15 Focus-min

There is usually a sense of urgency from business leaders and managers when they bring a request to learning professionals. They often ask for a course to be delivered.   It can be tempting to immediately roll up our sleeves and start designing that solution. However, this quick response can fail to address the real business issue and people’s needs.

Instead of rushing in, I want to identify hidden needs, underlying issues and opportunities.  Then I can design a solution that addresses real needs and creates greater business value. I have been using agile and human-centric design approaches help me to do this.

In Episode 5 of my Learning Uncut podcast, I speak with Renetta Alexander and James Scoggins from the Bank of New Zealand. They have implemented agile and human-centric practices.  They describe how these practices have enabled them to deliver solutions that better meet business needs, and do so in a shorter period.  Listen to the full podcast to learn how they have done this.

I encourage you to look more closely at one tool they mention – The Opportunity Canvas.  This is a tool they use to “unpack the business problem alongside the business.”  It shapes discussion about a problem or solution.  I like how the tool takes both a business and user perspective.  It helps us to apply two shifts reshaping learning in organisations – a performance mindset and human-centred design.  To get started using this tool I recommend this article from business entrepreneur Niklas Stephenson.

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