How To Actually Grow Capability

90% of the time one day learning workshops are a waste of time and money. Sure they can be fun, but how much do you really retain even just a few days later?

There’s three common culprits behind their ineffectiveness:

  1. The ‘why are we here?’ factor
  2. The ‘cool idea, but it’ll never work here’ factor, and
  3. The ‘I know enough to be dangerous’ factor.

Over the next 3 weeks we’ll unpack and solve each.

The ‘Why Are We Here?’ Factor

Have you ever experienced this? – You’re going through your work day and suddenly a surprise invite for a full-day workshop turns up in your calendar from your up-line management.

Attendance is compulsory – “We must know how to do ‘xyz’ for our journey over the next year”. So you click ‘Yes’ and then spend the next 10mins playing calendar manager in order to clear out the now booked-out day.

You can’t help but wonder.. “but what has this got to do with me?”

The big day arrives, hopefully the facilitator is charismatic and energetic. There may even be a few cool ideas that you note down (then never look at again).

But the whole time you’re not really sure how what you’re learning relates to you, your work or your priorities over the next few months.

The next day you go into the office and get back to work in exactly the same way as the day before.

Net Result: Cool ideas, promptly forgotten.

The Counter Strategy: Connect Learning With Acute or Immediate Problems

If you don’t know why you’re in a meeting or a workshop, then you’re going to be disengaged. (Even more so if it’s virtual).

It’s the same for your staff.

For it to stick, learning must be connected to current and/or immediate work.

Your staff must understand WHY they’re there – and that usually means that any training must be directly relevant to a problem that they are facing right now. (Or will be in the very near-term).

The best insatances of this is when it’s obvious to everyone why the new skills are needed.

Further, your staff need to apply their learnings directly and immediately to the problem. Bonus points if you can work with the facilitator to have them create activities based directly on your context and the problems your staff face.

…But this only works if your staff believe that a different way is possible in their day to day. We’ll cover that one next week.