What makes a training program exceptional?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Anyone with children or grandchildren of a certain age probably knows all about Minecraft – the game where you dig and build different 3D blocks within a large world of varying terrains and habitats to explore. Well this little game, created by a Swedish programmer and developed by Swedish company Mojang, has sold more than 54 million copies. Last November, Microsoft purchased  Mojang for $2.5 billion. Why am I talking about a video game? Because the key to Minecraft's success is also what makes an exceptional training program. A recent article in Inc., pointed out that Minecraft is so successful, in part, because it offers its customers maximum flexibility with its user-first approach and do-it-yourself features. While other video and board games lay down defined settings and rules, Minecraft seems ruled by users not by its creators. With Minecraft, you tell your own story and build your own world. This is the philosophy we follow at Mohawk College Enterprise. We give you the tools and skills you need and you decide how and when to implement them. For example, with our Future Ready Leadership program, instead of prescribing a strict number of theories and rules, we discuss philosophies surrounding topics like conflict management or teamwork. Participants can take what makes the most sense for them or their organization and run with it. Like Minecraft, good training programs are ruled by the clients and not the trainers. For example, while a program should have a general outline of topics to be covered, the specifics should be customizable to meet the needs of each client. Of course, Minecraft is also fun. While you are working and creating to build new worlds, you don't even notice because it is so enjoyable. In training (and at work), participants need a chance to be creative. Teaching participants through games and experiential learning, is key to ensuring they enjoy the process. This also makes it more likely they will remember what they learned. It may be a child's video game but it seems we can all learn something from Minecraft.