David Chapman is a founding Partner of ThinkFeelKnow (www.thinkfeelknow.com), an innovative Learning & Development organisation who is our featured bloger for this month.
Does a highly unusual commercial environment call for radical L&D solutions? What do your people really need right now?
Each employee, manager, and director of every organisation in the UK is facing an uncertain global environment. Some see chaos; some see opportunity. What is clear is that L&D needs are very different to a couple of years ago, and yet, looking through vendor brochures at March’s HRD conference, the majority of offerings look dangerously stale. How does an organisation best meet the L&D needs of its people, to manage their energy, boost engagement, and retain commitment? What would a radical approach look like?
Having worked with corporates, small businesses, in education, and the public sector, I reckon there are some core options. So here’s my manifesto:
1. Throw out all psychometrics that take longer than 10 minutes.
If you really, REALLY want to get to know someone, you have to engage with them face to face. If you just want a headline appraisal, find a tool that does that. The next generation don’t do patience, so they’ll thank you for it.
2. Coach, don’t tell.
Is the age of consultancy over? Let learners be more responsible for their learning. On one hand give them more input. On the other, ban handouts – they’re just a waste of paper and lazy too. If the experience created is deep enough, then the learning sticks, right?
3. Don’t leave on a high; don’t leave on a low.Human bodies have a natural rhythm; so does learning. If people walk out of a learning experience too high, they can only crash (that’s you, motivational speakers!). Too low, and there is no motivation. Too flat, and there is no real experience. How can a learning experience follow all the dynamics of the learning curve?
4. Twitter’s been around for a year; human interaction has been around for a bit longer…
When does e-learning support; when does it alienate? How much can you really learn about people isolated in front of a computer screen?
5. If you can’t explain the framework in 3 minutes, don’t bother.
To prove this, try explaining MBTI to a group of 17 year olds and see what reaction you get. Remember: they’ll be working with you soon…
So these are just some starters; I’m sure that you can get even more radical. If so, I can’t wait to be outdone.