Sometimes, big milestones make us stop in our tracks and look back. Liberate has just turned ten, so let us tell you our why, and what makes us excited about waking up in the morning.
Liberate started in an era of economic turmoil during the Global Financial Crisis, and when many organisations were very mature in their blended and online learning offering.
eLearning was different ten years ago
Ten years ago, digital learning was a tool to deliver training pieces to large cohorts; SCORM packages reported completions, it ticked compliance boxes, it facilitated costs savings, all involved were happy.
Or were they?
The design, development, and deployment of traditional eLearning content was often seen as a technical black box. Some eLearning vendors created platforms and tools that were configured to tie eLearning buyers to one vendor, for the purpose of getting hooks into clients and being able to charge a premium for maintenance updates and make it very difficult or expensive to separate from a given vendor.
Much like a wedding photographer withholding the photo negatives or digital copies – and if you want them, you had to pay a premium price. Additionally, a lot of early eLearning was standard “click next” information based on digital summaries of policies rather than content that was designed to engage and intrinsically motivate the learner to undergo a meaningful learning journey.
Our why – A need to challenge the status quo
Rod Beach, then working as an eLearning instructional designer, became frustrated about the lack of professional pride to deliver a solution that wasn’t self-serving, one that would stand the test of time, and a need to ensure the best outcome for the learner and respective organisation.
Rod was disenfranchised by the thought of producing solutions and quoting, and the reputational fall-out that occurs when digital learning solutions only delivered on one part of the promise – with the ‘learning’ being less of a focus to the technology mode of delivery. As a former teacher and professional educator, Rod knew there was a critical need in the L&D industry for high-quality blended learning providers, who would operate with integrity, transparency and who could fill the need for solutions that are fit for purpose.
When Rod shared his desire to set up an eLearning company, he was asked what its differentiator would be, and his reply was to ‘liberate eLearning’ – liberate it from being boring, complicated, to unshackle organisations from lock-in contracts, and stop eLearning from getting a bad reputation through the creation of ineffective’ click next’ solutions. Hence, he started the company with exactly that name.
We start with you, the client and learner
At Liberate, we believe that we should treat everyone as an equal partner in business, we don’t “Tinder-date” clients so to speak, for we form long-term, mutually beneficial business relationships, where everyone is in the partnership for the right reasons.
Not all learning can, or should be, eLearning, and our ability to create unique and engaging blended learning solutions attest to that. We want to elevate the regard placed on learning designers and help organisations understand the critical role the L&D profession plays in achieving measured business success. As a result of our genuine desire to provide end-to-end learning solutions, Liberate eLearning was renamed Liberate Learning, given it embraces all facets of learning design and development.
Here is what happened
As a result of our global reputation, transparent business model and genuine desire to create meaningful learning solutions, we don’t need to hunt for new client relationships, for we currently have approximately 150 loyal client partners who see us as an organic part of their teams.
Living and breathing pedagogical best practice and our desire to provide long-term, fit-for-purpose learning solutions, not short term gains, has seen Liberate being awarded the Global Stevie Awards for Business Growth, named ‘Learning Provider of the Year 2019 (ILP 2019), ‘Education and Training Business of the Year (Australian MyBusiness Awards 2019)‘ and ‘Business of the Decade’ finalist (MyBusiness Awards 2018). Our strong industry reputation has also enabled us to attract and retain Australia’s best talent in the learning development sector and allowed us to keep the momentum over the past decade.
Our steadfast desire to create meaningful learning solutions, and genuine interest to put the learner and organisation’s needs above all else, is in our DNA, it remains Our Why. What’s our secret to success? It’s simple, and Rod sums it up when he is regularly quoted in saying “we’ve built our reputation by helping others build theirs”, and for Rod and his team, they take their industry reputation seriously, regardless if the project is big or small.