When I kick-started my career with Unilever as a marketing trainee, I was fortunate to receive the benefits of an extensive training programme. This included a number of two-week residential courses that covered all aspects of business. Two weeks! Needless to say, this was the time before Email, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Podcasts, and the generation of the fast and the furious who demand everything now and not later.
In my job as a management trainer, it is now becoming more and more difficult to persuade managers at any level to spend more than two days out of the office at any one time, and even then, you are forever competing with the world of digital for the attention of your participants.
But does it need to be two days? Does it need to be two hours? In fact, does it need to be two minutes?
Have a look at this video which demonstrates how Joe Wicks, The Body Coach, provides his fan base with some instructions on how to make simple and healthy meals in 15 seconds –
Now if you dissect these 15 second videos and try to judge the effectiveness of the learning, what you discover is that Joe either wittingly or unwittingly is ‘getting learning right’.
- His audience will all be at the same level of culinary expertise and with the same needs: intermediates who want to make something healthy and quickly.
- The objective of the video is single minded – how to make a meal in 15 seconds.
- Any food preparation not essential for the video is done in advance.
- The process steps are easy and intuitive to follow.
- The 15 seconds is a non-negotiable time limit.
- Every word counts. Spoken quickly. Straight to the point.
- There is a strong visual impact that helps rather than hinders.
- Joe’s style is personal, quirky and engaging.
- At the end of the video, you can see what ‘good’ looks like.
- The video is there for continual reference.
Going forwards, the amount of time we will be granted in meetings, workshops and even conversations is likely to get less and less. However, rather than bemoan the lack of time we have at our disposal, we must embrace this constraint. In fact, we should make the constraint of time even more constrained than it already is. That will force us to get even more creative with our use of resources.
As long as you ensure that the best practice principles of embedding learning are always followed, it is amazing how little time you actually require to get the message across. And nobody is going to complain if you are able to give them back the scarce commodity of minutes and hours!