Choose Your Ammo Wisely—Training is not a Silver Bullet

Many clients falsely assume that their problem requires an e-learning training solution, especially when the problem is computer based.  This happens when managers believe employees aren’t aware of something.  If employees knew it, the problem wouldn’t be happening.  This type of thinking is simply inaccurate.

Statistically, a majority of corporate problems do not require training solutions.  Below, I have compiled four models, which all focus on accurately diagnosing and changing behaviors within organizations. (As opposed to immediately jumping into e-learning development to address the client’s need.)

Colt .45 revolver

I like the ammunition analogy because many of these models below coincidentally have identified six areas that could influence a solution.  So instead of loading a shotgun with e-learning pellets, which may or may not hit your mark, spin your six-cylinder revolver to appropriately address each component of the problem.

1. Cathy Moore’s Action Mapping

When faced with an opportunity to provide a training solution, slow down and ask yourself the following four questions: Download the action-mapping flowchart.

(Blurry? Click the little gear and choose HD. Not allowed to watch YouTube? Here’s the video on Vimeo.)

“Here’s a flowchart that will help you identify the best solution to a performance problem, whether it’s a job aid, a workflow improvement, training, or something else. It’s based on action mapping, my [Cathy’s] streamlined approach to instructional design.

First, download the flowchart. Then consider watching the following 8-minute video, which walks you through a short discussion with a client, showing you how some quick questions can save you days of unnecessary training development.”

— Cathy Moore’s post

2. The Performance Thinking Network’s Six Boxes Model

Before throwing a $10k-50k training “solution” at a problem, always ask yourself, “what’s the real problem here?” “What is happening that we don’t want to be happening?”  “If it’s an attitude problem, for example, what is a possible alternative to training?”


3. VitalSmart’s Six Influences

If you want to change behavior, you have to lock down the influences.  The more influences you can engage in a solution, the more likely change will happen. “Those who use four or more sources of influence to influence organizational change are ten timesmore likely to succeed.” — Presentation on The Influencer

Motivation Ability
Personal Make the Undesirable Desirable Surpass Your Limits
Social Harness Peer Pressure Find Strength in Numbers
Structural Design Rewards and Demand Accountability Change the Environment

4. Lean Sigma Six — Eliminating Defects

Like the other models listed above, Lean Sigma Six (LSS) is a waste-eliminating method used in all private and public organizations.  It defines and identifies “defects” in workflows and diagnoses the proper solutions to make the flow more efficient.

In this video, the most common Lean Six Sigma questions are asked and answered, including: How do you describe Lean Six Sigma from a 50,000-foot level, what results can be expected from implementing Lean Six Sigma, and how is Lean Six Sigma different from TQM or other process improvement methodologies?


About bryantanner

I'm obsessed with learning via the appropriate technology. My professional mission is to effectively deliver instruction to learners in a way that yields the greatest results for all stakeholders involved.
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