in Improvement & Development

Training and Development – A Holistic View

In manufacturing world, improving quality of raw material was the first step to improve quality of final product. Then came manufacturing process and efficiency of assembly lines.

Ditto with knowledge world, except that raw material here is not plastic beans, but a knowledge worker’s brain. Consider that with range of other softer aspects like motivation, creativity, commitment, alignment, ability, personal preferences and general human behaviors, the equation gets even more complex.

Apart from mentoring and managing people, training plays a direct and important role in improving quality. Most organizations have a limited view on training as a means of “delivering” knowledge from the trainer to trainees. Trainings are least effective when they are “one-way” affairs. In my view, people learn the most when they are involved in stimulating conversations, when their thinking is ignited by right questions and when they are a part of defining something.

Does your training strategy also include the following (a few ideas)?

  • Managers coaching people (and learning themselves in the process)
  • Tapping passion of your people by aligning trainings with their core skills.
  • Building internal focus groups and periodic discussions that promote stimulating conversations.
  • Self learning, sharing through blogs, sites and other free resources (Good news is that now, a lot of great learning is FREE – here is just one example. Okay, here is another.)
  • Internal assimilation of organizational knowledge in form of portals. Key is to ensure participation. (Some companies in India even attach participation with employee performance)
  • Identify training needs from people’s aspirations, their performance and feedbacks from projects.
  • Extend training from core technology to address topics like management, leadership, quality consciousness, cultural alignment and personal effectiveness.
  • Design training program that helps people in thinking differently and innovating better ways to work.

The basic outcome of training is improvement in knowledge content of people. But, it just starts there. The broader goal of training is to establish knowledge, spread ideas, align people and induce behavioral change in organization. Training should help people grow – not just the content in their brains, but they as individuals.

It is important to take a holistic view on training within your organization. You have to choose between treating training as an ‘activity’ or as a ‘strategic initiative’.

I wish you a great start into the week.

  1. Thanks a lot for these wonderful thoughts. The example of ‘BEYOND CODE’ is really very helpful.

  2. Thanks for the comment Amit – Life Beyond Code is one of the finest books I have read because it offers a lot of practical ideas for technology professionals to really differentiate themselves and thrive.


  3. Tanmay –
    I like your contemporary view of training. It’s especially relevant for today’s knowledge worker. There’s so much information and opportunities for learning out there – and as you say, much of it free. The key is learning how to harness it, and being motivated to learn.

  4. Hi Dan, I absolutely agree, learning is the key. Tapping free resources and learning from them needs 1)Intent 2) Time and Commitment from people 3) Continuously learning organization culture. Take any one of these out and learning slows down, and in worst cases, stops.

    Thanks for stopping by and putting forward your views.


    .-= Tanmay Vora´s last blog ..‘Commitment to Quality’ and Organic Nature of Improvement =-.

    • Thanks Dave for commenting and pointing me to your post on evaluating beliefs in training. True learning starts when participants start believing that training will help them deliver better results and improve upon themselves. Belief also means that they understand importance of training in achieving strategic vision of the organization.

      I totally enjoyed reading the post and found the model to be very useful.



Comments are closed.