Transform your learning experiences

Image from FlickR Courtesy of DG Jones

I posted last time about the need to identify the parts of your L&D offer that were sustaining.  This is important so the L&D -professional can strike out the activity that doesn’t need to be managed by the team.

In the last post on this subject I also posted a copy of the model we were using.Innovation model

As I mentioned before, most L&D people believe that we choose to start in the Improve or Supplement boxes.  The area I suggest starting in is Transform.

There are a number of reasons to start from Transform.  Firstly, if you want your learners to take more responsibility for their learning, you have to remove yourself from the learning management process. The Transform box is informal, i.e. managed by the learner, and, more importantly, disruptive.

More importantly, how often does someone approach the L&D professional asking for ‘training’.  Some effective questioning is likely to uncover that most of the training required isn’t; it’s learning. More importantly, this learning doesn’t have to be formal and to a specific standard – it can be learnt by the individual on their own terms, not ours.

So, this is what our offer would look like:

Peer to peer

How often do people learn from each other?  The brief chat over a coffee?  The just in time moment?  The lift conversation?  These are all peer to peer activities that you wouldn’t necessarily measure as learning interventions, but they can act as catalysts for successful performances.  L&D’s role isn’t to do anything here, other than create circumstances where these conversations can take place.


Who says L&D knows best?  Why can’t User Generated Content be the norm?  What resources do we expect people to create in a training environment which is never transferred to the workplace?  If the learner has a great way of doing it, L&D’s role is to create circumstances where this can be shared.


These work to support the 2 activities above.  Online or offline, these are the places where the learner can feel safe to share.  L&D’s role isn’t any more than creating these if they don’t exist, or directing learners if they do.

External mentoring

Why do L&D insist on managing mentoring programmes? The learner may need help in finding the right mentor, establishing contact, or understanding what can or can’t be met through mentoring.  Otherwise, leave the learner to the relationship.

Personal reflection

Do we allow learners enough space to reflect on what they’ve done?  Do we suggest learners connect with others to discuss what they’ve done?  L&D should be establishing peer to peer coaching and, again, leave people to work it out for themselves.


I’m an advocate for blogs – they allow the reflection to take place and support peer to peer conversations.  They’re free, easy, and can be as complex as the learner wishes.  L&D’s role is to support people to set them up.


I love this definition of a PLN by @corinnew

 PLN’s are deliberately formed networks of people and resources capable of guiding our independent learning goals and professional development needs.

Note the word independent.  Not L&D led and, in our definition, formed by the learner.

Day to day conversations

These are learning.  They’re not something that can be measured.  They’re contributing to an individual’s understanding.  They’re intangible, disappear in a second or last a lifetime and are nothing to do with L&D.  Don’t try and measure them – they’re not ours to measure.

What else would you add?  What other activities are informal and disruptive?  Let me know your thoughts below.

3 responses to “Transform your learning experiences

  1. Pingback: Supplement your learning | Lost and Desperate·

  2. Pingback: Improve your learning experiences | Lost and Desperate·

  3. Pingback: How do I blog? | Lost and Desperate·

Please comment...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.