Thoughts from a Learning Solutions Strategist...

Posted by Mary Calvagna on 11/14/12 9:00 AM

Hi, I'm Mary Calvagna, Senior Learning Solutions Strategist at CLD. I've been designing and developing training solutions for more than a decade. What motivates me every day is being the best at my job—meeting my clients' training needs.

Thoughts from

Over the years, I've watched training go from thick, print-based tomes, dense with text and hundreds of pages long (you may remember the days of lugging gigantic three-ring binders, packed with content, through airports and across territories) to eLearning and mLearning tools that deliver training in visually appealing quick hits and interactive applications. Regardless of where your training falls on this continuum, it must be impactful, relevant, and translate into sales. That's where I come in. I create forward-thinking training solutions for pharmaceutical and medical device companies that increase knowledge and understanding. But, knowledge and understanding are really only useful if they translate into skills that deliver better, more confident performances in the field. And for the investment in training to be worth it, performance in the field must result in deeper, richer consultative relationships with physicians. mary

But how do I do that? This may sound simple, but I integrate these ideas:

  • increased knowledge  
  • confident performances
  • consultative partnerships

From the ground up, I make it part of the design, the development, and the delivery.

The Design

Creating the perfect solution starts at the initial brainstorming session. The client's specific and unique needs drive every aspect of our design, including which team members are involved, what I assign as pre-work for our brainstorming sessions, and what types of tools and resources we use to generate ideas.

New technology, bells and whistles, it can be intoxicating, but I cannot get caught up in that; I have to continually ask myself during the design phase is this the best solution for my client? For the learner? For the content? A solution may be cool and flashy, but if it doesn't teach something, then it is a bust. The style may be engaging and exciting, but if it's not relevant or memorable, then it will not translate in the field into building relationships and creating sales.

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The Development

Now the fun really begins—fulfilling on what we identified as the perfect solution. During development, we get to build and deliver our learning solution vision. Our project team consists of writers, designers, developers, biomedical visualizations specialists, editors, desktop publishers, and project managers. We are all in-house, meeting weekly or more, working together to build something impactful.

Throughout the process, I am evaluating and reevaluating the deliverables, theme, content, context, and vision internally and with the client. Are we meeting the client's needs? Are we developing the best solution possible? Are we performing at our highest level? As each piece in the solution is finalized, how has it evolved? Will it result in improved performance?

The Delivery

The most gratifying step in this process is delivering our completed training solution to our client. If I did my job, we correctly identified and designed what was needed, we developed engaging and relevant deliverables, and we delivered a comprehensive and robust training solution. The sense of pride in our solution goes without saying, because at that point, I know we have created something memorable, which will translate into confident performances in the field and deeper, richer, more consultative relationships with physicians.

And now I'm back to where we started. Being motivated by being the best at what I do may make me unique in the world, but it doesn't make me unique at CLD. Delighting clients and delivering memorable training solutions is what we do everyday.

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Topics: mLearning Designing Learning Training Solutions Training Effectiveness Physician Relationships eLearning Learning Solutions