Action Mapping Tool: Mighty Cards

Cut the fluff

Cathy Moore’s action mapping is one of the most useful processes/concepts I’ve seen and used in my career. In short, it helps you get rid of boring learning because it cuts the “fluff” out of the training. It starts with business objectives, performance goals and ACTIONS or BEHAVIORS that support those. Then you map learning activities to the minimum content you need to complete those activities in order to support the desired actions and behaviors.

Anyway, Cathy does a much better job explaining this in her book or blog. This article is about cards, called Might Cards. Action mapping digs deep into WHY people are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. (OR why they’re doing what they’re not supposed to be doing.) Cathy has a nice flow chart (“Is it training?”) to walk you through the types of barriers people might have.

Mighty Cards

Might Cards is the product of game thinking in its simplest sense. I wanted to bring something tangible, simple, and flexible into face-to-face meetings with clients. Instead of looking at a Powerpoint slide or verbal explanation of different types of barriers, they have these five cards in their hands.

Using cards gives you the flexibility to come up with rules and mechanics that fit your needs:

  • Sometimes, it’s a reminder of different types of barriers (knowledge that need to be memorized, knowledge that can be gained by using a tool/job aid, skill, motivation, environment)
  • Sometimes, it’s a challenge to approach a problem from different perspective, even if you don’t agree with it. People draw a card randomly and must argue that the solution is based on their barrier. This allows people to get out of their comfort zone and bias.
  • Sometimes, it’s a game. By three, show me the card the best describes the major barrier we face. You get as many points as many cards of your choice is shown. This is good for a quick discussion starter.

Each card has a barrier and a verb associated with it. You can create your own version and use them for your purpose, or just order the set from here. Either way, connect with me if you’re using them. I’d love to hear from you.

We chatted about Mighty Cards at TLDC the other day. I spoke about Mighty Cards at the ATD International Conference and Exposition in San Diego, CA this year. See more about the cards in the FAQ for my session. You can make your own cards for your session, or just get my set if you like:



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