In 2008 we saw a huge opportunity in the market because most soft-skills e-learning content was too long, and utilization was extremely low. The alternative was obvious to us – a less-is-more approach offering short, single-concept videos that people would actually watch.
A very particular set of skills
At launch we assembled an editorial team with 90 years’ experience in B2B writing in sales, leadership, HR, safety and finance. Many of our writers had been in sales and leadership roles during their careers, so they possessed the rare combination of writing skills and subject matter expertise. We take great pride in writing tight video scripts that ring true to experienced sales professionals and managers. It’s harder than it looks.
Discovering the power of research
A major milestone in our company’s evolution occurred in 2011 when an editor did something no one had ever done before. He came to a script meeting with a draft that referred to an academic study. Our team instantly recognized the extraordinary power of research. Training is of course about changing behavior. Research gives credibility to the message and creates urgency to change behavior. We never wrote another script that did not contain research.
Fun facts about our team
One of our Learning Solutions Experts, Matt, was ranked nationally for tennis when he was only 16 years old.
Between them, the guys in our marketing and editorial teams own more than 20 guitars – I know, a bit obsessive but true.
Lindsay Roach, our Operations Manager, has only had one job - and it's been here with us at RLI - for the past 16 years!
Our CEO, Steve, did a cage dive with great white sharks in the Indian Ocean.
Rob, our VP of Sales, went to nationals for swimming when he was 12 years old.
Chip, our email and web designer, can solve a Rubik's cube in under 30 seconds.
Michael, our VP of Editorial, won the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest.
Clark Barlow (who's also got the sweetest name in the world) is an avid Tetris player. He's ranked in the top 1,000 in North America.
Jackie, our Customer Success Manager, is a US Air Force veteran who spent 3 years in Germany decoding messages on computers that filled an entire room.
Meet The Team
Stephen MeyerPresident & CEO
Rob KreksteinVP of Sales & Marketing
Brian McCallumDirector of Editorial & Product Development
Lindsay RoachOperations Manager
Dave ClemensSenior Editor
Efrain GonzalezArt Director
Reno RobersonDirector of IT
Patrice GaulSenior Learning Consultant
Matt KaisnerSenior Learning Consultant
Jackie DickissonClient Success Manager
John KolditzSenior Learning Consultant
Linda DiFeliceSenior Learning Consultant
Brian FernandezSenior Learning Consultant
Jesse FitzpatrickClient Success Manager
Paul McCarryEmail Marketing Manager
Chip BruchezEmail, Web & Graphic Designer
Jake SkalishAnimator & Illustrator
Michael DaduraBusiness Development
Julia D’AmicoBusiness Development
Former Director of Publishing at The Hay Group, a leading HR, benefits and compensation consulting firm. Meyer spent eight years at Progressive Business Publications, where he headed up both editorial and marketing. He was also a reporter at Advertising Age magazine. Meyer received his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and has a Masters degree from the University of California, San Diego.
Rob has extensive experience in Sales and Marketing with companies like SAP, Ventyx and most recently Kenandy. He has spoken at several conferences in his career regarding Sales Methodologies and Demand Generation tactics. His unique experience has armed him with a vast knowledge of the entire process, from lead inception to closed sale. He is a graduate of Ithaca College where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.
Brian is a seasoned executive with 25+ years of experience in Product Development, Editorial and Marketing of online workplace learning and business information media. Prior to starting with Rapid Learning in 2006, Brian held positions as Publisher, COO and Marketing Director for several publishing, training and talent development organizations. He holds a BA from Juniata College and an MA in Corporate Communications from Rowan University.
Dave Clemens has worked for newspapers, news services, magazines and specialized business publications — in print and on-line — on four continents during his 40 years as a reporter and editor.
He has served as deputy financial editor of the International Herald Tribune, based in Paris; editor and bureau chief for Bloomberg News, based in Tokyo and Singapore; and deputy bureau chief for the French news agency, Agence France-Presse, based in Harare, Zimbabwe. His work has also appeared in the magazine World Press Review, over the news and broadcast services of The Associated Press, and in several nationally recognized human resources, employment law and business newsletters.
SJM: Because it fits the way humans learn. Focus on one skill, practice it repeatedly until you achieve mastery, then move on to the next skill. Legacy sales and leadership training does the opposite. It crams too much into people’s brains in a single event. Few people retain and deploy what they learn using this model.
SJM: Neuro-science research on the psychology of influence, persuasion and interpersonal communication. Nobody in the world uses research the way we do in the field of sales and leadership micro-training.
SJM: The managers who use our content say it best: “If it’s just me telling people to change what they’re doing, they don’t always listen. If it’s Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, UCLA or Stanford, they do.”
SJM: Our editors scour academic journals and institutional sources. They’re looking for studies that explain which discrete behaviors allow top performers to excel at Sales and Leadership.
SJM: Because sales and leadership training are all about changing behaviors. The challenge with training is that people resist change, either because they’re stuck in their ways or because they’re lazy. They need to be motivated to change. Research, because it’s credible, triggers urgency. It’s the secret weapon for anyone trying to get people to adopt new behaviors that improve results.
SJM: No. All of us have a google-search approach to learning. We want solutions in the moment of need. And we want learning embedded in the work. That’s exactly what RLI micro-training provides.
SJM: No. But teaching multiple concepts and expecting people to remember them, change their behavior and achieve better results, is unrealistic. The Holy Grail is a blended approach that combines strategic leadership or sales ILT with a tactical training model that enables learners to practice skills repeatedly at spaced intervals, deploy those skills correctly, and eventually adopt new habits. RLI provides that model to its customers, many of whom use RLI’s skill-based tactical training as a complement to strategic training programs such as Miller Heiman, Franklin Covey, BTS, Wilson Learning or Sandler.