Hi. Would anyone like to share their knowledge/experience about why a sheep dip approach to global technical/sales training simply doesn’t work? Or does it?  

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I've come across those who insist on the sheep dip, and although it seems alien to me, I have given it some thought and wonder if this is a helpful way to come to terms with it when it is demanded. 

Approx 25% of the cohort will love the topic/training, eagerly sign up and learn loads. 

At the other end of the spectrum, 25% will hate the topic/training and will need a huge amount of coaxing to attend and will likely learn little. 

he middle 50% will sign up anyway and learn varying amounts; heading one side of the spectrum, or the other. 

The benefit of the sheep dip is that it avoids time and angst targeting the learners, and hastens the process of getting people to the end of the spectrum that is right for them.

At the end of the process, all have had equal chance to learn, and we end up with a clear idea of who is and who is not on board.  That is the return on the investment.

I'm not defending this approach, but it's a view!

Thanks Dave, I really appreciate your view - it's given me something to think about. Thanks for your time.

Thanks Dave - that's a really clear way of looking at it, makes perfect sense!

I have been in roles in large orgs where i have been responsible for instigating the sheep dipping - for organisation culture purposes. After experimentation - sorry all you wonderful people - the best results came when we turned the first half of the session into gathering particpants' views (non-identifiable of course). This info fed into the design of our change programs and gave us a temperature reading as well - more topical than annual employee opinion surveys.

Now - in my sheep dipping plans - compliance is compliance and the lawyers say do it - I plan to build in choice of pathways through. Im working with a mobile appmaking learning platform teazl that is so easy to change - i could create new modules daily on the fly - and so can subject matter experts. This builds great flexibility as well as the ultimate in responsiveness.

So all in all I have to say sheepdipping IS here - but if we can improve it by allowing participants to choose and input to our processes - then it has an important role and maybe shouldnt be called sheepdipping any longer.


Thanks Janine, I like that approach. I appreciate your time.

Most welcome. Writing helps clarify my views. Keep up the good work!

Hi Chris,

I've been involved in various compliance type digital learning in my role with a large MNC bank (scale to reach over 90,000 staff) - AML, Data Security, Op Risk etc. I did try to create ethical branched chain scenarios (lots of work storyboarding the narrative with recalcitrant subject matter experts!) and have persuaded our data quality assurance guys to use Cathy Moore's action mapping approach if only to be more human centred in their approach to designing learning content and communication.

Sheep dip is topic based and requires continual comms (teasers, video role plays, game type incentives etc). Why do we do it? Because to do a detailed needs analysis that looks at critical roles and their impact on changing processes for the better including job task analysis, understanding workplace complexity for competency development transfer and monitoring sounds a bit too much like hard work especially when the stakeholder realises they don't actually know the critical roles for the initiative, what systemic changes will take place in terms of people, roles, processes, systems and when they don't quite have the budget, time and effort to do it well:)

Thanks for your reply Ivor. That all makes sense and I'm starting to get a much better understanding now. As for recalcitrant subject matter experts, surely not!!!!

Thanks for your time Ivor - much appreciated.





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