Processed food for thought

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick recently and have reduced a lot of sugar and salt in my diet. I’ve never been a big eater of processed food; my experience as a butcher showed me how additives, excess and filler could be used to stretch the reach of resources. This approach to swerving convenience and personalising what I want is also how I now approach L&D.

Last time I fed back from the first space (skills and competence) in my session at the CIPD L&D show. This post is looking at another part of the activity I put in place – systems and processes.

When I set the task a few people went to this space and spent a lot of time sharing their thoughts. I was really keen to see what came out from this group – processes are usually the first thing we want to change as they’re generally ‘easier’ than changing behaviours, motivations, e.t.c. I did very little facilitation of this group – the conversation ebbed and flowed and the quality of output suggested that there were some strong opinions:

  • Less ‘systems’, e.g. LMS
  • More process, e.g. structured conversations
  • Agreed evidence of development
  • Reward and recognition process
  • Colleagues have free access to systems to use as and when, not just for policing
  • Channel choice, not channel shift

Remember the exercise was to consider how to develop more autonomous learning in their organisations; to see less ‘systems’, e.g. LMS made my heart leap a little and I did a mini fist pump. Firstly, it’s top of the list. This suggests it’s front and centre in their thinking – I’m so pleased that people are getting the ideas that the platform doesn’t drive the offer, the offer should be supported by the system. I’ve written before about the tail wagging the dog from a vendor perspective in L&D. We need to be more critical about what we need, not what other people think is good for us.

If you’re changing your systems, you need to understand what more process, e.g. structured conversations needs to be changed as a result. This was the most heartening aspect to me from the session; there was significant conversation about changing the approach and a simple output is system change. Revised processes will prompt changes in culture, skills, and behaviours.

Lastly, I LOVE the idea of channel choice, not channel shift. It summarises my thinking and approach so eruditely. It highlights that this is about the personalised choices the individual makes. It places the offer back to the individual and is focused on them. The delivery offer that the organisation produces is a choice of channel – it takes bravery and integrity to hand over the keys of the castle to the individual to do with as they wish. Brilliant.

What do you think? If we wish to develop more autonomous learning are there further process and system changes we need? Are we on the cusp of a change? Please let me know in the comments.

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One response to “Processed food for thought

  1. Pingback: Cultural Evolution | Lost and Desperate·

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