January 5th, 2021
The country looked on as Boris informed the population of a third English lockdown on Monday 4th January; but as we read up on the latest restrictions, what can we learn from Lockdown 3?
For around 70% of the country living in Tier 4 conditions, the third lockdown didn't actually alter that much... on paper.
The non-essential shops were already closed, our friends remained a distanced Zoom call away, and our working life was summarised by our children or dogs dropping in every 10 minutes.
Sure, the schools closed, and outdoor sports were brought to a halt, but that, well, was about it.
Yes it does.
So, what's going on?
The power of "how you sell it" was in full display when Boris took to TV for his live address on Monday night. This was a lockdown not a tier. This was an instruction and not a request. This was a call to action to save lives and the NHS, not a three word slogan.
For once it didn't separate a nation, it brought back unity. It embodied hope, with semi-realistic timelines of the vaccine rollout, and the advantage of following the guidance strictly for (hopefully) the last time clearly laid out.
I often hear of hundreds of thousands of pounds being spent on the latest learning technologies and professional development platforms for an organisation. It has been in the works for a year, and many stakeholders have influenced its design, content and user experience. The greatest learning platform is ready to be used by the wider business, and then...
... nobody uses it.
Learning platforms are unfortunately commonly only in the interest of the L&D or HR team, and the end goal can often get lost in the weeds during a long and complex platform implementation. By the time the launch date comes, the product that was promised has changed significantly (and even sometimes not fit for purpose), but the message to the wider team has kept up.
It's important to think like your end user throughout the progress of the project, but imperative to do so when writing your launch email, blog post, slack message or press release.
The ultimate end user has to understand why they would want to use the platform.
What will I get out of it?
Can you give me the top three reasons why I should access the platform?
How will it help me progress through the company?
How will it help my career outside of this company?
What is on the platform that might interest me?
Take your time to understand the target market and ensure you sell it well, and your time will have been well spent.
Remember: unlike the vaccine, you only get one shot.