One of the best books I have ever read on marketing is Moore's Crossing the Chasm. It looks at different periods in the life cycle of a product or service and identifies different strategies that should be adopted. In the early days you tend to deal with enthusiasts who know as much about the subject as you, so selling is conceptual or detailed. After that as the market grows people are less interested in how, more in what. From the feedback we are getting it looks like we have reached that turnover point in respect of both Cognitive Edge method and also SenseMaker™.
So, we have just made a radical change to our training and accreditation programme. The new courses are on the web site (see references below) and some are coming up very soon! February to be exact. The changes can be summarised as follows:
- The two day accreditation programme will be stripped of a lot of the theory plus the advanced methods, and will be more practical in orientation. Rather than explaining theory and illustrating that theory with a new method, the method itself will dominate. Attendees will be taught a range of methods and will spend more time practising those approaches. There will be slightly fewer methods and the session will be considerable less conceptual. I will hand over these courses to other experienced practitioners in the network, which allow us to increase the volume of courses to meet demand.
- We are creating a series of advanced seminars, designed for those who want a more conceptual approach, or as a follow up programme for people after they have done the core accreditation. At the moment three are planned, all one day events and these are the ones I will teach. One will be on the whole issue of complexity, strategy and leadership. A second will focus on social computing and the links to knowledge management. Finally (and this one is not up yet) there will be an advanced course on narrative based research methods.
- Both the accreditation programme and the one day seminars will be available in house, and rate will depend on who teaches them. That also gives an opportunity for conference organisers and others.
- We have also trailed an in house or "collective" (a group of clients buying together) a programme which combines accreditation with up to three pilot projects and supervision over three months of the trial. More on this one in a future blog.
We think that this will help the network and allow a better focus of resources. All comments are welcome and please don't forget the February courses!