Friday, October 20, 2006

Is it training or is it preaching?

I've been thinking about what is presented as corporate training recently and, maybe I'm being dense here, much of what is called training is more like corporate preaching. The programs we develop are infomercials for positions or points-of-view that are espoused by management. It is positional in that it states this is how we want you to do something when this situation arises.

This is not unlike Jesus preaching to the crowds in the Sermon on the Mount where he said:
You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'

But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.

If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.
He did not expect people to encounter these problems, but should they be encountered this is what they should do. Similarly much of what passes as corporate training is an attempt to anticipate problems and to provide guidance as employees embark or continue on their career paths.

Am I attributing religious meanings to corporate training. NO! What I am suggesting is that as Matthew recorded Jesus' sermons not only for others to read or hear read to them, but to also be referenced again and again as issues arise or simply when Jesus' words needed to be reheard for moral support.

Likewise much of corporate training needs to be more than a one-off event. It needs to be recorded and documented and made available for all employees to review. They need to be able to spread there understanding of these messages to others so that it can be discussed. To a certain degree the discussion element already takes place around water coolers, smoking areas, etc. But these are isolated locations. The word needs to be spread further and that is the beauty of the plethora of Web 2.0 tools.

Corporations need to embrace these tools. I think that with them learning within the workplace can only improve. That's all.

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