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Over the course of my twenty-year career, I’ve been to quite a few excellent training programs.  There was the two-day organizational culture program in Boston.  There was a day-long executive leadership seminar at a gorgeous retreat in North Carolina.  Conferences in top-notch resorts in Kona, Palm Desert, San Francisco, and Seattle.  And from each, I brought back nuggets of knowledge, tools, and connections with other like-minded professionals.  

But how many have attended training that truly incorporated applied learning into the event?  Beyond merely providing tools and imploring participants to “go out and try these,” very few programs build in active and on-going application and feedback into their course design.

It’s this emphasis not merely on imparting knowledge, but on ensuring learners have opportunities to try things out in a real work setting, share successes and challenges with others, and receive formal and informal feedback over time that’s vital.  In fact, it’s one of the reasons I have enthusiastically participated in the build-out of the StayingGreat program at ODC.

Conventional trends in learning and development support the well-known 70-20-10 model of learning.  Seventy percent of learning takes place on the job.  Twenty percent comes from mentoring and coaching.  The remainder, a mere ten percent, is attained through formal classroom learning.  It’s a model that many development experts and countless organizational learning professionals espouse.  Yet development programs still focus on the 10 %, ignoring (or merely subjugating control over) the most important 90%.

So, how do we incorporate all three aspects of this learning model?  The learner-practitioner approach, build into an educational system that simultaneously provides feedback and case studies over time, is one solution.  

Let’s face it....many development programs have fairly competent instructors.  But why do we insist on a model that relies primarily on that individual preaching his/her expertise to others.  It’s much more effective to harness and leverage the collective wisdom and expertise of all the learners to raise the collective expertise of the group.

The point is not that StayingGreat is the only possibility for leveraging such a learner-practitioner approach to the 70-20-10 model.  Rather, it’s one methodology for raising the bar on development.  Incorporating instructor mentoring & coaching over a nine-week period, providing for (in fact, requiring ) numerous opportunities for applying gained knowledge over that two month time in a controlled, synchronous online environment, is what StayingGreat is all about.

TAGS     Learning & Development,  Experiential Learning,  
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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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