John Medina, the author of the book, Brain Rules, says that the human brain is designed to help us survive in a outdoor environment while being in a state of motion. And if we were to design a learning environment that is completely against our internal wiring, we will build the classroom and then go on to build the cubicle!
Continuing on my earlier post, Karl Kapp and Tony O’Driscoll, have listed seven major problems that the training industry must overcome to remain viable. They are:
- The Autonomous Learner Problem: Most organizations report that a majority of the learning happens on the job or informally, but training departments tend to focus more on structured learning (be it classroom or eLearning)!
- Timing: Learning needs are very dynamic and should be addressed rapidly. But the traditional instructional design model that most training departments use (gathering content, framing objectives, creating lessons,and delivering content) are too slow to keep up with the changes in the learning needs.
- Packaging: Training content is also not aligned with the time demand on the employees. Employees do not have time to sit through the entire duration of the course. They are looking for “learning nuggets” that will help them get their tasks done.
- Performance: Performance issues in an enterprise is not dependent on learning or knowledge gap. There are other factors (outside the realm of the training department) that have a role to play. Its important to recognize these extraneous factors (compensation, motivation etc) before passing judgement on the training department.
- Routinization Problem: For too long the focus has been ” how do I deliver classroom training faster and make it more efficient”. Training departments should embrace innovation and change in learning delivery with an open mind otherwise they risk marginalizing themselves.
- Transfer: Impact of training on behavior modifications and performance improvement is a key metric to watch out for. Studies show that as much as 80 to 90 percent of investments in training programs fail to result in behavior change on the job.
- Value: There seems to be a mismatch in the perceived value that the organization derives through learning. Management and the training departments have their own notion of why the learning / training department should remain. Training departments seem to focus too much on how efficiently learning is delivered while the management is more interested in productivity and performance improvements as a result of training.