You come 100% equipped

Since my fitness coach is a certified “animal flow” instructor, he almost doesn’t make me lift weights anymore, but use my own body weight instead to do all sorts of exercises that are difficult enough without the need for more weight (think push-ups or chin-ups!). Himself said he almost stopped lifting heavy stuff, to incorporate more moves that use his own body weight, for results that compare with what he obtained before, with the added bonus of an increased flexibility, mobility and wrists strength.

Farrell Kaufman, fitness coach, flowing like an animal

The core principle of these “animal” or “natural (Movnat)” approaches is: you came to the world with all the equipment you need to reach your optimal fitness (I’m not talking about becoming a world champion bodybuilder!).

WHY MAKES THINGS COMPLEX WHEN SIMPLE THINGS WORK?

What’s nagging me since: if we have all we need to succeed in us, why is my fitness center investing considerable amounts of money in buying sport equipment instead of training more trainers and more people? Why people continue to use these machines, even though they know they don’t need them? Are we resisting changing our habits? Are we wallowing in status quo because we’re afraid of the unknown or we fear it’s too difficult, or we’ll look ridiculous?

EVEN (AND ABOVE ALL) THE TRAINING PROFESSIONALS RESIST

I noticed the same attitude among training professionals: science and experience constantly prove us that simple and cheap training solutions can lead to great, measurable results, with satisfied users, and yet, we’re still asked to build complex programs that take a long time to design and develop, and/or for which performance is not even measurable!

Several studies and articles (here for example) have shown that people don’t care much about what a course looks like (unless it’s a course about graphic design), as long as it helps them attain their performance goals. The wrapping doesn’t matter, what counts is the quality of the content inside.

I studied Chinese and script-writing, 25 and 15 years ago. These were distance learning courses. They both looked very unattractive, but the content was so well designed that, after three years of studying alone for the Chinese course, I was better than most students finishing their first year at university, majoring in Chinese; and I won second prize in the first contest I did right after I finished the script-writing course.

My level 1 Chinese course booklet. Entirely in black and white, with accompanying audio tapes.

One screen excerpted from the UQAT script-writing course

Does this mean that we shouldn’t edit a typo when we see one? Of course not. But this means that we won’t hire a professional editor to revise our copy. Instead, we’ll spend more time, for example, working on designing a figure to add value to a concept, something that will directly help our learners to perform better  (which should be the goal of any training program).

I spent some time adding non-breakable spaces around punctuation marks in the beta version of my first course, in French, the way it *should* be. Once I migrated my course into WordPress, I realized that if I wanted to add non-breakable spaces, I could use a plugin that would automatically do it for me (yeah!), but, if it does it in French, it will also do it in English (bummer!). I could have spent some time figuring this out, and I’m sure there is a solution, but instead, I decided to spend this precious time writing more valuable content to help people create online courses that will truly transform more and more of their clients.

Purists and grumpy people may fall onto me, but, never mind, I’d rather dedicate my time to those who take action and focus on the content rather than the wrapping.

I apply what I advise and believe in: we can transform people, helping them improve their performance in any domain, making do with what is at hand, in a clever way, without spending years or anything else than money. Online training and learning doesn’t have to be complicated to be efficient.

I work with experts who are in the same state of mind and are ready to apply the principles it took me years to internalize and experience in the corporate world. Since more than 15 years, I’ve designed and developed more than 100 projects; now it’s time I empower experts to do it themselves.

I want to hear from you: what are the situations you think are too complex and you’d have an idea of how to simplify them? Leave me a comment below.

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