Taking a Roller Coaster ride to reinvent yourself
Published on 2022.03.18
To address the crucial issues generated by ever-changing environments, companies are undergoing rapid transformations. This phenomenon in turn generates a growing need for continuous skill growth (up-skilling) or skill-redistribution (re-skilling).
But the answers “training” can provide are significantly limited when under a traditional format, in a synchronous mode. Here are the most frequent limitations:
- Maladjustment of general contents to the reality of operational problems;
- Late and corrective remedies necessarily less efficient;
- Usual difficulty in transferring skills acquired in professional situations;
- Merely training people, who are told they must change and rarely involve collective training;
- Lack of action learning, either informal or not collective.
Remote learning, implemented at forced-march during the sanitary crisis or e-learning provided for accessibility issues, flexibility or cost-reduction purposes, make no difference in this respect, and even generate additional risks: isolation, weariness, less involvement, loss of meaning... In response to these observations, emlyon business school has built, experienced and implemented in numerous companies, a new approach to skill development: the Roller Coaster, detailed in a book published in 2021*.
Beyond the methods and tools on which it is based, Taking a Roller Coaster ride is an invitation to build support actions on new principles which can inherently push forward mental models and development practices of men and organizations.
From training to transforming
Ultimately, the support systems are meant to allow staff members to be the primary actors of their development, to be more autonomous and responsible when building initiatives, even modest ones, gradually introducing changes and which in turn, will transform them as individuals. To achieve such motion, a hybrid approach is provided, based on the diversity of provisions, methods and tools, offering the possibility to interact on several levels: individual coaching AND collective discussions, synchronous and asynchronous moments, remote AND face-to-face activities, thinking through AND operational implementation of projects or in teams...With this approach, participants are encouraged not to view the world as binary and exclusive, and to put more “ANDs” in their practices instead of “ORs” which is, in itself, a useful faculty in a complex environment in which it takes more than one person to provide meaning.
From individual to collective skills
We learn from others, by others and with others. The Roller Coaster offers multiple provisions preferring peer learning, practice sharing, mutual aid and ultimately, a belonging and commitment community, a key condition for all companies wishing to turn their management quality into a strategic asset.
From a sequential approach to a continuous integration of human development
Our brain does not work sequentially but learns continuously. Just like a muscle, however, it needs to be activated by practicing on a regular basis how to develop itself. The Roller Coaster does trigger continuous learning, punctuated by multiples stimulations and implemented actions integrated to daily activities. In a strong uncertainty mode, the most important process is the result: knowing how to learn in a continuum and learning to learn mater more than merely acquiring some knowledge or a competence which will be obsolete the next day.
From change support to transformation steering
Unlike change, transformation does not necessarily have a specific target and no final arrival. It is never over and therefore requires different ways and mindsets. We need to go from outdated top-down approaches to emerging dynamics, originating from the actors themselves who invent and innovate, as they go along, the changes which shall make tomorrow's businesses. Transformation thereby stems from the people and the teams. Individuals cannot be transformed, but we can create a favorable environment which will set them in motion. That's the Roller Coaster's role. Lastly, the Roller Coaster's power not only lies in the fact that it provides a framework for a new pedagogical approach, but it can also provide all the ingredients to implement it concretely. Based on strong principles, the recent research breakthroughs (behavioral sciences, educational sciences, neuronal sciences...), the tools and methods provided have the advantage of being simple. It is all about 360°, logbooks, conferences, launching and taking off conventions, application projects... The simplicity of the elements taken one by one, really hides a designing work based on how to take into account human complexity, as part of complex organizations evolving in ever-more specific environments.
“Taking a Roller Coaster ride”, consists in doing everything in our power to implement the right approach, specific to each organizational context and culture, with a humanistic vision of human development, both individually and collectively. In turbulent times such as these, this is exactly what organizations and the people who make them up need, to write a new chapter of their adventures.
NADISIC T., MISSLIN T., MOREAU C., BASSET G. (2021) : Le Grand 8, Presses Universitaires de Grenoble/UGA