INTERVIEW: SUNITA RANI DISCUSSES HER TRANSFER DESIGN PROGRAM EXPERIENCE
Sunita is a Professor at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration and oversees designing and delivering programs related to Organisational Behaviour and helps others in the Academy to design better programs too.
WHAT IS THE TRANSFER DESIGN PROGRAM?
The Transfer Design Program is for HRD professionals, L&D consultants, training designers and trainers alike, who understand the obstacles of training transfer from their own experience and want to do something about it. The program enables you to use customised and research-based transfer concepts, transfer tools, the 12 Levers of Transfer Effectiveness and more, to create compatible and tailored programs that offer verifiable transfer effectiveness and lasting impact for your participants.
HERE’S WHAT SUNITA HAD TO SAY ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE:
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO ATTEND THE TRANSFER DESIGN PROGRAM?
“I was in touch with Errol from The Learning Gym team for another program we were planning to conduct as we had noted a gap between the intention with which we were designing programs and the participants ability to apply the learnings on the job. I was looking for something to help us fill this gap of learning transfer. There is a saying amongst trainers, you can train ocean fish in a swimming pool but once back in the ocean, when they must fend for themselves, they can’t apply what they’ve learnt. So, Errol suggested I attend the Transfer Design Program and I signed up immediately.
WHAT BENEFITS DID YOU EXPECT FROM THIS PROGRAM AND WHAT BENEFITS DID YOU GET?
“When I saw the program content, frankly speaking, I was not expecting that it would be practically useful. I thought it would give me some insight into how to do things and then I would have to do on my own. But when I attended the course, I noted that the program itself was designed using the principles it was teaching. Melanie’s explanation of each of the 12 Levers was very helpful. Her attention was also quite personal. Being from a different industry, a government organization, I felt there were a few barriers to being able to execute some of the Levers, but with her help, she helped me navigate them and showed me how I could apply them to my work and scenarios too. This program has helped me look at the modules or courses I create in a different way. Where previously I viewed them as needed to have the best content with a secondary focus on the participants. Now I can look at them in a more holistic way and how I can connect the great content with the needs of the participants and the intended outcomes of the organization. I feel the real benefit from this experience, for me, was the change in outlook.”
DID YOU HAVE ANY MAJOR AHA MOMENTS OR KEY INSIGHTS THAT YOU TOOK AWAY FROM THE PROGRAM?
“I have attended many small programs and in most, you wait for the program to be over to see how the training can be applied. With this program it was easy to see how what we were learning could be applied immediately. This was an amazing insight for me. Not only could I relate to what was being taught, but I could see how it had purposely been used and executed. Even before the program started, we were contacted and sent the hard copy materials we’d need. That might not seem like a big deal, but it did impact my approach to the actual course. The way the program itself was created and executed used the Levers we were being taught and that made it much easier for me to understand. I felt “oh! I can see how that is being applied”. Another Aha moment was understanding that not only did we have control over the design, the content and to some extent the participants while they were with us, but that we could also play a role in the on-job transfer to the organization when the participants left the program.”
WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU MADE TO YOUR WORK SINCE ATTENDING THE PROGRAM?
“The timing of taking the program was perfect, as immediately after it was over, I was to conduct a negotiation module for our participants. As I mentioned before, I felt we had really good content already in our modules, but after attending this Transfer Design program, I was equipped with the tools to plug in the gaps I had noticed before and that I had originally sought out a program to resolve. There were many small simple things that I tweaked and added, like welcoming the participants in advance of the negotiation module, and giving them one assessment in advance, so they could arrive primed and ready to attend the program. During the program also we used some worksheets to think about the application part, so that participants were again primed to apply it when they are back to their organizations. I used almost every Lever which was available, even though Melanie suggested baby steps, I was so tempted to use them all. They are very simple tools, but very effective. It was exciting for me to be able to apply the learnings from the program immediately.”
HAS THERE BEEN AN IMPACT ON THE ENGAGEMENT AND EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR PROGRAMS?
“Objectively I have not assessed the impact per say, but subjectively, I can see the number one impact is the WOW factor that the participants are experiencing and the self-belief that they can do this. I can see them planning the application part during the program and have had them come up to me to discuss their plans. This was first time I saw participants individually coming to me during and after the program to discuss their ideas or asking for help. Letting me know how they used to do negotiations in the past and how they will do it from now on. The enthusiasm was obvious.”
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS PROGRAM AND TO WHOM?
“Yes! Luckily, I’m in charge of regulating development programs at the Academy and I oversee offering programs to all my colleagues, so I’m going to offer them this one. It’s the change in outlook that I feel will be so helpful to everyone who is involved in designing such programs. I would recommend everyone who is at any level of the designing of any training programs, to take this program. We do so many things intuitively and I think this program will give us the concrete steps and tools to execute those things we know intuitively but were unable to articulate or execute before.”
We would like to thank Sunita for taking the time to share her insights with us.