Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Well, they just must" is not a strategy

This post had previously been deleted at the insistence of my manager who then promptly subjected me to a constructive dismissal anyway. Thanks to Stephen Downes, I have recovered the original content, which follows. Unfortunately, I am not able to reinstate the comments, which I was also forced to delete.

How often have I heard "Well they just must" as the strategy for how take up of a learning initiative is going to be handled?

A client requisitioned a learning solution for a specific change initiative. They planned to roll it out to the most senior members of staff first and then cascade it downwards, so that the senior managers could provide support to their reports and so on down the line. I pointed out one slight problem: the most notorious group for poor take up of learning interventions (solutions/resources/call them what you will) is senior management. I gave the following example:

I recently delivered a learning resource to a client. The MD was the sponsor. He spent a fair amount of his organisation's money on the resource and spoke authoritatively about it at stakeholder meetings - expounding on how the material was to be made mandatory for all staff. What if people didn't want to use the resource? "Well, they just must." What he didn't seem to appreciate was that, as the 'editing teacher' on the LCMS during the various iterations, I had a bird's eye view of who had done what. He had not even enrolled. In fact, he had not even registered on the LMS! So he had not laid eyes on the product he was buying and making mandatory.
In spite of this anecdote, what was the response to my observation about senior management's tendency to excuse themselves from training interventions? "We'll make it mandatory." And how will we deal with it when the most senior managers simply opt not to comply with the mandate? You guessed it: "Well, they just must."

Ri-ight. Good luck with that.

6 comments:

JamMasterJay said...
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Karyn Romeis said...
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Jackie Cameron said...
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Blogger In Middle-earth said...
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Dave Ferguson said...
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