Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Implementation Challenge

In Neil Rackham's work Major Account Sales Strategy (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1989), he talks about the three stages of implementation:

1. “New Toy” Stage - a few simple successes with little effort.
2. Learning Stage - hard work but not much to show for it.
3. Effectiveness Stage - full results achieved with much less effort.

Below is an illustrated view of this idea.

We're all familiar with the "change curve" which is basically an inverted bell curve any time we experience something new or unfamiliar. Rackham characterizes this as levels of motivation over time (see graph below). At some point during the “Learning Stage” depicted above, motivation begins to decline. This is critical to implementation success because lack of intervention may risk program derailment.

When you overlay these two charts together you clearly see what many of us experience on a daily basis when it comes to our learning programs and the deployment challenges faced at a micro/macro level--whether it is the culture, GUI, standards, or other technical challenges.

Understanding this dynamic may help the organization understands the critical areas to focus an insure long-term success.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cool List Feature and other Resources

I recently ran across a cool feature on called Listmania, which lets you include products you find interesting. Lists can have up to 40 items and include a short commentary.

I created on for my book reading list. But you can create these for just about anything listed on Amazon's site.

Looking for more information and resources on social networking? Check out the following:

Monday, January 08, 2007

How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Learning

In an intriguing work by John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade (Harvard Business School Press, 2004), the authors describe the "basic principles" guiding a new generation of workers:

  • If you get there first, you win.

  • There's a limited set of tools, and it is certain that some combination will work. If you choose the right combination, the game will reward you.

  • Trial and error is the best strategy and the fastest way to learn.

  • Elders and their received wisdom can't help; they don't understand even the basics of this new world.

  • You will confront surprises and difficulties that you are not prepared for. But the sum of those risks and dangers, by definition, cannot make the quest foolish.

  • Once you collect the right "objects" (business plan, prototype, customers, maybe even profits), you'll get an infusion of gold to tide you over.

  • While there may be momentary setbacks, overall the trend will be up.

  • And the most basic rule: If you bump into a "game over," no problem. You can always either hit reset and play again just one more time, or turn off the machine and pick up normal life where you left off.

    Is this what you see in the workplace? If yes, how is it impacting training programs?