Reflections on personal and business development in the post-COVID19 era.
When I was asked to write this article I was in the agency, in our office in Udine. You may wonder what is so important or different, nothing, except that I was holding an Experiential Marketing lecture through zoom through the School+ platform of ENAIP FVG.
About twenty people, including myself, who have been meeting three times a week for the past 40 days to attend lessons in distance education mode. Therefore, the same twenty or so people connect with each other in a completely new way, not only by sharing the screen, documents or videos, but by revealing much more personal aspects and, if we want to be intimate, like their home environment, their stories.
The technological habitat and the environment of the virtual class thus become an incredibly strong and unique patchwork, where to mirror, hide and confront each other.
Online Smart Training
From the point of view of visual communication and language (not only verbal) I find it a fascinating experimentation. Born as we know from a forced circumstance such as lockdown, this smart learning mode tells a lot about our anthropic ability to adapt. Above all, it describes market developments and new business needs.
It is often said that the economic environment is “constantly evolving”. In the rhetoric of change is one of the most popular catchphrases, however stereotyped, we must admit that there is a fund of clear truth.
Digitization as “new normality”
While for some people the topic of digitization is still at a standstill in the evaluative debate, we suddenly found ourselves projected into the “new normality”. What seemed to be only possible prospects have become indispensable necessities.
I cannot address issues related to the importance of training from a pedagogical or scientific point of view, but I can say that corporate training in digital marketing and communication, today more than ever, has become a strategic foundation for companies, whether public or private.
Digital skills and communication
First of all, the digital skills of employees and collaborators can no longer be considered as the decorative skills of a CV, but as something essential, at all levels of the organization chart, from the personnel office to the accounts. It is certainly necessary to equip oneself with dedicated tools, but even before that, it is necessary to change the paradigm on which communication and collaboration in the company itself is based, going beyond the limits of space and time.
The company’s internal communication must be fluid and coordinated, avoiding out-of-synchronous information that prevents multiple resources from coming together from different places and times. Communication must support processes of co-creation of new knowledge. Communication becomes generative when it concretely supports the processes of creativity and innovation.
Training plays a decisive role in this. To train today’s worker/professional means to measure oneself against the complexity and uncertainty that increasingly characterize even the simplest of work tasks. The ability to read complexity and accept uncertainty will save us from the overwhelming power of machines, but without a good level of possession and daily exercise of digital skills, this can become not only difficult but actually impossible.
When we, Art Directors, meet secretly in our exclusive circles in Yorkshire, in between our fox hunts, we often discuss how urgent it is to “educate customers” about the wonders that the “new world” technique is giving us.
Irony aside, it is clear that we should start with ourselves first.
The self-evaluating perception of one’s own degree of personal and professional development often confirms this need.
Need for “organic” training in the company
In a business development plan that respects itself, the training aspect must become “organic” on a par with all communication and marketing activities aimed at medium and long term results. Knowing the dynamics on which an integrated communication campaign is built and how to identify the most suitable tools on the basis of the objectives can no longer concern only the marketing department of a company.
In this scenario, of course, various resources can be activated, such as focus groups within the company in which to assess the training needs of staff, a mix of blended learning consisting of training moments in presence with distance learning, more or less assisted by an expert, or even better to create “brand academies” on new techniques or new digital marketing tools.
But at the basis of all this, lies the need to create a community of continuous learning within the company, an ecosystem that fosters creativity and the generation of new knowledge. It is no longer enough to plan separate training sessions, but rather the environment and work practices must be formative in themselves. For these reasons, and based on the sharing of the same approach, I started collaborating with Andrea-Massimo Valcher and The Harbor (Holding of which MOLO17 is part) to try to implement the methodologies and interactions between the worlds of communication, training and business development.
Obviously, here we open another debate on how to choose and select the most suitable training or consultancy centre for the company. Specifically, I believe that, as with the choice of an agency, it is not only professional qualifications that weigh as much as the portfolio and the ability to design and coordinate educational paths (or in my case, communication strategies) that are truly personalized.
Training and corporate communication
A final point of reflection, thinking back to my class, concerns the possibility of translating these moments of training into informative contents that have an impact in the real world. Let’s remember that the digital audience lives in the real world.
One can think of “hybrid” actions that in some ways manage to translate the needs we discussed into real branding campaigns. A company should be able to take advantage of these moments to release digital content on its channels that can intercept new segments or leads, or more generally increase brand awareness through educational and popular content.
We are not discovering infotainment today, and how much you can do with genre mixing. Hybridization is in fact the key to the new normality, in communication as I believe in education.
Founder & Art Director BrodoStudio