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Design Learning Like It Is A Business – Sage Advice: Episode 41

By December 6, 2018July 25th, 2020No Comments

How do you elevate learning to be a partner to your business? In this episode of Sage Advice, Xerox’s Doug Bushee explains how waiting for learning to be perfect can be a recipe for disaster – especially when the analytics for certain learning initiatives provides a clear roadmap for success. Most businesses know how to be both agile and effective for CUSTOMERS, so why would learning goals be approached with less emphasis on metrics, user experience, and the dozens of other tried-and-true methods for reaching complex business objectives?


Doug Bushee:                  How do you elevate learning in your organization to be a partner with the business, and you’re using business concepts like agile and analytics, engagement, user experience, net promoter score? All of these are concepts that business is very familiar with. They’re all principles that are designed to make whatever it is, in this case, it’s learning, more effective and more engaging.

They know how important it is for customers, so when they see those same principles being implied internally, you elevate yourself and become a real value partner to the business.

The bulk of learning out there is still what I would consider in this waterfall, where I assess what I need, I design and develop the learning, and then I deploy it. And I’m four, five, six months past when the learning- But the learning’s perfect. Versus the agile approach. You go out, you measure the learning, you see the gaps and then how do I fix those gaps? How do I use those analytics to close the loop either with the program or with this population?

Let’s take sexual harassment training, where you might think it’s a knowledge gap or skills gap, and you’re going to go in and you’re going to show them, tell them. Versus what the research is showing, that actually might work against you in that particular case, where the analytics are showing if you took more of a soft skills approach, show them more about empathy and understanding their colleagues and weren’t so focused on this piece of it, then you’ll have a better outcome. There’s no way your internal learning groups are going to be able to do that. That’s where you’ve really got to take a look at organizations or groups that use analytics and the data and design programs that hit very challenging areas.

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