DDI and Strivr Partner to Pioneer Leadership Development in Virtual Reality

The partnership combines DDI’s experience in leadership development with Strivr’s Immersive Learning platform to put learners in a virtual world to build and practice critical leadership skills

Leaders will be able to build and sharpen their leadership skills like never before by immersing themselves in deeply realistic simulations, thanks to a partnership between DDI and Strivr.

The partnership brings together DDI’s decades of experience in leadership development with Strivr’s market leadership in virtual reality-based (VR) immersive learning. Through the partnership, companies will be able to train their leaders in key leadership skills through a combined immersive and peer discussion format. The first virtual reality scenarios DDI and Strivr have developed include resolving conflict and driving change, and are powered by Strivr’s Immersive Learning Platform.

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“This partnership gives leaders an opportunity to have a meaningful, cutting-edge virtual reality experience that helps them build their skills by actually applying them in a real-world setting with simulated interactions,” said Tacy M. Byham, Ph.D., chief executive officer of DDI. “Virtual reality is often used to train people on hard skills, like safety, operations and tasks like stocking shelves. This partnership with Strivr is creating a new frontier in the development of leadership and soft skills by providing the proven content and scenarios to give participants crucial opportunities to practice.”

According to DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast 2021, leadership skills such as emotional intelligence, coaching, and driving change are among the most critical for the future. These skills help to prevent burnout, support digital transformation, retain talent, and much more. This data builds on previous research from global HR industry analyst Josh Bersin, a partner in the DDI research and a member of Strivr’s advisory board, that points out the “power skills” of the future are not technical, they’re actually behavioral.

“In a time when workforces are more dispersed and potentially more disengaged than ever before, rapid and effective skills development for leaders can be the key to ensuring their businesses succeed,” said Derek Belch, founder and chief executive officer of Strivr. “Together with DDI, we are enabling organizations to address these challenges head on through an immersive learning platform that delivers critical and scalable VR experiences to build and elevate leadership performance.”

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The programs work by combining digital learning with realistic practice in VR.

Within the virtual reality experiences, participants may face more challenging, focused scenarios than in traditional partner-based practice. In particular, they may deal with highly emotional situations, which are common in real life, but tend not to come up in partner-based role playing. In addition, participants can record and play back the scenario to review their performance. Above all, the scenarios offer a safe practice space, where learners can fail without fear of embarrassing themselves in front of a peer.

DDI and Strivr expect the partnership to be a game-changer for companies that want to use the latest technology to create deeply memorable and effective leadership experiences. With DDI’s award-winning inclusion scenario being covered for its potential to change corporate America and Strivr’s platform having powered nearly 1.5 million learner sessions in VR, companies can now leverage these powerful tools to help their leaders cement crucial new skills and elevate the leadership cultures within their companies.

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