Podcast | 9 L&D Life Hacks From Leading Consultants

April 20, 2023
June 26, 2023

Give us one hour, and we’ll give you lessons from more than 40 years in L&D!

That’s the collective experience of the consultants joining us on this episode of L&D Disrupt Live. And all three are brought their three best hacks, tips, and lessons to the table!

​Meet our experts

​👋 Tim Lambert, Kay-Lambert Associates Limited

​👋 Georgina Cooke, Lima Delta

👋 Viv Cole, Viv Cole Associates Limited

Expect to learn…

​How to build relationships that help you act like a partner, rather than a hired hand. The golden rules of effective change management.

​How to use data to get a true understanding of your audience, tactics for truly defining a problem, and much more.

Watch the episode

Listen to the episode

Running order

0:00 Intro to today’s show.
1:17 1. The best consultancy is a partnership, Tim Lambert
5:28 2. Getting timing right and finding problems to solve, Georgie Cooke
11:18 3. Get stakeholders to articulate what success looks like, Viv Cole
14:47 4. Put the audience above everything, Georgie Cooke
19:39 5. Context is king, Viv Cole
29:14 6. Avoid the cut and paste approach, Tim Lambert
44:42 7. Sustainable change management, Tim Lambert
45:56 8: Marrying L&D/internal knowledge with outsider perspectives/skill sets, Georgie Cooke
48:14 9. Ask why as many times as you dare, Viv Cole

Our four favourite L&D life hacks

1. Prioritise audience over everything

“Audience is everything, it underpins all the work we do. If you don’t design everything for the learners, the behaviour change won’t happen, and the business won’t get the results they’re after.” – Georgie Cooke.

And this tied into Georgie’s point that the success criteria for stakeholders and learners are likely to be different, so we have to understand what that looks like for the two parties.

“Look at things through the perspective of your learner or user. Ultimately, what you’re creating needs to be adopted and transformational for them… so much of it comes down to you championing the view of the learner.” – Viv Cole.

Viv explained how he’s spent days shadowing sales reps to really understand the context of what they do, where they’re trying to learn, and the problems they’re facing in moments of need.

2. View learning personas as living, breathing documents…

“And not  ‘I did it once two years ago, this is now our learner persona’. Especially right now, as businesses are going through so much change, all the time, that even a persona you made six months ago – the company might have restructured since or there might be new goals.” – Georgie Cooke.

3. Get comfortable asking why but frame your questions well

“There’s a trade-off between finding useful information and the credibility that you have with stakeholders. If you ask somebody why in the wrong way and they say, ‘I told you that already’, you get nowhere.” – Viv Cole.

There’s a balance between asking questions to diagnose problems and damaging the relationship.

However, Georgie gave us a great tip on reframing your questions from why to what or how.

“Try and turn why into what and how questions. In my head, as a consultant, the question is definitely why, but I might ask it as: What are the benefits you’re seeing from this, or what hasn’t met your expectations?

‘The framing is less likely to make people feel defensive.” – Georgie Cooke.

4. Learning is change management, and we have to adopt the right mindset

“In our approach to learning and development, we have to apply the same criteria as any change management program – because learning is change management.

“There’s no point just feeding people with information and knowledge if that’s not going to drive change in attitudes or behaviour…” – Tim Lambert.

Tim gave us the tip of avoiding the project management pitfall, where you’re viewing it as a set of tools that need to be implemented in the organisation, rather than adopting a mindset that we’re leading change among people.

And if we’re not engaging the people who are affected by change, it won’t stick.