Performance vs Learning vs Training in an Enterprise Context

The ASQ Questions

ASQ CEO Paul Borawski – who by the way is retiring in May 2014 – writes in his recent Post:

… ASQ’s Global State of Quality research has some interesting facts on this matter. (Remember, you can download the entire report for free at the above link.)

From the research:  “Organizations that govern quality with a centralized group are roughly 30 percent more likely to provide quality training to staff than organizations where a senior executive governs the quality process” (page 6).

Interesting! Do find this to be true in your company? Who encourages you to pursue professional training?

To me, it’s encouraging the most organizations, especially larger companies, do provide training to their employees.  In fact, only five percent of the surveyed organizations provide no quality training at all. Take a look at this chart from the research (page 23).

BUT! The research also shows that “the majority of organizations have a fairly narrow training scope by providing quality-related training to staff directly involved in the quality process. Only a handful of organizations provide quality training to all staff” (page 24).

So, most of us get some training, but it depends on where we work, and our physical location in the organization. Does this reflect your experience? Or do you pursue quality training on your own?

My Responses

Ok. Training is good. Or it can be. As always, it depends.

01-LiMl 66155-Lessons_in_Maki-sfull

Specific training, authentic training , reinforced on-the-job training will stick. And be worth it.

General training, not so much, IMO.

Where I am going to go with this, my response, is:

Learning something “out of context” – non-authentic – and then applying it another context, your context, is something only 5-15% of the populace can do. Therefore Training that is non-Specific/non-Authentic training is a Waste, to be eliminated.  

Which makes it – non-Specific/non-Authentic Training – a bad choice. From an ROI, a measured results perspective.

Most of the time. As always, it depends.

But first, let’s begin with a focus on Measurements of the issue… before “cheering” too much at the Data. Any data.

This data seems to measure Activity – and not Results.

Unless these measures of Activity are tied to Results, they may incorrectly promote the activity of Training, any training, at any time, for anybody, which I have a problem with all of the time.

Measured Results vs …

Versus – Performance vs Learning vs Training in an Enterprise Context – because Results are what’s important.

Measured Results – measured many a way. But not of Activity, using any measure.

It’s the R for the I thing. The R measured in dollars and sometimes non-dollars – and truthfully, not measured at all, most of the time.

Performance vs …

Versus Learning. What most want, in an Enterprise Learning Context, is for people’s performance to improve – via the metrics of that particular Enterprise. Move the needle. In the right direction of course. The wrong thing will make the needle go in the undesired direction, and that’s just not good.

So one needs to investigate those business metrics in place, and determine what the leverage points are, using some model of levers (as there are many).

Here is one of mine… one piece of a Process/Performance Analyst and Architect tool-kit. For the Process-level of performance.

EPPI Fishbone v2012 - 1- The Process

The people and the stuff they have in order to create and deliver products and services, internal and external to the Enterprise.

Learning vs …

Versus Training. Learning comes from both formal and informal sources. So it is about more than just Training. And it – Learning – occurs both intentionally and unintentionally. It happens around the clock.

Social media accessible on that mobile device that just about everybody has on themselves nowadays, every day, all day… that’s the new classroom.

Like being told to go to the quiet corner to work ahead of the rest of the class. It’s now up to you on where to take that, the beyond the classroom learning.

Training is but one means to the ends of Learning, which leads to Performance, which leads to Enterprise Performance Improvement – Measured Results should be done at every level. Using some master framework – of those levers.


But Awareness/ Knowledge/ Skills is but one variable-set, among many other variables that enable Peoples’ Process Performance.

Training in an Enterprise Context

Here, you best – to be lean and impactful – best understand all of your stakeholders, including the customers, for your products and services – your offerings.

And measure the results.

Think like those in the marketing space. And then you perhaps can better understand the really “high-impact” jobs in the the high-impact processes of the functional organization, enabling you to better target your investments in training the right people at the right times in the right stuff that will be expected and reinforced back in the real world of the job and do so for for the Returns, however well measured, but measured well.

Not just in the training laboratory… in the classroom, or online.

But in the specific, authentic job performance context.

Where the rubber hits the road.

Measure there.

# # #

“I was recruited as an inaugural member of the ASQ Influential Voices program in 2010. And while I receive a variety of quality resources as honorarium from ASQ in exchange for my commitment, the thoughts and opinions expressed on my blog are my own.”

Guy W. Wallace
Certified Performance Technologist
President, EPPIC Inc.

Learn more about Quality and ASQ at:

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