Episode 023 -- Work Analogies

The medical and stroke industries can be complicated places. They have arcane jargon and complicated processes. And that's important. The detailed knowledge and industry shorthand helps folks within the field communicate quickly and clearly with each other to provide the best care possible. It's just different from what non-medical folks deal with.

But is it really all that different? What I'm finding in my personal experience is that it has a lot more in common with my own field of Adult Learning & Development, sales skills training, and brand evangelism.

For example, the corporate training field and the PT, OT, and Speech fields are all focused on helping folks develop or relearn skills and abilities. We're all working to rewire the brain so the learner/patient can do things they couldn't do before. The therapists rely more on rote memory and process repetition than the corporate trainers due, but it seems like there's an opportunity to study how best practices in each field can help the other.

The ADDIE model is the traditional way instructional designers build learning content.It also applies to the way medical teams put together treatment plans for rehab.

A -- Analyze the opportunity.

What are we working with? What do we want to accomplish? What are the current capabilities of the learner/patient? What resources/limitations do we have to work with? How much time do we have?

D -- Design the program.

Based on the analysis, what sort of program is most appropriate? When and where will we deliver it? What tools will be part of it? What content will we include?

D -- Develop the content/plan.

Assemble the content and build the list of exercises and procedures. Who does what when? Build out the details of the plan

I -- Implement the plan.

Execute the training or treatment plan.

E -- Evaluate the results.

Did we achieve the results we set out to achieve? Did the different elements work the way we wanted them to? What did the learner/patient think? What worked well and what didn't work well? What should we do differently in the future?

It's not just the training model that overlaps with the medical field. It's also the sales model.

My OT the other day talked about "affordances." An affordance is what something does for you. For example a chair might be made from metal or vinyl and that could be the physical description. That's not the important part, though. What really matters is what the chair affords you the opportunity to do -- to sit and rest.

I had never heard that term before, but in sales we talk about the same concept -- benefits. When selling computers, I teach people not to focus the the processor and RAM. That stuff doesn't matter. Focus instead on what that product does for the customer. How does it benefit them? How does it make there life better? How does it help them solve a problem or make their life better? That's the stuff that actually matters. The specs just support that.

When it comes to therapy, I don't really care about my finger extensors. What I care about is being able to open my hand and release my grip on command.

I don't care about my quads or my hamstrings. I care about being able to get myself someplace quickly, easily, safely, and painlessly.

I care about what those muscles afford me the opportunity to do. I care about how they benefit me.


I recently launched a Strokecast page on Facebook. You'll find reposts of these episodes and blog posts there. I'm also publishing Facebook Live videos there for more off the cuff discussion.

Check it out here and click the Like button.

Here's a sample: https://www.facebook.com/StrokeCast/videos/241473476461024/

Hack of the week

One challenge when I'm I'm running errands or getting coffee is that I have only one functional hand, and it's usually holding my cane. If I need to pick something up, where do I put my cane?

I picked up a cane clip that I move from cane-to-cane depending on my mood. You can find the one I uses here (affiliate link).

It makes it easy to hang my cane on my belt, waist band, or even pocket so I can pick up my coffee at the counter and carry it to my table without dropping my cane in the process.

Where do we go from here?

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast

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