I wrote the other day about how I was going to be presenting to a group of other L&D professionals; we really engaged with the group and I think it went well (see above).
There were 3 key themes we wanted to address.
Changing the trainer mindset
We were incredibly lucky to have Barry Sampson from Onlignment deliver the session before us; I was able to ad lib the introduction and link what we were saying to what Barry had told the group. Barry highlighted that training isn’t a dirty word and the thrust of what we were saying is that a place for training still exists. We wanted the L&D group to understand their role is different now; their role is not just as providers.
Changing our perceptions of evaluation
This area always prompts more questions from L&D people than anything else when we present about what we do. Quite simply, we measure engagement (are people involving themselves) and leave all other micro-measurements alone. Our focus is on outcomes, not outputs. I wrote about this last year but it was paraphrased quite nicely by Paul Webster who said:
In orgs we spend too much time measuring the Tiny rather than standing back and looking at the Big.
Does a completed reaction sheet have any value after a learning event other than a prompt for the facilitator as to what went well? I know our session went quite well – we were doorstepped by half a dozen people wanting to know more. If we’d been doorstepped by 30 people I know we’d not have presented enough information.
Highlight there is more than Mexican food
We spent the rest of the day talking to other attendees who’d had a chance to reflect on what we do; their questions were more specific and operational as you’d expect. After a period of reflection I find it’s generally easier to identify the lower level concepts and processes. It was good to learn that people had thought about innovating their content. More interestingly and importantly (for me at least) they’d thought about innovating their context. This can only be a good thing.
More to do
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk with Donald Clark after the event. One of the things we talked about which had come up on the day was the use of the word ‘curation’.
There was a very interesting blog piece from Kate Graham the other week about this. I don’t necessarily agree with the definition presented since it makes no reference to context. I’ve still got a personal issue over the use of the word curation as I believe it :
a) Keeps control of the learning with L&D;
b) Pre-supposes an academic slant to what we do.
Some questions to follow up with:
- Do you reflect on your practice regularly?
- What is curation?
- What should/could we call it?
As always, comments more than welcome.