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A path well-travelled

I recently had a client ask us to curate paths on some very cool topics. They were concerned that people were not finishing the whole path. That brought up a question – do paths need to be linear? Should they be? What is the right way to build competency?

Of course, if you are seeking certification in a topic or set of topics, that is a different focus. That path must include steps, assessments and completions. But what about continuous learning?

I contend that effective learning paths have the following components:

· Provide answers

· Present different types of solutions

· Build curiosity

Let me translate that into L&D speak: a curriculum needs to build skills using different modalities and build engagement.

We need to provide internal and external content that is:

· Just for me

· Just in time

· Just right

L&D translation: personalized, accessible and right modality.

And, the biggest change of all, we need to move from a push mentality to a pull mentality. Stop pushing out what we think is right. Go back to performance consulting, listen and make continuous learning accessible.

As I have said before, we are in the midst of a revolution, but that does not mean that only the new ideas work. Elephant in the room, this means change.

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