Learning: The New Competitive Advantage

employees reviewing company training

Do you view your training programs in the same way you do sales and marketing? Do you think your training achieves the same results as your sales and marketing programs? Do you even know how to measure the effects of training within your organization? 

Executives. If you answered no to any or all of these questions, you’re not alone. Most executives do not consider training in the same vein as sales and marketing.  In addition, most executives have little or no idea how training is measured or the effect it has on the overall success of the organization.

Traditional Training. Even if executives knew how their training effectiveness was measured, most would be alarmed by the results. Why is this? Because most training programs still use “traditional” methodologies. Classrooms focus on a lecture-based format, online eLearning modules are “page-turners” that promote memorization, and assessments test rote-memorization of facts rather than application of knowledge and skills.

Instructional Design. The major reason that most corporate training is ineffective centers on the fact that training programs are designed and delivered by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Although these individuals bring a wealth of content knowledge and associated experience, very few have knowledge related to instructional design methodologies and how people learn. For classroom training they normally focus on a lecture-based format utilizing PowerPoint slides. Each slide has key points related to their lecture. Little or no interactivity. When these same SMEs attempt to design and develop online learning the results are even worse. Page-turners where learners read, read, read and then take a test. 

Example. As the Assistant Director of Flight Education at The Ohio State University I taught a Flight Instructor course. At the beginning of the semester I would ask the class, “Who thinks they are the best at landings?” I would then select one of the students to come up in front of the class and teach us how to do a perfect landing. Although these “experts” were great at landings, they had no idea how to teach them. They would begin with detailed specifics (e.g., when turning on final approach….”) rather than a general introduction (e.g., “There are three main phases to landing an aircraft….”). They didn’t have knowledge related to instructional design and learning theories.

Competitive Advantage. In my book, M-Pact Learning, The New Competitive Advantage, I discuss the instructional design principles we use to create innovative, highly effective learning solutions for our clients. These principles include problem-based learning, how to use collaboration, and assessing for application, not memorization. M-Pact Learning provides our clients with measurable business results and an associated competitive advantage.