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公司应该怎样培训员工

许多公司对“人才培养”口惠而实不至,难以真正地帮助员工跟上市场变化的步伐。

    X汽车大奖(Automotive X Prize)的挑战看起来无法完成:造一辆可以合法上路,价格也不太离谱的车,不过油耗要低于100英里/加仑,还要尽快造出来。乔• 贾斯蒂斯不信这个邪,当然,1000万美元的奖金也令人难以拒绝。

    一开始,贾斯蒂斯单打独斗,不过情况很快就改观了。他开始写博客,在社交媒体上分享他的成功、挫败和教训,很快就吸引了来自四个国家的44名热情的志愿者。就这样,WIKISPEED团队诞生了。

    队如其名,WIKISPEED团队的主旨就是加速,而且不局限于他们建造的汽车。成员们可以加速学习过程,借用来自敏捷软件开发的原理来思考和解决复杂问题。而他们的成果见证了他们的学习能力:就在组队3个月之后,WIKISPEED团队的工程原型车就获得了X汽车大奖主流级别比赛的并列第10名,一举超越了全球100多辆参赛车。更重要的是,赛事之后团队势头正旺,继续追寻以合理价格建造超级高效汽车的梦想。

    WIKISPEED团队的成功不仅在于它本身令人印象深刻,还在于这一成功对各种规模的组织的广泛启示。在本文作者合著的《拉动力》(The Power of Pull)一书中,我们解释了深化的全球化和技术的迅速进步如何带来一个变化愈演愈烈的新的竞争格局。

    为了竞争,公司必须将重心从简单的规模扩展转变到员工知识的扩展上来。然而许多公司对“人才培养”口惠而实不至,难以真正地帮助员工跟上市场变化的步伐。这不仅仅是挽留人才或者员工满意度的问题了:学习快的员工提高得也快,而提高快的员工能为整个公司带来业绩提升。

    为实现这一点,公司需要考虑WIKISPEED团队的成功四原则:

    主动联系积极分子

    你的公司里有聪明人,但公司之外的聪明人更是数不胜数。成功愈加地依赖于和外部人员联系并利用他们所带来的知识。

    凭借社交软件、云计算、移动性和大数据这样的新技术所提供的强大工具,各个社会生态系统达到了前所未有的广度和深度,可以帮我们联系到世界各地的积极分子。通过社交平台,乔• 贾斯蒂斯迅速集结了充满激情和动力的一伙人,这在以前是无法做到的。公司有更多的机会使用这些技术来延伸和深化他们与外界个体和组织的联系。

    为何强调积极分子?积极分子渴望挑战并为之激动。这些挑战被视作快速学习的机会,他们也更可能去发现和联系具有相关经验的人,帮助他们更快地找到创造性的解决方案。积极分子聚集得越多,背景越多样化,就越有可能得到相关的经验加以利用,而参与者也越有机会互相学习。就像贾斯蒂斯所说的:“士气是速度的倍乘器。”当面对像X汽车大奖那样极其复杂的问题时,任何个人已经知道答案的可能性微乎其微(否则那人已经可以拿下1000万美元的大奖了),所以联系和集结积极分子会有显著的益处。

    Joe Justice was inspired to enter the Automotive X Prize contest in 2008 after hearing about the seemingly impossible challenge: create a road-legal, reasonably priced car that gets 100 miles-per-gallon, and build it fast. The $10 million purse didn't hurt, either.

    Justice may have entered the contest alone, but it didn't stay that way for long; he began blogging and using social media to share his successes, setbacks, and lessons, and soon attracted a team of 44 passionate members from four countries excited to volunteer their time. Just like that, Team WIKISPEED was born.

    As the name suggests, Team WIKISPEED is all about acceleration, and not just in the cars they build. The group of volunteers can speed up how they learn by using principles from agile software development to think through and solve complex problems. Indeed, the proof is in the results: just three months after forming, Team WIKISPEED had a working prototype that tied for 10th place in the X Prize contest's mainstream class, outlasting over a hundred other entries from all over the globe. More importantly, the competition built momentum for the team and its dream of putting ultra-efficient cars on the road at a reasonable price.

    The success of Team WIKISPEED is not just impressive in its own right; it has broad implications for organizations of all sizes. In our book, The Power of Pull, we explain how increased globalization and rapid advances in technology have brought about a new competitive landscape of increasingly volatile change.

    To compete, firms will have to shift their focus from simply increasing in size to increasing employee knowledge. Yet despite all the lip service paid to "talent development," many firms today struggle to meaningfully engage their employees in a way that will help them keep pace with the changing marketplace. This issue is not simply one of retention or employee satisfaction: employees who learn faster improve faster, and those who improve faster can deliver improved performance for the entire company.

    To pull this off, firms should consider four principles that helped Team WIKISPEED:

    Reach out to passionate people

    No matter how many smart people you have at your firm, there are a lot more on the outside. Increasingly, competitive success hinges upon the ability to connect with others and take advantage of the knowledge that they can bring to the table.

    New technologies like social software, cloud computing, mobility and big data provide powerful tools to increase the reach and richness of different ecosystems, helping to connect passionate people wherever they may be. Through social software platforms, Joe Justice was quickly able to assemble an army of passionate and driven individuals, which would have been very difficult otherwise. Companies have even more significant opportunities to use these technologies to extend and deepen their relationships with outside individuals and organizations.

    Why the emphasis on passionate people? Passionate individuals seek out and are excited by challenges. They see these challenges as an opportunity to learn faster. They are also much more likely to identify and reach out to others who might have relevant experience, thereby helping them to reach a creative solution faster. By bringing together a larger and more diverse set of passionate people, there are more relevant experiences to draw from, and more opportunities for participants to learn from one another. As Justice puts it, "Morale is a multiplier for velocity." When tackling incredibly complex problems like building a 100 mpg vehicle, it is highly unlikely that any one person already has the answer (otherwise they might already be $10 million richer!), so the benefits of connecting with and bringing together passionate people can be significant.

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