Recently, a friend of mine has been learning to drive.
The process is simple. You apply for a provisional licence by filling out a form and you can then start to learn to drive.
Before you can drive on your own, you have to have someone with 3 or more years experience with you. You have to pass a theory and a practical test at some point and you’re not allowed on motorways, but aside from that, provided you have your ‘L Plates’ on you’re good to go.
We all know that driving is one of the most dangerous ways to travel, so why do we let people out on our roads to mingle with experienced, qualified road users when they may have no experience whatsoever?
The answer is in the way we learn.
If there were any use in taking a series of theoretical lessons before we had driven a bit, we would be doing it for sure. But there isn’t – and the reason for this is real-world context. It is clear to me that since my friend has learned to drive, she is much more aware of things around her even as a passenger. She is aware of general hazards, dealing with the unknown, and the consequences of other people’s actions. She’s also pretty good at spotting when I am getting things wrong when I am driving – but that’s another story for another time.
So, whilst theoretical training in the classroom can be really well produced and delivered, workshop style training and on the job coaching should be seen as more effective – because they are.
Additionally, if we are going to be true to our agile principles, we should also consider the balance between benefit and waste very closely. When we are on a training course we are not actively delivering, so that could be seen as waste in our production system.
Face to face training does have a place though. It is great for introducing new concepts, bringing groups of people up to a certain level of understanding and refreshing skills – but only if they are run as workshops where people get to learn kinaesthetically and where there is a lot of time built in to answer questions about specific issues.
We are often asked to pitch for training. Some contracts we win, some we don’t – but we are confident in our approach because of the experience we have and the excellent feedback we get. One of the things we always build in to our training proposals though, is the option to have some coaching after the training is over. The reason for this is so that we can help the attendees take the learning back to the office from the classroom.
So, learning to drive, I thought, is a very agile experience. You are trusted to learn on the job, the learning is practical (with a bit of theory thrown in) and support is there when you need it too.
Agility in Mind runs successful and proven workshop-style training courses that help people learn practical and usable skills. Our qualified coaches can also help you make the most of those skills back at the office.