It's Time to Give Learning a Seismic Nudge (part 1)

By Conrad Gottfredson

In every organization we visit, we meet remarkable people who are fully engaged in the vital work many still refer to as “Learning and Development.”  (Bob and I, of course, prefer “Learning and Performance Development.”)  Like almost everyone we know and meet in this profession, we love this work.  We don’t believe there is any work more personally rewarding, more organizationally important, or more professionally frustrating.
You may have noticed a hint of that “professional frustration” in Bob’s latest blog article, “I’m Sick of Trends.”  Actually, a trend is only frustrating if it is taking us in “a general direction” away from where we ought to be going.  And, as we watch trends, too many of them seem to be leading us in circles, keeping us stuck in traditional learning mindsets, building partial solutions that only address the Moment of Learn New, and possibly the Moment of Learn More.  Meanwhile the Moments of Apply, Solve, and Change are mostly ignored or at best treated insufficiently as an afterthought or performance support add-on. Yogi Berra best described this prevailing pattern when he was driving to Cooperstown New York. He told his wife, “We’re lost, but we’re making good time.” So it seems to be as we look across the learning and Performance Development landscape; a lot of hard work leading to nowhere.
Berra also wisely observed, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going because you might not get there."  This insight actually illuminates a crying need in the work we’re doing. We need a unified, clear, overarching vision to guide us in what we do. This lack of vision is probably the greatest source of Bob’s and my professional frustration, as we track trends. You see, we look at trends through the lens of The 5 Moments of Need.  This has provided us a unique vision that allows us to judge whether or not a trend will lead us to a better place or nowhere really helpful.
Bob and I have spent some time discussing how we can engage all of you in establishing a global unified vision of where we need to be going, so we can all align our efforts and produce trends that will actually take us where we need to go.  We have identified the following five competencies, as a start, to help initiate this vital discussion.
  1. Produce 5 Moments of Need solutions that deliver measurable organizational Impact
  2. Foster a performance mindset.
  3. Optimize learning in the workflow
  4. Establish and sustain fully integrated 5 Moments of Need technology infrastructure
  5. Implement agile ISD practices
We need your collective wisdom to help us not only hone these competencies into a unified vision of where we need to be going, but to then help us orchestrate a seismic nudge to help align our industry with this vision.
The great news is, organizations are actually pursuing these competencies. Some have been doing so for many years. Last year we completed a year-long benchmarking “Summit” that focused on these five areas of transformation. The Summit was a remarkable experience.  Its final reports are laden with rich data points, best practices, and lessons learned.  This year we are in process of broadening our benchmarking effort to allow us to build upon what we’ve learned in order to establish a compelling vision.   If you’d like to participate in helping us trigger this seismic nudge, let us know and we’ll get you involved.
Meanwhile, stay tuned.  The next blog article will provide a detailed description of why we believe Learning and Performance Development teams everywhere need to flat out pursue these competencies and become 5 Moments of Learning Need competent.
And, if you’d like to read-up a bit more on any of these five competencies, the following table provides a listing of blog articles Bob and I have written in support of each of these competencies. Note: Some of the links are to the Performance Support Community, which is members-only, but it is free to join.

Competency
Blog Link
Producing 5 Moments of Need solutions that deliver measurable business Impact
Foster a performance mindset.
Optimize learning in
the workflow
Establish and sustain a fully integrated 5 Moments of Need technology infrastructure
Implement agile ISD practices
Continue reading Part 2 of "It's Time to Give Learning a Seismic Nudge".

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