A twist on the C-word in Learning

Emma Weber

Or rather… the three “C” words!! I believe at the heart of most transfer of learning failure is a reliance on the three outdated C words in learning – ComplianceControl and Content.

The twist is that there are three new C words to replace these old C words. Let me explain…

Although it can be much easier to create a learning transfer solution that focuses on compliance, control and content, you must remember that you cannot remind people into change. Many basic online learning transfer solutions concentrate on Compliance, Control and Content as the main components.

If you really want to get sustained behavioural change after learning initiatives at your organisation, it’s important to engage the mind-set and motivation behind the actions. Our preference is to tackle learning transfer is with CuriosityCreativity and Context.

As Learning and Development professionals it is essential that we create behavioural change and real business impact to remain relevant.

In Elliott Masie’s recent briefing on the Learning Trends and Challenges in 2017 he was endorsing the importance of curiosity. To quote Elliott – “curiosity – without it, there ain’t learning!”

Without curiosity, yes our learners can tick boxes and say that they showed up. But to really show up, we must engage learners and create an environment for curiosity to really build the learning muscle. Elliott thinks we must move from viewing learning as a single event towards ongoing segments which support curiosity. This could be particularly key with a global workforce and for learners who have English as a second language, and need time to take on deferred curiosity.

Move away from the traditional realms of training and learning transfer with content, compliance, and control at the epicentre. Encourage curiosity and creativity, and support learners to effectively apply their learning into their own context. Only then will the learning become truly effective.

Let us embrace new thinking as Learning and Development professionals, and own the behavioural change post learning. And hey, let’s own or share the success of the business outcomes that will come with it too.

Emma Weber

Emma Weber is a recognized authority on the transfer of learning. As CEO of Lever – Transfer of Learning, she has helped companies such as Telstra, Oracle and BMW deliver and measure tangible business results from learning. Emma has also been a guest speaker at learning effectiveness conferences worldwide and authored the hugely successful book Turning Learning into Action. Much more detail around the issues and solutions examined in this article are available in the book – please feel free to download a free chapter.