The EMU Experience Explained
I started The EMU Experience in 2015 to tackle what I believe is a prevalent problem in the corporate world: Training.
Specifically how training is designed and delivered. I've stated this before, but my summary of the majority of corporate training is this:
Too much content delivered with little to no student engagement using little creativity and providing no support, effective follow-up or accountability.
Before you go gettin' all crazy, let me admit that there are some trainers who are doing it right. In fact, I've been forever impacted by two specific facilitators in my journey as a lifelong learner: Becky Pike Pluth and Patrick Kerwin.
But individuals like Becky and Patrick, and those that learn from and emulate them, are still in the vast minority of corporate trainers.
My Corporate Training Experiences
Having heard too many training horror stories from friends and colleagues, I've also been witness to more bad training than good.
A day-long workshop on communication skills where you don't actually practice communicating.
A sales trainer who starts the class with, "Well, I've only got 6 hours and I've got a lot of material to cover, so let's get started."
A coaching skills course in which the instructor told me that, "If at any point today you'd like to teach part of my workshop, please let me know."
Don't call your training a workshop if your students aren't practicing any skills. Just make a video and send out the link. You'll achieve the same effect without making your students sit still all day.
Don't shut down your students from asking questions because you've got too much content to cover. Don't punish me for your poor planning...or for not giving a damn about whether or not I actually learn anything in your course. [I had to throw that last part in there because it's really hard to tell with some trainers.]
And for the love of all that is holy, please, please, please do not offer me an opportunity to teach part of your workshop! That's a sign you just need to go ahead and retire because you have completely checked out.
These are real examples of my corporate training experiences. They are examples of common - yet, really bad - ways that corporate training is done.
If this has happened to me, it's probably happened to you. It's a problem and it has to be solved. This is why I do what I do.
Overview of The EMU Experience
In case you haven't caught on, the EMU in The EMU Experience is an acronym.
E = Engaging
M = Memorable
U = Unexpected
And that acronym supports our core principle:
To create a memorable learning experience, you must engage your learners in unexpected ways.
To recap: EMU (in bold caps) is our acronym. The "emu" is a bird.
Let's Break Down the EMU
E stands for ENGAGING.
As corporate trainers, we know engaging our students is important, yet we often don't do it well...or at all..or we're just completely confused about what "engagement" means.
I believe that engagement done EARLY, OFTEN and ON PURPOSE is a great formula to follow. And transforming the training content you already have is a great place to start.
M stands for MEMORABLE.
Let’s be honest - most training courses are NOT memorable; and if they are, it’s very likely for all of the wrong reasons…because they offer what students expect.
Classroom-style seating, a whole bunch of slides and little to no purposeful and consistent engagement of students.
Doesn’t that sound like most of the courses you’ve taken in the last 5 years?
If that sounds like the course you currently teach, well…we can help you get out of that rut. And it’s easier than you think.
U stands for UNEXPECTED.
This our secret sauce; what allows us to help you set yourself apart from other learning professionals.
Based on your experience in your industry, we collaborate and identify what’s “expected” when it comes to how training is designed and delivered in your industry.
Then we push you to think about turning those expectations 180 degrees by simply asking, “What if…?”
Instead of delivering the same old-same old, you do and deliver the complete opposite…the unexpected! What would that approach to training look like in your industry?
Where To Go From Here?
If any of what I have described here makes you a little uncomfortable, I'd like the opportunity to dig a little deeper on that with you. Maybe you've had similar training experiences and acknowledge that there is a very real problem.
Maybe you have or are currently delivering training in a manner that is NOT the most effective.
Or maybe your company just needs to reevaluate how you are designing and delivering your training courses and workshops.