Training and Learning with The Broccoli Solution!


After attending Training Magazine’s Annual Conference in San Diego in February, I caught up with some new friends to discuss what we learned. It was a veritable United Nations meeting with representatives from Canada, the US and Australia and a truly robust discussion was had. As we debriefed the conference together at Morton’s Steakhouse, we made light of the largest basket of Broccoli that any of us had seen. And whilst a barrage of puns ensued and a series of Jason Bourne references were ignored (although I had a soft spot for the “Broccoli Supremacy”), it did get me thinking about some training analogies.

So how does the “Broccoli Solution” relate to training and learning? As a child we are often told to “eat our greens” and if we leave it until the end, it is always harder to do. This reminds me that as a trainer, we should be tackling the hard things first, rather than leaving it until the end and being faced with an insurmountable challenge. Further to this, if we view something negatively, then we are unlikely to ever present it in an engaging way. Like the Broccoli which was presented in the basket at Morton’s, we sometimes have to dress our content up to grab the attention of our audience! But the Broccoli Solution does not end there. From a learners’ perspective, we need to ensure that we break things down into more easily digestible chunks and seek to mix it up so it is easier to swallow!

Just because it’s good for us, doesn’t mean that learners will dig in the first time. But, if it is part of range of dishes on offer in those smorgasbords we call our training environments, then the learners will eventually take a bite!

(Special thanks goes to the new members of the newly formed International Broccoli League: Jason (CAN), Jason (AUS), Karen, Brad and Shelly.)

Marc Ratcliffe
Follow Me on twitter: @MRWED_CEO