Is the fast food approach to learning and development working? Last week I was at the annual CIPD conference for Learning and Development professionals. Whilst much of the content of the paid for conference sessions was about ensuring training and learning activities were effective, the mood on the exhibition floor was different.
Off the shelf or bespoke?
Every provider that offered off-the-shelf learning solutions also offered bespoke solutions. But the emphasis for may was the off-the-shelf, ready to use or out of the box solutions.
Ready to use materials and solutions. It’s easy sell. It is easy to buy. It is easy to show senior manager that you have aligned your provision to the business. But have we?
Is the McDonald’s approach to learning really working?
Whilst many of the training and learning solutions available today may look like a “Meal Deal” or a “Happy Meal”, but are they really what we need? Or can we learn from the likes of McDonald’s in a very different way?
McDonald’s is not what you think. Nor should learning be.
We all know what a Big Mac is. We know what a Big Mac Meal is. But by looking at the output (the take away product) we have missed what makes McDonald’s and other fast food providers different. What actually makes them very successful? As customers, what we see is the net result of data and data analysis. Organizations like McDonald’s and other Fast Food chains work on one thing and one thing alone – data. They collect everything and use it all. Every day and in ways many of us just cannot comprehend. Data is king.
The now famous story of “go large” was one of the small wins that was first seen by looking at employee data. That analysis created $Ms for the business across the world. Data analysis of results AND behaviour. Indeed they use data to measure the EFFECTS of behaviour. Something that most of us in L&D are very poor at.
It’s all about the numbers.
When we are looking to understand a gap analysis how many of us learn from the kings of profit and growth? The fast food franchises? Often we claim to look at what people are doing now and what we want them to do. With the best intent in the world we look at things from a soft behaviour or knowledge point of view. We rarely use hard data. Then when it comes to evaluation we struggle. Why? because quite simple our needs analysis was not “up to snuff”. It was not based on solid information.
At the CIPD L&D Show just a few weeks ago, I did a skinny summary on one organisation that said they use the evaluation criteria at needs analysis. this IS using data. For in the real world where results matter the evaluation is the analysis for the next phase. so we should always be using data in the needs analysis – otherwise how can we measure success?
We might not like McDonald’s… but
Is the fast food approach to learning and development working? Not in its current form.
There will be foodies out there reading this and saying – there is nothing to learn from firms like McDonald’s. They are so wrong. How can any of us in L&D ignore one of the worlds most successful brands. They are changing and adapting every day. they learn from their customers on a daily basis. Not just near you but globally. And it is not Just MaccyD. KFC, the Yumm Foods group, Costa and many others do this too.
Everyone in L&D needs to learn from successful case studies – and like any world class benchmarking approach we need to stop learning from others doing the same thing and look at “best in class”. And without doubt firms like KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s are best in class.
What do you think?