessarily have it triggered by something as dramatic as your situation?

I think it starts with a choice, right? One of the things that I have really thought about a lot since then since the idea of practice, and practice becoming permanent. You’re right. If something disrupts your life, and if you have a tragedy, or you lose your job, or something big happens. It’s a more natural time to then decide okay let me step back and question everything that I know, and what my next steps are going to be, but I think if you create an innovation practice in your life then that just becomes part of your – the way that you live. That is – I’m constantly going to make sure that I’m putting myself in situations that challenge me whether they’re – we’re talking about religion, or theology but that doesn’t have to be the context. It can be professionally, it can be personally, it can be trying to create a practice of lifelong learning. I think it’s totally possible to create a disruption practice where you make just a very quiet choice, and decision, and promise to yourself that you are constantly going to put yourself in situations that challenge you, and learn from those situations. So, I think that is something that came from my project, and coming from the way that I live. I think that you can just decide right now this is the kind of person I’m going to be. It can really enrich all areas of your life.

Yeah, and this also in many respects a survival mechanism as well because of the way things are changing, and the imminence of change in the workforce and such like as you mentioned. It’s more and more likely to happen.  Therefore, I think this is – I understand why it’s a relevant practice. So, let’s switch now to your current role because you’re still running this project. The book’s there. You talk about it quite frequently, but you are now a self-proclaimed intrapreneur working for one of the large, well, the world’s largest asset management firms. So, what does it mean by when you say you’re an intrapreneur? What do you mean by that, Pamay?

I think that means that you are able to retain the qualities, and characteristics of an entrepreneur but it’s not your business, right? So, when I was running my own business with my clients with me trying to figure out what solutions make sense for them. It was me selling the work, it was me using my own resources. Now, working for a very large company where my clients are the employees of the company, and within a very entrepreneurial, if you will, culture. So, this company, although, it is 20- it’s approaching 30 years old. It is very young in the industry, and still really values people who are able to come and bring ideas to the table that can move things forward. So, I’m able to be an intrapreneur in the learning space in this company because I’m able to have conversations saying this is the best way we can give people the learning they need at the right time, at the right place to help them be successful. It is not a very kind of state, and concrete culture where we’re just doing the same thing we’ve always been doing. People value, they’re bringing up new ideas to the table. Let’s try this, let’s pilot that. That didn’t work, that did work, failed fast. Make sure you have people around you who are asking critical questions, and so it really gives me the opportunity to be innovative within the construct of a larger company.

We’ve had a number of intrapreneurs on the show in the past, and it’s an area I suppose I would describe myself, or have described myself as an intrapreneur. What are the things that you brought into this role from your previous experiences? What are the capabilities that have helped you succeed in the role, but also what has got in the way of your performance if you like? Or your ability to get everything done?

So, one of the big things that we started conversations with just as soon as I started was what we talked about earlier, which is what is the best delivery mechanism for learning. That this particular company, the majority of the learning that we were doing when I got there was face to face. So, that is classroom based three hours, four hours in a room talking about a specific topic. The facilitators trying to be creative, and interesting within that, but really not using technology enabled learning in any real way, and wanting to come in and say, “Let’s try different things” to see if we can because it’s a global company. We’ve got employees all around the world, and although the majority of our employees are in New York, London, San Francisco, there are people who are in offices that are not in those three places, and wanting to make sure that there’s a democratization of learning, and technology is one of the ways to do that. So, bringing that conversation about let’s try different technology-enabled learning was one of the first kind of points of innovation, but on the flip side to answer the second part of your question. Really trying to figure out there is a culture here. What works within that culture, right? So, if there’s an expectation that learning happens one way how do you switch to a different way? What is the way to make sure that we’re setting ourselves up for success as learning professionals, and not trying things that are just outside of the culture, or too fast? So, trying to pace innovation at the same speed as what the culture can consume while not missing opportunities to move things forward in terms of different ways that learning is happening in the organization.

Yeah, and I should imagine knowing a little bit about the financial services in the industry. You’re overwhelmed by compliance, and regulation coming out of 2008.

Sure.ie26-pamay-bassey-key3

That presumably is a major part of the mandate of your function I would imagine. Is that fair?

Sure, yeah mandatory and compliance training is part of my function. It’s amazing that you mentioned that because a few years ago e-learning became a way to deliver some of that mandatory and compliance training. That is one space where people expect at this point to receive learning via technology. Because it really is there’s information. There’s things you need to know, and everybody needs to know it so technology is a way that has worked. Then there are other places where perhaps people may think well how do I learn presentation skills, or communication skills, or some of those softer skills using technology, and that’s where there’s some areas we’re saying well let’s find some innovative ways that people are doing that. So, it’s different types of learning, and some historically, or in the recent history have been types of learning that we can use technology for, and some more new.

Yep, yep, and should imagine the other piece, I guess, big item is the mad rush of a lot of people out of the doors of large established financial services companies into the arms of the – to go and work for Fintech startups. How do you think about what capabilities need to be built in the organization to make – I’m thinking perhaps on the leadership level to make that journey less attractive for a young graduate who really wants to do something exciting. Wants to be involved in a really fast moving innovative space, and might even think that the large incumbents are at risk of being disrupted by all these Fintech startups. It’s clearly not quite that simple, but I mean how do you think about that as a lifelong learner, professional learner, if you like?

Sure, I think that one of the things that we try to do part of my title is Director of Professional Development is really provide learning opportunities throughout the lifecycle of an employee where they feel like they’re being challenged, they feel like they’re learning new things, where they feel like they are growing. So from the very beginning when people come from campus so employees start as analysts on day one giving them orientation that’s interesting, and engaging in relevant all the way through their career at every promotion point while they’re in a particular role saying what do you need to be successful? What do you need in order to feel like you’re growing, and learning in this role so that when people feel like they’re growing and learning, and then perhaps are less likely to look elsewhere for other challenges whether that be as I mentioned in my own journey? I went to a startup because I felt like I should be doing something more interesting, and innovative, and groundbreaking, and they’re pros and cons too as you know. As we all know being an entrepreneur and going that route. So, currently in my position just trying to make sure we’re providing the kind of learning experience that keep people engaged, and interested, and hope that will then translate into longer careers, and internal mobility, and wanting to stay, and contribute their talents in our company.

Yeah, yeah, got it, got it. So, beginning to wrap this up. The 40 Women Over 40 award that you’ve been recommended for. Can you just say a little bit about that, and the second question is plans for the future because there are a number of threads through your career? There’s some common threads, but there’s also some quite different things in there. I’m just interested in how you’re thinking about the future given that you have been awarded one of these 40 Over 40 innovative, disruptive people women making an impact.

I love the 40 Over 40 award, and just so honored to have received it because their tagline, right, is women who are reinventing, and disrupting, and making an impact. Correct?

Yeah.

So, it is in one way a nice award, and recognition of what I’ve been doing, but really it is a challenge to continue to do it, right? So, every day when I’m sitting in my desk. I’m thinking, well what am I doing actually to disrupt? How can I continue to be committed to innovation in this space, and whether that’ll be at my day to day job, or my 52 Weeks of Worship project? So, really I think it’s great to be part of a cohort of women who we can encourage each other, and continue to do that which we had started doing so that we got recognized for this honor.

In that – the peer pressure. The observation that people are doing very different things from you. Have you got any embryonic ideas about something similar to the 52 Weeks of Worship project from the future at some point, or are you – is that a one-off do you think?

Well, I think what ends up happening is because I am somebody who’s a connector of ideas, and of people. It ends up – I’m really interested in the ideas that I’ve learned from that project being impactful in other arenas, right? So, value-based leadership. What gets people out of bed in the morning. How do you create leadership training experiences that take into account the whole process that I went through, which is putting yourself in various different wildly different scenarios thinking about what you believe? Engaging with other people, and we talk about diversity a lot in the business world now. Diversity of thought, and it really, again, is a practice to be able to say I need to know who I am, and what I believe, but I also need to engage with people who are from different backgrounds, and different walks of life, and different experiences. So, we can dialogue. I can push on my little – the things that I think I believe, and actually come out to know what I truly believe, and then stand in that power while respecting others who are in various different – who camps and might believe in things that are different. So, I think my project continues to impact everything that I do, and I think about what the next book I’m going to write is. I have a background in comedy. I think it’s probably going to be a little lighter than the one that I wrote about philosophy and religion, but yeah. I have a lot of things speculating, but nothing specific that I can announce at this point.

Well, we’ll have to keep in touch because it is a fascinating story, and as you said when we first spoke, the diversity of thought, of practice, or tradition that you’ve experienced over that 52 weeks is very rich, and as you eloquently pointed out it’s got real value in the workplace. So Pamay, where can people get in touch with you?

So, you certainly come by my website, my52wow.com. That’s my52 W-O-W. That’s my blog. I continue to have experiences in various communities, and write about them, and then you can also email me that way through the blog.

Brilliant, brilliant, and we’ll put the links in the show notes. So, I sent you three questions, and we got very close to you answering one of them before, but I managed to – we managed to – we kept off that, but the first question. What have you changed your mind about recently?

That’s really interesting. I was thinking about that question I thought I just actually went to the Aspen Institute last week for their executive seminar, and part of that process is reading some of the – some might say the foundational greats. Aristotle, Plato, Confucius, Macabre. I could go on and on, but really the people who have thought about the liberty, and equality, and some really difficult topics and it reinforce. So, not necessarily changing my mind. They’re reinforcing the need to know yourself, and we talked about this a little bit. Your beliefs, your values, what drives you, what matters to you to engage in discussion with intelligent, and motivating people around these topics. So, that you can figure out where you stand, and then expose yourself to other ideas to the idea of diversity of thought, and saying it helps to know who you are, but in terms of leadership practice, and wanting to be the best leader that you can. Being able to respect others and figure out if they have got that same process of learning, and growing, and determine what they believe and respecting that. So, I would say that one of the things that was reinforced in my mind recently is the importance of knowing self, and being able to not live in an echo chamber, but challenge yourself in great discussions with people so that you can become a better person and a better leader.

Yes, to have an opinion requires a huge amount of work actually, and many –

Sure.ie026-pamay-bassey-summary-framed

people just jump to something that sounds convenient, or might fit their worldview without actually having done the hard work to figure out whether that’s the case or not. That’s essentially one of the big themes in your 52 weeks as well. Great, second question. The practices. What do you do to remain creative and innovative? Clearly, we talked about the 52 Week project, but what are you doing today? What’s your innovation creativity practice?

So, the second thing that I did with the startup that I worked for died, if you will, may it rest in peace was study a Second City, which is an improvisational comedy and theater in Chicago, and I studied improv. I went to their conservatory for two years immersed myself in the world of improv and comedy. So, in terms of staying creative I write, obviously, I’m a writer. I read an enormous amount, and still read physical books. Even though I am a technology person I like physical books, but I spend time doing improv games, and spending time with my dear friends, and doing improv, and I actually just signed up to do a one-woman show at the end of November. That is really just to keep my creative juices flowing, and to challenge myself to get in front of a group, and actually make them laugh, and make myself laugh. Again, it becomes relevant even in my professional life because when you’re in front of a room no matter what you’re talking about. People like to be entertained, but it’s the whole area that the creative world of improv, and writing is where I try to spend time so that I can stay in the cutting edge of my creativity.

Yeah, that’ll also put you out of your comfort zone a little bit as well I would imagine.

That is true. True.

Yeah, yeah, and final question. To what would you attribute to your success in life?

I really think it is lifelong learning. From the very beginning, my parents all the way through every kind of academic and professional experience that I’ve had. I’ve been surrounded by people who value learning. Who don’t take it for granted. I have a peer group, which you’ve mentioned just even the 40 over 40, but just throughout all of my academic and professional pursuits. Just phenomenal people who have accomplished a great deal. The ones who are – I count in my inner circle, are very humble about it, but we’re all lifelong learners, and all very clear that we need to continue to be that in order to be the people that we want to be. I think that is really the foundation of my success, and the other thing I would say is the commitment to reinvention, and allowing myself depending on what life throws at me to say, “Okay, well no we need to just take a quick turn here and try something completely new.” I did it a couple of times, and none of that, as you mentioned, is easy, but it has been the foundation of me continuing to learn, and grow, and put myself in situations where I’m able to meet great people and do great things. So, I’ll continue as long as I have to.

Exactly, well it’s funny because a lot of our listeners will resonate, and it’ll resonate very strongly because disruption is a regular theme, and learning, and development. What I’m trying to do here is pull out the insights from authors, from thought leaders, from performers, from a number of different areas, and make them available to people in a format that is easily absorbable and consumable. I think one of the things that you’ve re emphasized to me in this call has been just how important that is to remain fresh on a number of different levels. So Pamay, this has been great. Thank you very, very much for your time. It’s been a great pleasure having you on the show. I’m sure our audience enjoyed it as much as I did, and thanks very much for your time.

Thank you so much for having me.

What Was Covered

  • 04:00 – Find out more about Pamay.
  • 04:35 – Why did Pamay go from employee to entrepreneur to intrepreneur?
  • 06:45 – What does Pamay mean by ‘creative innovative learning environments’?
  • 09:55 – Pamay talks about the differences between e-learning and machine-learning.
  • 14:35 – What is 52 Weeks of Worship about?
  • 17:35 – Was there a particular place that stood out to Pamay and really moved her?
  • 20:50 – If you say you are something, it should really mean something to you.
  • 24:15 – What does it mean to Pamay to be an intrepreneur?
  • 29:55 – It is part of Pamay’s job to provide engaging opportunities for an employee where they feel like they’re being challenged or learning new things on a regular basis.
  • 30:30 – When people feel like they’re growing, they’re less likely to look elsewhere and leave the company.
  • 35:00 – What has Pamay changed her mind about recently?
  • 36:45 – What does Pamay do to remain creative?
  • 38:15 – What does Pamay contribute her success to in life?

Tweetables

[Tweet “I was challenged many times to say, “okay Pamay, what do you mean when you say you believe this or you don’t believe that?”] [Tweet “Challenge yourself in great discussions with people so that you can become a better person & a better leader.”] [Tweet “Constantly put yourself in situations that #challenge you & learn from those situations. It can really enrich all areas of your life”]

Links Mentioned

My 52 Weeks of Worship Project
BlackRock Website
My 52 Weeks of Worship on Facebook
Ekpedeme “Pamay” M. Bassey on LinkedIn

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