Concepta…what? You’ve probably never heard of a conceptathon. This brand new future format of New Learning comes directly from the TCJG forge and is full of teamwork, collaboration and visible end results.

This workshop design has its roots in the agile world and follows the approach: learning by doing. Within three days, concepts for pre-defined cases are developed in small groups – intensively and innovatively. Alternating between short inputs, units, and workflows according to the sprint logic and pitches of the interim results. Everyone can play to their strengths and push themselves out of their comfort zone. Everything for the grand finale, the final pitch and the opportunity to learn how to deliver quality conception work quickly.

We were able to prove in our pilot that this does not only mean spinning heads and hard work, but is also really fun!

10 people worked for three days on three different concept challenges and the results were overwhelming: multi-media, complex, agile and with a lot of heart and soul.

We’ll take you on a little Conceptathon journey and sum up at the end.

And if you want to learn more about the future format beforehand: You can find our blog here.

At the Conceptathon, we didn’t hesitate for long. We took enough time to arrive, meet the group and define our expectations and goals (TCJG top tip here: Expectations and goals are perfect as a task in the run-up; the group already deals with the topic of conception and the anticipation of the workshop rises), but we also quickly got to the part that everyone was looking forward to: the presentation of the cases and thus the kick-off of the Conceptathon.

In the case groups, they first familiarised themselves with their own task, did research (also with the clients as interview partners), then, after inspiring input on the topic of goal definition, formulated it (a step that many have always liked to skip in the past) and bundled and expanded the collected findings in a rough concept.

Aha results guaranteed

This is where the first aha experiences took place: The change of perspective presented the first challenge to one or the other. To empathise with the client(s), to ask the right questions and to explore the case without immediately finding a solution was a task that our participants sometimes had to work hard at. Their heads were already bubbling over with creativity and ideas – then taking a step back and looking at the requirements can be frustrating, but it is necessary.

The results then spoke for themselves: our groups were able to get to the heart of their cases and prepare their rough concepts in such a way that creativity could be given free rein on day 2 – without having to deal with legacy issues from the previous conceptual step.

And there was something else we learned: The templates and small aids we prepared for our participants served us well during the event. They provide orientation and give the group the chance to concentrate on the essentials: Conception.

Even after the event, the team spirit continued to be fuelled: over pizza and vino, we laughed, exchanged ideas and recharged our batteries for the next day!

Day 2 – Conceptathon – the creative minds are activated

The group started day 2 highly motivated, and things got off to a dynamic start, because we wanted to fill our concepts with life.

But first the theory: together we worked out which methods, formats and media we could best use at which point in our learning structure. What achieves the greatest effects? What helps us reach our goals best? What out-of-the-box possibilities have we not yet considered?

This got the creative heads activated and prepared them well for the rest of the day. It was precisely these results that could be used for the further development of the cases. The participants were able to be creative in their fine structure, use funky formats and work out architectures with great attention to detail.

Intensive work units with clear objectives, feedback sessions and slack time alternated again and again. We were amazed at how many ideas we could spin together in such a short time and, thanks to the previously prepared structure, steer them in a productive direction.

In the evening, the creative work continued: even the rain couldn’t stop us from having a BBQ. So the grill master got a roof over his head and the group set up the buffet indoors. With homemade salads from the team and conversations about things that are currently on our minds, it tasted even better.

Day 3 – Conceptathon – The Grand Finale

The grand finale – but by no means was the air out!

On the last day of the Conceptathon, our participants really stepped on the gas, put the finishing touches on their concept and produced material.

The final pitches and presentations of the concept consequently had it all: from 360° videos to trainer guides for workshops and passionate explanations, everything was there, and our participants set off a real concept firework!

Of course, it was difficult to decide on the best concept, which is why we quickly declared everyone a winning team and celebrated our new team spirit together with a visit to the wine bar!

Our event was rounded off with an intensive reflection on the last few days. What did the participants take away? What will they do differently now? Were they able to achieve their goals from the beginning of the event?

One sentence in particular stuck in our minds: “Now I finally know what should really matter in my job!”, one of our participants openly shared with us, thus giving us high praise.

We said goodbye as a team, as conceptathonists and with a lot of motivation for our next concept work!

Our conclusion: A future format that makes fun!

Our conclusion for the Conceptathon is entirely positive: It really is a future format that is fun!

With a lot of creativity, collaboration and dynamism, it helps teams to set a focus and get down to work in a short time. A conceptathon is suitable for a wide range of topics, strengthens individual competences and produces immediately visible results: finished concepts.

Our Conceptathon already had kids. See here the Main-Donau-Isar Projekt.


Would a Conceptathon be something for you and your team? You want to see visible results quickly and take your conceptual work to the next level? Then get in touch with us and we’ll realise your New Work Booster together!


Written by: Victoria Durner

You create the future!
This is something we’re good at.



Collaboration, co-creation, lifelong learning, growth mindset – all buzzwords of our time. As different as they may seem, they are all served in community learning – a future learning format. You’ve probably heard this term before, too! But what does community learning actually mean?

Community Learning – a future learning format

Community learning describes a collaborative learning format. In informal learning groups, knowledge is acquired, exchanged, discussed, and generated online. It thrives on self-organization and the idea of community. Especially in times of remote work, this is very much in vogue. The community comes together on a provided platform and is encouraged to work on different tasks. For community learning to be successful as a supplement to your existing portfolio of training formats, it is not enough to simply create the space, but a certain degree of control is also required.

Join us on our journey!

We’ll take you on a little journey and share our best practices on the path to learning success through community! In the end, you can decide for yourself whether community learning is an overbearing evil or a future learning format for you!

1. Define target group

We start at the center of every learning journey: the participants. The target group is essential for community learning. Do the participants already know each other? Do they all have the same role or do they take different positions in the company? Is cross-team collaboration already practiced? To what extent is the group familiar with technical platforms in everyday work?

We ask ourselves these questions before planning any community learning. To achieve real added value for the participants, we try to support them in strengths. While we also challenge the group, we try not to put further stumbling blocks in their way with frameworks such as platforms or the like.

Before the group ventures to work on tasks, it is advisable to open the space for them to get to know each other. In an informal context, participants should also be able to discuss personal matters and thus lay the foundation for group cohesion and activities. If this is not possible in a face-to-face setting, platforms such as offer a playful and easy virtual alternative.

2. Align learning content

Community learning is new, hits the zeitgeist and can achieve enormous success. But only if it is used for the right topics. Setting up a learning community for every topic or area of knowledge to be imparted will hardly lead to the desired result and will at best leave participants and organizers frustrated.

Therefore, think about the goal of your learning journey, learning unit, or work assignment beforehand and adapt the formats accordingly. If your topic is not suitable for community learning, switch to other tools, because as so often in life – it’s all in the mix!

3. Select platform

Our path to successful community learning now leads us to structure. When it comes to the question of where best to host the learner community, the simplest solution usually yields the best results. Do you already have a platform that participants are familiar with? Does your organization have a format that meets all requirements, such as privacy and security? If so, it is best to use what is already available and adapt your community learning concept if necessary. Also, focus on one platform and avoid confusion by using too many different systems. Remember, it’s all about sharing and content, the platform only creates a comfortable framework for learners.

4. Assemble the team

The success of community learning is, of course, largely dependent on the learner group. But the organizational team also plays an important role. On the one hand, it is important that the participants always talk to the same people. This group of people should be as small as possible and limited to a maximum of 2-3 team members.

On the other hand, the introduction and implementation of community learning is time-consuming and, above all, time-critical. Depending on the intensity and size of the group, it can take up to 30 minutes a day, but in most cases a few hours a week will suffice.

So, when putting together your orga team, make sure you have enough sustainability and commitment.

5. Intensive introduction

It is important to make it as easy as possible for everyone involved to get started with community learning. A comprehensive introduction to the plan and the platform for the endeavor is therefore essential. A mix of media can be used: an onboarding webinar, video tutorials, collaborative FAQs, and tips and tricks summaries can all help participants and contributors get started right where they are.

6. Tasks and Timeline

The alpha and omega of a learner community lies in structured planning. Take the time to prepare the individual posts in terms of content and timing. Important points are:

  • Scope of the task: How time-intensive is the community learning task? We recommend about 15-60 minutes of effort per task. More intensive sessions should therefore fall during times when the learning journey requires less input from participants* (e.g., when there are no (virtual) workshops). Also consider the organization’s annual cycle (e.g., year-end business vs. summer slump).
  • Distance between tasks: Don’t overload your group with too many tasks in too short a time. Instead, leave space for participants to be active themselves and share insights or interesting articles.
  • Flexibility: Having a plan is important. However, you should not stick to it at all costs. Is there a hot topic in your organization right now? Take it up in the community! The annual employee talks are coming up? Give your community task even more practical relevance and enrich the work that the participants do in your role with a nugget from your learning journey!

7. Use media correctly

As in most fields, variety is the key to success! We’ve had good experience varying the media we use to populate our community learning platform. It’s always best to keep in mind what the goal of the message is: want to put out bundled information about an event? It’s best to use a written post for that. Want to do a little temperature check with your group? How about a video? Want to put out a teaser on a new topic? Why not try a podcast?

In the same way, participants* are also encouraged to use different media and formats. You can also encourage them to be creative in potential tasks that you want to intersperse.

8. Interaction

Interaction is the most important component for the success of community learning. This means interaction between the organizational team and the group as well as between the participants.

Community learning – a future learning format – thrives on collaboration, communication, and discussion in interaction.

Therefore, consciously plan time to not only follow what is happening on your platform, but also to like and comment. Ask (back) questions and get the conversation going should it stagnate. This may sound like a lot of work, but in the age of social media, it’s easy to do and adds value for the learner group.

9. Praise and criticism

Before we end our journey, let’s talk about feedback. Feedback is a valuable community learning tool. Coupled with direct approach, this is where we have had the greatest success.

If you notice that activity in the Learner Group is declining, it’s helpful to ask openly and casually where the community stands right now, what’s going on, and if there’s a specific reason for declining contributions. This can also be combined with a call for more participation. So you give feedback, but at the same time you ask for it.

Another approach is to positively highlight particularly active participants and thank them for their commitment to the group as a whole. We were surprised how motivating this was not only for the participants who received the positive feedback, but also for the rest of the group.

So give it a try and see what works best for your target group!

10. Celebrate successes/milestones

The last stop on our journey to successful community learning takes us to a particularly pleasant point: celebrating successes. Celebrate even small milestones with your group, such as a successful (virtual) workshop, the conclusion of an intensive phase in day-to-day business, or the end of a learning segment. Be surprised by how much positive energy, team spirit and motivation result from these small moments!

Our conclusion

That was the road to the successful implementation of community learning. It was sometimes steep and rocky. It required planning as well as flexibility and an investment of time and brainpower. But the outlook was well worth the journey: We look back on a sustainable learning experience, an expanded network and a group that has found joy in further development and exchange. For us, community learning is clearly a future learning format!

What do you think? Would you like to integrate community learning as a format into your organization? Feel free to contact us at for assistance!


This case was written by Victoria Durner.


Last week, I was able to accompany a presentation event as part of a Leadership Journey. Following C & Co and the current hybrid trend, the group had been on a virtual learning journey for quite some time. Now a “real day” was on the agenda. And it made one thing, actually only one thing, clear: the importance of physical encounters for one’s own emotional balance and hygiene, which is so significant. The power of emotions.

Remote, yes but …

The touchpoints of the Remote Learning Session so far were great after all. They were interactive in design and of course offered break out sessions for a more in-depth exchange. Energizers and lots of exercises addressed attention and provided experiential learning experiences. The addition of pre- and follow-up tasks to the workshops and the reflection of results in peer groups rounded off the New Learning approach in an ideal way. The topics were not lacking in appeal: “Leadership Personality”, “Leading Self” and “Leading People”. Obviously, everything was offered that is considered useful for successful learning in the virtual space today. Actually. What was obviously underestimated was the power of emotions.

Presence is more than virtual

As it turned out last week, despite all the didactics and diversity, something essential was missing: the emotional experience that only presence makes possible.

This became immediately clear. Even the first meeting was different than in the virtual space. More cordial, more open and more alive. All participants were there and only concerned with the here and now.
The exercises also had a noticeably different quality. Dialogue and exchange emerged instead of the naming of individual points of view. Some things that had already been discussed remotely appeared in a different space of meaning in a very short time.

The power of emotions became especially clear when one participant had gathered enough strength in the afternoon. She/he opened up with her/his Pains and Needs and all the emotions accumulated during the Lock Down. The connection and closeness experienced in the group on this “real day” allowed her/him to show what really moves her/him.

This was an incredible relief for her/him and a special gift for the team. Within a very short time, the culture in this group was enriched by the possibility of being able to bring in emotions. This led to a shift in connectedness. And gave a special example of what makes a leader today.

Emotions light in two-dimensional space

What exactly was different than in virtual space?
It almost seems as if the real space enables 3-D emotions. I.e. emotions can be perceived or experienced more intensively and thus make an excellent contribution to finding a solution.

In virtual space, on the other hand, we are dealing with a kind of 2-D emotions. Here we can influence well from the outside and e.g. inspire or talk about possible emotions. Perhaps also experience joy or frustration. But it remains on a “flat” level, it remains with individual parts.

The physical space could be described as “the whole is more than the sum of the parts”. An ideal place to let the power of emotions take effect.

Presence is irreplaceable

As much as I, we at TCJG now appreciate hybrid formats and intensively focus on corresponding Learning Journeys, this experience made it clear to me: presence is a magical space we cannot do without when we talk about sustainable Learning & Development.

Virtual sessions also have special possibilities that we should not miss.

It is the mix that makes the whole thing work. That was obvious. But now we will certainly consciously sprinkle a pinch of more presence into our Journeys again. And use it even more actively: the power of emotions.

This case was written by:
Eva-Maria Danzer


Virtual celebrating has taken a big leap in the last year, but, how do you celebrate virtually? How do you achieve all the emotions we know from celebrating in real life and set a milestone? That’s where you have to go one step further. Dive into the world of virtual celebration with one of our projects.

The world of virtual celebration

Having circumstantially virtualized every communication with clients and also our workshops due to Covid-19, we were about to hold a graduation ceremony of a 24-month leadership development program with 34 participants in a virtual format. The graduation of such a great program deserves a celebration. The participants need a celebration. A great celebration. Virtual.

Normally, the graduation ceremony would have been a very festive event, with a dinner over several courses, a suitable wine accompaniment, a certificate award ceremony, and speeches held by the CEO and other senior leaders. But how do you “translate” such an interpersonal gathering together with all the important and also powerful emotions into the virtual world? The virtual celebration – one step further.

The organization of the virtual celebration

When we set about designing the virtual celebration together with the client, there were no limits to creativity. The only question was how do we achieve an event feeling in the virtual world?

Since the entire executive program was already hosted on MS Teams, we again chose MS Teams as the event platform. In order to be able to use all Teams functions, such as chat, access to documents, without restrictions, we invited the participants to our Teams environment. We sent out a detailed description with screenshots and conducted a technical check call with the participants to test all call functions.

With a caterer, the organization of a suitable exquisite setting took place: One menu. At home.

So that all participants can celebrate together with their family, we decided to let them participate in the dinner. The participants were sent pizza kits the weekend before the virtual celebration. The idea of having the whole family create and bake their own pizza was well received by both participants with children and singles who invited their friends.

Of course, the drinks were also chosen carefully – a survey on the participants’ favorite drinks was conducted in advance.
The virtual celebration – one step further!

The official part of the virtual celebration

In the finale of the qualification journey, the participants pitched on Best Business Practices. During the official part of the celebration, the 12 people on the shortlist and the 6 winners were revealed. The CEO, the Program Leader of Leadership Development and also the Operations Lead gave speeches that emphasized the appreciation for all participants and the importance of the program for the company.

…And finally it was time to open 34 boxes. There were always 9 names called, who opened their box live in front of the camera and also held their gifts in the camera. The joy evident on the faces was great. And what was in the box? – A personalized certificate, a glass pylon specially designed for this program, and each participant’s individually preferred drink for the occasion.

Pride, enthusiasm, joy, applause, emojis and shining faces – all of it visible at the same time. Screenshots upon screenshots were taken – the photos of the new world. The emotion was there, you could almost touch it. The virtual celebration – one step further.

The informal virtual celebration

After the formal ceremony was over, all program participants had time to reflect on their impressions and change into smart-casual. Then the virtual celebration started. Time and location: 7 p.m., with a drink, in the main room. Music was on from the start.

Six rooms were prepared on MS teams, each with different motto: The Lobby, The Irish Bar, The Open Air Lounge, The Late Night Terrace, The Modern Beer Garden and Light Forest Open Bar. Everyone could “hop” from room to room throughout the evening and spontaneously meet with other participants.

In order to create a realistic visual experience, each participant had received a picture of the respective location in advance, which they were to upload as a background image and change depending on the room they were in. In addition, a drink in the hand, Snacks from a Snackbox beside, much laughter, fun and joyful memories.
That’s how it works: the virtual celebration – one step further.


May we also assist you with your virtual celebration?
Please contact us. We are here for you.


You shape the future.

This is something we are good at.


On our Company Journey, which will be shaped by COVID for a considerable time to come, adaptation has become a key factor. Not just a key to survive, but a key to succeed. And although this refers to anything and everything, we are focusing on virtual – virtual meetings and remote working.
A technology boost is obvious, and according to a McKinsey research, it has brought us almost 5 years ahead. Virtual technology – fast forward.

Into the virtual world with MS Teams

TCJG has a few years of experience with virtual formats. With the first lock-down, we immediately switched to digital formats. And tested a lot of tools in the process.
Microsoft Teams have quickly gained a central place, as they are well represented in the world of our customers. We design interactive virtual workshops with this tool with over 70 participants in the plenum. Within a few minutes the participants change into small groups to work on individual tasks and to exchange ideas. Here, both ideas and files are exchanged. It’s like going from one meeting to another and then seeing your colleagues again in a large conference room. Only digital. The power of break-out rooms. Virtual technology – fast forward.

Arrive in virtual format – before the actual session

In order to ensure that the virtual workshop runs smoothly for each participant, we encourage so-called “technical-check calls” before the actual virtual workshop. We have learned how valuable it is that all participants feel familiar and comfortable with their (virtual) environment, both in the main room and in the breakout rooms. And also with all the collaboration tools we want to use in our workshop, such as a whiteboard or survey tools. In short, the options and possibilities of Microsoft Teams are presented by the facilitator and immediately tested by the participants. In case of a problem, this can then be solved before the workshop starts.

And then in the actual session – there’s some action going on

By adapting the technical aspect in the Microsoft teams, we ensure that the workshop itself runs smoothly. We can now focus on participants and content and offer a real virtual experience.

Apart from seeing each other on a screen, we are able to quickly exchange links, data, ideas, questions or a smile simply by using the Microsoft Teams Chat option during the workshop.

Various plug-ins allow us to tailor our meeting or workshop to our exact needs. By adding a Wiki tab or a OneNote tab, you can quickly take notes, create documents, share thoughts with your colleagues and then present your ideas graphically by adding whiteboard tabs such as InVision or Conceptboard. In our workshops, the Conceptboard has proven to be a great collaboration tool – user-friendly and with great presentation possibilities. Together with the use of the Mentimeter, we encourage participants to get involved and be active in a workshop.

Not as observers, but as participants.

And then, after a few exercises and the exchange of ideas, it is time for a break. And what would that break be without a little music or a nice video on the screen, just until we meet again and continue with the workshop. Virtual technology – fast forward.

Our tip: If you are a presenter, there are some great new options such as Spotlight Option – choosing a video (including your own) as the main video that all participants will see. Pretty cool.
Virtual technology – fast forward.

It goes even further – there is always something new  happening.

There are also some quite interesting announcements about current Microsoft Teams developments, such as Meeting recap option – which allows recording the meeting, transcribing, chatting and sharing files in a meeting chat for all participants of the meeting.

The new Together Mode and Custom Layouts option should take this virtual experience to a much higher level. By creating new visuals, we should feel like we are actually in a workshop, seminar or café. And with Custom Layouts we will be able to see a video feed and the presenter at the same time. In this way, participants can follow the material and see the facial expressions of the presenter as well.

The existing Together Mode is available for a minimum of 4 people in one session. As soon as 10 or more participants are present, a large gallery option can be selected.

Virtual technology – fast forward.

We have to agree that our routine, our daily life, has changed. With each day we discover more and more possibilities. New, incredible developments in the virtual world are happening fast forward. The future is happening now. And the question is – is reality changing into virtual or virtual into reality?

You create the future!
This is something we’re good at.



Right now, it is sprouting up everywhere – web conferencing. Almost everybody seems to feel called to offer any session. Mostly free of charge and with quite remarkable content. So, the already old format, whose baptism certificate dates to 2003, is experiencing a retro.

But is that really what it takes now to inspire and educate people? There are alternatives.

Webinar or video clip?

The so-called webinar or web conferencing is constructed as learning and information format and offers a two-way ‘communication’. The possibility to comment an opinion or question in the chat does not count as dialogue, but at least some exchange is taking place. This is what this medium has ahead of the video clips that are so popular today. They only stream in one direction but in moving pictures and usually more comprised. Here, the speaker can contribute as a person, make an impact through his or her gestures and facial expressions and, if necessary, also explain something on a board. This is much more diversified than the static view on one person, who looks more or less professional into the camera.

Both formats have one thing in common: The listener’s concentration drops after a short period of time.

Is web conferencing a conference?!

The webinar is called a web conference. Controversial from our point of view. Because what constitutes a conference? Yes, it is about knowledge transfer. And yes, groups are addressed but good conferences are characterized by encounters and social interaction. In addition, a great conference also ensures that the knowledge acquired can be practiced in its application. This is followed by reflection and transfer into everyday life. Somehow the webinar reaches its limits here.

Virtual seminars made by TCJG

We think there are far better alternatives. We have thought the virtual seminar further. At our Hybrid Discovery Workshop, participants come together in groups on a specific topic as well. However, they do not listen to a speaker for a long time.

They are active right from the start. There is immediate participation. Visualised at their own workplace or at the dining table at home. The results are photographed and shared with the other participants. On this basis, an exchange takes place in small groups known as “break-out-rooms”.

Back in the big group we first start with a physical energiser. A video briefly summarizes the topic and during the following break the participants become DJs themselves.

After the break, 1 minute of silence allows to come to rest. Then, there is an appointment with a non-seminar participant for a virtual lunch. Briefly build together a mind map to the next topic and then a 3-minute walk around in the own surrounding. This allows the topic to be penetrated in the mind more deeply.

The results will be documented in the own “visualization space” and then presented to a tandem partner in a Mini-Con-Call. Afterwards a photo will be uploaded on a collaboration tool such as a virtual whiteboard. Now the documentation of the results is finished.

Of course, we also impart knowledge. But we do not tell that story, we let the participants discover and then share it… By providing suitable materials or links (during the workshop, but especially before or after). The participants become experts themselves.

This is what our seminars or discovery journeys look like. This is how virtual learning presents itself today.

Our participants say its great fun.

Especially since they are working on their digital fitness at the same time.


Webinar – it used to be.

Want more information? Please simply register for our free sharing or contact us via







Corona surprised us all and sent us all to the home office together. Even companies and bosses who “work remotely” with labels like “unthinkable” or “unproductive” are now forced to send their employees home. And even worse: they have to work from home themselves. Ironically, the massive restrictions in public life and our radius of movement go hand in hand with new freedoms in everyday working life. Now, as TCJG consultants, we are more often on the move remotely. With customers, on train trips or actually from the kitchen table at home… For us this situation is not so new and unfamiliar. Of course, the time variable of not going to the office not only on a daily basis, but for weeks on end, gave the situation a new dimension. This calls for new rules for cooperation. After all, we are a team and not lone fighters.

#1 the infrastructure

Thanks to our digital expertise and our willingness to experiment with new trends and tools, we had the decisive advantage of a functioning infrastructure. Everyone is equipped with smartphones and laptops. Via cloud systems, Microsoft teams or even the familiar VPN connection, all documents, links and contacts are available at all times. Prerequisite number 1 in the form of hardware and software was already there.

#2 new game rules

As organizational consultants in an agile environment, we have been working with agile meeting formats such as “dailys” or “Scrum meetings” for a long time. Nevertheless, the new spatial distance also creates a need for more structure. We have therefore split up our weekly Monday meeting. Five “Morning dailys”, a virtual check-in and a short final meeting, a check-out give our days a framework. This almost gives a new meaning to the agile word “re-framing”… The following morning procedure has proven to be very nice and personal for our small team: First a short, personal check-in without “professional context”. How am I doing today? What moves or occupies me? What am I looking forward to? Sometimes this is longer, sometimes shorter. Of course, “Corona” was also a topic. At this point it doesn’t matter to go beyond the scope of a 15min- SCRUM meeting. When the need is there. It makes everyone feel emotionally closer to each other. It is a small consolation for the private talks that are usually held over lunch or in the coffee kitchen. This is followed by an outlook on the day’s tasks of each individual. Here also fast possible co-ordination need becomes clear, meetings are immediately specified. We use “individual maps” for our tasks and projects. These are small digital cards that can be easily created in Trello or Microsoft Planner. This way, everyone knows who is working on which tasks. Responsibilities and dependencies are transparent. Even the individual small work steps and timings can be mapped easily and quickly. Our daily closing meetings then follow the Scrum principle. They are crisp and last a maximum of 15 minutes. Nevertheless they are important. All team members maintain a common level of knowledge. This allows us to react flexibly and quickly to changes that occur hourly, especially in these times.

#3 new freedoms

My Learning Number 1 in the home office: Every newly won freedom goes hand in hand with an increase in personal responsibility. Self-reflection, control, and management up to the supreme discipline of self-management are different competencies that build on each other. This is also what our participants of an online learning journey are currently learning at a customer. I, too, have noticed how important structure and self-knowledge are, especially in the home office. I can design some parameters completely freely. For example: what tasks do I set for the morning? Which ones in the afternoon? Other parameters are fixed and give structure to my day. Team calls, webinars or even breaks like lunch are among them. Of course, I’m in the luxury position of only being able to take care of myself. I am not disturbed by children or husbands. A nice example is the viral BBC News Live Interview. In the live interview with a professor in the home office, first both children and then the wife burst. All parents have a need for new home office rules for family members in these times to avoid such scenes. However, I find the private component very charming, which cannot be separated at all from the professional. After all, we are all daughters, sons, parents, partners. And I’ve always wanted to know what’s in my colleagues’ kitchen cupboards and how they are furnished.

#4 new learning

A nice new habit we have come up with at TCJG in our home office. And I really hope that we can keep it up in the post-Corona world. We have introduced a Lunch & Learn. A lunch call, sometimes with external guests, where we teach each other new tools, theories and practices. Digital knowledge sharing at its best! So many project management, collaboration and digital tools I have learned step by step in small nuggets over the last weeks. And applied immediately and integrated into my everyday work. We have also discarded some of them and rated them as “not relevant” for us. And that brings me directly to my last point.

#5 in peace lies the power

A large number of software and tools and the infrastructure that is now available allow us to do almost everything in the home office. Nevertheless, the same applies here as well: with measure and goal. Not every tool, every gimmick or every new software fits into the respective business model or the individual way of working. Despite zoom, teams and Google hangouts, we all need times without meetings. Only in this way can deep work be successful. My wish for the future: a new way of working in which remote and presence both have their place. Thanks to the (involuntary) increase in digital competence that we are all experiencing, these two worlds can now be united even better. Into a new linked digital working world that perhaps values personal contact even more than before.

New learning primarily challenges those that teach today.

As the OECD Pisa-Study 2018 concludes, students are only as good as their teachers. And in this case, what applies to teaching students can also be transferred to HR Learning & Development.

Internal qualification experts such as trainers and HR developers are a decisive target group. As multipliers they are effectively building the skills of staff while acting as guides for current changes.

Our case illustrates how to transform a conventional train-the-trainer programme into a modern, forward-looking qualification approach.

Neue New Teachers, New Learning

A premium automotive manufacturer finds itself confronted with various L&OD challenges. There is, for example, the central requirement to quickly prepare the workforce for the digital future.

Internal trainers and HR developers are experienced and well trained, but most of them still use the same methods as 20 years ago. They, themselves, have a considerable need for development when it comes to new learning.

At the same time, the outlined change creates an increasing learning pressure, requiring the timely implementation of new teachers and qualification format.

Obviously, the manufacturer is not alone in this challenge. Well-qualified trainers with experience in “future learning” are a rare find on the current market. Those that are newly recruited for this role therefore demonstrate a broad range of different skills and show a wide variety of development needs.

How “teaching” has been taught so far

Our client’s previous Train-the-Trainer programme was designed as a classic “one-size-fits-all” curriculum. Developed many years ago, it comprised several classroom modules and accompanying self-learning units in PDF format. The programme is representative for a traditional understanding of “blended learning” containing all things relevant for the qualification of this target group: brand, company, role, methodology, didactics and application.

Over the time, the programme had grown to twelve (12!) classroom days and has always been identical for each participant.

From curriculum to adaptive concept, from teacher to learning guide

The architecture for this contemporary “Train-the-Trainer” programme was influenced by two central considerations: How does a qualification concept for the future look which meets the above challenges and requirements in equal measure? And how is the role of the learning guide of the future defined?

It quickly became clear that a new version of the programme needed to be designed to adapt to individual qualification needs while considering a variety of prerequisites. It was therefore built as an adaptive qualification concept that can map individual learning paths. Content is segmented in micro-teaching units and can be accessed individually.

Of course, new learning is at the centre of meeting future qualification needs. Virtual learning modules, community learning, workspace learning and virtual learning support make up the majority of the programme. Where live training adds the highest value, classroom modules are complementing the course. Here, too, new designs and methods are used to strengthen learner’s self-efficacy.

We could also say: New Learning is learned through New Learning – by the new “trainer”. In the future, this trainer will be more of a learning companion who supports individual learning at the workplace and assists the learner in shaping his or her own learning path. This is fostered by feedback and by purposeful questions, or by individually arranged exercises.

In this way, learners develop into learning designers and co-moderators of their own qualification – and, thus, from trainer to enabler.

Qualification in tomorrow’s zeitgeist

The conception and coordination phase took place in several iteration loops with the customer and began with facing several pending decisions: Which competence model will be used and how will it be operationalized? Which resources are used to make implementation as lean as possible?

The overall concept follows the competence model of ability (transfer into application or action), knowledge and attitude (motivation/ mindset) and provides learning nuggets for the development of all competences. First, the learner explores his own learning fields in a development centre to then design his individual learner journey based on this experience.

Following the 70-20-10 approach of “Future Learning”, live workshops and small modularized knowledge bits are available virtually and on the job. Mandatory modules are combined with “on demand” offers. Throughout the programme, learners take part in community learning. Regular blogs and small tasks promote learning and exchange in different group sizes and compositions. They ensure learning transfer and enable the mutual exchange of experiences and support.

Specific skills, such as methodology and didactics, are taught in accompanying virtual classroom training sessions. With a learning guide as a sparring partner, the learner carries out an individual project enabling him to apply and test what he learned.

The good old “certification” at the end of the programme is a classroom event. It is somehow the tribute that is still “paid” to the old world. But that also makes sense – and certainly makes you proud. The event is combined with a future workshop and marks the final shift to new learning.

Because here, we are also talking about a change in learning culture …

Learners start with a virtual information phase before the actual start of the programme. This creates transparency in communication and an understanding of the new learning process. The participants get to know Community Learning right from the start.

This is the current status quo of the programme.

The first virtual tasks of the now following pre-phase make learners more familiar with this new learning format and prepare them for the live kick-off event.

Parallel to the information phase, details are currently being sketched out. Here, too, there is close coordination and iteration with the customer. So the journey has just begun.

Quite exciting.
Our customer is shaping the future – and we’re the right partner.

As a conceptionist here at TCJG the first project I accompanied had nothing to do with the innovative qualification programmes which I got to know in the past. That’s very impressive and it certainly confused me in the first place.

Due to my studies of media- and educational management and my former job as e-learning responsible at a manufacturer of machines and components I got to know the educational design of Blended Learning 2.0. I am used to editing content and enhancing it with a variety of media on a certain learning chain.

But in my first project at TCJG, I was inspired by a new approach. An exciting combination of Learning Journeys based on topic related learning chains with the option to match various modules that meet the individual learner’s needs. By this approach, the Learning Journey becomes a highly individual Learner’s Journey. The greatest advantage is that everyone learns exactly what he needs and, furthermore, he is tempted to discover additional content to qualify even more. That’s great.

The binding element is the eCoach. His task is to individually accompany and guide the learner and to ensure that he exchanges his thoughts with peers, engages in collaboration and personal development. His touchpoints with the learner are mostly virtual ones. Besides that, also meetings in person are planned in the occasion of a needs assessment, instructor-led workshops and coaching sessions.

My conceptional output for this project is to create an instructional guideline for such a learning companion. For this, roles and competencies of the eCoach are precisely described. Furthermore, we document as a team detailed coaching sessions and designs for (virtual) coaching sessions that aim to build up about 50 competencies.

A major project, which is real fun to work with.


A contribution by Hanna Korn:

Conceptionist and New Learning Media Specialist at TCJG

Conceptionists Profile as PDF

Blended Learning

Individuality, practical relevance, meaning – these values are often associated with the generation Y. These values are important to me – not only because I am part of this generation, but also with regard to learning strategies: I do not want to follow a strict “master plan” because it can never suit everybody – individual learning is the answer, mobile based, in small units, in exchange with colleagues and coaches, exactly when I need it.

That’s why I am a passionate advocate of the blended learning approach: Start a learning path at work on the laptop, edit the next learning nugget on my iPad at home on the couch, listen to a podcast on my iPhone during my ride back to work in the underground and afterwards quickly answer a single choice question. Within the community and during live workshops I am looking forward to exchange experiences with colleagues and coaches. I discuss best practices with colleagues and my coach gives me feedback on my performance and on my learning progress. Learning – exactly as it fits into my life.

During the 3 years of working for a language learning provider as a project manager and instructional designer, I have experienced the requirement for individualized learning methods: the need for application-oriented learning tools (Why am I doing this? In how far does that help me?) is as present as the requirement for mobile solutions (Is this exercise optimized for my iPad? Can I practice on my smartphone? Will my learning progress be synchronized across devices?). Students who exclusively learn digitally for themselves often confirm not having passed a low level of competence. I also noticed for myself: I appreciate to pursue my personalized learning path – but I am unable to go ahead without exchanging ideas within my group and getting support from my coach.

For the development of blended learning concepts, it is important that all stakeholders are involved from the beginning: not the teacher who claims for himself to know better, but the learner is in focus. With the learning path being designed dedicated to the learner’s needs and with the system being extensible, the learner is able to learn based on individual likes. The system provides continual development and includes relevant and current content.

It was very exciting to participate in TCJG’s development of this blended learning concept:
As part of the project team I created a competency-based curriculum with methodical and didactic recommendations for an international leadership development program. Hereby the following questions were elicited: What does the learner need to accomplish the goals? How to structure the learning content to fit into the (working) day? How to consider different knowledge levels and priorities? The comprehensive answer is a modular design, consisting of small, varied learning units, which together result in a useful learning path. My didactical background and my practical experiences on development of educational content and environments helped me to consider a sensible combination of joint attendance phases and digital self-learning units.

The learning paths are based on a qualification matrix, which was concluded and developed from a project team based on the employees’ competence profiles. Further exciting processes were the analysis of needs in advance, which for example included Interviews with all stakeholders, the development of a credit point system and the field test with all participants who tested the concept in an interactive workshop. High value was put on the continuous development of the project and the consideration of feedback and learnings. The benefit of an iterative approach with regular testing phases is to develop in respect of the learner’s needs and not to miss the learner’s goals. That is my role as a conceptionist at TCJG.

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