As an AllenComm performance consultant (PC), I work the frontline to serve clients in search of employee training. Studying the clients’ situations, I triage their needs—do they need a conversion, an evolution, or a revolution? In each circumstance, it falls to performance consultants to formulate a case for change. In short, what AllenComm PCs do: create and then fortify a vision of what ends up being the AllenComm product. What AllenComm PCs don’t do: create a product that has no vision worth fortifying. Part of our craft is knowing the difference. Despite conventional thought, our product is the learner transformation that benefits the client, and the courses we make are the means to that end. While the project may evolve and iterate, we leave nothing to chance and protect the vision for two groups: the client and their learners.
A lot could obscure that vision. In a sea of client content, influences, purposes, opinions, and starting points that could shape the vision, we’ve found a deliberate way to tailor it to propel our clients forward. This isn’t an exception. This is our rule. We don’t give the learner IQ surges. Fast knowledge is just a placebo for change. We give the learner measurable behavior transformation.
How do we create this vision for change, built on sensing the present and future states of these two groups? To have a vision, we must first have an end goal. We then reverse engineer to its inception. Think C= B + A. If we want successful clients (C), their learners must be ready to progress beyond benchmark training (B), so we at AllenComm must boost the learner further than expected (A). This is something we call The AllenComm Boost.
WE GIVE LEARNERS THE ALLENCOMM BOOST
What does The AllenComm Boost mean for PCs at our desks? It means that if, on the one extreme, we’re given 200 pages and 175 slides and 67 videos as client content, we don’t just distill it for what will transform the learner; we give it The AllenComm Boost. The AllenComm Boost has two parts: 1) We not only unearth the material that will boost the learner up further than the client’s benchmark, we 2) make connections in that material that the client did not see. We place these new connections into the larger vision and deliver the learner to a new place that outweighs, outperforms, and outlasts what the client was expecting. The result is worth the effort.
WE MAKE CONNECTIONS
The AllenComm Boost plays out in our designs by detecting fresh opportunities for learner growth. For example, a recent sales enablement client intended for two separate ideas to be taught in two separate mini-modules. When we realized that the two ideas could be combined into one mini-module to create a new, third idea that would teach the sellers a cognitive pattern that would solve a tough on-the-job problem, the connection gave the client and their sellers the boost they didn’t know they needed. In short, while PCs make many new connections from among the client content and context, we only design from those which will enable learners to make connections themselves. We design these learner connections to be the personal discoveries that will ultimately optimize learners’ on-the-job behavior. That is, those connections that will execute learner transformation govern the creation of the vision. The rest are just info power-bites.
WE USE SENSORS
To make connections that ensure The AllenComm Boost, we first activate sensors that allow us to see simultaneously the present and future states of both the client and the client’s learners. PCs at AllenComm are trained to sense the quiet and invisible parts of the client’s and learner’s contexts. While it is a subtle exercise, we reject “sixth” in favor of “common” sense. Our know-how is built on sensing from conversations, documents, interviews, surveys, stats, previous trainings, videos, and workshops which disparate idiosyncrasies connect to form a cohesive forward plan. We could loosely liken the process to the Internet of Things (IoT). In the sense that IoT relies on sensors to make unexpected connections, we use our professional sensors to exchange data with the client and create a network of ideas that will boost the learner and, thereby, the client to a higher future state.
BIG PAYBACK FROM THE ALLENCOMM BOOST
When PCs present a wholistic picture to the client that will boost them, their learners, and their organization up—in revenue, sales, retention, compliance, onboarding rates, brand, and so on—clients lean forward and listen. While recently working with a client executive of a global auto manufacturer, we showed that we not only understood their business and their culture, but also had sensed— by making connections with the content, from conversations with different stakeholders, and by reading between the lines of their current instructor-led training— that this new training needed to be a part of something bigger. While I was mid-sentence sharing our unexpected ideas for a larger organizational initiative, the client broke in and said, “Let me stop you right there. I am salivating. This is exactly the AllenComm experience we’d been hoping for.” After these ideas became our strategy, the client said, “This is a breakthrough. This will revolutionize our culture.” Our expectation is to boost beyond expectation. It’s not a platitude. It’s just the better way to design.
THE ALLENCOMM BOOST IN THE LEARNER’S MIND
Creating The AllenComm Boost vision starts like this: scribbled wireframes on lined notebook paper; gobbledygook marker arrows, boxes, and ideograms on whiteboards; and sticky-note brainstorms on monitors. While we’d forgive anyone who didn’t see vision in this, we hope they’d appreciate that our task is to amalgamate these cryptographs with the learner’s mind in mind. We see the vision, and we see beyond how it all will be organized and justified in our official design documents. We see beyond how it will land on the landing page. We see beyond how the artist will turn it from wireframe scribbles to formed visual concepts. We see the learner at his laptop and try to anticipate every possibility for how he might click through decisions. We imagine the consultant and former AllenComm learner on her phone at a client site, quickly referencing one of our mobile job aids. We see the associate securing more sales because our application transfer tools were designed just for her job. What we don’t see: learners arriving at some plateau. Instead, we see learners’ job performance boosted up beyond projected business impact. That is our vision.
THE ALLENCOMM BOOST IN THE CLIENT’S MIND
Faster than I could write it down, a client recently said, “The reason we chose AllenComm is that you’re obviously seeing the vision how to help our consultants in new and interesting and innovative ways. The stuff I’m seeing will bring us back to AllenComm in the future.” Drop mic? Nope. Just part of our job.
Strangers to serendipity, we at AllenComm know that one of our courses is more than the sum of its parts. While our innovation is in parts—LX, video, motion, gamification, and activities—it is ultimately in the people the parts serve. Each project is a method for change in business outcomes. Our craft is to filter, hone, fuse, and walk a design through production until the vision of the client and learners getting The AllenComm Boost is realized.