BY DAVID STEED
One of the core principles we often discuss is the idea of slowing down to speed up. The importance of pausing, deliberating, and intentionally strategizing is essential. It’s no different when we talk about building learning content. An investment in strategy doesn’t hold up progress; on the contrary, it’s a catalyst that enhances the effectiveness and impact of the learning experience.
Why is slowing down and creating a learning strategy crucial before building learning content?
The first point to consider is the alignment with desired outcomes. A well-constructed learning strategy serves as a compass that points toward broader business outcomes and learning objectives. It forces us to think about the ultimate purpose of our content and instruction, and it keeps our efforts aligned with that end goal. Remember the wisdom of Charlie Munger when he said, “To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want.” Deserving the educational impacts, we desire necessitates a thoughtful, achievable strategy that aligns our content with the learner’s needs.
Secondly, a strategy acts as a filter, helping us discern the essential from the extraneous. In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” An effective learning strategy enables us to trim the fat and distill our thinking and content into fundamental concepts that provide maximum value.
Further, strategizing fosters a deeper comprehension of the organizational goals, business context, performance outcomes, and, ultimately, the subject matter. Much like the Feynman Technique, it pushes us to deconstruct and rebuild complex ideas in more straightforward, accessible terms. It instills an overt understanding of the situation, ultimately reflected in the clarity and cohesiveness of our learning content.
Lastly, creating a learning strategy cultivates a sustainable, scalable approach to content development. As with compound interest, the effects of a good strategy grow over time. Each piece of content doesn’t exist in isolation; it builds on previous knowledge and paves the way for more advanced concepts. A systematic approach ensures the consistency and continuity necessary for this cumulative learning process.
One of the greatest misconceptions in learning content development is the belief that speed equates to efficiency. But haste, as we know, often makes waste. It leads to a patchwork of disjointed information, devoid of the context and structure that make learning stick. We should resist the illusion of productivity that speed often presents and instead embrace the thoughtful pace of strategy.
Creating a learning strategy may seem like a slow, uphill trek. But this deliberate ascent gives us the vantage point to see the path ahead clearly and chart the most effective course toward our goal. It’s an investment in the quality of learning, our efforts’ impact, and the long-term success of the learners we aim to serve.
Summarizing, strategy in learning content development is not a hindrance but a critical component in your tool chest. It is the foundation that underpins successful learning experiences. Slowing down to strategize is not just a prudent move. It is an essential one. Remember, if you wish to travel fast, travel alone. But if you want to travel far, plan your journey well.