You Are Never too Old to Learn Something New: A Kirkpatrick Tribute

This morning I received a message from Donald Kirkpatrick’s LinkedIn account informing me that he passed away a few weeks ago. For those of you unfamiliar with Dr. Kirkpatrick, he created the Kirkpatrick model of training evaluation. For those of us in the training and development industry, his work set the stage for evaluating the effectiveness of the work we did. He was truly a legend and it’s comforting to know that his work lives on with his son and daughter in-law via Kirkpatrick Partners.

Even though I first used the Kirkpatrick model over 25 years ago as a corporate trainer, I never personally met Don. But we did have some interesting interactions not too many years ago. You see, LinkedIn sent me a “you might know this person” message, referencing Dr. Kirkpatrick. My reaction was, well, yes, I “know” his work, but I don’t personally know him. For grins, I sent him an invitation and he accepted!

We exchanged LinkedIn private messages in which I thanked him for his service to the training field and he was graciously humble in his reply. Now, here’s the thing: this man was in his mid-eighties when we had this exchange. Not only was he still active in his profession, but he was still learning to use new technologies.

I will never forget those exchanges, because they are fabulous reminders that we are never too old to live our passion and we are certainly never too old to learn something new.

Rest in peace, Donald L. Kirkpatrick.

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