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About Me

James McKenna

Learning Consultant

I love to learn and help others learn and improve. I support organizations to develop, sustain, and leverage inclusive learning and working ecosystems so that individuals and teams can learn, innovate, and thrive. I'm also an author, speaker, instructional designer, trainer, and facilitator. 


I speak regularly at national and international conferences and, in the education sector, I lead the development of digital resources to support inclusive learning at scale. Previously, I was a project manager, site administrator, a special education teacher, a musician, a nightclub doorman, and veteran of the United States Navy. In short, I've worn a lot of hats.


I received a BA in music from the University of Massachusetts - Boston, an MA in education from the University of Phoenix, and an EdD in education leadership with a focus on education psychology from the University of Southern California. I'm also certified as a master instructional designer by the Association for Talent Development (ATD). A native of Revere, Massachusetts, I now live  in the Los Angeles area with my wife, Janine, and my children, Juliet and Jack.

Headshot - James McKenna, a white man with a short beard, brown hair, and blue eyes

Work is learning, and learning is work.

Work in the 21st century requires innovation and adaptation at all levels. People need to reskill (get better at their current jobs) and upskill (learn to do new jobs) in order to survive and thrive in the ever-changing world of work. Organizations need to leverage the knowledge and creativity of their people, harnessing collective learning as a strategic advantage.


Work is learning.

Learning is, in essence, a change in behavior brought about by the onboarding of new knowledge and skills. When I learn, I can do something I could not do before. That learning has to be intentional – we need to think strategically about what we should learn, why we should learn it, and how to turn that learning into impact. We’re not learning for learning’s sake – we’re doing it so we can reach our goals, as individuals, as teams, and as organizations. Learning can be messy and hard. It takes sustained effort, self-reflection, practice, and collaboration.


Learning is work.

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