Whenever we design effective learning, we know we’ve been hired to see beyond the immediate. We understand that any workplace issue is usually systemic.

In fact, it’s frequently not just about needing new training or hiring new people or even reorganizing the business to streamline processes. It’s about the system in which the “problem to be solved” resides.

If we don’t carefully examine the system and address key issues, the problem will resurface. It might look different, but the underlying dynamics will be the same.

When we interview our clients and relevant stakeholders, we do three things to make sure we understand the dynamics of the system and what might be preventing employees from producing important results.

First, we guarantee anonymity to interviewees, then we ask the right questions, and, lastly, we trust the responses we receive.

Guaranteeing Anonymity to Interviewees

It is only when people feel free enough to share their honest perspectives that we obtain the information needed to understand systemic challenges. Anonymity – and our word being our bond – ensures that we will get the on-the-ground picture we must have to uncover the true performance problems.

Asking The Right Questions

In order to get the information we must have to solve the problem or build the effective training, we always ask questions like these:

  • Who all do you depend upon to do your job, and why do you depend on them?
  • Do you always get what you need from those you depend upon, so that you can get your job done? Why or why not?
  • When did this problem start? Can you describe what was happening in the organization/department/unit around the time that the problem began?
  • If your life depended on it, could you do your job?

Most of the time, training is – at most – an aspect of the problem, but it is not the problem. And if people answer the last question with a yes, then we know that they don’t need the training. 

Something else is stopping them from engaging.

Trusting The Responses We Receive

We approach work with our clients and relevant stakeholders with the belief that they typically have all the answers.

Understanding the system within our client’s workplace is always where we start. And it’s for that reason that we are so effective at what we do.