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Stella Collins

Stellar Labs

Chief Learning Officer

Read more from Stella Collins

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Superheroes of L&D: Episode 4


In thie fourth episode of the series, Stella Collins again takes the world of L&D into superhero territory to try and solve another of the most common problems facing industry professionals.

Sue and the Cyclone

The Cyclone has hit town again and this time he’s brought two cycles; the Training Cycle and The Learning Cycle. The Cyclone sends in a cold blast of theoretical concepts, indistinguishable pictures and too many unfamiliar words. People huddle at their desks, listening and trying their best to make sense of it but can’t work out which cycle is which and why they even need to know. They’re switching off and fading fast.

What can Sue, our superhero do to step in, warm them up and bring the light back into their eyes? Sue’s got to rescue people who are on a 'Train the Workplace Trainer', three-day course. They’ve been asked to learn a theoretical model demonstrating the training cycle and they’re struggling. Sue knows her townsfolk; they’re practical people, very skilled and able, and not really into too much theory.

To compound matters, they have two cycles to understand; the Learning Cycle and the Training Cycle and up to now it’s been related to a Production Cycle! How many cycles can these people take? They’ve had discussions; talked the cycles through; got labelled circles on the wall – it sounds like a case of too many circles, too many words and not enough action.

Sue comes up with the solution: Get them on their feet, walking and talking through the model on the floor. Here’s how you can do something similar...

"The card discs representing each of the stages are arranged in a large circle, and all gather round. Select a recent example from one of the participants, and nominate one person in the group (or the facilitator can do this) to walk to each stage as they explain the process they automatically go through with, for example, a new employee/apprentice. Add in 'what if' questions to check through the evaluation process. Display, as previously, the discs on the wall.

Build in a review, where smaller groups are asked to focus on one part of the cycle, and add Post-It notes with the key points about that stage to replay back to the rest of the group."

Sue’s done it and achieved a different result!

"Everybody was far more engaged in the initial learning, and pennies dropped as they saw physical movement related to the real life example. During the review of the whole section each group was using their notes as well as their personal experience to explain, with post it notes, the key points of their allocated stage of the cycle.

When recapping at the end of the course, everyone was easily able to distinguish between the learning cycle and the training cycle, and know the significance of both in their own training back at work.’

The Cyclone has resolved itself into three pragmatic, distinguishable, realistic cycles that relate to the real world - and did you hear that noise? It’s pennies dropping, instead of eyelids closing.

Find out where to get your antidote at on 5,6,7th Nov

Author Profile Picture
Stella Collins

Chief Learning Officer

Read more from Stella Collins

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