During session TU204 at ATD 2010, Andy Jefferson barked “10 x 1 = 10. 5 x 5 = 25. 10 x 10 = 100.” His point was that training multiplied by learning transfer equals results. The three equations implied:
- Most training is great, but with minimal transfer the results are poor.
- Even mediocre training can lead to better results if supported by good learning transfer.
- The best way to get fantastic results is by improving transfer.
Simple concept, simple math, but that sparked my third key career moment.
While I’ve learned from performance improvement, coaching, learning technology, and many other industry developments during my 25 years of trying to help learners get meaningful business results, learning transfer was the most recent key moment for me. Unlike other shiny trends, learning transfer isn’t intellectually stimulating, strategic, or even new. It’s more of a mid-sized donkey that drags learning to results. However, learning transfer is focused on learners, on behavior in the workplace, and on business. Most importantly, it can deliver results.
Since 2010 my team has spent years diving into primary research about learning transfer. We’ve taken every course and certification we could find. Hungry for more, we developed our own original learning transfer model. Based on that, we redesigned every one of our major training programs to maximize learning transfer. Since then we’ve found great technology to support transfer and are now working to refine evaluation.
Last year I wrote a column called "Talent Development’s Perfect Storm" describing my excitement that all the pieces are now in place to get great results from learning. To be honest, two decades into my career, I didn’t expect a sudden uptick in insight, personal growth, and excitement. Luckily, I had a learning transfer moment. Thanks, Andy.