Having just returned from a fabulous few weeks holiday in Tuscany, I’ve been catching up on my emails and reading and came across a Twitter post from Donald H Taylor on a blog by Charles Jennings the ex Reuters global head of L&D on how not to train. I was excited and slightly depressed by his thinking. Excited, because he makes a very good case for important changes to learning based on ‘three key truths’ about how not to train:

  1. Too much information – is provided causing overload
  2. Too much time between the training and performance
  3. Post-training drop-off has a major impact

So all-in-all a lot of training is a huge waste of time, money and effort. Jennings goes on to make the case for informal performance support tools and makes the great analogy of a GPS in a vehicle and these tools. (I wish I’d thought of that line for our tookits, but it is one I think you’ll find me using in the future.) The depressing part is that he thinks learning professionals are stuck in their current thinking and that it might take ten years before we see a change. Our evidence in the market place is mixed at the moment. For me, the recession is polarising the approach taken by L&D professionals. The majority are, sadly, hunkering down and doing the same things, but less of them. The more forward looking are using the opportunity to review past practice and find new and improved ways of supporting the performance of their organisation. Helping the organisation to move through this difficult time. When we talk to these people, they see the value of performance support toolkits and the need to change the previous mix of learning provision. One of the things that holds back this development is the lack of this requirement in the normal models that people have been taught to think about when considering the learing mix they should consider eg: classroom, elearning, resource library and performance support tools. We’ll just about to publish a white paper on where we think performance support toolkits fit in the mix to start to address this problem.