Training or Development: which culture is it?

When you identify a possible problem with something in the work culture, what do you see getting done? Yep, training. (in my best Monty Python voice) Let us now train everyone so that they understand what is right and what is wrong. We will train and train them until they know what not to do and how to support others. They will be the most trained people in this subject matter, so we can be safe in the knowledge that our people are fully trained in the way to be. How to act. They will be informed. Knowledgeable. They will be trained. We will have created a culture of…


Monkeys, bananas and step ladder come to mind.

Sanlitun Mall, Beijing, China.

Now, on the other hand, if you develop people, help people feel safe and support their mistakes, their foibles and help them learn and grow, things can change. There is more to it than all of the above. Look deeply and deal with the root cause of what has spread across the core of your culture. Often, the roots for the loss of a company’s values are just a representation, a reflection of the leadership. 

Deal with that. That is where the dynamite goes. Blow that up and start again there. Destroy the golden handcuffs mentality and make that level accountable for their actions. Yeah, thought not! You don’t want to hear that. But that is where the answer to your culture problem is – leadership.

Training is essential in helping people gain knowledge, but people have to develop that knowledge through conversation and experiment. They must be given the time to explore and reflect on what their understanding is of the subject. They also must be heard… all of them and heard by the people that need to hear. That is the power of talking, listening.

BrewDog, if it is true, you disappoint me (I was your biggest fan), but your quick response to change is commendable. Now follow up with it more than a quirky, colourful can of beer.

Develop a better culture. From my own experience, working in a rancid culture of bullying is exhausting. 

Get it right and I will buy your beer. 

Call it ‘Truth Will Out’, then I will buy a couple of cans.

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