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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Think Like the Cavemen: Campaign Not Event

Too often learning and development professionals view learning as a one time event...conduct the class, create the e-learning module, craft the job aid...ok, now we are done.

Learning doesn't work like that. You can't create a one-and-done and actually expect people's behaviors or attitudes to change. Altering behavior and changing attitudes takes a concentrated effort, a CAMPAIGN. And if your training is not trying to change attitudes or behaviors than what are you trying to do? (you can inform or make people aware with a t-shirt or a memo)

Advertisers, who make a living influencing behavior and attitudes, know it takes a campaign. For example, check out the Cavemen campaign created by Geico. They have television commercials, now available on YouTube.

They now have an awesomely cool interactive web site called Cavemans Crib (thanks to Ryan Reilly for that lead).
And now they are getting a television show. No matter how many times you see the show, explore the adverts or view the commericals (on YouTube and OldTube ...traditional TV). You will be reminded of Geico in one way or another. They are constantly working on you to change your car insurance company to Geico. The name Geico is mentioned over and over again in the media supporting this campaign.

McDonalds has done it with the Big Mac, if you are my can probably recite all the ingredients of a Big Mac...why? did we all go to Hamburger U? No, we all heard the commerical hundreds of times and whether we wanted it to or not, it stuck.

Training and development professionals need to forget about classes, blended learning events and other one-time interventions and start thinking about creating training campaigns.

Want to increase sales? Don't just train about the one new product...conduct a new product training campaign with quick email "commericals," postings on a blog, a wiki dedicated to the product, testimonials from sales folks and customers, class room training, voice mail messages, text message reminders and even some old fashion e-learning. Think about creating an entire campaign, not one training class or e-learning module. You can't conduct an 8 hour stand up class, declare that the learners now know everything they need to know and then send them quote Bugs Bunny in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, "it doesn't work that way." Yet we continually conduct training as if a one time solution is the answer to performance problems.

Why don't more learning and development professionals conduct campaigns instead of one-and-done training events? Maybe its NOT "so easy even a caveman can do it."

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1 comment:

Matt Adlai-Gail said...

Great post, Karl. I've always believed that training practitioners tend to wall off their view of training to exclude many things in the world that are very instructional and bring about learning, but are not explicitly called training. A web site that is really well-designed from an information architecture and user experience perspective can teach marvelously. As can a well-crafted multi-channel marketing campaign. Fortunately, the increasing use of Web 2.0 apps like blogs and wikis and online video for organizational learning is helping broaden the perspective and take more of a "campaign"/ongoing view of learning initiatives.