Why Enablement Is More Effective Than Training

December 4th, 2014

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”Benjamin Franklin Although Ben Franklin lived long before the time of formal business trainings as we know them today, there is a lot of truth in his statement. The question is, “how best do you best involve participants so that they really learn?”  Let’s compare two models: training and enablement.

On the one hand, traditional lecture-style trainings rely mostly on participants receiving input from a trainer giving a presentation. Interaction is typically very limited with some opportunities to ask questions or join in a subsequent discussion. Enablement, on the other hand, includes many interactive elements to involve and engage those who need to learn something after providing a traditional lecture-style training component.  Depending on the specific enablement, enablements typically combine elements such as presentations, tools and software, certification processes and types of gamification and personalized coaching to involve learners in an iterative process which allows them to apply what they have newly learned in the real world and receive constructive feedback to guide them to reach their goals.

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While trainings can soon be forgotten once employees return from a classroom or university-like setting to business as usual in real life, enablement is integrated into daily work by continuing the learning process and combining the elements mentioned above.   Therefore, enablement is much more comprehensive, is action-oriented, involves more senses and can more easily be customized and focused on the needs of the customer.  As a result, what is learned from enablement is much more likely to be committed to long-term rather than your short-term memory.  In contrast to trainings, which aim to be efficient, the objective of enablement is to be effective—not just for the next few weeks but for a long time into the future. Thus, the goals of training are implicitly defined by the one who is delivering the training and typically merely end with making sure that information has been transferred from the one presenting to his or her audience.  While transferring information and knowledge is always positive, knowing how to implement that in real life and adapt and customize that knowledge to each employee’s unique situation at their company with their own product portfolio is more often than not lacking. In contrast, an enablement’s goals are defined by a member or manager of a sales team receiving the enablement, for example, with specific goals in mind.  Therefore, the enablement process, when done properly, is designed to fit the specific needs and get to the point while doing so.  In today’s competitive business culture, who wouldn’t prefer to learn the skills needed to succeed in a more effective and goal-oriented way?  It will surely save you time and money while helping you reach your unique goals—long-term and short-term—without leaving you to figure that out on your own after you leave a traditional training.

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