David Fuhrmann Consulting, Organizational Learning & Performance, Performance Management, Technical Training

December 11, 2017

High Impact Learning (HIL)

Filed under: Motivation,Performance Management,Success,Technical Training — David Fuhrmann @ 5:35 pm

High Impact Learning (HIL).

Robert Brinkerhoff High Impact Learning (HIL) is an invaluable tool that allows for every aspect of a process to be observed. High Impact Learning consists of strategies for leveraging business results from training. Based on 5 principles, HIL takes into account the many areas to be considered for organizational change.

Create a strategic leverage.

  • The first step is to create a Strategic leverage by identifying an organization’s strategic direction. By doing so, a determination can help decide where the organization’s biggest win can come from

Identify the deep business linkage.

  • This allows training to center on the goal of the organization. So, if the organization’s goal is to increase customer service, much energy can be focused on getting employees to engage in customer service training topics. “In the HIL approach, business linkage pervades all aspects of the training design, development, implementation, and evaluation process and is directly linked to individual performance” (Brinkerhoff, 2001).

Establishing a systematic learning to performance process.

  • This is based on the idea that learning and performance are integrally related. “Learning provides the capability to perform more effectively and performance provides the opportunity to deepen and extend learning” (Brinkerhoff, 2001).

Process Integration

  • The complexity of performance is driven by capability and other interpersonal factors such as attitude, expectation, and values, work cultures, management, and feedback.  Rewards and incentives also affect the learning process.
  • Brinkerhoff states, “Taking this fourth principle into consideration, sometimes we decide not to go forward at this point with the learning process because we’ve found the workplace environment so toxic, that it will prohibit performance improvement despite the best-learned capabilities”.

Exquisite learning solutions.

  • Exquisite learning solutions consist of online learning modules, workshops, games, simulations and print materials.
  • Employees should be able to learn only what they need to learn and have control over material and access to the materials, tools, and resources they need.
  • Training materials should consist of the most effective methods and techniques with multiple learning modalities and technologies. Learners should be able to be actively engaged in the most effective blend of content, practice, feedback, and reflective activities.
  • Finally, learner interaction and involvement should be promoted and opportunities should exist for participants and other stakeholders to provide feedback and critical reaction to learning leaders.
Objective Content Organization Learner
Awareness skill. Capabilities & resources. Audience size.
Real world simulation. Budget. Audience Location.
Synchronous versus asynchronous. Schedule. Requisite knowledge.
Audio-Video. Implementation needs. Learning Preferences.
Feedback. Performance data.
Performance Support. Cultural acceptance.
Content stability.
The consistency of message.


Taking all five of the HIL principles, impact maps can be created for each job description function that focuses on each of the principles and their objectives. In High Impact Learning, Brinkerhoff shows many models used in organizations. These impact maps require breaking down a job function into a step-by-step process with the end result of completing the task. When all of the steps are covered, you will get amazing results and a properly designed program.

There are several professionals in Organizational Development that write books on these types of changes. Some of the most popular are those specializing in the design of training programs.

Rober Mager wrote a six-part book series aimed at designing elite training program designed to address both the trainer and the trainee. These books teach a group of individuals how not only to train people but also how to design the modeling of the process being taught. Making instruction work, Measuring Instructional Results, and Prepping Instructional Objectives are the three I use most often, but you cannot go wrong getting the 6pack of these books.

To find out more about this or other mentioned process, please contact David Fuhrmann he may be reached in his Michigan office at 269.350.3281 or in New York at 347.687.4466. You may also email David at david@davidfuhrmann.com


Brinkerhoff, R. A. (2001). High Impact Learning. New York, NY, USA: Perseus Book Group.

Brinkerhoff, R. O. (2002). The Success Case Method (First Edition ed.). San Francisco, California, USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Mager, R. (2012). Making Instruction Work or Skill Bloomers. (Third Edition ed.). Carefree, AZ., USA: Mager Associates Inc.

Mager, R. F. (1997). Analyzing Performace Problems. Belmont, CA, USA: Lake Publishing Company.

Rimer, B. G. (2001, April). Health Behavior and Health Education THEORY, RESEARCH, AND PRACTICE. Health Education and Behavior, 28(2), 231-248. Retrieved from http://www.med.upenn.edu/: http://www.med.upenn.edu/hbhe4/part4-ch15-organizational-development-theory.shtml#top_anchor

The Organizational Development Network. (2017). (Organization Development Network.) Retrieved December 11, 2017, from The Organizational Development Network Advancing the Science Practice and Impact of OD: http://www.odnetwork.org/page/WhatIsOD


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