Back in Belgium, here is a mini-summary of the last 2 days of ATD2015, which thanks to Harry Potter and Lufthansa, could not be delivered earlier…
- Like Ken Robinson in 2013, Sugata Mitra reminded us of the important truth that we are all born learners and that we need to let learning happen, not make it happen
- David Rock explained the neuroscience of why I don’t believe a word anyone says unless they are just like me. Didn’t believe him 🙂
- Met the most fabulously gorgeous pair of the conference during lunch, Mel and Will, accompanied by a slightly less gorgeous but nonetheless 129% awesome Don Taylor (who, for the record, was in disguise)
- Got some good simple tricks for contextful learning in one session in the afternoon and won a book prize during the session on Infographics for drawing this (!)
- Had a real adventure in Universal Harry Potter land (watch the video!) catching with Trish Uhl, abusing Alywn Klein with my Lethal Weapon 2 South African accent, watching learning geeks like David Kelly take pictures of a dragon and spending some good times with my new French friends Valerie-Ann (E-Doceo) et al..
- Back to the hotel at 1am, I made the mistake of thanking all those lovely session #M101 attendees who tweeted praise for my session.. bed at 3
- Despite my good intentions to find out what WordPress has to offer for trainers, I skipped the 8.15am session I had planned for an extra 90 minutes in bed
- Finally caught up with JD Dillon to follow his session on how Kaplan has turned users into contributors
- Interviewed by ATD-TV on social media for formal learning
- Had lunch in the expo, discussing the “Jack Reacher” dream, carrying the minimum-effective-dose of training materials and turning around people’s attitudes during training
- Bumped into Paul Meshanko and Todd Costello to muse over the finer points of respect, marriage, happiness, business development and work:life balance
- Followed a most excellent session with Brian Melven on visual storytelling and learnt got a simple process and lots of resources to turn boring learning materials into comic-style awesomeness (see my first example here)
- …and tried my first Nutshell video, discovered via Rick Lozano and featuring Eric Van Kamp
- Sat with JD for the closing keynote: Erik Wahl making amazing paintings of Bono (picture) and Steve Jobs (picture) in a matter of minutes, whilst explaining how we need to let go of our fear and get out there!
- Unlike some of my colleagues, I didn’t rush off to the airport, but went for a swim before the long ride home
- …driving the bus back, of course 🙂
- Had a really nice catch up at the airport with Yves Plees of SWIFT
- Slept 3 hours on the plane 🙂
…and that’s pretty much it. Another year of ATD conference fun over 😦
It was really great!
Thanks for reading
Storytelling across different media – high-budget learning solution or small addition to your training?
Anders Gronstedt is here to tell us about storytelling, how it is evolving and how it is interesting for learning. Let’s go with ASTD2014 session SU313…
Storytelling has been around forever.
Literally, forever. We tell them to our kids, we transform them into songs and movies, and we sit around campsites sharing them and transforming them. According to Gronstedt, human memory is story-based and stories can be very persuasive.
Almost all stories follow similar structures that help to draw people in. Joseph Campbell told us about “The Hero’s Journey”, 12 steps that all good myths (and many a modern movie) follow. Such story structures have been shown to create engagement and attention.
So why aren’t they really used in learning? Gronstedt says that many trainers use some little anecdotes to make their point. But learning solutions (training or not) are rarely built learning around story or presented across different media. If we were to use transmedia storytelling more, we would create better engagement and better recall of learning.
Transmedia storytelling is about telling a story with video, games, mobile devices and social-media.
Two-thirds of mobile data consumption today is video based. People watch a lot of television and spend a lot of time playing games, or working on computers. They are ready to consume your story across different media.
By way of example, Gronstedt talked to us about the “iTent Story” at Kimberly Clark. Transmedia storytelling in action:
- Kimberly Clark wanted to create learning around management issues related to diversity and teamwork
- Large scale: To be followed by thousands of learners
- Budget = 200,000
- The basic story turns around 6 distinct characters
- Kick-off with a Hollywood-style trailer (which took most of the budget) for a documentary-style story, introducing the different characters on a team-building trip and in the office
- Professional, actors (not stars, but full-time actors nonetheless)
- Podcasts “covering” specific learning points were made in the form of a radio broadcast, with a presenter, guest expert speaker and occasional phone-ins from some of the story characters
- Posters were placed around offices to advertise the story
- Bonus content was distributed via gimmicks like QR-code, presented across different media
- Learners could follow in their own time, although some managers actually planned “viewing parties”
- 3 month campaign, although Gronstedt is currently discussing Season 2 with his client..
In a second example, we discovered what Gronstedt’s company developped as a transmedia learning solution for Microsoft, to support a more classical learning moment:
- Storytelling used to support a more classical “classroom based” learning moment
- Trailer prior to the session (similar to the Kimberly Clark example above)
- Gamification of the formal “classroom based” session with scavenger hunts, challenges or leaderboards
- Animated videos in “scribe style” (like Dan Pink’s famous RSA video) were used to introduce key learning points during the day
- Subgroups of learning participants worked from specific character points-of-view throughout the day to solve challenges, discuss and learn specific lessons
If you are interested in transmedia storytelling, some tips to bear in mind:
- Focus first on learning objectives and basic timeline for learning points
- Don’t resolve the story too quickly – follow the 12 steps of the Hero’s Journey if you can
- Don’t think of re-telling the story across different media, but using different types of media to tell different parts of the story
- Get participants involved in creating the story. For example, you start it, they finish it..
- Recuperate some of your costs by reselling your creation to other companies
Finally, by way of side-notes:
1. It’s difficult to give a good idea here by text only of the result this work at Kimberly Clark. But it’s awesome! Don’t believe me? Contact Anders Gronstedt and see for yourself….
2. Don’t have 200,000 to spare in budget? Look for creative ways to bring story into your design. Character and plot are important, but you don’t need professional movies made for learners if you can have sock-puppet stories told by learners 😉
Thanks for reading!
I received this email yesterday, spontaneously, from a Presentation Skills training participant. We had discussed the power of storytelling, including how it increases recall… For more on this topic, follow this link
I couldn’t find your business card straight away for your email address so I picked this one up at your website.
You challenged each of us at your training to remember your bee story. I don’t remember it completely but I do remember the moral of the proactive bee story. If they would’ve carried bags as the proactive bee wanted, they could have been more efficient in their harvest, meaning that proactivity could lead to improvement.