By Jonathan Peters, PhD
Sententia Gamification, CMO
Have you had this experience? You’re tasked with creating a learning program. You’re told by company leadership that there is a problem that needs to be fixed via training. You write down what they are wanting, the learning outcomes needed, and maybe (because you went through a Sententia certification) what their KPIs are for this specific program.
You spend months of time, and tons of creative energy, to create what you believe is an amazing program. It’s now ready to roll out. Learners are lined up, but first you present it to the higher-ups. And they say, “No, that’s not what we wanted…”
All that time and effort down the drain.
In the past, we’ve relied on documentation to avoid this situation. You would spend hours in meetings, making sure you understood exactly what they wanted. You would then write out detailed learning plans and guidelines, that you would send up the food...
by Jonathan Peters, PhD
Chief Motivation Officer, Sententia Gamification
In the first-ever empirically-based taxonomy of human needs and desires (how’s that for an opening line), Steven Reiss, PhD identified 16 Core Desires that we all have. These Core Desires motivate us to do certain things in life to satisfy them. What makes us different from each other is the emphasis we place on each one of the Core Desires.
For instance, Power (the desire to exert one’s will) is an important motivator because the more power we have, the more resources we have, and by extension, the more likely our children will survive and pass along our genes to future generations.
So while we all have a desire for Power, some of us want more power than others (think politicians vs. your company’s receptionist of 24 years).
From an evolutionary perspective, whether packs or tribes, animals tend to self-organize in a hierarchy....
Pretty much every profession that designs experiences for other people uses personas… except the learning and development community. Game designers, app designers, web page designers all rely on personas to determine what will appeal to their target audiences and what things they should avoid. But for some reason, instructional designers skip this stage. They simply build a program around the course material without consideration of their “customers.”
Personas came from the marketing world a few decades ago. Marketers realized that focusing on whole populations wasn’t effective. They needed actual personas who are so complete you feel like they are your friend. Once you have their picture in front of you, you can create marketing copy that feels like you are talking directly to a single person instead of broadcasting to an entire population.
Whenever we speak about learner personas at conferences, we get push back. People say things like, “You...
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