The Blind Leading The Blind

Learning providers need to understand their clients

We operate in a consumer led world. The world of Learning and Development has a significant degree of catching up to do to meet the needs of their consumers. I continue to be amazed at the lack of research and feedback collected by clients on user interaction and satisfaction. Nor do I see ‘open speculation’ research.

Back in the mid C20th a large cleaning brand spent time watching their consumers cleaning their homes. Only then did they realize that women where precariously standing on the edge of their baths to clean the higher surfaces in the bathroom. Then came the invention of extended cleaning tools. It’s so simple, but no one thought of it until they actually took a step back and looked at how the consumers behaved.

We have the ability in this day and age to carry out a lot of this research remotely, through systems and user behaviour. It makes no sense not to take advantage of this. Who knows, we might find a new and better solution to the problems of engagement, knowledge retention and mobile interaction.

The leaders in the industry flood the industry with research reports and white papers, with flashy imagery and lists of points to consider. They have a use and provide reflection. However, often the quality and extent of the research is dubious at best. Meaning that they don’t gain real insight. They are running blind. Then what happens is other companies take these papers on board, assuming it is important for them to consider.

Issy (Isobel) Nancarrow
Founder and MD of Nancarrow Partnerships and Campaign Learning.
Consultant, The Learning and Performance Institute (LPI)
Any queries? mailto:[email protected]

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