In January 2012, I wrote a short article with my ex-Toyota colleague, Russ Bankson, for EFMD entitled ‘The Toyota OJD case: From classroom training to workplace learning’ (*). In it we consolidated 5 years of intense experimentation with work-based learning between 2006 and 2011 at Toyota Motor Europe

At that time, Toyota’s ambition was to continue exporting its Toyota Way of doing things across its international affiliates.  Training and development programs were our vehicle of change. Our goal: create an effective and sustainable learning process that would create durable changes in workplace behavior aligned with the Toyota Way. From 2008 onward, this also meant finding out-of-the-box solutions to decreasing training budgets and resources.

The lessons I learnt then hold up to scrutiny today. In fact, they are now part of 15 standard recommendations In Motion builds into leadership development journeys to anchor the learning in the workplace.

Deployment process

  1. Move beyond the focus on the training “event” to creating a “70-20-10” blended learning process
  2. Align the learning process with workplace dynamics, constantly stimulating the learner to apply the new behaviors to real-time business challenges and HR processes;
  3. Combine top-down deployment with bottom-up pressure, pulling the different layers of management into a constructive dialogue to build trust and common language;

Training event design and delivery

  1. Involve leaders, N+1 & N+2 in the design of the training contents and events
  2. Link the training contents to the business context, to examples that are relevant to the participants;
  3. Use a blend of experiential learning, individual reflection, theoretical insights, practice moments, peer coaching and feedback
  4. Use team learning to maximize the anchoring in the team and create social pull to complete the learning process together
  5. Involve leaders as teachers, alongside professional trainers to enhance the impact and business relevance of the training

Learning process beyond the training event

  1. Create a process after the training event where the learner works on his/her action plan in the workplace
  2. Create a coaching and feedback loop between the the learner and the N+1, before participation to the course and after
  3. Provide peer coaching moments to exchange best practices and provide support in the face of challenges
  4. Create visibility and recognition for learners at the level of N+2 and higher, focusing on progress and positive feedback, creating pull rather than fear
  5. Deepen the development by assigning learners who have completed the process as mentors or coaches for the next round of learners
  6. Use feedback mechanisms such as 360°/180° surveys, feedback or feedforward discussions through the development journey to give the learner real-time feedback on progress
  7. Maintain high-level monitoring, reporting and communication to executive levels and the broader organization to keep focus

Further more:

  • Read EFMD, A Global Focus Special Supplement, Work-Based Learning, New Thinking and practice in workplace learning, The Toyota OJD case: From classroom training to workplace learning’, Russ Bankson & Ann-Sophie Cremers, January 2012
  • Or contact us: “always in motion , the future is”