Let’s pretend you are a classroom trainer…
The business has told you to deliver training to all 150 Customer Service Assistants to explain some new changes to some of your core processes and procedures.
This is your bread and butter.
It’s what they pay you for.
It’s in your job description.
So of course you get in touch with the procedures team and learn all about the changes, you talk to the subject matter experts in the Customer Services team to understand why the changes are being made. You write your learning objectives, you get them signed off. Then you set to grouping the information into logical chunks. You grab the screen shots you need and design some exercises to break up all the talky bits every 10-15 minutes. You deliver a pilot to the SME’s and they think you’ve covered the material off very thoroughly.
So you roll out the training to the team, but despite the evidence you gathered that learning did take place during the class (thanks to your very thorough before and after knowledge assessments) people don’t seem to be following the new procedures back in the work place. What’s more people are clearly not paying attention during the class. You can see them on their phones texting or tweeting, updating their myface pages or whatever they do on those fandangled devices. This is not only rude but in clear breach of the learner/trainer contract that you made them all sign. You talk to your colleagues and they sympathise with you. They too are experiencing the same lack of respect and apathy from the learners.
What can you do? One of your team shares this witty poster they found:
You all agree it’s spot on and decide to make your own version for each classroom. You need to let them know it is unacceptable not to pay attention when you are talking. What do they teach them in schools these days?
Ok you can open your eyes now and stop pretending. It was all just a bad dream, or was it…
Why do people still think this way? Trainers are blaming their audience for finding them boring. Hmm…
I’m not here to bury the hatchet in the traditional trainer’s back though. Oh no, I’m here to help.
One of the problems with this situation is a lack of empathy. If the trainer bothered to ask the people they were training why they weren’t paying attention, they would be faced with the cold hard reality of the situation.
Classroom training is boring unless it’s something really active and interesting.
Classroom training was the wrong solution to the problem, but because the business said “jump!” you said “how high?”
If you think like a trainer then every solution you see looks like training. If you think like a designer, then you stop assuming and find out what’s really going on. If you think like a designer then you don’t even define the problem until you have some insight that helps you understand it.
I know there are more appropriate solutions to the problem above. That’s not the point. The point is if you change the way you think, you can find better creative solutions in any situation. Design thinking gives you a framework to help make that change.
Join us at the Big Idea if you want to experience it in action. We’ll be using ideas and methods from design thinking to solve problems like the one above. The exact nature of the problems will be chosen by the people that come to the event.
Even if you can’t join us on the day, make an effort to learn more about design thinking. It will help you become a more valuable business partner.