Thursday, July 03, 2008

One Project at a Time

A somewhat indirect response to the Big Question Lead the Charge? : The Learning Circuits Blog

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I may be wrong about this - but isn't our primary goal to encourage behavior change?

SMEs come to me because they need their employees to do something different.

They want help accomplishing this. That's where folks like us come in.

In the day-to-day, we still need to look at
- Who is the audience and how many?
- How quickly does the information change?
- Where and when will they need this information / perform this task / use this behavior?
- Is there a requirement that "training" must happen? (Does a box need to be checked?)
- What limitations are in place when deciding on approach (time/$$$$/infrastructure/people)?

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches provides more tools in the toolbox. Just because we have the tool doesn't necessarily mean it is the best one for that job.

On the other hand, if one of these new tools IS the best tool for the job then we should not hesitate to argue for its use and help develop the infrastructure for it.

It helps to have a lot of tools. Technological, design, theory and experience. More tools = more options.

As an example - one of my current projects is developing a decision support tool. We decided it would be a more effective way to encourage behavior change than a traditional course structure. They need the information when they make the decision - not months before in an orientation course where the SME throws hundreds of pages of stuff at them.

The tools I used - ideas I gathered from the blogs (thanks folks!), Captivate, storyboarding techniques from my time at EdTech school, Google.

If it proves to be more effective than their old training course - bully, another tool in the toolkit and more ammunition for trying something even more "out-there" later.

(Maybe a "game?" Ooooooh......)

I have found time and again that successful major change is an evolutionary process best done one project at a time. If the project works, it's easier to convince others to push the envelope a bit more later.

2 comments:

Karyn Romeis said...

"Isn't our primary goal to encourage behavior change?"

One of those "Well, duh!" statements that doesn't seem to be as widely grasped as one might hope!

Cathy Moore's action based learning post addresses this beautifully.

Wendy said...

I sometimes feel that we get so wrapped up in the tools that we forget the reason why we are using them in the first place.