Fortune Turns to Pluma and Adobe for Online Learning Best Practices

Coronavirus continues to reshape how people live and work.  Some of these changes are predictable, others are less expected.  That organizations of all sizes have moved their training and development initiatives to 100% online is not a big surprise, but some of the nuances and changes they have had to make to ensure these initiatives are successful may be.

Fortune magazine editor Anne Fisher recently spoke to Danielle Clark, Head of Global Talent Development at Adobe and me about these changes and solicited our advice,  the article appeared last Friday.

Danielle credited Pluma as a part of the reason Adobe was able to adapt its training curriculum to move online so quickly. “Pluma has been great for helping people see how to apply the training their getting online to specific situations and to their own careers” and noted Adobe plans to continue to expand its engagement with Pluma into 2021 and beyond.  

Danielle provided several other tips for redesigning and moving training programs online. She noted that when it comes to moving content online, less is more, pointing out that attention spans for online content are significantly shorter than those for in-person presentations. This is especially true in today’s current work-from-home environment where many employees are grappling with distractions.

Moving a lecture-style class online will be ineffective, Danielle noted, “people won’t be engaged.” Approximately half of training sessions should be interactive in some way or other – soliciting comments, posing questions, organizing surveys and more.

The article observed that the intimate bond between employees and coaches can be helpful in stressful moments, providing employees with expert assistance and support as they face challenges around maintaining team morale or delegating remotely.

It closed with an observation from me, “It’s crucial right now for companies to do everything they can to help people feel supported and stay focused.”

I echo Danielle’s observation that in moments like these, less is more.  What are the services and resources we can bring our team members that will most astutely help them manage all of the new components they are juggling?  How can we help them feel connected, supported and on track to do the work that still needs to get done, regardless of their surroundings?  I would argue working 1:1 with a coach is just the solution for our current times.  Someone I can trust, over time, to help me do my best work for myself and my team.

Large organizations accustomed to L&D initiatives that are largely based on in-person participation are doing a radical rethink in today’s new normal.  Embracing online executive coaching as part of that rethink both builds a new generation of strong leaders and demonstrates management support for its employees in this difficult business environment.

If you would like to learn more about how you can deploy online coaching in as little as 24 hours at your organization, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Written by

Alexandra Connell

Alexandra Connell is CEO and Co-Founder of Pluma. Prior to starting Pluma, Alexandra held corporate roles across several industries including technology, biotech, and investment management in New York and London. During her role as Chief of Staff at biotech company Solazyme, Alexandra found inspiration for what would ultimately become Pluma. Shortly after IPO, the company was challenged with transition and change. Senior leaders were hired from outside firms. Emerging leaders, who had brought the company to IPO, felt alienated. To preserve a culture of innovation and flexibility, Solazyme needed to upskill and season its newer leaders - and fast. Engagement with content subscriptions was limited. There was significant pushback around the inefficacy and inconvenience of workshops and seminars. The one resource requested repeatedly was executive coaching, but this was simply too expensive and administratively cumbersome to provide across the board to those in need. Alexandra and her cofounder, Samuel Cabral, set out on a path to disrupt traditional leadership development. By leveraging technology, countless interviews with L&D professionals, and a network of thought leaders at Harvard, they developed a cost-effective and turnkey solution for developing leaders. By making executive quality coaching and professional development accessible more broadly within organizations, Alexandra leads Pluma`s mission to build the next generation of happy, inspired, and highly effective leaders. Alexandra holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations and Public Policy from Princeton University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

San Francisco, CA

Career DevelopmentCritical ThinkingExecutive CoachingGlobal LeadershipManaging Teams