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Corporate training cannot cope with the ever-widening knowledge gap

As the pace of change continues to accelerate faster and faster, it has become overwhelmingly clear that training is no longer fit for purpose, to address the ever-widening knowledge gap. This is not to say that training is superfluous, but it should not be deployed when there are viable alternatives that are more efficient and effective and operate at a significantly lower operational cost. Training is clearly inadequate by itself to address the complexities of ever evolving knowledge, such as found in regulatory, statutory, policy and standard operating procedures needed to support customers, operations, products and services.   

The inadequacy of training to address the ever-widening knowledge gap has led to an explosion of “subject matter experts” (SMEs) being employed. Even this hasn’t been enough, as the knowledge complexity has overwhelmed the human capacity traditionally serviced by ‘experts’. In practice, typically each expert’s knowledge has narrowed over time leading to organisational knowledge being highly fractal and fragile.

It is fractal because one needs a growing number of different experts to gain an holistic understanding of an end-to-end process.

It is fragile as the expert’s knowledge simply becomes diluted as knowledge expands and it is made a lot worse when those with the knowledge in their heads leave the organisation.

The combination of training and SMEs has failed to address the knowledge gap, which continues to persist and grow. Therefore, highly regulated sectors, like health and finance, have absorb increasing governance overheads in the form of controls, management, supervision and compliance. To make matters worse, such organisations have become so constrained by the knowledge that they find it difficult to innovate and change in a timely way.

Conversation-as-a-service, inside and outside the organisation, is the means for the coexistence of a human and chatbot workforce. Chatbots designed to handle the complexities of knowledge provides the means for instant upskilling of the human workforce. Setting aside the technology, which already exists for deployment at industrial scale, the constraining issue for advancement is the lack of a new framework for accelerating towards an agile and adaptive workforce.

The over reliance upon training and SMEs to address the knowledge gap is another contributory reason to digitally transform governance. The lack of a new governance framework is now a business barrier to change, as the technology enabler is ready and waiting.     




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Freddie McMahon

Freddie McMahon

Director Strategy and Innovation

DF2020 Ltd

Member since

04 Aug 2017



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