Recently, I read a great Detroit Free Press column by Josh Linkner, a tech entrepreneur and author. He wrote about having a theme for the year rather than resolutions. Josh’s theme for 2019 is learning… how perfect for those of us in this field? Josh breaks down his theme into three learning areas, and each area includes action steps. He is wise enough to include “practice” as one of the action steps… I love it!
To see a well-known columnist mention “learning” is heart-warming for me and ties in nicely to a staff-wide discussion we had before the holiday. As we were looking ahead to 2019, we wanted to step back and ask ourselves, “Why?” Why do we do what we do? The ILG team answered this by saying:
“It’s about helping people learn so they grow in their careers and potentially improve the quality of their lives.”
It’s easy to get lost in the minutia of daily tasks required to create custom training, but when we really look at what happens with the learning we create, it’s very gratifying. For example, if a series of training courses is taken by a thousand scientists, helping them to do their jobs better and advance in their careers, they can provide better for their families, knowing they’re doing meaningful work, and lead richer, more fulfilled lives. This is pretty cool!
As I continued to reflect on this, it reminded me that I often don’t hear about the end learners’ experiences. When was the last time you asked your learners for a testimonial or story of how they applied new learning or how that learning helped them achieve their business goals? I’ve made a commitment to help more clients reach out to their learners to gather their learning success stories and to share them… with ILG, with their business leaders, and with their company as a whole.
So, you may have guessed that my theme for 2019 is all about learner experiences. Are learners getting what they need from our training and performance support tools in an effective and engaging manner, enabling them to do their jobs better, help their organizations achieve business results, and thrive as people? And are we hearing about those experiences, so we can learn from them and continually improve what we do as learning professionals?
What’s your theme for 2019?