This week, we have another engaging episode of the Purposeful Prosperity Podcast with Dr. Gina Anderson, the CEO and co-founder of Luma Brighter Learning Center. By recognizing a critical issue in the trucking industry, Dr. Gina shares the story behind Luma Brighter Learning, her motivation for creating a mobile training platform specifically for the trucking industry, and the importance of acting and learning for purposeful leaders. She reveals game-changing insights into how she saw an issue and built an innovative solution to address it. With Luma's mission to foster learner-to-learner engagement, she was able to revolutionize a more human-centered learning experience, with the introduction of a multimodal learning system that transforms traditional training methods into something extraordinary by involving learners and making learning fun.
Tune in to this week’s episode to find out how Luma succeeded in building a safety culture that actively involves learners, making learning a fun and interactive experience, while emphasizing the importance of having a partner to develop inspiring and engaging training programs. Let's spread kindness, goodness, and knowledge together, just like Nugget, Luma's adorable mascot!
The importance of taking action as a leader
The story and mission behind Luma – Brighter Learning Center.
The gap Luma Brighter Learning Center is filling in the trucking industry, and its innovative approach to safety training
Luma's unique learner-centered approach and the introduction of e-Nuggets
Building a safety culture within the trucking industry
The importance of having a partner for developing inspiring and engaging training programs
"If you don't learn the skills and you don't get supported in your learning, it could be a matter of life or death. So, it's not just learning, it's a learning skill that you have to know to be successful."
- Gina Anderson
"Because really our purpose is to get them home alive. We want safer roads. And the way to do that is to tap into these learning communities and to the human mind and how we learn to deliver training." - Gina Anderson
“It is about making that human connection and putting community and purpose into the prosperity that we bring.” - Jack Smith
"Well, that's literally the point of this podcast, right, is to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, all of those out there that see these problems in the world. It's to tell the stories of those who had the courage to act." - Jack Smith
Seth Waters (Host): Well, welcome to the Purposeful Prosperity Podcast. My name is Seth Waters, and I'm here with Jack Smith. And you know Jack. Jack is a founder, entrepreneur, investor, and a world-changer. Excited to be with you, Jack.
Jack Smith (Host): I'm excited to be here too, Seth.
Seth Waters (Host): We have a great interview today with Dr. Gina Anderson.
Jack Smith (Host): Absolutely. Luma – Brighter Learning Center.
Seth Waters (Host): Yeah, yeah, and it's a great interview, great topic, great conversation, a couple things that stood out along the way. I love where Gina said that she started her company by seeing an issue and building a solution. Jack, how important is it for purposeful leaders to be able to see an issue in the world around them and then lead to build a solution around that issue?
Jack Smith (Host): Well, that's literally the point of this podcast, right, is to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, all of those out there that see these problems in the world. It's to tell the stories of those who had the courage to act. We talk a lot about the difference between an entrepreneur and a “want-repreneur” is the willingness to act and the ability to learn along the way. The person with the best plan isn't the one who wins, it's the one with the nimblest feet.
Seth Waters (Host): That's really good. Something else that Gina talked about was that she talked about the importance of seeing yourself as a coach for your staff. And she talked about not being a coach on a stage, but a coach that's by your side.
Jack Smith (Host): Yeah, no, she said sage on the stage, coach by their side. And I think that's really a different dichotomy, right? Because there are those folks who stand on the platform and they give talks to many and there's a broadcast. And there's nothing wrong with broadcast, but there's something very magical about dialogue – a relationship, those connection points, and that's really where that people centered approach comes from. Boy, that's really good.
Seth Waters (Host): I'm looking forward to this interview. Let's jump right into it with Dr. Gina Anderson.
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Jack Smith (Host): Hi, everybody. Welcome to the Purposeful Prosperity Podcast. I'm your host, Jack Smith, and I'm delighted today to be with my friend Dr. Gina Anderson. She's the CEO and co-founder of Luma – Brighter Learning Center. This is a portable mobile training platform for trucking companies, if I understand correctly. Is that right, Dr. Gina?
Gina Anderson (Guest): Yeah. So we're a learning company, and we certainly work with drivers and carriers to train their employees.
Jack Smith (Host): Very cool. And can you tell me a little bit more about the Luma – Brighter Learning Center and kind of maybe a little bit about your co-founder journey, how you became an entrepreneur.
Gina Anderson (Guest): Yeah, excellent. So we're Luma – Brighter Learning and we're a learning company. And really why I got started in Luma was because I started my career as a special education teacher and I really always wanted to help individuals that had learning challenges do better and learn. And so we really got into trucking because I started to observe how truck drivers were being trained and I was horrified. I'm a learning scientist and I studied the brain and I really saw an opportunity to really help the industry. Because driving, if you don't learn the skills and you don't get supported in your learning, it could be a matter of life or death. So it's not just learning, it's a learning skill that you have to know to be successful. That's really how we got into the industry.
Jack Smith (Host): That's so awesome. You saw a problem, you were inspired to fix it.
Gina Anderson (Guest): Exactly.
Jack Smith (Host): That's very cool.
Jack Smith (Host): So can you tell me a little bit about your journey of how you uncovered that truckers needed this training solution? So you come from special ed to training – that's a big jump.
Gina Anderson (Guest): Yeah, exactly. So I was going out, we're actually developing and creating training for higher education. And our office was located right next door to a group that was doing incentives for truck-driving. And I started going out and I started observing how truck drivers were being trained in orientation. And what was happening, Jack, is they were being put in classrooms, the lights were being turned off, a video was being played.
And then basically they did this for four or five days and then they were given keys and said, OK, go drive the truck. Really, it wasn't about building this human connection and inspiring and engaging learners. It was just about getting drivers through on the road to make money. And so we really saw the opportunity to connect with the drivers and build a curriculum and build a learning product that kept the drivers at the forefront of the learning experience. And that's really what it's about, connecting with humans and making the experience so that they're able to retain the information when they need it.
Jack Smith (Host): I love it. That human-centered connection. That's what we're all about here at Purposeful Prosperity. It's all about doing good and making money and building community and taking that transactionality out of work and putting the human back in work. I absolutely love it. So tell me a little bit about how your training is different than others, both from the trucking industry, but I think even from the standard education industry.
Gina Anderson (Guest): Exactly. So a lot of training and instruction is, delivery like this, it's really instructor-to-learner. And so what we were seeing in trucking was basically you put on a video or you're sent out a video and it's very learner-to-content instead of different learning modes that can really connect with human learning. And so when you study the brain and how people learn, there's different modes of learning. So what's being done currently in the trucking industry before we came in was this type of learning, what was dissemination of knowledge and also sending out video. It's not that video is inherently bad, Jack. Video could be a good medium, but the way people learn, there's a lot of different learning formats.
So learner-to-learner engagement. What you're talking about: building learning communities, that was never being done in trucking. Drivers have a lot of information, a lot of experience, and nobody's asking them what they already know and what they want to know to be able to build on that. And so what we've done is we've built learning communities in the trucking industry. So it's not just about the content. We could talk about the content, we have to deliver it shorter in different ways, but it's really about building these connections with the drivers.
And when we did our research this past year, what we found is, in the industry, what's being assigned isn't what the drivers want to learn, it isn't what they want to learn. And so to engage learners, you have to meet them where they're at in the learning experience. So that's really what we're doing. We're really listening to the drivers and giving them a platform so that they can learn from each other, learner-to-learner engagement, they can learn from the instructor in a coaching format. So instead, being a sage on the stage or a coach by their side – and it's really powerful. What we're seeing is safety scores improving and it's just not by chance, it's because of the learning methodology that we're using.
Jack Smith (Host): I love that. Not a stage on the stage, but a coach by your side that is absolutely beautiful. So much about what you said is what we're all about here, right? It is about making that human connection and putting community and purpose into the prosperity that we bring. And so that's actually a really great kind of segue. So tell me a little bit about what prosperity means to you and how you're using your purpose to build prosperity for your community.
Gina Anderson (Guest): Right? So our mission is really to engage and inspire learning, learners. And really what we're doing to do that is we're going and doing research to find out and studying learning behavior. And so over the past ten years, we've been collecting information to know, “How do drivers learn, and how do we build these communities so that they are safe on the road?” Because really our purpose is to get them home alive. We want safer roads. And the way to do that is to tap into these learning communities and to the human mind and how we learn to deliver training. So our entire platform is built on principles that I studied and that we've implemented to build these safer learning communities. And it is amazing because what we're seeing is safer drivers, safer scores, and people engaged in learning. Jack, when people talk about training, what do they say? They don't want to learn it. They're given a link. They're told to go complete this video training and that's it. Who wants to do that?
Jack Smith (Host): It’s a transaction, not a relationship.
Gina Anderson (Guest): There's nothing human about that, exactly.
Jack Smith (Host): And that's that multimodal learning that you get all at once, right? Being able to speak it and you're hearing it and maybe you write down a note or two. And now you've taken three different ways of that information, rather than just sitting there staring at a screen. And maybe you've lost your train of thought and you're thinking about whether I fed the dog this morning or did I close the door.
Gina Anderson (Guest): Right. Jack, did you know that within eight and a half seconds your mind starts to wander?
Jack Smith (Host): Oh, I'm ADHD, Gina. It's like four seconds.
Gina Anderson (Guest): That's the reality of it, right? And so that's why we do eNuggets. So if you go to our site, you'll see this little furry character, its name is Nugget. We deliver micro lessons because of that very reason. There's no reason to sit in a training for four days - you're not going to remember it anyway.
Jack Smith (Host): Break it into bite sized pieces and eat it one bite at a time. That's how you eat an elephant anyway.
Gina Anderson (Guest): Exactly. You got it.
Jack Smith (Host): I absolutely love it. So tell me a little bit more about Nugget. You guys have this mascot and I already see where this is going. I love the concept.
Gina Anderson (Guest): Yeah. So we came up with the concept of Nugget because we're Brighter Learning, and so the burst on our logo is actually Nugget. And so what we do with Nugget is Nugget's purpose is to go around and spread happiness and kindness and knowledge. So this year we sent over a thousand Nuggets to drivers, to employees, to the carriers, with a little message and a challenge. And the message and the challenge is to share knowledge and to be kind and to share kindness. And so they're given just different things in the box. We send a box with Nugget with a challenge, a scavenger hunt. The drivers love it, the community loves it because we're building community because really, learning has to be fun. And the first step of learning is getting someone's attention. And so spreading kindness and goodness and sharing knowledge and open knowledge and learning is part of what we're building.
And so you'll see Nugget and Nugget's good friend. We think everybody needs a friend in the industry. So we also have Brush. Brush is Nugget's best friend. And they go out and we see them. And you can go to our social media and see how our clients are engaging in this concept. And it's fun. We have a lot of fun with it. Learning doesn't have to be boring. You can build community by bringing in everyone into the challenge and challenging your learners to be part of the community because that's really how you build a safety culture.
Jack Smith (Host): I love it. So tell me a little bit about that safety culture. Right, so I think that's really important and thematic to what you guys do. So can you tell me a little bit about what safety culture means to you and how your learning platform develops it?
Gina Anderson (Guest): Yes, I wish I could have brought one of our clients on, Thomas from TransX. We actually just went up to Canada about three weeks ago and we observed how we're changing safety cultures. And it's not us, it's our clients that are adopting these principles. And part of it is bringing your learners into the conversation of learning. How many times have you joined a job where they tell you what you have to learn and they present it in a way that isn't conducive to how people learn? And so what TransX has really done in a lot of our clients is they've incorporated the learners into the experience.
It's not just about sending a link out. If you're doing online training, you can't just send a link out and say, complete this training. It's about using these different strategies, whether it's doing the synchronous that we're doing today and we're connecting across the globe or sending out a video of why we're going to do this. But it's setting the purpose of why you need to learn, setting the purpose and involving your learners in that. And so what they've done is if you walk into their office, you feel the learning, you feel the community.
And that's because they've communicated why it's important to learn and what it means for them and what it means for the learners and then involving them into that experience. It's really about authentic learning and building those authentic learning communities for that purpose.
Jack Smith (Host): I love it. Well, I can't wait for the world to hear more about what you guys are doing. This is absolutely excellent work. Is there anything you didn't get a chance to tell our listeners today about your learning? Your mascot, this awesome, “Making learning more fun and the road safer.” That's so awesome.
Gina Anderson (Guest): Yeah, I would just say this, if you're doing learning today, that isn't it inspiring and engaging or you don't know how to do that, or it seems overwhelming for you, that's why you need a partner in creating these opportunities for your learners. So with our learning, we can do all modes of learning in these little nuggets of information in different modes and means of learning. So certainly it's important to have a partner in developing training programs. And so always consider that just to know that you're not alone in the challenges that you're having with your training.
Jack Smith (Host): So if I heard you correctly there, you're looking for other industries to bring your game changing training solution to.
Gina Anderson (Guest): Yeah, I mean, this would apply to any industry. We're focused in trucking, but we can go, these principles that we share are open and freely available on our social media and on my website, learningwithgina.com and learnwithluma.com. You can use these principles in any industry. If you're trying to build a learning culture at your organization, you certainly could apply the same principles.
Jack Smith (Host): I love it. Is there anywhere else they can find you besides your websites? Is there a better way to communicate?
Gina Anderson (Guest): Yeah, you can go to our websites, like I mentioned, or go to LinkedIn or Facebook. If you want to check out Nugget, go to “Where in the world is Nugget?” on Facebook, but our “Learn with Luma” on LinkedIn. You'll definitely find us on LinkedIn and those are great places to check us out or on Twitter.
Jack Smith (Host): Fantastic. Well, I appreciate it so much, Gina. I love your passion, I love your energy and your creativity. And thanks for making the world a better place.
Thank you, listeners as well, for tuning into the Purposeful Prosperity Podcast. Tune in next week where we'll give you another amazing entrepreneur doing world changing things. Until then, please like, follow, and share, and keep doing good in the world. Thanks for listening.