This blog is the first in a series of “Stirring  the Pot” conversations I hope to have with the workplace learning and performance community.  Perhaps it is my age but, well,  do you know that poem, “When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple?”  The heroine finally lets go and dresses as she likes, slides down bannisters backwards, and sticks chewing gum under the table.  Well, these blogs will kinda be in that spirit.


So you think you’re in charge of the learning experience.  Think Again!  

For my first “Stirring the Pot” blog, I’d like to question this assumption about the professionals’ role in the learning process:  if we do the perfect needs analysis, create the perfect design, provide amazing on-job support and reward systems, people will learn and change. The reality is that it’s the learners who have this power. They are ALWAYS in charge and will take away and do what they will. They are in charge of what they pay attention to, how they process the information around them, what they incorporate into their knowledge and habit base, and whether and how they deal with that pesky transfer environment.  

Sadly, for most, learning is a pretty inefficient process.  The forgetting curve (loss of 85 percent of cognitive learning after 24 hours) is still a reality. The items at the top of Google search lists still get the most views (what if the info needed is on the second page?).  Books are still read from front to back (would you have a dialogue with the author in that sequence?).  Many give up on new skills when they reach the inevitable plateaus, not realizing that competence comes in fits and starts.  And when, after a great program, they go back to the job… well….

It’s time to enlist learners onto our team – help them enhance their learning skills and make them a more conscious and competent partner for change and success.   

My question to you: how can we prepare and enroll learners as a more conscious and competent member of the learning and performance team?