Hello everyone! Welcome to a new year of learning events for our L&D community. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you in 2020 and learning new things from you.

We wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude for your support and participation in the community events. We at Fredrickson have a blast organizing them and building great friendships as a result. But we’re also there in attendance as learners.  It’s amazing how often an event will help shape who we are as a company. 

As examples of that, here are just some of the many learning points from 2019 events.

Applying Agile in L&D Projects

This Roundtable event featured the outstanding panel of Wayne Kaul from the University of St. Thomas, Kim Johnson from Allianz Life, and Sarah Walz from Optum. 

At Fredrickson, we had been working for more than a year on our own concepts for how to be an “agile” company. This event was like getting tossed in the spin-cycle. We went back to the drawing board afterwards and started down a new path toward adopting an agile mindset and incorporating Agile principles and practices in our work.

It hasn’t been easy, but we do feel we’re making progress. Kim and Sarah both shared how their experiences with Agile involved many months of frustration before results started to show. Sarah also made the point that it was difficult letting go of the concept of that perfect, flawless deliverable in exchange for the minimum viable product. We are also facing this challenge, as we help our clients manage their stakeholders’ expectations for perfection and completeness.

Sales Methodology

Mike Sokol of Best Buy shared his team’s experience with selecting and implementing a sales methodology. Several of his points made us reflect on our own process. 

Mike explained that the methodology they chose focused on the buying experience and was designed to gather and distinguish between facts, assessments, and feelings. We subsequently simplified our process so that we consistently ask 5 key questions when gathering information for a proposal. Those questions make for a faster experience for the potential client and gather all three types of information.

World Class Customer Service

John Alexander of Travelers treated us to an interactive session in which teams devised “recipes” for world class customer service. The teams answered 6 questions, and their answers to “How do you define world-class customer service” had strong themes: consistent, seamless, simple, delightful. 

The ideas from the session bolstered our own efforts to create a framework of “5 star” behaviors for working with clients. According to the six teams, the recipe includes acknowledging, anticipating, and exceeding expectations. Who better to learn from than the L&D experts in our community!

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