Letter from the Editor

In our 25 years, we've had the pleasure of working with so many fantastic organizations, and we've helped generate impressive business results along the way. Because of the nature of what we do, Entelechy typically works behind the scenes to help our clients create permanent change within their corporate culture. Yet, when our clients go on to win awards or receive industry recognition for our collective efforts, we're there to help shout it from the rooftops.

That's why we're thrilled that Entelechy client Comcast has been profiled in a comprehensive ATD Research reportfor its innovative — and customer-centric — approach to leadership development.

Featuring interviews with Senior Vice President and Chief Talent Development Officer Martha Soehren, Vice President of Talent and Development Larry Clark, and Senior Director of Leadership and Professional Development Mike Smith, the report describes how the challenges facing Comcast pointed to the need for a clear leadership development strategy, differentiating not only among leadership levels, but also with regard to time in role.

Critical to the strategy, called One Comcast Leader, was a laser focus on the customer: whatever your function, whatever your level, and whatever your time in role. Leadership skills — visioning, change management, coaching, performance management, etc. — were all needed to help the leader improve the customer experience. Entelechy was instrumental in helping Comcast execute on that strategy by providing the innovative design and development expertise required to create engaging, cohort-based, collaborative learning on the NovoEd social learning platform.

To access the full ATD Research report "Comcast: Customer-First Approach to Learning," please visit the ATD website.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to me personally if you'd like to discuss how Entelechy can help your organization put your leaders — and ultimately your customers — first.

Terry Traut, Entelechy CEO

Connect with Terry on LinkedIn


Instructional Design Debrief

Creating a compelling and effective learning experience on a social learning platform, like we did for Comcast using NovoEd, requires a unique set of instructional design skills. Luckily, our Senior Performance Consultant, Connie Shimek, was on the job. We sat down with Connie after the Comcast project so she could shed some light on the process.

Q: How is designing for a collaborative social learning experience different than traditional design for a classroom environment?

A: Approaching design for a collaborative social learning experience is like designing for a classroom in the beginning. Both require you to create learning outcomes that match organizational needs. Both require you to determine topics and create learning objectives. Both designs should lead to an engaging learning experience.

After that, design for a collaborative social learning platform has additional elements. You need to get familiar with your social learning platform so you know the features available to make your content effective for today's learner and the organization. For example, it may be important to utilize platform features that capture specific learner analytics. Or, you may need discussion forums, team formations, or self-paced learning.

Once you understand the platform features, you can map the topics you outlined in the beginning to the best medium for your blended-learning experience. It isn't black or white. You must be open to new ideas, be innovative, and challenge your thinking about how you designed previously. For example, you may have always taught complex skills such as coaching in the classroom. Now you consider offering videos, articles, assignments, and discussions prior to the learner attending a classroom. The learner is then ready to and has more time to practice their new coaching knowledge in the classroom. It is about adapting to the learner and meeting them where they are.

Q: What tips and cautions do you have for effective design on a platform such as NovoEd?

A: Don't get caught up in the novelty of using a social learning platform; novelty wears off if the learner is not engaged and the outcome ineffective.

Also, don't think you can just take your classroom facilitator content and throw it onto the platform. For example, large amounts of content that you might present in the classroom as handouts don't translate well to a social learning experience. You should design to keep the learner engaged and interacting with the content. You want them to discover the key learning and not just read it. This can be done through concise topic introductions, a short and impactful video, followed by an article or discussion with their peers.

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