Designed with the Brain in Mind

Modern professionals work in demanding environments where change is constant. Most simply can’t be tied down with multi-hour training sessions that put them out of commission for big chunks of time. The truth of the matter is that training sessions within an organization can’t be rushed, and if they have yet to implement efficient ways to improve how they carry out their training by learning the important requirements for an LMS, for example, any work they have to complete will be put on the back burner until the relevant training has been completed. There is no question that most professionals want to learn – and in fact, most expect their company to invest in their development – but the average employee simply isn’t interested in completing robotic online training just to check a box.

On the other side of the equation is the CEO and head of learning and development. For them, retention is a real concern. Major surveys indicate that 25 percent of employees leave their jobs because there simply aren’t enough learning opportunities. Anyone charged with the responsibility of growing a team knows that it’s difficult to grab the attention of their employees unless they have a blended learning programme that can captivate the learners. The material should provide the valuable training they need while delivering it in an engaging and effective manner.

Enter the exciting new world of micro-learning. Grounded in the latest neuroscience and designed with the modern learner in mind, micro-learning solutions, like Richmond-based SaaS (software as a service) company Blue Ocean Brain, teach professionals better thinking habits.

“Employees expect to be presented with continuous learning opportunities,” explains Blue Ocean Brain CEO and co-founder, Claire Herring, a former director of neuro-rehabilitation as well as operations leader for Deloitte’s national healthcare practice.

Herring, along with co-founders Gemma Brooks and Laura Howard, is passionate about helping people improve performance by advancing their critical thinking. She points out that we’ve learned more about how the human brain works in the last 10 years than throughout all of human history. And when it comes to learning, studies show that learners who are presented with smaller knowledge bites over time are better able to retain and apply the information.

Driven by the latest neuroscientific research, Blue Ocean Brain’s quickly growing team has developed a subscription site and training application that fosters innovation and creativity in employees – in addition to improving their health – in just a few minutes a day. By delivering bite-sized learning 365 days a year, employers who work with Blue Ocean in over 30 countries are given new ways to engage employees and develop better thinking habits.

Herring says that organizations also have a unique opportunity to customize a shared learning experience to align with their organizational priorities. For example, if they have to know how a particular pricing structure might work for their SaaS product, they would first have to learn about the different techniques that they can use to learn more about the demographic they would be catering to (or are trying to cater to). They can most definitely look up agencies and seek help from them to learn about the various Feature and Pricing Suite for Saas – which might give them a better idea on how to price and improve on a product’s reachability to its audience. In a similar vein, if they had to understand how to build a website or an application for their SaaS product, they would need to gain adequate knowledge about the domain, or hire experts similar to Expedition Co. for the process. Whatever they decide to do, they must first develop their thought process and then decide on the correct course of action.

When it comes to learning, the topics could include everything from diversity and inclusion to critical thinking and innovation. Exercises provided by Blue Ocean, such as lateral thinking puzzles, enhance deductive reasoning skills while visual thinking challenges build creative confidence. In addition, Blue Ocean’s team of experts share practical content (articles that can be consumed in under two minutes) with employees on a regular basis.

“Employees simply want to see that learning served up in a way that is engaging, challenging, and easy to apply in their daily work,” says Herring. “The good nes is – that’s what leaders want too.”

CategoriesGeneral, Innovators, Startups, Work

Passionate about the RVA community, Stuart brings extensive knowledge of Richmond and a deep appreciation for its neighborhoods and people. When she’s not helping her clients buy or sell their home at One South Realty, Stuart co-publishes Richmond Grid magazine.