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.
Get the most out of training observations: Download your free copy of our guide >