Why We Forget Most of What We Learn

27 October 2019

Are you spending a lot of money on training and development at your organization, but constantly feeling you just aren’t getting the bang for your buck you hoped for?  Do you look for evidence of new learning, but find very little seems to be retained and applied?
This is an age-old problem, and you will undoubtedly be interested in the new approach offered in Harvard’s recent article entitled Where Companies Go Wrong with Learning and Development. To begin with, they note that the measure of learning and development should be on the business impact created, not boxes ticked or credits gained for promotion. As they write, flawed incentives beget flawed outcomes – such as learning at the wrong time, learning the wrong things and quickly forgetting what has been learned.
The approach Harvard is presenting is Lean Learning and, while you will have your own views on the lean principles that have been popular in the past, there is a lot of merit to the concepts here.
Lean learning is about:

  • Learning the core of what you need to learn
  • Applying it to the real-world situations immediately
  • Receiving immediate feedback and refining your understanding
  • Repeating the cycle

There is a lot of specific and useful advice given for applying lean learning. This relatively short article can help put you on the path to meaningful and sustainable learning and development in your own organization. Finally.
To read the full article, you can go to https://hbr.org/2019/10/where-companies-go-wrong-with-learning-and-development

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