by Conrad Gottfredson, Ph.D., RwE
To survive and thrive in today’s unpredictable, unrelenting, and unforgiving world, organizations must cultivate learning agility and be able to learn at or above the speed of change. They must continuously develop new skills to prepare for evolving competitive cycles—constantly retooling to maintain their edge. Companies lacking the capacity to anticipate and adapt ahead of change risk failure.
With that in mind, consider your current talent management practices. What are you doing to develop dynamic learners: those who are rapid, adaptive, and collaborative in how they learn, unlearn, and relearn? To what degree does your organization encourage personal learning strategies that minimize the probability of skills becoming automated (deeply rooted) unless they are absolutely critical? How effectively do your employees learn on the fly? Are you supporting every moment of their learning needs? And when change appears out of nowhere, are your employees able to independently assess their current readiness to perform, identify what skills and knowledge they need to cast aside, and determine how to assertively adapt to the conditions around them? The heart of organizational effectiveness is the capacity of employees to learn at or above the speed of change.
Organizational learning agility won’t come to fruition unless talent management practices aggressively develop and sustain this kind of dynamic learning. The first step in doing so is to establish a performance support infrastructure that enables and sustains learning agility. It is through this infrastructure that dynamic learners can instantly access just what they need, in the form they need, to help them perform effectively at every changing moment.
So, what is performance support? It is intuitive, tailored aid intentionally delivered to people at any of their 5 Moments of Need (see the figure below) to ensure the most effective performance on the job.
- There are different types of vehicles for delivering performance support (e.g., job aids, websites, Digital Coaches).
- These vehicles differ in capability and quality of production.
- As a result, they vary in their capacity to deliver effective performance in the performance zone.