I've been thinking about professional development recently--last week I did a two day workshop for museums here in Kyiv and at the same time, I've been working with colleagues to develop new curricula modules for the American Association of State and Local History's StEPs Program. And the same question always surfaces for me--how can I help ensure that whatever the topic, that it sticks and takes root in an organization.
We've all been to workshops or seminars where we left, filled with energy and great intentions, only to sink rapidly back to the details of everyday life only to think about that new idea or project as we shift the workshop folder from one pile to another. And I've also seen my share of workshop regulars, who attend every workshop and never actually implement anything. So as a trainer and presenter, and someone who cares deeply about new ideas percolating out into everyday practice, how can I make new ideas, concepts and practices stickier? I'm sure there's an entire body of research about how to do this...but this post is based on my own experiences both in Ukraine and in the United States. More reminders and questions than revelations.
So, some Sticky Enhancers (followed by some Unstickers):
- Building a community of learners
- Meeting participants where they begin
- Making it fun
- Start small
- No Expectations
- No Follow-Up, No Connections
- No Willingness to Change
So, as a presenter or as a participant, what are your sticky enhancers and your unstickers?
Top, from Tiago Ribero on Flickr
Center: Kyiv workshop participants (serious faces, but fun I believe)