I find that our client’s tendency to jump to instant solutions is one of the major reasons for ineffective L&D solutions. They do not do this maliciously but because of hidden pressures on them. I think there are 6 pressures on clients to jump to solutions and would be very interested to hear your views? The first question I have for you is what % of client requests for L&D start with a presumed solution e.g. “We need a course on...”? (My figure is 60%)
Then why do they do this? My first reason is that we all try and move from fluid to concrete and saying, “we need a sales course” is more concrete and acceptable than admitting that we have a problem with our sales performance. We do whatever we can to move from the anxiety around ambiguity and uncertainty and this forms a pressure to come up with solutions before we have investigated the problem. Do you have any more hidden pressures which encourage solutionering?
... most performance deficiencies in the workplace are due to environmental factors such as vague expectations, insufficient and untimely feedback, limited access to required information, inadequate tools, resources and procedures, inappropriate and counterproductive incentives, etc. Yet, when a performance gap occurs, the default intervention is all too often training – although it is much easier to fix the environment then people. To put it in simple terms – if the gap is not due to a lack of skills and knowledge, don't train!
Moreover, even when you determine that training is necessary, is it sufficient? A one-shot training injection rarely works if it is not part of a total performance system.