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Behind the scenes with Flo & Oz: engaged learning at work.

PMO Team,    07 Dec 2012
Behind the scenes with Flo & Oz: engaged learning at work.

It was my first big assignment at Interakt. Nalco, a leading water treatment and environmental services company and one of our top clients, had just launched a cutting-edge product and had asked Interakt to develop the training for the global sales team.

The product itself was complex with high-end, patented technology and intricate operating procedures. In addition to imparting product knowledge, Nalco also wanted to train sales engineers how to use a new consultative sales approach. This challenged us to dissect both the complex technologies and the new automated sales process and turn them into comprehensible learning modules.

As we sat down to brainstorm the learning approach, Redicka, our CEO, immediately identified that this was the perfect opportunity to apply our signature Engaged Learning approach that uses storytelling to engage learners and ensure retention. Initially, the clients felt that a storytelling approach sounded a little “light” for such serious subject matter. But they gave us the go ahead to create a pilot script, in which we personified two critical aspects of Nalco’s new technology—reverse osmosis and water.

Flo, a dignified woman, personified water, while Oz, an energetic young man, represented reverse osmosis. Oz admires Flo’s critical value to his plant’s operations, but also notes that she sometimes adversely affects his performance with the dissolved solids and tiny organisms that she brings in with her. On the other side, Flo realizes that she needs help from Oz to improve her quality. Bantering happily, they set out to discover how Nalco’s new technology can improve Flo’s quality and the plant’s efficiency.

The pilot was a hit. Nalco was impressed at Interakt’s capability to turn a complex subject into an engaging learning experience. Soon, the entire learning program script was woven around Flo and Oz, with the characters contextually linking the four training modules together. Then came time to bring the concept to life. Two professional actors from Chicago were cast as Flo and Oz, and they played their roles perfectly. You can watch the making of the training here:

 

 

The end result was extremely positive—Nalco saw a direct increase in sales, officially marking the success of the work behind Flo and Oz. Initially launched in the United States, the course was later translated and rolled out across the global sales organization in different languages. As for Interakt, we measure our success by our client’s satisfaction and by solidifying a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with Nalco.

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