Finding the right audience

60 people have purchased Aha! and another 27 have opened review copies.  As far as I can tell, few of these people are doing the exercises because by and large, they are the wrong people. I want to test Aha! on individuals who long to learn how to learn, not on folks in the L&D trade. I need a new pitch and new channels. Aha! is here because mainstream L&D has failed.

I wonder what the cost of seat-of-the-pants learning is. There are 150 million workers in the U.S. The GAO found that contingent workers, broadly defined, comprised 40.4% of the workforce in 2010, up from 35.3% in 2006. Most of that growth came not from typical freelancers or temp workers but from an increase in permanent part-timers, a category that grew as employers cut hours and hired fewer full-time workers during the recession.

Here’s my latest take on what Aha! encompasses:

Learn from experience without 
instructors or classrooms. 
It’s Aha! learning.

  • Work smarter and have more impact
  • Learn faster and remember more
  • Embrace openness and learn out loud
  • Make sound learning practices into lifelong habits
  • Co-create knowledge with colleagues
  • Plan how to achieve your growth goals
  • Learn to be the person you aspire to be

How much would that be worth to an organization? Twenty-five years ago, and now lost in dust of time, a blurb in HBR said that training the high-performer was several times more valuable than training the mid-range performer. Yet it’s these very high-fliers who are served by the training organization at all. (For that to happen, training departments would have a show interest in sound training practices throughout the organization, not just through the programs they offer.)

I need team leader instructions telling organizations how to implement Aha!

How can I create an invitation that will scale? I think I’ll work up a few videos and hope they go viral. There’s a challenge: boil the message down to three two-or-three minute videos.

I opened up iMovie today for the first time in what? Six months? I couldn’t remember when anything was. I think of this as the Jeopardy Phenomenon. My wife and I watch Jeopardy every evening over cocktails. Sometimes they broadcast re-runs. Show me a Jeopardy from give years ago and it’s an entirely new experience. It’s not memorable. I’ll mistake the re-run for a brand new show.

The forgetting curve is really mischievous with Jeopardy because it’s a bunch of unrelated topics which are never put into practice. (I’d watch an episode twice if I wanted to remember it for some reason.)

So it is with software you only use once in a blue moon. I can no longer remember how to do the basic stuff in iMovie, like inserting a title at the end of a blue screen presentation.

This is the danger of dabbling. You learn enough to get by the first time and then you have to remember it when you return. I don’t seem to stick with it long enough to plant the procedures in memory, so I have to go back to the beginning again and again.

So it will take me  a while to get my iMovie skills up to speed. Ah, well, that should give me sufficient time to craft the message I want to tell.


Hey, I’m working out loud here

My Plog is doing double-duty. This is now where I’m working out loud. I’ll document my thinking here for those I work with to see. And for all the usual reasons. If a reader sees I need advice, I hope they’ll give it. If you can learn from my work, be my guest.

I’m also loop back to things, like now, when I’m working on cover ideas and it’s still an open project. I’ll post what happens there under the post for that topic.

I am down today. I sent a letter asking for feedback yesterday to our 87 subscribers. 24 hours later; half have not opened it. MailChimp reports that 47% (41 people) opened it. Three of them clicked through to the Survey. Three have taken the survey. Without valid feedback, I can only do so much with the product. I need some people who are going to do the exercises and report back on it, sort of an immense Learning Out Loud situation.

I recall some of the most satisfying learning of my life, figuring out HTML. For a while I was a whiz. Then the tech passed me by. But the joy came from immediate feedback. I’ll see something I liked, click View Source, rework a few lines and try it out. It was wonderful and the feedback was ever-present. Super rapid learning from immediate feedback.

Now I am empty handed regarding Aha! I’m getting no feedback. I have to figure out what to do. Clark says I’m jumping the gun, that people need more time. It’s summer, for God’s sake. I wish to hell I’d imbedded the survey links into the text. I think I’ll sneak that into version .81. Give your results, see aggregate results as a reward. Perhaps do this chapter by chapter. Record your experience; see how others felt. Chapter-by-chapter. Realized through Survey Share. For example, here are the current survey results.

I have to target folks with large potential audiences to do some testing. Live testing on anybody hungry to learn would be a good start. I plan to lay out the offer in video. If heartfelt and done just right, perhaps I can break into the mainstream with my message.