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.
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.