Learning Through Osmosis

th5 In many corporate environments today there has been a relatively obscure learning technique being used that I only recently discovered, and I am calling it Learning Through Osmosis.

It involves a process similar in nature to on-the-job training without all the formal checklists and is customized by the learner themselves.  It produces random, unidentifiable results, but the costs to implement are next to nothing.  This gives the person tracking the ROI an easy formulation since any return is positive since the investment was nothing.

After 25+ years banging my head against a wall designing, facilitating and performing detailed training needs analysis before implementing any kind of learning solution I have come to learn that many “training professionals” have been getting a salary and not having to lift a finger in implementing squat!  I feel like such an out of touch idiot for not discovering Learning Through Osmosis sooner.

So what exactly is Learning Through Osmosis?  It begins by removing all structure to learning, and allowing all employees to discover their own learning paths.  It requires no eLearning, online or classroom training and two simple resources.  The first is an unfettered access to the complete internet.  What is on the internet is completely correct I am told, and you can find out how to do anything!  Sweet!

The second resource is other people, and where most of the learning occurs through the osmosis process.  You see all that is necessary is the ability to stand near (not even close enough to touch) the person that actually knows how to perform the tasks you want to learn, and through the science of osmosis, these skills are developed by the learner without taking away the skills from the original owner.  It is almost like magic!

Now while the true secret for how this process moves skills from one person to another person without any kind of old fashion training techniques is unknown, many training leaders are trusting the process and have abandoned all other training events and put all of their hope in Learning Through Osmosis.  As long as their paycheck comes every two weeks, they are certain in their success.  And if that is the only way you measure training results, then you are good to go, right?


The above insight is my sense of humor, and attempt to figure out why some organizations fail to provide accountable training solutions and ignore employee development.  Learning Through Osmosis is NOT a real training method, and should never be relied on for any professional development. 

If you need help in discovering how your training efforts could be more successful, order my two books at http://www.thetrainingphysical.com or email me at Jim@jkhopkinsconsulting.com and schedule a time to talk.


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