Custom Design

Does Your Training Help People Fail? We call it Failing Forward.

No one likes to fail, but everyone should. Research shows learners remember better and for far longer when they don’t immediately get the correct answer, in other words — when they fail first. “Failing” creates a stronger emotional response to the material causing more retention. Blueline has 4 guidelines to follow to help you design activities that provide the opportunity for your learners to fail forward and make each of your training session more successful. Click here to read the full blog: Does Your Training Help People Fail?

failing-forward

You asked for it. How Telestrations come to life.

Thank you for all of your kind words in response to our holiday message this year. Our “Twelve Days of Christmas” holiday message is a simple version of one of our newer service offerings: a video telestration that combines a hand-drawn visual with music and voice-over messaging. Every telestration is designed to tell a story, whether it’s your ortelestrations-infographicSMganization’s transformation story, or something fun and simple like celebrating the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Since so many have asked about it, I thought that I would outline our process and introduce you to the talented artist behind it. From concept to final video even simple telestrations like “Twelve Days” take weeks to produce and hinge on the talents of a Script Writer, Art Director and a Master Artist. Click here to learn more about how telestrations come to life. 

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – at 30 frames per second, a video is worth 108,000,000 words per minute.

At Blueline Simulations we know the power of strong visual images – in fact, our highly successful Learning Blueprints are built on compelling visuals. Several months ago, we discussed how telestrations focus exactly on the ideas being communicated, helping the audience to clearly understand the key messages – in one viewing.

We have developed a straightforward process to create these successful productions with our clients. Here’s how we worked with a client who contacted us to help them communicate changes to a longstanding internal process.

At our initial meeting, we determined that their challenge was to communicate a clear, accessible message about an upcoming change to everyone across the entire organization. The delivery mode had to be repeatable and consistent to all – whether they were directly involved with the change or not. We helped refine the message’s three primary elements: 1) defining the change; 2) conveying the importance of total compliance across all units; 3) the long-term benefits of the change to the entire organization.

Following this meeting, the creative team swung into action, guided by the producer. First, the writer developed the script – a 4 & ½ minute narrative that got the audience’s attention, kept them interested, and clearly focused the primary message points.  The next step was the storyboard, where our artist created the visual metaphors, images, and other visual elements (consistent with brand guidelines) – to help the audience visualize the change and focus on the message and ideas.

After content and legal reviews, the artist moved the easel to the video studio, where, working with the director, all elements were shot – and all “live draw” elements painstakingly drawn as the camera rolled. The narrator then entered the announce booth in the audio studio and recorded – with the inflection of each word carefully delivered to reinforce the visuals and primary message points.

Once all elements had been created, the editor performed magic in the editing suite. By speeding up the hours of footage shot in the studio, incorporating special effects and animation, the now flowing visuals brought the script alive for the audience; this “speeding up” allows a significant message and supporting ideas to be powerfully communicated in a brief video. The final touch was adding just the right music to set the proper tone and feeling.

And the audience? In one viewing of this compelling, clear presentation they understood and remembered the intended message. That’s communication!

Do you need to communicate new ideas to your organization in a brief, engaging, and meaningful way? Contact us at Blueline Simulations and let us show you how the power of telestrations can be put to work for you.

Learning Business Literacy… and Eating Your Vegetables

Watch the faces of your employees next time you tell them they need to learn business literacy.

I bet they look a lot like my ten-year-old when I tell him he has to eat his vegetables.

“Financial acumen training” doesn’t get much love from the folks in organizations who would benefit from it the most. They imagine themselves adrift in a sea of numbers, ratios, and acronyms. (“EBITDA?” Really?)

At Blueline Simulations, we’re on a mission to get your people excited about business acumen. After all, what’s more energizing than recognizing that the work you do at your desk has an immediate impact on the financial health of the enterprise?

It turns out that “excitement” and “fun” are not such difficult goals in business literacy training. The trick – and yes, we are about to share some of our “secret sauce” with you – is to make it real and relevant. We do this by:

  •  Focusing on the story, not the numbers. See all of those numbers on the balance sheet? Every one of them is a story. Behind each is an event, a decision, a problem, and a human drama that played out in the halls of your organization. Tell the story well, and that squiggly, upwards-trending line on the graph is suddenly imbued with urgency.
  • Changing the point of view. A lot of business literacy training is written from the high-level perspective of an accounting professor. But the employees’ line of sight (and influence) begins at his or her own desk. Make the connection between the job and the financials first. Once you’ve established that critical context, you can lead the learner surprisingly far out into the deep waters of financial acumen.
  •  Making it fun.  With a little melted cheddar, my ten-year-old will eat his broccoli and ask for more. Business literacy training is a lot more palatable when flavored with high-engagement learning techniques – such as “gaming” principles, compelling story lines, and lots of opportunities to engage with their colleagues.

Adult learning theory says that retention increases when learners are able to make immediate applications of the concepts to the challenges and pressures that they are facing right now.

Give us a call at Blueline Simulations, and we’ll tell you more about how we can increase the relevance, urgency, and fun of your business literacy training. And if you ask, we’ll even tell you our secret broccoli casserole recipe.