It’s not news that catastrophes often lead to rapid increases in innovation, particularly medicine.
While we now face a different type of threat to a war, many countries are making great strides in epidemiology, public health and speeding up processes for developing vaccines.
And this pandemic is also bringing change in other (admittedly less important) areas.
Learning and development now have to adapt to remote working and social distancing.
This has meant, obviously, a big move to virtual classrooms and live online training plus a lot of adapting to, and planning for, more remote working.
Certainly it is not just Zoom and Teams who are thriving. We have been working with many other platforms too.
The good thing is, this helps people to produce better work and more interesting, effective learning.
“Because the best creativity comes when you have to make the most of the limitations you have.” (As the Creative Director at Ogilvy used to say to me.)
We have recently been lucky enough to be forced, often under tight deadlines, to take the best you can do with one client’s situation and apply it to another client’s completely different situation, platform and corresponding set of restrictions.
This is proving really fruitful and works both ways. For instance, applying what you can do with Adobe Connect makes you think differently from others about how you may use Teams. And then taking some of the benefits that Teams offers helps you view how you may use Zoom in a new way. And so on with all the platforms. And all our clients’ different needs and challenges.
It’s actually really good fun and refreshing – and it keeps us on our toes.
So what have we learned?
Well, without giving away lots of secrets 😊, it is about how you:
- Be more open-minded about the ‘limitations’ of some platforms
- Understand the participants’ restrictions
- Go beyond tactical solutions for ‘one-off’ virtual sessions
- Use the assets you create in different ways and make more available after the training
- Balance the benefits of connectivity vs functionality
- View collaboration as both a short-term benefit (sharing in a live online training session) and a long-term solution (using the assets and functionality different platforms have for sharing ideas)
Now obviously this is easier if you are on the ‘vendor side’ and you have to work with a wide variety of organizations and virtual learning platforms.
But if you are ‘in-house’ the chances are you can still do some of this yourself. You can review the offerings that different platforms and visualise how you would use them.
You can also download trials of the various platforms and see what positives and negatives these alternatives have, which in turn may help you see your existing platform in a new way.
And finally, you can use the classic creativity approach too (again, thanks to my Ogilvy colleague): “Look at the challenges you currently face through the eyes of someone completely different.”
Ask yourself how someone who works in an ICU would approach moving all your training to digital for the next 12 months? Or consider how someone who works at the WHO would think about creating a powerful 2-month learning programme for you?
It may give you some insights and also help you to do your part for making others’ (your learners) lives a bit easier during these times.
Matt Turner, Director, LiveTime Learning Ltd