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Team insights from Charlie Poliseno, Snr. Enterprise Learning Specialist, Hive Learning

Growing up and living in Florida, it’s not uncommon for folks to spend their weekend mornings washing and polishing their cars in preparation for a day trip to…well…nowhere.  There’s a freeing element to it, I suppose.  The sun shining on your face with the ragtop down, the seabreeze blowing in your hair, and your coolest pair of Wayfarers on while Tom Petty blasts through the speakers; nowhere to be, no destination in mind, just going wherever the road takes you.  We have a name for those happy-go-lucky weekend road warriors: Sunday Drivers.

Me personally?  I’ve never seen the appeal.

I’ve always been objective-oriented.  I need to have a place to go, a planned-out route on how to get there, and at least a vague idea of what I’m going to do when I get there.  I take comfort in having a goal, a plan to achieve it, and a plan B (and C, D, and E) for when something inevitably nudges me off course.  What can I say, I’m an Eagle Scout – Be Prepared.

That mindset has followed me throughout my career in education and development.  Whenever I design a program – whether that was in my eleven years working in youth and volunteer education in various capacities, or my two years in enterprise L&D – I think a lot about Stephen Covey’s Second Habit: “Begin with the end in mind.”

In that spirit, I ask myself these questions during my design process:

What do I want my learners to take away from this program?

How am I going to demonstrate and measure that they actually learned something?

How am I going to deliver the information in a way that meets them where they are right now?

Nearly all of my L&D peers and colleagues follow a similar train of thought, but organizational priorities often supersede learning design principles.  Sometimes those priorities change so quickly that by the time a learning program is designed and ready to rollout, it’s already out of date.  Other times, the scale at which a learning initiative is needed is so large that it loses context and connection with the people who need it most, often leading to the dreaded “check the box to say I did it,” attitude that stifles knowledge gain and behavior change.

All of this leads L&D teams feeling like they are jumping from project to project with constantly changing objectives and a difficult task of demonstrating outcomes that drive the business forward.  Like a Sunday Driver who had one too many espresso shots, changing lanes on the interstate like they’re Jeff Gordon.

So how do we help learning teams get to their destinations before those objectives change and they end up in the Sunday Driver feedback loop?

It’s a big puzzle to solve, but a good first step is to give L&D professionals the tools they need to get their job done, and to design those tools with L&D front of mind, rather than an afterthought.

In so many conversations I’ve had lately with L&D directors, VPs, and CLOs, I’ve heard the same complaints:

  • Our content provider’s materials are generic and often outdated, and don’t align with our goals and values.
  • Our LMS’s pathways aren’t intuitive, aren’t user friendly, and don’t advance learners on logical trajectories to evolve and upskill
  • The limited AI tools we have access to aren’t designed for L&D effectiveness, and learning how to engineer prompts to get what we need takes too much time.

It’s from insights like these that Hive Learning is building our latest suite of GenAI products – with L&D front and center.

We know the costs of not solving those issues firsthand, because most of us (yours truly included) are former educators ourselves.

  • We know using generic and outdated learning content leads to learner apathy, lack of engagement, and stifled behavior change as a result.
  • We know that learning pathways that don’t make sense to learners leads to disengagement and frustration, both on the part of the learner and the L&D team.
  • We know that plugging a learning prompt into a generic GenAI engine spits out bland, generic, ill-constructed, and sometimes inaccurate/biased information – leading to eyerolls, shouts of “I’ll do it myself,” and more than a few broken keyboards!

Most importantly, we know what these problems being left unchecked costs L&D teams: Time and Credibility.  We’ve heard over and over again that the battle facing L&D right now is being viewed as business partners that actively advance the organization towards its goals, rather than a cost center that eats budget for no easily discernible return.

Taking on board these insights, one of the pieces of the puzzle Hive Learning has built is called BuzzCurator.  BuzzCurator, built with learning models like ADDIE and Kirkpatrick in its prompting, generates customized learning content on topics only limited by your creativity.  It can even take your pre-existing content that you’ve already built or invested in, and create timeboxed learning journeys that meet your people in their flow of work.

Think of it like your car’s GPS navigation: tell it where you want to go and it gives you the information and plan on how to get there, while keeping you in the driver’s seat (Wayfarers and Tom Petty playlist not included).

Take our friends at Boots, for instance.  Boots is a retail pharmacy and cosmetics chain in the UK and Canada, that features friendly and knowledgeable Beauty Specialists in their stores to help you pick the right beauty products for your needs and your specific skin, hair, fragrance preferences, etc…

As you can imagine, in the vast world of cosmetics, there are so many different brands, ingredients, color combinations, application methods, and so on – it’s enough to make your mascara run (unless you get the waterproof stuff, which I learned from Boots, by the way).  Boots needed a learning platform that their Beauty Specialists could easily access in the flow of their work (read: on their mobile devices during breaks at their store location) to not only educate them on product features, details, and sales events, but also to upskill them on how to effectively communicate with customers, build rapport and, ultimately, increase sales.

Enter Hive Learning.

Using Hive Learning’s platform, as well as our newly introduced BuzzCurator, Boots is able to quickly create learning content on their beauty product catalog to make sure their Beauty Specialists are knowledgeable and informed about any new products, changes in promotions, and skills to better interact with their customers.

The result?

Boots has been able to see:

  • 75% active engagement from store staff
  • 90% engagement on mobile devices
  • The average learner on the platform consumes 355 pieces of content
  • 80% of stores share knowledge and learnings together to grow faster (the power of social learning!)
  • Learners using the Hive Learning resources can be expected to achieve 147% of their sales targets vs. non-users expected to achieve 43% of their sales targets.

Boots approached their learning and development challenge with their end user and objectives in mind.  Hive Learning approached the learning design tool problem with its learners , Boots and their Beauty Specialists in this case, and their objectives in mind.  Specific and tailored content, delivered in pathways that make sense, with tools designed for L&D.

As one of my high school teachers used to say, “It ain’t rocket surgery.” 😏

It’s certainly a lot better than Sunday Driving too.

If you or someone in your network is open to collaborating with a team like ours at Hive Learning, we’d love to work together!  Feel free to hit the “Book an Appointment” button in my LinkedIn profile, send me an InMail, or email me at

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