As with many startups the idea for the business is borne out of frustration at what currently exists in the personal development/self-help and wider training space.
I spend a lot of time reading personal development books and attending/delivering training sessions (both in and out of the work-place) and while I have seen significant positive changes to my life I am often left wanting.
It is not that the content is lacking; there has never been more high-quality information available to individuals to help improve our lives or our businesses. Yet there remains a massive disconnect between the goals that we are setting and the results we achieve.
As I see it (and these are just assumptions that need validating) the problem comes in the delivery of the information, the implementation of the principles and the follow through.
At the moment most resources deliver (a lot of) content at once and suggest actions to follow through on. This is usually in the form of printing off a PDF and filling in the details- this is the same approach that Benjamin Franklin used in the 1700’s. So I print off the documents fill them in, plan to follow through and then invariably lose the PDF or leave it at home when I am travelling.
The issue with so much of the training that is delivered on-line at the moment is that it is a one way conversation. They continuously hit you with information with no input from the user. For example, in my research I signed up to the 100 day challenge on-line. I started on day 1 but by day 5 I was away from work and missed a couple of days. However the training continued without me and by the time I got back into it I had missed so much that I gave up. The program assumed I had been interacting and carried on anyways. That’s not to say anything about the videos not being viewable on mobile devices.
It is all very well spending lots of money on top training and resources but with the best will in the world if the individuals don’t follow through on what they have learned then it has been a waste of time, money and effort. We have all had the experience of reading a great book or attending a great training session and being full of motivation to carry out the learnings only for that motivation to wane as the days pass and life gets in the way. Trainers and coaches lack the ability/time to keep in touch with every individual and re-enforce the implementation of the concepts learnt through the training in between sessions.
When it comes to changing behaviour/habits (and that is what all training and personal development is about) it is not the amount of effort you put in but rather the consistency of the activity. The new behaviour is re-enforced by positive actions every day but this is not easily measured and monitored and often people give up too early because they are not seeing the results. Simply by re-enforcing the positive action of individuals and articulating the progress they are making can significantly increase the chances of them sticking with the process.
There are many, many reasons why people fail to achieve their goals not least because it is is a very hard thing to do. It ultimately comes down to the individuals desire to succeed. However, it is my belief that through the effective use of technology we can remove many of the barriers highlighted above make it much easier to succeed and thereby increase the chances of businesses and individuals achieving their goals.
If you are interested in or involved in training or personal development and you are facing problems that I have not highlighted I would love to hear from you.
I have recognised through my initial discussions with people that I have been approaching the problem from a very individual-centric point of view. There may be some value in exploring the problems that businesses are facing with training and personal development through the customer development. This is something I will explore more in the customer section of the C-P-S blog post.