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Order Out of Chaos: A New Way to Assess Training Needs to Build Programs that Actually Deliver
Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar.
Order Out of Chaos: A New Way to Assess Training Needs to Build Programs that Actually Deliver, hosted by HRDQ-U, presented by Scott Provence.
My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar.
The webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions, please type them into the question area on your GoToWebinar control panel, and we’ll answer as many as we can during today’s session.
Today’s webinar is sponsored by HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars. HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars are engaging soft skills training classes with real-time interaction and expert trainers and grow your organization’s learners with HRDQ-U virtual seminars and let them develop the performance skills that they need from that from their office, and on any device from desktop to mobile.
Learn more at www.HRDQU.com/virtualseminars.
Today’s presenter is Scott Province, award winning, instructional designer, and author. He’s delivered programs throughout the United States and Canada and the material for everyone from the world’s largest private employers to the US. Department of Justice. In 2019, he won Training Magazine, Award for Excellence in no tech gamification.
Using a unique combination of instructional and game design, Scott’s passion is turning expert level concepts into engaging products for a general audience.
He is the author of the new book, Fail to A Manifesto for Training Gamification, which he has presented to learning and development groups across the United States, as well as Hong Kong and Scotland. Thank you for joining us today, Scott.
Hello, thank you so much, Sarah. I’m excited to be here. So, excited to be partnering with HRDQ-U again. And really excited to talk about this topic today, order, chaos, everything in between. We’ve got a few objectives that I’m interested in exploring, but, as Sarah mentioned, put questions and, and comments, and ideas into the question box as they come up, because as it, as with any emergent or chaotic environment, I want things to be able to take their own, their own path and flow wherever our interests take us.
Some of the things that I’m curious and exploring is, why training analyzes don’t seem to always work in today’s complex environment. So, we’re gonna look at why needs analyze, fail to make it out of that planning stage. I also want to look at some different distinctions about simple tasks in our training worlds or our HR worlds, complicated tasks, complex tasks, and then chaotic tasks and how we approach each of those.
We’ll take a look at our system approaches versus our training approaches when each is appropriate to use. And then finally, I want to leave you with about a 30-minute exercise that you can take home with you, take back to your teams to start bringing some of these concepts into your real-life environments. If we have a little bit of extra time even, we might be able to try player playing around with that while we’re in the class today.
So really, I got really excited to explore some of these, as other questions come in, and put them in the question bar. I know Sarah will be helping me keep track of those, and excited to see what this discussion goes.
Actually, have a question for you, right? When we right out of the gate here.
I’m kind of curious to hear your thoughts on how the scope of L&D work is best represented today.
So I’ve put I put 3, 4 pictures here, and I’ll talk through a little bit of them as we, as we start to think about the answers, and then Sarah will help us with the question here. Which of these images do you think, best represents the scope of our L&D work? Do you think? It’s a, someone who’s doing this, sort of flight control, navigating, making sure all these different planes in the air are, you know, staying on track you think it’s the, the actual cockpit, flight instrument panels of a plane.
You think you’d see, represented by trying to fly a plane in chaotic systems, like a freak lightning storm, or do you think it’s the handling, handling, and loading baggage in the correct way? So, Sarah, let’s see if we can open up this, this question here, and, and see what we see what your thoughts are.
Yes, and now you’ve had a moment here to review these images.
You can open a poll, and you can cast your vote. Share those results in just a few moments here.
I like these that are coming in.
Oh, very cool.
I’ll give you about 15 more seconds here.
Interesting to see.
And I was just talking about data collection, how important this stuff is. I’m so excited to share, share these results as they come in.
OK, fantastic, and I will share those results now, Scott.
And I’m gonna write these down to 13%, 32%, 39%, 16% cool. So, yeah, vast majority of people are saying that, see, this kid. And I feel your pain for those that are, that are feeling like there are white knuckling on the control, plane, as lightning is crashing all around them. Often feels like that in both learning and development, LLD environments, as well as human resources in general, probably.
I think it’s also really interesting that another big percentage of our group is going to be this, like, cockpit control panel, because there’s a lot of buttons and levers and things to know about. It takes an expert mind and a well-trained mind to kind of know how this works. But there’s also some standard practices for what pushing buttons to push in what order. It’s certainly more complex than just loading bags onto a plane.
So I want you to think about, keep those answers in mind, and think about where some of our majority votes went to as we move forward with this. I want to talk a little bit about who I am before we get to too much further.
It’s like Sarah mentioned, I am a learning development and HR Consultant. I worked with all sorts of different companies and clients, all sorts of different sizes. Author and a speaker. I recently wrote a book on fail-based learning and how we can use gamification and failure to help people explore complex work environments. And I consider myself very good at linear training design. And I say linear training design, because what I really want to be as a person is this guy here. Maybe not this guy in particular. But when I think about the scope of L&D work, what I see happening a lot is us moving from that.
Cockpit, very complex, complicated buttons, and levers environment to a system where we’re having to keep lots of different planes in the air and make sure that things are staying on track while working within a complex and ever evolving system.
This is the guy that I’m really, really trying to model by my consulting work after it now, is, how can I help companies recognize the complexity of all the different pieces they have moving around? And the best example I have, for this actually comes from an icebreaker game that I used to give back. And when we could do in person trainings. I know that it’s been a while since we’ve been able to do that. So I’m going to have you imagine that we’re all sitting in a large conference room now. And I’m going to have its play imaginary Icebreaker game. I don’t know if anyone’s ever played this game. It’s called Assassin Sometimes with the PG version is people use moons and planets are kinda play the same way They call it eclipse. But I played this with Assassins. So, imagine we’re in a room, and say, OK, everybody stand up. We’re going to spread out in the room. And I want you to, without revealing who you’re picking. I want you to choose one person standing in the room, to be your assassin in, one person to be your bodyguard.
And your instruction here in this icebreaker is to keep moving so that your bodyguard is always between you and your assassin.
So again, try to move to put your bodyguard between you and the person that you’ve chosen as a as an assassin here. Any guesses as to what’s gonna happen if we, as we spread out throughout the room? So here’s us, Here’s like 100 robots spreading out through the room here.
Anyone ever played this before to kind of guess what’s going to happen?
What’s cool, and what I love watching with this Icebreaker game, is Here’s kind of what the process would look like, as soon as I said, go if we were in a real room.
It would look like this.
And I just love watching this complex, emergent pattern come to play in a classroom setting. And again, we can I wish we could do this in person. You’re gonna have to just use your imagination to picture yourself from running around the room, trying to keep one person between you and another person.
Um, what I thought was interesting about this, is, I would play this Icebreaker game for a long time, and I would let people kind of experienced the chaos that and yet still had some sort of order. And then I would say, all right, I hope that was fine. Let’s all go back to our seats and sit down and I’m going to present some slides, and we’re going to do some standard operating procedure practice to go through a very linear way to get to some sort of knowledge.
And for a while, that made sense to me. It was, it was clear. It was understandable. I can document that. I could, I could map out all of my different levels of training evaluation. But what was frustrating for my learner’s is they would have this very ordered system environment in the training room. And then I would put them back into the real world and what are their real-world looked Like? it looked a lot more like this, their experience in the day-to-day work is, was ever changing, was emergent was, was shifting under their feet.
And so this got me realizing that we need to start looking at complex training systems and complex training environments even though they’re often the scourge of most of our analytical approaches to training design.
So, that’s really what we’re exploring today, is, how can we advance our training needs analyzes, and our understanding of what a real trading environment is to more complex systems of today.
The one thing that I want to throw out there.
Anyone heard of this, this phrase before? And put it in, you put in the chat if you’ve heard this.
This is a really cool phrase, it’s pronounced, I believe, Nevin, it’s, it’s a Welsh word. And if you haven’t, if you haven’t heard of it before, write it down screenshot or something, this is a great, a great framework to look up on your own. I will try not to nerd out too much about it. But it comes from the basis of complexity theory. And more organizations now are starting to recognize the dynamic nature of their networks, their teams, their interactions. This Canadian Framework was developed by Dave Snowden.
Few years back, to kind of recognize that we can start to think about our systems in four different quadrants, and the reason I started off with our question about airplanes and cockpits and flight controls is if you think about this and you can kinda see screen back in the picture here, we actually can understand these four quadrants using the same metaphor. So, in the simplistic kind of basic quadrant here, imagine yourself as a loader of baggage on an on an airplane. There are very standard operating procedures. You have a single way of, of loading in bags. There are known knowns, you kind of know what to expect. You can weigh everything. You can distribute it throughout the plane.
Everything has a single standard practice. When you move up to that top right corner now, things can get a little more complicated.
when you’re entering a cockpit, You have some known knowns but, you also have known unknowns. You need to have an expertise level of expertise in order to operate a cockpit, every. Every pilots probably have a slightly different way of how they go through their operations, and yet, there is still a very contained amount of knowledge. So I know that there’s a finite number of buttons I need to push. I know that, thanks to my years and years of training and practice, I have a range of knowledge and expertise that can use within this great, complicated admire.
If we move over to the top left. now, we start to get more complex here.
And this is where we have unknown unknowns, A flight controller on that control tower needs to be ready for causes and effects in flight systems and patterns that we can’t always predict. So weather delays, you know, emergencies. All those things are changing, those, how those dots are moved around on the map. So it is a complex system that we understand, that we can know some things about it, but not everything And then obviously, chaotic is that immediate unknowable Act first, you know, lightning striking all around you. We just gotta figure out what we need to do in this in this immediate situation.
I’ll let you kind of think about that a little bit and if you if you’ve got a second here, put it in your chat what is what’s the quadrant that you’re training, or your HR teams are operating the most within? Do you think right now?
And again, I want to see a bit curious if this, if this matches up with the metaphor we use the beginning, is that everything’s on fire. This is chaotic. Is it complex, right now?
Complicated, simple, I’m seeing some symptoms.
Chatting and, Scott, we did have a question come through about fast an icebreaker game. And Susan would like to know if there’s any way that you could adapt it for a virtual training.
Um, it’s it was I was actually hoping to try to do that here.
I didn’t find an easy way to do that.
If you’re interested in using my so that that flocking, that you can tell those almost like, a flock of birds that that program was actually written by this when Ellen Lo, who, with eager to share this. If you’re interested in kind of using that. At least, as a designer, as a metaphor, reach out to me, and I can, I can share it with you, But, yeah.
It’s the only way you can do it, is, without getting done, a rabbit hole, if you have a shared sort of Excel sheet or Google Sheet, you might be able to allow people to copy and paste their own little x’s or things around that. But yeah, there’s, there’s some ways to do it.
You have to have some sort of shared sophomore for it, Kinda cool, right? It’s kinda cool to see. Great question. And I see a lot of, in our, in our chats here, a lot of symbols complicated, but then also some perplexes. Yeah, so complex us, for sure. And this is interesting how we’re starting to, as a L&D, as an HR teams, start to recognize this. like, general shift away from just straight simple environments into more complicated and eventually even complex environments. Yeah, So some, some, some of our trainings like, I just need to teach you how to use this phone system. Great, let’s do a job aid, Let’s do a quick e-learning other things like, I need to stand up an entire leadership program that can be pretty complex. Leadership is a human behavioral skill, and I think the trade that it’s going to be different for every environment.
So depending on what your, What your topic is, you might find that you’re kind of having to kind of mix between these different things.
Cool. Any other questions that are coming up I want to these are great. Great. Those are coming up.
No other questions so far.
Awesome. Well, cool.
So again, one of the things that really struck me as I started to explore this a bit more is that we’re really on this, this cusp of this, precipice.
Or this, this Division between a 20th Century mindset, which was almost entirely rooted in simple quadrant topics, and complicated quadrants into something different.
Staying with the 20th century for a minute. A lot of what we saw was around this idea that the company is a machine, right.
And this again, comes from our 20th century, companies, manufacturing, and a lot of this assembly line works of behavior can be predicted. Parts can be analyzed separately. I can line them up and then I can also calculate my output proportionate to whatever I’m putting it.
That was very easy for us to build trainings around, and, in fact, if you’re anything like me, you would sit down with your training analysis and say, what is your standard operating procedure that you need me to train? I can’t train, and I’ve said this to clients before, I can train it anything unless you give me an SOP, right? So, these are usually … reviewed once a year, once every two years. And in the 20th century environment, that’s OK, because everything is very static.
What we’re seeing more in the 21st century now is pace of change is drastically accelerating. New technology is, is coming up under the scene. That’s, that’s making things move a lot faster. Knowledge workers, now replacing manual work. In the customer, whatever our customer may be, is much more in the driver’s seat of, of what they want.
So, all of these things are causing us to kind of shift away from these simple and complicated topics into more complex environments. And it has this great quote from Forbes Writer. I was explaining that in 21st century management, it’s not that there’s a machine that’s broken. It needs to be fixed, it’s actually that we need to change our entire metaphor. That’s not like a machine at all that we’re working with. This is an entirely different entity. Now, this is a complex adaptive system.
And this quote from a Forbes writer, actually connected back to what I had first run across when I was starting to Sarah, Now, are first starting to build up this presentation. I found this quote from Dwight Eisenhower that said plans are worthless, but planning is everything.
And I thought that was so interesting that the distinction I make there at least, is a documented kind of printed out plan isn’t really helpful. Because it is not as powerful as the act of planning itself.
And what’s cool about that is, you know, think about Dwight Eisenhower. He was very much a 20th century thinker.
Are even starting now to challenge that idea of planning, being the end all, be all we’re recognizing in the 21st century, that planning in a complex environment doesn’t always help.
Just being able to say, like, I’ve planned for every, every possible outcome.
Anyone who knows in the HR it on the world, there’s gonna be some new outcome that you, that you didn’t think about. So it’s not just moving from away from a plan that’s standard undocumented into planning. But what do I do to kind of predict that unpredictability? And how can I embrace that emergent practice and get out of just a straight-line thinking?
Any other questions coming up? We’ve gotten so far.
We are good so far.
Awesome, OK. So, I’m really excited to talk you, though, actually, a case study, where I started to apply this, and move away from a linear training analysis into a more, what I call, emergent training analysis, and I’m sure there’ll be questions about this, too. I am happy to talk through kind of the general concepts around this case study, and what we ended up doing with them. But I’ll start off. We’re probably a lot of you have started off in the past. As a training consultant, someone came in and said, we have a group of subject matter experts here. They’ve listed out 20 T key tasks that they have for a role related training. And we need you to build a basic onboarding, you know, get to know your job training program for these 20 tasks.
So what’s my, what’s my thinking here at what you’re thinking if someone gives you a list of standard tasks. Great. I just, I’m gonna draw my three lines, I’m going to kind of figure out what my behaviors and outcomes need to be, and then I just connect. But that’s pretty straightforward, right? Standard, training, practice, standard operating procedures. And as you can imagine, I’m already in my design, mind thinking. Great, it’s a, it’s just, like loading bags on plane. Go your way the bag. If it’s heavy, you put it in this area. If it’s like you balance it over here.
Pretty straightforward. I was fortunate enough to have really supportive stakeholders and some really great clients that were encouraging me to push the boundaries of this. And to recognize where maybe past linear training designs had failed.
And so right before we started building it this way, we said you know what? Let’s pause before we start building something that’s gonna immediately gets shelved or go into a drawer or be outdated.
Let’s think about how we might be able to challenge the way we’re approaching this onboarding training and recognize that this company is actually very evolving and cutting-edge and flexible. What can we do to make our training match that? And so we actually as a second step, then took that list of 20 key tasks, brought it to our frontline workers. And we said, OK, your goal here is to complex of phi, this list, what does, what’s missing from it? What’s more important in your day-to-day work? All the other things that a frontline worker might be able to have, that maybe a subject matter expert doesn’t.
Here’s the first surprise. Our role specific workers took that list of 20 and nearly tripled it.
So we had almost 60 key tasks that we had about 30 frontline workers estimating this. So that was kind of a first surprise. But if you could imagine people that have worked in L&D before, it makes sense that sometimes, frontline workers are going to know a little bit more of the details then, than a stakeholder of subject matter. Expert might be so little surprising that it was that big, but, OK, we kinda could predict that, Here’s the thing that really surprised me. I then asked these role related workers, what percentage of all of these tasks would you like to be standardized? And in my head, I was thinking 100%, right?
If you want a standard role related training for, for your job, you should have 100% of the practices standardized. I’ll put it, put it out to you guys before I give you the answer.
Any, anyone have a different percentage, they’d want to keep in mind? Put in the, in the chapter, would you want it as 100%? Would you want it?
0%? What would you want standard if you’re if you’re trying to learn this job?
Guys are way better off, and I was I, you’re already like more, more emergent thinking than my linear brain of the 100%?
Absolutely, 70, 30, cool. What these workers said, they said, Yeah, 35%, which, again, totally shifted my perspective in terms of how we’re building and training.
These workers didn’t want a standard operating procedure for a lot of the vast majority of what they were doing, because they recognized how flexible and emergent these practices need to be. They were educating us as L&D professionals saying, don’t build the, you know, hundred slide, PowerPoint deck, don’t build the concrete job, that can’t be changed for a year. We know if you have to. We want you to document these practices, because we need those set-in stone.
But for the vast majority of what we’re doing, give us some more flexibility.
So, really interesting for us to think about how that impacts, not only our training design, but, but really how we approach, for me, at least how I am, how I approached learning and development, and instructor led sessions as a whole.
And I found this kind of interesting quote. So again, as we kinda think about, you know, what kind of trainings we need to build on this interesting quote that recognize that learning can emerge spontaneous, as spontaneous order at the edge of chaos.
So I love this idea, and even that, that initial case study, we had getting people into a room and getting them kind of down in the dirt and messy with all these tasks and throwing them up on the board and ranking them and reading them and swapping them back out. It’s a very messy chaotic system. It also was uncovering a lot of learning for these Frontline workers, and they were realizing which tasks you should be standardized, or which should not be standardized.
So, really fascinating to see an imposter really quick and give people a chance to type in questions they might have before we get into kind of the next meat of our session.
But any questions that are coming up for you about how this is, how this can be applied, or what we can kind of do with this, uh, this new approach.
I know people might be typing in here, but let me pause quick, Sarah, that anything that has come up so far?
Thanks, cap so far. If you have any questions, make sure you type those into the questions box there.
I’ll give you a couple of minutes to kind of sit on that and see if anything comes up. What I want to talk about now is, like, what to do with this? So, yeah, kinda cool. We looked at complexity theory, and we’re gonna start to, in a second here, figure out how we can apply this knowledge to our own environments. And I saw something come up here so that I see A Question.
Yeah. We had a comment come in from Jane and Jane said, sometimes managers are old school, and they don’t want to hear it.
Hmm. Yeah, So certainly, there are, they’re kind of that old school thinking of, We don’t want, we don’t want to know what’s unknown, right? And it’s like that.
It’s almost this fear of, I don’t want to be shown how my lack of documentation, how that’s how, that’s almost a necessity of the of the workforce.
And I will even say from this, this case study example, we had this great kind of emergent complex systems. And people’s immediate response to that was, this is so cool.
Let’s take this and turn it into a manual now, and it’s that immediate knowledge, that that immediate urge to drag something from the cutting edge of chaos. Back into a known. Knowable, contain state.
And I will, I basically, agree with the gene that’s, that’s a dynamic that we as HR professionals, as L&D professionals, have to help coach people through, and there’s there’s no one right Answer for it. I, again, I like, using my metaphors of I like using the assassin’s game. I like using my metaphors of air, traffic control, where, yeah, this is uncomfortable. And I wish there was a single how to manual that we could just plop down and say, this is how it works in the knowledge environment. And there’s not. And we have to like, what do we do with that discomfort? Or what do we deal with that? Like, threat of failure? That we have to somehow get over.
It’s a good question, and if people have, if people have no deep breathing exercises or ways that they, they help coach managers with stakeholders through those, like, uncomfortable times, shout them out. I’m always looking for more of those.
Awesome. Alright, if other questions come up yet, please do put them in here, and I’m sure that that more will climb, as we, as we continue to explore. We’re gonna do a little bit more of a hands-on practice now. So, when we start thinking about how to analyze training needs within complex systems, we actually came up with two basic questions that you can ask people. So these are the things that I would encourage you to start either exploring on your own or are actually asking of your, of your team.
So, once your team and your subject matter experts have agreed to a list of tasks, kind of like minded, in the case study, for the way that your subject matter experts might say, these are the list of tasks we need for whatever phone training, software, training, information security training.
Sit them down and ask each one of them to go down this list of tasks. And for each task asks, is this task a simple task? Is it a complicated task? Is it complex, or is it chaotic?
And again, we can start to think of tasks in those categories using the metaphors. We’ve explained before using this framework of Canadian, talking about known, knowns, Known unknowns, Unknown unknowns, chaos.
If you can help your subject matter experts and stakeholders understand what those categories mean, get them to start ranking out and rating different tasks. Because what you’ll probably realize, just as we saw in the chat, there’s going to be a blend. There’s going to be a mix of very basic tasks. There’s going to be a mix of tasks that are chaotic or unknown right now and it’s OK for them to just start to rank no right or wrong answers where they see each of these tasks lining up.
So that’s the first question. Second question. Again, to ask them, each task is, what currently helps you the most with this task? Is it knowledge? I just need to know more about; I need the manual. I need to like, read, and download the information in my brain.
Is it a skill?
So I need to be able to develop and practice and turn it into an almost instinctive behavior. Something that I’m doing. Is it motivation? I need to feel that kind of like drive to get up again after I failed at something to try it. Or is it something environmental like environment to support, I need a safeguard in place. I need assistance. I kind of know what I’m doing.
Um, for each of these, you can ask them, of your stakeholders, ask them of your subject matter experts, ask them of your frontline workers.
What might surprise you is, as these results come in, you can start to see the different shape of your training potentially emerge. And to prove that we’re gonna actually try this out.
So I’m gonna give you guys a kind of a dummy task. And this was one that pretty vague, I would obviously you could break it out into a lot of different subtasks. We’re going to just answer it as best we can. And we’ve got a great brain trust of, gosh, like 70 people here, there’s gonna be a great data point for us to kind of see where people’s responses are. So, here’s the task I want you to answer these questions for.
Let’s say we’ve got to roll out a leadership development path for first time managers and apply that answer, you know, apply that to your own environment answer, however. However, whatever some questions you might have for that, any way that you’d want to, but just generally think about the task of rolling out a leadership development path for first time managers. And Sarah’s going to open up a quiz here. And I wanted to ask you for your first question here: in your organization, is that task rolling out a leadership development path, completely standardized? If so, that’s a completely standardized with a single best practice. Is it well studied with a few equally correct ways to accomplish it?
Is it being defined or rewritten and could benefit maybe from some new perspectives right now? Or, is it the, currently a source of tension and strife? and I’m talking about like, more than just a little uncomfortable. Like this is, you know, lightning flashing all around the plane, right.
To take a take a little bit of time and to answer that, it looks like we’ve got answers coming in.
We have some answer trimming, and we’ll give you about 20 more seconds or so to submit your vote there.
This is really fascinating to see, too.
OK, great. Now share those results.
OK, so let’s keep on this screen for a second, I’m gonna write these down three, 11%, 60% for column for this defined, but could benefit from new perspectives, 26 for its source of tension and strike. This is great, and this is pretty accurate, too.
What I would say, I’ve worked with a lot of my clients on. So write it right in line. I think a lot of people probably experiencing the same thing. And, again, makes sense for this, this question, right, that does a lot of that, like, yes. It’s defined, but it’s we kind of changed a lot and maybe could benefit from some new perspectives, OK? Same task. Keeping that in mind, Here’s your second question.
So, with the task of rolling out a leadership development path, what do people working on this task in your company right now? Rely on the most right now?
Is it knowledge and information on what leadership development even means? Is it practice and skill development?
So, behavioral, we need to get out there and actually just try being leaders.
Is it permission to or motivation to try and fail, you know, trying different things or different development paths that maybe not work? Or is it safeguards and support systems?
So, again, these can be any answer You can probably, you can mix and match these, if you think that knowledge and information work best in your kind of chaotic environment, write that down. Let’s go ahead and open up the quiz here, and you’ll start to see what people need.
So, we have some answers streaming, and all right, yeah, we’ll give you about 20 more seconds or so to submit your answer.
This is so fascinating, I love this.
We probably might have a little bit, I’ll talk about it at the end, I’m just getting too excited.
This is really cool.
OK, fantastic, I’ll share those results.
OK, and on the move, here, let me write this down, so, 46%, 41%, 8%, 5% Awesome, OK, thank you guys so much for entering that.
We’ll see if we have a little bit of extra time.
And if we don’t get to reach out to me, will do it, will do it within your, within your own organization. Will actually see if we can. If someone has, like, another training tasks that they’re currently or training, project they’re working on, they want to share tasks. What we can do this quiz again and kind of see, see where people end up. Because what we’re gonna do now is take that complexity theory and the Canadian system. Actually, combine that with anyone who’s read. Kathy Moore is action mapping. If you haven’t, it’s, it’s great.
Kathy Moore does a great job of recognizing barriers to performance issues. Some of the barriers she talks about: knowledge, barrier, a skill barrier, motivation, barrier, and environmental barriers.
I want you to think about those barriers, as they relate to the different quadrants we’ve talked about.
And, as you think about that, I’m going to pause, I’m gonna pause on this slide and just give you a couple of minutes to review this model right here, as I enter in our data, in the background here. So, take, take just a minute or two to look at this.
And I am going to do something in the background for a second.
What I’m going to be doing is I’m gonna be entering our data from those two quiz points. So, let’s see.
This is good. Chaotic?
Alright, about 20 more seconds here and we’re going to have some interesting feedback based on our quiz, 46 Skew 40 mm hmm.
Motivation is eight, and environmental is.
OK, so here is a really interesting piece of data for you. I’m gonna resume my presentation.
All right, and just to confirm, sorry, you can see my, I’m able to move again. You guys can see it’s OK.
Yes, OK, awesome. So, thanks for giving me a couple minutes to entering their data. Basically, what I did is, again, as, you can see on our screen here, I took our four quadrants from complexity theory. And I’ve created some, I’ve overlaid some boundaries for performance issues. And the reason I put these here, I’ll explain a little bit.
It looks like your data points are showing now.
Yeah. Sorry, I haven’t. I haven’t done it just yet.
What you can see here in our barriers is, we’ve created a way to kind of overlay those two questions you looked at.
So, what is the quadrant of the tasks that we’re looking within, and what is the barrier that potentially is keeping you from moving across these quadrants? Here’s the data points from our 70, 70 different people results here.
And this is what’s so interesting to me. We can see we’re moving in some slightly different directions. We don’t have kind of just A We aren’t we don’t have like a single symmetrical blob. I would say, we’re moving into very different domains here.
So you can see, we’re pointing a lot toward knowledge as a high, a high need, and a barrier to us, potentially rolling out a leadership program, we’re pointing to skill as a high development, and yet our environment is pointing us way over here in this complexity domain.
And, again, we can see with some examples from the case studies, we just looked at, the quotes about 21st century environments. We are moving into complex fields for training, and yet, we’re anchored into this skill, development and knowledge collection that is really better served in simple and potentially, maybe chaotic environments.
So thoughts on this as, as, I’m seeing some things coming in here, in the Chat, or anything of that, I’m missing in the, in the chat, or comments, or questions.
Yeah, we did have some questions come through a bit.
We do have one question here from Leanne.
And she would like to know what book you referenced by more mapped, sorry. Yeah, thank you for calling. Map It by Kathy Moore, Great book.
OK, Great, and then this is going back a little bit by Julian would like to know what systems in your experience allow for delivery of L&D content in this chaotic environment?
I will, that’s a great question, I’m glad this was asked right now, because we can actually get into that, answering that right in this next slide. So, yeah, actually, good. Good segue right here. So the reason I like this sort of visual other than it just being a visual, it tells it can tell your stakeholders, for your subject matter experts, what they’re looking at really easily.
We just did this for one task. Imagine what this would look like if you started to overlay 20 different tasks, or the if you were to ask a different group of people to rank their thoughts on the same task.
How would your stakeholders versus your frontline people evaluate this, this issue that they’re looking at? Is it complex? What is needed in order to kind of cross that barrier into maybe more complicated or maybe more simple?
And to that question from, from Julienne, what do we do when we’re in that, like, chaotic environment, because that was certainly a data point there for us to look at.
Um, here’s where we can start to get, a little bit more practical. Once we have our data points and once we have the shape of our training and again, I notice is, This is generalizing because we just have 1. 1 tasks we looked at, but we can start to see training.
Development, take shape as we add more and more tasks. I just took a random different shape from another list of training. Here. You can see kind of grayed out behind this. A lot of the answers were pointing toward a complex or complicated system, really high needs and motivation, because they knew that things weren’t really defined, and so they knew that motivation was going to have to be high.
What did we do about this part here that’s in the Chaotic, or the simplistic environment? This is where something like aids, job aids, and lists can be really helpful. So to answer the question, what do we do?
What do we put in place to help with chaotic environment? If you think about our key barrier right here, knowledge is the, the one central pillar between these two quadrants. And you can, you can kind of see that in practice when you think about job aids and checklists. Anyone who’s has read a tool gawande’s book, The Checklist Manifesto has, he does a great job of talking about these two types of lists.
There is, in that book, you talk about redo checklists, and they talk about those as being most helpful in chaotic environment.
So, if you think about a plane that gets, you know, is trying to deal with some sort of wing malfunction, there is a checklist that pilot to use, that is especially suited for emergency situations. And you were supposed to, Rita, step, do this step, read the next step to the next step. It is very like, just check at one list at a time, and you just need to do it, to kind of keep yourself safe. So, there’s that kind of combination of knowledge and safety of an environment that helps that kind of redo list to become very essential for a chaotic environment.
Compare that to the other side of the knowledge barrier, which is do confirm lists, which is much more of a, do the steps from memory. And then pause to kind of go over your list to see if you’ve done those, right. So, this often, as go and it says, becomes, comes with a repeated behavior that becomes more familiar. So, think about that. As far as the way we do our training job aids. This is something you can kind of have posted up next to your desk. Do your jobs, and then you can always kind of refer to your job aid or your list to confirm that you did that correctly.
And Scott, in reference to the exercise that we just completed, Roxanne would like to know: Does this mean that we’re creating more complex systems with employees who lack the skill and knowledge to do the task?
Yes, absolutely! Yeah, we are, we end.
And what I would say that this, this exercise, And, again, this is, this, is what I, I really pitched, not a client’s now, if we do this exercise together, if I can come in and help you guys recognize how complex your environment actually is. That goes a long way into getting us, and our employees and our stakeholders to recognize the changes we need to make. To kind of get out of this, oh, we’ll just build a training. And it’ll be a standard operating procedure and set it all in stone, and then we’ll, we’ll bring Scott back in a year to consult again to update it. That’s, that’s really no longer the environment we’re working with it. So, yes. That’s absolutely the case, and I think the first step we need to do is to start to visualize, where are we sitting when we start to picture a leadership training or a coaching training or a phone system training or software training that needs to be updated every two weeks. Great question.
Other questions, Sarah.
This is, I want to make sure I’m not I’m not glossing over too much, we are caught off. So, so here’s what’s really cool.
I, I honestly think that the bulk of what we do in training development, what we do in L&D, it doesn’t really great job in this complicated quadrant, and just kind of which is why I’m kind of skipping over this.
When you think about moving from a standard operating procedure into practice skill, into kind of expert level training, that’s a lot of what we’re really good at. We can build curriculum. We can build your long or multi-year programs. When you think about academic training development.
This is how experts are, are made, right. They go through, they do the intense reading, they do the practice.
You think about doctors or engineers, they have years and years of internships and mechanics, and they really can internalize a lot of that complicated knowledge. So, I think we actually do this really well.
Roxanne’s point into what we’re really covering here.
When you get out into a business environment, we get more into this complex, ever evolving, uh, the world here, and what I’m realizing in this research is, our reaction might be to think, we just need to double down on this complicated world. We need to just make a curriculum that’s twice as complicated or difficult. Actually, when we think about complexity, less is usually more, and this is where it gets really interesting a menu a machine might need, like a big long how to manual. Complex organizations don’t need more, they need less, they need more of those rules of improv. There’s a great quote from Paul Simon improvisation is too good to leave to chance.
We really need to embrace this idea of thinking on the fly when we get into complex organizations. How do we do that? Tina Fey has a great book called Bossy Pans if you haven’t read it. It’s an amazing, hilarious read. She actually lists in that book, her four Rules of Improv.
And, I think what? I’m not an improviser here, but what I think is interesting is less the content of the rules, the number. So, we’ve got like, what, nine words here and for awards. If you think about how Tina Fey is teaching improv, she is not giving us the big, long at 50-page, 500-page manual on how to be a good improviser. She’s not giving us the yearlong class to be a good improviser. She’s saying, you know what? Keep these four rules and might agree with your partner.
Come to a, come to the improv scene with a spirit of yes, and make statements. Don’t ask questions and recognize that there are no mistakes.
This idea of very basic rules gets into this concept of heuristics, least like rules of thumb. These are used a lot in in warfare to Napoleon, this node and talks about this a lot. Napoleon had one of the first heuristics up like marched to the Sounder begun, so in the chaos of battle, if, you can only remember one thing March to where the guns are fire, so that, puristic, that rule of thumb was very easy to remember. In complex situations, Tina, Fey’s rules of improv are very easy for me to remember.
When I’m in the middle of an improv scene, and I’m trying to remember what I’m supposed to be doing, oh, yeah, I should just make a statement.
I should remind myself to say yes and not, yes, but these very basic rules are what we need to start thinking about as we develop HR systems, training systems, knowledge capital management systems. To recognize the complexities we have, and the other proof I have for that brings us all the way back to pigeons and birds, and back to that idea of assassin’s gains. Because when you think about how complex a flock of birds is, it looks like it’s, so it looks like you need like a 500-page manual to understand how to be part of that flock.
Byrd’s obviously don’t have, you know, very complicated expert knowledge. They follow three basic rules, and you get back to that idea of heuristics.
Again, follow the next bird match speed and avoid collision.
And with those three rules, these birds can do these amazing, elaborate patterns and wait, as soon as we can as organizational leaders figure out how to apply our heuristics and our rules of thumb and our thinking to complex systems, the better off we’re gonna be and the better prepared we are going to be for developing training programs for the 21st Century.
So with that in mind, I want to give you guys this resource that I have. It’s downloadable here. You can also reach out to me to, you know, if you have questions on how to use it. But it gives you a chance to actually list out a task and take this back to your team and calculate out, just like we did in class today.
What is simple in this, in this task? What’s complicated, what’s complex, what’s chaotic? How can I map my responses from my stakeholders, from my subject matter experts from my frontline workers, to get a shape of the training that I might need to build? It’s really great to see where we’re out of the current state, or, as you saw in my case, study, maybe potentially a future or an ideal state to compare stakeholders’ response to a frontline workers response.
And these sorts of shifts can give you some really good insights to recognize we’re off base here, or we need to align our, our C suite with our, with our entry level employees, when it comes to thinking about what they’re experiencing in the in the real-world here.
When we have that, like complex chaotic environment, having things like an understanding of failure, a healthy environment, to practice in, is super important. I wrote a whole book on, on just that concept alone.
I’d be really curious to hear from people their thoughts on if this is applicable to your work. So, I’ll pause here, see if there’s other questions that come in. I’m sure there are, but, but think about how this applies to you and what you might do with Sarah. What have we got on the chat?
Yeah. So we had a question come in from Sandra and she said, Do you think that technology is a hindrance or help with creating L&D solutions?
It’s a good question. I mean, I think it’s probably, I would say it’s a double-edged sword and I’m probably, you know, there’s a million things that technology has enabled us to do, like we wouldn’t have been able to talk today without some sort of technology.
On the other hand, it is speeding up that that process, it can be that, you know, golden handcuffs, kind of experience.
I’m always cautious when someone comes to me saying, Scott, you know, I’ve got the best LMS in the world best learning management system.
You barely need to consult us at all, just plug this into the LMS, and then they’ll do. It’ll do all the jobs for us. That always raises a red flag for me.
So I would certainly say maybe the easiest answer is I never treat it like the technology is The be all end. All are never treated as the silver bullet. I think that us in the L&D and HR professionals are always going to have job security compared to just a technological quick fix, but it certainly can’t help us a lot, right?
Great. And if you have any other questions, make sure you type them into the questions box. We do have some time remaining here where we can, we can answer those.
Come in earlier two from Juliana. And she said, wouldn’t the best practice be to combine methods of the past with some of the new emerging analyzes of complex systems?
Yeah, that’s a really good question.
What I’ve been trying to do, because I think it is, it’s one of the biggest challenges with applying this, and even with my case study, people immediately took these emergent practices and said, we gotta kind of codify and we need to put them into manuals.
I’ve been trying my best to move.
one step I take is move away from kind of cumbersome in person or virtual training sessions and long lengthy e-learning forces into on-the-job aids and checklists.
And so it’s trying to move things from that complicated domain into the simple domain and make a little bit more room for my L&D teams to say, go, go explore some of these emergent practices. Go explore some complexity. You don’t need to build the, the 60-slide deck, or the hour-long e-learning turn that into a job aid, and just let them let them check off the boxes. Turn that into A Do you confirm list? I want you to explore why we’re needing to redo this list every two weeks. So go talk with some people and figure out what emerging practices do, we need to get out there and get people mixing things up with.
Great. Is it better to learn from other’s mistakes? Or is there something different about learning from our own mistakes?
Yeah, that’s another really good question. I honest, I think it’s so important to learn from, from our own mistakes.
I can tell you that I can read a lot of case studies about how, you know, so and so, made a mistake with their programs or their data collection or their, their job performance and it won’t strike the same way as when I’m doing it myself. The biggest thing that I think we need to do, as, I talk about this in my book a lot as training designers, is create environments which are safe to fail.
What’s cool about this is, I can beat myself up for a mistake that I make in a game, even if it’s a very, you know, low stakes game.
Even if I’m just playing a quiz question, answering game with a peer of mine, if I lose to that peer, makes me angry.
And like, I will remember the questions that I, that I could have gotten right to beat them just as well as if it was a real-life life or death scenario. So we don’t always have to create the complete in vivo, you know, practice doing a surgery on a patient.
Elaborate VR environments, sometimes the fail-safe environment is, you know, playing a basic training game or, you know, doing a basic quiz competition, and creating those environments where it’s OK to get something wrong, and you’re not sacrificing a lot of technology lives in any of those sorts of things.
Great, And this next question we have here is, how can you make sure that frustration doesn’t, or failure doesn’t turn into frustration?
Yeah, another really good, common thing that happens, right, it’s like, that frustration will build if, and if I’m just, like, failing over and over and over again.
I think that barrier of motivation is going to be really key there, and recognizing, like, how do you encourage people, and how do you create a sense of like, fun and play to, to keep going. And, again, there’s all sorts of things in the book. or specifically, when you look into just gamification in general, recognizing that people actually will have a pretty high threshold for frustration or failure. If you create the right environment for them. And I’m not a Candy Crush player, but I hear from people playing things like Candy Crush.
You can play the same level for hours and hours and hours that there are things that are our motivation systems and our brains kind of play-based systems, really want to tap into, that will make me keep playing something. Even if I’m missing up over and over and over again, if I have the right story behind it, if I have the right motivators behind it. If I know that it’s OK for me to do this, people really will stick with something for a long time.
Great. And then, that seems to be the end of our questions that we have today. So, thank you everyone, for some great questions that we had.
Cool. Well, that was really great. Um, I know that we’re getting close to time here, But, again, I encourage you to use the resource here, or to reach out to me.
This is data that I love, providing. I love collecting, I love helping people with, and it can be really helpful for you to just create a visual snapshot of where you are at, or potentially where you want to go. It’s also great for getting teams and alignment with each other. It was really eye opening for our stakeholders and subject matter experts in that case study to see where their role related counterparts were. seeing these.
These tasks were different, so it’s great to kind of see, check your team alignment, used to compare kind of your current states where you really want to go.
And, again, start to think about how we can get out of this box of only building training courses in this complicated domain, as if that was the only thing that we’re responsible for, but really responsible for. Bringing back to that initial question. We asked dealing with chaos a lot, dealing with complex situations. What are we doing as L&D and as HR professionals to make sure our environments, our motivations, and all these other barriers are taking care of to protect and help them succeed.
Alright, I think that’s where we’re pretty close to time. Again, I’ve got resources on my website. I’ve got my e-mail here. I really do love, like, that you can probably tell, I love talking about this, so drop me a line if you’ve got more questions for me or if you want to figure out how you can kind of bring this back into your or let me know. I really do like, like exploring this and I think this really is the cutting edge of where we need to go as an L&D industry.
Great. Well, thank you, Scott. We just have a few more closing notes here. Today’s webinar was sponsored by HRDQ-U, virtual seminars. Be sure to check out our website. More than 80 at virtual instructor led online seminars. Go to www.HRDQU.com/virtualseminars for more information, and make sure that you join us on your favorite social for quick access to all of our latest webinar events and blog posts. You can find us at HRDQ-U. That will conclude today’s session. Thank you so much for joining us today, Scott.
Yeah, thanks so much for having me. It’s so great to see everyone, and we’ll talk more soon.
Yes, thank you all for participating in today’s webinar, Happy Training.
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