August 3, 2015 Anil Saxena

The Difference Between Training and Transformation

difference between training and transformationAll jobs require training, but if you really want principles to stand the test of time, if you want big changes to stick, training isn’t enough – you need transformation.


At the most basic level, training is about skills and transformation is about mindset. Put another way, training changes how you do something, transformation changes how you think about something.

Transformation is important because it’s bigger than training. It sets the stage for effective, retainable training in any skill – because if the transformation has happened effectively, the person receiving the training will already understand the key concepts and principles to be looking for, they will understand the big-picture importance of why they are being trained for a certain task, and most importantly, they will seek out the fine details of the training because it is important to them on a personal level.

Transformation comes through engagement and transparency, and through an inclusive approach to new responsibilities, skills, and job roles. It needs to be perfectly clear, with well-supported reasons, just why the training is happening in the first place.

The transformation happens when an individual adopts a viewpoint larger than the task at hand. The transformed individual not only understands why a change needs to happen, but also becomes a driving force to see it through.

It is this emotional component that makes transformation so important – and so effective. It’s not enough to just tell an employee or new hire that a certain practice or policy needs to be adopted – to really sink in and become part of regular operation, they have to understand why it needs to happen, and more so, agree with the reasoning behind it.

Training is certainly important, but transformation comes first for big changes. Even if there’s no actual training involved, getting people on the same page mentally and emotionally sets up a team for success – expectations are clear, motivation and incentive are clear, and if nothing else, everyone knows exactly what they’re getting into, for better or worse.

Training can change and be updated – it can even be forgotten or replaced. Transformation, though, tends to stick for the long-term.

Are you training your employees, or transforming them?

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