Mike O'Brien

About the Author

Mike O’Brien started SmarterMedium in 2004 with the premise that the learning value could be continually enhanced by customizing solutions to the enterprise and innovating the delivery medium. Our initial focus was step-by-step guides as everyone was a digital novice. Hundreds of projects later, working with global customers, we have grown with customers developing learnings that seek to improve performance through story and engagement for all employees. Today we work in the cloud, developing and delivering learning courses for organizations launching and deploying cloud systems, onboarding users, and employees, and seeking to better engage employees digitally through user adoption, learning, or digital transformation. Through our evolution, we have moved from step by step instruction to benefits and features, to story that engages, and now to inclusive content. Working with organizations launching cloud technologies, we have seen the target audiences for training, learning, and development steadily progress from digital novice to native. While the complexity of any single technology is reducing, the sheer numbers of applications, devices, and digital workflows are increasingly complicating adoption for anyone trying to enter the digital economy from the outside. For these candidates to be successful, we have to mind the digital gap. Most onboarding systems are oriented to automating and streamlining the interactions needed between the organization, HR, and the new hire. Our approach focuses on pre-boarding new hires and bridging knowledge gaps for a successful start in the organization. While pre-boarding cannot overcome all the skills required to create digital fluency in the typical four weeks between offer and the first day, our programs can: 1) Help new hires present themselves for first day/ first impression success. 2) Mirror what onboarding success looks like to the new hire. 3) Provide curated exposure to the culture and digital technologies from the organization’s perspective and usage. 4) Provide relatable experiences to assist them with their start.

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