The Sticky story and how it could help your training succeed
How a five second conversation changed a career…
In 1996 creating training resources had never entered my mind. That was about to change and so was my career. With around 6000 staff, my employer at the time was one Australia’s largest single site workplaces.
The job was funding my foray into the Australian film industry. By ’96 I had written nine feature film scripts and made two short films with number three in sight. Somehow, my manager had heard what I was up to.
His approach was casual and matter of fact:
“You make films?”
“I try to.”
“Want to make some for us?”
That was the conversation that changed my career. The ‘films’ were about managing conflict in the sometimes volatile arena of casino gambling.
I wasn’t given much in the way of a brief:
“We want situations where staff handle a difficult customer.”
I immediately found what I’d learnt about building scenarios, dramatic structure, character development, dialogue, rising tension and all the rest could be used in training video. And the enjoyment of writing was on par with writing a fictional film.
When I handed in a draft the response was positive but there was one request:
“Can he be more obnoxious? Drunk?”
I made some edits on the spot and the manager was delighted. I discovered how satisfying it is to provide a client what they truly need. There was already a production company on board so I acted as liaison, coordinator and I ended up acting as the obnoxious drunk. The ‘films’ were very successful and my understanding is they were still in use seven years later.
It would be another four years before I fully committed to the learning industry, but my love of learning had really begun with that project.
My journey since the early 2000’s has taken me into some exciting territory working both directly with clients and within the frenetic hustle of learning resource publishers.
With video production, apart from writing, directing, producing, editing and even some acting, I’ve also been a Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer for a major international producer and distributor. Beyond this I’ve ventured into eLearning instructional design and production plus writing and editing entire print resources.
Thinking of now, while reflecting back, what satisfied me with that first project and what satisfies me now is the opportunity to create material that influences for the positive and satisfies the needs of others.
Some things don’t change.