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Designing for Senior Leaders

When designing effective e-learning and blended learning solutions for Senior Leaders or Director-level audiences, it’s important to understand the common challenges this audience face. In this blog we share a quick run down of the key lessons learnt from our experience at LEO Learning.

Senior Leaders have to consistently strike the right balance between keeping a long-term strategic focus and dealing with more immediate short-term issues. They have to be able to anticipate and understand the many complex influences on the outcomes of business challenges. This requires an ability to quickly distinguish what is or isn’t important, and what is or isn’t urgent, and develop a systematic approach to problem solving.

From our experience, this audience is:

  • Very ambitious and well educated
  • Extremely busy
  • Highly competitive
  • Directive and analytical
  • Target-driven
  • Focussed on achievement and results
  • Respectful of views from other leaders

Common challenges

The typical challenges associated with designing for this audience involve:

  • The huge diversity of previous experience that they represent.
  • The extraordinary pressure on their time.
  • Their mobility – they are often on the move as their presence is required in many different decision-making contexts.
  • Their need for challenge to keep them sufficiently stimulated, engaged and motivated.
  • Their need to see the relevance of the learning to achieving their personal goals.

We have therefore found that the best way of reaching this audience with an e-learning blend is to:

  1. Make it highly modular, with options for personalising the route through the learning based on role, knowledge and experience.
  2. Take a highly experiential, challenging and work-based approach – make it learner-centric.
  3. Provide flexible modes of delivery – online and offline, as e-learning nuggets, mobile apps, downloadable support tools and guidance – let the learning travel with them, be usable in a range of contexts and be viewable on multiple platforms.
  4. Create a suite of stimulating and relevant modes of engagement – short tutorials, interactive tasks, video/audio clips, real-world scenarios, quizzes, worked examples, re-usable tools.
  5. Provide opportunities for social learning and user-generated input – value their contributions and provide them with opportunities for others to reflect on their practice – both peers and experts.
  6. Show them the bottom line – demonstrate to them the business and/or personal benefits of undertaking the programme, give them solid examples of how it has delivered results.

You can find many more LEO Learning insights, including white papers and ebooks, on our resources page.

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