Skillsoft Blog

The Convergence of Learning and Performance

By David Wentworth

The Convergence of Learning and Performance

The number one learning priority for organizations is to more closely align learning to business goals.

So why do 57% of companies say they are not aligned?

And if we are not delivering learning that improves performance, why are we doing it at all?

Is it because most companies measure the effectiveness of their learning based on learning-focused metrics – enrollment, completion, grades, satisfaction – metrics focused on learning delivery, where the main outcome of learning is learning, and nothing else?

We need to stop this kind of thinking like this and instead encourage companies to look for the point where learning and performance intersect. This starts with the learning strategy and the development of goals that directly tie learning objectives to corporate objectives.

Learning should also be aimed squarely at the skills and competencies required for the business to be successful. If these links are established at the outset, it becomes easier to measure whether learning is or is not having an impact.

Strategy is at the “beginning” of learning and measurement is at the “end”, so what about the big piece in the middle? This is where we really need to tear down the old ways of thinking and bring learning much closer to the point of performance. We need to expand our horizons beyond the course and the classroom and deliver learning in ways that meet the needs of the modern learner.

And modern is not code for Millennial. This applies to everyone in the modern workforce.

It is vital we recognize that not all learning takes place in a formal setting. Whether or not you ascribe to the 70:20:10 Model, we cannot expect that people will get everything they need from the courses and classes we build. Learning happens everywhere, all the time. Organizations need to take advantage of this fact and leverage the technology available to them to deliver more impactful learning.

A new approach will allow us to create more personal, relevant learning experiences which carry greater retention potential than a traditional class. Rethinking does not mean eliminating classes and courses either – far from it. Instead, in-person classes can be re-engineered to better reflect the new learning environment, and courses can be developed faster and be personalized to be more effective.

I plan to address this learning/performance convergence at the 2017 Skillsoft Perspectives event this month. I will discuss strategy, deployment, and measurement, as well as talk through Brandon Hall Group’s Learning and Performance Convergence Model, which is designed to help companies think through this process and deliver a truly blended learning experience that can be measured via outcomes and impact on the business.

Join me.

David Wentworth is the principal learning analyst at Brandon Hall Group.

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