Learning and development interventions today fall short of lasting behavioral change and true transformation.
The goal of "Learning" is to enable the deep integration of new knowledge across multiple cognitive domains. Learning is a precursor to behavioral change.
Learning changes the brain. Neuroplasticity describes how our adult brains can and do change. However, not all change results in the same transformation.
We forget 90% of what we learn in a single session within one month and 60% within one day. Learning design must account for this and overcome it in order to drive significant change.
Surface learning includes memorizing facts for recall, whereas deep learning is integrated across widespread cognitive domains. The key difference between the two types of learning is that only deep learning will translate into an impact on systems of belief and behavior.
When presented with the same materials, not all learners will be equally successful. Developmental readiness describes each individual's capacity at that moment in time to meaningfully incorporate new knowledge into one's long-term memory.
These two strategies are used to overcome the forgetting curve. Without prolonged repetition, in small doses over long periods of time, we cannot achieve lasting cognitive change. BetterUp’s product is structured to support these practices.
"Doing" is when learnings have turned into performed behaviors, but behavioral change is not yet sustainable.
Changing behavior is energetically taxing and requires substantial motivation.
Self-efficacy, or confidence in one’s ability to change, allows a person to persist in the face of obstacles. This is critical for repeating behaviors consistently so that they can become a new way of being.
Even given sufficient motivation and confidence, one will not be able to start or sustain change when struggling with stress, burnout, or other psychological deficits.
A pre-assessment is critical to understanding the availability of psychological resources, self-efficacy, and motivation. Weaknesses can then be strengthened in partnership with one’s coach.
Goal-setting helps identify outcomes one has the motivation to achieve. Should include identification and strategies for mitigating obstacles.
The behavioral challenge at any moment should stretch the individual just enough – but not too much to create a setback and not too little to slow the process.
This approach helps leverage strengths explicitly and consciously to overcome challenges.
"Being" is the culmination of the employee's transformation, in which new behaviors become effortless. An employee/manager can now coach, teach, or mentor others in the organization on the new behavior, solidifying their new state of being. In this phase, your organization sees a return on the human capital investments.
New ways of being become integrated into who we are through metacognition - a conscious awareness and understanding of the change we have achieved - and self-reflection. Self-reflection practices include mindfulness, journaling, and narrative re-writing.
Successful change frees up mental energy because the hard work and practice of “Doing” has changed the brain. With those changes in place - new, increasingly rapid circuits built across wide-ranging cognitive domains - engaging in the new behaviors requires simply activating existing structures rather than building them de novo. Being is also the point where engaging in the newly acquired behaviors begins to feel more and more effortless rather than effortful, a marker of flow.
Deliberate reflection on one’s thoughts and growth solidifies change. Activities like journaling, mindfulness, and narrative rewriting support this reflection.
These practices include teaching, mentoring, and coaching to solidify one’s own growth and release the new energy in the service of others. One can now become the model for others, whereas in the learning phase others were the model for oneself.