10 reasons why your organisation benefits from using learning professionals

IMG_3198One of the many joys of having two young children is to watch them, play and explore together. Our eldest takes our youngest under her wing and delights in imparting many random pearls of her wisdom. And our youngest eagerly and easily imitates her elder sister.

An effective learning, or knowledge transfer, model? Well, yes – to a point. 

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently – and about the current popularity of the 70/20/10 model too.

Many businesses are looking to achieve more with less. I understand this and share the desire to improve performance as efficiently as possible. Yet sometimes I think a little more structure is a good thing to ensure quick, successful transfer of critical knowledge (and the associated application skills) and avoid a dip in performance during learning.

We all learn, children and adults alike, by both imitation through on the job practice and by structured learning away from the workplace. I feel that sometimes the 70/20/10 model is deployed more to try and minimise costs than to maximise the passing of knowledge, skills. attitudes, behaviours and culture to an organisation’s next generation. 

For most, if not all, organisations a key challenge is to facilitate effective, quick and non-disruptive growth and learning experiences.

So, it strikes me that though we all imitate, that quite so much focus on on-the-job learning may be a misjudgement.

Here’s why:

  • on-the-job learning is relatively less structured, variable across organisations: so outcomes are more difficult to pre-determine
  • on-the-job learning is far more difficulty to align with department and organisational goals and culture
  • on-the-job learning gives less consistency – particularly in many increasingly regulated fields of commerce (banking and financial services are a good example)
  • more formal learning events can include benchmarking or an assessment which can be re-enforced and built upon when back in role
  • structured learning events allow discussion of key points you want to be highlighted in a consistent manner
  • controlled skills practice help embed newly acquired and re-learnt skills which is the start of (with quality feedback and coaching) the creation of the new habits you want. It is the first step in creating a success formula
  • formal learning events can send an important message that you value your team’s development and will invest in them
  • formal learning events can send an important message that you’re not just burdening line mangers with more and more
  • any quality formal learning event has clear aims and objectives – often these are less clearly defined and aligned to the organisation in on-the-job learning events
  • design by learning professionals can allow precise, differentiated and learner centred experiences.

So, for my daughters I will strive to ensure they enjoy plenty of exploratory play, imitation and learning experiences but also plenty of more structured learning opportunities – both with bags of fun!

To end – two focussed questions: 

1. What do you want for your people?

2. How could your organisation benefit from engaging learning professionals to facilitate the knowledge transfer you want?


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