The Covid-19 crisis has created a time of deep reflection for me, personally. I halted all of my outbound email cadences and social media postings in the past few weeks. As someone who is considered, at least by some, as an industry thought leader – I was downright perplexed as to what to share. I have received lot of emails from those who tend to juke and jive about most anything that is trending, and their ill-thought, ill-conceived ideas dampened my soul.
Because so many of these outbound “touches” are intellectually impoverished, my immune system feels weakened from exposure! To all of those thought-leaders (thoughtless leaders?) who have Incorporated the word Covid-19 in their mass email subject lines, and have also compiled the bodies of their emails with an abundance of reckless, feckless advice, I’m here to flip you the bird. Literally and not figuratively! Stop acting like you are an authority about something so new, so fresh, so fragile, and so dangerously life-threatening that even heads of state and the brightest minds in all of modern societies are befuddled.
I’m sure you have read the same sophomoric, remedial bush-league blogs that I have read. Perhaps you have vomited once or twice, as have I, when reading this hapless, sapless nonsense.
- Set up a nice spot in your house as a makeshift studio so you can appear professional in video mode – NO KIDDING???
- Take attendance and keep your team tightly connected via tools like the Slack’s group function – DUH???
- Shower each day and dress as if you were in the office – PLEASE SPARE ME!!!
Rather than the obvious unsettling impact that Covid-19 has had on global supply chain disruptions, as well as the establishment of new norms for social gatherings, let’s focus today on areas of business that Covid-19 has mucked-up, but can be quickly resolved.
Due to work from home mandates, fresh, unseasoned new hires simply will not have access to common assistance. Spontaneous meetings with managers in either conference rooms, offices, or cubes to teach, problem-solve, or course-correct are gone, at least temporarily. Those numerous, spontaneous meetings that were once were the way, the truth, and the lifeblood for individual development are, sorrowfully, gone for the near future.
While organizations have spent considerable amounts of time on internal education programs, training, and enablement projects, our research shows that the documentation and delivery of internal training is sub-optimal. Let’s be honest, not all people learn in the same manner. Some are auditory learners, some learn visually, still others learn kinesthetically. This unsurpassed truth calls for a radical reordering. Process documentation, for example, must be entirely re-examined. Business process is complex, especially for less experienced professionals. This crisis, and the necessity of implementing remote work has caught companies off guard, through no fault of their own. The winners, during this time of sudden catastrophe, will be those who adapt quickly and with agility.
Content training assets, in the form of workbooks and manuals, must be so profoundly revised that they ought to appear majestic, along the lines of Michelangelo’s Pieta. It’s time to document all tasks and activities with superb professionalism, superior form and structure. Seemingly mundane tasks such as data validation activities, call scripts, outreach email scripts, social touch points, CRM and other tech stack usage all need to be integrated with documents that incorporate dazzling design, stunning graphics, and remarkable layouts! The new norm for training manuals is that they ought to look like Mona Lisa!
Managerial “hand-holding” may not exist for a long time. And even when we are all back in the office together again, another unseen, future crisis is likely lurking. Training assets must be accompanied with cinematically produced, instructionally sound videos that look and sound like Rachmaninoff’s Third. These assets must be developed in a way to not merely improvise, but to optimize and crystallize key learnings for participants.
With nearly 300 million mobile phones in the USA, these handheld computers are the simplest tool to deliver internal, automated training & content distribution. While we see many companies deliver their products and services to their customers through this modality, we rarely observe companies that deliver their internal training content with equally high standards for both professional design, and with easy-to-navigate simplicity.
I close this blog on a personal note about a friend of mine who recently contracted Covid-19. I prefer not to reveal her real name, so I will fictitiously refer to her as Anna. Anna is 30 years old, lives a healthy lifestyle filled with daily workouts and overall wellness. Anna had 103+ fever for three consecutive days. Both of her parents are medical doctors and they insisted that she be tested for the virus. Testing results proved positive. She is in the hospital now, as I write this piece. Breathing is quite painful in general for Anna. At times, she simply cannot breathe on her own, so she received intermittent ventilator support. I am thankful that she is improving. While she is experiencing a lot of momentary pain, she is getting the support that she needs. The prognosis is good and I believe she will come out of this stronger and healthier. Anna is bafflingly beautiful and completely elegant. She was prepared for this challenge through her life disciplines centered on health and wellness. She will overcome through her own will power and the good support of others.
Motivation and inspiration are vital in today’s new world. Your employees, more than ever, need to be reminded that optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. With each new day comes new strengths, new thoughts, new areas for growth.