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The origin story of Flow: Built to empower always-on learning cultures

• 5 min read

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There’s a longstanding mission in L&D and enablement circles, spanning back for at least a decade, to find new and innovative ways to drive adoption of learning and enablement programs.

The thinking goes like this: the more people engage in learning opportunities, the more knowledge they gain and the better they are at their jobs. When people are better at their jobs, the company would reap the benefits – both financially and productivity-wise – regardless of whether they are inside or outside of the organization. Historically, the easiest way to get here would be to push people directly into the LMS.

Seems logical, right? Well, yes and no. 

Systemic changes in work over the past decade, and the sheer amount of information that people consume every day, have fundamentally changed how, when, and where people consume, remember, and apply knowledge. 

Before, workers would be asked to set aside time for focused learning and apply that knowledge to their work. But the resources at their fingertips, combined with the number of systems and apps they’re required to log into daily, make learning content in an LMS just another thing on their morning to-do list. So, in reality, knowledge isn’t really gained because there’s little focus or effort put forth.

Thus, we need to go well beyond the confines of a traditional LMS and make learning easily accessible in the applications where people are actually working every day.

Identifying one of the biggest challenges in learning

Do you know the term “going with the flow”? It’s not just a phrase you can say to make yourself sound laid back.

“Flow” is actually a psychological term for the mental state that workers are in when they hit peak performance. At this point, a person performing an activity is fully immersed and involved in the task at hand. 

Why is that important? Because that point of “flow” is where learning needs to happen to maintain productivity and peak performance. When you inject learning into the daily flow of work, you’re combining both tactile and contextual learning methods. In other words, people can apply what they learned immediately in an environment where their knowledge and skills are needed.

Forcing people to stop their work and move into a LMS to find solutions to their problem will simply break their flow. Once the flow is broken, so is productivity and focus. And it takes a while to get back “in the zone.”

Now take that individual interruption, and multiply it for each time that same worker is interrupted in a given day. Now multiply that by the number of workers in your organization. 

That’s a lot of broken flows. And broken flows lead to slower productivity, an unfocused workforce, and heavy financial implications when you consider the amount of revenue lost and production or overhead costs wasted by something as seemingly small as where learning opportunities are delivered. 

This is what most learning management systems have been asking companies to accept as the norm for years. Their learners are bobbing and weaving in-and-out of the tabs and windows on their devices, trying to find information and training material they need to complete the task at hand. 

So, how do you keep people in the flow? You need to offer the right content and knowledge in real-time – at the point of need. No more interruptions and context switching, no more losing the flow of work. 

That’s the core problem that Docebo Flow solves. 

A challenge leads to an idea 

We launched Docebo University, (Docebo’s customer enablement platform), in 2020. One of the main goals was to ensure our customers have the resources and knowledge they need at any given moment. They can set up, configure and run their own LMS independently, without needing hand-in-hand guidance from Docebo’s Customer Experience and Support teams.

While it continues to provide that backbone of guidance and self-service for our customers, we wanted to take it a step further. To ensure customers don’t have to rely on a double-monitor setup, additional time to watch a course in Docebo U, then flip back to their own LMS and try to set up a feature from memory, based on what they just viewed in Docebo U.

What if we could plug Docebo U content right into the corner of certain pages of their own LMS? They could configure parts of their SaaS product while simultaneously being trained on how to do it from right within that page itself.

We asked customers if this resonated with them. What would it mean if we could provide them with the knowledge they needed to complete a task right where that task needed to be completed?

Here’s what we heard in response. By enabling customers on the job, they could:

  • Save up to 15 minutes each day flipping between platforms.
  • Eliminate patterns of rewatching content because the knowledge was provided right in the environment where it was needed.
  • Become more self-sufficient and less reliant on professional services and support lifelines.
  • Get work done up to an hour faster every day, as knowledge could be applied immediately on the job.
  • Practice what they learn ASAP, making learning more practical (70:20:10 learning, anyone?) and, thus, more retainable.

Once they took it for a test run, more questions and ideas started to come in. One, in particular, stood out: Can they do this for their own learning programs?

An idea leads to a learning revolution 

Once Docebo customers knew this challenge could be solved in a way that didn’t involve completely embedding an LMS, or clunky parts of an LMS, into their own organization’s software, the need to solve this challenge really took flight.

We heard from organizations that wanted to use Flow for:

  • Training front-line workers who can’t sit in front of an LMS all day because it slows down jobs being completed, so productivity doesn’t drop for the sake of training.
  • Enabling their customers to use their software without asking them to train in another product (i.e., an LMS). Support and Customer Success teams can focus on key customer issues and less on education. In contrast, product adoption increases as customers feel more confident using it.
  • Building a learning culture that promotes gained knowledge and learned skills, as these opportunities are presented in the jobs their learners do every day. As a result, learning is no longer a luxury but available for anyone.

All of this is accomplished with Docebo Flow. By plugging your learning content directly into the products and applications that your customers, partners,or employees use in their daily work, provides just-in-time knowledge and training at the point of need. 

And as you can imagine, the possibilities for how to plug Docebo Flow into your tech stack go well beyond the few we’ve listed here. 

When learning becomes a pervasive and natural activity – something automatically embedded in everyday operations – you’ll see your learning goals start to make a difference in business outcomes. 

As our CEO Claudio Erba said, “There are so many areas where learners can apply Docebo Flow that it is, in my opinion, a revolution.” 

If you want to join us in this learning revolution (and we really hope you do), then we invite you to take Flow for a spin yourself. Book a demo today to see it in action.


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