Condition 7: Commitment

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Introduction | 1. Dissatisfaction with the status quo | 2. Knowledge and skills exist | 3. Availability of resources |
4. Availability of time | 5. Rewards and/or incentives exist | 6. Participation | 7. Commitment | 8. Leadership

Q: What’s the difference between the chicken and the pig in a bacon and egg breakfast?
A: The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.

This simple brainteaser speaks to Ely’s (1999) seventh facilitative condition—commitment (p. 5). Users of new technology innovations need more than a verbal endorsement from leadership; they want powerbrokers to demonstrate “visible” support in the form of changes to policies and procedures, dedication of resources, and active participation (Ensminger, Surry, Porter, & Wright, 2004, p. 64). True commitment transcends the “panacea du jour” phenomenon in which an innovation is championed for a short time before being replaced by the next cure-all solution (Ellsworth, 1999, p. 71). Before going all in, potential adopters want to know that there is a long-term plan in place for the innovation’s success.

Organizations can demonstrate a commitment to professional learning innovations through the following practices:

  • Offer professional learning that leads to an accredited and transferrable credential (certificate or degree). Elucidat found that 57% of surveyed employees desired professional learning opportunities that resulted in qualifications and certification (Penfold, 2016, What matters most to learners section, paragraph 2).
  • Invest in mobile-enabled learning platforms. Employees want the freedom to learn on their own devices and to choose when and where that learning occurs. Unfortunately, Elucidat discovered only 12% of corporate learning is mobile-enabled (Penfold, 2016, Key takeaways section, paragraph 2).
  • Remember that bigger isn’t always better. Short-form training videos and modules (four minutes or less) make more sense for modern learners than two-hour “sit and get” trainings. Employees who are overwhelmed and distracted by the day-to-day demands of their jobs need learning to be micro and point-of-need (Akhundov, 2016, paragraph 2).

Involvement is essential to get innovations off the ground, but ongoing commitment from users, innovation teams, and powerbrokers helps ensure that implementation efforts don’t become the next flavor of the day.


Akhundov, E. (2016, June 14). Modern learners, their needs and expectations based on Deloitte’s “Meet the modern learner” infographic [blog]. Retrieved from

Ellsworth, J.B. (2000). Surviving change: A survey of educational change. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology.

Ely, D.P. (1999). Conditions that facilitate the implementation of educational technology innovations. Educational Technology, 39 (6), 23-27.

Ensminger, D.C., Surry, D.W., Porter, B.E., & Wright, D. (2004). Factors contributing to the successful Implementation of technology innovations. Educational Technology & Society, 7 (3), 61-72. Retrieved from

Penfold, S. (2016, June 7). Profile of the modern learner—helpful facts and stats (infographic) [blog]. Retrieved from [Untitled image of chicken and pig]. Retrieved September 12, 2017 from


3 thoughts on “Condition 7: Commitment

  1. Throughout all of these posts it seems that many of these changes are intertwined. Making employees feel like partners in an implementation and investing time at work also lead to demonstrating commitment. In addition to making learning micro, I think day-to-day demands need to allot time for training.

    1. Wouldn’t it be incredible if training and professional learning opportunities were part of the day-to-day demands? One can dream!

      1. One of the ways organizations can show commitment is by allocating funds to support learning, especially when learning is required to adopt something new.

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