One of the most important things in the history of mankind is fire. It keeps us warm, keeps us safe, helps us to cook, and gives us light. In the modern world, one of the most important tools we have is the ability to learn. Our world is changing at an ever-increasing pace and those who are unable to learn, or indeed to apply learning, will be left behind.
Understandably when we consider training, much of the focus is on the event itself: whether that is a traditional workshop, a qualification, and e-learning module, a webinar or an old-fashioned book. But no matter how good these things are, they will not bring about lasting change by themselves. For learning is like a fire: you need the raw material to burn, you need the spark to ignite it, and you need the fuel and conditions to keep it burning. Without any of these three things the fire will simply fail to ignite or go out very quickly. The same is true of learning…
The right raw material needs to be in place. This includes things like the learner’s attitude, business and line manager support, clearly identified needs, and the resources (time, money, skills) required.
The spark is often the learning event. A good trainer will ensure people leave workshops with lots of ideas and a few clear action points. A good e-learning programme will ensure something new is learned and direction given about how to apply it, and so on.
The fuel and conditions are the things that need to be in place to stop the fire burning out. This means immediate and relevant opportunities to apply the learning, the ability to share learning with others, support from colleagues and managers, and recognition when objectives are achieved.
At Keystone Development, we pride ourselves in being able to design and deliver a great training program. Our workshops are interactive, and provide lots of sparks to allow learners to ignite their raw materials. But unlike some other training consultancies, we also help get the raw materials into place, and provide fuel and conditions to sustain the fire (or learning).
Through the completion of a proper training needs analysis, design of competence models, ‘what good looks like’ guidelines, and comprehensive self-study packs we make sure learners are as well prepared as they can be for learning. All you have to do is make sure that their managers and colleagues are on board.
By facilitating action learning sets and business focused post-course assignments, we help provide the opportunities and support required to transfer that learning into the workplace so that you can see real business results.
Learning that works is about so much more than the spark. The spark is the most visible element, it is the most sexy and exciting element, but without the preparation and follow-up, it quickly fizzles out leaving things pretty much as they were before. Don’t waste your training budget, or the time of people completing training by focusing on the spark alone… Think about the whole fire.