Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

To ensure that all parts of the system in which people live and work collaborate to support learning, personal development and successful application on the job, it is important to involve all stakeholders up front in the design process and make them an integral part of the learning journey. What happens before the design of a program goes beyond a traditional needs assessment to surface the following:

What are the "bright spots"? Where are the strengths? Where are people already doing what the learning program is intended to "teach"? What experiences have people had that the learning program can build on?

What is hindering and facilitating the learning in:

  • · the environment
  • · current behaviors
  • · current skill level and competencies
  • · shared values
  • · beliefs
  • · how people see themselves, their identity, how they see their role/s
  • · their community, where they "belong" what they see themselves as members of and  involved in

What is the vision, the goals, the core intent and the aspirations of the organization as it relates to the learning and its impact? How does that connect with the individuals' aspirations?

What ideas do people have about what it will take to get from point A to point B? What are the critical steps?

There are many ways to find out what you need to know to design for impact.

1. You can conduct interviews: Ask open-ended questions, pay attention to energy, non-verbals and what people say and follow up with thought provoking questions to delve deeper and broader into what matters.

2. Use various methods and techniques to surface key information in groups. Visual stimuli - choose a symbol for....., metaphors - if you could describe the current reality and the desired state using a metaphor, what would it be?, what if questions, guided imagery, appreciative inquiry summits, collages and other creative approaches to exploring a topic like storyboards, window panes, etc.

3. Include observation tasks, surveys, readings, and thought provoking questions as part of      pre-work. Invite participants to reflect on themselves, their vision, their strengths, their ideas about the area of concern and how to get from point A to point B. Ask them to share their thoughts with you and/or with one another. Include focused conversations with their line managers. Provide the managers with stimulating reading and some key questions to reflect on and discuss with their employees and future participants.

Impact by Design

With the information you glean from the systemic discovery process, you can then design an integrated learning program in which you bring the reality of the workplace into the formal learning environment and learning back to the workplace. Accelerated Learning provides a roadmap to explore the systemic interdependencies, develop a process to garner system wide support, to create an effective and efficient learning design, and to facilitate continuous learning on the job. In the next newsletters, we will explore the aspects of Delphin’s AL design that support deep learning and focused action on the job.