The 5 Golden Things from 2020 We’re Taking With Us Into 2021

If you’re joining us from our December product launch email, welcome! And if you found this post all on your own through LinkedIn or our blog or somewhere else, welcome to you, too. Let’s give new life to old gold.

What does that even mean?

I’m glad you asked. Earlier this year, our CEO at Lessonly, Max Yoder, shared a note about giving new life to old gold. “All ideas sit in quicksand,” he wrote. “It is important to lift up the life-giving ones, so they aren’t forgotten or lost.” Let’s be honest: 2020 is a year that feels like quicksand. There’s been loss, grief, boredom, and isolation. But, there have also been life-giving parts to 2020.

So while this year was undeniably tough, we also saw some gold in it, too. Here are five glimmers of connection and progress my teammates and I found that we’re taking with us into 2021. 

First things first: Community

This year, we pivoted and jumped with both feet into building a virtual community with the people around us. We’re still figuring it out (aren’t we all?), but the connections and camaraderie from this year have been felt in not only our Lessonly community, but also in our Indianapolis and global community. We needed each other unlike ever before, and it’s been a year of learning, advocacy, growth, and equity. Our work is far from over, but we’re committed to taking action from here on out to fill our conversations, actions, workplaces, and more with compassion and justice. So, let’s dive in and talk about what happened!

🦙 LlamaNation

What a glorious part of 2020. LlamaNation, our customer community, went live back in June. Today, 500+ leaders and llamas from around the globe are friends, colleagues, and confidants. From best practice sessions to coffee connection events to live llama sightings on Zoom, this community has fun, learns well, and makes us all feel more connected. If you’re a customer and thinking to yourself that you could add to and learn from LlamaNation, it’s free and so simple to join. You can apply right here.

💛 Equity

The realities of systemic racism, coupled with the events that unfolded during 2020, prompted our entire team to explore how we can take action against social injustice and amplify the voices of black, brown, and indigenous communities (BIPOC) everywhere. Our work is just beginning, but we’re fully committed to building a more equitable future. 

This year, we launched three initiatives to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in Indianapolis and beyond. These include: Lessonly for GoodBrighter Indy grants, and premium Anti-Racism 101 training content for customers with proceeds benefiting The Black Teacher Project. To learn more, visit or, as always, feel free to email your Account Manager.

Second up: Our Product

2020 was filled with product growth and development, and honestly, we owe almost all of that progress to our customers, and more specifically our Customer Advisory Board. So CAB members reading this, thank you. Thanks for keeping us on track and helping us evolve Lessonly to be what your teams need to do Better Work. Without your guidance and feedback, we wouldn’t know what to build. So, let’s talk a bit more about the three specific elements of our product: Practice, Certifications, and Conversations.

🔁 Practice 

Our product, Practice, first launched in 2018. But with your feedback and help, we further developed On-Demand Practice, the Gradebook, Feedback Criteria, and Highlighted Examples to empower teams to pivot and align in new ways. And the good news about Practice? We’re nowhere near done optimizing it and making it more useful. Practice has quickly become a staple of our product because without practice, people can’t become exceptional at what they do. Our goal with every improvement to Practice is to make it easier for teams to practice at scale and on-demand. Be on the lookout for way more updates in the new year!

🎉 Certifications

In October, we launched Lessonly Certifications. Now, leaders build certifications from lessons and paths, customize badges for their teammates, and enjoy unlimited digital confetti celebrations. (You can take our Customer Service Enablement 101 certification and see the product in action here—it’s 100% free!) Rather than trying to cram all sorts of information about the functionality of Certifications into this blog post, check out the actual product launch post from October for more details right here.

💬 Conversations

The best teams practice empathy, communication, and connection. With Lessonly Conversations, we watched our customers simplify all three. Since April, teams have created multi-step Conversations in On-Demand Practice so everyone can apply what they’re learning to chat and phone conversations. We love it. And we may or may not be bringing Conversations to in-lesson Practice in early 2021—stay tuned!

Final thoughts

Max ended the note I referred to at the beginning of this blog post with this line: “I hope you are inspired to look back, find old gold, and give it new life in your own way.” May we look back at 2020 and remember the small wins, the lessons learned, and the people we leaned on this year. No matter if you’re a customer, prospect, Lessonly fan, or just a reader who found yourself here, I challenge you to have grace and empathy with yourself as you look back at 2020, and I hope you  glean some gold from it all and take it with you.

If you have questions about anything you just read and you’re not a Lessonly customer (yet), feel free to email us at If you are a customer, feel free to reach out to your Account Manager, drop a note in LlamaNation, or shoot a message to our support team. We’re always here to help!

Thanks for reading! 


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