Updated: Dec 5, 2018
I hope your career has developed in an upward trajectory with the capacity and potential to grow and learn at every turn, and in every role, you’ve taken. My experience has been something like that, and I must admit through good luck, much more than good judgement.
Worth reflecting on. When I do that, something starkly emerges to me.
It seems it was because, I had the good fortune to be working with some of the very best people and teams possible.
Further analysis, says that, that good fortune, to have such great colleagues followed the simple rule – ‘the best people had simply oriented to the best companies’.
Those businesses that generated a great culture, training, support and motivation, leading to a strong ‘sense of self’ and a desire to be the best. Providing the opportunity and encouragement for individual growth.
For me, the principle I learned from this reflection, was of ‘hire great people first, then focus on what you want them to do’ and runs counter to most hiring, where past employment track record is king, which is, at best circumstantial. Track record can be verified, ‘you were there, and had certain roles’ – but not of the skills and talents you bought to the role.
It should then be based on the individuals potential to learn and acquire new skills, none of us really know what the future holds and what skills we will need to achieve career success.
So as a business, how do we deal with that? This is the point, where we need to step further into the theories of how individuals learn.
The diagram below implies that individuals in general go through several stages when acquiring new competencies and skills to empower them do the job required. The model in the diagram below, shows the learner journey from ‘Unconscious Incompetence’ through to ‘Unconscious Competence’ and then on to ‘Mature Practice’.
This a well-known and clearly understood model, and referred to frequently in the past, however, it needs a fresh look now, as it relates to ‘Learning and Development’ in business.
These stages are now, ‘nearly always workplace activities, and no longer just classroom and coaching’. They are however very clearly core business management responsibilities. Responsibilities that need to be delivered consistently and well, to all staff to maintain both a training skills base-line, as well as ‘customized to suit each individual’.
This approach allows us to fill skills gaps for competencies below the required levels, or to be maintained at specified levels.
This means that the majority of the competencies and skills acquired by our staff, users and learners, takes place in the workplace, based on the 70/20/10* model.
If then it is agreed, that new skills are largely acquired in the workplace, ‘on-the-job’ at the 70% level, and not the classroom, which represents 10% or less of the overall 70/20/10 model.
Then this statement must be true:
70/20/10 Learning delivers ‘Opportunity to those with the Capacity’ to learn.
Just learning is not enough, whilst it may be an eLearning course, blended or flipped, or even elements in the class room, further application of training is needed to move our learner to the next phase of ‘Unconscious Competence’ and beyond.
This can be achieved with coaching, onsite support and or Microlearning for targeting learning repetition and refreshment, embedding content and required skill into long term memory.
Why do it?
The case I make is this; the hiring of key staff should be for those with the ‘Capacity to Learn first’, and the proof that person meets that criteria, is the 'record of learning and skills attained' over the career pathway.
I suggest future successful hiring and Corporate application of successful learning should be based on the model of ‘Capacity to Learn meets Opportunity to Learn’.
That means with some measure of certainty, that the learning itself is an early step in the process of reaching the ultimate stage of ‘mature practice and delivery’.
Check how you think you rate against this list:
Performance measurement based on learning success and job application
Motivation, through practical application of skills and confidence in their delivery
Job satisfaction surveys
Counselling and guidance on learning and outcomes, and next steps learning pathways
Individual development, supporting each individual to be the best they can be
Evaluation and feedback loops
Performance measurement with associated learning pathways
Activity Based Learning to verify and validate progress
Two elements that you can add to your LMS, or acquire them as fully integrated components of your Learning solution x-API (Experience API) and an LRS (Learning Record Store) will take you rapidly towards success and achieving this outcome.
x-API and LRS are your key business tools for all Learning recording, tracking and reporting skills and learning both inside and out-side the organisation.
*The 70:20:10 Model for Learning and Development is a commonly used formula within the training profession to describe the optimal sources of learning by successful managers. It holds that individuals obtain 70 percent of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20 percent from interactions with others, and 10 percent from formal educational events.
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