What is missing in the OJT cycle? Kaizen!

I stumbled across this website that had posted a comment on a blog post:

In this document the author describes a three step OJT cycle at a fairly high level. 1) Prebrief, 2) Practice and 3) Debrief. The author then poses a question about the OJT cycle:

"There are some schools of thought that suggest a fourth, or consolidation step that occurs between the debrief and the following pre-brief. This may be when the student conducts the proposed remedial action [suggested by the trainer in debrief] or a ‘moment of clarity’ at 2 am the following morning. There is no doubt that this does happen but it cannot be effectively implemented into a training program. It is important that the trainer considers the process just as they would for the possibility of similar style set backs and ‘off days’."

I can't prove it, but I think what makes most training today ineffective is that training is usually done for purposes other than to solve process problems. Good training aims to reduce human error in the process. It aims to solve problems that involve people.

When a trainer sees an error, immediate correction is required. Follow-up through with kaizen, however, will eliminate the error from ever happening again. Often a 'moment of clarity' is when the trainee truly understands the reason for why they made an error. Again, this is the opportunity to correct and reinforce their learning - strike while the iron is hot! - but follow-up on their ideas to make the process better will take their learning to new heights.

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At March 6, 2008 at 2:04 PM , Blogger Islands Innovation said...

This is a good point. We often think we learn by making mistakes. We do, but there are better ways to learn.

When someone new to a job makes a mistake, we usually think "that's good...they learned a lesson".


Our first thought should be "rats...the process failed!". And our second thought should be "we failed this new person, how can we make it up to them by improving the process so that doesn't happen to someone else?". And the third thing we should do is thank the person for pointing out a weakness in the system.

However, our normal second response is to say "well I guess they are a slow learner...some people take longer to come to speed". That's simply an excuse for our poor training, and it's probably a reason that person won't be around long. That mistake on the first day is a mega-bummer for the person (I bet you remember what it was for you...I know I do), and the search for the next job starts there....


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