Learning Through the Noise
FROM THE PRESIDENT – Richard Sampson
We need to keep the noise ringing in their heads
Let’s talk about noise for a moment. Have you ever lived near a busy street or highway, something that hums along at all hours? Or maybe your partner snores – sorry, breathes loudly – every night.
Or how about this one? Remember those old clocks, that would loudly tick off each passing minute, perhaps with the THHPPPT sound as the time changes? Recall how annoying that was at first, then it moved to something you didn’t really notice? After a pretty short time, that THHPPPT sound became a familiar, even comfortable, background sound in your bedtime routine. I even had friends who lived close to a set of train tracks in college, and it would amaze me how they were unfazed when a train would pass by their apartment. Eventually, someone visiting you will comment on the loud sound, and you’ll feel genuinely perplexed.
Of course, I’m not really talking about nightstand clocks, or traffic noise, or even loud breathing. I’m talking, of course, about training, and something we all have to face as a natural byproduct of our jobs.
Let’s move from the nightstand to the national sales meeting now. For this discussion, it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about a virtual event or the in-person annuals.
What happens at these meetings is loud. Not necessarily in terms of volume and pitch (though that can apply), but in terms of the general level of information flow.
Representatives and associates are exposed to a lot of necessary noise – new launches, new projects, new programs, new procedures.
So now we’re back to the noisy alarm you’ve grown accustomed to. When that noise becomes common, you stop noticing. As trainers, that natural reaction is exactly what we must fight against. We need to keep that “noise” ringing in their heads and reverberating through all they do. We often hear the term “pull through” and probably have a very distinct memory or conversation come to mind.
So, what are you doing to keep alive the energy, momentum and focus that comes out of new training? How can you move the new best practices from noise to a comfortable, natural part of the flow?
Step 2 is where the real work begins – it’s where action begins, and all the next steps start to fall into place. The ending place is real, true learning: having knowledge settled into our thought processes and procedures to the point where it becomes as natural as sleeping through the THHPPPT.
So, now you have some planning to do, taking the process through to any legal/regulatory review, final signoff and implementation. Now you’ll use the available tools – reminders, refreshers and coaching among them.
Speaking of solutions and change and growth and inspiration … you’re invited to come celebrate all those things.
On the evening of June 9, we’ll host the 7th Annual LTEN Excellence Awards in a special virtual ceremony. We’ll give out awards recognizing the work of training teams, emerging leaders, industry partnerships, innovation, change and more. Please come to celebrate with your LTEN colleagues and network with winners and finalists.
We’ve put together a special section in this issue of LTEN Focus on Training magazine — keep paging through to find it, or click here to read it now. We’re proud to introduce you here to the finalists for the 7th Annual LTEN Excellence Awards.
Look for more information and register for the Excellence Awards ceremony at www.L-TEN.org/awards.
This would be a great time to open your LTEN On-the-Go app and start or join a forum around retention. Sharing knowledge is one of the most valuable parts of LTEN, and this is a common enough challenge to make a group discussion helpful.
- What’s worked for your training in terms of knowledge transfer?
- How do you support learning after the event ends? How’s that working?
- What types of technology or tools are you using to support the follow through?
THHPPPT. Time is ticking on, and there’s a lot in this issue for you to read and, I hope, to remember and apply. Please do share this issue, these ideas, this conversation with your team, and together explore the solutions that keep our organizations humming and our learners growing.
Richard Sampson is president of the LTEN Board of Directors and head of global
training for Cepheid. Email Richard at email@example.com.