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Stopping the Jump-To-Solution Approach

04 Mar 2017 10:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Hi Alison, I need you to deliver a credit writing training course. I’m tired of having to give memos back to my team for re-writes.

This email was waiting for me last Friday morning. Thanks to Dana Robinson’s session the night before with the Research Triangle Area chapter of the Association for Talent Development, I did not simply respond with, “When do you want the training?”


Dana provided the ~40 participants with some basic tools to assess business and performance needs and what might be keeping employees from achieving them. Only once we understand what is driving a gap between the “Is” and the “Should” can we determine the right corrective actions. Those might include training. They also well may not.

Did you know that there are nine categories of factors that can impact on-the-job performance? Of these nine, only one is effectively addressed with training. I knew conceptually before Dana’s session that training can help with gaps in skills and knowledge. That idea really hit home when she laid out all the other factors – from clarity of roles and responsibilities to incentive programs to external regulations – that also impact performance. This last element resonated in particular since I came from a financial services company that became regulated in 2011 as a Systemically Important Financial Institution.

The most important tool that Dana gave us, in my opinion, is permission to ask questions. She helped us break those down into three categories: Should, Is and Cause. In other words, questions to help us understand the desired end state (Should), what’s happening now (Is), and what might be the reason for a gap (Cause). Powerful questions can give powerful results. Don’t expect this to be a hallway conversation. Stopping a jump-to-solution approach requires a commitment to ask thoughtful questions and to understand the answers.

If you attended the evening session with ATD-RTA, you may be thinking you want more of Dana’s insight to be even more effective in your role. If you missed the evening session, you haven’t missed out entirely. Dana will be hosting a full-day workshop on March 30 for the chapter (non-members are also welcome to attend). For more information, see the website (tdrta.org/event-2466902).


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