Date Your Learners Every Day: Focus on Better Learning Experiences
Below is a recap of the webinar, Reducing Time to Market with Online Sales Training, from Wendy Chase. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.
Wendy Chase, of Chase Consulting, is a veteran L&D executive from Sanofi Genzyme and Eli Lilly. In challenging environments, she was able to bring tangible results to the business, resulting in faster time to market for life-changing medicines.
A Familiar Conundrum
In the webinar, Wendy presented the main challenges she faced as an L&D leader, and laid them out as a conundrum:
- Pressures on her organizations were intense: drug development is dynamic and uncertain, regulatory constraints were increasing, and budgets were shrinking
- Training traditionally offered by her organizations followed a ‘check the box’ approach that was becoming less effective
- A need to re-invigorate her L&D staff, to stress the importance of innovation and creative thinking and maintain a competitive edge in the biopharmaceutical industry
- There were numerous LMS systems within the organization, none of which talked with each other nor meet the needs of learners
These challenges are not unique to the biopharma industry, of course, as many businesses are undergoing difficult transformations. So how did Wendy face this conundrum? She started with the recognition that this would not be solved through standard processes and systems, but required disruptive change. As Wendy says:
“I think it’s our responsibility as leaders to disrupt how we engage and equip learners and prove to the organization how the training can impact the bottom line”
This did not mean that she was reckless in adopting change. Wendy advocates an approach of looking “beyond one’s own backyard” for ideas-she looked across different industries and geographies to gather new ideas.
Embracing the Constraints
With renewed energy from seeing what was possible, Wendy tackled each of the aspects of her conundrum:
- To face the organizational pressures, Wendy found an opportunity to make major changes when a sudden regulatory change made sales training the critical path to bringing a new medicine to market. “Find the one thing that can’t wait at your company,” says Wendy, and use that to introduce a disruption.
- To move beyond check-the box training, Wendy looked for ways to build communities in the training environment. Since in-person training was becoming less feasible, her approach was to look for ways to take some of those in-person dynamics (discussions, small teams, project assignments) online.
- To reinvigorate her L&D staff, Wendy cut through the existing buzzwords of “synergy”, “engagement”, “employee experience” etc. by adopting a new mindset. Henceforth L&D should strive to ‘Date your learners every day’, that is, continually pay attention to them and look for ways to make them feel cherished.
- When Wendy surveyed the various LMS systems within the organization, she found that all of them focused on training administration and tracking learners, but none focused on the learning experience itself. So she created a mandate to find a learning platform that would complement the training administration platforms that they had.
The New World of Learning Online
The conundrum she faced, Wendy believed, turned out to be a blessing because these constraints opened the door to a disruptive change. This came in the form of a new online program on the NovoEd Learning Platform, which helped the organization enter the new world of online learning, with a singular focus on the learning experience. She expands:
“NovoEd can provide a look and feel where you can put people into small groups where they can solve one problem together and they can share that with other people…it’s that ‘workshop experience’ that can now be done online”
In fact, Wendy suggests that some things can be done even better online, citing leadership development, where stretching out the training online over several weeks allows people to apply what they learn in their day-to-day jobs between the online training sessions. Thus, it is clear that we are at the start of a new world in online learning, and Wendy is one of the trailblazers showing the way: “I truly believe online learning can and does transform business and organizations,” she says.
If you would like to see the full webinar, you can watch the recording here. To learn more about the NovoEd Learning Platform, please contact us below.