Good Bye Training, Welcome Learning

Good Bye Training, Welcome Learning

  • The importance of training for individual and organizational development is evident from the fact that United States spent USD 210 billion on training budget in 2013
  • However, some governmental organizations started performing training activities because it is one of the key performance indicators or is just a part of the strategy to win awards of excellence.
  • I would suggest an approach where the focus is on the outcome of learning activities, and the learning process becomes a product of conscious activity

Nobody can deny the importance of training for individual and organizational performance improvement across all levels. In a country like the USA, the 2013 training budget that has been amounted is $ 210 billion, which in fact is equivalent of the national income sum of several countries.

However, researchers and specialists in the field of learning and development noticed that traditional training started losing its actual value. Nevertheless, some governmental organizations started performing only training activities because they become more focused on the outside noticeable image of their key performance indicators achievements or just for winning one more award of excellence. The latter is one of the things I can bravely share that I have noticed due to my experience in the region, as an assessor and arbitration team leader in several of excellence awards and it became one of my main points of concern as well.

The approach I would like to bring upon into the audience attention is related to suggesting focus on the learning activity’s outcomes.  In addition to that and regardless of its nature: i.e. formal or informal learning, learning process will be much more efficient if it becomes a product of conscious activity. In fact, the phrase “learning and development needs” has successfully replaced the term “training needs” and the 10:20:70 model has emerged to the effect that 70% of learning comes out of work itself. Problem solving, challenges, and 20% come out of co-workers and direct line manager interaction and 10% comes out from self- learning. This model is the foundation for a new thought where the Chief Learning Officer as a position and functions replaces the traditional training officer.

The Chief Learning Officer position holder is a person who performs strategic tasks and he is managed directly by the general manager or the chief executive.

The CLO becomes the hub of all learning activities. Assessment reports, market analysis results, competitors’ analysis results, benchmarking, and the best performances have to be submitted to him. Part of his duties also include gathering all conferences and workshops feedback  summaries that  employees participated in; conducting  proper analysis   of  data and figures afterwards ; spreading around awareness of the lessons learnt and changing, establishing policies and procedures  that promote innovation  and improvement solutions for the organization.

In conclusion of all listed above I would say that new methods should be introduced, implemented and followed in the organizational learning field and traditional learning have to be   replaced. It’s widely known fact that after attending traditional training trainees usually forget 80% of what they have been exposed to during the training in eight weeks’ time after training completion.

Last but not the least let us all remember some of the thoughts of the quality guru Deming in the context of importance of measurement: “What you cannot measure you cannot improve”

The article is written by Dr. Alaa Garad for Arab Business Review

To read more thought-leadership stuff by leaders from Arab Region, please visit Arab Business Review

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