Candid Truths on L&D’s Fatal Flaws and the Real Meaning of Buy-In

May 28, 2024

In the L&D world, few topics generate as much anxiety as training evaluation and securing stakeholder buy-in. Throughout our first season of the Kirkpatrick Podcast, our in-house experts and special guests dug deep into these pain points to unearth some refreshingly candid insights to address them. From the surprising popularity of our “Fatal Evaluation Flaws” episode to bold new perspectives on what real buy-in looks like, these were the can’t-miss takeaways from a thrilling season filled with knowledge you can put into action. Hopefully, it’s the first of many more to come!

Fatal Flaws We Can’t Ignore

One of our most popular episodes this season boldly called out the “fatal flaws” undermining learning evaluation efforts across the industry. We knew there was no time to mince words about these issues, and the overwhelming response from our audience speaks volumes. The fact that it went viral online only points to a deep hunger among learners to finally move past the old paradigms that can significantly undermine careers and budgets.

The Buy-In Truth Bomb

When asked about the persistent struggle to gain stakeholder buy-in, we recognized that our response needed to upend conventional thinking. Over many years of real-world experience, we’ve learned that true buy-in is not about signatures or budget approval – it’s about actively recruiting stakeholders at all levels to be champions and part of the solution. This means involving them throughout execution, not just one-off conversations about their needs upfront.

A Game-Changing Hack

To truly secure stakeholder buy-in, forget those lengthy reports that are too easy to toss aside. Instead, it’s time for a powerful new hack: When presenting evidence to leadership, start by acknowledging that you have all the numbers and metrics they want. Then, pull a bit of a bait-and-switch by inviting real people to the room to share vivid stories of positive impact and results. This human element wins over cold, impersonal, data-packed slides every time.

Small Steps, Big Changes

While we didn’t shy away from hard truths this season, we also made it a point to share pragmatic advice. One big takeaway was avoiding “knowledge hoarding” by taking small, manageable steps to apply what you learn. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to “eat the elephant” all at once. Start with one incremental action, then build on that momentum.

Season 2: Coming Soon!

If you couldn’t get enough of our first season, then we have good news for you. We’re coming back better than ever for season two! In addition to continuing our insightful mini-series on various topics, we’ll host a Q&A segment directly answering audience questions. We’ll also have more information about potential future product launches stemming from our wide-ranging podcast discussions. One thing is clear: the candor and passion that made season one a global hit was only the beginning!

For learning professionals navigating evaluation obstacles and stakeholder tensions, we were honored to offer a refreshingly blunt yet supportive resource. By peeling back layers and dismantling false assumptions, our goal was to provide a real path forward to showcase value and impact, and if the enormous response was any indication, we’re humbled to know we played a small but meaningful part in that. With season two on the horizon, there’s more candid wisdom where that came from. We hope to see you back soon!

Ready to learn more? Check out the full season one finale of The Kirkpatrick Podcast as Vanessa Alzate and Jim Kirkpatrick look back on the highlights and take a sneak peek at what’s ahead.

Listen or watch the latest episode here:

Don’t forget, the true magic happens when we modernize our training methods and see concrete results. Cultivating an environment of trust, active participation, and continuous enhancement increases the likelihood of our training programs’ success.

Interested in mastering the Kirkpatrick Model? Dive into the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Toolkit, your comprehensive resource for streamlined and impactful evaluation. Learn more here!

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