Training or Learning?

“I sincerely believe that the only way we can learn is through our deductive process.  Presenting us with final conclusions is not a way that we learn.   At best it is a way that we are trained.”

~ Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt, The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (a business novel, what a novel concept)


I keep a list of books that I want to read.  I add to the list regularly through newspaper, magazine and other sources which reference books.  I don’t recall how I heard about this one, and I haven’t gotten very far in reading yet, but I was captured by this above quotation.  A man after my own heart, at least in regards to acquisition of knowledge.


Up until starting this book, I have always thought of training and learning as interchangeable concepts in education.  I have always preferred the pursuit of the why behind any concept rather than a dry recitation or memorization of facts, (or worse, acceptance of facts without presentation of corroborating information) but still these words have been synonymous in my view.


I have certainly encountered my share of people who would prefer to be trained – ‘tell me what you want me to know’ – as opposed to people who want to learn – ‘I want to understand the why and the how’.  There is room for both concepts, depending on the role and task but companies will grow more strongly when they hire the person who likes to learn and then give them some space.


Most of us, once we get warmed up, appreciate learning new things particularly if we can start to see the value – how we can use the new skill in our day to day.


Perhaps I will follow up once I finish this book.


© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations

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