Thursday, September 13, 2007

On Trainers and business operation improvement

An Epiphany of Sorts

For the past several months, I’ve been working, in my spare time, on ways of representing web-based outputs of Visio process flows to people performing those processes here where I work. I have several people on my team who are working on the same thing.

All along, while we’ve been working on these, we’ve been getting “push back” from the trainer group. They are not interested in using them in training. I haven’t understood why.

In a meeting last week, it finally became clear to me. I’d like to run the reason why by you and get your reaction.

I was in a discussion with several trainers; talking about classroom materials. One of the instructional designers who works for me had created a job aid that he was asking get introduced to students in he training class. One of the trainers said, “If they aren’t using it on the job, I’m not introducing it in training.”

I let the conversation go on without me and thought about that comment for a moment. It was a completely new perspective to me. I had thought of training and the classroom as a place to drive innovation. For this particular trainer, the classroom is NOT the place to drive innovation. The classroom is a way to get people up to speed on what is currently happening.

I’m now starting to think of the innovations we do as learning consultants in two categories. The first category is those innovations around teaching and instructional design. They happen in the classroom. If we can design a better classroom experience, that innovation will happen in the classroom. The second category is those innovations that influence how the work gets done. These would be things like job aids, information management solutions, and the like. These are implemented in the work environment and only make their way into training once that has happened. Once the innovation is part of the work, we can run it back into the training events.

So, certainly this is not earth shattering – and I’m making a fairly significant change to how I think about implementing changes based upon one comment. But the comment feels right.