Recently someone posed a question on LinkedIn about why companies are finding it so difficult to get their employees to attend training programs or commit to the learning process – particularly when it was related to development of behavioral competencies. It struck a chord with me. Behavior or culture changes are sometimes crucial to new strategy roll outs – and mean the difference between success and failure. And these are difficult to achieve because people are involved.

I see a fundamental flaw in the traditional mindset of “getting people to training” and a “learning process”! It’s not a matter of getting the horse to water, I believe the paradigm shift that needs to take place is that the water needs to be portable, like a thermos, and accessed when the learner is thirsty. In other words, learners are best served by being able to access knowledge when they need it, in the moment, as opposed to hours, days, or even months prior to needing it.

Consider providing learners with information/learning “in the moment” and in a non-linear format when possible.
I think of it this way: I am a self-professed Google fanatic. I love the instant access to information and answers when I want and need them. I quickly research what I need, apply it in a practical way, and move on. I think of learning and training in much the same way.

The question I propose is how do we provide learners with the ability to access what they need when they need it? My experience tells me that when this happens, learners are quick to apply the information in a real setting and ultimately retain the new learning or information. And, when we start to think of culture and behavior training in the same way – we’re likely to see greater success.

September 1, 2011


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