In this podcast episode you can hear how our new e-learning programme can support you in change management. If you prefer to read, you can find the entire interview here.
Anneli Gabriel: In this new podcast episode I talk to my colleagues Silke Engel and Renke Ulonska. These are the two faces (or in this podcast episode the two voices) on our new e-learning programme from flow consulting on change management. (Click here to start immediately – it’s in German). I talk to both of them about what the aspirations are for this new product, what their experiences have been along the way, what the benefits are for participants and how it can be used in organisations. I start by asking Silke what the most important questions were that needed to be clarified beforehand.
The aim: to prepare content in a varied way using the appropriate e-learning platform
Silke Engel: What we agreed on very quickly was the first theme of our e-learning: ‘change is our business’ – so it was change. And the second step – because it was clear to us that we don’t lack material – was the topic of the platform. It was important to us that it was user-friendly, that a wide variety of content could be set up, and we ended up with blink.it. Where you can use tiles to proceed in a really user-friendly and very varied way. It’s now really fun to click through.
Anneli Gabriel: You already said ‘change is our business’. We have a lot of things that we can broadcast. What were your criteria for choosing headlines and topics?
Silke: On the one hand, we wanted it to meet the flow requirement and the second requirement was: it should be enjoyable to click through and while it’s enjoyable, you should also learn something. In the end, that’s what our trainings are like.
Renke Ulonska: The danger is always that you overload the content with too much information, with too much stuff that you put in there. Because you think, oh, he needs that at this point. In my opinion, the challenge was to reduce it to the essentials. And I think we’ve managed that quite well.
flow-typical distinguishing features from other change e-learning programmes
Anneli: So what is the flow-type thing? What distinguishes it from other change e-learnings?
Silke: It’s that we deal with iterative change management in addition to linear change management. Tile by tile, both play a role. And when you have clicked through from complexity to digital transformation – which is the last chapter – then you have really understood, absorbed and worked through it.
Renke: We always first distinguish between recognisable or obvious situations. These are situations where I as the protagonist know or can foresee what will happen – at least to some extent. There are fixed frameworks and clear sequences. This is what we say we need rather linear change management, i.e. waterfall-like tasks and activities with a plan. In contrast, there is the issue of complexity. That’s something where we say we approach it with an iterative approach. That means a lot of thinking, looping, iterating, perhaps having to change the aim, looking at constellations.
The selected learning methods – personal favourites
Anneli: So the content was decided and then it was time to work on the methods. I’ve already had a look. It’s really very varied. Is there anything that you say is your special, personal favourite?
Silke: I like the film, for one thing, in which the change roles are explained very well and quickly and clearly. There is a final film where you can see everything again at a glance. I think that’s very good to use. And the second thing is that I really like the interactive tools. So where, for example, you are asked: “Would you proceed iteratively or linearly with this project – the railway is switching to a winter timetable?” Then you can think about it, click on the respective button and you get an explanation of when one approach and when the other would make sense.
Renke: It’s the same with me. I always find the interactive elements very appealing. I believe that each of us still has the child in us, the playing element. So where I can participate interactively, that’s where I learn the most. And the videos, because they are quite quick. Even if I’m sitting on the train or the underground, I can watch them pretty quickly and with earphones I can quickly get information for a few minutes. So this short, concise, interactive element, that’s what I find the greatest.
Experiences in filming the e-learning sequences
Anneli: Then the big day came. The film set was opened, the flow office was transformed into a film studio, I already heard in the pre-interview. What was going on there when you were filming?
Renke: There were lots of cameras, extra illumination, there was someone who took over the direction on the set and there was a cameraman. And Silke and I were the actors who prepared ourselves with our texts. In the end, it was true that we had first written down a text. But it was more script than everyday language, and we had to adapt it again and again. And it was very exciting. It was also really fun. It was a great effort of concentration, not so easy, I think. But it was exciting.
Silke: I think the difference to actors is that in the end we didn’t play a role, but above all it was unusual that we had no response. That’s why it was a bit of acting again. We talked to the camera. Luckily we had each other and could talk to each other for a change, that is, with a real human counterpart with whom we had eye contact. But otherwise it was just a matter of looking into the camera lens and not at the director or the cameraman, but rather making contact that way. That was special. And then the acting performance, so to speak, was that we didn’t play ourselves, but had to remain ourselves..
Renke: And then the agitation. I remember the first videos were a bit rigid, but over time we became more and more relaxed in dealing with the unfamiliar situation.
Anneli: Well, from my point of view – I was allowed to take a look in at the end – I think you did a great job! I saw one of the first shots and thought “hmm, there’s still room for improvement” and you made full use of that. I think they are Silke and Renke as we know them. Did something go completely wrong?
Learning from breakdowns
Renke: There was once a recording where we thought it was really good. And at the end the sound wasn’t there… We had to do it all over again. Forgot to turn on the microphone…
Silke: But that always led to a good result. The good thing is that you almost relax when you do it again.
Renke: We think so, Silke, we think so.
Anneli: Well, and the funny thing is that it just happened here. The recording didn’t work out and we are now having the second conversation.
Renke: Our Corona-like recording…
Anneli: …exactly. As the people say, “Shit happens…”. If you can learn something from it, it’s all good. All right, so that’s the topic of change management. Now it’s time to move on. What’s next on the agenda?
Silke: Our second big passion, which is not the last one, is leadership. And that’s where we are – that’s not just Renke and me, we are just the faces of e-learning. We are the whole flow team that works on the content of the e-learning. We are right in the middle of it. You too, Anneli, with regard to leadership. We are currently designing that and it will also continue to develop.
The benefits, USP and blended-learning in practice
Anneli: How can clients benefit from it? How can they use it in practice?
Silke: On the one hand, you can simply get individual access and click through for yourself. This gives you an overview of Change. You can also do this in depth, because we always have PDFs with texts on the individual topics. And on the other hand – and we have already noticed that this has been well received by our clients – it is a very nice addition to other training formats. And what I’d like to mention is that our e-learning is not completely different from anyone else’s, but I’ve seen many that simply do video after video after video. And we really have a great variety of methodology in it. I think that’s really enjoyable. That’s how I imagine it. It would be something for me!
Anneli: (laughs) …if you didn’t know what was in it, you could be really curious about what’s in it 😉
Renke: I’d also like to talk very briefly about the USP of e-learning. I believe that it can provide someone who is willing and eager to learn with really useful content in a short amount of time, which I otherwise have to work out in books. And so can get a lot out of it in a short and entertaining way. And I can always put it away and log back in. I think that’s really great.
Anneli: So I can use it at my own learning pace and depending on my learning type, when maybe I don’t like to read books so much.
Anneli: Hopefully we haven’t given too much away and it still remains exciting. And we have awakened a little curiosity. Thank you very much, you two!
Renke and Silke: Thank you too. You’re welcome. We are eagerly awaiting feedback.