Creating a Learning Culture that works

We all talk about Learning Cultures, we all talk about embedding the process of learning within our organisations or those that we work with, we  all talk about valuing informal learning, creating opportunities for staff to learn and grow.  Some of us are lucky and work with organisations for which Learning is a Value, linked to the mission statement and strategic plans, so of us work with organisations were learning is less valued, either overall, or in significant parts of the business. We all know the theory and how it is all supposed to work,  but I wonder when the rubber hits the road what actually works.

The reason I ask this is I was having a conversation where we discussing the involvement of supervisors, team leaders etc in the learning process.  Specifically in this case reporting on whether or not staff that had attended training had changed behaviours, learnt something, had become competent or satisfactory at particular tasks, essentially whether or not the classroom learning had been transferred back to the workplace.  We were also talking specifically about 3rd party reporting under the Australian VET system, where supervisors are called upon to indicate whether they have observed a staff member successfully and satisfactorily undertake specific tasks related to their assessment as competent in particular units of competency.

I wrote a little while ago about some ideas on engaging managers and supervisors in the learning process but again I am talking about some thing more concrete, I am talking about how we get managers to take responsiblity for deciding if their staff have actually transferred their learnings from the classroom to the office or factory floor, which is a far more active involvement than I was talking about previously.  I guess I am looking at ways to stop the process being a tick and flick, they’ve attended so they must have learnt it, I don’t want to spend anymore time or money on them getting it so I will just say they have learnt something kind of process.

The problem is that the best tactic, the one that gets the best results is to use the stick of, well if you sign them off and something goes wrong then it your issue and your responsibility.  There is something deeply unsatisfying about that though, in fact there is something deeply unsatisfying about having to have a strategy in the first place to deal with this.

So there it is;  how do you create this concrete level of engagement, this concrete learning culture, effectively and efficiently, without having to resort to what seems to me like the stick end of the carrot and stick equation.

Weekend Linkfest

Here is my selection of the best things I have seen this week.

The likelyhood of completing a VET qualificiation (NCVER)


One  of the best Trainers Trainings around

One of the Best Forums for L&D professionals in Australia  (and I am even presenting at it so you can come and say hello)

How Technology is shaping the future of Learning (ASTD Webcast)

Creating a Learning Environment for the Modern Mobile Worker  (Bersin Webcast)

The Value of a Virtual Academy  (Chief Learning Officer)

Taking on the Social Media Frontier (Queensland AITD Council)

Have a good weekend everyone

Is Accredited (RTO) training better than non-accredited training

Continuing on from some of the thoughts and ideas I posted yesterday an interesting question was posed to around accredited (RTO) and non-accredited training. It was do we simply assume that accredited (RTO) training is better than non-accredited training.

I sometimes think that there is misunderstanding about the importance of Accredited training in Australia and its relationship to what could be called non-accredited training (though I really hate that term, becuse in and of itself it seems to lessen its importance an value). We as an organisation do far more non-accredited training than accredited, why? Well primarily because there are isnt accredited training that provides us with what we require as an organisation and what our staff want as professional development, and unfortunately in a lot of cases it is far better, more engaging and more erelevant than accredited training that we might undertake.

This is not to say that the accredited training isnt good, it is, and it provides us with very specifc outcomes, neither is it to suggest that the trainers are not good. It is just that providers of non-accredited training cant rely on the training being free or almost free as a selling point they have to rely on the fact that their training and trainers are excellent and provide solid tangilble outcomes. If they dont, they go out of business. If your business model relies on being able to sell training becuase it is free, rather than because it is has fantasitc outcomes and learning and produces a significant ROI for participants and organisations then your busniess model sucks in my opinion.

If training is of high quality, delivered by exceptional trainers, with great learning outcomes and is engaging then people will pay money for it. Sometimes I think the only reason the government has to support and fund accredited (RTO) training is because the content and outcomes behind it arent that great and that if people and organisations had to pay for it they simply wouldnt.

Integrating formal and informal learning in an agile organisation

Another short post today. This time a link back to a an article I wrote for the June issue of Training and Development, the journal of the AITD on Integration formal and informal learning and in agile organisation.

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