Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2018 - 51
SECRETS OF SOURCING
CREATING A VISION
We've all heard how the workforce is
changing. I don't think there is much
question about the need for change in
how corporate training meets the needs
of the business as well as the learner.
But I do think the question we should be
focused on is, "Do we really know what
we should be changing to?"
There has been lots of information
published on how millennials learn
differently than previous generations.
Speaking as a baby boomer, I'm not
convinced that's true. Although I'm not
as technologically savvy as my younger
colleagues, I would like to think I learn
as well as I did when I was in my 20s. So,
is the issue that people learn differently
today than before, or do they just use
different tools to learn? Depending on
the answer to this, it will speak to what
changes we should be focused on.
people learn differently now than
in previous years, let's review some
industry research. In the late 1800s, a
German scientist named Dr. Hermann
research to understand how people
learn. His conclusions formed three very
1. Learning occurs better when
information is consumed, or tasks
are performed over an extended
period of time, as opposed to being
consumed in large chunks in a
2. Through repetition, learning
increases faster early on, and
exponentially slows down over the
number of repetitions.
3. When repetition or reinforcement
is not adequate or appropriate,
forgetting can and will occur.
More recent research by Dr. Anders
Ericsson takes these principles further
by stating that learning occurs best by
"doing," or rather, studying, practicing
or performing the task repetitiously. But
Ericsson states that to achieve a level of
performance considered to be at an expert
level, we must practice that skill through
purposeful and deliberate practice.
L&D MUST TAKE
LEADING THE CHANGE.
I think we are all interested in helping
our constituents reach a high level of
performance on the job. And neither
Ebbinghaus, Bloom, B.F. Skinner, Ericsson
or any of our most influential learning
scientists found that the learning
was different based on the age of the
So, this brings us back to the question
of what are we trying to change to?
Is transforming the training function
about creating more digital content?
Will infusing more technology into
the delivery of courses change the
learning process? Technologies are
wonderful enablers to help us provide
information to the learner in unique and
interesting ways. But if we don't fully
embrace the idea that learning occurs
over time, through repetitious exposure
to information, through practice and
doing, then creating single events of
technology-based courses means we
are spending a lot of effort and dollars
trying to do the same wrong things
Creating high-performance training is
about integrating many of the elements
of learning into a well-planned,
comprehensive, curated, role-based
personalized development program.
It's about integrating assessments for
measuring skills, correctly onboarding,
providing formal classroom training
at the right time, having access to ondemand microlearning objects when the
need arises, and providing well-trained
coaches to assist in the development
cycle. And it's about being deliberate in
designing embedded practice into the
day-to-day job routines.
Yes, it does include using technology,
but for the purpose of providing the
learner greater access and timeliness to
information during the learning process.
Not just for making it more interesting
or aesthetically pleasing.
From where I sit, we have many questions
to ask about how we change, and of
course what we should change to. But
the most important thing we as learning
leaders can do is take responsibility
for leading the change. Not following
the trends or behaviors of the past but
being innovatively creative in changing
the learning process and evolving from
an events-based world of training to a
systems-based view of learning.
Doug Harward is CEO of Training Industry,
Inc. and a former learning leader in the hightech industry. Email Doug.
T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - LEAD THE CHANGE 20 18 I WWW. T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2018