Paul Matthews, in a blog post titled, “The future oftraining is not training,” argues that workplace training needs to be about building capability not delivering courses. He writes:

Many people in training seldom stop to think why they are doing the training. The logistics and hassles of keeping the training department running are sufficient to fill up their days and obscure the real purpose.

Matthews goes on to say that the future of training is in building the capability of employees to do their jobs more effectively.

Sean Murray and I present a similar argument in our book, “The 5As Framework,” except we go further to Small5a say that training, as well as any learning intervention in an organization, should contribute to achieving the strategic goals of that organization. We wrote:

Companies today can no longer afford to rely on these isolated events to make a difference, whether a one-day skill-building workshop, or a year-long leadership development institute. Maybe there was a time when companies could offer these events to employees without concern for results. Today, resources are too precious. You must make sure that you are maximizing the impact from every performance intervention…This means that rather than a culture of events, you need a culture of learning, one that supports ongoing learning throughout your organization. In a learning culture, the normal behaviors, customs, expectations, and goals are all oriented towards learning and performance improvement. (p.32)

For too long, HR, training departments, and even Learning and Development units, have focused on events. And they have become quite good at doing events. But the future of training is not events, nor is it only capability. It is learning that contributes in a measurable way to the success of the organization.

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