Creating performance and operational excellence through learning and practice
How many times have you heard someone say – “I am learning by doing?” I know I have heard and said such phrase many times, and I continue to say that to this day. It’s one thing to sit in a classroom setting participating in training or conference, learning about a process, new product, or functionality, where all you are left with is a lot of information that’s stored in your memory bank for a period of time. However, it’s completely different when you are given an opportunity to actually participate in the new process flow yourself, seeing how it works, applying hand on approach, or explore a new product or functionality where you have an opportunity to experience it first hand and see how it works in the real life vs. what you may be hearing from someone else.
I certainly learn best by doing. Now, I do believe that it is very important to first have a base knowledge about a new process, procedure, requirement, or new product, before engaging in the hands-on experience. However, that could be where you read about it at your own pace and apply what you’ve learned in practice. In my opinion, we should not be expecting for someone to be perfect or expect perfection right off the bet. Everyone should be given an opportunity to learn, practice, improve, and repeat, until the level of expected proficiency is reached by an individual. Does this work like this in the real life? Of course, not. Often, we may be expected to be subject matter experts in the particular filed or process or know everything about how a particular new product or system works, simply by observing someone else using it. But what happens then? When, we are finally given an opportunity to interact with a particular process, system, or product, we are trying to recall in our head what we are supposed to do based on presentation that we’ve observed some time ago. This often results in delays, the need for research, asking follow up questions, and less than expected level of quality of work or performance that’s being delivered in the meantime, which almost always leads to a loss of revenue and/or deterioration of customer/client experience. So, why not create an environment where everyone involved have an opportunity to learn first, practice using hands-on approach second, and after becoming a true subject matter expert through continuous training and feedback implementation, be held accountable on delivering against set suite of deliverables and expectations in the real word?
Using such approach to learning something new, including starting a new job or new role, introducing a new process or procedure within an existing business, would help in developing high performing employees and team, who will then create high performing business organizations.
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