The world of work has changed (probably forever) and we’re all leveraging new tools and technologies to get the job done. Zoom is a now a verb and 90% of us now don a Zoom Shirt seconds before our next meeting. Even National Geographic is warning us about Zoom fatigue.

What HASN’T changed is how people learn new leadership behaviors. We learn by acquiring new knowledge, applying what we have learned, and receiving feedback as we try our nascent behaviors. We also learn by watching — and working closely with — others who model the behavior we're trying to master.

In short, leaders aren't simply trained; they're forged.

For decades we in the learning and development world have preached and hopefully emulated best practices when it comes to helping learners learn. We’ve scoffed at “spray and pray” (spray as much content as possible and pray that something sticks) and “sage on stage” (where a subject matter expert laboriously drones through slide after tedious slide). Even when technology stepped in with self-paced eLearning, we knew that adults needed engagement and interaction to become immersed in the content. Adults needed relevant scenarios and practice to try new things, and they needed guiding feedback on their choices. From Gagne’s Nine Conditions of Learning to ADDIE to David Rock’s views on neuroscience, we know a lot about how people learn … and how to design training that effectively and efficiently helps adults learn and change their behaviors.

So why have many thrown out what they know about how adults learn and grow? Why are learning and development experts trying to shoehorn training onto a meeting platform like Zoom when other more effective platforms are available? Why are we having our leaders watch videos and webinars without any context or skills practice? Why are we putting our leaders through just one leadership development training and expecting immediate results? In short, why are trainers using the wrong tool for the job?

I'd also argue that we were going down this path well before the global pandemic with increased focus on microlearning, webinars, on-demand content, bite-sized learning, and virtual training that merely checks the box, but doesn't elicit meaningful change. Before the pandemic, but even more so now, organizations everywhere are trying to do more for less and leaders are ultimately paying the price.

When it became evident that our scheduled in-person training sessions would need to go virtual, we at Entelechy examined many virtual instructor-led training (vILT) platforms and sought a platform that enabled the high engagement, interaction, collaboration, and learning that our leadership programs are known for. Using Adobe Connect’s unique features such as multiple chat pods, persistent (and multiple) white boards, unlimited layouts for various activities, as well as the standard engagement features like video, breakout rooms, raise/lower hand, polls, quizzes, etc. allowed us to replicate in our virtual leadership development programs the high levels of engagement, interaction, and learning that we have in our award-winning face-to-face versions.

Of course, we also had to deconstruct the previously in-person experience and then re-imagine the new virtual program to take full advantage of the many features of Adobe Connect features that would elicit the hands-on purposeful learning experience that we wanted in a virtual program. (You can read more about that process in our article Take Your Instructor-Led Training VIRTUAL in Seven Steps.)

Based on client feedback, our efforts are paying off. Our learners don’t experience Zoom fatigue, even in three-hour workshops. Our learners are engaged because we designed the learning with relevant engaging questions, activities, or discussions every 3-4 minutes. Our learners gain the competence to try new skills AND they gain the confidence that comes through practice and guided feedback.

By using the right tool and using that tool to its full potential Entelechy has created powerful virtual leadership development programs that do what they’re supposed to: change leadership behaviors and ultimately forge more leaders who will lead us through these unprecedented times.

Now Available: Unleash Your Leadership Potential-Virtual

Our flagship leadership development program targeted at frontline and mid-level leaders is now available 100% virtually. Unleash Your Leadership Potential empowers leaders to deliver on innovation, adapt to rapidly-changing business environments, and lead teams to increase productivity, accelerate growth, and achieve organizational goals through deliberate performance management and coaching. The program combines critical fundamental leadership concepts with Entelechy’s prescriptive models and hands-on application to change behavior. 

Learn more and contact us to discuss how we can best meet your organization's unique needs during these unprecedented times.