Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Unexpected leads to Energy

I probably should have written this post last night but sleep and prep took priority.

One occasional part of my job is that I get to go on-site with our clients and work with them.  In the recent past this has manifested itself as a mentoring/coaching session for our Rapid ID/Development platform because I'm ex-officio the resident platform expert and arguably the senior Instructional Design resource in-house.

Yesterday was a case in point.  I was tasked to do an on-site session for a client (something they were actually paying for as a professional service within one of their projects).  The original plan was to do some coaching on some specifics for managing updates to the courses we built for them, but through some fortunate happenstance, it didn't work out that way.

So instead of playing trainer/coach, I got to play Learning Consulant for the first half of the day.  The L&D Manager at the client decided that we should take a look at a Harassment & Discrimination document instead to see what we could or should do with it. 

I felt like an old war-horse pricking up his ears when hearing the sound of bugles or distant musket fire.  Excited, and chomping at the bit to get going! a small group we took the time to dissect the source content they were planning to put online, and I got the participants to mentally free themselves of constraints and put out different ideas.  (What I said to them, was this, "make your ideas so far out of the box you can't see the box with a telescope.")

And, wow...did we get some great ideas.

What did I get from it, you may ask?

Energy.  HUGE amounts of energy.  I revel in this creative process and stepping past the basics of content development and moving up a level to examine things as a program or continuous process.  We stopped thinking of this e-learning content as an event and they started seeing all the contributing pieces that support the learning (formal and informal).  I'm also encouraged when L&D professionals don't get all freaked out when the concepts of internal discussions or polling, or Social Media get raised as possibilities.  I'm equally encouraged when they see that there are other players in the learning process, like Internal Communications to promote and generate awareness/interest.

Yesterday reminded me that sometimes we do need to get away from event-based thinking and get way, way outside of the box.  Sometimes the "impossible" is really just "difficult, but do-able if we really work at it because it's worth it."

As Peter Block says, "change the conversation."

I felt inspired...and it was a day when I really needed it. Thanks to my clients and a little un-planning, we turned a predictable day into an energizing morning with lots of momentum for a focused, practical afternoon.

No comments: