The Learning & Development Podcast: The L&D Detective Kit For Solving Impact Mysteries With Kevin M. Yates

November 24, 2020

Written by Kiren Kahlon

L&D Detective Kit

Topics

The Learning & Development podcast is hosted by our Chief Learning Officer David James. Featuring L&D leaders from across the globe, each conversation focuses on hot topics in the profession. This transcript is from the conversation between David and Kevin M. Yates on the importance of investigating learning impact.

Listen to episode 57 of the Learning & Development podcast here.

David James: Welcome to The Learning & Development Podcast. I’m David James from Looop. In each episode, I chat with guests about what lights them up in the world of people development. In this episode, I’m welcoming back Kevin M. Yates to discuss a very important ebook he’s just released called The L&D Detective Kit for Solving Impact Mysteries.

Before we get into it, if you’re enjoying this podcast, please do give us a five-star rating on your podcast app of choice to help others to find us, and thank you if you’ve done so already. Now, let’s get into it.

David: Kevin, welcome back to The Learning & Development Podcast.

Kevin M. Yates: Hey, David, it’s really good to be back. I’m happy to talk to you again today.

David: Wonderful. Now, Kevin, you’ve recently published your ebook L&D Detective Kit for Solving Impact Mysteries. Now, what are you hoping to achieve with this ebook, and who is it for?

Kevin: Yes, that’s a great question, David. Yes, it was soft published, Oh, gosh, maybe a week ago or so. I’m very excited about that. For me, David, the biggest goal that I have is sharing this body of work with the global Learning & Development community is supporting global training and learning development teams with an actionable strategy for how to measure the impact of our training solutions, our training programmes, and all that we’re doing to support people and teams in their performance.

In this book, I have defined impact, David, as the extent to which training and learning is activating performance and business goals. What I really am hoping for this book is that it helps teams, L&D teams, measure how training and learning is activating behaviour and performance. Does that make sense?

David: Yes, it does completely. Having read the ebook myself already, I can see that it’s of huge value. If I can just say to the listener right now that this isn’t a theoretical book. If you’re not aware of Kevin’s background, please look him up and see that this is based on real experience. He runs the experiments to know that this stuff works.

I’m excited to lift the lid a little on there, on this ebook, and have conversations around some of those key things today, Kevin. Before I do, you’ve made the decision to make this available for free so it says no cost to download. Why is that?

Kevin: Yes. That’s an interesting question, David because so many people have said to me, “Hey, Kevin, but you should have had a cost for this.” I’ve even seen some comments on social media where people say, “I would have gladly paid for this.” Maybe I missed my opportunity today, but I don’t know. Here’s the reality. I did not want costs to not allow this resource to be widely available.

Even if I had a minimal fee, who knows if that might have prevented someone from being able to pay. I really wanted to be sure that this resource was scalable, and that it was accessible. I did not want money to be a prohibitor from people having access to this resource. That’s why I chose to make it free. It’s like my gift to the L&D community because the L&D community, the global L&D community, has been so good to me. For me, it’s my way of giving back to the community.

David: That’s wonderful. It’s incredibly generous of you. For anybody who equates cost to value, I would say that certainly in this case, the fact that it’s free doesn’t diminish its value one iota. I think that not only are the other descriptions in your stories incredibly valuable, your tools within there really bring it to life. Let’s get into some of those, Kevin.

Kevin: Thank you.

In Order to Measure Impact we Need to Design For Impact

Solving Impact Mysteries
Source: https://kevinmyates.com/

David: You talk about impact standards as an opening frame for your book. Let’s start with what are impact standards and to what extent do they need to be met?

Kevin: Yes, great question. I started the ebook with that deliberately and intentionally as a result of experiences I’ve had where I am asked to measure the impact of something. What usually happens, David is, well, unfortunately, what usually happens is that we design, deploy, launch our training programmes and our learning solutions. Then they are consumed, they are utilised. Then the question is, how do we measure impact? It’s an afterthought. 

Measuring impact is an afterthought. The reason I started the ebook with the standards is to proactively position it in a way where we can be thinking about whether or not what we’re asked to measure is really designed to be measured for impact. Here’s what I mean by that, David. There are some training and learning solutions that are designed to let’s say, create awareness and that might be like a lunch and learn.

That may be anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes. I doubt that that experience will massively impact performance, but that’s okay because it serves a different purpose. Then we have some training and learning that may be designed to fulfill compliance requirements. That’s okay, too, because there is a purpose there. When we think about training and learning that was intentionally and purposely designed to activate behaviour, access performance, and business goals, then that is very different.

With the impact standards, now I’m coming back to your question. Why start the book with the impact standards? Before you go down the path of trying to measure impact for something and remember, I’m defining impact as activating behaviour, performance acts as a business goal. Before you try to measure impact for something, I recommend using the impact standards to determine whether or not that training programme with that learning solution for which you’re trying to measure impact was actually designed for impact.

You don’t want to put too much work into something and then discover at the end that it wasn’t set up for impact. Those impact standards upfront give you guidance for how to set the criteria. There are six questions there for the impact standards. You can ask those six questions for that training programme with that learning solution before you try to measure impact. It’ll save you a lot of time and a lot of headaches.

You may find that at the front end that that training programme or that learning solution was not designed for impact as we have defined it. Then that way, again, you’re able to proactively determine whether or not it’s worth the effort. Does that make sense?

David: It does completely, Kevin, and it really resonates. I put posts up on LinkedIn just to keep a conversation going, which I think are important conversations. Some of them were around L&D relying on unintended consequences to validate their decision to do the stuff they’ve done. When you say something like, “We might say that it’s worth bringing people together for three days if they take one thing away from this.”

I challenged that, I say, “No, I think that’s an abundant misuse of company resources. If what you’re saying is we’ve taken you away from your work.” Especially, maybe it won’t be during these times, and who knows when the next opportunity will be to take people away from their work for three days. We’re saying that it’ll be worth your while. Then people reply back and say, “Yes, but it’s not just about what we’ve got them there for that’s important. Other important stuff happens.”

I go, no! What you’re saying there is the fact that we’ve just brought people together, despite us paying facilitator costs and venue costs, and the cost of taking them away. The fact that they’ve had a conversation around the water-cooler is sufficient enough. I think that this is just such a terrible way to think about what could be and should be such a critical function in the success of any given organisation.

Especially during these periods, where nearly everybody is expected to adapt to what’s going on in the world. Whether that’s adapting, because there were restrictions placed within their workplace, or because of changing consumer expectations, but we’ve all got to adapt. Who has a better place to do this than Learning & Development but if all we’re talking about is providing more water-cooler moments just in case there’s a good conversation, I just think we’re diminishing our value to such an extent.

Kevin: David, you’re so spot on. The connection to what you just talked about to the ebook is all about purpose and intention because I think that that’s what you’re speaking to. There needs to be purpose and intention with all that we do in our work as L&D practitioners.

In the book, David, I’m focusing on how we build training and learning solutions with the purpose and intention, and then to take that a step further. The book focuses on how we measure the extent to which we have fulfilled purpose and fulfilled intention. I think that you’re spot on when you say that, we have to add value, we need to be a bit more purposeful with how we add value and we need to be thinking about the investment that people are making, not only in their development but in their time as well.

Impact Opportunity Interviews Allow You to Discover Business Opportunities or Business Problems

David: Yes, and you use this lovely phrase, I pull from your ebook, it says, “The most prevalent challenge for impact investigations is not uncovering impact expectations before the learning solution is deployed.” Now, when I think about my time in house, and I think of one particular situation where a very senior stakeholder said to me, “I’d like you to run presentation skills for everyone in my area.”

It was one of the biggest parts of the business and so you’re thinking, now, instinctively, I know this is wrong. You scratch to uncover a little bit further, and you say, “Okay, so what problem are you seeing here?” First, you’ve got to get past the emotion sometimes because you’re having a conversation with somebody that they did not expect, I think they were looking for the answer, “Yes, sir. When would you like it delivered?” You’ve got to scratch to ask because you know it’s wrong. You say, “Okay, so what is it that you’re seeing?” Then you say, “Well, this group of people, when they were presenting to suppliers, or these third parties coming into the organisation, there was no standard process.” So I’m going, okay, it was more about a standard way of doing this.

They say, “No, no, not quite. We needed a template to–” We were going further down. This was almost down to the level of a standard template, that’s those third parties knew that there was this joined-up approach across the different functions. Now, it wasn’t just a template, there was an element of pitching, but imagine saying yes to the presentation skills at the outset, just because you had a presentation skills programme. Then you’re not actually talking about the impact that you want to be making based on actual observations.

Look, there was a great deal of preference in that, Kevin, as much as it was around business need but is that what you’re talking about? Is that an example of what you’re talking about?

Kevin: Well, that’s a perfect example. I don’t know if you just made this next point easier for me on purpose, David, but in the book, I have the impact opportunity interview. There are nine questions that we can ask of business partners and stakeholders when they make the request for training.

Very similar to what you just talked about with what you did, David, was to dive a little deeper, so that you could discover what the real business opportunity is or what the real business problem is. The way in which you did that was best practice. It was classic because you were able to get at the root of what your requester was really asking for.

In the ebook, there are nine questions that I have positioned that we can ask business partners and stakeholders when they, and I’m using air quotes, when they ‘request’ training. What those nine questions do, David, is focus on business goals, the context within which those business goals are set. The questions also focus on performance requirements to achieve those goals. It helps you discover the difference between where performance is and where it needs to be to achieve those business goals. It focuses on all the inputs to achieving the business goals and all the activators for human performance.

To your point, a little bit of conversation can go a long way. It can be the difference between spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and investing thousands of hours in development time versus what the real solution is. It can make the difference between the right investment and the wrong investment and it’s just a matter of having the right conversation. I believe that the impact opportunity interview with those nine questions, helps you ask the right questions.

Listen to episode 57 of the Learning & Development podcast here.

David: It’d be good to bring that to life, Kevin, because the approach that I took on the presentation skills request, I think it was born from my frustration and just knowing that it was wrong. Digging to uncover but it was all instinctive, there wasn’t a method particularly behind that. Could you give us an example of how the impact opportunity interview could work? Say, if I invited you for a conversation as a stakeholder in your organisation, and asked for some training for my team?

Kevin: Yes, great question. If you come to me with that ‘request’ for training, and let’s just say your request is, “We need training for communication skills.” Then my follow up to that would be, “That’s awesome. That’s great. I’m happy to hear that you have some interest in investing in your employees’ development. Talk to me a little bit more about a business goal. If you believe that your employees need communication skills, talk to me about a business goal that being better communicators would help.” That’s the first question.

Then I would follow up to say, “Well, talk to me a little bit more about the need for that communication skill. What’s the context relative to the business goal? Is there an opportunity that we want to pursue as a business? Is there a problem that we’re trying to solve?” Then I would follow that up by saying, “Well, talk to me a little bit more about the specific performance requirements that will help people achieve that business goal relative to communication.” I would then ask, “Can you describe a little bit more, dive a little bit deeper, what does communication look like as you are describing it as you’re thinking about it?”

Then I will follow that up, David to say, “Compare and contrast where people are today with their communication skills and their communication capability to where you believe they need to be in order to achieve the business goal that we’ve just talked about.” Then I would follow that up to say, “Well, as we think about these communication skills, and that business goal that we just talked about, let’s be thinking about all the things that contribute to people performing in a way using those communication and capability skills that we’re talking about right now.”

In addition to maybe training and learning, because we don’t know that yet, but in addition to that, what are all the contributors to communication, as you see it? We may be then thinking about, well, how does a manager support an employee’s communication capability? What are some rewards and recognition that may contribute to the way in which we need people to communicate? Then I’ll follow that up by saying, “Let’s be thinking about performance as it relates to communication, that communication needs to just identify, let’s be thinking about how we would measure that.”

If people are communicating in a way that helps them achieve the business goal that you just described, how would we measure that? What is the evidence that people are communicating in a way that helps the business be successful? That’s just a quick snapshot, David, of the impact opportunity interview and how I would use those questions to really get at the root of the business problem, or opportunity, but also the performance requirement. Then if you notice, David, in that conversation that I just did in about a minute or 90 seconds, I didn’t talk about training at all. Did you notice that?

David: Yes, you’re not talking about the solution, you’re still uncovering what the issues are.

Kevin: That’s exactly it. The impact opportunity interview and those nine questions are really focused on discovering. When you get that information back, what you can do is go off and evaluate the results of that conversation. When you evaluate the results of that conversation, you’re going to come to two conclusions. Either what the business problem is, or the business opportunity is, it’s going to be or rather will require a trained well-known solution or it won’t.

Either way, as a result of that discovery-based conversation, you have the information you need to support that business partner or that business stakeholder to say, “Based on our conversation, here’s what I’ve discovered. We can support you with one of our training programmes or our learning solutions, or it turns out that what you talked about, is really not a training solution but here’s what it is and let’s talk about how I can support you that way.”

David: Let’s come back–

Kevin: Does that make sense?

David: It does, Kevin, I’d like to come back to what the potential solution could be in a moment but I’d like to play devil’s advocate with you, because I’m sure that there’s a listener here who thinks that the traditional way here, and perhaps the way that we accept our responsibility, our role in Learning & Development, wouldn’t necessarily be to drill down to the specifics, but would be to develop a broader solution that helps to address some anticipated and not anticipated needs around communication.

That if we had people together for two days, then we could explore a vast number of different communication areas. That the individual would be able to pick the one or two things that they think would be more appropriate to their solution. Now, we’ve already discussed this earlier on with the– if you take away one thing and having people experience this for two days. You can see the natural response could be much more around the educational and immersive training experience that we’re used to.

Also, that would please the stakeholder a lot of the time who would expect there to be a training solution that perhaps was immersive, that had people feel as if they were being invested in. You’re challenging the ingrained L&D approach and the stakeholder expectation. How do you address that?

Focusing on Business Goals Allows us to Align Learning Solutions With the Priorities of the Organisation

Kevin: That’s a great question. I would address that, David, by going back to the very first question that I asked that business stakeholder and that very first question was, what is the business goal? By business goal I mean what is the business trying to achieve from a strategy perspective? Is it growth? Is it quality? Is it time? Greater market share?

If we are aligned to that, then we are focused less on, what I like to call, the kumbaya moments that we create when we bring people together, and then they just feel good because they have a learning experience. Now, certainly, we want to invest in employees. That’s important.

I think that the greater opportunity is when we are investing in employees in a way that helps them achieve business goals which supports their performance in a way that helps them achieve business goals. To your question, how do I bring it back to that? I bring it back to that by asking that first question, what is the business goal? Then, I follow that up with, what is the context of this business goal?

I think that if we always bring it back to business goals, that aligns our training and our learning solutions with what’s important or where the priorities are in the business. Yes, it is important to bring people together, well, when we could pre COVID, but I think the essence of what you’re saying, David, is how do we strike the right balance between tangibly demonstrating that we are providing development opportunities? How do we balance that with the idea of providing learning opportunities that are purposeful, deliberate, and intentional with supporting specific business goals?

It is a dance. It is a balance, but I think that if you always start the conversation with focusing on business goals and the context for the business goals, then I think that that’s where you ultimately are able to get on the same page with where the priorities are for the business. Does that make sense?

David: Yes, it does. It does completely. What I like about that as well is that when you come to having the people you’re seeking to influence, experience your intervention, they’re much more likely to recognise it. Again, if we play devil’s advocate and we thought that the most appropriate way for this wouldn’t be to take this down to a specific area, by the time people get to the end of a two-day communication skills programme, they’re likely to think, “There were some lovely ideas in there and do you know what? It was really great to get away from work and to hear those ideas.”

If you’ve drilled down that the issue is that your team are unable to communicate well enough to gain support for their ideas with a distinct team that they are reliant upon and then you focused your solution, your conversations, and your resources around bridging the gap between you and that team in order to gain that support, they’ll recognise it.

There’s also a level of accountability. If all you’re doing is talking with them about a really crucial element of their role and somewhere where there’s a deficiency, you can see you’re talking about their accountability and what they’re going to do next as opposed to, as you said, the kumbaya moment type intervention where you are just trying to get a high-level agreement that everybody believes in these theories and if only they could apply these in the right way and transfer this learning, despite us not really talking about their context, then that would work.

You know what, Kevin? I think, as well as not wanting to create those kumbaya moments, we’ve got to put away our guru status as well, and realise that it’s not about us standing at the front of a room and sharing everything we know about a particular topic.

Kevin: Again, you’re spot on. You and I are always aligned in our thinking, David. When I go back to why I created this book, I think there is an opportunity that connects with everything that we’re talking about here. I know that I’m probably sounding a little bit redundant, but I just think about intention, purpose, and specificity. I think that what the ebook does is show how to build training and learning solutions with intention, with purpose, and specificity, for activating performance and business goals.

Yes, three days is great. Three days of training and learning with peers and colleagues is great. That’s nice, but how much more powerful is it if we spend a day narrowly focused, using an example we just talked about, if we spend one day narrowly focused on those communication skills that the business has identified as being critical for achieving specific business goals? That’s really what I focus on in the ebook.

L&D’s Job is to Help People Perform in a Way That’s Going to Help Them Achieve Business Goals

Business goals

David: How do you address the concern from perhaps our colleagues who are more used to developing traditional training solutions, but are concerned that if you start unpacking and getting down to levels of specificity, what if it’s not training? What else is in the kitbag, Kevin? What can we explore?

What can we expect, sorry, if we start getting specific and then it’s realised all round that it’s not a training issue?

Kevin: Yes, because the point is we don’t want to talk ourselves out of a job. That’s the reality. To borrow modern-day vernacular, David, let’s just keep it real. We want to keep our jobs but here’s the opportunity. If it’s not always training or learning, maybe it’s something else, and by something else, maybe it’s another way to activate performance.

Here’s the thing for me, David. my view is that we are, as a profession, my view is that we are performance consultants first, and then L&D practitioners second, because everything that we do, I believe, is most powerful when it measurably impacts people’s performance. To answer your question, if it’s not training or it’s not learning, what is it? It may be some other way in which we can bolster performance because what we want to be able to do is support people in a way that helps them achieve business goals when they are using their performance to do so.

If it’s not a traditional elearning, if it’s not traditional classroom instructor-led, or these days if it’s not traditional virtual instructor-led, maybe it’s just some other solution that we are using to support the business, to help people perform in a way that’s going to help them achieve business goals. Maybe that could be a guide, something as simple as a coaching guide, or it may be something as simple as a video that is a good example of what it looks like when you are having meaningful conversations with employees.

For example, if you’re a manager, if you’re having meaningful conversations that motivate and inspire them. Those are just some quick examples off the top of my head, David, but I think what we’re saying here is that training is not the only solution. Digital learning is not the only solution.

There are other ways in which we can support people with their performance requirements to achieve business goals. We aren’t talking ourselves out of a job to do that, but the essence of what we’re doing is offering up alternative ways to fulfill our purpose of supporting people’s performance.

David: Yes. I agree with you, Kevin, and I think that contrary to us doing ourselves out of a job, I think that we will end up elevating our status within an organisation if we’re talking about the stuff that really needs to be addressed and then making a demonstrable difference to what is actually important, speaking the language of our stakeholders and then using their metrics as a measure of success.

You go on to talk in your ebook about impact design. Now, design is a cornerstone of the Learning & Development toolkit, but you include a section on performance outcomes versus learning objectives. There is a clear distinction that I don’t think can be understated, but I think is easily morphed because sometimes in Learning & Development, we have a knack of taking a new practice or an emerging practice, rebranding existing practices, “Hey, we already do that.” So, I wonder if you could be really clear with us about the difference between the two.

Listen to episode 57 of the Learning & Development podcast here.

Learning Objectives Aren’t Measurable, But Performance Outcomes Are 

Kevin: Gosh, this is a sensitive topic, I believe, in our profession because there is a difference between a learning objective and a performance outcome as I identified in the book. The traditional learning objective is more often than not stated as you will learn, you will know or you will understand. How many times have you seen that, David? 

David: Too many.

Kevin: Too many. Too many. Really the follow up to that is, how will you know that I know? How will you know that I understand and how will you know that I’ve learned? Rather than writing learning objectives, I am a big fan of writing performance outcomes because performance outcomes are an expression of what knowing, learning, and understanding looks like.

For me, as an L&D detective, what I’m looking for is the evidence of knowing. The evidence of learning and the evidence of understanding. If I were to say it another way, David, I would say, how does that show up on the job, like real-time, day-to-day? If people are executing and behaving in a way that shows that they understand what does that look like? What are they doing? How are they acting? How are they behaving?

When you do that, what you’re getting at is a performance outcome. I think it’s important to draw the distinction between a learning objective and a performance outcome because learning objectives aren’t measurable, but performance outcomes are measurable because you can look for the evidence of whether or not people are behaving in a certain kind of way or acting a certain kind of way or performing in a certain kind of way because you can see it.

That’s why I will go back to that question, how does it show up? What does it look like real-time, day-to-day, on the job? I believe that we can move away from those learning objectives and use performance outcomes because those are measurable and that’s what we’re looking for and that’s what the book is all about. How do you measure it?

David: You get the performance outcomes by doing the discovery that we’ve talked about so far and you get your learning objectives if what you’re doing at the outset is taking the request and turning what was initially through observation an actual performance requirement, translating that to a learning need, aggregating common learning needs and developing standardised solutions, which, of course, will make limited impact.

What you’re doing is you’re distorting what is actually going on and then you’re translating that into a set of products that we’re renowned for. You can see the distortion isn’t helpful. What I think I’m hearing from you is that if we keep in their world, then we’ll have a greater chance of enhancing their performance, turning the influence in their performance and enhancing their results. But we can’t do that by expecting them only to play in our arena. We’ve got to step into theirs to understand theirs a bit.

Kevin: That’s exactly it. We have to dive deep into the world of the organisations in which we work. We have to step outside of our L&D silo. The other thing that I think that drives a lot, David, is curiosity. They’ve got to be curious. Curiosity extends itself beyond our own world. I think that what I see, I’m just generally speaking, is that as a profession, we’re doing an awesome job with the work that we do within our domain.

I think there are some brilliant instructional designers. There are brilliant people who know about learning technology. There are brilliant people in our industry who are doing amazing things with things like leadership development but equally so, I think we have to be curious enough to step inside the organisation within which we work to discover what really matters to the business.

David: Moving on, Kevin, you have a section within the ebook ‘called facts, clues, evidence and data for impact’. The hard evidence, as I like to call it. You bring these into learning performance, employee performance, and business performance. How do these differ and interlink?

Kevin: Great question. Why don’t I start with the first one. The context here is discovering facts, clues, evidence, and data for the impact of training and learning is kind of a popcorn trail and it’s a chain of evidence, so what you describe are three links. That first link is learning performance.

I want to be clear when I talk about learning performance, I’m talking about the kinds of facts, clues, evidence, and data where we have insight into the effectiveness of our training and our learning solutions. One of the things that I’m looking at is the quick clue. The quick clue is data that we get back from a learning survey. I’ve got to be very careful here, David, because I don’t want to give the impression that data from a learning survey tells the whole story because it does not.

Even in the book, I am using specific kinds of learning survey questions. These survey questions are not asking, did you like the instructor? Did you like the food? Did you like the facilities and was the weather conducive to your learning experience? I’m being a bit sarcastic here, but quite often, learning surveys are asking gratuitous kind of questions that really don’t help us but in the book, I am asking impact-based survey questions that give clues on the extent to which we can estimate that there will be a change in behaviour, actions, and performance.

That’s one type of way of which we can measure learning performance. Another way in which we can measure learning performance is to do things like simulations that give us insight into how people might perform in the real world so we get some good data from that. Those are examples of learning performance. Then when we talk about examples of people performance, that’s data that gives us insight into how people are executing in their role, in their work, in a way that will hopefully, ultimately, impact business goals.

We can use things like customer satisfaction surveys because that shows what the experience is that people are having with people in our business as an example and we might even be able to get access to real-time people performance data. Certainly, there are certainly considerations there when we talk about people performance data but what you can do is aggregate that data and anonymise it so that you can’t see someone’s name specifically but rather, you can gain insight into what those performance metrics look like for a cluster of people who have participated in a training or learning programme.

That’s an example of people performance data. Then the business performance data, which is actually the easiest data because that is all about things like quality and sales, market position, I can’t think of any other–

David: Service level agreements, customer satisfaction.

Kevin: Yes. All of those are the easiest data to get because the business is already reporting that. That’s the easiest data that’s there. What we’re trying to do is connect the dots between learning performance, people performance, and business performance to determine if learning is actually activating people’s performance in a way that helps them achieve business goals. Sorry, I had that little blank moment.

David: Happens to the best of us, Kevin.

Kevin: It’s still early, David.

David: Clearly, Kevin, investigating impact can’t be an afterthought but must be planned and designed into L&D solutions. Now, if this all seems overwhelming and a bit too hard to get going with, how do you recommend the listener gets started with this?

Kevin: I don’t mean to be so self-serving, but we are talking about the book, right?

David: Yes.

Investigating Impact Can’t be an Afterthought, it Must be Planned and Designed Into L&D Solutions

Kevin: In the book, there’s a section that talks about designing for impact and it gives specific examples of how to use results from the impact opportunity interview to inform decisions for how to design for impact. In addition to that, David, there’s an accompaniment to the book in the impact templates.

What people who are listening to designers are able to do is use the references and examples in the ebook for how to design for impact and then use the template to create your own training and learning solutions that are intentionally and purposely designed for impact as well. I believe that I’ve made it a little easier and I’ve tried to make it easier by providing examples because quite often, we’ll read a book and then it just tells you how to do it but it doesn’t give you examples for how to do it.

I really wanted to make sure in the book that I provided examples of exactly what I’m talking about. I believe that if you follow the guidance that’s in the book for how to design for impact, you’ll have a roadmap for how to create training and learning solutions that will activate performance, and that will activate business goals.

David: Wonderful. Thanks so much for that, Kevin. I wanted to invite you onto the podcast because having read the book, I think it is an incredibly valuable resource and one that I don’t think will be read once and put away, but will be one that can be returned to and continue to deliver value, not least because of the resources that you’ve put in there.

The templates that will guide people to do more of the right stuff and just get going, just experiment, to have a different type of conversation at the outset, to consider what those performance outcomes would be, to elevate their status within their own organisation for a fresher who might provide learning experiences to one that is integral to their organisation. I think this is a great start if people wish to do that.

We will put the link, Kevin, to the book in the show notes, and if people wish to follow your work and connect with you, how best can they do so?

Kevin: Oh, my goodness. I’m all over the place, David.

You can certainly connect with me on LinkedIn. I engage with a lot of people there. Connect with me on LinkedIn. I am also on Facebook. I’m on Twitter, we’re also on Instagram. Then certainly, I would invite anyone to take a look at my website, kevinmyates.com, I have a little bit of information there that may help you as well.

David: Fabulous. We’ll put the links to all of those in the show notes as well. Kevin, thank you very much for sharing your expertise in your book, publishing that and making that available for free and also for being a guest again on The Learning & Development Podcast.

Kevin: David, it is always a pleasure to talk to you my friend.

David: Kevin is always so generous in sharing his expertise, which is grounded in his lived experience, as well as sound theory, meaning, it’s based on what works and not on what he’s selling. His latest ebook is a great consolidation of his thinking and his tools, and it’s well worth the investment of your time.

If you’d like to get in touch with me, perhaps to suggest topics you’d like to hear discussed, you can tweet me @DavidInLearning, connect on LinkedIn or Facebook, for which you’ll find the links in the show notes. Goodbye for now.

Listen to episode 57 of the Learning & Development podcast here or book a free demo to find out more about designing for impact.

About Kevin M. Yates

Kevin is the Learning & Development detective, solving the mystery: “What is the impact of learning?” He does this by investigating how learning activates performance and business goals. He is also author of the eBook, The L&D Detective Kit For Solving Impact Mysteries in which he shares the secrets to his success. for investigating and measuring impact. 

Connect with Kevin on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

Connect with David on LinkedIn and Twitter

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