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The Evolution of Training in a Learning Organization

November 1, 1994
Related Topics: Corporate Culture, Behavioral Training, Featured Article
The learning organization requires organizational learning in addition to traditional training. Organizational learning is a set of processes and structures to help people create new knowledge, share their understanding, and continuously improve themselves and the results of the enterprise. It isn't a program or a project but a management philosophy.

Traditional Training

Organizational Learning

Employees receive skills training; executives receive development training.

All employees receive learning support, lifelong development.

Training goals are based on requests by users

Learning goals are based on corporate strategy and users' needs.

Training primarily addresses immediate needs or short-term plans.

Learning focuses on core competencies and long-term strategic plans.

Needs assessments are done by the training group or by managers.

Needs assessments are done jointly by individuals, managers and training groups.

Training is conducted locally or at an offsite classroom.

Education takes place at the workplace, job site or anywhere.

Delivery of training is scheduled on a periodic basis.

Delivery of education is on real time, upon request.

Training approach is a delivery of knowledge.

Education approach is to design learning experiences or workplace interventions.

Training is instructor driven; programs designed by specialists.

Education is self directed; process design involves participants.

Content is generalized; developed by training specialists; often prescriptive.

Content is specific and applied; developed jointly with trainees; trainees determine content.

Trainers develop and deliver content, trainees are recipients.

Educators facilitate process and coach learners, learners are joint developers.

SOURCE: SRI Business Intelligence Program and Diane McGinty Weston, Organizational Learning in Practice.

Personnel Journal, November 1994, Vol. 73, No.11, p. 62.

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