One Mistake You Already Regret

A crew showed up this morning at the home across the street from ours. The work reminded me of a mistake many entrepreneurs and business leaders make. Let me explain. When our neighbor’s home was completed a few months ago, the sod was installed but it never took root. Maybe the ground was too cold or the soil wasn’t prepared properly. I’m not sure what happened but the homeowner found himself with a healthy crop of weeds and very little grass. The homeowner went to the builder and the builder agreed to correct the mistake. Kudos to the builder! I’m sure, however, the workers regret not installing the sod preperly.

So, this morning, a crew showed up to remove the old sod and deeply rooted weeds. The working conditions today are more challenging than they were when the job was initially completed. It’s hot and humid. With shovels, gloves, and assorted other tools, the crew began the process by pulling up pieces of sod by hand. The old sod is brittle. The job is tedious. All of this could have been avoided if it had been done properly the first time.

Do It Right the First Time

I had the privilege of being on the commissioning crew of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)—a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. While under construction, the ship’s motto was “Do it right the first time.” As part of the crew assigned to the ship during its construction, it was my job to make sure the shipbuilder performed its job. I followed pipes into the recesses of the ship making sure that every connection was secure. The captain wanted our ship to be one of the few that didn’t have to return to the shipyard after commissioning for significant repairs.

The Mistake You’ll Regret

I am an instructional designer, not a course creator. You see, courses that are created by people who don’t understand instructional design seldom live up to their potential. People get bored because the courses don’t utilize effective adult educational strategies and online learning principles. I meet a lot of people who say, “I created a course but it didn’t sell.” Others say, “My course never delivered the internal benefits for my company that I expected.” Honestly, I’ve yielded to clients who insisted that courses be done a certain way all the while knowing that the course would never work.

Don’t Create a Course

Please don’t hire someone to create a course for you and run from anyone who makes that offer. You don’t need to deal with that regret and frustration. Take the time to find someone to design instructional experiences. There is a huge difference between a creator and a designer. Creators focus on the resources available and limit their output to what the content allows. Designers focus on the learner’s experience and then design the process that moves learners from where they are to where they need to be. Created courses seldom work; designed courses are more successful.

The Difference Maker

I utilize a proprietary process that generates a Teachability Gap Index (TGI)©. TGI is a way of quantifying the gap between what learners already know and the entry point into the course or learning experience. This is revolutionary in the educational technology world and solves a major obstacle that most instructional designers overlook. When I work with clients and entrepreneurs, we create variable pathways to entry in a effort to make the learning experience accessible to as many people as possible.

You can waste a lot of money if you pay someone to create a course; however, you can achieve your goals if you partner with an instructional designer who understands how adults learn and how to close the entry gaps. Don’t create a course, design one! You’ll regret one choice and celebrate the other.