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Gerald Matykowski

Recent Posts

"We Don’t Need No Education”—L & D Heuristics from 6 Famous Movie Quotes

By Gerald Matykowski, Inside Sales Manager  

Recently, I reviewed responses to surveys completed by ID professionals who are active on the Allen Interactions website. The surveys collected information from respondents about major challenges that interfere with doing their job well. Perhaps you were a contributor to one of these surveys. It shouldn’t surprise you that the most typical aggravations include:

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Six Conversation Examples & Questions For Selling Performance-changing Learning

By Gerald Matykowski, Inside Sales Manager

This is a very pragmatic discussion about a very difficult challenge. In a previous Allen Leadership Blog, You say Quantitative – I Say Qualitative: Whose ROI is this Anyway?, and webinar, Seal the Deal! Getting Executive Buy-In for Your E-Learning Needs, we provide perspectives to help instructional designers, developers, and learning practitioners influence their managers, directors, and CLOs about making forward strides in implementing effective e-learning design practices and performance-changing learning.

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You Say Quantitative—I Say Qualitative: Whose Training ROI is This Anyway?

In a previous blog post, Educating and Challenging Stakeholders on Instructional Design Best Practices, I suggested that certain qualities that make an effective salesperson can also help learning strategists and instructional designers influence decision makers to embrace learning and development trends, tools, and best practices. Several of these qualities focused on a learning strategist’s comfort level when discussing the relationship of best practices and the financial implications of learning and development projects.

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Responsive e-Learning and Milton Berle’s Glasses

By Gerald Matykowski, Inside Sales Manager

I am a relatively new employee at Allen Interactions and delighted to be here. In my role as Inside Sales Manager, I am challenged on a daily basis to apply my instructional design, sales and entrepreneurial experience developed over the last three decades. I provide support to our Strategic Relationship Managers and to those of you who come to us for resources and custom services. As I settled into my role at Allen Interactions and began talking with instructional designers about their existing and upcoming challenges, I started noticing history repeating itself. Today, instructional designers face challenges very similar to those encountered in the early 1980s, when the computer-based training space emerged. Let me share some history before I offer an example.

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Educating & Challenging Stakeholders on Instructional Design Best Practices

By Gerald Matykowski, Inside Sales Manager

I have in-depth conversations with instructional designers (IDs) and ID managers on a daily basis—many invariably turn to frustrations related to “selling” instructional best practices to stakeholders and higher level decision makers.

Here are some common challenges I hear in my conversations:

  • Promoting new design/development approaches to jump-start a large project
  • Selling action-based interactivity up the leadership ladder
  • Convincing SMEs that learning ‘to do’ is more effective than teaching a folder full of content
  • Moving beyond a ‘check the box’ approach to compliance training
  • Getting approval to present a single prototype before an ADDIE design sign-off

What Language Do They Speak?

Let’s face it, we don’t often get the response we hope for when we propose or attempt to initiate ‘new’ techniques to create ‘serious’ e-learning. Promotion of higher level interactions, SAM vs. ADDIE, or doing vs. knowing can fall on deaf ears. Stakeholders approve the budgets and timelines of e-learning projects―they also often have established notions about what e-learning should look like which often conflict with an ID’s vision of best practices. Frustration builds each time we encounter ‘executive speak’ and/or a content-centric page-turning mentality. 

Challenger Strategies

If this has been your experience or you simply want to increase your influence with executives, there are new insights that you can leverage to improve your effectiveness. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, Corporate Executive Board (CEB), offers valuable research and insights into strategies that educate and gain influence with prospective customers. If you are thinking, “Hey, I’m not a salesperson. This doesn’t apply!” Stop! IDs and ID Managers can also employ Challenger methods to gain better influence with stakeholders, SMEs, and executives on the methods and practices necessary to create lasting learning. 

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