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ASK, NOT TELL

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  • David

University Education vs Corporate Training

Updated: Mar 20



A very interesting experience in June – I have organized with a reputable university a general management workshop for our branch managers. After 2 months of intensive preparation, we finally rolled out the pilot class last month.


I observed the workshop for the whole week. As the organizer who paid the university a huge sum of money, I was eager to see good quality 'product'. Specifically I of course hoped that this workshop can enhance branch managers' performance. When I see the professors in action, a lot of thoughts run through my mind. For example, there was a professor on the topic of China economics. The learners all liked his session very much. So did I. I even said to myself that I would attend his session again. In short, he managed to make sense for us out of the common economic data in China e.g. GDP, inflation, with a lot of humour and stories.


But..... did the session help enhance the branch managers' performance at work? I could not see the strong correlation. Taking this economics session as an example, I am sure that all will benefit personally from the content by comprehending better on the data. But I am not sure how strongly such understanding can contribute to better performance at work.


Or I should say... it seems that the session could be differently designed in order to link more strongly to success. The same applies to other sessions throughout the week.


In fact, it has not been easy in general to influence the professors to alter their content in the first place. They tend to have strong opinion on what they planned to offer themselves. I think somehow there is fundamental difference between university education and corporate training. The former is more about the professors whilst the latter is more about the learners. In universities, we learn from whatever expertise / knowledge possessed by the Master (i.e. Professors). In corporate training, we first focus on what the business need is, and then we design the content to address the needs

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