Professional Development Doesn’t Work.


Imagine yourself in front of a crowd; corporate executives, entrepreneurs, young children, adult students – whoever YOUR people are.

You’re their leader – their teacher, their trainer – imparting knowledge, tools, and wisdom. They are all looking at you eagerly, jotting important notes, interacting with your every word, your every move.

You can see the lightbulbs going off in their heads. You are witness to the growth and learning taking place right before your eyes. You guide them, support them, supervise them as they try, apply, assess, and retry. They are practicing what you’ve taught them, integrating it. Each will be able to apply, use, discuss, and expand what they have learned with you today. They will be able to do that, not just today or tomorrow, but forever. Their learning is that integrated, that deep, that real.

Isn’t that the best feeling ever?!

That’s what we live for, those of us who are passionate to teach and train.

Unfortunately, these moments….

Are few and far between.

The sad reality is that professional development (and even classroom teaching) is largely ineffective.

Don’t get me wrong. There are great trainers out there, great teachers. But we are the exception, not the rule.

Think about it.

You’ve been to professional development training (yawn) where the information might actually have been good. Maybe, the experience was even moving and not yawn producing.

The content might have been quite engaging. The activities offered insight and food for thought.  Yet…

When you left that learning experience what happened to that great information?

Upon returning to the “real” world, how much can and do you integrate from that wonderful experience? It’s often hard to begin to figure out how, particularly in our fast paced, do it now current culture exactly where or how it all fits. You might talk about it for a few days. There might even be pieces you use in your professional or personal life.

But how much? How well integrated was the material once you left the learning environment?

Not much.

Nothing is more frustrating than to deliver a great learning experience that doesn’t initiate, nurture, and support the outcomes for which it was designed.

The truth is professional development as we know it…

largely doesn’t work.

Want proof? Check out the video of 2017 college students watching a 1940s anti-racism video.

They agree, not much has changed, despite over 50 years of diversity and inclusion training.

In education, there has been hundreds of thousands of dollars and hours spent on professional development to close achievement gaps and improve teaching.

Yet, statistics prove, disparities prevail.

If you do an internet search for “professional development training” you get over 249 million hits.

There’s no lack of professional development happening, being offered, searched, delivered, and paid for.

Yet we still see videos, news reports, research, and feeds of large corporations with deplorable customer service, businesses with huge discrimination law suits, school shootings, community violence, and more. High employee turnover is a reality in many industries. Communication, leadership, data, conflict, community…  all the elements of professional development, reflect how the content being delivered that would allow for change, isn’t happening.

What went wrong?

In the research I’ve done, professional development training (and, yes, children’s education) doesn’t teach to the learner.

Almost everything experienced is counter to what brain research tells us the brain needs to learn, remember, and integrate. It is counter to everything we know about adult learning.

I’ve been a successful professional development trainer and teacher for over two decades. I’ve discovered, through research as well as trial and error, how to teach to the learner, how to make room for the participants of my learning adventures to reach for, find, and integrate the tools and knowledge I offer. Best of all, it works with close to 90% of the participants that I encounter.

I want to use what I’ve learned to revolutionize the professional development industry. I want to change how we do what we do so we do it better.

I invite you to join me on an adventure of learning – learning what it takes to make professional development training accessible, memorable, applicable, and repeatable.

There are two ways for you to join me.

  1. Sign up to my email list so you get more of these blogs, a monthly newsletter, lots of opportunity to grow and learn with me, and some special offers unique to my “People” (those who are on that email list!). You will be personally notified about #2 below and the subsequent learning adventures I have planned. I promise it will be rewarding and FUN!

2.  I have a short, free Facebook live event (click here for FB link) coming your way on Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 1:00 PM PST. Don’t worry if you can’t make it. There will be a recording for your viewing pleasure. I’ll even put the link to it here when it’s over.

Curious? Excited? Ready?

Me too.

What can you do right now?

Start by sharing this blog post. Let’s get all of us there to begin revolutionizing professional development.

It’s time to transform boring, ineffective professional development into extraordinary learning adventures!

Oh, and remember, if you want more of these blogs (plus a monthly newsletter) sign up here!

Join me in revolutionizing professional development!