Boss: "Dilbert, I need you to take over Carl's function. He's already gone, but Ted can train you. Ted was sometimes in the general vicinity when Carl did the function."

Ted (after failing to explain the job to Dilbert): "Anyway, that's all I know. The rest is common sense."

"Dilbert," the Scott Adams cartoon about organizational life, usually gets its humor from the absurd. On February 8th, he nailed reality! The cartoon described accurately how on-the-job training gets played out over and over again in all kinds of companies. Employees who don't have all of the information, are not experts at the job, and don't know how to train others are asked to make another person job-ready. Especially, at this time when so many knowledgeable and skilled people are leaving companies because of retirements and lay-offs, it's not always the most competent (at the particular job) people who are doing the training. The risk to these companies is enormous. There are health and safety concerns. There are job and product waste concerns. And there are lost customer concerns due to poor service.

What is an example of this scenario from your organization?

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