In a previous blog I talked about creating purposeful learning events using a model called REVVS. REVVS describes the principles that I have found to be the basis of transformational learning experiences.

Now don’t get all new age on me. When I speak of transformational I’m not referring to a spiritual insight, I’m talking about someone saying, “oh my gosh. I will never go back to doing what I was doing before!” The learning has transformed their behaviour and often their way of being. When a trainer gets it, they say, “Oh you mean I have to allow them to learn and it’s not only my responsibility!” When a new supervisor gets it, they say, “Oh, management is real work!” That for me is transformational.

Any learning experienced can be ‘revved up’ when you ensure REVVS.

REVVS stands for

Relevance – ensure the leaning experience is applicable to the learner’s context – professional or personal. Relevance can be timely because the person has just been promoted and needs to acquire better interpersonal skills, or technical skills associated with their new responsibilities. Sometimes you have to help them see the relevance. There are times when people don’t know what they don’t know and so have no experience of imagining how it could be better.

Enjoyment – I hope speaks for itself, but I don’t equate enjoyment with crazy games with balls and bells – although I am known to embark on crazy games if they are relevant to the learning. It’s more about having people use their preferred thinking and creativity styles and having fun engaging with the topic and other learners. Some people really enjoy tackling problems while others really enjoy having the space, time and opportunity to think completing out of the box. Enjoyment most certainly involves laughing, but it also involves passion and intensity of attention.

Value – is double edged. It refers to the value of the learning to the learner, and it also refers to valuing what the learner brings to the learning. It’s amazing how experiences have more value when one feels more valued.

Variety is twinned with Volition (choice) It’s how you create the enjoyment and engagement by providing different experiences that match and align with the topic and the intent, Choice is about allowing learners to control and influence their learning experience through their own preferred dimensions.

Success is about focusing on the positive and not setting-people-up-to-fail just for the ‘fun of it.’ Most people are willing to take on greater challenges if they have experienced some success in the prior stages. Success will deliver satisfaction. This is not to say that failure is always bad. Failure often results in greater and deeper learning, but that learning can result in avoidance and fear of future risk. If the ‘failure’ is considerately and respectfully debriefed and focus is given to future behaviour ‘failure’ – or the unanticipated result can be positive. On a last note, when asked about feedback, expert performers say they prefer to have negative comments about what they did wrong; less experienced perfumers say they prefer positive reinforcement to maintain their motivation.

As you design a learning initiative you can’t go far wrong when you use the REVVS model as a guide. It can provide a measure at the macro level of the whole workshop and also at the micro level for drilling down and evaluating the purpose of each learning activity.