In the midst of change, one old truth holds true: an organ­i­sa­tion can­not be more effec­tive than its peo­ple. It’s more impor­tant than ever that teams are equipped with the right knowl­edge and exper­tise to adapt to chal­lenges they face and dri­ve inno­va­tion, wher­ev­er they are. In this new land­scape, many prod­ucts and ser­vices are only a plucky start-up away from becom­ing obsolete. 

Many organ­i­sa­tions have invest­ed heav­i­ly in learn­ing tech­nolo­gies to try and keep up with expo­nen­tial learn­ing needs. But, just as Ama­zon™ hasn’t improved books, most learn­ing tech­nolo­gies only real­ly address issues of access and scale. They’ve done lit­tle to acti­vate the learn­er in the process of build­ing knowl­edge, nor do they apply what is known about skill transfer.

“Wider access to ineffective learning = ineffective learning squared”

Research indi­cates that it’s not what you learn but how you learn it that most affects the extent to which you can apply your knowl­edge to new prob­lems. Over reliance on the trans­mis­sion of pol­ished con­tent and sum­ma­tive assess­ment under­mines adap­tiv­i­ty by rein­forc­ing pas­sive, dis­em­pow­ered learn­ing cultures.

Instead, the fol­low­ing activ­i­ties are critical:

  • See­ing authen­tic exam­ples of prac­tice in context
  • Under­stand­ing the the­o­ry behind the practice
  • Prac­tis­ing in con­text and get­ting feedback
  • Work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly in con­text to refine skills over time

Fail­ure to give learn­ers access to all of these activ­i­ties sees a rad­i­cal reduc­tion in skill imple­men­ta­tion, yet most learn­ers demon­strate high lev­els of under­stand­ing after just being pre­sent­ed with the the­o­ry. This lures train­ing teams into believ­ing they are being effec­tive when in real­i­ty, less than 5% of course atten­dees actu­al­ly imple­ment what they have learned through a trans­mis­sion only approach (Joyce and Show­ers 2002). We call this mis­lead­ing feed­back the “imple­men­ta­tion trap”.

If actu­al behav­iour change mat­ters to your organ­i­sa­tion, your edtech needs to go beyond adding scale to trans­mis­sion based learn­ing and sum­ma­tive assess­ment. It must help over­come the prac­ti­cal bar­ri­ers of time, cost and dis­tance of expos­ing peo­ple to authen­tic exam­ples of skill and gain­ing feed­back on their own.

Video holds the key to effective employee training

Video plat­forms built specif­i­cal­ly for social learn­ing can embody cul­tur­al val­ues and build capac­i­ty across large and diverse learn­ing com­mu­ni­ties. If you want to sup­port organ­i­sa­tion-wide knowl­edge cre­ation, video is crit­i­cal. It opens up com­mu­ni­ca­tion, allows peo­ple to reflect on and share their tac­it knowl­edge and sup­ports the inter­nal­i­sa­tion and social­i­sa­tion of explic­it knowl­edge back into prac­tice. Crit­i­cal­ly, dig­i­tal video enables these process­es in a way that can quick­ly and eas­i­ly be embed­ded in exist­ing work­flows, as it allows sim­ple cap­ture, time shift­ed analy­sis and feedback.

1. Use video as a communication tool

Imag­ine: A sales man­ag­er records the meet­ing where she intro­duces a new sales strat­e­gy. The key con­cepts are shared with the glob­al team. She uses video com­men­tary tools to start a dia­logue with the team about what the new strat­e­gy means to them.

Com­pare: What resources and mate­ri­als would you oth­er­wise need to share this infor­ma­tion? How much would that cost? How effec­tive would it be? How engaged would staff be with the end result?

2. Use video to make tacit knowledge explicit

Imag­ine: Ask­ing your top sales per­former to record their most effec­tive pitch­es and anno­tate the video to illus­trate their use of the new strat­e­gy. Once record­ed, they share the con­tent and invite ques­tions from oth­er team members. 

Com­pare: How much shad­ow­ing or role-play would it take to expose a whole team to the exper­tise locked up in one person’s prac­tice? How long would it take? How much would it cost?

3. Use video for internalisation and socialisation

Imag­ine: A junior sales­per­son reviews the overview of the new sales strat­e­gy and exam­ples of more expe­ri­enced col­leagues using it. They then record them­selves and share with their peers. Feed­back about tech­nique is focused on spe­cif­ic moments in the video cre­at­ing an informed and effec­tive dia­logue. The process is repeat­ed until the new strat­e­gy has been refined and imple­ment­ed with fidelity.

Com­pare: How effec­tive are coach­ing con­ver­sa­tions that take place after the event? How impact­ful is the feed­back? How sus­tain­able are tra­di­tion­al coach­ing programmes?

Think­ing dif­fer­ent­ly about learn­ing can clear­ly deliv­er resilient out­comes in chang­ing times. Yet many organ­i­sa­tions con­tin­ue with more tra­di­tion­al approach­es to learn­ing and devel­op­ment. Often this is due to con­cerns about the poten­tial for dis­rup­tion as a com­pa­ny shifts to new ways of work­ing. If you want to unlock poten­tial and become a learn­ing organ­i­sa­tion it’s essen­tial to have a plan for man­ag­ing change.

Inter­est­ed to find out more? Down­load our Whitepa­per: Vision for learn­ing organisations

Did you know? iCon­nect was devel­oped to over­come the bar­ri­ers to becom­ing a learn­ing organ­i­sa­tion. We pro­vide both the tech­nol­o­gy and the guid­ance need­ed to help you achieve your vision for learn­ing. Find out more here.


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A vision for the future of cor­po­rate learn­ing: Video-enabled employ­ee training