The most important part of developing skill is of course the formal training taking place in training centers around the world. The second most important part of the companies’ learning is what happens amongst the staff in all of their communication and helping each other. The third and least important thing is what the employees learn while working. You know, experience and such.
Wait a minute. I am of course joking here but sometimes I’m under the impression that this is how we do things at most companies. Let’s back up a bit and try to think about the reason for learning – individually and organizationally.
In a corporate setting we learn to increase performance. Performance, however, does not need training! What performance need are employees learning in the best possible ways and learning must never rely on training-only for fulfilling its performance goals.
If training is all there is, employees and companies alike renounce their own responsibility!
Just take a look at the above figure – formal training is not what performance hinges on! (The proportions of this are substantiated by a lot of research by the way. Google 70-20-10.)
We’ve got to turn things around! We cannot let employees put all of their trust in formal training.
Now, doesn’t this look better?
“On the job” is the bow and the archer. This is where the brute work is performed in learning. The people are the arrow and formal training is the tip of the arrow.
The game could be killed even if the tip of the arrow isn’t the sharpest – but you won’t get anything to eat without the archer and the bow and arrow.
Let’s rebuild and make a new learning approach official!
Let’s start to rebuild our companies’ learning approach into what it should be. We start with the part where the absolute majority of one’s learning takes place – on the job. The next part is what you learn in working with the people around you. The smallest part is the formal training – the courses you take.
Examples of learning activities in each section are:
- Technical, sales and soft-skills training in the formal section
- Coaching from managers, Mentoring from experts and Communication with the colleagues in the people section
- In the “on the job” section we’ve got:
- social sharing of best practice via network, blogs or communities of practice
- self-learning from experience
- using templates and having supportive processes to back you
- having extensive databases with documents and tools
- challenge yourself via stretched assignments and, most important of all,
- getting time to reflect on what you did wrong and what you did right!
Enter the Zero dollar Academy
Do note that the biggest two parts of learning for performance, the people section and the on the job section, do not require any day-to-day costs. After an initial implementation project these form the “Zero dollar academy”. In the long-term perspective the activities in these sections should be a part of your work description for performance. There are no hotels or plane tickets required to share your knowledge at work.
This is where the “Zero dollar academy” shines!
But what about the formal side of things? What about the training center? Isn’t there a place for a training center in the companies’ new learning approach?
Of course there is. The knife’s edge will still need to be sharpened.
The training centers will:
- Continue to deliver world-class training.
- Assure the global certification process.
- Build mentorship programs and supply coaching training.
- Facilitate webinars and curate the best-practice shared via digital social tools.
- Provide analytic support in producing the best performance supportive templates, processes and databases.
- Try to foster a corporate environment where employees are challenged at work with exciting tasks and where they are…
allowed to THINK.
Let’s start doing that right away, shall we not?
A company does not need a Global Academy Director only focused on the formal training side of performance learning. A company does need a Performance & Development (L&D->P&D) with mandate to implement the new learning approach for performance in all parts of the organization.