By: Dani Watkins On: March 31, 2013 In: Blog Comments: 0

As an instructional designer who works virtually, it sometimes hard to separate personal time with work time. This is mostly because my “office” is such a short commute, but also mostly because my brain is like a constant pinball machine. It rarely stops. This proved to be no exception on Easter when we went to see The Croods.

Have you seen it? If not, check out the trailer. Then, if you have kiddos, make a date to see this one. If you don’t have kiddos, borrow some from a friend and check it out.
So, let me make the connection between my instructional design work and The Croods. What does a caveman family have in common with the work that I do? I am currently working with a client to revamp their leadership program. It will be an Emerging Leader program that capitalizes on both instructor led sessions and eLearning and spans over about 5-6 months. I have most recently been outlining the last class, Change and Innovation.

While watching The Croods, I was intrigued by the intense thread of change and innovation. When presented with a problem to get across a prickly patch, one of the characters,  Guy, immediately had a novel idea, one new to cavemen, to put something on their feet to get where they needed to be. In my observation, he didn’t think twice about solving the problem. Where, the Croods, who had done things one way for so long, lived with the pain of just accepting things the way they are. They continued to stay on the far side of the prickly patch and step on the prickly plants.

How often do  we do that in our everyday work and lives? Rather than make things different or better, we accept things for just how they are because we “have always done it that way.” We continue to step on the prickly objects instead of moving forward by creating our destiny. I challenge you. The next time you start to move through a process that is broken, a project that is over budget or delayed and THINK about what can propel you forward. Then, give it a try. In the Crood’s situation, they strapped some fish on their feet and walked across that prickly patch.

Throughout the movie, I watched the Croods grow and change. I watched them come up with innovative ideas to solve their problems, watched them observe others  to discover new ideas of their own, and see them accept change over time.

In my opinion, this movie really had so many great examples of change and innovation that I might have to figure out a way to incorporate into my course. If nothing else, put this movie on your to do list. The animation, colorful scenes, and family humor make it worth your time. And if you are like me and can’t turn off the pinball machine in your brain, I would love to hear what other examples you observed. Share your thoughts with us.

Dani Watkins
Dani Watkins, Chief Learning Experience Officer
Zenith Performance Solutions
Dani Watkins is the Chief Learning Experience Officer and owner of Zenith Performance Solutions. She has designed and delivered instructor-led, eLearning, vILT, blended, and 3D Immersive training courses for business skill, proprietary, and technical content across many industries. She most recently was awarded the 2014 Bronze Brandon Hall Group Excellence Award for Best Custom Content. When she isn’t igniting learning experiences, you can find her hanging out with her family or running a Colorado trail.

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