Diagnostic Learning

Overview

The expenditure of training and development monies should result in significant changes in an organization. People should be more competent as a result of training, and they should be energized to perform more effectively. The organization should be more effective, and it should be a more satisfying place for people to work. To achieve these ends, it is important that training and development processes be designed to help people learn, not simply to convey information.

Learning is another way of describing personal changeóa movement from one level of competency and understanding to another. One could describe this change process as a reorganization of experience. By that we mean that when learning occurs, all of one's prior experience is altered, in form and substance, to accommodate new information, new attitudes, and new skills. We integrate our past with our present experience continuously, as we develop more effective ways of doing things, and more effective ways of interacting with our world. This reorganization of experience occurs as a result of choice.

It is difficult to imagine a situation where change occurs without the element of personal choice. Even the most tumultuous of change (divorce, the death of a loved one, a home or business move, the breaking of dependency patterns, are all examples) involves a choice on the part of those who experience the event. We choose how to behave. We choose how to re-order our lives. We choose how to grieve. We choose how to change. Even the decision not to choose is, in reality, a choice between taking control and allowing old patterns of behavior, thought, and feeling to continue to direct our lives.

If learning involves choice, then the business of training and development is properly the facilitation of choice. Effective training and development programs are designed to help people choose to behave differently, and to choose to re-create their organizational environment to enable more effective performance on the part of the people in the organization. People choose to change when they are aware that their present condition represents a significant contrast with what they see as ideal. Change begins when people define their current situations clearly, and formulate goals and objectives for their own personal change process.

Where To Start

The first step, then, is diagnosis - the process of describing and evaluating one's current situation. Effective training and development programs are characterized by the inclusion of diagnostic processes have the power to identify both strengths and improvement needs in language that can be understood easily by participants. One of the significant characteristics of Magellan GMR programs is a focus on sophisticated diagnostic tools to stimulate and direct the learning process.

All of Magellan GMR's diagnostic tools are designed to identify people's critical skills and practices as they play out in the real setting of their job. Using both self-assessment and feedback from others, participants leave Magellan GMR programs with action plans that are rooted in reality, based on personal choice, and focused on specific targets for improvement back on the job.

In addition to the role diagnosis plays in focusing individual participants' planning for their own development, data can be grouped in ways to enable managers and training personnel within client organizations to identify training and development needs, as well as other organizational issues that impact performance. These data enable key managers and executives to take the steps necessary to facilitate organizational development and to support the implementation of individual action plans.

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  • Diagnostic Learning