How do you define success? And where does it take place?

Let me begin by admitting that I am not a big fan of training and education – heresy you might say but let me put this into context.    I am into helping people succeed; I am focused on creating seamless solutions to success.  This is where I believe traditional L&D is failing for we should be focusing our efforts on meeting people at their time, and place, of need supporting and enhancing the person’s performance.

Charles Jennings identified research going back almost 40 years that shows the individual plans their own path and the “curriculum map” was fairly consistent with the “70:20:10” model.  So we learning specialists should be focused on supporting the learner where they are, in the context of what they are doing, allowing them to reach the experts they need seamlessly.   So here are two more key areas we should include with objectives and assessments – engagement and mobility.

We are engaged when we interact with another person, a topic, or activity we care deeply about.  Leveraging the capabilities of mobile tools will increase our chances to impact the learner at the time and place of need.  We need to truly engage the learner as well by creating dynamic interactions and tap into the social community to connect people to highly skilled experts.   Jane Hart has been quoted as saying that the future of learning is social however as we create our personal learning by viewing tutorials on YouTube5min Life Videopedia, and Soyouwanna I think the future is here and we need to target our efforts in working with our business partners to identify what performance success looks like and design learning opportunities that will help people succeed in their roles.  Only then will we be meeting the goals of the business by providing the solution to an individual’s success when the person can perform efficiently and effectively as we meet them at the time, and place, of their need.

2 thoughts on “How do you define success? And where does it take place?

  1. Jeremy C. October 13, 2011 / 1:05 pm

    Dr. Ryan – Very nice insight. As an entrepreneur and past small software company owner, keeping talent engaged, passionate and measuring their success was always key for our office culture. It’s interesting to me how quickly learning is changing and how we learn from social media, endless information streams and emerging experts in their particular industries. I feel, in the very near future, it might be difficult for our children to filter through the noise of instant information and how they will learn to cope with, “I need time to make a good decision”. After all, their success will be measured on their decisions and plan of action. Will we have to reteach our children to take time to think critically, so they can make better decisions?

    P.S. – I’d love to hear your stance on “learning from our failures” and how companies could embrace failure as a learning opportunity and measuring success based on understanding the issues that led to the failure.

    Like

    • wjryan October 13, 2011 / 11:46 pm

      Good points and topics I worry over as well. Children, our future employees, face the multitude of sensory loads we create and here is where we should be partnering with our school systems to craft critical thinking into the learning process. A valuable resource to enlist is the librarian, we need our employees to ensure that the data being used to make a decision is valid and reliable. As employers and leaders we need to demand quality over speed and that is a difficult decision to make especially when the quarter is about to end and the numbers need to be prepared for the next earnings call.

      Setting the expectation of quality high, I believe, sends the message to an employee that what they do matters, that what they do is important and (implicit message opportunity here) that they are important too. I think this is a good place to begin having the discussion focused on how they engage with you the leader, their peers, co-workers, and customers. This is also where stretch assignments can be discussed and where new learning opportunities can be created.

      This is where we as leaders need to build for the future growth of the organization. Too often I have seen missed opportunities to create stretch assignments based on the lack of career paths and short sighted (in my opinion of course!) beliefs that the role/person can be easily replaced or doesn’t have a core role in the company, say training folks for example. However investing in the person may open new skills, new interests, and the increased motivation that can become a key competitive advantage when the company needs to respond to a change in their market and needs highly engaged, motivated, and creative people who have demonstrated skills in learning whether their success was high or maybe not so much. Bottom line is you will know who learned and grew and isn’t that the point?

      Thanks for the discussion!

      Like

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