Gentle Bamboo Solutions

[This won’t change] The way people learn


In an interesting conversation I had recently around what will not change in the L&D industry, I realized that learning is an individual process while training is an event.

What does this mean? This means that I cannot control the way people learn or even make them want to learn. Sure, I can incentivize it. I can support it. But people decide what they want to learn (unless compelled by the organization which partially defeats the purpose of learning), when they want to learn, whether they want to learn, and how they want to learn.

Learning and training are not the same. Learning is a process. Training is the event or activity we conduct to help people do better in their jobs. People have been learning for thousands of years before you and I came along. So changing the way they learn seems unlikely.

But what about training? Most L&D teams will do the same things every year that they did the previous year, with maybe a few small adjustments. Therefore, you will always have programs around Team Building, Communication, Planning and Prioritization, and Critical Thinking among others.

The trainers that stand out and make an impact will be those who can tie these training programs to these four principles:

  1. Business goals
  2. The employee’s professional needs
  3. The process of how work gets done in that business’ workplace, and
  4. An empathetic understanding of the larger personal and social space that each individual presently occupies.

Now, the meat of the 4 principles might change every now and then. I mean, the process of how work gets done or what technology is used to get work done might change. But that there is a process and that process is followed by everyone in the organization will not change. That employees will have different professional needs every year is obvious, but that we should understand what those needs are before developing a training program will not change.

So, learning will not change. Training and support will have to adapt around learning.

Adapting around constants,