Magazine article Talent Development

Click: A Model for Self-Motivated Innovation and Learning

Magazine article Talent Development

Click: A Model for Self-Motivated Innovation and Learning

Article excerpt

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The Challenge-Learn-Innovate-Change-Know (CLICK) model has been designed to aid workplace learning professionals in developing knowledge workers and supporting personal and organizational transformation--one challenge at a time.

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Employee innovation is a very pertinent challenge in the workplace today. Most workers are stuck replicating their routine tasks, and more often than not, complaining and whining when things are seemingly not going the way they hoped. Business leaders and managers demand and expect a lot more (and rightly so), and with the increasing complexity of business issues, workers require a simple and practical approach to innovation to add value to their work and to build knowledge-based institutions.

Contemporary management thinking heralds the knowledge worker as the most potent force in the workplace. Even President Obama pays tribute to this force in his book, The Audacity of Hope. How then can ordinary workers learn to move from being "so-so" to becoming true knowledge workers? The CLICK (Challenge-Learn-Innovate-Change-Know) model provides a step-by-step process to innovation, learning, and knowledge that can be applied to every workplace situation and implemented by every worker. It is a simple and easy-to-use template that can transform even the most basic business challenge into an opportunity to learn, innovate, and build a knowledge repository.

The knowledge worker is fundamentally characterized by his commitment to personal development. Rather than wait to attend a formal training or seminar, knowledge workers independently discover the learning that must take place to successfully handle process or performance issues. The CLICK model creates a simple road map for personal development that managers and employees can use to make a real difference.

Why CLICK?

Like a snap of your fingers, a CLICK occurs when "you've got it"--the problem is solved; the solution worked. CLICK stands for challenge, learn, innovate, change, and know. It is a five-step process that transitions from analyzing a performance challenge to learning about how to deal with the challenge, to developing an innovative solution based on the learning and making the necessary change to address the challenge, and finally arriving at a unique body of knowledge about the challenge and its solution. The model is focused on the journey of personal development required to truly learn, add value to an organization, and build knowledge.

The so-so worker

The so-so worker or manager, when faced with a business or performance challenge, will typically try to short-circuit or bypass the unique learning opportunity that the challenge offers. With challenges in the pre-recession era, so-so managers and workers got away with simply throwing money at consultants, training programs, or more employees. Beyond identifying the challenge, no effort was spared to thoroughly analyze the challenge, dig deeper through self-learning, innovate, or make changes. With the economic meltdown and the squeeze on hiring, training budgets, and resources in general, so-so managers are characterized by whining and complaining, since they no longer have resources to throw at their problems.

Another ugly reality is the shroud of mediocrity that protects so-so workers. Weak performance management systems that are heavily reliant on subjective inferences allow so-so workers to get away with their continuous whining, lack of personal development, and bland work that doesn't add value.

In larger institutions with more steady cash flows, the dependence on external consultants is particularly worrisome. While some of these institutions may continue to survive the ugliness of a recession because of their strong financial resources, the quality of their most important resource--human talent--is being eroded each day because of a "consultant mentality. …

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