Monday, July 20, 2009

Are you ready to change?

I was reading Dave Ferguson's post, Resisting change: a phone-y example. This had me thinking. How do people in the training/learning field resist change? (These are only generalizations.)

Clients:
  • Avoid trying news modes of delivering training.
  • Refuse to understand that a learning program that is fun, can also be serious.
  • Spend money on things they have been spending money on for so many years.
  • Being part of the brainstorming session which will help them contribute and stay in the loop.
  • Refuse to treat their learners as responsible adults and are always suspicious of their intentions.
Trainers:
  • Refuse to let go. They have to have the power and control. (Read Jane Bozarth's post)
  • Resist innovative ways of teaching.
  • Insist on sticking to the content centric outlook.
  • Think they know what is best for the learners.
  • Hate to say 'I don't know.'
Instructional Designers:
  • Stick to Gagne's nine events without trying anything new.
  • Include assessment questions right at the end of the course.
  • Overuse right image-left text templates.
  • Think they know what is best for the learners.
  • Design for themselves rather than for the learners.
  • Have an irresistible itch to design even before they have the information.
  • Do not do enough research to identify interesting videos, example, and case studies.
  • Do not network and prefer to interact through e-mails only.
  • Do not wish to stay in touch with news and events.
  • Think it is not necessary to learn about new technology.
SME:
  • Refuse to treat ID's as experts and learners as adults.
  • Refuse to make learning interesting.
  • Refuse to take responsibility for their role.
  • Do not play a more pro active role in the design phase. IDs have to haunt them to get something out of them.
  • They only validate, but add no value to the program.
  • Continue to have a content centric outlook.
People, being people, resist change. All of us do. What makes us change is a powerful, positive or negative experience. Keep the following in mind:
  • If you wish to change someone else's life through training, remember to make it a high impact, powerful learning experience.
  • And, keep your mind open.
  • Look for opportunities to try something different.
  • Do not stick to things you are comfortable doing.
  • Read a lot and form your own opinions!
  • Network, you will learn a lot from others.
  • Always remember that you can always do things better.
Easier said than done! But, let us give it a shot.

6 comments:

Rupa Rajagopalan said...

Great post Archana.

It is important to constantly strive to improve, learn from good examples and be open to new ideas.

Unfortunately most people are satisfied with what they achieve and in fact don't bother much about what others do.

From my experience I have seen that you grow only when you welcome change.

Archana Narayan said...

Thanks for your inputs, Rupa! :)

ripul said...

Learning Companies:
- Refuse to help clients understand what is the business benefit of "new ways of learning"
- Dread to meet up clients face to face
- Adamant to make clients, Trainers, SMEs, Designers a part of the whole process (from beginning to end) - understand their point of view.
- Lazy to make a clear process/expectation for each stakeholder

Archana Narayan said...

Thanks for adding your thoughts... To add further to your list
- Insist on churning out page turners in volumes
- Refuse to learn basic theories such as Bloom's Taxonomy to understand client's requirements
- Refuse to groom IDs but rather restrict skills to content development
- Fail to establish themselves as experts and continue to behave as slaves

Dave Ferguson said...

This is a bit tangential to your question, but I saw cell-phone use while driving as a behavior that's widespread among early adopters and change agents.

These are often the people trying to get others to change. What's more, my hunch is that they see their behavior as skilled multitasking, and dismiss evidence suggesting that talking while driving is on a par with driving after two or three drinks.

So: how comfortable, convenient, effective would they find it to make their own change? To do what the bumper sticker puts gently as "hang up and drive!"

One story I see in this is that if you don't want to change, or don't care to change, then change is hard, even if it's rearranging your desk or trying new outfits. All the more difficult if we're talking about significant changes to the way you work (or prefer to work).

I'm not defending people who don't change. On the other hand, I think some people who constantl push change might balk at what they'd see as changing back.

Archana Narayan said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Dave. I have made an attempt to assemble my thoughts in the form of a blog post in response to the question you have raised here.Here's the link: Bringing About a Change