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Posts Tagged ‘Organizational Change’

by Reni Gorman

In the first part of this series, we talked about the role of the individual in learning. It’s hard to make someone learn if they’re not willing. But what if they are willing but are not encouraged or worse are discouraged by the person who judges their performance: their manager? What is the manager’ attitude toward the new knowledge and skills learned?

Challenge 3: My manager does not encourage me to apply what I have learned on the job. This is by far the worst, deadliest challenge. People must know that they will be enabled and empowered to put what they learned into action on the job. If they feel for any reason that they can’t… maybe because their managers don’t know what they learned and can’t or won’t help them apply it. Sound unbelievable? It happens all the time. For example, if the manager doesn’t believe in the new sales model and doesn’t encourage its use, it is not very likely his or her team will adapt it and give it a try. We, training professionals, take folks out of their jobs, put them in training, throw them back into their jobs and expect them to perform. We forget that people will usually listen to the person that manages them. If their manager isn’t committed to applying the new skills learned, it most likely will not happen.

Solution 3: Make sure the manager is aware of and reinforces the learning. I point out raising awareness because I have seen many situations where managers did not even know what their employees learned when they went to training. In this case, it may not be that they don’t actively support it, but rather that they don’t know. One idea is to supply managers with a one pager summary of what their people learned that includes things like tips on how to help their employees pull through the learning into application on the job. It could include questions to ask employees to reflect on and talk about the learning and coaching opportunities. Once the managers are aware how do we get them to be supportive? Setting clear expectations through executive sponsors, following up with measurement that results in recognition, rewards and even consequences are all critical for success. First managers have to be told it is expected that they use the new sales model—if that is the case. This message has to be delivered to them through their own leadership so they take it seriously—it can’t and shouldn’t come from the training department. Once they know what they are supposed to do, like coach to the new sales model, we have to make sure they know how to do that—here is where more training may come in. Then we have to measure whether or not they are doing it with the understanding that their actions, both positive and negative, have consequences.

Last but not least it is important to remember that you can’t stop at the manager, you must look to see what the manager’s manager is doing—is he or she supporting new behavior on the manager’s behalf. In other words, if the consequences above aren’t really going to be enforced by the manager’s manager, if he or she doesn’t really believe in the new selling model either, they you need to go through the same process with them: make them aware that it is important, show senior support, and back it up with consequences both negative and unfortunately, if needed, negative.

At the end of the day we all have to be held accountable for our actions. When we are at work and sent to training, we are paid to learn and to action that learning. Let’s make it easy for people to do so by removing any barriers to learning and reinforcing the “right” behavior.

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by Reni Gorman

As learning professionals we spend so much time designing just the right kind of exciting learning intervention that we sometimes forget to think about other factors that may prevent learning. For example, no matter how great the learning experience is, if people are unmotivated to learn then the reality is that they won’t. Let’s explore some of the reasons why people might be unmotivated and figure out what we can do to combat it.

Challenge 1: How does this relate to me? Can you recall a time when you were totally uninterested and unmotivated to learn? Maybe in grade school during history class? For me it was college math. I simply was not interested. Why? I did not ever think calculus was something I would use in “real life.”We know from adult learning principles that people learn best when they can see the relevance the content has to their day-to-day jobs, and to their lives. So, one would think the answer is simple: show people how the content is relevant to them, and they will be open to learning it. As important as this concept is, it’s something designers forget to do as they get all caught up in designing the learning.

Solution 1: Point out the WIIFM. It is really important in the beginning of every learning experience to point out why it is important and relevant for the learner to absorb this new information. The “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM) should be present at the start of each learning piece.

What else may prevent you from learning?

Challenge 2: I already know this. For example: “I’ve learned several sales models in the past. This sounds like the same stuff.”  If people think they already know something, their minds are shut and they won’t allow in new ways of thinking—because of course they don’t need new ways of thinking about something they know inside and out.

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by Kiersten Yocum, M.Ed.

At an organizational level, agility is the ability to grow, change, or innovate at or above the speed of one’s own market. Anything less cannot be considered agility.

   –Timothy R. Clark & Conrad Gottfredson

 We have all heard of corporate agility. We hear the term “agile” all the time related to today’s corporate environment: agile processes, agile practices, agile leadership.  In our rapidly changing world, agility is one of the most important skills an organization can have if it is to stay competitive. Agility is the ability to move quickly, change rapidly, and respond to crises, threats and opportunities at the point of need. Of course, the ability to be agile relies on the ability of the organization to quickly gain the knowledge they need to do so. Rapid access to knowledge and information drives the learning agile organization, as defined by Clark and Gottfredson  in In Search of Learning Agility. But what does it mean to have Learning Agility? What does a Learning Agile organization look like?

Imagine being able to get the knowledge you need at the moment you need it. That’s not too much of a stretch today, is it? Think Google Docs, SharePoint, the Internet and intranets. If you want information, it’s out there. You simply need to find it; Google it and you end up with millions of pieces of information to sift and search through. But Learning Agility is not just the ability to find information.

Now imagine being able to find the knowledge you need quickly and easily and then being able to actually apply that new knowledge immediately. What would that look like? Just being able to find information does not make it useful, and certainly does not make it learning. Information only becomes learning when we connect it in our cognitive structures and are able to apply it in context. Google “ADDIE” and you find all kinds of information on instructional design. But will that give you the learning you need to be able to create an instructionally sound course for your target audience?

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by Sherry Engel

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”

–John Quincy Adams

 

People who know me, know I’m addicted to quotes. When I read this quote, it struck me as being so parallel to a recent article I read on leadership titled “Recession as a Litmus Test”. Take a look!

The article discusses that during times of recession (or difficult times in general), there are four distinguishing aspects of leadership. Those four aspects are as follows:

1 – Disciplined Thinking (Dream more)

Help others to see through the noisy clutter of confusion during times of uncertainty. Focus on the known, such as the core business requirements, and keep an eye on the big picture.

2 – A Bias for Action (Do more)

Don’t just wait around for someone to tell you the new vision or the next steps to take.  Start creating it….one step at a time. You may need to take a step back once in awhile, but three steps forward and one step back is better than no steps forward at all.

3 – Timely and Transparent Communication (Inspire others)

Be open, be honest, be realistic. Find the right balance between realism and optimism, but always communicate.

4 – The Ability to Inspire Followership (Become more)

After someone speaks to you, do they feel as if they can move forward or do they feel “stuck”? Use the three items above to help inspire others. Lead by example.

Now, picture yourself in this situation. Due to a recent reorganization, you now are leading a blended team of individuals from two very different organizational cultures (maybe it was a merger, maybe it was a global reorganization effort, whatever the case may be). You need to begin laying out your strategy, supporting projects, plans and processes for your newly-defined team. But where do you begin?

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by Sherry Engel

Each year, at the beginning of my son’s basketball season, the coach gives a speech to all the parents. He says, “I promise if I have to discipline your child, I will always be fair. But that doesn’t mean that I will treat each child the same.” Now, at first glance, this may seem odd; however, if you examine your interpersonal relationships, you’ll find what works for one, may not work for another. Perhaps a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t the best philosophy to use in all of our interpersonal interactions with co-workers, managers, clients, family members, or friends.

Reflect on some of your past relationships….think about a time you had difficulty relating to a new co-worker or manager. How did you work through that? The key is: If we can understand how a person inherently thinks, feels, and behaves as a unique individual, then we can be in a better position to relate to them. That’s why I’m such a strong proponent of Gallup StrengthsFinder.

Do you know your top 5 strengths? By using StrengthsFinder to identify your top 5 of 34 “themes/strengths” (such as Futuristic, Relater, Analytical, to name a few) and sharing these strengths with others, you can work with them – or simply relate to them – in a whole new way.

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By Dawn Francis, Ed.D.

I was asked a question the other day that made me pause before responding. The question was:

“Where does the performance consulting process end and the “A” in the ADDIE process begin?”

I paused because, in reality, the separation is not so cut and dry. There is overlap. So, in this entry, I’ll address the separation and overlap. Please comment and share your insights as well.

Let’s first define what we mean by the PC process and ADDIE process.

  • The PC process we’re referring to here is a performance analysis model (e.g., Gilbert’s Behavioral Engineering Model).
  • The ADDIE process is an instructional design model. ADDIE stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate.

 

In regards to the question posed above, it’s the “A” step that creates some confusion between these two processes. The tasks in this “Analyze” step include: clarifying the instructional problem, establishing instructional goals and objectives, assessing the audience’s needs, examining learners’ existing knowledge, and considering the learning environment, constraints, delivery modalities, and timeline.

Notice that the focus here is on “instruction.” That focus presumes that instruction is the solution to a performance problem. Indeed, sometimes it is. How do we arrive at this conclusion? We arrive at it through the PC process.

Let’s break down the distinctions between the PC Process and ADDIE “A” in the table below: (more…)

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by Dawn Francis, Ed.D.

In his book Relationship Economics, David Nour urges us to think strategically about our business relationships. A significant component of that strategy, he says, is for us to know our purpose. As a Performance Consultant, our purpose is to serve our clients as a Strategic Business Partner. But how do we do that if our clients keep labeling us as simply a Learning Support Provider? Here are some ideas.

According to Dana Gaines Robinson, we can become a Strategic Business Partner to our clients by:

  • Gaining Access
  • Building Credibility
  • Fostering Trust

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