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Picture the last learning event you attended.  Chances are, if it was an in-person training session, you sat through a PowerPoint presentation, complete with dozens of slides filled with bullet point after bullet point.  At the end of the session, you may have been asked about what you “learned.”  Or, you might have simply autographed the “sign-in” sheet that was passed around, content in the knowledge that yet another course would appear on your corporate training record.

If you, instead, logged into an online leadership development program, it’s likely that while different in medium, your training followed a similar track.  Presentation viewed....if you were lucky, a consultant actually spoke live as they moved through the sterile PowerPoint bullets.  Afterwards, you received an online survey, asking not only for your satisfaction with the session (the old smiley face method) or perhaps soliciting input as to the “most valuable” and “least valuable” aspects of the training.

What if your leadership development program really engaged you in dialogue, probing you for your thoughts and challenging your assumptions?  What if the instructor providing on-going feedback, substantive feedback, to you throughout the program?  And what if you were asked to apply what you’re learning and report back success and/or challenges in a subsequent session?  What if you became part of the learning experience for all those in the program?

Not only is that the presumptive approach of StayingGreat, but it’s the way those on the forefront of adult learning are moving.  Sure there’s a place for instructors waxing poetic, imparting their secret knowledge to the uninformed masses of disengaged students.  Research, however, has shown that engaging learners in the process of learning, providing feedback on an on-going basis (think of the trends in performance management), and building practical application and experiential sharing hold much more impact.

So, why do we accept old-school training and development?  Is it a cost-saving measure?  If so, we need to incorporate true return-on-investment (ROI) into our training and development decisions.  Because, new-age learning does not necessarily mean more expensive.  What it does mean is impactful.  

So, how impactful are your training and development efforts?

TAGS     Adult Learning,  Leadership Development,  Training Impact
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About the Author

Trevor Nagle is a Consultant with Organization Development Consultants, Inc. (ODC). He posseses more than fifteen years of experience as an internal and external organizational development (OD) consultant. He has designed and implemented training and development and change management activities for public, private, and non-profit leaders and workforces. .. Read More »

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