Conducting Your First Operational Training Audit-Lesson 1 It’s all about who not what

high-res-ot-logoThe problem with training is anyone can use the word either in their job title or in conversation rendering the word meaningless. To understand why, we need to take a look at the history of human resources. HR changed paradigms from data management to strategic planning. This move saw the outsourcing of data shift to an in-house function. The move has been disastrous for training ever since. HR purchased software and sold it as a solution, based on ease of use, low-cost and accountability. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Once HR opened the door to third-party software sales agents, they unwittingly passed over control of all internal development processes. It takes more than adversity to be good at your job. Education, a distinct job discipline unto itself, requires years of university and even more in experience to master. In HR’s hands, education is reduced to an architectural function built into HR data tools such as the Learning Content Management System or Learning Management System (neither of which have anything to do with learning, education or training). With software providing the template, HR mimics the architecture and calls it training. Any benefit is outweighed by the software disconnecting the trainer from the trainee. The architecture becomes a genetic marker manipulating a trainers ability to serve the trainee. HR’s “strategic planning” move only addresses the “what”.  The “what” reflects the distillation process rendering the learner down to a single data point. A trainer however, never puts “what” ahead of “who” they do it for. The number one myth from the HR echo chamber is that “what” and “who” are the same thing. Training is a unique condition a trainer develops to achieve learner (who) success. The emphasis here is placed on the who at the center of all activity, not a data base (what) nor software agent (what).


  1. HR is the merchant of bureaucracy collecting raw data. The data only serves as a discussion point for senior managers operating at the 50,000 foot level.
  2. HR “training” is a proxy and has nothing to do with training. Training is a unique condition developed and managed by the trainer.
  3. The HR echo chamber would have you believe that who and what are the same thing. An audit begins and ends with the who, and should never focus on the what.



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