Notes on L&D: Organizational Learning and Development
“Notes on…” is a series, based on notes I took during Lynda.com courses I completed.
Each post highlights a key takeaway I took from the course, along with my own notes.
Two things: The Greiner Curve is brand-new to me and I find it fascinating and so helpful when considering how an organization developer. Next, in terms of individual learning, I loved the 70-20-10 model: Meaning 70% of learning should be on the job, 20% through social interactions, and 10% in formal learning events.
Organizational Learning and Development Overview
The Stages of Organizational Development
Greiner Curve - Dr. Larry Greiner; USC; org’s move through 6 distinct stages (depends on size of company; always leads to a crisis point)
Phase 1 - Creativity: Founders build the org; people wear many hats
Phase 2 - Direction: Leaders are brought in to help develop products and services
Phase 3 - Delegation: Layers of hierarchy are created; managers move to work on long-term strategy
Phase 4 - Coordination & Monitoring: New policies and procedures introduced to bring structure to the organization; stability and consistency
Phase 5 - Collaboration: Bureaucracy replaced by scalable and agile styles; more flexibility; Emotional intelligence from leaders
Phase 6 - Alliances: Can only solve its challenges through partnering with other organizations (outsourcing, partnering, etc)
Where is your organization on this model?
Importance of Learning to Organizational Development
Map your learning to the Greiner Curve; have to develop and deliver kinds of learning, depending on which phase your organization is in.
Identify different programs of leaders, managers, and employees
Map to the phase you’re in and the phase that you’re headed toward
Different employees are attracted to organization’s at different stages
Work to become a strategic partner in your organization
Help the organization succeed in its current phase of growth
Understand Your Organization’s L&D Stage
We need to stop playing the role of service provider and be more of a consultant
Great L&D consultants...
Establish a two-way relationship
Ask lots of questions: learning everything you can about the challenges
Design and deliver a solution that creates results
Being a Strategic Partner to the Business
Learning is a key factor in increasing employee engagement and retain top talent
Usually starts with HR:
Address compensation, benefits, payroll, and employment law
Provide compliance training
Initiate a Partnership: set up meetings, ask great questions, understand the current state and “ideal state”. What are top performers doing? What does that look like?
Share your strategy/roadmap with stakeholders
HiPo = High potential talent
Enterprise Learning Framework
Talent Management Framework
The ROI of Talent Development
Delivering results; make sure you’re moving the right needles
Retaining top talent: The cost of replacing an employee is 50% to 250% of their annual salary + benefits (cost of recruiting, lost productivity, time for new hire up to speed)
Lowering the cost of disengagement: 17.2% of the US workforce is actively disengaged; A disengaged employee costs an org $3,400 for every $10,000 of salary (34%)
Increasing employee engagement: Can make an org’s culture more positive
Creating a Culture of Learning
Honor the ever-present nature of learning: People learn on their own; watching others; people helping each other/coaching
Value learning as a path to mastery: Involves curiosity, exploration, and making mistakes; must be safe to take risks and make mistakes
Ensure managers know how to coach effectively: Helps employees build their competence and confidence; skills & clarity coaching; appreciative inquiry
Value growth and improvement in your performance system: When people are measured in growth and improvement, they do even better
Make learning easily accessible: Empowers employees to seek and find their own answers
Use blended learning to maximize your options: In-person, online
Best Practices for Effective Learning
Adult Learning Theory
Andragogy: How adults learn (Alexander Capp)
Learning as Adults: Self-directed, driven by internal motivation (Malcolm Knowles and Patricia Cross)
Designing Adult Learning
Honor a wide range of backgrounds/experiences
Allow learners to discover for themselves (self-directed)
Support contextualized learning (what’s the why?)
Frederick Hudson - not a linear process; life cycles of transformation
Taxonomy of Knowledge (Benjamin Bloom)
Application: Take what you learn into a new context
Creating: Take information and creating something new
Evaluating: Judge something using a specific criteria
Analyzing: Logical inquiry
Harnessing wisdom and insights from previous experiences. Build on what went right.
Neuroscience of Learning
Hippocampus (memory/has limits/20 minutes max); build learning in 15 minute segments, then something active.
Amygdala: Fight/flight/freeze; stimulates the hippocampus; working in groups, games, self-reflection, assessments (use schemas: things we already know)
Basal ganglia: responsible for habits (behaviors); move from learned to don’t have to think about it; habit design
Creating Real Behavior Change
Real behavior changes is what we’re after: habits
Identify the habits you want to instill in learners
Help your learners practice the optimized behaviors: Talking about a behavior is not the same as doing
Habits: Cue, Routine, Reward (40 repetitions to make it stick)
Management training: Have managers practice better management behavior (practice the words and actions for a great 1:1)
Time is best spent imparting new habits/behaviors, rather than new information
Adults Learning Methods
Design to naturally work with the brain
Available anytime, on any advice (PDF files, books, self-paced)
Flexible; able to meet a range of needs
How to Design Solutions
Levels of experience
Categories of workers
One-way communication to the learner: Telling
Tell managers policies and procedures
Teaching learners and helping them practice
70% on the job
20% - through social interactions
10% in formal learning events
Effective: driving behavior change
Assessing Your Audience
Learning is often misaligned: needs to solve real problems
Learning is too simple; not sophisticated enough for adult learners
Stakeholders: leaders in your org; need to solve business problems
Learners: whose behavior you’re trying to shift
Understand the current state of skills and abilities: ask view of the leaders
Understand the perspective of the learners: ask view of the learners
Map your learning to both perspectives
Address the real issues: context, issues, and people
Instructional Design: Story Arc + Insight
Beginning: Meets learner’s at current state
Middle: bridge to the end
End: final state (desired results/behaviors)
Insight is the most powerful learning tool we have (ah-ha moment!)
Creating Insight (use these in various orders)
Why: Conceptual model, data; get the 30,000 foot view
How: Instruction; model or method
Try: Habit building, case studies, practice sessions
Instructional Design: Format + Delivery
Blended Learning: Using various learnings to make a whole
The Flipped Classroom: Pre-learning (what/why/how), hands-on application, extend learning
In-person training is expensive
Static vs. Adaptive
Structured vs. Unstructured: Designed experience / happens in the moment
Synchronous vs. Asynchronous: Same moment or different times
Online vs. Offline: Online or reading printed materials
Off-the-shelf vs. Bespoke: From a provider v. customized to the group
Self-paced vs. Instructor/Expert-led: On your own vs. set agenda
Individual vs. Collaborate: One person at a time / several learn at the same time
The Critical Nature of Practice
Building practicing skills within your learning events (try the behavior a few times)
Ask people to pair up outside your learning events
Model ideal behavior (first see it done by an expert)
Create realistic practice environments
Mursion, Cubic, STRIVR, Academy925
Elements of Organizational L&D
Choosing Between Bespoke or Off-the-Shelf Solutions
Video training, hosted webinars, simulations
Questions to ask:
Does the solution demonstrate best practices in adult learning?
Does it map to your org’s Greiner Curve and behaviors you’re trying to shift?
What flexibility does the provider allow for you to create add-on materials and learning events?
What are the copyright, licensing, and IP concerns?
What level of customization is provided and at what cost?
Does the solution demonstrate best practices in learning design?
Does the solution drive the specific behavior you’re seeking?
Is there a good story arc to the learning solution?
What is the format and delivery of the solution?
Learning Program Systems (LMS)
Using software to deliver learning; enrolling, tracking, evaluation
Home.bersin.com (learning assessments)
Start with your needs (review your learning strategy; Greiner Curve)
Consider your audience: How people work in your organization
Consider your L&D team: Work for their skills/needs
Explore data and analytics
Engage your tech team: IT, core systems that must be aligned
Consider the delivery of the technology (smartphones and tablets?)
Complete a reference check (ask questions from their current customers)
How often do they roll out updates and upgrades?
Consider your budget and timeframe
Learning Program Processes
Develop a partnership process - who tracks the requests you get
Consult a design team to create learning solutions: online/webinar/in-person
Use a project management process to track solutions
Use marketing solutions to get the word out
Determine enrollment method
Determine who will deliver or facilitate the learning (in-house vs. external?)
Develop a facilitator management strategy
Curate content for learners
Select the best and most relevant options
Link to current articles about a topic
Vet your sources!
ROI of Learning
Reaction/Satisfaction: Did they like it or not? NPS - Net Promoter Score; how valuable was the learning?
Learning: Did the learners learn the content? Use an assessment/survey
Implementation: Were learners able to deploy the learning?
Impact: Did the learning impact business results?
ROI: Did the learning investment payoff?
Benefit-Cost Ratio: Program benefits divided by Program Costs
Return on Investment: Economic indicator of accountability for results
Time to Payoff: Estimated in which will break even
Hard Data: Cost, Output, Time, Quality, Energy
Soft Data: Customer service, Creativity, Development, Culture