Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Training in the Corporate World

I came across a very interesting blog post ... Its discussing whether Training is Useless ... No, its not making that declaration, though i would have agreed with it if that were so ... In large measure, if not completely. The post goes on to make some very convincing arguments about why this could be so. In a nutshell ... this is because nobody really knows why training is required.

More often than not ... someone comes up and says my team needs to communicate better ... The training folks end up doing a keyword search in a catalogue for communication, get some search results, and "throw" the training at the problem ... without even knowing whether this is the right problem in the first place. More often than not, the real requirement for the training remains hidden behind layers of management jargon, which is why training methodologies never go one step beyond the Training Needs Analysis ... to where the root cause of the requirement lies.

The interesting thing this post is making is how the author went to attend a PowerBuilder training, only to come back and work on a VisualBasic project. Quite a few of us have been there, which is an indication that the scenario i am describing does exist in different forms in different organizations. Even if some folks were lucky, and went to the right trainings, the piece which is left missing is the post-training engagement. It is assumed that anyone who walks out after completing a training is a completely changed human being and is an expert on the subject the trainings was about. For example, if you went to an Oracle DBA training, your boss would expect you to be the champ at this when you walked out of the training room. Which is precisely why the T3 concept usually comes about. This tends to negate the value of experience in the specific subject. And this is one of the primary reasons people tend to not derive the kind of value from trainings, that they otherwise could.

If we are to look at how training fits in with the organization's goals, we would find that at some level, Knowledge Management as a discipline also aligns in a similar manner to those goals. This is not to say that these two functions are necessarily overlapping ... But it does mean that training needs to synergize with the larger knowledge management direction within the organization.

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