“The only thing worse than training your people and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” Henry Ford.
Organizations that do not train their people are poured in ideological and methodological concrete. In some respects they are like a university that never allows research or thought that is dated after a particular time. This effectively freezes all learning, and the university (or organization) gets no benefits from new discovery.
What’s interesting to me is that some organizations have failed to see the importance of training, forcing their leaders and members to function without the benefit of new thought and new discovery. Whether they believe this or not, they act as if history is static requiring no new approaches.
Imagine where we would be, for example, if we still operated with the assumption that the earth is the center of our solar system or without the understandings that come from the Theory of Relativity. Our science would be impaired, and we would not have much of the exciting new body of knowledge that came from those discoveries.
All this makes Ford’s quote so relevant. Having untrained people stay in an organization hamstrings the organization. It cannot become any better than the current level of understanding and practice.
The solution is not to get rid of untrained people, but rather to start a process by which members and leaders can be exposed to new information. This can be done through reading, audio and video resources, and exposure to successful organizations. Visionary leaders see the importance of informing and training.
Trained and competent leaders take organizations to greater levels of effectiveness. Untrained people keep organizations chained to a point somewhere in the past as history and culture move rapidly forward.