MugI have been working in the training and performance improvement field for a little over ten years now. There is so much information “out there” that I have never thought that there is something unique for me to add to the discourse so until now, I have remained a consumer of information with the exception of my own little professional network where I was more of a “sharer” than creator.

Yesterday I was interviewed by a graduate student from the University of Louisville who is studying Organizational Development and Learning. We spent about an hour talking about my beginnings in the field, past projects, my favourite thought leaders (many) and models (also many) and things he should consider in his future role as a  “consultant.” His positive reaction to my stories – “I learned more in this hour than all my classes,” an exaggeration I am certain, has prompted me to reconsider my potential as a creator of information.

I always joke that I am Métis but was raised a poor white boy. I enrolled in the Navy at the age of 18 as a Sonar Operator where any sailor will tell you, you learn quickly. After 17 years and a succession of promotions to Chief Petty Officer, I was looking for a change and timing was on my side. The military was paying for sailors, who were so interested, to pursue a Bachelor’s degree – the Navy paid, you committed the time. A great opportunity that with my wife’s encouragement, I took. (Thanks Momma!)

With my Commerce degree from Royal Roads University, I was qualified to take a commission and become a Training Development Officer or “TDO.” During my initial training, I learned about the Instructional and Performance Technology Programme (now Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning or OPWL or “opal”) at Boise State University, which really caught my attention. I had no idea that training was only ONE of many many ways that performance can be improved. What a revelation! The worst of it was that TRAINING, the thing I just learned all about, was (is) usually the most expensive. I also learned that if you write on a white board with permanent marker, all you have to do was scribble over it with a dry erase marker and wipe. It comes right off! That was good to know too.

In 2012 I was invited to join the Boise OPWL Faculty as an adjunct. What a privilege to share what I have learned so far and equally important – to learn from everyone in the program – faculty and students alike.

After ten years of “doing the business” in the military, yet another opportunity appeared and I retired to become a veteran and start a new career in the private sector doing the exact same thing I did as a TDO, but from home! That has been working really well! It is lean and focused and we get a lot done so it is very rewarding.

So in short – that’s how I got here. I am looking forward to sharing my view on the world through the lens of performance improvement.

More about Brett


  1. Dave Ferguson (@Dave_Ferguson) on February 10, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I’m glad to read this, and happy to be leaving your first comment. I began traveling the road from teaching in school to training in industry to improving performance, and have profited from so many people who’ve shared their experience and their questions.

    Good luck with the blog — like they say, luck’s mostly a matter of preparation and readiness meeting opportunity.

    • Brett D. Christensen on February 10, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks Dave! I was discussing my luck with some friends last night and said that looking back over the past 30 years a lot of good opportunities were put in front of me – attributing my path so far to fate and one mate said “at each of these points it was YOU who had to take the decision yes or no, left or right.” Sage words on his part and more learning for me.

  2. Glenn on February 10, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Good stuff Brett!
    I look forward to your musings.

    • Brett D. Christensen on February 10, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks Glenn… hopefully the musings are as helpful as they are Amusing!

  3. Simon on February 10, 2016 at 5:20 pm


    I have to say that I look forward to your musings as well!


  4. Lanna on February 11, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Obi-Wan Kenobi….
    Looking forward to your enlightenment……
    teacher & mentor sharing the ways of the master.😊

  5. Marilyn Thom on February 11, 2016 at 5:02 am

    I continue to be both impressed and proud!

  6. Bruce Robertson on May 22, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Hi Brett my name is Bruce Robertson and I arise out of your past. I and my late wife, Betty Lou, were and I am good friends with Mom and Don. Knew you slightly and breifly before your Navel days began.
    After nearly85 yrs of investigations, starting and continuing on the blackberry trail, I have found an unbelievable personal success I have come to believe that after many educational and life’s lessons, I am who I become . I have done and watched others do much both personal and formal re educating. All of this still leaves, to my understanding, the phenomena that we each are unique and therefore this is really what we bring to our world after the educating has mostly been done. I like your blog, I like your explanations of yourself.
    My experiences say you will do well and on your own it will be your stamp that shows. Bring yourself to the world ,and be humbly grareful for your rewards. Have great personal successes Brent

    • Brett D. Christensen on May 25, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks Bruce! Appreciate the advice – it comes at the perfect time!

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