The challenge for L&D is that most of the corporate control and measuring systems have been set up around the 10%. Extending L&D’s reach to enabling (and evaluating) the 70% requires something that, unfortunately, many learning professionals are just not very good at: knowledge of the business.

Ignorance of how the business works is of course not exclusive to L&D. As Geary Rummler and Alan Brache stated in their opening statement of their watershed “Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart,” “Many managers don’t understand their business.” I would venture to say “most” managers don’t understand how what they do fits into the larger strategic picture of the company and its industry. And since we all know that learning only really occurs when being applied in a relevant environment, that the learners see for themselves how their new knowledge and/or skill makes sense in the larger picture, it’s essential that L&D facilitate this learning in a useful, applicable manner. Too often, the LMSs and other “learning support systems” grossly hinder the relevant learning process rather than assisting.

Your list is a good start, but I always come back to one of the most important principles of being a good facilitator: you’ve got to speak the language of your client. This also means using the tools that they use. Designing their own courseware? Yes, if this is something that fits into their skill sets. Internal social media platforms such as Yammer? Yes, but only if Yammer is already being actively used. Introducing new tools or systems must have a compelling, relevant and clearly demonstrated payoff, otherwise you’re wasting everyone’s time.

Thinking About Learning

Warning: Nothing I’m writing about below is new or disruptive.

In the L&D world in recent years there has been a growing advocacy around changing the way we understand how learning happens at work. There’s a steady movement moving from instructor led and presentation led learning as a default to creating and cultivating more natural ways for people to share information.

With technology now at the forefront of giving people new ways to connect, share information, knowledge and practise we’re seeing a real move to technology becoming an enabler of better working and better learning.

The 70:20:10 model promotes thinking around the efficacy of learning mechanisms. 70% of our learning at work happens through on the job activities. 20% happens through peers and social based activity (also includes coaching and mentoring activity). 10% happens through formal training programmes and courses (including e-learning).

It’s easy for people to get caught up…

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