Just in time for summer, the fitness fads are hitting the shelves, in stores and online. This month’s fitness flavor is Prancercise. But whether you’re galloping along with Prancercise founder Joanna Rohrback, or shaking your way to fitness with The Shake Weight, we all know that the latest fitness fad is all but useless – unless it’s accompanied with dedication to a goal along with a strategy that seeks to change other areas of one’s life.
The same goes for organizational learning. Unless an organization recognizes the importance of all phases of the learning process, the best-laid plans are often unfulfilled. Mission: incomplete.
In a recent point-of-view report, AchieveGlobal’s Seleste Lunsford uncovers why as much as 60% of learning becomes ‘scrap’ – meaning, not being applied on the job. That means many organizations are investing in learning, then the desired behavior change remains elusive. What remarkable frustration for learners and companies alike.
What are some of the reasons for this inefficiency? One major cause is that companies fail to take a strategic approach to sustainment.
Back to our exercise metaphor…
If you wake up one day and start off a brand new exercise routine, having done very little exercise over the past few years, and decide to run 10 miles on your first morning – chances are, your best intentions will go to waste and you may even end up worse off than you started. If instead, you research the best exercise for your lifestyle, find a plan that works for you, work alongside a professional trainer, and gradually build from a walking/jogging program, perhaps within a few months, you’ll be able to run those 10 miles.
There are four phases in the organizational learning process, spanning the time period from long before the formal learning begins to the period long after formal learning is complete. These phases are:
Most organizations tend to put most, if not all of their focus on the second of these phases, when in fact, each phase is as important as the others. It’s imperative that when setting out to start a learning initiative, we are also preparing the organization to learn, delivering learning solutions with impact, guiding the transfer of learning to the job, and then ensuring that the learning outcomes have been embedded into long-term organizational culture.
In upcoming entries, I’ll be discussing why each phase is important as well as best practices to help along the way.
If you're interested to learn more about this topic, join us on this webinar with ASTD on July 18th.
Sharon Daniels is CEO of AchieveGlobal in Tampa, Florida