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Question and Answer with Shawna Simcik: A Rapid Need for a Makeover of Learning and Development in 2020

ICC February 12, 2020 0 Comments

By: Shawna Simcik

It is not surprising that as more and more reports are published with predictions for the top trends emerging in 2020, it includes the rapid need for a makeover of learning and development programs. As businesses are in a continuous world of change – it stands to reason that HR functions should also get used to flexibility and adaptability. 

As Josh Bersin reported in his Ten Quick Predictions for Talent and Technology, “Learning is Top Priority.” Companies must be prepared to disrupt what they are currently doing, and L&D programs must collide with the ever-present technological landscape.

After years of experience at ICC, the challenges we often hear of delivery and impact of traditional leadership programs is fraught with issues and challenges. Here are the top three challenges and responses to the issues that our clients face.


Client: “There is no time for development. Leaders do not or cannot take time out of their busy workday for training programs.” “Can you offer your emotional intelligence training program in a 90-minute session? That’s all the managers will give me.”

My Response: “Ummm… no. You cannot train such an extensive, dynamic competency in 90-minutes; that is, if you want behavior change. We can enhance their understanding of the concept in 90-minutes but that’s it.” “Programs occurring in classroom sessions need to move to web-based, virtually broadcasted learning. 8 or 7-hour programs need to adapt to learning in bite-sized pieces, integrating the learning into your managers daily work lives.”


Client: “I invest hundreds if not thousands on the design and delivery of an incredible leadership program, but managers walk right back into the workplace and display inappropriate behavior or forget everything they learned.”

My Response: “Yup. Have you heard of the Forgetting Curve? This research tells us that within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information you presented. Within 24 hours, they have forgotten an average of 70 percent of new information, and within a week, forgetting claims an average of 90 percent of it. Might as well take your training dollars and light them on fire. You have to combat the forgetting curve with reinforcement of the material over a 60-day period.”


Client: “I send my managers to training programs, and they are highly engaged, but then they go back to work. They get busy, forget what they learned, and their managers are not holding them accountable to try the new skills in the workplace. They allow them to go right back to their old behaviors. Everyone has the best intentions though.”

My Response: “The manager is a key component of development and its stickiness. Without their involvement, the training is moot. You must have a highly self-motivated employee with an internal locus of control and intrinsically motivated to drive their own behavior change and hold themselves accountable. This is not the majority. Put in place a mechanism that reminds the manager that they have a role in the development of their employee and make it even easier by giving them the words and activities to engagement with their direct report.”

Now, this does not mean that conventional training methods are completely extinct, but rather companies need to replace the static projector screen and boring PowerPoint slides with dynamic interactive exercises. If you are going to use your precious training and development budget to bring your managers together in a room – use this time wisely. Build dynamic peer learning activities, solve business challenges, break down organizational silos, practice through applied learning, build collegiate relationships, and bring the human back into learning and development practices.

We understand the challenges that you are facing the demand to bring adaptable, cost-effective learning solutions into your organization. ICC’s Accelerator Program can help you solve these issues and propel your learning and development into the new decade. If you are interested in learning more or want a complimentary consultation on your L&D practices, give us a call 855-865-4400 or [email protected]

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Exciting news from ICC!

ICC is excited to announce that we have joined forces with Keystone Partners. With our shared commitment to providing innovative solutions as trusted advisors, Keystone Partners and ICC are set to revolutionize the HR industry and redefine the way organizations address their professional development and career transition needs.