There Are Many Paths to Improved Performance via Learning

And What Happens at the Individual Level Doesn’t Matter If… 

If… what was planned to happen or what is really happening at the Organization/ Enterprise level – is off.

team on shoulders collaborative work

Not aimed appropriately… the Business Plan is off, inappropriate, planned poorly, or misguided as a strategy in the first place.

I get that. So that’s got to be right. At the top.

There are Many Paths to Improved Performance

They involved both Informal and Formal – Learning. Always.

Which isn’t always good.

I list Informal first, not because it’s the most important, but because that’s where all Learning started, until someone for some reason decided to make it Formal. And they might even have done a good job at it, as that sometimes happens.

They may have enabled some kind of professional network and networking and sharing – or minimally not disabled that. Or those.

But if it’s critically important – high RISK and/or high REWARD – then it’s probably treated more Formally.

Unless the Recruiting/Selection systems handle this and the Training/ Development systems don’t need to.

Seldom the case BTW.

All Learning Starts as Informal 

And sometimes it is Formalized.

For right or wrong reasons. Done well or done poorly.

I’ve never understood the hype about Informal Learning. It’s always in the mix. Like breathing. For us humans anyway. And it is rare, but not unheard of, to leave most of the Learning Required to Informal means, rather than Formal means. And address just the key things with some Formal treatment.

Sometimes what needs to be addressed are the bad knowledge and/or bad practices that Informal – or Formal-Too-Late bred.

golf 2

Almost all Instructional Delivery people know about that.

Back to the Informal/Formal balance.

There are few situations, process performances, individual performances where people in their right minds try to address “all” 100% of the knowledge/skill needs. All of them. But it happens. And that doesn’t mean that Informal Learning is not in their mix as well – it is. Always.

Sometimes – Rarely – All of the K/S Requirements Are Formally Addressed

Here’s my incomplete list, based on work that I have some familiarity with… where almost all of the K/S required for job performance are provided and tested for – Formally. Of course there are some exceptions, but most all of the K/S requirements are Formally addressed – well or poorly – for these jobs:

  • Military personnel
  • Nuclear Power operators and technicians
  • Utility workers
  • Inbound sales call center staff
  • EMS/ Healthcare professionals
  • Firefighters
  • Law Enforcement

What would be on your list? What would you add to mine?

What other professions/ jobs exist where almost everything required, knowledge/skill-wise, are attempted to be covered Formally?

Ruler 2

If you created a list of jobs where everything was left to informal, your Everything Informal list might be longer than the Everything Formal list, but it would still be relatively short, compared to the list of jobs where it’s a blend.

Ind Contrib

And probably never balancing all out to 80/20 or 10/20/70 or some other set of specific numbers.

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