What is concierge learning? When I talk to our clients about 'concierge content' across platforms, I'm not talking about courses for concierge staff in hotels, but for sure the overall concept is the same. Recommendations based on a personalized, conversational experience.
Hotels deliver this through knowledgeable staff that also double as tour guides, whereas for edTech, it’s all about user experience through smart search, xAPI and bot capabilities.
From “Curated” to “Concierge”Content: What's the difference?
For a number of years now, consumer Internet startups have made ubiquitous use of the term “curated.” These business models are based on selecting the best of news, products, events, gossip, etc. to help consumers navigate bottomless ocean of online information.
If the last decade was all about curated content, the next will be dominated by 'concierge content' which makes more sense in our time-starved lives. Like curated businesses, concierge-type startups also focus on finding the best things for their users. But they also focus on making the delivery of what they have found totally Millennial or Gen X focused.
Examples of "Concierge" Companies
Examples include housing developers who have recognized Gen Y living needs. Unlike other build-to-rent apartments, they include gyms, cinemas, private dining rooms that tenants can hire out by the hour, rooftop social spaces, fridges in the foyer so home delivery services can be used 24/7...
Select Properties have just launched their Affinity Living range in Manchester based on exactly this: "Affinity Living nurtures growing urban communities."
Recognizing that Millennials are always connected and always social, are happier to rent than buy, developers such as these are creating community buildings with social living spaces that have fast internet connection and social re-charge areas, meaning that when people walk through the door at the end of the working day, their lifestyle meets them.
Omni is disrupting the storage industry, as a concierge storage company that not only stores your goods, but also offers a service where it will deliver back items at any time for any duration. Imagine it's Thanksgiving. You give Omni a call and ask them to deliver back your enormous dining table for the holiday. Your guests leave, Omni come and pick it up again, and hey presto, you have your living room back. A lot cheaper than moving to a bigger house...
Uber identified this gap very quickly, disrupting the find your own taxi or order a taxis and wait hopefully, to see where cars for rent are and literally pull them to you, tracking all the while to allow for that last sip of coffee or finishing your current Netflix fix.
Not to forget Gen X (born 1965 to 1984). HeadEnvoy is a more traditional Concierge service for busy middle agers with pressure upwards and downwards from aging parents and children, where they provide services such as helping with healthcare providers, school choices, home delivery etc.
So what is Concierge Learning?
The biggest different is that concierge content is pulled by the user, and not pushed. They are in control of what and when they to learn, rather than a pre-defined pathway prescribed for them, and this requires a massive shift in mindset for current L&D and HR teams.
"Compulsory" is not a concept that fits well with concierge. Think of the ability to favorite rather than pushed ads on social media, and the fact that YouTube have recently had to do a u-turn on removing the ability to skip ads.
From a functionality perspective, any online learning product MUST include the ability to get recommendations, to bookmark favorites, and to share socially, so courses are in turn pushed by peers rather than company mandates. Clients often ask me whether we have the function to make certain courses "compulsory" and track completion and progress, and remove everything else. Yes, of course we can do this. However, our preference is not to limit learning to content curated by the company, but allow teams and individuals to have access to 'concierge' learning through smart edTech.
How is Tech Powering Concierge Learning?
From a learning perspective, curated content has been around for a while with blog sites, news sites etc. The explosion of bots such as Siri, Alexa, Mark Zuckerberg's Jarvis, and the language learning Bot that Skype are developing in collaboration with Learningonline.xyx, moves this on to concierge content, where the user experience and delivery becomes the focus and not just the content. Learningonline.xyz is also currently exploring Project Milah (Multi-Language Hologram); the perfect polyglot that speaks over 100 languages with an interface that is voice-activated and can engage and interact with the user in real time.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have suffered a little in perception in 2016, but this tech is here to stay. Good examples of how it's is changing the educational landscape are zSpace and Alchemy VR. zSpace use monitors instead of headsets similar to the way 3D movies work to be more social, focusing on STEM subjects. Going one step further, Alchemy VR create immersive experiences, such as exploring the Barrier Reef, but oh so concierged with their impressive celebrity partner roll call...Sony, Google Expeditions, Samsung, the Natural History Museum in London. Need I say more?
Recommended pathways for specific industries, responsive recommendations based on search pulling more of what the user needs and enjoys, the ability to favorite and get back to relevant content with one click is all standard for good learning content, but integrating this with social learning, conversational bots and peer exchange learning software ensures the concierge experience.
For concierge, this means content PLUS personal, pulled experience. Today’s workforce and each of us as individuals are hungry for ‘Derived Learning’ rather than ‘Delivered Learning’.