If you can’t explain it to your grandmother, forget it. - Luc Galoppin
Why ‘why’ comes First
An often made mistake in training programs consists of postponing all contacts with the participants
until the very last minute. As a result, people feel as if a concept is being forced upon them and they
aren’t really given the time to fully comprehend it.
The knowledge provided during training is so theoretical that it has nothing in common with practice.
Many of the people wonder why they have to spend all that time in training and are annoyed because
their day-to-day work is just laying around. They have received all the explicit knowledge that is –
rationally speaking – necessary to face the change. They have had the ‘what’ pushed down their
throats. But the project grinds to a halt soon after that because people have not been given the time
to participate and make sense of it all.
A recent study of McKinsey (Getting more from your training programs) indicates:
Instead of approaching training as active learners, many employees behave as if they
were prisoners (“I’m here because I have to be”), vacationers (“I don’t mind being here
—it’s a nice break from doing real work”), or professors (“Everybody else is here to
learn; I can just share my wisdom”).
The ingredient ‘Why’ determines whether people undergo a training or take part in a learning
endeavor. The inevitable truth is that people will need to tinker with the ‘why’ anyway in order for the
program to work, so it is better to do that during preparation than to pay for it in terms of a
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