Jeff Carr, CEO: Why I joined Inkling
As I reflect upon my first week at Inkling and my new role as Chief Inkblot, I’d like to share some of the reasons I joined Inkling and why I am excited to be here.
The first thing you should know about me is that I’m passionate about people, learning and the future of work. I’ve spent many years helping to lead software companies like Zenefits, PeopleFluent, Saba, Taleo and PeopleSoft, all of which empower modern workforces and ensure employees are more productive and happy at work.
Everything we do at Inkling is with a digital mindset. What makes Inkling so unique is that we’re making knowledge accessible and enabling employees to learn in the moment of need and in the flow of their daily work with always-on, always-available digital content. We help people learn and we help them perform better in their jobs so they’re more engaged and fulfilled at work.
While all employees benefit from Inkling’s enterprise-class, learning enablement platform and mobile learning tools, Inkling is a complete game changer for frontline employees who historically have lacked access to technology while on the job and on the go.
Consider quick-service restaurant workers. Rather than being confined to backroom training, these employees can now learn in the kitchen on a mobile device in a personalized and responsive manner. And think about retail employees who can respond quickly to customer inquiries without leaving the sales floor because all answers, content and procedures are in hand, easily searchable on a tablet.
Inkling is where these workers go to learn via a consumer-like visual experience. Rather than the traditional LMS, designed for administration and compliance, Inkling’s modern learning solution is disrupting the way employees learn on the job. Our platform was built mobile-first with the employee’s learning experience in mind.
And that’s just the beginning. Here are four key reasons I joined Inkling.
1. Market Opportunity
With historically low unemployment rates and the global economy continuing to expand, our current state of “full employment” puts a huge onus on employers. Companies must provide a fulfilling work environment and great employee experience in order to attract new talent and develop, engage and retain their employees. The most crucial components of the employee experience are onboarding and continuous training and development, which both strongly influence employee engagement and performance. If employees don’t feel invested in and prepared to do the job, they leave.
Many businesses recognize this challenge and are investing in digital tools and mobile devices for their workforces. However, smart organizations are also setting their employees up for success by providing mobile tools that allow learning to happen within the context of their day-to-day work. Inkling fills this market need by providing a mobile learning enablement platform that brings learning and doing together, which leads me to reason #2.
2. Learning + Doing
According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, 58% of today’s learners want to learn at their own pace while 49% want to learn within the context of the job. Josh Bersin has trademarked this new paradigm as “Learning in the Flow of Work®.” Sitting in a classroom or at a desktop computer doesn’t deliver information when it’s needed most. In contrast, microlearning provides bite-sized and interactive training on mobile that can be referenced while on the job. Because microlearning is “active learning,” it’s associated with 90 percent knowledge retention and 50 percent more engagement with learning materials.
Learning should be focused on the employee experience and how people learn best, which is where Inkling makes a real difference. Not only is it visually appealing and intuitive, but Inkling also provides the same consumer-like learning experience at work that people have grown accustomed to in their personal lives (i.e. Netflix, Hulu and Instagram). Enabling enterprises to better train and engage their modern workforces at the high velocity speed of business is solving a big problem, and Inkling delivers on this promise in spades.
3. Customer Base
While I had some prior familiarity with Inkling’s roster of forward-thinking, brand-name customers and its 4.3 rating on G2 Crowd, I’ve been blown away by the strength of our global customer relationships and partnerships. After speaking with champions at Taco Bell, H&R Block, and McDonald’s, I can say without hyperbole that our customers love Inkling’s technology, ease of use, the service and support they receive, and the relationship they have with the company as strategic partners.
In my past roles, I think former colleagues and customers would say I’ve always been committed to putting customers first, delivering outrageous best-in-class service, and striving to wow customers in every interaction. This means taking the time to learn about their business priorities and entertaining their enhancement requests. I love that the Inkling team embraces this passion and obsession with customer success at the DNA level, and I know it will be fundamental to our continued growth. I’m even more bullish about our opportunities for growth and expansion after this first week, and that’s saying something!
4. Inkling Team Culture
There’s a good reason why customers love working with us, and it has everything to do with our people. Inkling is full of talented, dedicated, and customer-focused individuals (Inkblots) who form a tremendous and unbeatable team. I’m passionate about the personal development of our team and creating a climate of safety and ambition that encourages employees to innovate, stretch and explore better ways to do things.
I love building a winning culture as a great foundation to scale a company. My goal is to continue to encourage Inkling’s vibrant and welcoming company culture of collaboration, recognition, inclusion, trust, transparency, fun and execution. From giving out “InkProps” on the company Slack channel to going the extra mile to help a customer, I look forward to bringing these core values to life every day as they guide our decisions and how we operate as a team.
I believe Inkling is a true pioneer in the modern learning industry. We have a great investment partner in Marlin Equity Partners, and they share our vision of innovation and disruption in the learning space. As the demand for new talent and new skills continues to explode exponentially, it’s Inkling’s focus on people and how they learn that will truly transform the modern workplace. In the words of our founder, we’re on a mission to make the world a smarter place.
Today marks the beginning of Inkling’s best and most exciting chapter. Together, I know we’ll fulfill Inkling’s enormous potential, and I look forward to working with you to bring digital learning and doing together for everyone.