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How to learn more effectively

Companies need to evolve to keep up with the market and stay competitive. For employees, it’s crucial to acquire and develop new skills to stay on track within an organisation, but also to maintain employability throughout their career. Learning is at the core of a successful organisation and should be a cornerstone in any strategy.

Learning can also help sustain employee interest, and enhance commitment to the organisation. It’s not surprising that companies spent $359 billion on training in 2016.

Despite that spending, stakeholders were unsatisfied with the results: 75% of managers and 70% of employees deemed the learning and development functions of their organisations insufficient. So, what gives?

Truth be told, employees often learn to meet corporate expectations (participating in some sort of learning & development programme is often a prerequisite for a promotion) not because the skills learned are truly relevant for their jobs.

In addition, we’re biologically not great at learning. As Glaveski (2019) points out, we forget 75% of learnt knowledge within 6 days if we don’t apply it. Known as the “Forgetting Curve”, this phenomenon helps explain why so much training is deemed ineffective.

The antidote to this problem is simpler than you might expect: continuous development. The reasoning behind this idea is that today’s markets are in constant flux, meaning the required skillset changes as well.

Lean learning

Toyota’s famous lean philosophy also addresses organisational learning. Instead of in-depth and lengthy training programmes, lean learning advocates learning only the fundamental bases required to perform a task, and then immediately applying that knowledge. Feedback is immediately provided after that, allowing for timely forward-looking reflection.

Reach out to us today for more information on how continuous learning could benefit your organisation and trips and tricks on how to implement it!

This article has been written by SEPEC Consults SAS.


Caplan, B., (2018). The Case against Education : Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Glaveski, S., (2019). Where Companies Go Wrong with Learning and Development. Harvard Business Review, 02 October, pp. 2-7.

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