Crucial Skills®

A Blog by Crucial Learning

Trainer Insights

Caitlin Murphy and Designing an Intentional Learning Journey

How do you move from hosting disparate training events to creating an intentional learning journey for learners across the organization? Caitlin Murphy, an organizational development specialist at Franciscan Alliance, recently helped to launch the first tier of Franciscan Leadership University to guide learners through recommended courses.

Franciscan Leadership University is a three-tiered program to help team members gain skills suited to their role, regardless of whether they’re brand new or seasoned leaders.

“The idea is you can be a leader at Franciscan, and you’re growing whether you’re new or you’ve been here forever,” Murphy said. “We also include some connection with our mission and our values, which is huge for us as a mission-driven organization.”

Tier one is for new managers and focuses on foundational management skills. New leaders are automatically enrolled in the program through a learning management system (LMS). In addition to Crucial Conversations® for Mastering Dialogue and Getting Things Done®, managers take courses related to Franciscan’s software systems for finance, timekeeping, and more.

Within Tier One, Murphy said her favorite course to facilitate is GTD®.

“I’m pretty comfortable with the content, and it’s just had a huge impact on me personally,” she said. “That translates when I teach it. I really enjoy helping other people, and the GTD skills can have such a big impact on your life.”

The plan for Franciscan Leadership University goes beyond classroom content. Each course includes pre- and post-work, from surveys and evaluations to discussions with leaders. A SharePoint site provides learners with additional resources, and Murphy said they hope to add an online community to foster peer-to-peer learning and discussion.

Murphy is certified in four Crucial Learning courses—Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue, Crucial Conversations for Accountability, Getting Things Done, and The Power of Habit—and she uses the resources in Trainer Zone to create a learning experience that goes beyond the classroom.

“We have the discussion guide set up in our LMS so it is automatically sent to the learner and course manager about 10 days before class—to remind them to meet and talk about their traning goals,” she said.

The program’s structure includes a six-week follow-up conversation with the course manager to see how well leaners are implementing what they’ve learned.

“At about 45 days or so, people start to feel a little wobbly—all the excitement is gone,” she said. “It’s helped learners to know that a follow-up is coming. They’ve encountered some challenges, and as their instructors we can help them address them. It also gives a chance to ask what else they want to work on. It can be hard to implement everything all at once. It’s definitely a journey.”

Plans include launching tier two, which will focus on talent management skills, engagement, retention, and career guidance. Tier three will be for higher levels of leadership and focus on strategy and mentorship—giving back and teaching newer leaders.

“We’ve paused before we develop tier two and three to get a focus group together and really look at the program,” she said. “We have competencies, but we want to look at those and say, ‘What does it look like to do that in real life, and what are your challenges for that as we develop and choose content for those things?’”

Beyond Franciscan Leadership University, Murphy offers performance consulting, where she partners with leaders to assess team issues and find solutions—and often shares ideas from her other Crucial Learning course of choice, Crucial Conversations for Accountability.

“When I first started out doing performance consulting, I didn’t really know what to do—and then it clicked as I was looking over the Crucial Conversations for Accountability content,” she said. “I realized this is basically what I’m doing. I’m helping people close gaps.”

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