Over the last three months we’ve been talking about growing value from learning/training, looking at the need for it to be:
· Connected to Strategy, and or
· Driven by Managers, and or
· Applied on-the-job (OTJ).
In the quest for increased value from training, this month we take a closer look at the last of the three elements, how to get learning Applied OTJ.
Achieving this can be summed up by two words, stretch and requirement. We’ll start by looking at the first of those.
The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) conducted 30 years of Lessons of Experience research that explored how executives learn, grow and change. The 70-20-10 Rule for Leadership Development emerged from this.
70-20-10 has gone on to become a widely accepted theory of learning in workplace learning, not just for leadership development.
The relevant piece we’re focussed on here is the 70% - what CCL call Challenge Assignments. They’re not describing it as simply learning on-the-job (OTJ), although it clearly occurs OTJ, but as something challenging, something that stretches the individual.
We’ve all been there, returning to work after training with a burst of enthusiasm to do/be/act differently, but on the whole there’s only a few subtle changes at the fringe, rarely does significant change occur.
This presents a problem for the organisation – how does it ensure individuals are stretched and stay in their ‘challenge’ zone, not their comfort zone?
Part of the answer to this problem lies in the second word, requirement.
Last month we talked about learning being Driven by Managers, they are pivotal to the success of any workplace learning, they set the tone in the team, manage expectations and work assignments.
Managers can eliminate the ‘chance’ or ‘opportunity’ for learning to be applied by giving individuals a nudge, or the push needed to put them into challenging situations where they are required to apply the learning, where they can’t succeed if they don’t.
Timing and expectations also play a role in this interaction between the manager and the learner. If the learner embarks on the training with a clear understanding about what’s expected of them, how they’ll be applying those new skills or knowledge OTJ, they go into the training with increased focus.
When learning is Connected to Strategy, Driven by Managers and Applied OTJ in a way that challenges and stretches the individual, value increases for the individual, their team and the organisation.
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