Keynote Session | Tuesday, June 26 | 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Developing training programs that help learners reach new levels of performance is the goal of all learning and development professionals. The crucial need to improve performance is seen in all layers of an organization including leaders and executives wanting to improve their impact while developing the next generation of leadership. Dr. Anders Ericsson brings a practical approach to what it truly takes to get better at virtually anything, and more importantly, what we as training professionals can do to make sure our learning programs are designed to help others to keep improving and eventually achieve peak performance. Through years of research, Dr. Ericsson has studied the greatest musicians, sports professionals and even surgeons to understand what it takes to systematically, purposefully and deliberately achieve a high level of skill.

In his keynote session, Dr. Ericsson will teach us the principles associated with purposeful and deliberate practice and how they can be applied to professional development in the workforce. He will also share everyday life stories of how average performers in a given domain became great performers by following these principles. He will help us understand how to design learning environments that not only communicate information but also build reinforcement and practice as a basis for ongoing learning and performance. You will learn that the keys to developing a world-class workforce include purposeful and deliberate practice that is guided by a coach with the appropriate skills, immediate and objective feedback, and challenging learners to push through plateaus and complacency.


K. Anders Ericsson, Ph.D., Conradi Eminent Scholar and professor of psychology, Florida State University
K. Anders Ericsson, Ph.D., is presently a Conradi Eminent Scholar and professor of psychology at Florida State University. After earning his Ph.D. in Sweden, he collaborated with the Nobel Prize winner in economics, Herbert A. Simon, on verbal reports of thinking leading to their classic book “Protocol Analysis: Verbal Reports as Data” (1984).

Currently he studies the measurement of expert performance in domains such as music, chess, nursing, law enforcement and sports, and how expert performers attain their superior performance by acquiring complex cognitive mechanisms and physiological adaptations through extended deliberate practice. He has edited several books on expertise, the influential “Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance” consisted of over 40 chapters and 900 pages and the recent “Development of Professional Expertise,” which appeared in 2009. His most recent book, “Peak: Secrets from the new science of expertise,” was co-authored with Robert Pool (2016). His research has been featured in cover stories in Scientific American, Time, Fortune, Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

He has been invited to give keynote presentations at conferences of surgeons, musicians, teachers, clinical psychologists, athletes and coaches as well as professional sports organizations, such as the Philadelphia Eagles (American football), San Antonio Spurs (basketball), Toronto Blue Jays (baseball), and Manchester City (soccer).