Sometimes, if you write a training course for a business, and you use real life examples to illustrate how things should be done, it doesn’t work.
That’s because there’s often baggage involved with trying to see solutions when you work for a business. You know the sort of thing: ‘that would never work here because…’ And following ‘because’ there could be any number of excuses.
That’s why we make use of case studies so much.
We pick apart the problem that needs to be addressed in the business and then write a case study in a way that reflects very closely what’s going on in the business but without making it seem as though it’s so close.
In this way the people who are working through the problem don’t associate it with their work and can see the solutions much clearer. It’s only when we point out the similarities and how they can apply what they learn in the case study to real life they get it!
I tell you all this because I was working with a company recently who uses case studies in its induction training. The problem is, they aren’t getting the result they’re looking for from their sales agents quickly enough.
The training course itself is fine, but when I sat through the case study I could see a problem. There just wasn’t enough depth in the study for the agents to be able to relate to real life when they got on the ‘phones after their three weeks (yes, three weeks) of training.
The problem was the delegates didn’t have enough detail in the study to really make use of it to explore what was needed.
If you want to use case studies in a training programme, and I strongly recommend you do, you have to give them a richness, a depth, if you like, so that delegates can explore all facets of the problem to be addressed.
For example, we recently wrote a case study in which we made up an entire company, which had recently been taken over, the products, the financial results, the staff who worked in the company, their characters and the dynamics of the relationships between them, including how many cigarette breaks one lady had.
It made my blood boil… and I was the one who made her up!
The point is that our virtual world allowed us to bring to life an otherwise dry subject…