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Learning Solutions 2012: Low-Five

Yesterday I posted five great training principles that were discussed at eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Conference in Orlando. I still get excited when I think about the great sessions and content produced for the show. And while discussing the best practices of great training, it’s also helpful to consider a few areas of which we should steer clear in our training adventures. Today I give you the Low-Five: Things to avoid in your organization’s training and development.

The Low-Five 1. Doing the same things over and over again gets you nowhere. Resist the urge to maintain the status quo. For example, if you’re switching to mobile (Good for you!), fight the desire to simply upload your ILT presentation onto the iPad, thus crushing any excitement your employees might have had about using the new technology for training. Try using these amazing devices the way they are meant to be used. Make things tactile and interactive, experiment with the gyroscope and accelerometer and other engaging features. Make learning fun.

*2. Strategy and instructional design are not secondary to content. * If you feel that simply pushing mountains of information to your employees with little to no structure, engagement or incentive is a good idea, and if you think they are actually going to use it, you’d better think again. Sometimes I give big books with lots of pages of info to my one year-old boy. You know what he does with them? He eats them. Uninviting truckloads of information without well-planned strategy and structure always have a way of being avoided.

*3. Bad relationships only get worse over time. If it’s not working out, its okay to cut ties with your LMS. * I believe one gentleman who stopped at our booth mentioned that there are somewhere around 250 different registered Learning Management Systems in North America. Wow. If yours isn’t working, take some time to find one that will make your job easier. There are plenty to choose from.

4. Great ideas need fertilizer, not temporary champions. A recurring problem in many organizations is that many T&D roles are temporary roles. Sometimes, these positions are even viewed as stepping stones to other roles. And while there may be no way to shift that culture completely, if you’re the one with the great idea, don’t let it die when you change roles. Help it grow. Take the passion for the idea into your conversations with upper management. Make sure you have some trusted comrades in T&D who will help fuel your idea and give it growth.

5. You didn’t become a trainer without a little bit of training yourself. I’m probably more guilty of this than most, but it can be difficult for other departments to work well with training when the training department heads appear unteachable and reluctant to try new things. Remember, people are coming to you for help. For many that’s a big step in swallowing pride and acknowledging a problem. The last thing they want to encounter is another problem at T&D’s front door. Think about the times a co-worker helped you with a project or worked with you to find a solution. Felt good, right? Here’s your chance to be that resource for your co-workers.

So there you have it, five things to avoid in your training and development strategy. Overall, be open to new ideas and new technologies. Things are changing rapidly in our world of learning. Those who will be most successful are those who are enthusiastic about – not resistant to – change.

Tagg Petersen

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