Skill Development

Knowledge and skills are closely related, but different improvement activities. The Concise Oxford Dictionary provides these definitions:

Knowledge — “theoretical or practical understanding; the sum of what is known”

Skill — “expertness, practiced ability, facility in an action or to do something”

To improve personal or organization performance, both knowledge and skills are needed. Knowledge generally increases with skills, but skills don’t always increase with knowledge. Just because we know better, doesn’t mean we do better.

The Training Pathway to High Performance:

  • Learning on the job accounted for more than half of U.S. productivity increases from 1929 to 1989.
  • Trained people have 30 percent higher productivity after one year.
  • 10 percent higher investment in education increases productivity 8 percent. Increasing capital expenditures by 10 percent boosts productivity by only 3 percent.
  • U.S. Navy tracked a $14 to $1 payback on service/quality improvement training.
  • American companies average 1.4 percent of payroll on training. High performing companies invest up to 6 percent.
  • GE spends over $800 million per year on training.

The Training Triangle:

1) Technical

  • Organizational core competencies/skills/expertise
  • Technological tools (like software, communications, automation, e-commerce)

2) Management

  • Systems/process management
  • Problem solving/decision making
  • Time/resource management
  • Financial

3) Leadership

  • Customer focus/service
  • Changing, learning, and improving
  • Team development
  • Coaching
  • Culture change/development

For additional resources on Skill Development, click here.

Click on each area below for more information on the Strategic Improvement Planning Process and Gap Analysis for your organization: