We studied great mentors and discovered that they organize their expert content in very specific ways and communicate this content using a consistent linguistic pattern. We were able to create an online interview that elicits and organizes expert knowledge the same way that a great mentor does and onscreen prompts that emulate the linguistic pattern of the great mentor guiding users to learn and apply the expert content.
Great mentors’ expertise in any industry or function is a result of in-depth experience in their particular domain and the way they provide guidance to others is the result of much experience helping many others. Their thoughtful processing of these experiences results in a highly compressed knowledge structure and a limited, focused set of prompts to guide others. Sofia achieves its speed by concentrating on the few, most critical elements in these cognitive and behavioral structures, eliminating non-essential knowledge and inefficient learning processes.
Research on the neuroscience of learning shows that people who have a compelling purpose for doing something will work hard to learn and apply the relevant content. We begin the Sofia self-directed learning experience by guiding users to develop a compelling purpose to learn and use the content. Sofia further supports this initial motivation by providing online and peer social support mechanisms. In Sofia self-directed learning, people achieve very high levels of attitude and behavioral change in alignment with the expert content because users want to contribute to a greater good, for themselves and for others.
Sofia has been vetted for cybersecurity multiple times by numerous organizations. Sofia uses highly encrypted password protocols and the entry fields in the system are completely isolated from the underlying software. The risk of a cyber-breach through Sofia is near zero.
Intense, immediate engagement is critical to achieve a great participant development. We create this engagement with a Sofia Launch Webinar or Launch Workshop, depending on the numbers and locations of participants. If you have large numbers you need to touch, a 1-2 hour Launch Webinar can touch 10 people or 10,000 introducing the attendees to Sofia and the expert content. If you want have smaller numbers and you want a more peer-driven experience, a 2-hour onsite Launch Workshop may be the best choice. In both Launches, participants are quickly guided to internalize a compelling purpose, define a clear path to master and plan an on-going development program. Attendance at either is quite high and engagement, even in the large webinars, is intense.
In Sofia self-directed learning, a single user interacts with and applies the expert content entirely on their own. This is ideal for onboarding situations because the user is highly motivated to learn and use the content to quickly become successful at their new job. It is also useful because organizations rarely hire enough people for the same role at the same time to form a learning group. Learning groups are cohorts of peer users who interact with each other regularly – usually in a 1-hour bi-weekly check in meeting. These are best suited for intensive change programs and/or programs with very complex expert content. In the bi-weekly check-in meeting a trained “Observer/Coach” guides the participants to respond to their peers unique perspectives, causing everyone to think more deeply about how to apply the expert content. Many learning groups continue indefinitely after the program is complete and participants report that they established long-term networks and friendships.
Sofia includes an online, self-directed program for how to be a great Observer/Coaches guiding the user to understand and use advanced individual support and/or group leadership skills. The program typically requires about 3-4 hours of work. Observer/Coaches regularly comment that they learn more about leadership and the program content then the people then are leading.
Sofia is very economical in terms of time and money. Complete leadership and other change and development programs can be developed in 2-3 hours with 1-2 people. Programs can be launched to the organization in 24 hours. Launches take 1-2 hours. Ongoing guide learning and application typically takes 8-20 hours to see substantive attitudinal and behavioral change. Sofia access fees begin at $50 per person per month and are discounted for increased volume. Supporting services are always quoted specifically for an engagement. They begin at $0 for a pure self-service environment to additional investment for more comprehensive set of service.