Lumesse client SABMiller wins top award for blended learning campaign

By John Helmer

Awards logo Personnel Today Overall WinnerOur joy was unconfined this week as one of our clients picked up the ‘prize of prizes’ at this year’s Personal Today Awards for a blended learning programme in which the Lumesse Learning team played a key role, creating bespoke elearning content using our CourseBuilder authoring tool.

At the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane, SABMiller won first the Award for Excellence in Learning and Development, and then was named ‘best of the best’ overall winner.

Lumesse Learning was the lead digital development partner on the winning programme, known as PRGM, an ambitious learning and development initiative that helped to improve profitable growth. PRGM has delivered more than $33 million in incremental profits since it launched.

The brewing company, which produces iconic beer brands and has recently been acquired by AB InBev, beat 900 other submissions and the winners from 20 other categories to receive the coveted Overall Winner Award.

SABMiller and Lumesse people at Personnel Today Awards Ceremony


The uberisation of work

By Rachel Cook

uberisationChanges in the pattern of employment will have a significant impact on learning, recent research indicates. In many cases these effects are being felt already. L&D professionals need to make preparations now, so as not to be caught on the back foot.

Seismic changes are shaking the world of work. A shift is seen in the relationship between organisations and the people who work for them, typified by the disruption wrought in the transportation industry by Uber. Uber, a ride sharing app enabled by GPS and mobile technology, is now starting to dominate the US business travel market. According to the Economist and Certify, in the first quarter of 2016, Uber and Lyft accounted for 46% of business ‘ground transportation’ trips in America. Traditional competitors (notably, taxi firms) have been displaced with surprising speed. It is not just the technology that is causing this market disruption, but the business model used by the company. Uber has a permanent employee base which represents its core beliefs and practices but also a huge flexible component. Continue reading

The challenge of mobile learning content

By John Helmer

Illustration of happy learners using mobile learningResearch from Towards Maturity shows that two out of three learners find accessing mobile learning essential or very useful, and 57% like to be able to access learning on the go.

Meanwhile in the US, where 50% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework and approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency (according to learning solutions that support mobile learning are increasingly being seen as essential.

67% of organisations in the Towards Maturity sample now offer mobile learning in some form, but many struggle with getting the right content in place for this channel.

The options can seem bewildering. Should you build or buy for a start?

Then, if you’ve decided to buy off the shelf e-learning content, where can you find mobile content that really works on mobile devices?

On the other hand, if you’ve decided to build your own, what are the important design principles you should follow – and which is the best content authoring tool to use?

Because we know these are troublesome issues for many of our regular readers, we recently put together a webinar that brought together the key experts within Lumesse Learning on mobile content. Between them they span the key fields of knowledge about

  • OTS content for mobile
  • Learning design for mobile
  • Technology for mobile authoring

To watch a recording of this lively roundtable session  – click the link below.

Webinar: Mobile learning content. How to get it, how to build it ­– and how to make it fabulous

5 reasons why learning needs to get the omnichannel

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate Retail in LearningOops, here comes a buzzword. And surely we need another one of those like we need a hole in the head. But there’s a serious idea behind this one – the omnichannel – an idea that was born in the world of retail, but which has important implications for learning and communications across all business sectors.

Omnichannel has become a thing in retail because major shopping brands have seen changes in customer behaviour – around the huge proliferation of smartphone use and the convergence of physical and virtual spaces – that are seriously disrupting their markets.

According to Google, 82% of smartphone users turn to their phones inside a store when making purchase decisions. And that process of decision making is highly likely to blend visits to a store with visits to a website. A process of research that starts on smartphone might end up with purchase in a shop around the corner – or vice versa. And it might also involve use of a tablet and a desktop PC along the way.

Infographic giving statistics for consumer use of the omnichannel in purchase decisions

This is where shoppers live now, in the omnichannel, moving seamlessly between physical spaces in the real world and spaces accessed virtually, through a screen. It’s where we all live.

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How insight-driven learning drives better business results 

By John Helmer

Light bulb and dollar coin characters holding hands.An organisation wanted to improve the presentation skills of its executives. Trouble was, the executives in question didn’t see that there was anything to improve.

Middle-aged, empowered males for the most part, they reacted incredibly negatively to any suggestion that they might need training in this area – or in any other area, for that matter. Offers of training fell on deaf ears, or worse, were interpreted as a primal challenge to their personal authority. Meanwhile, poor communication and miscommunication from these executives were holding the organisation back.

So how do you train people who have such a strong psychological investment in their own unimprovability?

The answer, in this case, was a learning campaign that avoided anything the executives might recognise as ‘learning’. Rather than producing another course, the team created a glossy magazine-style publication to get the content across, positioning it as exclusive, inside information just for this cadre – but definitely non-mandatory and to be accessed at will.

Reception has been enthusiastic and the company now has the tools to tackle this important skills gap effectively.

Insight-driven learning

The example we have just given shows insight-driven learning in action.

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Understanding the deep motivations of learners

By John Helmer

Man holding sign: 'Think Tank'Learning professionals need to understand the driving motivations and needs of their learners in order to structure learning effectively in the post-course world. In doing this they need to be less model-driven and more evidence-based.

This was just one of a number of fascinating insights that arose from our latest Think Tank dinner.

We assembled an invited group of L&D leaders to discuss these issues in a three-part discussion held under Chatham House rules. Contributing to the debate were delegates from the worlds of Finance, Mining, Telecomms, IT and commodity trading.

You can read highlights of the discussion here.

But for those who want a deep dive into the second part of this fascinating discussion, read on, as we address the following question:

Part 2: What alternative ways of structuring learning are emerging as we move towards less reliance on ‘the course’?

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Listening to learners could be transformative for L&D

By John Helmer

Man holding sign saying 'Think Tank'‘We make huge assumptions about our audiences and we don’t do anywhere near enough validation of those assumptions. This is something that we really want to focus on now. It’s all about user experience and really getting some proper data … who are our audience? Who is it we’re trying to reach? What kind of people are they? What are their backgrounds? What are they like? What are they not like? How do they want to learn? Instead of looking at a model that might tell us what they think that is 30 years old, let’s actually speak to our learners and really try and understand them. I think that is, potentially, a huge transformation for learning.’

This impassioned plea for a change of attitude in L&D towards learners was just one of a number of insights that arose from our latest Think Tank dinner.

We could be at a pivotal moment for L&D. Though there has been chatter within the guru space for many years about informal learning and 70:20:10, a number of compelling drivers are making it imperative that practitioners now think beyond the confines of the course (if they are not doing so already). This is causing them to focus more deeply on how they connect with and engage learners – but also to change the way in which learning is structured and delivered.

We assembled an invited group of L&D leaders to discuss these issues in a three-part discussion held under Chatham House rules. Contributing to the debate were delegates from the worlds of Finance, Mining, Telecomms, IT and commodity trading.

You can read headlines of the discussion here.

But for those who want a deep dive into the first part of this fascinating discussion, read on.

Part 1: What are the drivers of change as we move towards less reliance on ‘the course’?

Continue reading

Introducing The Curve, the magazine for digital learning

By John Helmer

Cover of The Curve Magazine (detail)At Lumesse Learning we love to pioneer with new content types, such as L-books, explainers, online video and curated content. But that doesn’t mean the more traditional forms have to disappear: we still create and provide courses – thousands of them – and are strong advocates for the absolutely central role that face-to-face contact plays alongside digital learning.

And when it comes to keeping the learning community informed about the latest news, thinking and innovative developments, we may use blogging, infographics and online video, but that doesn’t mean we turn our backs on old school media. In particular, we love magazines!

So meet the newest addition to our ‘media mix’: The Curve. Launched at our highly popular fringe event, the Learning Lounge, which ran alongside the Learning Technologies exhibition this year, it’s crammed full of interesting, nutritious and fun content, including articles from our expert learning team, but also external contributors such as Clive Shepherd and Ed Scruton. The magazine is intended to be a quarterly publication, with the next release this Spring.

Contact us with your address if you’d like a print copy sent to you – or you can download The Curve here (PDF)

Contents panel from The Curve Magazine

Contents page from The Curve – how can you resist!

Standing out from the crowd

By Steve George

Flyer for the Learning Lounge eventRemember that scene in Jurassic Park where the T-Rex escapes?  It’s raining heavily, it’s dark and the children are in the car, shaking with fear, too scared to even breathe. The T-Rex (who we’ve recently witnessed swallow a live goat) stamps around for a bit in the mud, sniffs the air, makes a few terrifying noises, and then looks through the window, teeth dripping, the hard scales on its skin emphasised by the rain…then the girl shines a torch in its eye…and…

…the pupil shrinks. It actually reacts to the light!

When I saw that at the cinema there was an audible gasp from the audience. This was a lifelike dinosaur like we’d never seen before. And the film was full of them. Running around eating each other!

Running around eating people!

And all totally convincing too! Suddenly CGI was good. And CGI allowed film-makers to become God and to create whole new worlds.


But the sad fact is, it was overused.

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Five tips for effective storytelling in learning

By Steve George

pair of feet on grass lettered 'What's your story?'‘You wouldn’t believe what Gina did at the weekend. Seriously! You would not! Totally OMG!’ — That’s what the woman on my train is telling her friend, anyway.

And it got me thinking … Not so much about what Gina did or didn’t do at the weekend – but about stories.

So let me tell you a story …

A few years ago I interviewed a candidate for a Learning Design position. As part of the interview she explained that the reason she had ended up working in learning was because she liked telling stories. Throughout her working life this was the common thread through all her positions, through all her roles – roles which, on the face of it, may have seemed unconnected, but which nonetheless had this common thread of storytelling running through them.

Why do I remember this interview so vividly? Because the candidate told me a story about herself (of course), and stories work for learning and recall … in fact I’d even argue that the best learning is often based on a story. There are many reasons why storytelling is important in learning, not the least of which being that our brains are actually wired to respond to stories differently from how they respond to straight information dumps.

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