It’s Not a Diamond Ring without the Ring

It’s Not a Diamond Ring without the Ring
January 3, 2012

My department was looking to create high quality video content quickly to boost our internal employee training program and to amp up the online help we offer our users. We were honing in on Brainshark in April 2011 when the question of professional services came up. How would we make sure our Brainshark implementation got off to a strong start in order to meet our goals? I didn’t really think about the question at the time. I just wanted to make videos, baby! We proposed to Brainshark in May, 2011. They said yes!

Our pre-nup stated that we would use certain Brainshark implementation services within two months. I figured we’d “attend” a couple webinars and ignore a packet of glossy implementation babble and get to work. Plus, I’d already vetted a lot of the training and support materials that Brainshark offers publicly -- from their certification courses to reference PDFs, the knowledgebase, videos, webinars, and chat. I am a self-directed learner myself, so I figured that was all I needed.

Frankly, the Brainshark services seemed kind of redundant. I work in Client Services for a company that develops digital curriculum for high schools across the country. Let me restate that: I work in Services for a company that makes and helps educators implement digital curricula. I understand the challenge of getting authors to create content under constraints. I get the struggles and successes users have with content and learning management systems. I’ve worked in this industry for over a decade and my team is, well, spectacular. So what in the world could some trainer from a video presentation company teach us?

Enter our Brainshark Client Success Consultant / Project Manager – Merle Johnson. She did an on-site session at our team meeting in the summer that helped clarify, drive, and support our learning and goals. She counseled us when we went astray. Each week, she nudged us just a little bit further. If the Brainshark videos were the diamond, Merle was the ring. She held it all together so our work could shine.

There’s an old adage about how a good teacher is like a quarterback – he doesn’t throw the ball to the receiver – he throws the ball to where the receiver will be. Merle was an awesome quarterback. By the time our hours with Merle were up, the project manager on our side (who, granted, is fabulous in her own right) had set up an authoring certification for our employees and customized for our most common use cases. She offered a presentation review service, just like Brainshark does, in the interest of helping everyone elevate their game.

To date, nearly every department in my company is using Brainshark to develop employee training videos and we’re rolling out a world-class, on-demand user training program this spring.

So let me propose a toast. To Merle – I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2012!