Improve Adoption Through Reinforced Learning Strategies
Aristotle. "For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]
Your organization is like a person in that it has a common intelligence composed of all it's members. Most processes are learned overtime and implemented according to an individuals understanding over exact progression. To change the way people do things, it is often better to help them learn new procedures through adjusting what they are already doing.
People reject change that is counter to their norms, but welcome learning that helps them meet their objectives. Often changes over time are easier to adopt. When implementing new process it is practical to follow a reinforced learning strategy that has the following three steps:
- Learn a new skill, behavior, or method. The lesson received is based on a larger objective and brings the individual a step closer to achieving what is desired. This new knowledge has a practical application and is provided in the context of existing methods.
- Implement the new knowledge in a current process. Taking action reinforces the lesson and should be as close to the learning as possible. By applying what you have learned you develop a better insight to ask questions, and focus on achieving the desired result.
- Return to learning while building on the change. At this point you reflect on steps 1 and 2; while developing an understanding of what else needs to be address, set learning priorities, and discover any positive growth from previous application.
Continue repeating these steps until you accomplish your goals. In shorthand the "reinforced learning strategy" can be expressed as first learning, then doing, and finally measuring before repeating the process. You will accomplish more taking these short steps, but must consider the following:
- Each step must be a complete effort taking you to a definable milestone. Provide enough new knowledge to carry the recipient to the next plateau of what is expected to be accomplished.
- Application of new learning must be soon after the actual training. Often people get sidetracked, implement new knowledge while it is fresh in our minds for maximum results.
- Measurement is a time to focus priorities, tune effort, and note progress. This is not a time to change plans or redevelop your strategy, leave major changes to the project schedule.
- Each step builds on the previous in a logical manner. Working toward your objectives in a logical manner builds a sense of accomplishment and order that maintains focus.
- Sometimes experience before knowledge helps develop the right questions. You will improve your results with individuals have a short period of experience with the topic of learning before their first lesson.