Training is Additive. And that means -- uh oh...

Jun 17, 2017

Adding Training can add knowledge, skills, and behaviors. As such, it’s a great way to solve additive problems.

“We need more of this!” “Do that faster!” “Do that thing better!” Training can help us do this.

But the one thing that adding adding Training can never do is subtract knowledge, skills, or behaviors.

Adding Training does not remove knowledge, skills, or behaviors.

That’s because any added information has to either fit within our existing mental model (easier) or overwrite it (harder). Anything that doesn’t fit/change what we know what we already know just gets dropped. Such new information not be retained. As I’ve written about before, you can train all you want but learning ain’t gonna happen.

The point I’d like to highlight today is that there is no delete button here. We are not dealing with slates that can be wiped clean, we’re dealing with people.

Training doesn’t make people forget what they already know. Training can make us question our skills, but not lose them. And most importantly, training cannot prevent a behavior.

Let that sink in for a second…

Training cannot prevent someone from doing something.

Not feeling nervous yet? How about this restatement:

Training cannot prevent someone from doing something dangerous or unethical or just really, really stupid.

Now think about the last Mandatory Compliance Training that you worked with.

Was that a Safety Training? Maybe Customer Information Security? Or Harassment Prevention Training, perhaps?

At first glance, each of these look to be a direct contradiction. It seems like they have no business being training in the first place, and it is our position at Snap Synapse that they actually are not training at all. They may take that form often enough, but to do so is to mislead and betray not only the learners, but the business needs.

We believe that compliance training is important! But it’s important to lawyers, not to learners. If you want people who don’t yet know something to know it, training is perfect for that job. Risk aversion is a totally different game, and different rules and metrics apply.

If you’d like to explore what other options exist that are true to the business needs and to the learners, please reach out to us!


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