In a world filled with acronyms, I apologize for creating another– although, to be fair, I created this one a while ago.
I’ve been building simulations for a long time– since 1985, actually. Now, while that’s a long time to be doing anything, I really have found simulation (and simulation-type activities) to be perhaps the most effective way to deliver application-based learning. And here’s the reason why: so much of learning is focused on knowledge transfer. You have a bunch of stuff in your head, and you want it to be in my head, too, so you shovel it in there. Then you probably want me to take a test to prove that I learned it. Which I pass, and then we assume I know all this knowledge. Which I probably do, at that particular moment in time. But what happens when I actually need to use that knowledge? Will I be able to?
What’s the point of gaining super-powers if you can’t use them?
In my earlier post, we defined what transformative learning was. Your next question is probably, “so what is it good for?” Well, let’s think about the place transformative learning has in today’s organizations.
Transformative Learning and Change Management: Large-scale change initiatives require employees at all levels of the organization to reflect upon the change, prepare for it, and act upon it. Change can be disorienting. Inevitably, employees will ask: Why must I change? What is now expected of me? Will I be able to meet these expectations? How will I manage?
Companies can facilitate a dialogue among employees who are being confronted with a new and unexpected future. By relating to one another, these employees are more likely to become open to the possibility for success and willing to engage in the action planning process. As the change is managed, companies can create opportunities for these employees to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to assume new roles and build competence in them. These employees—now transformed—are likely to reintegrate into the organization with a new perspective on the change.
I’m blessed to know some of the smartest people in this industry. My friend Clark Aldrich pinged me today to take a look at the new post on his fantastic blog, Clark Aldrich On Simulations and Serious Games. I’m glad he did, because it’s a good, provocative read. Take a look, here:
Clark suggested that “I am sure my newest entry will offend just about everyone!!”
With Clark’s permission, I wanted to share my response to him. I think some of what Clark is writing about is going to define the future of organizational learning. Here’s what I had to say:
Well, THAT made me go and read it!
If it offends people, I think that’s only the nature of speaking truth to power. I think I may benefit from not coming from a formal training background (but having worked with formal training people most of my life), but pretty much everything you said rings true to me. The inherent problems are that:
Try taking the poll below before jumping to the rest of the article:
According to an ROI Institute study of Fortune 500 CEOs, 96 percent of executives want to see the business impact of learning; yet only 8 percent receive it now. Similarly, 74 percent of executives want to see ROI data, but only 4 percent have it now.
Ok…I’m going a bit out of order with my tips (this is actually Tip # 4 in my series), but I saw this fact and just had to share! In order to become a successful business partner(remember, that’s our goal!), we need to “speak the business speak” and we do that by talking in terms of business impact. A great new resource is hitting the presses on October 28th. Jack and Patti Phillips are releasing a new book titled “Measuring for Success: What CEOs Really Think About Learning Investments“. According to the ROI Institute website, “This book shows what executives are requiring and requesting and in the future will be demanding. In simple, easy terms, the book shows how to provide what executives need.”
You may have noticed that I’m presenting a paper in November at the 8th International Transformative Learning Conference. You might be wondering: What exactly is transformative learning? How is it different from other types of learning? How can I use it to achieve business and performance results in my organization?
Let me answer these questions by, first, posing one to you.
Have you ever been presented with a situation that caused you to critically question your assumptions and expectations?
If so, you’ve experienced the first steps in the transformative learning process. There are 10 steps to transformation:
Last week, I got to eat lunch with my new partner on the Innovations Team. After discovering a shared interest in photography, I took the opportunity to pick his innovate-y brain for suggestions on how to heighten my photo-editing skills.
Mac versus PC, Aperture versus Lightroom, Lightroom versus Elements.
Elements versus Photoshop. Photoshop versus paying some skilled intern twenty bucks to do the editing and then passing off the result as my own.
Eventually I realized I had the wrong question. I was asking, “Which software will help me improve the range and quality of my photos?” I should have been asking, “How can I improve the range and quality of my photos?” I had jumped from my perceived problem (need to improve photos) to a solution (better software) in the phrasing of my question. I narrowed the conversation prematurely. I had also narrowed the range of solutions.
After many tedious questions (from me), several illuminating responses (from him), and much mediocre coffee (from MacKenzie’s), I realized that instead of considering switching software, maybe I should be thinking about investing in a different lens. Or perhaps I should experiment more with street photography. Or maybe I should take a photo-trip to Prague. Or Latvia. Or — what the heck — with this strong economy, why not all four?
PDG Featured in Learning Solutions Magazine: In this month’s Learning Solutions Magazine , get 16 performance support tips, strategies, and tactics from some of the top minds in the industry, including PDG’s Senior Director of Customer Engagement, Rich Mesch.
PDG and Novo Nordisk win Brandon Hall Group's Gold Excellence Award for Best Program for Sales Training and Performance!