Thursday, October 01, 2009

The importance of support

Disney does training. Lots of it. Even more importantly, they reinforce. In daily meetings, with instantaneous feedback in the field, through modeling, with supportive processes.

It is the support and reinforcement that does more to make change stick than the actual training.

This got me thinking – our models focus so much on the training event and regular re-evaluation of that training event. We need to think beyond that. Our “instructional” design needs to also include the support structures behind and beyond the training event. How are we going to support them when they walk out of the classroom. What resources do we have?

As part of this design, we also need to suss out more carefully how serious the management is about the change. Are they just training to check the “training” box? Demonstrate to the underlings that “they offer training” (nevermind in what)? Or do they really need something substantive to happen?

This will not be a comfortable conversation. Especially since, in my experience, organizations would rather blame failures on “training” than on the systemic issues surrounding the change (no ongoing support, the change not actually solving a problem, communication issues surrounding the change, no one taking responsibility for the success or failure of the change….etc).


BunchberryFern said...

I've become more and more interested in management engagement with training over the last few months.

It just seems that no matter how good training gets, if it's not followed up there'll be no improvement.

Where did you find out about the Disney approach? Do you have pointers for further reading?


PS Enjoying your scary PhD's checklist of Qs too.

Wendy said...

So true. And so much training we do is "check the box." I guess it keeps training departments employed - though I know we can do more....

Disney approach - I won the Leadership Excellence seminar at the last ASTD conference. It was well done and incredibly useful.