Training Vs. Capability Building - Shifting Gears to Win the Race

Posted by Matt Logsdon on August 26, 2016


Recently I attended a TAG (Technology Association of Georgia) event focused on Operational Excellence.  The inspiring presentation was provided by Dr. Norman Firchau, President and CEO of Porsche Consulting.  I found myself intrigued with his alternative perspective on “training.” During the presentation Dr. Firchau pointed out the difference between “training” and “capability building.” Replacing the common concept of “training” with the new perspective of “capability building” reveals the true benefits of shifting mindsets to purposefully differentiate the two.

Training is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession, or job”, but what this term doesn’t address is the desired outcome. When “training” someone, shouldn’t the process be oriented towards the trainee walking away with a new capability rather than knowledge that is left unapplied and referenceable at best? A capability is defined as “the ability to do something” (Merriam-Webster). Capability building is essential to operational excellence because it adds value; it is the gift that keeps on giving. Benjamin Franklin probably said it best; “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Cohesive Solutions has always stood behind this concept, because we know the value that sustainable and applicable knowledge transfer adds to organizations. Learning is imperative to success, but only when it is followed by the confidence to execute and apply the knowledge gained.

I found the concept of “capability building” very intriguing because it is a foundational pillar that supports the core of our company values. The foundation of our change management program is that success is contagious and should be replicated; capability building does just that. We believe in the importance of hands-on and interactive capability building where each interaction is optimized. The process reaches full-cycle only when the other individual can confidently leave with a new and applicable skill. This benefits both the individual and the organization. The end goal is the ripple effect, where success breeds success; the result is a sustainable and thriving organization.

Next time you find yourself “training” someone, whether it be at home, the workplace, or any other scenario, I invite you to take a moment to alter your perception of training to one that embraces the idea of “capability building.” Commit to an interactive session where the other individual leaves being able to confidently “do” rather than simply “know.”

Topics: Change Management, Training vs. Capability Building, training

Written by Matt Logsdon

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