Learnings from 17 years of training managers

I’ve spent the last 17 years of my life training managers. Together my business partner Mike Anthony and through the companies we own, I think we’ve trained well over 25,000 people. But in 2014 we came to a startling realisation: no matter how well we configured our training programs; no matter how great our delivery was and; no matter how good the feedback we received was, only 20% of what we taught in the class room was retained!

Worse we discovered that drop out-rates in online learning ran at 60%, meaning that not only do most people forget the content they’ve seen but also that in most cases people don’t even finish the course. We decided there had to be a better way to help people develop.

In the world of work, what we can do is currency: If I’m able to demonstrate that I’m able to complete a task better and more efficiently than someone else, then I am more valuable to an employer. We can measure the ability to do a task by understanding competence which is a behavioural metric that can be applied to any task. So, if you like the value of an employee is measured by his or her competence.

Mike and I asked, ‘What if everyone’s competence could be empirically measured? what would happen then?’

Well, firstly individuals could measure themselves objectively against others. They’d be able to define which competencies they needed to develop to be more effective in their roles. They also be able to see which competencies they’d need to develop if they wanted to progress in their careers. This would mean that they could take control of their careers and plan their own development.

Secondly, companies would be able to look at their people through a sharper lens: They’d be able to define which competencies they need to develop to be more successful. They’d be able to pin-point people to develop now; and people they could re-deploy for future growth and they’d be able to recruit better people in the first place.

Together with our team we invented Opporta.

Opporta is a digital platform that has two components:

  • A “Competency Engine”, which gathers and analyses data on the competence of a limitless number of people and uses this data predict competency requirements at an individual, group, corporate or global level and;

  • A “Transition Drive” which targets learning and development materials to address individual’s needs. The “Transition Drive” measures changes in competence by encouraging users to take part in simple and engaging game-based simulations which test how effectively someone might be able to apply a concept in the real world

The two components work in concert so they are constantly updating each other, gathering and improving competency data on the one hand and driving continuous personal development on the other.

We’ve now tested this platform numerous times, and here’s the thing – it works. We think better than anything before it. Here’s some stats for a recent user trial:

  • 98% of users understood the components of a skill;

  • The number of users stating they were competent to apply a skill in real life increased by 238%;

  • 60% of users believed the experience was better than traditional learning;

  • 68% of users felt Opporta had provided measurement of competence to a reasonable level of accuracy.

We’re convinced that Opporta can really help drive a step change in competence for employers and the people who work for them. This is important for today’s complex organisations for whom getting the best talent in the right roles has never been more important or urgent.

Finally, there’s a tool that can help: Opporta instantly identifies the competencies a business needs to succeed. The platform identifies who needs immediate development to improve productivity, and which people could be re-deploy to drive growth. Our unique gamified content makes learning engaging and quick and Opporta’s always on so you can instantly measure how the competence of every member of your workforce is developing. Clear dashboards enable you to understand how you stack up versus the competition, and where your next development and recruitment needs might lie.

Would you like to get the right people doing the right things and step ahead of your competition? Contact me and lest talk about Opporta.