Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2013 - (Page 9)
CONNECTIONS | CHARLES JENNINGS
THE BEST SOLUTION
Most training and development professionals know that
structured courses and programs are not the only solutions
available – or suitable – to help build individual and
organizational capability. In fact, they’re often the least efficient
and effective solution.
THE LIMITS OF THE ‘TRAINING SOLUTION’
Training can only address challenges due to lack of knowledge
or skills. However, research suggests that for the majority of
performance problems, lack of knowledge or skill is only part of
the cause, or not a factor at all. More often, people know what
to do and how to do it, but they don’t carry it through for a
range of other reasons. When root causes of underperformance
are analyzed, other factors such as lack of clear objectives, poor
leadership and the lack of opportunities to practice and reflect
are more likely to undermine performance than not knowing
what to do.
Despite this, training is often the only pill offered from the
medicine cabinet. Even when lack of knowledge and skills are
the root cause, training is not always the best solution. How
many of us attended a course to learn how to use our cell
phones or master our TVs and DVD players? We probably
learned through a mix of reading the instructions and trying
things out. Even then, it was only through experience and
practice that we gained advanced skills – if we ever did – and
became fully proficient.
THE PRESSURES FOR CHANGE
The “training solution” is coming under increasing pressure in
many organizations. In many ways this is a good thing and likely
to result in changes that will result in more effective learning and
performance strategies and solutions.
The demand for speed is a key driver for change. Speed for
effective solution design and speed to competence is driving
alternative approaches to training. When a challenge or problem
is identified the expectation is that a solution be produced rapidly
and will, in turn, deliver rapid results - not several weeks later.
The inherent inertia in the analysis, design, develop, implement
model of content-centric training solutions often holds back
the training solution from delivering at the required speed. The
pressures of work is another factor. Many jobs no longer have the
flexibility to take time away from the workflow to attend training
courses or programs.
The question then is: What are the alternatives to training if we
want to support the development of high-performing people,
teams and organizations?
EVOLUTIONARY OR REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE OPTIONS
The answer is: There are many alternatives, but selecting the
right ones requires careful analysis and consideration.
In my work with organizations implementing the 70:20:10
framework, I usually explain that the first decision they
need to take when expanding their approach to solving
performance problems is whether to adopt an evolutionary or
a revolutionary approach. The evolutionary approach involves
“extending the blend,” although it is often much more than that.
This usually involves deconstructing existing training solutions
and reconstructing them with a smaller “core” of structured
training and incorporating social and workplace learning
elements as “wrapping.”
The revolutionary approach involves a review of learning and
development strategy and the adoption of informal workplace
and social learning at the centre of the solution set rather than
at the periphery. A successful revolutionary approach requires
a totally different strategy based on “pull” learning and the idea
of extracting learning from work rather than injecting learning
Either way, there is a strong imperative for training and
development professionals to step beyond the training solution.
Charles Jennings is a director of the 702010 Forum, Duntroon
Associates and the Internet Time Alliance. Email Charles.
Training Industry Quarterly, Summer 2013 / A Training Industry, Inc. magazine / www.trainingindustry.com/TIQ
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2013
Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2013
From Where I Sit: Talent Management: An Emerging Business Strategy
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Lessons from Shakespeare
Dealing with Trust Issues
Younger Boss, Older Worker
Four Skills Needed in the Future Workplace
Survive & Thrive with Performance Support
How to Optimize Behavior Change for Business Impact
Addressing the Skilled Trade Crisis
Cultural Differences in Training
Gender Communication in the Workplace
Meeting the Needs of Gen Y Learners
A Leaders 'Crashless' Course: Helping Employees Drive Career Development
DeVry: Growing Talent with Blended Learning Solutions
Live Face-to-Face Training Still Leads the Way
Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2013