Did you learn to know or learn to change?

Trigger Question #141 — reading time: about 1.4 minutes

“This is not nice-to-know. This is time-to-change. Understood?”

. . .

We want to be better at what we do. So we learn to improve. We want more career options. So we learn something new. But how do we know that learning has happened?

We expect employees to get better at what they do. So we send them for training. But how do we know that training has taken place? We know when task action improves.

And how do we know that learning has happened? When that learning becomes visible through appropriate changes in behavior.

When you send people on training, you expect an improvement in their productivity or in the quality of task execution. You demand tangible results. You don’t accept “they went on training” as the measure of success.

Do we expect the same when people go for leadership development or on similar management programs? No, we don’t. We seem quite satisfied with “they went for leadership development.”

Surely, that casual acceptance of hoped-for benefits is not good enough. Not when considering the time and money invested in leadership and management programs. (You need to define how you will measure the success of these programs before people attend them. And then evaluate their behavior on their return.)

By the way, the same applies to you. Does what you learn change you? If your behavior does not change, then you learned nothing. It was not learning. It was just information gathering. Information changes what you know, not necessarily how you behave.

Yes, what you know matters. But as a manager and a leader, knowing something should change how you behave and how you act. It must create tangible results or outcomes. (Maybe not today. But someday, soon.) That’s what your role is all about.

Else it was just nice to know. And you could be gone with a “nice knowing you.”

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.