Monday, January 06, 2014

Hi HR! This is Training. Can we talk?

Ah, semantics: Good blog fodder. When conversations turn into arguments quite often it's the meanings associated with the words that rest at the root of the debate.  The Corporate eLearning industry, and it's parent the Training Industry, have it's share of debates around words.  And, oddly enough, those words that label the industry we serve often mean different things to different practitioners and professionals. And to add fuel to the conversational fire we've now also added 2.0 onto the already often debated terms. I'll save the 2.0 post for later.

So, why am I blogging about this? You might be saying, "Brent, aren't you tired of having this conversation? Can't we all just move on and get the work done?"  And to that my answer is no. Change is hard. And it takes a long time to "move the needle" as they say.  So, I will continue to address the meaning of training, eLearning, learning, and other terms.  But I digress...

I enjoy staying connected to the industries that are either directly or indirectly related to mine: HR, Communications, IT, Media, Journalism, Management and others.  An article from HR Bartender caught my attention recently. The post is titled The Difference Between Knowledge Skills and Abilities.

I really enjoy Sharlyn's blog and find this particular post an excellent gateway to engaging with the HR community around Training and eLearning...as well as other topics.  So, hello HR community!  And to everyone, please read Sharlyn's entire post first, then let's talk.

Here is the first thing that jumped out at me.  And I'll address it from the perspective of training conversations I've experienced over the years.

Unfortunately, with today's version of what passes as "training", I cannot with confidence recommend to anyone that training OR experience results in acquired skill proficiencies.  I am however willing to state that when training is accompanied by real, or simulated, experiences over time one can become proficient in a desired skill.

With that said, I do believe that consuming content informally (i.e. no official training event attended) WITH experiences can lead to acquiring proficiency in a desired skill.  I guess what I mean is experiences can stand on their own and lead to skill acquisition while training without experiences cannot.  Of course, one could argue that with "good" training that includes experiences a person could become proficient more quickly which is why I like "training AND experience".  If experiential learning ever becomes a given part of all training then I believe we can drop the "and experience." But that day is not likely coming any time soon.

So, to my eLearning and Training colleagues, how does this resonate with you? Is there more in Sharlyn's post that we can learn from our friends in HR? What other conversations can we share with them?

Post a Comment