Wednesday, November 11, 2009

DevLearn 2009: Kim Zibrick's session on Business Alignment: Focus on the Workplace ...Not the Classroom!

The last session I attended today was Kim Ziprik's short talk on "Business Alignment: Focus on the Workplace ...Not the Classroom!". Kim took aim at the tendency of training departments to "train their way out" of a performance problem and how that has very little impact on actual workplace performance. She went onto talk about approaches that may be useful to bring the focus back to the workplace, where most learning happens.

What did I learn?

  • There are tremendous challenges that training teams are facing as a consequence of the changing pace of businsess:
    • performance variables;
    • learner motivation;
    • change of business situation;
    • retention drops drastically a short time after a training event.
    • training doesn't address the entire value stream and looks at localised optimisations
    • training is a cost based exercise that traditionally doesn't focus on workpplace performance whereas we should be investing in learning which is geared at solving challenges in the workplace
  • Kim talked about creating "Learning Wells and not Training Dams":
    • drive what people need via their experience levels. She gave tips very similar to the ones I used in my older post about the Dreyfus Model
    • Leverage performance based tools like:
      • Job Aids (Standard Work?);
      • Employee Performance and Support Systems;
      • Self Assessments;
      • Coaching;
      • Communities;
      • Career based curriculum
    • Integrate learning into the workplace - create continuous learning opportunities.
    • Redesign your Learning Architecture. Rethink the roles your training team plays, the places where training happens, the measures for effectiveness, technologies assisting learning and the culture that surrounds these experiences.
    • Reduce the dependency on a single source of information. Harness the power of the collective - people together are far smarter than you can ever be.


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