When Booz Allen Hamilton, a global strategy and technology consulting firm, wanted to re-define their orientation program so new hires could quickly learn to navigate the culture, they turned to IDEAS to design, produce and install the new program. Discover Booz Allen, a two-day immersive, story-based enculturation experience, challenges new hires to explore the history of the firm using intentionally placed environmental sets, props, and resources displayed around the classroom to find answers to pertinent questions. Actual employee and client stories are told using media and live storytelling to exemplify the firm’s mission and core values. Each learner uses their own workbook to record their ideas and insights in response to the activities.
Instructional designers at IDEAS worked with subject matter experts and stakeholders internal to Booz Allen to gather their collective insights to drive the content. The charge was to enculturate each participant into the world of Booz Allen by the end of the two days and enable them to locate and use the people and technology resources available in the firm to successfully serve their clients. IDEAS used these learning objectives to design and develop the stories of the firm as rich media elements to engage the new hires in a dynamic and compelling way, including top leaders within the firm sharing their own, personal Booz Allen experience stories. Historical items from each era of the firm’s storied past were located and strategically grouped on the classroom walls. Customized graphics and animations were also used to tell organizational legacy tales to connect learners with the firm’s culture and keep them actively engaged.
The Learner’s Passport, a print workbook, was developed to allow participants to record their answers to activity questions as well as their insights for future reference. IDEAS also developed a Facilitator Guide to allow new facilitators to embrace this content using verbatim scripts as well as outlines with references to the iconic classroom environment, videos, audio clips, and pages in the Learner’s Guide tied to each lesson. A dedicated train-the-trainer session, led by IDEAS, accentuated that this immersive course format would be a role change for the trainers, repositioning them as true facilitators instead of their usual role as presenters.
This revolutionary, story-based enculturation program is held weekly at Booz Allen’s global headquarters in McLean, Virginia. New hires arrive from offices located around the world to share in the learning experience together. They leave knowing that choosing to join the firm was the greatest career choice they could ever have made.