March 11, 2020

Real learning starts once you’ve left the classroom

Continued employee development is important in being a successful organization. In this blog, René van Seuren, Senior BPM Architect, tells you why a training is just the start of the learning process.

Knowledge as a sustainable competitive advantage

According to Peter Senge, American scientist in knowledge management and organizational behavior, the only sustainable competitive advantage a company can have is the ability to learn faster than its competition. And yet, organizations still sometimes have mixed feelings about trainings. It is costly and the payoff often isn’t directly obvious. After all, a training is just the start of the learning process. To increase performance, what was learned should also be applicable in practice.

From theory to practice

The learning process often starts with the cognitive component. That can be a group class program, e-learning, a video or a combination of learning materials. Then you go to informal learning: gaining experience with what you have learned in practice. As that directly connects to your work context, that is where you will learn the most. As Confucius said around 500 B.C.: ‘Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand.’

Create an open culture

It is important to be aware of the importance of learning in the workplace. Give people room to learn and to grow. Part of growth is making mistakes. Encouragement is unnecessary, but punishment is counterproductive. Create a culture in which people dare to experiment, and aren’t afraid to admit any mistakes they make. Problems turn out to be bigger in the end when people cover up their mistakes than if they were able to quickly, efficiently and properly solve them. By creating an open culture, with an atmosphere of trust, it’s also easy to ask others for help or feedback.

Diversity in a team

Also encourage diversity in your team. Not just in terms of (educational) background, age and gender, but also in the area of seniority and experience. The juniors can learn from the seniors, and vice versa. The seniors can learn a lot from the juniors’ fresh perspectives. Especially when working with tooling, which has new versions coming out faster and faster, seniors can sometimes get stuck in an old way of working. Juniors can be a source of inspiration in that.


Is your organization ready for the next step? We offer specialized Pega and Mendix trainings and practical workshops as well as a free Master Class in Business Process Management. The next master class is on April 9, at our location in Zeist. Click here for more information. You can also register directly.


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