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What if we don’t train them… and they stay?

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In my last blog post, I introduced the ideas of Peter Drucker, that I came across in a compilation of his work.

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One of the entries addressed his insight into knowledge workers as mobile assets. I share my thoughts in this short video.

According to Drucker, increasing the productivity of the knowledge worker requires addressing a number of key factors, one of which is Continuous Learning.
Last time out, I teased a somewhat controversial guideline he shares for Continuous Learning, which is the subject of today’s letter.
The guideline is this:

  • Training and development should be focused on people’s strengths, rather than on their weaknesses and limitations, with the goal being to improve upon the things people already do well.

I tend to agree with this. Time is a limited resource. As an individual, is it better spent becoming excellent at a few things, or merely competent in many?

As an organization, is it better to have a team of specialized experts who can work in complementary ways or a team of generalists with varied skills at basic or intermediate levels of mastery?

Of course, there is a balance here, but as a general guideline, I think this helps us as L&D professionals to prioritize critical training needs and gaps when developing content.

There are three final guidelines that broaden the scope of Continuous Learning beyond the individual and consider the broader organization, including colleagues and managers. I’ll share these, and my thoughts on them, in my next letter to you.

Until then, do you agree that we should focus on teaching strengths rather than improving on weaknesses? If not, why do you think this is flawed?

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