Instructional Giving Way to Intuitive
The intuitive movement started in the computer world with plug ‘n play. In the security industry, proprietary is giving way to a more open environment. Manufacturers and software developers are learning to design in “intuitiveness” to enable integrators and customers to embrace their offerings. Photography ©istockphoto.com/TonisPan
Traditional methods of training across the entire security ecosystem have been changing due to the economy. The in-person classroom format was the traditional norm for training technicians, sales teams and end users. There were bid advantages to this approach when the content, facilitator and facility were in synch with the participants.
I have probably conducted more than 300 classroom skill-building sessions during the past 10 years. The key advantages were being able to “read” the participants’ absorption rate, answer questions to clarify in real-time with memorable real-life experiences, observe the interaction and dynamics of the class, and finally conduct and observe skill-building practice sessions or certification testing.
With travel budgets cut and the need to wring every possible billable dollar for employees to keep the lights on, training began migrating to distance learning methodology. This was often Webinar-based with a facilitator, or delivered through a learning management system (LMS) that was on-demand and self-paced. While this method lowered the cost of training and made it more flexible, I also believe it lessens engagement, if not properly done.
Professionally designed and administered distance learning is effective in delivering technical training and certification, but it may fall short in the selling or leadership areas where interaction and teamwork exercises help cement critical thinking skill development.
OK, so what’s next? The intuitive trend. This movement really started in the computer world where plug ‘n play are important to hardware, firmware, and where software developers must play well in the sandbox or risk becoming irrelevant, which leads to bankruptcy. As the security industry has moved, glacially spreading from very proprietary to a more open environment, manufacturers and software developers are learning that they must design in “intuitiveness” to enable systems integrators and customers to embrace their offerings.
This is not limited to just the technical commissioning of systems, but also how end users or installers are trained to use or install the system. What is the clearest indication of this trend? YouTube.com. When I want to know how to program my new motorcycle helmets for Bluetooth communication, I can A) read the manual that was written by somebody who loves Chinese algebra (I can barely understand standard algebra) or B) go to YouTube.com and find a five-minute video by the manufacturer. I choose ‘B.’
Until next month my trendy friends.
Paul Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is principal of Canfield, Ohio-based Matterhorn Consulting. He has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.