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September 18, 2002

yesterday clark and i met with tom kelly at cisco to talk about training for newly hired account managers (AMs). tom would like to cram a year’s worth of on-job experience into 10-15 minutes a day for the first 30 days on the job. (tom says he can get people to do anything for 10 minutes a day.)

the desired outcomes are:

  • cultural consistency, e.g. the Cisco ethics policy
  • shorten time-to-competence, now 6 – 9 months
  • improve skills such as decision-making, prioritization, negotiation, research, problem-solving
  • “well-rounded awareness” of how to do the job
  • balanced life for the individual, not burnout

tom would like the program ready to go in 12 months. our next step would be to describe the approach we would take that tom can take forward to get budget to initiate the project. this would include a mock-up, three alternative approaches — cheap (yes/no situations), middle of the road (what we’re shooting for), and expensive (as if money were no object). jay will call tom today or tomorrow to get him to commit $15-20K for this initial proposal.

thoughts on design:

  • the daily do-something. 10 minutes/day for 30 days = 300 minutes of program.
  • actually, our program time is less because we will be sending the AMs off to figure things out
  • to simulate the job, design should incorporate calls from customers and prospects, oddball emails, treasure hunts, etc
  • Jeopardy with disguised senior execs worked well. do this with sales execs?
  • okay if 90% fail the first time through
  • plan for 3 – 5 year life of program
  • meters on screen rate success, future, etc.
  • Cisco believes in post-tests

we also talked briefly about a plug-and-play network configuration tool; this is not as important as the AM training. tom also mentioned a program to teach members of a team. these are back-burner.


in addition to the cisco report, i’ve talked with chuck fred about an elearning forum event and put the nokia event on the eLF website. that’s about all, and it’s 11:30. three hours to do this? i feel like time is a-wastin’. i’ve got to get my presentation together and start practicing.

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