There seems to be quite a bit of debate about how easily organizational training can be implemented in varied training scales. There also seems to be some uncertainty about how easily secondary layers of implementation can be accomplished, for things like gamification and multi-loop learning flows, especially with something like knowledge management.
The truth is, organizational training is not inflexible, it’s just looking at things from a different perspective. The same things can be accomplished, just in a different manner. This is comparable to comparing linear and unit programming, but that’s doubtfully going to be a terribly relatable analogy.
Basically, compared to other organizational learning methodologies, learning management works on being parallel. A team is split into discreet groups, and information exchange is meant to spiral through cooperation in each unit independently.
At some point, the groups are reformed, thus allowing the exchange of progress between groups. This differentiates from other learning methodologies because it is compartmental, with independence between units aside from reforming for data exchange.
So, let’s look at five things to consider when using this, and maybe see how inflexible it is not.
First, you’re defining cells, so know how big they should be. How much information must you convey, and to how large of a group of people? The larger the group, the smaller the units should be. This sounds counterintuitive, but it’s not. With more units in a large environment, things will balance with more ease. There’s a risk of the cells getting ahead of one another.
Second, decide what kind of learning system you will use inside the cells. This is why the system isn’t inflexible, because you’re taking other learning methodologies, but applying them in a simpler repeated manner.
While cells aren’t interdependent, they can be aware of one another passively, which means that gamification and other engagement strategies are applicable without the small unit size limitations if you want to use them.
Third, when you shuffle the units, also shuffle the leadership role in any unit, if leadership roles exist. It is important to reset this so that social patterns don’t form that are bad habits to form in a team environment.
Also, be sure to watch the balance mentioned previously. If cells get too far ahead of the rest, they can spend a lot of time stalled out and idle, which can cause ennui to form in them, breaking engagement, and also wasting paid hours which the ROI bean counters will not approve of.
Finally, do not encourage sincere competition between the cells. If this artificial stimulus to growth and speed is introduced, the dynamic will break and eventually, it will all come to a head. This is a disaster you want to avoid.
The truth is, learning systems are all about equal in their ability to work or not work, it’s all about your skills as a leader, a trainer and if you know what’s good for you, a friend. Failure is in he who wields the tools, not in the tools themselves, so when you’re unsure if organizational training will work, look mainly at yourself, and ask if you work. Because, that’s what will decide it, not the system you choose.