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LEARNING TRANSFER


the time/skill/inclination/support. ` `


Doing things to facilitate the learning transfer process takes time that we do not have, it takes money that we do not have, and takes resources that we do not have. Basically, we can’t afford to do it.


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We know we should be doing something about learning transfer, but we don’t know how to modify our programmes to include it.


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We do some stuff on learning transfer and it doesn’t seem to make any real difference.


We have never done it before, and no one is asking for it, so why change things?


Tose who ask for training do so often on the assumption that training equals exposure to content, which equals learning, which equals behaviour change, which equals better performance and results. In other words, they erroneously believe that L&D has sacks full of pixie dust in the back room to sprinkle on delegates which means that delegates return from training fully operational with their new knowledge and skills.


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Our history shows that training doesn’t have much impact anyway, so


30 | September 2017 |


why add more cost to the process? ``


Tis training is only for compliance purposes because we need to tick some regulatory boxes. Getting the delegates through the test is all that matters.


Tis is by no means a complete list. What are the other ‘excuses’ for not calling out the elephant? So what action can you take? List the barriers in your organisation to discussing and implementing effective learning transfer tools and activities. What supports those barriers and keeps them in place? How can you change the conversation?


Where do you start?


Let’s return to our chain analogy, and see how learning transfer is part of a much longer chain. In the beginning, the chain generally


starts with discomfort or unease when performance, and therefore results, are not what we would want now, or we see a problem coming in the near future. Far too many times, this discomfort generates a knee-jerk request for train- ing without going through an effective process to verify the training is indeed a viable solution to the discomfort.


For your learning transfer activities to be successful, it is essential that the training course, and the rationale for it, are on solid foundations. Tis knee-jerk request for training is not a solid foundation. Arguably, learning transfer starts with ensuring the training, and the transfer of learning from the training, is worth doing at all. Te first step is therefore


performance consultancy. Note, this is not learning consultancy. Performance consultancy starts with the premise that there is a performance gap that we need to bridge. As we start the consultancy process,


we do not assume anything about the gap or its causes, or how it could be bridged. Te performance consultancy process applies diagnostics to the performance system to find the levers in that system which can change the output of the system. If, and only if, one of the levers you can pull is to improve knowledge and skills, we can move to the next link in this learning chain, which is learning consultancy. Many requests for training will never make it through this performance consultancy filter into the L&D department because the real cause of poor performance is


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