As practitioners of T&E methodologies we all agree that change in the learner’s behavior is one of the two most critical goals of organizational training programs (the other being training’s impact on business). It is another matter that the programs we design hardly ever walk this talk; however, this is not due to any absence of academic research into motivation or theories of motivation, some of which are as follows:

Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1963): Suggests that personal, behavioral, and environmental conditions determine whether an individual will adopt a new behavior nor not, and how deeply and for how long they will practice it.

Theory of Planned Behavior (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1980, Ajzen, 1985): Similar to SCT, explains that behavior change is determined by communal belief, availability/ absence of restrictions, individual willingness, and expected value/ loss from adopting the behavior.

Fogg Behavior Model: Dr. B J Fogg, founder of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University, and author of Tiny Habits, explains this more elegantly as B = MAP, where: B represents behavior, a function of Motivation, Ability, and Prompt. The FBM shows that a high original value or an increase in one of the elements, eg, motivation, can, under certain circumstances, compensate for a lack in the other two elements. Further, micro differences in the frequency of the recommended behavior (one-time, time-bound, permanent, etc), and the nature of behavior (start, increase, decrease, stop, etc), influence the prompts we can design to elicit the behavior.

How can we use the FBM when designing learning strategies? Given all sorts of organizational constraints, I like both the granularity and the flexibility of the FMB. First of all, using the FBM, it is possible to map behavior on a more granular level than with other behavioristic theories. Second, because behavior is a product of three elements in FBM, it is possible to customize learning strategies based on the ranking of the elements in the given situation. To learn more about the Fogg Behavior Model, please visit

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