5 Ways to Make Your Outdated Training Methods Effective

Many organizations struggle with outdated training methods that are no longer effective for various reasons. Whether it be generational differences, technology enhancements or stale content, the need to change and adapt has become a requirement to stay aligned to the modern learner. But the transition from making old technology and old content work for modern learners is not only a time consuming process, it’s a hard one. So, where do you start?

Here are 5 simple ways to be more effective in aligning to the modern learner.

  1. Leverage Video – Video popularity doesn’t even need stats anymore. It’s blown up. Platforms like Youtube, as well as Social networks that primarily leverage video, like Snapchat (How Snapchat is changing Corporate Learning) , has created video monsters in modern learners. Organizations have taken notice and are using it at the highest rate of all time. It doesn’t hurt that it’s cost effective for both building and deploying as well.
  2. Stretch Their Thinking – Providing content that helps the learner stretch their mind  goes a long way in being more effective with the modern learner. Using stories, models, or even a theory is a fantastic way to do this.
  3. Include Social – The modern learner is social and they are willing and able to engage with each other to help others learn. Use social functionality to leverage the collective intelligence and improve engagement.
  4. Involve the Learner– The best way to be sure you know something is to teach it to someone else. Asking learners to teach back or for action after learning is a fantastic way to be more effective with the modern learner.
  5. Provide Coaching– The easiest thing to get right, yet the one that is often not leveraged. Give learners feedback and coaching based on their actions and involvement in the learning process.

All of these might not be necessary for every learning program, but each one will go a long way in being more effective in developing the modern learner.

Want to see a modern learning program in action?  Check out LearnLoft’s out of the box Leadership Development Program for young professionals. Getting Leadership Ready Program. 

3 Levels of Social Learning [Infographic]

Social Learning has been a buzz word in the Learning and Development world for sometime.  For many years, the best social learning examples included: group work or role plays within Instructor Led Training Sessions.  No longer is that the best method for putting the “social” in social learning.  With the explosion of social networking and people’s comfort level in sharing ideas, best practices, and encouragement (or distain) on these networks, it has opened the door of evolution into the world of corporate learning.

We’ve been at social learning for a couple years and here are the 3 Levels of social learning based on our experience.

3 Levels of Social Learning.001

Want to learn more about how we use social learning in our Getting Leadership Ready Program?Find out more here.

Top 5 Tuesdays 2.18.16

Here is your weekly dose of Top 5 Tuesday: A list of things we are thinking, reading, watching, or doing to stay on top of our game and we think you should too:

Articles Worth Reading 

How to Become a Change Agent Creator with Taught Leader John Kotter

@Keenan does a great series on on his blog called “Taught Leaders” where he highlights great thinkers and ideas.  Here he highlights change expert John Kotter’s book, Change. Our favorite line “without change, there is not growth. There is no innovation. There is no advancement.”

Quotes Engrained in Our Minds

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

What Podcast We’re Listening To

How Seth Godin Manages his Life- Rules, Principles, and Obsessions

This was a no brainer because its probably the best podcast we have ever heard. Tim Ferriss had  Seth Godin (@thisissethsblog) on the podcast. He is the author of 17 bestselling books that have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the way ideas spread, marketing, strategic quitting, leadership, and — most of all — challenging the status quo in all areas. The interview was beyond good.  Tim even retweeted us he liked it so much.


What We’re Watching

A couple powerful lessons in this one minute video from The High Calling.

Tip of the Week 

Whats the most popular app we use every day? Audible.  There is no better platform out there for audiobooks.

Please let us know if there are suggestions for articles, quotes, shows, or tools we should highlight. Tweet us at @johngeades or@learn_loft.

For more great insight:

Follow Us On LinkedIn

Follow Us on Twitter

Like Us on Facebook

How Snapchat is Changing Corporate Learning

We know we are on a little bit of a Snapchat kick but look, technology changes fast. It’s common for an organization’s major software purchase to be outdated by the time it’s implemented into the workforce. As fast as technology is changing in the enterprise market, it’s changing 10X faster in the consumer market.

So why should corporate training care about what’s going on in the ever-changing consumer technology market? For the first time ever, Millennials (the major consumer of these technology applications) are the largest percentage of the workforce, and by 2025 they will make up 75% of the workforce.

Corporate trainers should care because their core audience is or soon will be young professionals. These learners have a different mindset; here are 8 traits of the corporate learner in 2016. These learners are savvy users of technology and are used to picking their preferred technology applications. One of the biggest choices they are now making is Snapchat.

For those of you not familiar with Snapchat, here is a quick summary of 6 things users are familiar with and now expect.

  1. Short, concise content.
    When I say short, I mean short.  10 Seconds per snap! These can be paired together to create a Snapchat story (always under 3 minutes).
  2. Visual-based.
    “Snaps” (the output of Snapchat) are video clips or photos taken from a mobile device.
  3. Unedited and imperfect.
    The app doesn’t allow for video editing or perfection. People are comfortable with video that delivers meaningful messages over cinema quality.
  4. Instant notifications.
    When new Snapchat messages come in users get a notification on their phone making them aware of it.
  5. On demand. 
    Snapchat messages are consumed when it’s convenient for the user.
  6. Text or chat friends.
    Interacting with each other through quick chat is extremely simple.

So how is this fast growing application changing corporate training? Snapchat’s two biggest effects on corporate training will be on a learner’s expectation of technology and learning content.

Here are a few ideas that any organization can begin to think about to align to the young professional using Snapchat:

  • Create Shorter Content.
    Break down content into microlearning, defined as short bite sized bits of content that ensure knowledge is transferred in a visible, tangible, or measurable way.
  • Use Video.
    Get those cell phone or computer camera’s ready for action. Video has never been easier to create and now you don’t have to be an expert editor to make video that people want to consume.
  • Utilize On Demand Learning.
    Millennials are much more inclined to seek out learning than any generation before them.  Give them a place to go learn and consume on their own.

Take note of the changes happening around you and begin thinking about how you can move away from an old school Learning Management System or tired content and begin focusing engaging and educating the modern learner.

You can find our President John Eades snapchat @johngeades.

Key Statistics of the Modern Learner

The availability and accessibility of quality learning content has increased dramatically since the invention of the internet. Organizations are now expected to create and deploy meaningful content to their learners, while still simultaneously measuring its impact. It’s critically important that we understand the modern learner, which in turn will enable organizations to better serve them.  

Using a recent study from Towards Maturity, we gathered the key statistics of the modern learner. 

Key Statistics of the Modern Learner.png

Get a Loft. Train Your Team. See Results. If you have team members and want to quickly and easily distribute online training to your team, sign up for your free trial of LearnLoft. It’s deftly simple to build or distribute courses, then track and measure how knowledge is transferred.

Microlearning is Getting BIG and How to Be Part of It

If organizations want to attract, develop and retain talent in this generation, they have to adapt to their audience. To quote The Kinks, “give the people want they want”.

  1. Assign One Learning Objective Per Asset
    We define a Learning Objective by what the learner will do or know after they consume the asset. So focus on just one learning objective so the learner will know exactly what they need to focus on to ensure knowledge is transferred. The more objectives you try to introduce, the longer your content will be. Ultimately, you’ll lose your audience.
  2. Use Video
    70 percent of Millennials visit YouTube monthly. They simply prefer video over other mediums.
  3. Production Quality Matters
    Technology has made it so nearly everyone has the ability to create video – whether it’s on a smartphone, tablet, a professional camera or a GoPro. But bad video can take away from good content. It doesn’t take much to enhance your video quality without spending a lot of money. Try using natural light from a window, shoot in a quite room, and set up your camera slightly above your eye level. If you’re looking for more tips on creating quality video check out Wistia’s learning center.
  4. Timing is Everything
    Remember that 90-second statistic? Microlearning videos should be 4 minutes or less. Learners want to get straight to the point. When creating scripts for video, a good rule of thumb to follow is 120 words for every minute of video. Making a short, content-rich video requires the ability to self-edit. If your scripting assets, take a good look at the content, and eliminate ALL the fluff. If your content is still longer than 4 minutes, you’re probably breaking the first commandment.
    Here are a couple of tips: First, don’t waste time in a video talking about something a learner can download and review outside of the video. Second, assume your audience is intelligent. Don’t waste time telling them how to navigate through the videos (these are tech savvy people). And please don’t talk down to them or add insincere dialogue.
  5. Prove Learning Took Place
    When you build your content, think about how you will know learning took place. Instead of just asking them to answer a couple multiple choice questions, ask them to demonstrate their knowledge. For example, If you’re teaching personal branding, you could ask learners to send a video of themselves delivering a 30-second elevator speech. This not only allows to prove learning took place, but also creates the opportunity for coaching and improvement.
    After all, learning shouldn’t be a one-time event. Instead, it should be an evolving and adaptive process that creates a unique and personalized experience for each learner.

If you can begin incorporating these 5 Commandments as you venture into the world of Microlearning, you’ll be in alignment with current learning trends and more important this new generation of employees.

5 Reasons Leaders Should Be Using Snapchat

At thirty-three years old, I am in an interesting position in the professional world. I am not young enough to be an expert in every new social application that comes out; however, I understand how important it is to pay attention to trends and use them to further my business. Leaders and business professionals who are ten, twenty, thirty years older than me seem to want to complain about the young professional (millennials) using (attached) to these apps. Whether they like it or not, it’s a reality of the world in which we live and do business in, and it’s not going away. Instead of digging their heels in the sand, these leaders need to use new tools to educate, engage, and enlighten their current and future employees.

Snapchat is a social platform that is fast becoming an extremely popular tool in business. It’s beyond relevant, with 100M active users and over 7B daily video views. Snapchat allows users to share images or videos of 10 seconds or less and link them together to make a story. The videos and images can be watched once or twice, and only stay on the platform for 24 hours. Then poof; they are gone. If you want to know the full story check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s post “The Snap Generation: A Guide to Snapchat’s Story”.

If you are reading this, you are most likely a forward-thinking leader. Here are 5 reasons why you, and every leader should use or at the very least give Snapchat a try.

1. Show your personal side

Most leaders are only known at the office or where work is conducted, but employees today want to know their leader is human. What they do outside of work; hobbies, cool places they go, things they do, etc. A little of this goes a long way; be careful not to over share. You can show your personal side without being too “personal.”

2. Recruit Young Talent

An old mentor of mine always told me, “fish where the fish are.” The same goes with recruiting young talent. Companies are in the midst of the greatest talent war of all time. The age demographic for the largest number of users on Snapchat is between 17-24. These are our next group of employees entering the workforce. The CEO on Snapchat who posts regularly about their life and business, is going to attract the young talent as they prepare to enter the workforce. The CEO who holes up in a corner office, rolling their eyes at the latest social media fad will miss the proverbial boat full of young, hungry, educated potential employees.

 3. Challenge Yourself

Most people who are in leadership positions got there partly because they are competitive. They like solving hard problems and they are open to challenging themselves beyond their perceived limits. Growing an audience on Snapchat is a challenge. It’s like old school marketing and good old fashion hard work. Challenge yourself to figure out something new.

 4. Stay Relevant

As Reid Hoffman famously said “ You have to constantly be reinventing yourself and investing in the future.” This is exactly why leaders should do doing things like Snapchat. It’s an investment in their future and a way to show their teams they aren’t stuck in the mud with old thinking.

 5. Provide Instant Education

I realize many leaders can’t and shouldn’t share insider information to the outside world. But Snapchat is a tremendous way to share your personal knowledge and experience in an instant.  The best snaps I have seen, provide brief moments of inspiration or education that help me think outside the box.

If you are a leader of people and you haven’t yet explored Snapchat or you keep a ban on yourself because it’s the way your leaders did so in the past, maybe its time you change your thinking.  If Snapchat isn’t your thing, my hope if you will find alternative ways to implement these five ideas to modernize your leadership skills.

Add me on snapchat @johngeades

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn and was read by over 10,000 people.

Get a Loft. Train Your Team. See Results. If you have team members and want to quickly an easily distribute online training to your team, sign up for your a free LearnLoft account. It’s deftly simple to create your own company learning platform, then build or distribute courses and measure knowledge transfer.

The Millennial Invasion Infographic

Want to better understand millennials in the workforce?

Is it important to provide them different kinds of training or in a different modality?  Do they need more hand holding?  In order to make these decisions, it’s first important to understand who they really are.  Check out our infographic to learn more in seconds:


For more great insight:

Follow Us On LinkedIn

Follow Us on Twitter

Like Us on Facebook

Top 5 Tuesday 1.19.2015

Here is your weekly dose of Top 5 Tuesday: A list of things we are thinking, reading, watching, or doing to stay on top of our game and we think you should too:

Articles Worth Reading 

30 Days Is All You Have to Make and Initial Impact

Paul LaRue tells us the quicker a leader can get trust and knowledge established, the faster it will take for people to engage and support the mission that is laid before you. Our favorite point is “assess talent and address skill gaps.”

Quotes Engrained in Our Minds

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” Mother Teresa

What We’re Listening To

Episode 49 of the Bill Simmons Podcast

Simmons had Malcolm Gladwell on the show last week and we listen to anything that involves Gladwell.  There is one thing for sure you will never get dumber when you listen to Gladwell.

What We’re Watching

Leadership Training Gone Wrong by Studio C

Tip of the Week 

Whats the most popular app we use every day? iTunes Podcasts. We subscribe to many podcasts to help us grow in our personal development and we listen to them a lot.

Please let us know if there are suggestions for articles, quotes, shows, or tools we should highlight. Tweet us at @johngeades or @learn_loft.

For more great insight:

Follow Us On LinkedIn

Follow Us on Twitter

Like Us on Facebook

3 Ways to Get Millennials Leadership Ready Today

Becoming a leader has always been a sign of career advancement; but most importantly it’s a way to make a real impact.

Collectively, Millennials consist of a generation of people who demand to feel fulfilled by the work that they do. As a Millennial leader, I can speak from experience to say, we want to make a difference in our world and expect the organizations we work for, to provide these opportunities. At the same time, we’re also impatient, anxious to do things on our own, and always feel like we have something to prove. In these desires lies one of our biggest opportunities; to become driven, kind, confident, intelligent, ethical… leaders.

Unfortunately, for a Millennial to earn a leadership position, there are many obstacles we have to face. Studies show that organizations don’t think we are ready to lead.  As much as 60% of Millennials want to become leaders, yet only 6% of organizations believe their leadership pipeline is “Very Ready.” (Deloitte) In other words, we have a gap to close, a fairly large gap. But I believe Millennials have the potential to be great leaders specifically, because by our very nature, we have a desire to collaborate and elevate the people around us.

Why is it so important that an organization see Millennials as leaders? Because becoming a leader of people, provides the opportunity to make a real impact on the world, regardless of the organization you work for or the job you do. John Quincy Adams best sums it when he said,

“ If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, become more, you are a leader.”

That’s the definition of making an impact! Here are 3 ways Millennials can get their organization to view them as leadership ready?

Bring Your Character to Work

Character is both the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. It’s the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that you exemplify daily. It’s a combination or an accumulation of your thoughts and your actions. Ultimately, People Follow People, Not Titles.

So naturally, you have bring your character to work with you every day. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your character is showing at the office.

  • Lead by example
  • Exhibit confidence with humility
  • Own your character, not your reputation

Get Great at Reading Social Context

Non-verbal cues play a huge part in the way we communicate – in fact, nonverbal communication can have up to 93% more impact than actual words spoken.

How others perceive you through your non-verbal communication significantly impacts your effectiveness in business and as a leader. So it’s important that you are both able to read the nonverbal cues of others and send the right messages in order to better serve. Here are a few tips:

  • Have self awareness
  • Be aware of others
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Dress to the environment

Produce Results

One of the simplest, yet most important things Millennials forget is the importance of producing results. Can you directly tie your work performance to tangible business results?

Are you just completing tasks or are you producing results? The quickest and most efficient route to being considered for job promotion in any organization is the latter. The quickest and most efficient path for getting into a leadership role, is producing results particularly with others!

A parting thought: your base level leadership abilities are different than your coworkers, your boss’s or your CEO’s because your life and professional experiences are different. Take ownership of your leadership abilities; then focus on the things that will help get you to a leadership position. It is then and there that you will be able to make a real impact on this world regardless of where you work.