Today's message does not come from the land of ease, but from the hard path of goal-centric labor.  In the world of functional training, nothing is more important than results:  Did people come out of our training having acquired a new skill, having sharpened skills, understanding a methodology, or having corrected a behavior?


It is tempting to put something together to check it off the list.  We have all seen training that exists just to say "they received training."  But to say we put in the time, we counted the bodies in attendance, and we will hold another class in the future is to fall short of the goal.  And our clients - whether they are external or business units within the same company - will not allow this.  They don't have the time to waste.


I share this article as a sobering reminder that what we do is about application.  Let us not be the types that say "We're lost but we're making good time!" as is quoted in the article.  When learning how to drive, instructors teach students not to look at the road marks directly in front of the car, but to look down the road.  In the same way, we must keep our eye on application and let that guide our shorter term steps.


The fact is, if we develop training with application in mind, it will make our lives harder.  But it will make our accomplishments, our pride in work, and our careers the better for it.


Feel free to leave any comments in response to the article.

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Hi Jonathan,


Thanks for sharing this article and I totally agree that “Performance is everything.”  Much of the content in the article regarding performance support has been pounded out at conferences across the globe and certainly within the UK the concept of “Five moments of need” has been very well accepted.  However, regardless of how we assist people with their learning, or when they learn, or how they learn, or what they learn with, the ultimate goal has to be about increasing performance, and this is a tough one for many L&D professionals.


I’m fed up with attending conferences to be shown the “same” learning as last year but on a new platform which somehow magically transforms the content into some brilliant learning potion!  I always ask “How effective is the learning?” and am usually greeted with a rather strange look.


I just couldn’t agree more that within L&D we have to focus on delivering results regardless of the method or technology used.  For some reason we think that shiny new technologies (iPad for example) will “bring the learning to life.”  The truth is that business is tough; it’s about making tough decisions and standing by them and ultimately it’s about delivering results.


I wonder how many readers can (honestly) stand by their learning and truly show the impact it’s had.  I’ve been judging a national training award for many years and sadly I don’t see that many people able to do it.


As L&D professionals we have to focus on results.  That is what we are there for and nothing else.


Sermon over and I’m sure many people will disagree; let’s see.



In my view, one ot the challenges to application of learning is the gap between the learning event and the opportunity and encourangement to apply the learning.


I recently completed a small scale research/pilot project comparing the effectiveness of the "Training Centre" approach to learning with delivering learning on handheld devices in the environment in which it was to be applied & in addition to the expected findings (eg learners love the increased control over pace of learning and the ability to go over material as much as they like when using technology enhanced learning), the issue that came across very xlearly from learners and their managers was that those learning via handheld devices in their workplace found it much easier to apply what they had learned - that reducing the gap between learning and application was highly effective.




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