Monday, 11 August 2014

Implementing Training for Maximum Impact

The most exciting developments in the growing of organisational competencies have been in training implementation- making sure that, once training is delivered, it has maximum impact. In this article we explore innovations which will substantially enhance returns on training investments.

The Secret
According to research done by Stanford University, the amount of knowledge generated in the last 30 years is equivalent to the amount of knowledge generated in the rest of human history.

“Textbooks are becoming out-dated by the time they are printed. Curricula are no longer reliable records of what we know. Predictable career paths and stable worldviews are things of the past.

“In this constantly shifting knowledge landscape, learning how to think is becoming far more important than learning what  to think. This is a shift away from subject content towards a focus on thinking skills.”

Source: André Croucamp- Totem Media.

We now operate in a world where:

  •  information is readily and easily accessible;
  •  change is so rapid that traditional methods of training and education are totally inadequate; 
  • discipline based knowledge is equally inadequate for organisations to remain competitive;
  •  learning is increasingly aligned with what we do;
  • organisations require flexible learning practices; and
  •   there is a need for immediacy of learning

The secret to successful training implementation in this new environment starts with the assumption that every group of individuals involved in a training intervention will have greater access to information than any individual facilitator. In addition, real learning is a much more collaborative process among today’s learning population than it ever was. Coupled to this we also know that the best way of acquiring new skills comes from teaching those skills to others.

This leads to realisation that future training should be implemented in a way that embraces the simple and profound concept that any organisation has a collection of knowledge and experience which should be shared. It respects the fact that the training department may, at most, have 5-10% of the knowledge needed and used in the company. Organisational learning is taking place on a real-time basis - ever changing and becoming more valuable.

In such an environment, the relationship between traditional “homework” and “classwork” is flipped – homework is used by the individual to acquire knowledge and understanding (previously imparted in lectures) and contact sessions are used to apply what has been learnt in collaborative exercises.

This has a profound effect on the way in which successful training programmes are implemented.

The Keystone
Adaptation is key to survival- people want to learn and have a lifelong inclination to do so: learning is natural, "like breathing" and it is an internal process carried out by all of us, every second of every day.

At the heart of any organisational training is the need to change individual behaviour:
  • for targeted individuals to acquire new skills;
  • for the individuals concerned to change current practices to take on board changes in client needs, legislation, company strategy, or other developments.
Using their natural instincts to learn, individuals must be equipped to face challenges and solve problems to which they had previously not been exposed.

Implementation of this new type of training involves a process in which individuals take the initiative, in collaboration with their colleagues, in analysing problems, formulating desired outcomes, identifying the resources required to achieve these outcomes, choosing and implementing solution based strategies and evaluating the objectives achieved.

The stimulus to such a learning processes is the setting of problems where, by working towards solutions, individuals either acquire new sets of knowledge, skills and attitudes or use those which they already have in innovative ways. Thus the finding of the learner’s own solutions brings about the required changes of behaviour.

Whilst radical changes are needed to transform training implementation through these suggestions, the bottom line benefits are clear: what is needed is the organisation’s appetite for innovation. 

Do your organisation’s training programmes lead to higher levels of productivity.

Would the flipped classroom methodology be of benefit to your organisation’s truing effectiveness.

In your opinion, what is needed to make your organisation’s training implementation more effective?

Let’s share ideas..