Bad corporate training consists of a lot of Whats and Hows and not nearly enough Whys.
Good corporate training provides the Whys behind the Whats and Hows being taught. Not simply teaching “this is the way our company does this task” but also adding insight by sharing the Whys — the reasons behind the way you do things.
I tell people behind every form or business process there is a story of one guy who messed something up one time. The process or form was then reactively created and put into place so the next guy who screwed up could be held accountable, blamed, and fired — whether or not the odds were even likely that the same issue would ever arise again.
A process was created with the intent to never have that one thing ever happen again. They train the next group of employees on this new procedure, and then the next Trainer joins the company and learns these same Whats and Hows to train the new people who come in after her, and pretty soon no one really remembers Why the company does that thing in that particular way anymore. It’s just How they do things now (and believe it’s the way the task has always been done.)
Whats and Hows without Whys blocks innovation.
You end up with a company of people fighting to protect the status quo of the corporate Whats and Hows instead of fighting to innovate and create new ideas to support Why you’re in business in the first place.
- I can teach you the name (Whats) and the moves (Hows) of each piece on a chess board in about 5 minutes.
- You can memorize each chess piece (Whats) and the way each ones moves (Hows) in about 15 minutes.
- These Whats and Hows won’t prepare you to be a chess player.
- Until you know the strategy behind Why you’d want to position a specific piece on a specific square on the board, it’s just information without wisdom.