Most training courses people are sent on achieve far less than the organiser wanted to achieve. In worse cases, which occur far too often, nothing changes. The reason for this is quite simple. Knowledge and often some skill were gained, but this was not combined with a new or strengthened behaviour which was actually the real need of the training course.
We suggest you consider competence as a mix of three things:
Knowledge + skill + behaviour.
Competence won’t come from training alone. So at this point we therefore need to consider dropping the word “training”. Why? Because training, as it is commonly viewed, is just the start. We replace the word training with “capability development”. That is the capability of applying a new skill (or a strengthened existing skill) whenever it is needed – regularly displaying acts of competence. Remember, it is the skill only that is of value to the business. The skill will directly create value in a business, or improve results, or better manage risk.
Further, capability development is a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle because not everything will go as planned and different people will develop the same competence but not all follow the same path. A fair portion of “training” fits into the “Do” and in hands on training there is often “Check” and “Act”, but not enough during the training itself. The majority of check and act needs to occur after the training.
Following is a simple depiction that illustrates the excellent opportunity for Check and Act – learn by doing:
The development of capability starts with training. This is where knowledge is acquired and, where made possible and practical, some skill development starts. Following training, the person starts using the skill within their job. At some point (not with everyone) “the light comes on”. (This sometimes occurs in the training room where skill development starts.) The person now understands. With knowledge and understanding and then practice, the person will develop the capability of applying the skill. Now they can do it. If then there is a positive outcome for them, they will do it – they will display competence.
Along this path the learner needs to discuss their experiences with someone who has a vested interest in their capability development, and someone experienced in the skill. It is through the cycle of “try, question, try again” that competence will develop further.
From the point of view of the business, mentoring also presents another golden opportunity. Mentoring permits the identification of the 10 to 20% of people who will really make the difference in whatever results are being aimed at. Once identified, further capability development can be targeted.
Our mentoring and coaching programs are tailored for different skills – TWI Job Relations, Job Instruction and Job Methods, and for the Toyota Kata patterns. We have a standard approach for each which is then tailored for each situation. All have a Plan-Do-Check-Act foundation.