The Apple store on Regent Street, London. The Olympic Stadium at Stratford. The Milennium Stadium in Cardiff. St Pancras train station. These, and many others, could be called ‘flagship venues’. That is, they epitomise the very best of whatever their product is meant to be about. It’s where you get the best service, the best advice, the best feel, the best experience. And they’re vitally important for the success of the brand. People will look to those as the hallmark for success and say ‘That’s what we should be aiming for’.
Some ask isn’t it?
I believe, in L&D, we should have courses which for us are our flagship ‘products’. We do a lot in L&D to help the business move forward, and a lot of it will be good. A lot will also be forgotten. And that’s a damn shame. There’s some stuff I’ve delivered which has been bloody brilliant, but was a one off. And there’s stuff I’ve delivered regularly which is very passé and quite forgettable. I mean I try to make all my sessions memorable for the learners, but would I hold every one of them up as a shining example of a great L&D intervention? Nope.
In previous roles, I’ve developed and maintained certain solutions which are brilliant, and I’ve been bloody proud of. But I’ve been proud of them for a few reasons, not just because they’ve been well received.
- They had actual business impact. Senior leaders saw the value in the course and either heavily endorsed them themselves, or were actively involved in the course itself.
- The learning was in line with business ethos and culture. People could take what was being learned and apply it to work life without question.
- All learners were engaged in every part of the session. This was key for me. For there not to be someone engaged in the process just isn’t acceptable.
- The feedback was never negative. If criticism was ever given, it was always constructive and productive.
- Everyone recognised the importance of the solution. I didn’t have to sell it to the business, the business got it and fully supported it.
Part of the arsenal of an L&Der is to have a bag of tricks. Design and deliver innovative and great solutions every time. And it works for the most part. Where we can create something which is just awesome, and becomes a flagship course, we should hold it up as such and be proud of it.