Same with Professional Development in an Enterprise context. IMO.
I believe that you need both mass and custom development means to the ends of Performance Competence. You need a blend.
Sometimes this is appropriate…
Sometimes you need to produce a volume of uniformity. A huge capacity of capability. Sometimes you run class after class of cohorts through rigorous training on complex performance in highly regulated environments. And the machinery to be put into place necessary to achieve mass development isn’t what is needed when a more customized development is needed.
As always, it depends…
Sometimes the performance environment for a job title varies so tremendously that over-generalizing in their training/learning development does more harm than good. Sometimes THAT happens.
And so sometimes you might need something more akin to this…
You might need an individual coaching system in place – something on the other end of the spectrum from mass development – by any means, whether in a classroom F2F or virtually, participating in a synchronous or an asynchronous mode – to most effectively AND efficiently develop targeted job titles appropriate to their authentic performance and learning contexts. Mass classrooms of any means is the right approach for some jobs, but not all.
It probably requires a blend. Of media and modes. Of time and attention. Of spacing the refreshers/reminders.
It can still all be rationally put on a Map… on a Path… in a Plan…
… as I have been doing since 1982 – doing the performance and knowledge/skills analysis – and then doing a design of a development as visually presented in a Development/Learning Path… from a Curriculum Architecture approach – see a 1984 TRAINING Magazine article – here – and I have learned that the approach to planning a Learning Path – requires the ability to be as Flexible As Feasible and As Rigorous As Required. Another blend.
As these two examples show… one extreme to another…
A lock-step Path (above) – and a looser collection (below) – of Developmental Experiences. Most Formal; a few guided-Informal.
And of course, all sorts of other Informal are going to occur – some that can be anticipated and others that cannot.
Well, the further extreme, further than the Path immediately above, is no Path. No guide.
Which is what most people in Enterprises have today. Nada.
No Path. No Plan. Nada.
Nothing that leads to their development, their Performance Competence. Nothing that leads to the improved Performance Competence of their Job, Processes, Department, Function, Business Unit, Division, etc., etc. Nada.
Leading to Performance Competence
Which in my view is…
Performance Competence is the ability to Perform Tasks, to Produce Outputs, to Stakeholder Requirements.
And that’s a desired, future state for all jobs.
And a wise investment for many jobs.
Not all jobs.
At all levels there are careful investment decisions to be made regarding Professional Development/Competency Development ROI.
At the performer, process, organization/enterprise, and societal levels.
Or the Worker, Work, Workplace and World levels.
Whatever you model for your context of customers and other stakeholders.
What you have in place to address competency development doesn’t mean much if it is aimed poorly.
If low leverage means are targeted at low leverage ends – there will be less R for the I – every time.
All of the time.
A bad use of time.
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