A big launch was planned for the Holland Innovative Academy Calendar 2021, with celebratory cake for all our clients. But – as with so many things this year – corona restrictions threw a spanner in the works.

Online or offline. Or both?

‘Things evolved at break-neck speed this spring. From one moment to the next, our courses and workshops had to go online. Our teachers had to develop new skills to keep participants as enthusiastic as during offline training sessions. We were able to guarantee interactivity thanks to one-to-one intakes beforehand, come2gether sessions and the use of so-called mentimeter and energizers,’ Cindy Camp, Sales & Business Development Manager at Holland Innovative explains.

‘All in all, it was a turbulent year. But it also brought us a lot. Our contacts with our customers and participants were more intense. And it wasn’t just our trainers who had to come to grips with online teaching. We ourselves also had to make sure that our online offering was (and remained) appropriate to customer demand. Important was the question if clients still required offline training? In order to get an answer, we checked in regularly with our clients.’

A successful online year

‘Such client consultations resulted in the acceleration in our striving to increase the effectiveness of learning. Our successful challenge-based learning concept that we already apply in our projects, is now being adapted for use in our courses. In addition, in order to be able to provide not only online but also hybrid courses, we went full speed ahead with the deployment of applicable tools. We can now give 1.5m classroom training with one part of a group of participants, while the other part of the group is present online. The next training day, the groups are swapped. There are several advantages to this, especially when participants are spread out over a large geographical area.’

‘That our approach has been successful is also reflected in what we have achieved over the past few months. Firstly, everybody passed the theory exam of an in-company Green Belt course. Of course, participants missed not being able to get together for a chat and a drink. Such social aspects are difficult to imitate online. And don’t forget, for some, a training is an outing away from another day at the office. Under the current circumstances, we see such participants postponing a training as long as it’s online. At the same time, others prefer online as it saves them travel time.’

‘In fact, many participants appreciated online so much that they came back for further training. We have also received numerous requests for follow-up courses, both here in the Netherlands and abroad. Often they’re for on site, hands-on coaching.’

The personal dimension

‘There are also things that I have really missed, because of all the Covid-related restrictions. For instance, I always enjoy meeting up with new clients: getting to know their organisation (and each other) and building up trust. And of course, keeping tabs on each other so that we can continue to move forward in sync with the developments or growth of our clients.’

‘Meeting people face-to-face, taking a look behind the scenes and experiencing the enthusiasm of people who talk about ‘their’ product. I missed that personal touch this year. Especially there where it’s my task to pinpoint the needs and wants of a customer. It’s essential to get that right, in order to be able to make the right match with our offering. It’s my experience that it’s harder to discover the true issue that needs to be solved, in an online conversation. The question behind the question, that’s what it’s about! Online is more at a distance, making it difficult to identify things that really matter. We are looking at how we can make online more personal and more effective. Having said that, our Teams and Zoom meetings are, nevertheless, extremely worthwhile and valuable!’

Cindy Camp – Sales & Business Development

Promising new Academy year

‘The Academy Calendar is a recurring phenomenon in our Academy year. It gives a clear overview of all our courses and workshops.’

‘It was a pleasure – based on the enthusiasm of our participants this past year – to draw up our 2021 calendar. It makes us look ahead to the new year with a feeling of optimism. We are particularly proud of the further expansion of our Data Science courses amongst others the courses Data Science voor Six Sigma Green Belts & Belts and Project Management & Leadership voor Data Scientists. New also are the CE Certification of your Medical Device and the Medical Device Software training.

‘Customers often report back to us that they use the calendar when deciding which course would be most suitable. Making such a choice often involves an entire ‘customer journey’. Starting with questions such as: what skills do I want to learn, in what form and when? It’s nice to hear that the calendar can help people in this process. Incidentally, in January our program will be extended with so-called job-related learning paths. These will be published on our website. If you’re interested in knowing more now already, just give us a call.’

‘Our Academy Calendar 2021 has much to offer. Whether it’s live, digital or hybrid, at the Holland Innovative premises or in-company! Whatever the choice, participants are guaranteed a great experience. In our training centre we can safely welcome participants in 1.5-meter spaces. Of course, we also have digital training rooms. What’s more, our digital facilities can be used on location at the client’s premises. This way, we can provide in-company, hybrid training. And yes, we’ll make sure our clients don’t miss out on that delicious cake!’

Interested in our training program?

Would you like to know about our new 2021 training program? Check the online Academy Calendar 2021. Or feel free to contact our training advisors.