Do you make your learning stick?

You guys might connect with this one. I have friends in my world who are committed to their own evolution. That is, they want to keep working on themselves to improve their life, career and relationships. Excellent! If only we all did that. Ooops. Did I type that out loud?

Some have attended weekend retreats, or 6 week programs, or a week of personal ‘boot–camp’. They do it locally, or treat themselves with an overseas trip at the same time. Some of these awesome peeps are what we might call ‘serial personal program’ junkies. Nothing wrong with that. If we pursued our own self-development as much as we do our own self demise we would be in-friggin-credible!

Yes, we need to go to some form of training to learn. But learning occurs in so many more ways. And what we do before, during and after should be strategic and intentional. It’s not a set and forget situation. 

David Maister, expert and author of multiple books in management practices, in his article; ‘Why (Most) Training is Useless’ says that “training is a wonderful last step in bringing about changed organisational and personal behaviour, but a pathetically useless first step”.

I agree with the idea he is making but think he’s wrong. 

I think training is in the middle of the transformation. 

I agree with Maister that companies regularly send out their people to attend training and then come back to an environment where the opposite is occurring, so momentum is lost.  He is saying that we have a lot of work up front to do to create an environment that is genuinely committed to the change before we send them ‘skill or will’ building. If it was the last step then we would do nothing to embed the learning.

If we just run great training programs in isolation of anything else, it’s like thinking that simply turning up to your own wedding will guarantee a successful marriage. The good news is that creating remarkable cultures is easier than maintaining a marriage. But then again, how would I know?! I am divorced.

Learning is so much more than training.

There are many pieces to the puzzle of learning. It’s not just the classroom, workshop or online program. When we put the pieces together the transformation is extraordinary. It creates a flow of learning that becomes easy to get swept up in. Understanding what the pieces are and what to consider for each is key.

Too many organisation’s think it’s about training only.

Yes, whilst there is work in keeping the various learnings all going in the early days, you will reap the rewards later. The work in the early days is a little like spinning plates, but it can be minus the stress if the plan is executed well.

To learn more about creating a feedback flow in your team or organisation download my white paper for free; ‘Feedback Cultures are Game Changers’.