Today a new client reached out after finding us online. Our conversation was (as expected) very cordial and (happily) it has led to follow-up meeting about next steps.
So why write about it…?
Primarily, because they began the conversation by telling me they were new to 'training'; but it seemed to them that learning was always an organizational 'after-thought'.
A box to be checked, but not a process worthy of planning rigour; which didn’t seem right to them. But coming from a marketing background, they weren’t certain if a ‘learning strategy’ was even ‘a thing’. Now that might make learning professionals shudder, but to be fair, how often is learning done off the side of your originations’ (proverbial) desk? Training is too often viewed, even in this day and age, as a ‘just in time’ effort.
This prospective client told me they had content, they obviously knew their business, but they just wanted to make sure they moved forward with the willful intent to achieve something more than simply “checking a box”.
They wanted a strategy.
How novel. They wanted a road map to make (in their case) policies and procedures training, a learning experience that wouldn’t be excruciating for those required to sit through it… As my client said toward the end of their explanation for why they were reaching out… “We want the learning to be customized, interesting, impactful and fun. Then they asked… wait for it…
…”Is that realistic?”
Just imagine a Marketing executive reaching out to a prospective advertising agency with their creative wish-list, then punctuating that conversation, with (what is ostensibly) a desire to have their campaign be memorable.
Why, because, marketers reach the outside customer and demand maximum impact from their campaigns. Learning professionals reach the inside customer and hope they can hobble together a program (blended or otherwise) that will teach their colleagues (in 30 minutes or less) everything their outside customer has been learning via a multifaceted campaign over months.
As professionals, we know that learning happens over time, in stages. Some curriculum hammer home results immediately, some fail to yield expected outcomes. Just like any program.
As I told the client, we owe it to those we are educating to: plan, develop, execute, refine, engage, misfire, recalibrate, amplify, target... to ensure success.
You know... plan.