Learning Resolutions: Sticking with the Classics—Diet and Exercise

Many learning solutions are bloated and overdue for a diet. However, the key to a truly successful diet isn’t just about reducing input. We need to act more like athletes focused on high performance (after all, we are in the performance business). Elite athletes understand what is required to fuel their performance and are highly selective about the nutrients they intake to support it. Our solutions need to be much more selective in providing high-quality inputs focused on supporting performance needs. This alone will shed a lot of unneeded weight.

Dieting alone won’t produce good performance. Performance demands regular exercise and practice at spaced intervals. Effective practices in physical fitness that translate to the learning domain include:

  • Short, focused, intense intervals produce the best results
  • Spaced intervals of varied activity fuel growth (it takes more than one time, and more than one approach)

Unfortunately, our industry seems to be trapped in a content fetish. To help our users build performance capability, we need to kick our presentation addiction and commit to providing our users more actual practice opportunities including quality feedback (coaching is key- even the best professional athletes receive constant coaching and feedback to improve).

Exercise and practice doesn’t only apply to the solutions we provide; we need to challenge ourselves to actively practice our craft to keep ourselves more fit to perform our work.

So, I am taking up the diet and exercise resolution this year to make my professional life more fit and to build lean, practice-focused solutions to help my users become elite performers.

David Glow is the Chief Learning Architect at Business Critical Learning. He will be speaking at Learning Solutions 2015 and ASTD International Conference in 2015. You can link to him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.