On the surface it appears to be an easy win: tapping into the knowledge and expertise that exists within a company through user-generated content. Short how-to instructional videos can be cheaply and easily made and uploaded by experts across the company, then be searchable and accessible by every employee.
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll always be able to find a McDonald’s restaurant. The McDonald’s secret to global popularity can’t be found in any secret sauce: its success is a result of the corporation’s cultural astuteness. Whether serving a market that is predominantly vegetarian, or one that avoids beef, or pork, or enjoys fish, McDonald’s adjusts its menu to the local cultural flavor — to great success. While we aren’t responsible for McDonald’s corporate learning we have to assume that someone at McDonald’s at some time received cross-cultural training.
A compliance officer needs to understand the laws and regulations regarding their industry, but so do the employees within their company. Without company-wide knowledge of compliance, a company is put at risk for all sorts of noncompliance issues, and faces litigation.
Sales training has one goal: train employees to perform in a way that increases revenue through sales - in other words, to have business impact. But traditional corporate training often falls short of this goal. Maybe that’s because learners find the learning content unengaging or the training delivery method inefficient.
Before we talk about unconscious incompetence, let’s talk about unconscious competence. Unconscious competence is a fancy way of saying “second nature” and it’s the level of competence that every sales rep should aspire to. When you think of unconscious competence think of the saying “it’s as easy as riding a bike”: once you learn how to do it, it’s a skill that comes naturally to you so you don’t have to think about it.
As the Boomer generation ages, new workers will be needed to fill empty positions. But what happens to a new hire when the gaps in their knowledge are too big? Mistakes happen and productivity is lost.
Unconscious incompetence is not knowing what you don’t know. And when you take action based on a misperception, it can be hazardous. It’s a problem that affects every industry and every business.
We already know that Adaptive Learning is a versatile corporate training tool that can onboard new employees or train an experienced team. But Adaptive Learning is especially helpful for complex technical training (like software programming or laboratory medicine) because it helps uncover unconscious incompetence, something traditional corporate training tools cannot do.
You’ve heard the saying “you don’t know what you don’t know”; this is unconscious incompetence. Imagine your sales team: are they confident that they understand all of the important features of your products? In reality, they probably don’t. That lack of knowledge is a reason your company might miss revenue goals. You’re not alone; unconscious incompetence negatively affects most companies.