Not only is the majority of training in today’s companies ineffective, but the purpose, timing, and content of training is flawed. Want to see eyes glaze over quicker than you can finish this sentence? Mandate that busy employees attend a training session on “business writing skills”, or “conflict resolution”, or some other such course with little alignment to their needs. Like lean manufacturing and the lean startup before it, lean learning supports the adaptability that gives organizations a competitive advantage in today’s market. It’s about learning the core of what you need to learn, applying it to real-world situations immediately, receiving immediate feedback and refining your understanding, and then repeating the cycle. In order to begin practicing lean learning, organizations need to move from measuring credits earned to measuring business outcomes created. Lean learning ensures that employees not only learn the right thing, at the right time, and for the right reasons, but also that they retain what they learn.

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