Greetings. In our uncertain economy it seems that many companies are deciding to get by with less training instead of more. Apparently, they see little connection between teaching their people how to think and act in new and compelling ways and bottom-line performance. And, much of the training that is occurring tends to be focused on skill building classes that can be delivered on-line. Not that there's anything wrong with that (to quote Seinfeld), but it misses the point. Sure we all need new skills and many of them can be taught on-line. But our greatest need is to teach people at all levels of our organizations to be curious, open, innovative, and collaborative. And this requires a different approach to learning that models the way we explored, tested, imagined, and grew as children.
It also requires us to get off our bottoms and engage the world head-on. To learn by seeing, hearing, feeling, doing, trying, screwing up, figuring it out, and getting it right. That's the only way that we will ever develop the abilities and confidence to transform the way that things are done. And the ability and confidence to work together to find better solutions to the things that matter most. To rethink the way that diseases are cured, or people and products are transported, or data is used and stored, or remarkable travel and dining experiences occur, or the healthiest food is produced, or access to better health and quality healthcare is delivered, or content is consumed, or poverty is eliminated. All challenges that warrant our undivided attention and training worthy of our full potential as passionate human beings.
If you're wondering how to unlock the real power of training in your organization, I'd be glad to share more ideas in future posts. Just send me a quick email with a thought or a question. And, if you can't imagine how to teach your employees these essential new abilities, you might enjoy the brief clip below. It's about a fellow in Australia who has trained mice to surf. I'm not sure if they're having fun or if he should be reported to the authorities, but it does suggest that we can create amazing results without the aid of a 100-slide PowerPoint presentation.
We win in business and in life when we make learning come alive, and when we connect our learning to a problem or opportunity that really matters. If we can land a person on the moon and teach mice to surf, we should be able to unlock the genius in all of our people. But it will take real innovation in the way we train and the way we lead. Are you up for the challenge?