From the Desk of David Childers – Will Google Glass and Small Packet Video Revolutionize the Way We Train?
The information, or “content,” associated with this learning is a combination of organizational knowledge, subject matter expertise and generally accepted guidelines consistent with the industry, and the laws and regulations that surround them. Most companies train their stakeholders with a “just in case” mindset. Just as we learned sentence diagramming and geometry in high school, we teach the fundamentals of our business environment just in case the stakeholder needs it. We also limit liabilities by printing “the liquid in this cup is hot” on the coffee cups at McDonald’s to ensure the consumer knows it “just in case.” Every domestic and international law associated with regulated compliance reinforces the organization’s ability to demonstrate the governance by which they approached each identified risk. Most importantly, to showcase clear instruction as to what is acceptable behavior or action by the stakeholder, just in case.
Training was historically expensive to deploy and difficult to develop. Online training replaced the “corporate trainer” and allowed stakeholders to take training at their own pace and provided for a more consistent learning experience. Pricing for training has continued to fall but it is time for the revolution that changed the way we think about rich media delivery to impact the way we train. It is time to consider the shift from a “trained” workforce to an “informed” workforce.
A private study, developed by an online training company, found that five-to-ten minutes of clear instruction was as effective in delivering the organization’s directive, goal or requirement as 45 minutes to an hour of training. Consider the impact and effectiveness of 10-second commercials and the less than 2-minute short media messaging deployed for lead-generation and product awareness. Stakeholders in an informed workforce need to know what is required of them, but also where to go to get an immediate refresher or “just in time” information. Just in time information isn’t new. More than 50 years ago, manufacturers printed step-by-step instructions on a 3×5 card or riveted in metal onto equipment so that a worker had an immediate reinforcement to their training.
With the advent of new learning delivery systems and low cost video editors, anyone with adequate computer skills can create a compelling and straightforward explanation video. As organizations consider shifting to this new paradigm in training, the very nature of this very low-cost method creates opportunity not experienced before. Organizations can share their tribal knowledge by simply filming and adding dialog from seasoned veterans who are a trusted trainer to the stakeholder seeking guidance. In 2010, the Edelman Trust Survey changed the way we began to market products and services. Instead of paid actors, we started placing real people in testimonials about how they use, love and need the product or service. Edelman said, “People trust people just like them.” The same should apply to placing trusted members of your community in front of a camera and letting them explain the value to the organization and the stakeholder.
For the past couple of months I have been learning how to use GoogleGlass. When you add the content delivery option via a wearable computer, individuals that need just in time instruction can not only get it immediately, but also have both hands free to complete the task. While the news reports are not confirmed by the NYPD, they are using GoogleGlass with a sample group of officers to determine the value of just in time information in the field.
Not every industry is going to embrace this thinking but groups such as retail, auto dealers, food service and processing, residential healthcare, manufacturing, utility crews and construction are ripe for the combination of short vignette just in case and just in time training.