The ‘thought’ that counts: The high-value ‘currency’ of change management

Posted by Paradigm Learning on August 06, 2015

Good employees generally do what they’re told. They don’t get paid for what they think, but it’s fascinating to picture a scenario where they did. Before that statement sounds dismissible in the day-to-day, cutthroat world of business, consider the practical reality of people at every level of an organization bringing their own mental ‘currency’ to the bottom line.

The metrics would be through the roof!

Those with an aptitude for what they do contribute their ideas without, in most cases, any need for extra incentives. You don’t have to pay them ‘pennies’ or more for their thoughts (other than what it takes to keep them from looking over the fence for better opportunities). High-achievers find a way to succeed even if the path to get there isn’t always clear.

You just know what you see: one person has ‘got it’ and another doesn’t. But why?

Their talents are seldom taught, but what if they could be? In our minds, preferred work behaviors and actions can be learned, and by many, synchronously. The seed is what has been referred to as ‘the great transfer’ of vision, knowledge and responsibility. People are customarily fiercely resistant to changing the ways they perceive and interact, particularly when change is imposed upon them.

The misfire happens when training is believed something to be done ‘to employees’ rather than with them. Industry thought-leader David Kolb once theorized, “Learning happens when people choose to embrace a new concept, practice its application in their own contexts, reflect on their experiences, and ultimately, extend its application more comprehensively [on the job].”

Translated into business terms, Kolb’s hypothesis raises the value of using simulated platforms for learning. “Do as I do” is a lot easier to follow and recreate than “Do as I say.” In our experience, we’ve found effective simulations can be better than experience as a learning tool because they accelerate time, compress space and maximize participation.

Our bottom line is that we believe the ability to explore, experiment and repeatedly apply new knowledge in risk-free situations is what makes simulations one of the most productive forms of learning. The approach in our view is a form of ‘currency’ that delivers consistent and substantial returns-on-investment.

You can choose to go without it, but remember you keep the ‘change’ you get.

So, what’s in your ‘training’ wallet? The exchange rate is more favorable than you might expect. 

Topics: Experiential Learning, Strategic Alignment, Employee Engagement