Before a learning philosophy can be properly discussed, we must first look at why learning is called upon in most organizations. “Training interventions” are often sought when there is an issue with performance. The challenge with training is that it is often requested as a solution for problems that can never be solved through training. We believe that performance problems are caused by four factors: motivation, support, awareness and skill. Only one of these reasons is associated with a training solution.
All the training in the world will not help a motivational problem, or a support issue. Robert Mager and Peter Pipe’s classic book entitled “Analyzing Performance Problems” (1984, Center for Effective Performance) thoroughly discusses the factors impacting performance including “skill” for which training is the “correct” answer.
What do we believe about personal and organizational development?
- All development is self-development.
- You learn only what you want to learn, when you want to learn it.
- Feedback is essential for learning.
- Not all performance problems are cured by instruction.
- Behavior is not changed in a single training event, but as a result of a process that links the learning to practice and feedback.
- Organizational change is most successful when developed and implemented at the team level, one team at a time.
What do we believe about training and adult learning?
At The Team Approach® we believe that different learners are different. That means that you must prepare programs with auditory, visual, experiential, and reflective learners in mind. Otherwise you miss part of your audience.
We also have found that behavioral differences also effect learning. Some learners want all the research and facts to back up models or ideas presented. Others want concepts and problems to explore and play with as part of their own discovery process.
Mostly, by adulthood we have found that people have lots of knowledge, but they sometimes need a little help getting at what they know to make new discoveries with that information. Where we excel is in structuring a creative learning event where participants rediscover what they know in new ways, or apply it to new areas.
We believe that if adults want to be talked at they will attend a lecture. While some theories and models need some mini lecturettes as way of introduction, a full day of a talking head is just not acceptable to today’s adult learners. Learning must be fun, stimulating, and designed for lots of self discovery to have the most meaning and impact for the learner.