Integrating “Knowledge-Learning-Actions”

An organization that values learning never gives in to the temptation for blindly sticking to “business-as-usual” way of thinking and continuously challenges its methods and traditional way of doing things.

Knowledge: Primarily comes from past experiences, benchmarking and the talent pool

Learning: A result of what the organization did or did not do coupled with environmental learning

Actions: What an organization actually does with the knowledge & learning

If you ask me, “Actions” is the area what distinguishes a leader & laggard. A company’s learning agenda generally focuses on being more effective at delivering its products and services. But leading-edge organizations ensure time to action is minimal and therefore a great opportunity to improve all aspects of corporate performance.

Successful companies ensure that the resources they allocate to learning endeavours are taken to the logical end of execution or “Actions”. They also use tools like mystery audits, process audits in addition to the statutory audits to reflect their belief that execution is as important as knowledge & learnings.

Additionally, the companies provide employees with different learning avenues as a way to encourage them to seek knowledge and expand their horizons continually. Such organizations also create environment where employees are encouraged to take personal ownership for their performance.

Once upon a Time ….

Few days back, I saw a surprised blank and lost look on my friend’s face. I had just replied to his question “So what are you doing now a days?”

I’d said “I run an organization which works on customer retention and revenue enhancement and our modus operandi is Mystery Shopping. ”

He was not able to comprehend “Mystery Shopping” and fumbling, with a quizzical look on his face, he said, “Please solve this mystery of ‘Mystery Shopping’ for me”

I narrated him a story….

Once upon a time there was a king, and all was well in his kingdom. There was peace, prosperity and all were very happy the way king ruled. A traveller came to the kingdom from far off lands, he too was amazed at the prosperity and peace in the kingdom.

He asked the king, how he manages things so well? The king said you come to me tomorrow evening, I will show you. The traveller reached the palace in the evening and someone patted at his back, he turned, and saw an unknown face staring at him. “What can I do for you?” asked the traveller.

The strange faced man said, “It’s me The King, I have changed my appearance so that no one can recognise me, come with me.”………

I am sure there is no need to narrate the whole story. My friend got the point immediately!

This got me thinking …… The ease with which we forget or not able to utilize what we learnt / experienced as children, amazes me. Perhaps this is the oldest form of Mystery Shopping and we all know how powerful these inputs were in key strategic decisions and day-to-day administration.

Similarly Mystery Shopping not only highlights “Conformance to Standards” but also helps in charting out a strategy for service, expansion and competition.