1. What type of leader are you? Are you a Multiplier or a Diminisher? Multipliers get 2x more from their people. Want in? Assume that people are smart and will figure it out. Be a “talent magnet” – attract talented people and use them at their highest point of contribution. Be a “liberator” – create an intense environment that requires people’s best thinking and work. Be a “challenger” – define opportunities that cause people to stretch. Be a “debate maker” – drive sound decisions through rigorous debate. Be an “investor” – give other people ownership for results and invest in their success. Be careful not to be an “accidental diminisher” – don’t be the “pacesetter” or the “idea guy”. Read more in the book “Multipliers” by Liz Wiseman.
2. Academic Alliances can drive more education business – goal is to “seed the market” with talent on your products. There is better adoption when you charge a fee – even if it’s a token fee. For example, in one case a company provided $130K worth of software and online training for $3000. They found a 99% discount more effective than “free” in terms of consumption.
3. You must balance competency with consumption goals for training. Micro-learning is best used as part of a blended learning experience, but cannot replace the rigor of hands-on in-depth instructor-led training. The trick is to balance the development effort for micro-learning with the effort to develop traditional training materials. Subscription sales models for “libraries” of content work well. One price for all-you-can-eat access to self-paced (and perhaps public virtual training).
4. Leverage the work of the Center for Creative Leadership to improve as a leader. Make friends with Finance, Operations, and Human Resources. Hire people smarter than you are. Examine all requests in light of the organization’s strategy. Ask for what you want, but be prepared for a “no”.
5. Use an Advocacy Marketing program to drive education sales – piggy back off corporate advocacy marketing program (typically using a tool such as Influitive to gamify the experience). Rather than an education/certification specific community – leverage the broad participation in corporate initiative. Need a “game master” to design a plan to drive education specific results. Rewards could include certification exam vouchers, free training, phone call with an expert or executive (rewards need not be monetary or physical goods that you pay for, but those are nice if you can afford some). Make sure you track metrics so you know what you are getting in return for the spend (including the time you invest).
6. Keys to a successful career in education leadership include:
a. Motivating your team - have a vision or a theme to show them what success looks like, inject humor and fun into the day
b. Keeping things simple when you present to executives – present a recommendation, ask for the order, and then shut up and listen…
c. Asking customers “How do you expect your people to be working with the software a year from now?” Great way to up-level the conversation. Not about why they should spend money on training – it’s about spending money to achieve project goals using the software they are purchasing (and training is clearly a key element to enable that future state).
7. A large HW/SW company study showed that trained customers bought 21% more hardware and services (studied over 7 quarters; compared with customers who did not purchase training); also 18% fewer support calls from trained customers and 30% lesser need to engage higher level support engineer
8. Develop training that helps your company differentiate it’s products (for example, one company offers a for-fee version of an open source operating system differentiated not only by providing world-class support, but also world-class education bundled in)
9. Three pillars of effective online learning include:
a. Illustrating concepts
b. Interactive learning
c. Individual assessment
Check out the book “Learning Online” by Means to learn more. For example, one company used video to illustrate concepts, built a home-grown environment to allow learners to interact with their software via a browser interface, and included built-in assessments to test for competence. For further inspiration check out Khan Academy (for illustrating complex concepts), EdX (for interactive learning), and Code Academy (for individual assessment).
10. Teach students to learn to learn
a. Make sure they know how to leverage documentation
b. Help them navigate the available training offerings
c. Plug them into the available communities
d. Invite them to be part of the “customer advocacy” community
Pat Durante, Vice President, CEdMA
Senior Director Education Services, Black Duck Software