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“Learning Implementation best practices are rooted in common sense, yet they are surprisingly not common practice,” writes Ed Emde, president of Wilson Learning Corp, in a recent article that appeared in

[1] Emde believes the reason for this is the wrong focus. Rather than recording what happens in the classroom, learning leaders should pay attention to workplace practices.

Answers to the questions, “Does it work?” and “Is it successful?” are the best barometers for any type of learning implementation. This advice will sound familiar to lean learning experts. Pragmatism or results-oriented criteria are at the heart of lean strategies.

The goal of any learning implementation program is to improve performance. Yet according to Emde, learning leaders often feel so pressured to install the program, they fail to observe and record its effectiveness. As a result, implementation falls short of expectations.

Common excuses for failed implementation can be lack of proper support, insufficient budget, or lack of time.

Emde cites Michael Woodard, GE Power Services’ global learning leader, as an example of a successful learning professional who is unconcerned about these issues. Instead, says Emde, Woodard focuses on delivering the same high-quality program content to every component of the company’s learning implementation process. Emde points out that the right investment in learning implementation has a multiplier effect on results generated.

In an Internet article titled “21 ideas for successful implementation of Lean Management,” Patange Vidyut Chandra offers excellent advice for ensuring long-term results for learning implementation. Citing an action-based approach, each of Chandra’s ideas is based on use of lean tools and strategies for building a sustainable lean culture. For Chandra, the goal is to establish The Lean Way as an integral part of the organization’s method of operation.

“Unfortunately, you cannot PowerPoint your way to Lean,” says Chandra. “The Toyota Way—often held up as the epitome of Lean—is about learning by doing… The Toyota approach to training, for instance, is to put people in difficult situations and let them solve their way out of the problems. The Oliver Wight Approach, on the other hand, is to run an action-based learning event to both educate the team in Lean and its application to a process. This is achieved by facilitating the team in creating value stream maps of the current process prior to goal setting and the team creating a new Lean process, along with an implementation plan and budget.”[2]

Regardless of which practice a learning leader chooses, Lean’s approach to learning implementation builds action and measured results into its on-site workshops, trainings and certification programs.

[1] “Learning Implementation, Best Practices,” by Ed Emde., November/December 2016.

[2] Chandra, Patange Vidyut, “21 ideas for successful implementation of Lean Management,” 04/27/2014.