It’s About Real Experiences … Not Training Programs

What’s the culture of development like at your office? Do you put a heavy emphasis on training, or do you focus your efforts on real experiences? If you’re really looking to make an impact you should be focusing on experiences. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, talent development activities align to a 70-20-10 rule.

What that means is, 70% of learning in your organization takes place on the job through challenging assignments and projects. 20% of learning comes from your peer network (could be mentors, managers, friends, etc.), but only 10% of learning actually comes from training programs. Think about this for a minute, if you’re putting enormous efforts into building training programs, are you really getting the return on your investment? Probably not, unless you’ve built real world experiences into your program.

If you want your people to develop, build experiences, challenge them, and line them up for success. You want to talk about talent management, strip it down and make it easy for your people to understand…it’s the experience that matters most. So starting thinking simply, (remember Apple…the worlds most renowned company) simple is elegant. It’s not easy to get to simple. But here are some tips to help:

1. Identify your critical roles

2. Identify the experiences that are needed to be in that role

3. Simplify your competency structure- focus on 3 to 5 max

4. Make your competencies progressive

5. Make your competencies align to the critical experiences

6. Align your training efforts to the competencies and include experiences

7. Help managers build experiences into employee’s work

8. Reduce the noise

What do I mean by reduce the noise? Don’t make it so difficult for your employees. Don’t leave them stuck in the middle between the work you ask them to do, and having a true understanding of what they need to do in order to grow in your organization. In a former organization where I worked, there were 10 competencies, 6 behavioral traits, 9 characteristics of successful leadership and 100s of training opportunities, all supposedly aligned. Our brains can’t handle all of that … nor should we force it to try.

Make it simple, make it about the experiences they need to be successful, and you’re people will thank you for it.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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