Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.

But what if he doesn’t like to fish?

I strongly believe that this is the underlying challenge that every L&D professional faces. We assume that training people, providing them some frameworks, approaches etc.   can get people to act in a certain way.

But the challenge is – we don’t want people to do something once or twice – we want to create long term behavioural change.

Training & facilitation methods tend to rely on one of two models:

  • Light bulb moments: If we get our friend to go fishing just one time, he will realize how enjoyable and valuable this skill is and go on fishing without us in perpetuity.
  • Classical conditioning: If we nudge our friend to go fishing over and over, eventually he’ll go fishing on his own out of mindless habit, and we can stop nudging him.

But we, L&D professionals, do miss the wood for the trees. A lot of effort is spent in planning, but not enough on the motivation and the response that the program will elicit over long term.

A few days back, we were running a program for a client. Before nominating participants to the program – we sent out a questionnaire asking them for their reasons to learn the skill. Their verbatim was printed out with their pictures and displayed prominently when they walked into the venue on the day of the program. Towards the end of the session, they were asked to write down two things they would apply back at work which they learnt – under their picture & sign – which was laminated and displayed in their office. Participants who had attended the program – got to see their pics in their office area displayed prominently with what they had promised to do (for the world to see) – definitely a gentle yet hard to ignore nudge.

Establishing motivation and long term response is what makes a learning program “strong”

At Able ventures – we engineer people experience. We want to bring a change that has a lasting impact. Feel free to reach out to me to discuss any training program that you are planning for your team. Happy to share ideas on how you can make them more impactful.

Our December open workshop calendar will be out soon. If there is some new skill, you want to learn – feel free to drop in a mail – will try to incorporate it in our calendar.