L&D is not about simplicity

Many trainers start off with trying to distill models into soundbites for training. Into a model. Into easy to understand stuff.

I think along the way we confused effective training with being comparable to teaching children. If you can explain it in easy to understand terms, you’ll make a good trainer.

As you deepen your career in L&D what you start to understand is that making difficult topics easy to understand isn’t the aim. Learning isn’t a simple act. Its multi-faceted and it’s not entirely understood. We know there are certain activities which help learning to take place. But we don’t genuinely know the full range of mechanisms which lead to actual learning.

We’ve got to an evolution in our language where we can codify many different skills and practices. We can articulate much of what we experience. And we’re realising a lot of what happens in life is interdependent on many other things.

Life is complex. Learning is complex. When we try to simplify, that’s not what learning is about and nor should it be. This is in part why there is a distinct move to being focused on performance consultancy as the practice which L&D should be adopting. At work, we need to do stuff. Yes the learning is important, and there’s a fine balance of needing training, needing the right resources to enable performance, and needing the right knowledge and having it accessible through different means.

We also need to be careful that we don’t swap out concepts such as “micro-learning” as meaning simple learning.

As we grow and learn more about our organisations and the context in which we’re delivering solutions, what we understand is that learning solutions are normally inclusive of a range of stuff. Making training simple isn’t the aim we should be striving for.

Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

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