The terms “learning” and “knowledge” are inextricably linked together as well as to the field of corporate training. In fact, they are linked in such a fashion that they are often times confused as one and the same thing. They’re not. Why? Let’s have a look at the definitions of both these terms as listed down in the latest Oxford Dictionary.
While the Oxford Dictionary defines ‘knowledge’ as “facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject”, it defines ‘learning’ as “the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught”. In simpler terms, learning is a process through which knowledge is acquired, while knowledge is what learning yields.
But how are any of those terms linked to corporate training? Here’s how: The success of corporate training results in the success of a corporate organizations, and the success of corporate training results from employees gaining knowledge by learning. Thus, the key word here is knowledge, which is what corporate organizations are after. Knowledge is what results in increased sales, improved customer service, and smoother operations. In spite of all of this, it is learning that is more important for corporate organizations than knowledge. Why? Let’s have a look.
Knowledge Is Static
As mentioned before, knowledge is facts and facts do not change. Thus, knowledge is just facts you have to memorize. It is fixed and undeviating. Learning, on the other hand, is an ongoing process that is dynamic and is constantly changing. Knowledge does not result in innovation, while learning does, and innovation is what is needed for an organization to move forward.
Knowledge decays over time if it is not frequently revised. This is important for corporate organizations to understand, as they do not only need their employees to acquire knowledge, but to acquire, sustain, grow, share and apply knowledge to achieve an organizational impact. Further, that is only possible through continuous learning.
Learning Is The Future
Technology is ushering us into a world where knowledge is becoming obsolete, as a piece of knowledge that worked in the near past may not work in the near future. Thus, employees need learning fast in order to act fast. In the modern world we live in, things change unpredictable and while knowledge cannot be relied on, learning can be.
Learning Thrives in Adversity
While a lack of knowledge will result in a failure, a lack of learning will result in a string of failures. It is by learning from their failures that will help employees prevent the same things from happening in the future. Also, learning allows employees to simply skill up in the face of adversity and move past any obstacle instead of panicking.
Corporate Organizations Need To Focus More On Learning Than Knowledge
Why? Because a large number of corporate organizations dump tons of knowledge on their employees without considering whether the employees are actually learning. Simple acquisition of knowledge is the storage of information in an employee’s brain and it is not what is required. Learning is the act of applying acquired knowledge and creating connections in your brain, which will take an employee, as well as the organization they work for, forward.
There is a reason it is called “eLearning” and not “eKnowledge” because in this case, the means are more important than the end. Big money is being spent on learning and development for a good reason, as learning is your competitive advantage. Learning helps employees feel valued, helping boost employee engagement and retention. Employees that are constantly learning continue to improve their skills and become more flexible and adaptable, as changes related to technology and other workplace matters arise unexpectedly, as they do nowadays. We are at a point in the collective story of human beings where technology is advancing, generations in the workforce are changing, and expectations about business are evolving. Seeing as how continuous learning makes the negative effects irrelevant, every corporate organization that wishes to keep standing when the dust settles must embrace learning.
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