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I am Going to Wait For the Training (Anti-pattern)

Or “Give It To Me, Baby!”


  • Executive leadership
  • Transformation coaches
  • Transformation team
  • Middle management


As the organization goes through significant change, there is a lot of opportunity to learn. For many people, learning is a passive process in that they:

  • Wait for a scheduled course or workshop,
  • Attend the course or workshop irrespective of whether they need the materials or not,
  • During the course they engage infrequently and / or not at all (especially with remote learning),
  • Focus on what is required to get the certification (if there is one),
  • Attend the course or workshop, but then do not use the materials that they have just learned,
  • Don’t follow up with additional related learning outside the course / workshop or apply new learning to their work

In today’s world everyone wants to learn. Attending a course or workshop is not a real learning pattern. It is passive in that nothing happens unless a workshop or course is offered and once available there is limited engagement. The anti-pattern is that everyone wants to learn, but the learning needs to be handed to them on a plate else there will be no learning. Someone else to give it to them. Frustration happens when a course or workshop are not immediately available.


Bottom line is that this type of thinking does not contribute to the creation of a learning culture.

Specific impacts include:

  • There is no impetus for just-in-time learning. Often the best way to learn is to have a problem, take time to learn about the problem through research, and then apply that learning to work the issue at hand. This, by the way, is real learning. Better still, if there is now a workshop or course in the area just worked, they can come into that course with very specific questions to help further that learning.
  • Lack of participation in a workshop or training event means that you are not actively learning. Most agile events are experiential, not lecture oriented. This means that if you do not participate, you cannot hope to learning. What is sad is that many will believe they have learned something.
  • People are reluctant to try out new learning as there is risk (it might not work out) and so there is no benefit to taking the course or workshop since it won’t be applied. Note: what does this say about psychological safety in the groups these people are working?

(Potential) Remedies

  • Re-frame the work so that it is a learning problem, not an execution problem, to encourage learning:
    • If in a startup mode, perhaps something like “Fail this often and sooner”.
    • If in a support mode, perhaps something like “We know you are good manager at your job. Otherwise we wouldn’t have hired you. Tell us about you problems so we can work on them together”
  • Ask question “What was the last book you read about X and what did you try out as a result?”
  • Lead by example. Talk about your recent learning experiences, or read a book at work.
  • Be vulnerable about mistakes you have made so it reduces concern about making mistakes when people test out new learning.
  • Need to help people develop “skin in the game” in all activities, including learning
    • For individuals, do workshop of “applying agile principles to your daily life” exercise
    • For teams, do workshop of The Responsibility Process


  • No one in the office just reads a book while at their desk. People feel like they need to be “producing” (executing) and “learning” is not seen as producing.
  • Demands for a workshop on being a Product Owner, rather than simply finding out information on the web, or buying a book, or seeking out external courses for Product Owners, or seeking out more general courses on Product Management.
  • In a virtual training session, few participate in the interactive sessions, preferring to sit back and watch others. This happened during a Community of Practice session.
  • We need to increase our use of automation to deploy and test our solutions. We make no progress because Teams are waiting on the directive or workshop that will tell them what to do.
  • Management want to “engage with the Team” with the immediate request was to get a list of times when they could engage. This contrasts with just reaching out directly to the team.

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/home/hpsamios/ · Last modified: 2020/06/02 14:21 by