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Friday, 22 August 2008


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I will call it the L2PLM :-p

Michele Martin

Great chart, Will--very usable and helpful for planning. I think you need a learner column, though, as I describe in this post

Dave Ferguson

Will, I like the model, and I like that you work at refining it. I have two thoughts about it.

First, the division between "learning situation" and "on-the-job performance." I have the sense you're talking about more formal learning situations, whether they're classroom-based or self-paced. In those cases, more often, than not, learning probably does come before on the job performance.

I wonder if there isn't some way to figure what I'll call just-in-time learning -- or maybe it's just-after-time learning. I'm thinking of unplanned occasions in which the individual realizes he or she needs to learn about something, usually with a timeframe that precludes a more scheduled learning event (like a workshop or synchronous training).

The second thought: there isn't anything that I see here for the learner himself -- the focal point for on-the-job performance.

For example, in the "before learning" stage, don't I as the learner have a responsibility to connect or align my task priorities with business needs? Should I not take an active part in seeking learning situations that address areas where I need to build my capability?

This model is good food for thought, and I appreciate your sharing it.

Will Thalheimer

Thanks for discussing the model.

You have made some excellent points.

I thought about adding columns for learners and for senior learning executives and for senior line managers, but that would have been unwieldy and wouldn't have fit. Perhaps I'll add to the model someday, although it is my experience that when models get too complicated they lose their power to communicate and persuade.

This version of the model was specifically designed to help learning professionals decide what to do and to communicate what is required of non-learning professionals (especially learners' managers).

In some sense, the model covers the learners' responsibilities in that it tells us (learning professionals) what we must do to motivate, prepare, and energize those learners. It is understood that learners have responsibilities, but I kind of think that we will produce better outcomes if we take responsibility to encourage learners to take responsibility--along with our partners out in the workplace.

The model is also designed from the perspective of what formal learning can do to prompt on-the-job performance. It could be re-framed to consider planned informal-learning events, of course. The blue "On-the-Job Performance Situation" part of the diagram is where after-formal learning informal learning would take place if we don't re-frame the model. One of the recent problems in the swell of "informal-learning" discussions is the failure to realize that formal learning can prompt better informal-learning activities. We need to remember that workers in organizations at all levels are bombarded by tasks to accomplish and things to think about. To break through that cognitive captivity, other active participants are often needed (including their immediate managers and learning professionals). We should be thinking about how we might support better informal learning. The diagram highlights the importance of remembering and in-the-moment learning in prompting on-the-job performance. The sidebars highlight how learning professionals and learners' managers can support how learning becomes performance. In the blue portion of the sidebar (the On-the-Job Performance Situation) there are many good suggestions for how to instill informal learning, but of course, many other things can be listed as well.


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I think you are not quite right and you should still studying the matter.

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