Managing the transition to new learning deliveries

A question from a client in organisational learning.Client Q&A

Earning and learning

The client was interested to get my perspective on a comment that suggested classroom-based learning gave participants a sense of ‘earning’ training whereas work-based training can seem like business as usual – with little reward/recognition.

These are my thoughts

When we are trying to implement a new learning delivery, say from classroom to webinar, then we have a lot of influencing to do! Many participants do see classroom as a treat away from the office or field – an opportunity to catch up with friends and to endulge in reflective practice. Many of us secretly hope the classroom event isn’t going to be too participatory – a time to relax. After all – we’ve beed bought up on a 12 year diet of teacher-talk delivery.

With my pragmatist hat on, I think there are a couple of things in the favour of transformation:

  • The lingering financial crisis has made it obvious to most that time and money is tight. Most of us are busier than we have ever been. Many of us can see the evidence that the business, the customers and our team can’t afford us to be away.
  • The push to reduce carbon emissions has provided a good argument to reduce classroom delivery and use smart learning technology delivery in it’s place.


  1. We need executive sponsors that espouse the imperatives behind the strategy to implement new deliveries.
  2. We need to ensure that the new delivery (such as webinar) is a wonderful, easy, useful, beneficial experience! To do this we need IT on our side, and we need to build our skill in design and delivery of these new modalities. One of the most important skill is enabling particant activity.

With L&D resources already scarce, I don’t believe we can proviide staff with choice (e.g. classroom or learning technology delivery). We do need to manage the change in our own practice and for our participants. Choose a course or program that has a real need to evolve from classroom. Choose a proactive group of participants to pilot. Practice and get confident. Implement, evaluate and refine your delivery.

As for participant feelings of ‘earning’ and reward? Well, that’s up to us – how we sell the change to participants, how we influence managers to sell the change to participants, and the value we pack into the new learning delivery itself to create an experience that is meaningful.


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