How many training courses have you been on in your career? As a graduate I went on about 6 five-day residential courses in my first year, and since then on average about 2 per year. I have probably been on about 30 – 40 courses in total in my career to date. Only two were properly memorable. One was a team building course in the Lake District (outward bound) and one was the Leadership Trust’s superb Leadership in Management course (also outside activity based). The rest morph into a blur of very nice hotels, some really bad hotels, stuffy classrooms, late nights, graveyard-slot naps, and the occasional memorable tutor.
In my experience and in many people I talk to, the vast majority of learning is forgotten within weeks of a course taking place. Don’t get me wrong, the learning was good at the time, and I too filled in those promise sheets to do things differently when I went back to work. But lets face it, once back at work the swamp of e mails, and to-do lists take over. The course just becomes a vague memory.
Change and learning only really happens when there is an emotional compulsion to change. If courses don’t “get you” emotionally, the learning is going to be limited. If the course and the way it is delivered is not distinctly memorable, the learning won’t be either. The experience has to be memorable and anchored in the participants emotions to add long lasting value.
We are doing this at Moving Performance. And working with some very left-thinking blue chip organisations in the process – the sort of organisations you would not think would do this sort of stuff! It is brilliant. Getting accountants and consultants composing music, and learning about their own personal impact in the process – which in turn improves their client interactions. Helping groups of individuals in the public sector achieve what they genuinely believe would be impossible. Creating corporate legends and stories which last.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this approach – so please feel free to share your own experiences of training / learning programmes and which ones have stuck with you.