What's Candent All About?
Candent Learning Solutions was founded in 2011 by Alex Watson and David Conner, e-learning professionals with over 30 years of experience between them.
Alex and David both came to e-learning from an education background. Alex taught primary school for a number of years before joining the Learning Company where he worked on projects like Reader Rabbit and the Oregon Trail. David got his Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary History of Consciousness program at UCSC. He followed the academic path for a while, and then did a 180 and taught himself Flash during the dot-com boom in San Francisco. Alex and David met at Allen Interactions in the early aughts where they spent the next decade working for a bunch of Fortune 500 clients and winning numerous awards for e-learning design.
Candent has remained a small shop through the years. While we maintain a talented core team, we have focused on cultivating a large and flexible international network of contractors and development partners. By retaining our commitment to scalability and adaptability, we avoid over-investing in any particular tool-set or technology. In the volatile world of e-learning, this flexibility is what allows us to preserve our commitment to providing the right technological solution for the right problem.
Despite Candent’s small size, we have been a globally-oriented company from the start. We have done business on every continent (except Antarctica, fingers crossed!) and have travelled to locations as far-flung as Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Cairo and Singapore. Our global experience has made us especially well-attuned to the diversity of training needs and challenges of global businesses, and our consultancy has been deeply informed by this awareness on every level.
Candent is also a minority-owned business.
The cornerstone of our approach to consulting is finding the right solution, using the right technology, for the right problem. In all aspects, we strive to promote a “learner-centric,” as opposed to “content-centric,” design philosophy. What that means is that we believe it is critical to understand the perspective of the training audience itself before anything else. If there is an identifiable performance gap among your employees, the first question to ask is why? Often, we will discover that the gap is not in fact a result of a lack of knowledge, but of a lack of motivation, incentive or on-the-job support.
Once the problem has been correctly identified, we continue to work closely with both business stakeholders and end-users to determine what that solution should ultimately look like. We never approach these questions with a specific technological channel in mind. The solution itself will dictate the optimal delivery-method.
The training audience continues to play a central role in our iterative development process. Regular concept-testing and usability-feedback cycles by end-users ensure that the interface design and implementation of the solution stays on track. If something about the solution doesn’t feel right or seems to be missing the mark with trainees, we adjust and refine the product until we can verify that it’s back on the right course.
Most new client relationships begin with an on-site process we call “Ignition” — a process which allows us to get to know your business and your training needs in a 360-degree, hands-on way. We strive to get the right people in the room at the jump — business stakeholders, subject matter experts, and learners themselves — to ensure that the problem is properly defined from every angle. Whenever possible, we will try to get as much first-hand experience of the business itself in advance of the Ignition session. Our most valuable insights often come directly from the experience of learning to do the job ourselves, in the real world, as any trainee would.
Iterative & Cost-Effective
Candent employs an agile, iterative approach to development. We use rapid prototyping techniques and focused user-reviews so that course-correction can happen quickly and efficiently. In most cases, we operate on a project-specific, flat-fee basis. Because our top priorities are effectiveness and client satisfaction, we aren’t fond of scope changes or time & materials nickel-and-diming. Our iterative process means that we build in the budget for changes and fine-tuning in advance, and by keeping channels of communication wide open among clients, designers, and developers while the process goes forward, we minimize the chances for surprises along the way.
We value strong relationships above all else. Some of our top clients have been with us since the day we opened our doors for business. Because we run a lean shop, we are able to adapt to the changing needs of our clients rapidly and efficiently. At the project level, our iterative process relies upon open and continuous contact between us and our customers to make sure that we stay on track to deliver exactly the right solution for the need — no more and no less.
At Candent, we don’t want to be seen as vendors out to sell you an out-of-the-box solution, but as your trusted partners in solving your training problems.