Instructional design
Guido Helmerhorst
Founder & CGO

Why L&D leaders should care about action intelligence

Around 2015 we first heard of the term “action intelligence” from someone in the military who just finished one of the first VR training scenarios based on interactive 360° video.

We are all familiar with CPR. Many of us are certified and some even had to perform it to save someone’s life. When it is actually needed, most people know what to do in theory, but reality can be a lot more complex. People with “action intelligence” for that specific situation will be more successful.

Theory is patient. You can learn procedures by heart, but the real question is what do you do when the going gets though and you have to apply that knowledge in a situation that is unfamiliar, hostile, dangerous, tense, or emotional.

For example, a doctor who drew blood thousands of times before, can be sweating and shaking in a panic situation. Like Mike Tyson said when he was asked by a reporter whether he was worried about his legendary opponent Evander Holyfield: “Everyones has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth”.

Action intelligence in the world of learning and development is similar. One can (e)learn, take nuggets, watch inspiring people, take notes and even do practical exercises (like on a Rescue Anne) but how does this translate into real-life behavior? The way a lot of us train nowadays is through real life situations using for example evacuation drills to improve safety awareness or actors in a classroom for leadership skills.

Recreating real-life situations, when well designed and executed, is a great way to train, but has some downsides and restrictions (even more so when you consider the hybrid situation after 2 years of Covid L&D):

  • Restricted by time and place: When a yearly drill is planned for a certain day, it doesn't happen the other 364 days of the year.
  • Not repeatable: A lot of effort and money is wasted when trainings are no longer available to those unable to attend the drill or who join the company later that year.
  • Not environmentally friendly: People have to travel to join, and are not productive during the drill.

There is however a better way by building action intelligence in your organization with immersive learning:

  • Economically sound with reusable and scalable training.
  • Environmentally friendly with less travel required.
  • Didactically improved with better retention and performance data.

Watch a replay of our recent Learning Tech Talk with L&D expert Christopher Lind to learn more about how action intelligence impacts learning and learning experience design. Or contact us for a free demo to learn how your peers are already using VR training and real-life situations to upskill their workforce.

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