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Creating change

Blog posts | 15.03.2021

Hajira Shaheen

Senior Lead Learning Designer at Kineo AU

Working out 3-4 times a week helps lower your risk of chronic diseases, makes your nervous system more efficient, gives you a mood boost, and protects your brain from ageing. Why don’t your start your exercise program starting this coming Monday? 

So, will you? Did reading facts about the benefits of exercising get you off the couch and into the gym? I’d be willing to risk a ‘no’ here.  This is because knowledge does not lead to behavioural change. And yet, every year there are hundreds of online learning modules created, for exactly this purpose. Needless to say, most of them fail.  

The simplest reason for this: We do not understand what change requires. James Clear in his book ‘Atomic Habits’ argues that environment is the most important thing when looking to change habits. As learning is an event, a moment in time, if you will; it makes an elearning course quite unlikely to create long lasting change.  

This is where you need to be an L&D superhero and walk in with your ‘campaign approach.’ A campaign approach implies multi-pronged continuous learning (and not a 30 mins learning course) It means delivering small changes through multi-modal learning bites.  It means ongoing reinforcement.  

Let’s break down an example campaign:  

Start with letting the learners know what needs to change, and more importantly, why? The classic WIIFM? (What’s in it for me?)  

To set up your elearning/training for success, start thinking about the cue. The motivation. What can you do so the learner starts thinking about this change? Some posters around the office, a video email etc. Get them primed for what's coming next!  

Launch your campaign! This is your opportunity to release the learning solution you have worked on for so long. Hopefully the last stage has piqued their interest and your learners are already curious about this new change. Again, think broadly. Break your 30 -mins content into a weekly video or an infographic or a team coffee roundup. In fact, do all three!  

No time to rest! Your job is only half done now. Keeping up the momentum is the real key. To quote James Clear again, 

“The Four Laws of Behavior Change are a simple set of rules we can use to build better habits. They are 

(1) make it obvious, 

(2) make it attractive, 

(3) make it easy, and 

(4) make it satisfying.” 

So have a think about how you can keep your cues obvious and easy.     

It is time we restarted thinking our learning systems when it comes to behavioural change. There’s no magic bullet - it's an ongoing learning that takes time. All you need to do is to point your team in the right direction and give them the tools to succeed.  

If you'd like to discuss ways to improve behavioural change in your specific learning environment, get in touch  - we're here to help.

Hajira Shaheen

Senior Lead Learning Designer at Kineo AU

Hajira Shaheen is a Senior Learning Designer working out of her sunny home in Sydney. She is an ex-marketer who decided one day that the world had seen enough bad online trainings. Uniquely placed with experience working both in higher education and the corporate world, she has set out in the world to make it a better place. One eLearning at a time.