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Create a ‘Lean’ Learning Environment
As budgets remain tight, learning organizations may need to strip down their operations. Luckily, there’s a model that says doing so is the right approach to begin with.
With the U.S. economy on the brink of pulling out of its worst recession in recent memory, learning and development functions will be sprinting hard to on-board new employees, replace retiring boomers and move knowledge faster around the globe. And simply returning to pre-recession staffing and budgets won’t be enough to meet the challenge.What’s needed is a major retooling of the way to train and transfer knowledge — one that is efficient, effective and eliminates what some might call “training waste.” Luckily, there’s a learning framework for learning leaders having to operate under this less is more mentality: “Lean.”Developed by Toyota, Lean is a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating anything that doesn’t directly add value. Lean methods are used in manufacturing, software development and health care — and learning and knowledge transfer are ripe to be the next frontier.What is training waste from a Lean perspective? Simply put, it’s any training or learning activity that doesn’t directly help a learner perform better on the job.By this standard, some might argue, it’s estimated that 80 to 90 percent of today’s training and learning activities are considered wasteful. Sometimes organizations simply swap one learning waste for another: an organization might replace ineffective classroom learning with equally ineffective computer-based learning.So how can learning leaders correctly identify wasteful activities so we can eliminate them? Lean provides a powerful framework by grouping training wastes into eight categories — over-teaching, delay, extra steps, inventory, unused talent, transportation, defects and motion. Over-teaching happens when we teach learners more than they need to know to accomplish the task at hand, or when we teach 30 people when only eight really need the knowledge. Learners do not retain content that’s not immediately relevant and applicable to them and their jobs. Filling classes with people who have only marginal interest in a topic dilutes attention from those who really need to master the material, and it’s a waste of the hours of the “extras” in the room.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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