Yesterday I created a Learning Journal for a client. In some ways, there’s nothing new in this. I’ve probably created about 8 of them before, with the first around 10 years ago for Newey and Eyre.
The Learning Journal I created yesterday bears little resemblance to the one I did for Newey and Eyre all those years ago, though I dare say that a paragraph or two will be recognisable. This may not be surprising to you. What may be MORE surprising is that it shares less than 50% similarity with a similar document that I created earlier this year.
On a similar note, I’m currently starting the design of (another) Management Development Programme. Probably the 12th I’ve written. I will be able to take some elements of the programme from the previous 11, but much of it will be new.
When I say ‘new’ I don’t mean never heard of before…I mean never included in one of my programmes before. And this is all because things change.
Organisations change – each one is at a different stage and each has their own particular challenges and focus.
Technology Changes – In my first management Development programme a ‘blended’ approach involved a self-study workbook, a course and (if you were lucky) a coaching session. Now we include e-learning, watching YouTube clips or even whole films, on-line quizzes, webinars, podcasts, action learning, skype coaching AS WELL AS workshops, reading and more traditional coaching.
Knowledge Changes – Through my excellent (real and virtual) network I am inspired to keep learning. The more I learn, the more I can add to my programmes. Each programme is a development of the last.
Expectations Change – Delegates no longer expect to sit for 7 hours being ‘talked at’ (was that ever acceptable in the first place?). Generation Y expect learning to be short, sharp, to the point and on their terms. Clients increasingly (and quite rightly) want to retain more control themselves, and individuals expect to be able to shape the programme around them.
Evolution in Learning and Development is like the evolution of the wheel. Its purpose is the same as it always was. A modern wheel has clear similarities to an early stone-age wheel, but the engineering behind those wheels (the bits we don’t see) has changed dramatically. We have specific wheels for specific vehicles, and just because we have a wheel that works, it doesn’t mean we stop trying to make it better.
My points are:
- Training and development programmes must be constantly evaluated and updated. The programme I wrote during the first 6 months of this year is by far the best I’ve ever done…but the one I’m starting on now will be better. When was the last time you reviewed your programmes?
- Training Design isn’t (just) about tech and apps: It’s about the layering of knowledge, the creation of truly bespoke case studies and activities, and the evolution of skills…and it takes time. Make sure you give it the time it needs.
- Be wary of any supplier who offers a programme that hasn’t been updated in the last 2 years. Knowledge and technology are changing at an exponential rate and this should be reflected in their solution.