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Why embedding corporate culture in training is so important

Corporate Culture

To win the hearts and minds of your people is to mobilize your greatest asset, which can help you overcome other competitive disadvantages you may have. 

In a previous post I shared a crucial step in the Design phase of our learning methodology – our practice of deconstructing everything we’ve learned about a topic in the Discovery phase down to first principles

We then design a course from these first principles, building a new scaffolding of knowledge for learners. 

Another important consideration with orientation is to think in terms of moral, mental and physical dimensions.

The creator of the OODA Loop, Lt. Colonel John Boyd, observed from the Vietnam War that a huge physical advantage could be overcome by winning the mental and moral dimensions.

The North Vietnamese were able to win hearts (moral) and minds (mental) by portraying themselves as nationalist freedom fighters. 

The U.S. spent $738 billion fighting the Vietnam War and couldn’t overcome the moral and mental advantages seized by the North Vietnamese.

In organizations, influencing the hearts and minds of your people is done through your corporate culture. 

Learning and Development

Culture, winning the mental and moral dimensions, can overcome huge physical advantages competitors may have such as superior market share, economies of scale and more funding. 

This is why reinforcing your culture in everything you do, including your corporate training, is so important. 

David Cummings, Co-founder of Pardot, said it best: “Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within [your control]. Develop a strong corporate culture first and foremost.”

Of course, you have to start by creating great values to distill your culture for employees. 

But then you have to make them stick. 

I’ve written before about how companies must constantly return to their values by embedding them into everyday work, and training initiatives are no exception. 

I’m not talking about isolated training on corporate values.

That doesn’t take employees out of the context of this once-a-year training and ask them to apply the values in new ethically ambiguous situations. 

Training needs to be embedded in ALL your training initiatives. 

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