From the offset of our online and virtual design there was one non negotiable; that we had to keep the essence of what we did well in the room in our virtual delivery – that spark, that contagious energy and ability to connect with people that makes us who we are. The challenge was clear. How do we create something virtually that is engaging, exciting and inclusive, that has coaching at heart and that truly delivers behavioural change that lasts?
We worked hard and fast researching, watching, playing and through internal pilots and workshops honed in on the things that would allow us to remain faithful to our deliver style. These included, working with small groups in virtual sessions, ensuring that the sessions were practical by employing all the technology we could - from breakout rooms with practical exercises, videos with real life examples to polls, quizzes and job aids.
More importantly than all these was the need to keep an engaging rhythm, changing what participants see, do and hear every three to five mins. If we found ourselves speaking too long, it probably wasn’t working and we went back to the drawing board. We learned fast that repeating verbatim what happened in the room wasn’t the way forward. This meant a huge change in personal delivery style from our team.
Our first programme that drew on these strengths came from the communication pillar. Called Shine Online it was a fast paced 90-minute workshop exploring the fundamentals of how to prepare and deliver well in a virtual World. What could you do to ensure that you were set up in a professional manner and delivering with an engaging delivery style? The results were great – participants loved the energy, clear practical tools and coaching they received. Shine Online has now been delivered Globally to some of our largest clients.
There was though a greater challenge. Shine Online was a one-off session. Not normally linked to a wider delivery. Knowing that individual modules worked was one thing but big picture, how would we create something wider, with multiple modules that was coherent and had a flow and structure that would ensure a learners development built throughout the process.
Our design teams focused these learning Journeys with the foundation of three core delivery units. Teaching Units, Coaching Units and Sharing Units.
Each of these units are defined by a clear understanding of an organisations objectives. By sharing large scale business strategy to required individual performance outcomes, we can link the learning to the moments in participants roles where these skills will be applied, and design the appropriate content and delivery style.
Teaching Units deliver essential theory and practical tools targeted at those defined objectives. Practical, engaging and interactive, these sessions provide the toys with which to play.
Coaching Units allow the space to reflect and practice whilst challenging understanding and applying skills and strategy in a safe environment. They draw on the peer to peer stakeholder relationships and one to one coaching.
The Sharing Units close out learning pathways. Spaced at intervals throughout the journey, participants share their best experiences, stories and challenges.
This final group of units have been moving to experience, as we witness real change in leaders and their teams facing extraordinary circumstances. Being part of these sessions have amongst other things demonstrated how far we have all come, learners and facilitators alike.
But the journey is not over…