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      10 L&D LESSONS FROM CLASSIC CHRISTMAS FILMS

      by The Logicearth Team

      ‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house,
      we were still working from home, click-clicking our mouse.
      Our 2020 goals that we outlined with care,
      were impacted by COVID, and it went downhill from there.
      Now we’re nestled all snug in our beds,
      while Zoom meetings and format fatigue fill up our heads.
      So, before you nod off with your work on your lap,
      enjoy some L&D lessons in our Christmas film recap!

      10 - Miracle on 34th Street

      The necessity of imagination, but a need for evidence-based learning.

      Miracle on 34th street Twentieth Century-Fox

      Doris does not believe in imagination and so her daughter Susie doesn’t have one. Kris Kringle tries to help the pair to see a world of possibilities beyond their reality. However, first he must prove that he really is Santa Claus.  

      Now, it is one thing to believe in the magical story of Santa (which of course we all do at Logicearth) but when it comes to digital learning; relying on traditions, perceptions, or myths like ‘learning styles’ won’t help you achieve your business goals. Instead, look for the evidence for what works in terms of learning and behavioural science.

      Then you can go, with confidence, beyond the confines of our immediate reality, such as AR and VR training to bring the seemingly unattainable to life for an engrossing and more memorable learning experience. 

       

      #SantaIsReal #LearningStylesAreNot

       

      9 - Jingle All the Way

      Do not get stuck on one approach. Find the best solution by being agnostic and adaptable.

       

      jingle all the wayHard-working Howard is so caught up in his corporate job that he doesn’t get round to buying the #1 most desired toy on his son’s Christmas list. He soon realises that getting hold of that one popular action figureTurboman, is a difficult and time-consuming task that could ultimately be his undoing. That one toy brings with it many more problems, and he loses sight of the goal he wanted to achieve; to be better connected with his family. 

      When clients come to Logicearth for a solution, we do not give them what we think is the latest must-have platform that can only do some of what they need. This square peg round hole’ approach can often lead to more issues down the line when the solution doesn’t fix the whole problem. By being an agnostic service provider, we can tailor the solution to the client’s specific requirements.

      See our range of creative learning solutions here. 

       

      8 - Gremlins

      Learners never ever listen to instructions

       

      gremlins

      In the film, a struggling inventor, Randall Peltzer, tries to find a Christmas present for his son. When he picks up a little furry friend, there are three vital rules they must follow when caring for the Gremlin. Spoiler alert - they get dismissed, ignored and all of them get broken. 

      Whether it’s flat pack furniture, cooking directions, or digital learning, we can all be bad at reading step by step instructions and just want to get on with the activity. In our blog ‘7 unusual learning techniques for elearning we give this advice for writing instructions: 

       
      ‘Phrasing language in the positive is generally easier for people to understand. This is particularly important when it comes to instructions or requests for people to do things. For example, which of the following instructions are you more likely to remember or adhere to? Why? 

      “Don't forget to turn out the light. Thank you”. 

      “Thanks for turning out the light when you leave”. 

      What we actually hear and remember from the first instruction when we say it, is "forget to turn out the light" - we aren't very good at translating negatives.’ 

       

      So maybe Mr Wing should have said “thanks for keeping the Gremlins dry at all times and “thanks for feeding them before midnight”, but then, that wouldn’t have made a very entertaining movie. 

       

      7 - Love Actually

      Learners need to fall in love with the idea of learning 

      Love ActuallyIn the frantic weeks before Christmas, Love Actually follows loosely linked web of various individuals trying to juggle their love lives (or lack of them). But ultimately the common goal is the same – to reach Christmas with some tangible sense of happiness. 

      Chances are, you have seen this seminal flick and have felt a connection with or sympathy towards one character’s story in particular. Be it the roguish Rickman, infatuated Firthgovernmental Grant or (if you are an alternative sort of person) the bumbling Bean. Their stories have instigated so many Christmas debates, and we can imagine a few fights, that every angle of their motives have been covered in great detail  including the more problematic parts. 

      You may think that a piece of learning could never be held as close to people’s hearts as this cultural phenomenon, but you would be wrong. Here we can show you just how passionate learners can be, when learning is done right: 'How do you get your client to love their elearning'  

      The backdrop of Christmas in Heathrow Airport, Wandsworth Road (the dodgy end) and a bit of France, reflects the chaos of priorities that a typical worker may face on any given day. However, there’s a powerful driver that pushes them forward; and it’s love, actually. Instilling in learners an innate curiosity and interest is no mean feat. But by putting some investment in establishing a culture where learning is an innate part of working life, people will begin to carve their own autonomy allowing them to develop themselves in a way that could not be mandated. True creativity and innovation can begin when learners love learning.

      This film is the gift that keeps on giving. Geopolitical minefields? Tick. Grief and carer responsibility awareness? Tick. Banoffee pie? Tick. Because of this we’re going to give you just a little more in this section. We have created a whole library of free resources to help you supercharge your digital learning projects. 

       

      6 - Die Hard

      The importance of planning and how a rogue element can upset your project.

       

      die hardWhether you think it counts as a quintessential Christmas film or not, the poor robbers still have their festive fun ruined by the bare-footed cop John McClane. Hans thought he had everything in hand with his hostages and henchmen in line, but as we know, the best laid plans of mice and men (in Hollywood movies at least) often go awry.  

      When it comes to project planning, it’s important to be prepared and be ready to adjust and adapt when issues arise along the way. From a subject matter expert (SME) missing your meeting, to a stakeholder wanting changes made last minute, it's important to build in contingency plans. As a training provider we must cater to the often-unique needs of the client, while ensuring superior quality and consistency throughout. We do this by using our tried and tested 4D process. 

       

      5 - Home Alone  

      Creative thinking wins the day 

       

      home aloneThe McCallister family go on holiday to Paris for Christmas but they forget one thing; eight-year-old Kevin. ‘Home alone’, Kevin has various adventures but ultimately must use some savvy tools and innovation to protect his house from the ‘wet bandits’ burglars. 

      So how does an eight-year-old survive alone in New York? Creativity, that’s how. Thinking outside the box is a skill we can all benefit from. Get some great ideas for how to supercharge your digital learning in our ebook 101 ways to make digital learning more fun.

       

      4 - The Nightmare Before Christmas

      Why reboarding into new functions matters

       

      the_nightmare_before_christmasJack Skellington, the pumpkin king, is bored with all things Halloween and one day stumbles upon a magical land called Christmas Town. He decides this idea of ‘Christmas should become their new normal and be adopted by every eerie inhabitant of Halloween TownHowever, despite being handed these new and exciting roles, the residents haven’t been upskilled effectively to take on their new tasks. 

      After a period of uncertainty with lockdowns, furlough and remote working, many employees would certainly benefit from being reboarded into their existing or new business functionsCheck out our fresh 'Returning to the Office course' to see how this can be done as smoothly as possible, in an engaging, interactive, informative and friendly 20-minute learning module. 

      The business can benefit too. Just as Sally foresees the danger in Jack’s plan to pivot the efforts of Halloween town’s populace into innovative new territories, reboarding can be an excellent opportunity to gather employee feedback and insights that they may have been too overwhelmed at the point of onboarding to articulate. Programmes such as these do not need to be put on hold until employees are in the office – read our how-to guide to virtual onboarding to learn more. 

       

      3 - Elf

      Self-directed learning requires highly motivated individuals

      elfBuddy the Elf sets off on a journey of self-discovery, but it is not for the faint hearted. He eventually realises that he has different skills and goals compared to his colleagues (elves), and what the others are doing is not suited to his talents. Although he can bring them down a whole octave - in a good way! 

      Buddy could have stayed where he was, after all he was doing an ok job (albeit slow and others had to pick up the slack), but he knew there was much more he could experience and achieve. Plus, an elf’s job may stay the same year on year, but for the rest of us we need to upskill to keep ahead of the changing world.

      More organisations are allowing learners to take charge of their development, but there are two key factors its success: 

      1.  There needs to be the technology, content and tools that people need to manage their own knowledge development. 
      2. Staff need the motivation to continue a routine of self-directed learning. This is where leaders should provide the space and incentive for their staff to achieve this. It is about empowering staff with practical toolkits and sparking the motivation to use them.

       

      After all, you can lead a horse to water, but it still needs to get itself through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, a sea of swirly-twirly gumdrops, and walk through the Lincoln Tunnel. Find out more here about self-directed learning for humans (raised by humans or elves). 

       

      2 - IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

      ...when risks are averted

       

      its a wonderful lifeThere are many lessons that we can learn from the wonderful James Stewart and his depiction of the character George Bailey. The beauty of love; the consequences of sacrifice; the importance of family and friendship; the pitfalls of greed and commercialism and, as ever with our L&D hats on - how the importance of compliance training and messaging should never be overlooked.   

      Had any of the Bedford Falls local government had a solid understanding of the health and safety risks associated with young people and the ice-covered lake, proper signage would have been erected, perhaps dissuading George and his friends from playing on the dangerous icy waters. George might never have needed to rescue his little brother Harry from the treacherous iced pond and therefore never lost his hearing. He might have been physically capable of going to war and ended up traveling the world as he originally desired.    

      Had there been sufficient internal controls and an adherence to any sort of Financial Reporting Standards within the Bailey Brothers Building and Loan it is unlikely that the run on the financial establishment’s funds would have been so dramatic and certainly it would never have been possible for Uncle Billy to have been singularly responsible for the downfall of the organisation.  

      Morality and Ethics are a crucial part of today’s society - both in and out of the commercial world.  George Bailey can be seen almost as a physical representation of an ethical code as when we see how Bedford Falls would be without him, we see a glimpse of a society without boundaries, rules, norms and beliefs. A deviant town full of deprivation.   

      If anyone doubts the necessity of compliance rules, regulations and the importance of people understanding them, suggest an afternoon watching 'It’s a Wonderful Life'. Also suggest that they read our red and green themed blog on compliance 'Seeing red with compliance training: what is it for anyway?'.

       

      1 - A Christmas Carol (in any variation!)

      Create and maintain corporate values that resonate with your workforce

       

      muppet christams carolEbenezer, the anti-social business owner, hates Christmas and the warmth and happiness it brings to others. One icy Christmas Eve he is mean to the people who work for him, refuses to give to charity, and says "bah-humbug!" to any invites to social events. Scrooge is set in his ways and thinks everyone around him should see the world as he does. His values are selfish and do not reflect a culture that benefits both the business and its employees.  

      From Alastair Sim and Albert Finney to Bill Murray and The Muppets, whichever incarnation of A Christmas Carol is your favourite, our L&D angle is this; employees need to align with and support the corporate vision. Corporate values and ethics are, well, valuable, in order to create a common sense of purpose and responsibility.  

      In can be tough to articulate the need to invest in learning in this area, but it is very much there. An organisation’s ethics are the manuscript for how they conduct themselves in the world – and are often only put under scrutiny once something goes wrong. For an insight into the real value of investing in learning, and tips on making the best business case, read 'What CEOs really want from L&D'.

      So, what’s the best way to learn? Experiential Learning and corporate values go together like turkey and stuffing. And it is not only suited to call centres or other customer service roles. What better way is there to learn how to embody and celebrate an organisation’s vision than to … get it wrong! Ethics is all about being human, and part of being human is not necessarily making wrong choices (barring the exceptions at a practical level, such as accepting a gift over a certain limit) but in knowing what to do when there is no easy answer – and making the best choice available to you. Experiential Learning can be used in a range of different methods; from virtual programmes to microlearning assets. The core element though is well-planned, thoughtful and relevant scenario creation. See our thoughts on what makes the best scenario writing in our blog 'scenarios in elearning a case of best not worst'.

       

      So, there’s our festive roundup – tag us in a post and let us know what movies we missed! There are L&D lessons to be found in just about anything. We’ve been working hard to understand our lessons from 2020 and make sure that 2021 plans are informed and well-laid. Thank you to all our readerswe wish you Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas!

      If you want to propel learning in 2021 and don't know where to start, get in touch with one of our learning consultants now.

       

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      Image credits:

      Miracle on 34th Street - 20th Century Fox. Jingle All The Way - 1492 Pictures, 20th Century Fox. Gremlins - Warner Bros, Amblin Entertainment. Love Actually - StudioCanal, Working Title Films, DNA Films, Universal Pictures. Die Hard - Gordon Company, Silver Pictures, 20th Century Fox. Home Alone - Hughes Entertainment, 20th Century Fox. The Nightmare Before Christmas - Touchstone Pictures, Skellington Productions, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. Elf - New Line Cinema, Guy Walks Into a Bar Productions. It's a Wonderful Life - Liberty Films, RKO Radio Pictures. A Muppet Christmas Carol - Walt Disney Pictures, Jim Henson Productions, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.


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