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  • Writer's pictureStuart Woolmington

When your products need transport do you start building vehicles?

I do not know what business you may be in - banking, widgets, fast-moving consumer goods like food, clothing or beverages, perhaps you are in the mining, energy or other parts of the resources sector. It does not matter what your business is or what products and services you make. At some point in time, your products & services will need to be moved and you will require different types of ‘vehicles’ to transport them.

The question we have for you is when your products and services need transportation, to move them from a manufacturing environment to depots or directly to customers, do you make the decision to start building cars, trucks and other vehicles within your business to transport your products and services?

The obvious answer is NO - that would be a foolish business decision. Trying to make your own vehicles for your transportation needs would be extremely expensive, time-consuming, resource-heavy and would not meet the speed and changing demands of your market.

You would, however, partner with various transport specialists and build agile services within your business to efficiently and effectively get your products and services to market.If building your own vehicles for transportation of products and services is an unwise business decision, why are so many businesses making this decision for the Learning & Development needs in their business. Why are they building their own learning & development VEHICLES?

No matter what business sector you are in, your people, leaders, suppliers and customers are going to need to learn about your products, services, systems and processes. This is becoming more and more urgent in this fast-changing digital world, full of disruptive technologies and competitors.

When the moving of key information and learning through your business and marketplace becomes important, why do HR, IM, IT departments start to build their own learning ‘vehicles’?

These departments take years to decide what LMS they the company will need, what CMS and software is going to be required, what internal people and resources are going to be needed to build and manage content i.e. how many ID’s (instructional designers), graphic designers, content managers and multimedia specialists will be required to build their required learning vehicles.

These business leaders have not learnt from their physical transportation colleagues and are about to waste years of time, money and energy trying to build their own learning and development vehicles, rather than partnering with various specialist learning partners to create blended learning and communication solutions that develop and distribute content and information at the speed and accuracy that their ever-changing markets require.

Examples of foolish decisions related to ‘learning vehicles’ for your company needs:

The Old and New 70/20/10 Approach

Good and Bad examples of building Learning Design Vehicles:

A BAD EXAMPLE - A large mining organisation with multiple mining operations decided that it was going to build its own internal learning ‘vehicles’. The IM, IT and Executive took more than 18 months to decide what LMS and CMS their business would need. This created much frustration and wasted time and was not helping the mining operations to reduce their reliance on classroom-based learning that was used throughout the business. Some of the team decided to POC a basic LMS and outsource the development of customised immersive learning content for their induction and operational learning needs. New immersive learning content was built and distributed and tested within 4-months, it was very well received in the mining operation and produced a 75% reduction in-classroom training with an increased pass rate of 25%. The mining operation saved over $10 million in production hours, increased understanding and enthusiasm from managers and staff.

The HQ teams did not take this into consideration and continued to struggle to align a single owned LMS and CMS into the business as well as build an internal content curation approach without understanding the new resources that will be required. As of going to print, this organisation is still wasting time, costs and energy with this approach of building its own content and learning vehicles.

A GOOD EXAMPLE - A large FMCG brewing business needed to get strategy, learning and content into its sales teams in 15 African markets. Its changing strategy and unique needs meant that it did not want to use an ineffective Global LMS and cumbersome content system, it did not have enough resources to develop what needed to be done quickly and it no longer wanted to use the classroom and the primary learning vehicle. Building their own learning vehicles was not important so the business went to suppliers with an RFP to find a temporary solution for building a digital sales academy. A partner was found who could build immersive content with the necessary distribution platform for the 15 markets.

The digital sales academy as a proof of concept was so successful that the business decided to continue to build other digital academies for manufacturing, branding, finance, supply chain and distribution. As of going to print, the Sales Academy is delivering successful results in multiple markets in Africa with special mention to the successes in Ghana where a new sales team has launched new brands and gained market share without expensive classroom-based training sessions. To date, the Digital University (with all the content academies) has over 13 000 people engaging with specific content and manager-as-coach activities with no need for the historic classroom and printed documents.


Please make contact if you wish to see our free learning & content design framework for the digital world - link to fill in details and get a call.


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