Moving from transactional to meaningful learning
The global pandemic has disrupted some of our well-established approaches to learning. How can you take this opportunity to change how people think about L&D? Hear how Travis Thompson, Learning and Development Operations Leader at Wells Fargo, has moved from transactional to meaningful learning. Find out why an agile approach to deployment and measurement maximizes your impact. Explore how being people-centered helps you build emotional intelligence across your organization.
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Top tips for moving from transactional to meaningful learning
Don’t have time to listen now? Here are some top tips from Travis:
- Move from transactional to meaningful learning: Align your learning to meaningful goals. Create journeys that bridge your people’s skill gaps. Change how they think about L&D.
- Iterate your learning journey: Don’t spend months building a huge program. Prioritize what’s most important to your people. Start with the core skills and build from there.
- Measure at milestones so you can pivot: Break the learning journey into phases. Assess success at key milestones. If it’s not working for your people, pivot.
- Get people-centered to build emotional intelligence: Drive change by better understanding people’s differences. Adapt to help them build emotional intelligence.
1. Move from transactional to meaningful learning
Many organizations have well-established tools and methodologies for learning. They get the job done. People are doing okay. But is there an opportunity to perform better?
For Travis, the only way to maximize business impact is to change how you think about learning. Move from a purely transactional approach to one that’s aligned to meaningful goals. Start with the outcomes the business wants to achieve. Identify the key actions that will enable these outcomes. Recognize the knowledge, skills and behaviors people need to complete these actions. Then bring this together in a learning journey that works for your people and business.
2. Iterate your learning journey
Taking a new approach involves more than just thinking differently. From the initial needs analysis to deployment, you need to embrace new ways of working.
Demand for learning that bridges your organization’s skill gaps is only increasing. To meet this demand, you need to be agile. There’s no point spending months developing your program only to find the world’s changed. Instead, iterate. Work out what’s most important to your people and business. Start with these skills and build from there.
3. Measure at milestones so you can pivot
The starting point of your learning initiative is your business outcomes. But your people’s learning isn’t the only thing that will drive your business performance. So how can you measure your success in a meaningful way?
It may be months before you start to see the business outcomes. Rather than waiting until the learning journey is complete, Travis measures success incrementally. Breaking up the learning journey into phases. Assessing success at key milestones. If people aren’t able to demonstrate the skills and behaviors he was expecting, he can pivot.
4. Get people-centered to build emotional intelligence
The global pandemic has seen organizations adopting new technologies to keep people learning. Although the tech’s important, it isn’t what makes or breaks a training experience. Your approach needs to be people-centered.
Travis started in software development before pivoting his career. Recognizing that his role involved people processing systems, he started a psychology Ph.D. By better understanding people, he can drive change in his organization. Whether it’s culture or experience, we’re all different. Understanding how these differences impact emotional intelligence is key to successful L&D.
A quick recap
From software to psychology, Travis has embraced a people-centered approach. He has four strategies for maximizing the impact of learning. Move from transactional to meaningful learning that aligns with what people need. Iterate your learning journey, starting with the core skills. Measure your success at milestones so you can pivot if it’s not working. Drive change by better understanding people and how they can build emotional intelligence.
Want to find out more? Check out the full podcast.
After over 10 years’ experience in technology, Travis moved into L&D. His latest role is Learning and Development Operations Leader at Wells Fargo. He supports the deployment of a variety of programs across the organization.
You can find out more and get connected with Travis on LinkedIn.
On Travis’ reading list
Find out which book has inspired Travis’ approach to his development.
Improving Performance Through Learning: A Practical Guide for Designing High Performance Learning Journeys, Steven Robert O. Brinkerhoff, Anne M. Apking, Edward W. Boon
Whether it’s business or personal, learning is a necessity. This book has been life changing for Travis. It’s provided insight into his career and academic journey, as well as his approach to parenting.
Looking for more reading tips? Check out our top book suggestions blog.
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We’d love to hear your thoughts on our podcast, so feel free to get in touch on Twitter @Elucidat with any questions or queries. You can also email Simon, our podcast host, at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, don’t forget to subscribe to Learning at Large in your favorite podcast app and leave us a 5-star rating if you enjoyed it. Thank you for joining us, and see you next time.