This week, I headed to Chicago to share the 4MAT approach to integrating needs analysis with training design at the ASTD International Conference and Expo. The rest of the time, I had the chance to attend some great train the trainer sessions. Mike Fredericks of Farmers Insurance Company led a session titled Fast and Furious: Creatively Building High-Impact Training. Mike had some great ideas to share on increasing interactivity in training delivery. Mike opened the session by introducing us to the Poll Everywhere tool (www.polleverywhere.com). Before a training session, you can load up polling questions on the site. Participants can answer poll questions by texting responses with their cell phones. In Mike’s session, the entire audience was participating in text-based polling in minutes. Lots of fun!
In our 4MAT Train the Trainer programs, trainers often share that editing content is often one of the most difficult design tasks. The key to extracting the core concepts from a subject matter expert lies in the trainer’s ability to move the subject matter expert back down the “competency spectrum”. When we look through the lens of 4MAT, we can see four distinct areas where distinctions between expert/high performers and novice/low performers show up:
Engage-4MAT Quadrant 1-Appreciation
What differences exist in the appreciation for the content’s value between the expert/high performer and the novice/low performer? What does an expert have an appreciation for that a novice does not?
Share-4MAT Quadrant 2-Knowledge
What knowledge does the expert/high performer possess that the novice does not? What does the expert/high performer understand?
Practice-4MAT Quadrant 3-Skill
What tactical skills does the expert/high performer possess that the novice has yet to develop? What do they do differently?
Perform-4MAT Quadrant 4-Adaptation
What differences exist between the expert/high performer’s ability to adapt, innovate or overcome barriers to implementation?
The following questions represent the types of questions you can use to determine the key concepts underlying content, as you begin your 4MAT training design. You can use these questions with subject matter experts or with senior leaders requesting training to improve performance:
1-What does someone have to have a strong appreciation of to do this well? If you had to sum this up in a word or two, what would it be? Was there ever a moment when you had an “aha!” around this and suddenly it all made sense? If so, will you share this with me?
2-What does someone need to understand to do this well? Of everything you shared, what is most important? If someone were to get “all caught up in the details” around this content, what “big picture” might they miss? When you picture how this fits together, what image comes to mind?
3-Where do most people struggle in applying this? If you were assigned to give someone feedback on applying this, what would you look for? If you were watching a high performer and a low performer applying this side-by-side, what differences would you see?
4-What kind of situations would require someone to get creative in applying this information? Where might the “wheels come off of the track”? What advice would you give someone to help them prepare for the barriers they might run into when applying this content? If this training program were 100% effective, what behaviors would you observe in the participants? What results would you see?
In the next installment, we will explore the process of defining the concept for your training design.