3 Ways to Use Storyline to Create Leadership Training

When many of us think of leadership training, we think of instructor-led learning experiences. We think of bootcamps, workshops, or other types of intensive training that are chock-full of complex role-play scenarios and deep-thinking activities.

While these types of experiences can be incredibly potent, to really grow leadership skills and behaviors it pays to think beyond the classroom. Even periodic short bursts of intensive, instructor-led leadership training probably aren’t enough to groom the next generation of leaders in your organization. As most of today’s leaders will tell you, cultivating leadership skills and behaviors requires much more than theory; it requires practice. Leaders are hewn through practical experience peppered with plenty of support. And it’s in this realm of support that e-learning can be one of several powerful tools in your leadership training strategy.

Of course, not just any type of e-learning will do. Up-and-coming leaders are busy people! They demand e-learning that’s focused and relevant to their roles, with plenty of opportunities for them to practice applying new skills. In my experience, Articulate Storyline offers all the features you need for doing just that. And to show you what I mean, I’ve pulled together a few examples to give you a taste of what’s possible.

Branched Scenarios

In the classroom setting, you might use a game-based activity or some role- playing to let learners practice applying decision-making skills. But when they’re back on the job, branched scenarios are a good alternative. They’re a great way to drop future leaders right into intense, realistic situations that allow them to explore the gray areas of decision-making and learn from their mistakes, safely.

While the following example isn’t leadership-oriented, I think this branched scenario from Dianne Hope really demonstrates how you can give learners the opportunity to experience the outcomes of their choices.

Dianne Hope

I like how Dianne uses lots of character-driven feedback along the way to help gently nudge learners in the right direction. It makes for a challenging but fun experience.

Similarly, this branched job interview scenario from Nicole Legault drops you right into the action.

Nicole Legault

Along with the expressions of the built-in Storyline character, the handy progress meter Nicole designed gives learners quick feedback on their choices.

Another spin on branching is to add game elements and challenging activities, like in this Guru Award–winning example from Phil Mayor.

Phil Mayor

I love how Phil uses Storyline features like drag-and-drop, sliders, and animation to create a rich, game-like experience.

Want to learn more about how to build branching scenarios? Check out this wonderful how-to from Nicole.

Interactive Video

When it comes to engaging learners in some real-life decision-making, it’s tough to beat the power of interactive video. And with the use of Storyline’s hotspots and layers, it’s easy to create an immersive, learner-driven experience with video.

For one such example, check out Tom Kuhlmann’s recent blog post on this topic where he features a brilliant project from Sponge UK. This project cleverly uses Storyline’s timeline, layers, and basic shapes to create a fun and challenging activity. It’s engrossing and effective!

Interactive Assessments

While not as well known as vision or charisma, self-awareness is arguably one of the most important qualities of a successful leader. According to some, a high degree of self-awareness may be one of the strongest predictors of a successful leader.

One of the ways you can use e-learning to help foster self-awareness in up-and-coming leaders is through interactive assessments. This approach can help learners explore their perspectives, uncover unconscious bias, and identify personal attributes that can help or hinder their decision-making.

For example, check out this leadership-style assessment from Kimberly Bourque Valliere.

Kimberly Bourque

Kimberly used Storyline’s branching to guide users down a path that directs them to their leadership style—as well as some pointers, examples, and a few words of warning.

And for another take on self-assessments, don’t miss this interaction (also a free download) that I built in Storyline. 

Life Balance Example

It uses Storyline's object states, variables, and triggers to help you come up with a balance score that can give you some insights into your personal priorities. 

There’s much more to leadership training than inspiring quotes or by-the-book business theory. Learning to be a leader demands a blended strategy that encompasses many different things like intensive classroom experiences, e-learning, peer support, and mentoring from senior leaders.

These are just a few ways to use Storyline to create leadership training. I’d love to learn more about what you’re doing! How is e-learning playing a role in your leadership training strategy? Share your experiences with us by leaving a comment.

And be sure to follow us on Twitter and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning.

Troy Ashman
Trina Rimmer

Hi Troy. Glad this article came at just the right time for you. To be honest, I didn't see a lot of community examples of leadership training in the forums or online for that matter. I think leadership is one of those topics that tends to be approached from a blended perspective with lots of vendor-authored courses or in-house courses chock full of proprietary information. I have a couple of thoughts for you: 1. Try posting your question in our Building Better Courses forum and asking for folks to share their ideas and indulge in a little crowd-sourced design. 2. Check out these past discussion threads on the topic of leadership training: https://community.articulate.com/discussions/building-better-courses/demo-leadership-module and https://community.articulate.com/discussions/bui... Expand

John Brindle