Learning and Development: You Have One Job
In many organisations, the learning and development (L&D) area are known as the people who deliver information – mostly via courses – either online or in a classroom. Many of which are essentially nothing more than one-off, content dumps.
We say that we want to be business partners and express our desire for a seat at the table so we talk about “capacity building”, “a learning organisation” and “ecosystems” in an attempt to achieve this.
We talk about blending, flipping, shrinking, socialising and gamifying learning events but often the execution has the wrong focus.
We’ve become overly fixated on frameworks and models and waste time debating their proportions instead of using them as a guide and not a prescription.
We cling to concepts that don’t exist yet dismiss others despite the evidence from research that exists.
However, the role of everyone working in learning and development is simple:
To support the people in our organisations who do the actual work.
We’re not operating machines, or digging trenches, or serving customers in shops or on the phone, or treating patients or selling widgets. We’re not working outside in the elements. We’re not (usually) working night shift or on the weekend. But the people in our organisations are and we must ensure they can perform whenever and wherever they are working.
I’ve been reading Innovative Performance Support by Conrad Gottfredson and Bob Mosher and they refer to the ‘Five Moments of Learning Need’ (p37-38):
New: when people are learning how to do something for the first time.
More: when people are expanding on what they have learned.
Apply: when people need to plan what they need to do, remember what they may have forgotten or adapt their performance to a unique situation.
Solve: when people need to deal with problems, something breaks or doesn’t work as intended.
Change: When people need to learn a new way of doing things that requires them to change ingrained skills.
My takeaway is that different moments of need require different solutions and the current one size, one event fits all approach is not effective. So, before we launch yet another information overloaded course, we should ask ourselves a question – is this really supporting our people to do the work they need to do?
Image source: Morguefile