Learning Strategy

Are you the Amazon Prime of learning?

Ethical issues aside, it’s hard to argue with the speed and efficiency of Amazon’s Prime delivery model.

Got a need for an item immediately – don’t worry Amazon’s got you!

You can get items tomorrow, today or even in the next 2 hours if you take advantage of Prime Now.

I’m not here to sell you Amazon’s services, so what has this got to do with workplace learning teams? Let me unpack this for you.

In any workplace across our lovely planet, we all face a variety of daily challenges. We’re constantly learning in the flow of life and have a constant need for in the moment knowledge to help us navigate the many scenarios we face.

Unfortunately, too many workplace learning and development functions aren’t set up to enable this model of in the moment knowledge and skill acquisition (or as I like to call it performance support).

You commonly find a basic binary programmatic approach of if you want to learn how to do x, then you’ve got to wait to attend Y experience which could be delivered several months away from the need you have and not actually equip you with the support you need.

If Amazon adopted this model, they’d be out of business right now.

Imagine wanting to pick up a book and being told you’ll have to wait 4 months for it. You’d be enraged right? Wait, 4 months for a book? But you need it now!

You have a want/need that you need fulfilled now, not in 4 months time. People don’t tolerate this in their personal experiences, so, why do we do this to the people across our workforce with learning experiences?

If a person has a coaching challenge with their team today, they need resources that will support them now, not in 4 months time. The programmatic model doesn’t work in the real flow of work and life. Don’t get me wrong, it has a place for community connection and sharing but it doesn’t solve the daily performance challenges which is where workforces really need support.

So, my recommendation to you –  think about how you can cultivate an Amazon Prime model to help people navigate daily performance tasks. 

What can you do to deliver in the moment know-how which can be applied immediately to overcome a task?

This is where any workplace learning team earns its stripes. Helping people navigate real challenges in real life with on-demand performance support. 

Not making people wait 4 months to attend a classroom experience because you’re attached to the old dogma of learning only taking place in 4 walls with a sage on the stage.

You can learn more about this and how you can shift the value your team creates in my article on transforming L&D to performance engineering.

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