Although billions of dollars are spent in training sessions every year, the hard reality is this: Training, by itself, doesn't change organizations.
Where does the mythology arise that training is a solution to everything?
- Perceptual default to familiar classroom settings where information was shared.
- Conviction that employees will change their leadership, management, work habits if they simply attend a seminar.
- Managerial frustration with a current situation can motivate leaders to send people to training.
What do we observe in our own training experiences?
- We often gain awareness of a perceived gap in knowledge.
- We may be energized to try something new after we sit through a workshop.
- Many of the three ring binders of material (or online workshops) we reviewed gathered dust over time.
- It takes much effort to integrate new knowledge within the DNA of an organization.
Learning changes organizations, not training.
- Training is an adjunct to organizational learning. It is a helper to bring awareness.
- Managerial support of new learning is critical for the 'training' to take hold.
- Repetition is the mother of learning ... training must be repeated (irregular intervals are best!)
- Distributed practice is best ... short sessions of intense learning are superior to long, exhausting sessions.
- Use training in the context of change, as a critical part of learning the new system, new roles, and new processes.
- Use training developed specifically for the project at hand - not a cookie-cutter version.
- Follow-up or foul up. Reinforcing learning is essential to integrating training into the culture.