Cheryl is a  Learning Doula--a person who supports others as they learn, unlearn and emerge into their wealth and possibilities. budding pioneer of the field of learning and development. She is an established personal accountability and self-help author and has formed her business around the principles of autonomy, authenticity, and the courageous questioning that she writes about. Her new book, The Last Evaluation (coming soon) visits these principles in the framework of genuine and seamless living and working.




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Ypifany: Stop Training and Start Trusting

January 8, 2018


The first mobile phone call was made 44 years ago. The phone weighed 2 pounds, offered just a half-hour of talk time for every recharging, and sold for thousands of dollars. Look at your phone and think of all the services and conveniences it offers. From immediate banking to recording and storing life's most memorable moments, the mobile phone continues to be driven by human creativity and innovation as it responds to human needs and desires.

As an aspect of nature, humans are dynamic. We shift and change with our environment on a daily, hourly, and minute-by-minute basis. To survive the inevitability of evolution, the ways we acquire knowledge must shift and change as well.


The days of organizational training are coming to a cataclysmic end...and it's about time. It's a striking wake up call and a sad state of affairs that almost any hierarchical organization in the world can go to this Wikipedia page on Animal Training and use it to inform the organizational employee training strategy. When humans are resources, they are only needed for a specific time, to provide a specific response that contributes to the effective functioning of the larger organization. Resources are rewarded and punished according to their performance. Every circus elephant walking a tightrope, chimpanzee smoking a cigarette, and Sea World orca jumping through a hoop can sympathize with a trained human resource.


An organization made up of human beings has no need or use for training. Why? Because human beings are peers in the most fundamental way. A peer is someone who has just as much to lose and gain as I do so it's to both our benefits that we live, learn and evolve together. From this perspective, we have to rethink the way we view organizational learning and development.


Terms like gap analysis, training needs assessment, evaluation, and employee are all re-visioned and re-defined. For example, there is never a training or skills gap--which implies some knowledge or skill is missing. In an organization of whole human beings there are "tensions" that alert the tribe to areas where growth is happening-- not where something is missing. Those areas of tension can then be noticed, nurtured, and cultivated in various ways to stimulate growth of the individual and the whole. The organizational tribe engages in a habit of "growth analysis" not gap analysis.


This is more than semantics, it's an organic, felt shift in mindset which, in turn, influences what we see and how we emote. Behavior is a combination of simultaneous thinking, feeling, physiology and action. A mindset of scarcity and deficiency is lived in a narrative of constant improvement, perpetual loss, finite resources, and endless seeking for more and better. A mindset of present appreciation, self determination, and natural growth is lived in a narrative of connoisseur-ship, sharing, trust, and recognition of the invaluable.


People are autonomous, living beings fully capable of knowing what they need to survive emotionally, professionally, and in every other way in work and life. Trusting the knowing that's already there is where organizational growth begins. People don't need to be told how and what to learn. They only need the opportunity to decide when and how to learn, unlearn, and re-learn.


Stop training and start trusting.


Remember to follow me to read further articles and posts

Cheryl Abram, MSW, MSQSM, Author, Speaker, Mom, Learning Connoisseur


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