Let's talk about the strategic advantage of Instructional Design
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Turning Failure to Success
Sometimes even your best efforts don't produce the targeted behavior change or business outcomes your learning solution was created to solve. Not every project will be a rousing success so it's important to know what to do when things don't go as planned.
It can be tempting to point fingers and look for reasons outside of your control as to why things went wrong. Maybe you feel that you weren't given enough time, resources, or information to do the job. However, what's needed now is a level head and a willingness to work together across business units to fix any identified issues and turn things around. A deeper analysis can always be completed afterwards.
Here's how you can turn things around:
1. Tell your leader
If they haven't heard about it already they will soon and the message should really come from you. Use the remaining steps outlined here as a plan you can provide to them on how you are going to turn things around,
2. Identify the performance gaps
Setup a meeting with key members from your team and stakeholders to discuss what's going on. If you can get a few members of your audience and/or their leaders that's even better. Your job during this meeting is to listen, gather information, and help to formulate a plan to fix any immediate performance gaps. You probably won't have access to all the hard data you need but you should come away with enough information to get started.
3. Craft a plan to fix the issue
Your plan doesn't have to be complex but it should reflect a sense of urgency to fix the problems in both the short and long term.
Include the following items in your plan:
4. Make it Happen!
One of the benefits of failure is the recognition from other teams that something is not working. Granted, it's typically not the kind of attention that you want. However, you can use it to access resources that may have been previously out of reach due to the urgency of the situation.
5. Learn from this experience
Now that you've hopefully fixed the issue take the time to write down the lessons learned from this experience. Turn these lessons into best practices, policies, and procedures, so that it doesn't happen again.
Remember, everyone experiences failure. It's how you react to failure that matters. Here's a little inspiration to get you back on track.
30 Powerful Quotes on Failure - Forbes.com
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Engaging people leader and accomplished Instructional Designer with over 15 years of experience creating effective learning solutions and building innovative learning teams.
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