Here we are, the start of another new year. Many people are making resolutions – joining the gym, doing Dry January, setting ambitious business goals.
I have not.
That’s NOT to say that I don’t need to make improvements. I definitely need to lose weight (I’m currently a stone heavier than I’d like) and cutting down on the booze can only be a good thing. But you won’t find me reaching for the slimfast, joining Slimming World, hitting the gym 5 days a week, or cutting out the booze entirely.
Because if I do that, I’m setting myself up to fail. It’s too BIG a change and it’s actually a bigger change than I need to make, so why make life hard for myself?
- I DO eat healthily most of the time (just need to watch those portion sizes and evening snacks).
- I DO exercises regularly – 3 Zumba classes a week most weeks.
- I DO generally have 4 alcohol free days a week
In short, I get it mostly right most of the time. However, I need to be more consistent. I need to me more aware and notice more quickly if I’m straying from good habits. I need to be open to new ideas (maybe I need to mix up my exercise?). I need to be reminded of good practice and sometimes I need to be held accountable for my actions.
And this made me think of the shift I’ve seen in L&D recently. Until last year, the largest part of my business was designing (and sometimes delivering) bespoke development PROGRAMMES for organisations. But (for a variety of reasons) this was not the case in 2019.
There seemed to be more of a reluctance to put people through a long development programme. Partly it was cost, partly it was the timescale, (businesses are more agile now), partly it was due to the constant evolution of roles (the nature of roles are constantly changing) but it was also because most people were doing most things right most of the time. A whole programme was just too much (like me joining Slimming World).
So I’ve seen a shift towards more focused, one-off training interventions and more informal learning. This approach fills more specific gaps in skills (as people can do most of their job well already) and helps them to be more consistent, notice if they are straying from good habits, learn from others and see alternative ways of doing things. It’s perhaps a more grown up way of developing people AND we are giving people the best chance to succeed… A one-day workshop or virtual course that meets a specific need is much easier to commit to.
So, whilst I am still delighted to design bespoke training programmes, (and I do believe that they still have their place) it’s no longer all I do. I design and deliver one-off bespoke interventions too, whether that’s a workshop or a blended solution. I also support other L&D professionals and help the to develop their skills (in a light touch way) via the Training Designer’s Club.
Because there isn’t one right way to be “better” – whether that’s in terms of our health or career – there are many, and we need to choose what’s right for us.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what I AM doing (having told you what I’m not), I’m adding a jog/cross-trainer session to my weekly exercises, cutting down on the carbs and making 5 days a week alcohol free. Small changes. More manageable.
Here’s to a successful 2020!