May 6, 2019

Use ‘Show and Tell’ to Convey the Story of Impact

Remember when we were younger and our parents or teachers would engage us with ‘Show and Tell’? These exercises strengthened our ability in our early lives to communicate with others.

Telling the story of impact is similar to ‘Show and Tell’. As an L&D professional, the goal is to communicate effectively about how L&D supported business results or behavior changes. Effective communication should create a constructive and collaborative environment between L&D and the stakeholder, for a meaningful conversation about 1) the status of the result against a goal, 2) the trend of that result over time and 3) the major deliverables that L&D implemented to support and align to those outcomes at points in time when those outcomes were changing.

The key to the ‘Show and Tell’ approach to impact storytelling is to agree upon the roughly reasonable key metrics that are important to the stakeholders and begin to track and trend those 1) over time – before, during and after the learning initiative and 2) where applicable, against a naturally occurring control group of people that did not experience the learning. Keep in mind, a key metric could be operational (ex. sales cycle time or compliance incidents) or it could be competency-related (ex. decisiveness, innovation).

Also, if the key metrics are not able to be gathered in a timely manner or with validity, gather it by asking predictive questions on evaluations and capture what we call Impact Ratings to trend over time too.

Once you know this information, you then want to annotate and associate the story of learning impact and value to them. See Use Annotation and Association to Tell Your Impact Story for more details on this concept. This information is then displayed in a scorecard format so an operational stakeholder can easily understand how these metrics are doing against a goal. See below for a sample.

Next, for any key metric, you’ll want to show the trend so the stakeholder understands how it is doing over time. When showing the trend, annotate the L&D story for the relevant time periods so L&D can ‘Show and Tell’ how it supported the mission of this metric. See below for examples.

Using the principles of ‘Show and Tell’ become very powerful in conveying how L&D aligned to the outcomes. L&D should track and trend, in a roughly reasonable way, the metrics and then annotate their key contributions during the appropriate periods.

‘Show and Tell’ should not be a complex, costly or cumbersome exercise. Just like when we were children, this should be simple and straight-forward. Doing that will lead to constructive and collaborative conversations, not controversial or confusing meetings.

Performitiv’s technology is the world’s fastest growing learning analytics platform. Let us show you how you can tell your story of learning impact better using the concepts of ‘Show and Tell’ and Annotation and Association.

Thank you,

The Performitiv Team

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