educationtechnologyinsights

Intrepid Learning: Groundbreaking Learning Technology that Delivers Results

Sam Herring, Co-Founder & CEO, Intrepid LearningSam Herring, Co-Founder & CEO
The traditional executive education market is in a state of massive disruption, with business schools facing technology-enabled competition on all sides, from free MOOCs to traditional corporate e-learning to B2C offerings like Lynda.com. At the same time, corporate buyers are facing a gap in online offerings—their learners are demanding a consumer-grade experience that allows them to collaborate with ease. “Today’s ubiquitous personal use of social media has created an expectation that enterprise learning be well-designed and amplified by tech-enabled social experiences,” explains Sam Herring, CEO of Intrepid Learning, “And old-school technologies originally designed for training administration just don’t cut it for today’s business needs.” Intrepid is leading the new “learning experience platform” market with their cloud-based learning technology. Their innovative platform creates collaborative, engaging online experiences specifically for the modern corporate learner, and Intrepid is uniquely poised to open up a new world of possibilities for 21st century executive education models.

Intrepid Learning’s team has a long history of corporate learning experience, and has had enormous success collaborating with business schools for clients like Microsoft, as well as business schools who are clients themselves. “We take a ‘learner-first’ approach to every aspect of our technology,” explains Herring, “and we’re fundamentally disrupting current e-learning methods that simply deliver content. By deeply engaging the learner through our platform’s opportunities for real-world practice and peer-to-peer collaboration, we are radically improving learner engagement and demonstrably improving organizational performance as a result.”

In the Microsoft example, Intrepid’s platform was used to help tackle a critical business transformation challenge: to shift from selling on-premise solutions to IT buyers to selling cloud-based solutions to business decision makers. Microsoft enlisted Intrepid to design a series of sales enablement master courses in partnership with business school INSEAD, so they could reach their entire global salesforce in 18-24 months instead of the 4 years it would have taken via in-person classes.


The scale that learning experience platforms allow is a huge opportunity for exec-ed programs to expand their existing in-person offerings


“We leveraged a MOOC-like approach, but made it a corporate MOOC,” Herring explains, “with content tailored for Microsoft’s specific business context, and applied learning projects centered around creating account plans for sellers’ clients.”

Nearly 7,000 sales professionals have gone through the program of eight-week courses to date, in cohorts of about 1,000 each. The results have far surpassed Microsoft’s ambitious expectations, with sustained passing rates of over 80 percent, the highest satisfaction ratings ever achieved by Microsoft sales readiness training program, and thousands of actionable client plans created. In addition, the business impact has been spectacular. For instance, a $25 million deal closed by an account team in Russia was directly attributed to an Intrepid-delivered course.

In addition to the corporate MOOC approach, Intrepid’s technology can also be used to create a continuous learning journey before and after in-person workshops. One of Intrepid’s clients ‘flipped the classroom’ for their senior partners, with prep work in the platform before a live event. “This was a very senior audience at a top consulting firm, and the vast majority of them rated the online learning very favorably,” Herring expands, “Debunking the myth that senior leaders won’t respond to online learning.”

“The scale that learning experience platforms allow is a huge opportunity for exec-ed programs to expand their existing in-person offerings and reach corporations that desperately want their expertise, but demand a contextualized digital solution that can be delivered to all levels of an organization globally,” says Herring. “It’s a really exciting time to take exec-ed programs to the next level.”