As I was reflecting through our Jombay Journey, I decided to pen down how we turned our mistakes into learnings, and eventually into wins these past 8 years. These are the 5 mistakes and learnings we had along the way (you might already know)
- First mover disadvantage: We created an industry-first self-serve assessment creation platform and hoped customers would enjoy creating their own assessments. We quickly learned that while the platform was ‘self-serve’, ‘service’ was still the key to helping our customers adapt to this change. We brought in account managers to hand-hold customers till, gradually, they got used to the ‘self-serve’ concept. We now have customers who create and run assessments and learning journeys completely on their own, while we always stand ready to step in when needed!
- Outright changing the behavior of the Customer: 100% online, and no face-to-face play was our driving philosophy to building Virtual Assessment Centers (VAC), but in hindsight we should have offered to handhold these companies via a hybrid or blended solution at the launch itself. Once we offered role-plays and BEIs alongwith with online simulations and other online assessment tools, it got us faster adoption in companies where this was a change management issue. Many of our customers ( now believe so strongly in the power of Virtual Assessment Centers, they join us in our efforts to educate the rest of the market.
- Not rolling out Development Solutions alongside Assessment Solutions: As we pioneered Virtual Assessment Centers, we started becoming known for it. Hence, it took us a bit longer to be known for our other innovations like Modern-day Experiential Learning Journeys (despite having covered 25,000 managers in the development journey already). If we would have launched both these solutions together, we might have been able to close the loop and get deeper engagement with the end users long back. Today we have set an industry benchmark for how sustainable learning journeys are to be conducted!
- Being classified in the ‘HR Tech’ category: Anything innovative is easily linked to technology these days. We innovated in the HR space using tech, but that got us classified as an HR tech-only company in the early days. Despite building highly effective frameworks (like the Cardinal Leadership framework which was built after an analysis of over 2400 competency frameworks) and models (like the Learn-Practice-Teach model which makes the 10-70-20 model more practical), people still spoke only about our tech platforms. We had to learn the hard way that it was important to publish a lot of this work that we eventually did with our research arm – Jombay Insights!
- Selling our solution vs. buying customer’s problems: The very thrill of building some path-breaking, refreshing solutions sometimes made us so obsessed about them that the customer conversations ended up becoming more about our solutions vs. the customer’s problem. Over time, people from consulting firms (such as Deloitte, Hewitt, DDI, Pearson) joined us to make our team more consultative during the sales process.
And today as we reflect on this journey, it has been nothing short of an interesting one. We have been able to turn our mistakes into learnings, and eventually into wins these past 8 years (500+ customers, 50,000 managers through our Assessment Centers, 25,000 managers through our development journeys).
There were times when we doubted our ability to keep going, but there were supporters like you who helped us find solutions and innovate our way forward to impact business drivers through our expertise in behavioral sciences.
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