Adaptive Vs. Routine Experts: Do You Know The Difference?

Does your team struggle when a new concept or technique is introduced, or do they use it to their advantage? Is change in the organization a stumbling block, or an opportunity?  More than just being business-led, and no matter if the management model is loose or controlled, the strongest determinant of your success is whether your team has adaptive expertise or routine expertise.

What’s the Difference?

A routine expert can master procedures in order to become highly efficient and accurate (but not flexible or adaptable in situations that are outside the routine). People who are routine experts can accelerate efficiency through well-practiced routines.

An adaptive expert is a broad construct that encompasses a range of cognitive, motivational, and personality-related components, as well as habits of mind and dispositions. Generally, problem-solvers demonstrate adaptive expertise when they are able to efficiently solve previously encountered tasks and generate new procedures for new tasks. Requires an individual to develop conceptual understanding that allows the “expert” to invent new solutions to problems and even new procedures for solving problems.

To illustrate, imagine two sushi chefs. One makes every piece perfectly, crafting the same few rolls over and over (routine, or classic, expertise). The other is inventive, producing new menus frequently (adaptive expertise). While the first chef can craft an incredible Tuna roll, they will struggle when they run out of the right ingredients. How does one make a California roll without cucumber or avocado? The second chef is used to thinking on their feet. An adaptive expert understands why cucumber and avocado is used in the first place, and therefore has a better chance of finding a substitute.

To some, this is an unfair comparison, as ones’ environment supports behavior. For example, the routine of the classic expert sushi chef may be tied to his restaurant environment, and this chef may be able to break out of the routines easily given a different situation.

Actually, that argument is exactly correct. You see, the organization that employs both chef’s has some control over how well each person understands their craft.

That means that you have the power and opportunity to foster a work culture of adaptive expertise.  

Why It’s Difficult to Foster Adaptive Expertise

People are taught to have routine expertise thanks to our school systems, learning & development departments, and instructional designers. 

As a result, most of us aren’t learning any faster than someone who lived 100 years ago. While you can recite information as quickly as your wireless connection allows, you aren’t retaining any more knowledge than people were at the start of the tech revolution.

Presentations haven’t gotten any better.  Many would argue they are a million times worse (think Death By PowerPoint).  In many respects, all technology has allowed us to do is move the bullet point list from the chalkboard to the smart board.

Use BcD to Create Adaptive Expertise

Brain-centric Design is the surprising neuroscience behind learning for deep understanding.  To “BcD” a presentation, is to align your material the way the brain will accept that information.  You want the learners, your audience, to understand and benefit from your knowledge by making it their information.  This is made possible through the cognitive approach to learning, or the way you learned before school.

Luckily for you, there is a recipe for cognitive learning. Or, as our Cognitive Learning Scientist Dr. Kieran O’Mahony calls it, a “pedagogic model.”

Presenting your information to your learners using the Brain-centric Design pedagogic model produces deep understanding in the learner.  This understanding enables adaptive expertise.  It is that simple.

Instructional Design For Marketing

Your sales team is much bigger than you think.

Much, much bigger.

Every single customer that purchases your product, learns how to use it, and correctly applies it to their particular situation, is now a brand advocate. Free of charge, from this point forward. The customer that understands your product—how it works, what particular benefits it creates, and the kind of buyer it’s for—will continue to share their experience with your product.

Of course, that’s only true if you attract the right customer (the one who can profit from your product) and if they leave the buying experience with the knowledge required to use that product correctly.

That’s why it’s critical that you and your entire team are skilled at imparting knowledge about the nature of your business to each and every one of your customers every chance you get.

The Brain-centric Design team excels at wrapping your product into a message that answers one particular question: “Why?” We know your customer needs to leave the interaction knowing why they are going to choose your company over something else.

Would the company be able to achieve this, if they’ve become modest about what they’re doing and decided not to inform their customers? Chances are, no. This is one way of making knowledge work for you.

We understand the power of answering why. Subway is arguably the pioneer of fast food sandwiches. When their first West Coast shop opened in Fresno in 1978, Subway dominated the sandwich market. However, as fast food gained in popularity, the team had to create a marketing solution that would elevate Subway above fast food giants like McDonald’s and Burger King.

Enter Jared Fogle to the scene. He claimed to have lost 200 pounds by eating subway sandwiches. The why? Subway will help you lose weight. Subway attributes between one-third and one-half of its growth from 1998 to 2011 to the campaign.

Would the company have achieved this if they decided not to inform their customers? Chances are, no.

This is one way of making knowledge work for you.

The Brain-centric Design team specializes in social psychology and adult learning techniques. So do our on-staff trained instructional designers. We are excited to develop your marketing campaign into a learning experience that underlines your customers’ reasons for coming back.

There are many benefits to helping your buyer get to know your why. Not only will they learn more about the role your company, services, and goods play, but they will also see you as a person who is eager to help them achieve their goals. Acts like these are what place your company above the rest.

What Is BcD? Results In 43% Less Time

Our case studies show that Brain-centric Design delivers results in 43% less time.

Industry leaders in high-stakes engineering (such as aerospace and auto), international banking organizations, large-scale medical and health facilities, global retail and manufacturing icons, K‒12 schools, and even mom-and-pop shops see a huge benefit from this methodology. We’ve even used BcD with a large manufacturer to help highly specialized and trained engineers completely relearn their jobs within months. After working with us and using BcD, both trainees and trainers end up liking their positions more.

We’ve gone into call centers and reduced attrition to zero within the first 12 months. That’s because when we present, learners retain the information. With BcD, nothing is forgotten, because learners are invited to think critically about their position, enabled to transform from a routine expert to an adaptive expert, engaged to adopt a growth mindset, and helped to understand enough to know where to find the answers they need.

BcD facilitators and Brain-centric Instructional Designers (BcIDs) have helped trainers take new hires who were just starting to meet their target performance goals in 18 months and reduced that to 12 days. That isn’t a typo. But the best news for the corporate execs who have contracted BcD teams is their improved bottom line, which often begins with BcD “self-funding” engagements—the savings in budgeted time pays for the corrective action to cognitive training. We’ve found the time spent learning and applying BcD pays for itself many times over.

The BcD method produces astounding results because it is the culmination of decades of peer-reviewed research in the areas of cognition and psychology, and aligns learning with how the human brain works and how people learn. It bridges the gap between education and neuroscience to provide a plan that works for every single learner, every single time.

These results aren’t surprising…at least not to us. Many corporations employ training that is too long, inefficient, and only partially successful. On the ground, that translates into preventable mistakes, a large number of retakes, time lost being unproductive, and high attrition rates. All these items are excruciatingly expensive, so it is no wonder that training and development departments have a bad rep.

In retrospect, it’s easy to predict that using a model of teaching that delivers information the way the brain likes to receive it would produce results. That’s because this isn’t guesswork. It’s not based on anecdotal evidence or a gut feeling.

It’s not clever…it’s science.